Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Photo Deal!!

My sister in law Kate is an amazing photographer and she is running a special right now if you are interested. For $20 the whole family can have a a 30 minute photo shoot and receive a free 8x10 digital print. Just in time for Christmas cards!! She has taken some amazing photos of our family over the past 3 years and I love her stuff!
She also can be found on this Facebook Event page or can be reached at 801-722-9825.
This is a great deal because this price is so much less than a sitting fee and digital print usually are. Plus if you want other prints she has some great pricing on that too.
If you call tell her you know me! I am all about dropping names when I can!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Clean Bill

Mom had her 1 year follow up transplant visit this week. I am so excited to announce that she was given a clean bill of health. Basically what this means is that the transplant was a success in sending her into remission!! We knew she had been in remission for a while, but this is great news in that she might stay in remission a long time (anywhere from 1-5 years before she might have to be in treatment again.) The tests showed that her blood work was at normal levels and there was no measurable amount of cancer detectable. She has to follow up with her cancer doctor every 3 months now to have her blood looked at because the blood tests will show cancer before she would feel the effects of it. One concern still is her back. The cancer did some damage to her spine and she has a really weak back. For this, however, she has to have a bone strengthener (think of those new commercials with Sally Field, but she goes in for an IV treatment instead of a monthly pill) because her back looks like it is riddled with osteoporosis. But hey, we'll take it!

So for her 1 year birthday (October 24 is her transplant birthday) all of the girls went to see Curtains at Hale Centre Theatre. I love this musical and of course they changed the lyrics for the safety of sensitive ears (with permission, I understand) so each time the left out a funny line or a swear I leaned over to Sister to tell her the real one. Sister figured out who the killer was pretty early on... she is so smrt. Books/looks?! Puh-lease! Kidding aside, we had a great time and it was good to just get away with the girls!

Mom and I watch Watcher in the Woods this weekend too. I totally remember it being so much more scary than it was. I had totally forgotten the ending. However, the DVD release... has 2 alternate endings! High-lar-eous! It was a kind of fun Mom-centric weekend!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Defy Gravity

The musical Wicked ... pause for a moment of inhale and smiles ... has a song that I really like called Defy Gravity. In this song, Elphaba (the "Wicked Witch") is telling Glinda (the ga is silent, toss toss) that she is tired of sitting back and pretending everything is fine in the Land of Oz. She says:

"Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game..."

"I'm through accepting limits
'Cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But 'till I try, I'll never know..."

Then she talks about defying gravity and how it is time to stop letting others pull you down. There are times when going with the status quo costs too much within us. We should never let others pull us down.

When I saw this musical ... for the 3rd time ... in Chicago I was with a group of women whom I love, adore, and look up to. We had really good seats and had a great night. At the end of the night we bought these fun friendship bracelets ... well because we could. One says "Popular" another "Wicked" and the third "Defy Gravity"

I was thinking about these women and my bracelet the other day and I realized how profound this message is: DEFY GRAVITY. Some of the lessons I learned from these women I went to Wicked in Chicago with were so profound that they will stick with me for the rest of my life. That and they make the best panini's in the world. Shout out to my Panini Night girls! These women had a chance to do something different and make their lives better. Not only that but they worked really hard to enrich the lives of their loved ones. To coin a phrase from another song in Wicked "Because I knew you, I have been changed for good."

Living life as everyone else expects is not always what is in the best interest for ... well really anyone. I think there are times when it is appropriate for an individual to give advice on how another should live ones life, but for the most part I know it is important for everyone to decide what is best for them. To look outside the norm and buck the status quo. To defy gravity and stretch our wings and fly! Now of course there are limits to this, our defying should never put another in harm or do damage to that which is not ours, we should not break the laws of the land. But thinking outside the box and making joy happen in our lives is all part of the plan. So go ahead: color outside the line, step on the crack, walk backwards, wear white after Labor Day and live life to the fullest. The only real limits in your life might be the ones you place there yourself.

"I hope you are happy in the end.
I hope you are happy my friend.
So if you care to find me,
Look to the western sky.

"As someone told me lately
Everyone deserves a chance to fly.
If I am flying solo at least I am flying free
To those who ground me,
Take a message back from me.
Tell them how I am defying gravity

"I am flying high
Defying gravity...
And no one is ever going to bring me down!"

Thursday, October 22, 2009


So last night I witnessed an over-reaction to a situation. The sad thing about this overreaction is that it was in front of youth in a church setting. While the reaction was just over the top, what made it more outrageous was the setting and the audience. I won't go into details of the situation, but let me just say, it really made me think. What it made me think about mostly was how I choose, yes choose, to react in certain situations as well. While I certainly hope I would never overreact in a similar manner, I can see how it takes practice to ensure one always has proper and effective reactions to situations. I admit there are times when other's actions do affect us, both for good and bad, but we are always in control of our actions and reactions. I think there are times when a drastic or dramatic reaction is certainly appropriate. I can think of a few situations in my life where I have seen this: When my mom found out her brother had been murdered, when I saw a tree fall on my house, the horror of watching the news on 9/11. Situations like these are shocking and I feel deserve comparable reactions. When damage is done to us or around us that is out of our control, I feel our reactions will be stronger than other times. But I have seen people overreact when the situation does not warrant it. I have been in a sales meeting when the boss tells the staff that the factory is going to discontinue a certain product and a sales person yells "WHAT?! What are we going to do?" or seen someone kick the copy machine because it jams (oy vey! it is a machine...) or the one that gets me so mad is seeing someone yell at a child for being a child and doing childish things.

I am sure there are times where I have, and still do or will, overreact to situations. However, I truly truly believe that I am in control of me the same as you are in control of you. I have the choice to make on how I will react to all situations. I can choose to make a scene, or I can ingest the situation and react accordingly. It brings to mind Newton's law of motion: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is a big point of the critical thinking process that is taught so often now in college learning. It takes practice to sit back and let all of the information come out and then to make an informed decision or reactions. Is it always easy? No. But common sense tells me that there is no reason to use abusive or offensive language in front of ... well really anyone; hitting someone in the face is not appropriate reactions; getting mad because you lock your keys in the car (holla Besty!) does no good to help the situation; grounding a child for an accident is counter productive, while grounding a child as a punishment for a deliberate action is appropriate. (but what do I know? I don't have kids!)

Bad things are going to happen in our lives, this is a given. However, how we react to these situations is a real test to our character. Sometimes things don't happen that we want (getting married, having children, getting the promotion or raise we think we deserve, etc) and these times too we have a choice to make on how we will react. Since I am using me as an example so well in this rant, here I go again. I could be very upset that I am 33 and still single. I could. I could be depressed and cry about it because no one loves me in that way. OR. OR I can make my life the best I possibly can recognizing that if I am not happy single why in the world would I assume being married is going to make me happy? But then I digress.

Reactions are always expected in every situations. Overreaction and under reaction, however, is not helpful in (I would say) 99% of cases... maybe 95%. And of course, practice makes perfect... so act and react away!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Condo for Sale

My brother and sister in law have listed their condo for sale that is just getting to small for their family, if you or anyone you know is looking for a condo to buy. It is in Murray, 2 stories, new carpet (maybe a year old) newly remodeled bathroom with a jetted tub. 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, covered parking. It is an end unit so only has one shared wall. It is a nice place. They have it listed on KSL right now and the link is here!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Anne Frank on YouTube

I read a story today on CNN about a YouTube channel being started for Anne Frank. I have long been inspired by the Diary of Anne Frank, I love the movie, I remember being affected by reading the book when I was in middle school. Every time I read the book or watch the movie I come away with a heavy heart for the pain but I am also inspired by the hope of the message. The YouTube videos were wonderful. The link is below if you are interested in watching them too. There are many video links on the side of the Anne Frank Page. The one with Emma Thompson is quite humorous. I wish I understood the language spoken in the Miep Gies clip because I would think that would be an amazing story to understand.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weight Management 101

Lesson 1 - Eat Less but Eat Enough
Our bodies need calories (energy) to survive. This is a fact that we all know. We must eat. The major no-no that most people who are trying to lose weight do is they cut back too much, too fast. The fact of the matter is our bodies need calories to survive. Without a proper intake of calories our bodies will hold on to the existing fat we already have stored. While it is important to eat less when one is trying to lose fat (weight) one must eat a healthy number of calories. Want to know what yours is? My best advice is to talk to your doctor. My doctor is going to give me a different number of intake than yours would give you. Have you ever had a conversation with a coworker who claims she is constantly riding her bike and you have to wonder to yourself “How is she still overweight then?” Then you hear what she eats during a typical day: a few cups of coffee for breakfast, a bag of 100 calories of popcorn for lunch, and she usually will eat a decent dinner. Well that is why she is still overweight; she is not eating enough.

Lesson 2 – Exercise More
It is math, plain and simple. However I suck at math… so it took me a long time to get it. Calories in/calories out. Exercising burns calories and when this happens, as long as you eat enough, your body should use excess fat stores to burn thus eventually helping weight loss and fat loss. Being active for 30 minutes a day will increase ones heart health and decrease ones pounds. This also makes a person stronger and more energetic.

Lesson 3 - It Takes Time
Looking back I know I did not get fat in a day, so why should I expect to get skinny in one?! It just does not work that way. It takes time to pack on the pounds, so conversely it takes time to take the weight off. While it might be easier for some people to lose weight faster than others, just remember the immortal words of wisdom from Galaxy Quest: “Never give up, never surrender.”

Lesson 4 - Celebrate the Milestones
There are going to be milestones in the weight loss process: When you lose your first pound, when you lose your first 10 pounds, when you can do 100 pushups, when you learn to love the elliptical, when you have a bad day and want to run instead of eating chocolate etc. These are moments to be celebrated. Share them with loved ones so they can give you validation and maybe gain some motivation. Now this celebration probably is not going to be the same way as one might have celebrated in the past with a chocolate chip cookie sundae or cheesecake!

Lesson 5 - Not All Weight Gain is a Setback
Have you ever heard that muscle weighs more than fat? Bull crap. A pound = a pound. A pound of bricks weighs the same as a pound of feathers: they both weigh a pound. However the mass will be different. I have to be honest I lose inches before I lose pounds. It can be discouraging when you step on the scale and do not see a loss, you might even see a gain. However, look at how your pants or shirts fit. Is the butt saggy? Are you in a new hole on your belt? Do you need to start wearing a belt? Here is my example: I am down 20 pounds but I have lost 3 pant sizes. I am down to the last hole in my belt; I am losing inches faster than I am losing weight. Sometimes, also, it is alright to hide your scale for a few days… or weeks! If you are obsessing about the scale it might be time to put it in the freezer (not literally like one might put a book in the freezer for you Friends fans.) Don’t give up if you gain a pound or 4, there is probably a reason like you are not drinking enough water or it might be (women) your time of the month or your body just gained.

Lesson 6 - Not All Fat is Bad
There are good fats and bad fats. While I am not an expert, some oils (fish, olive, canola) are better than others (vegetable, butter, etc). A healthy increase of good oils will increase your good cholesterol and hopefully decrease your bad cholesterol. Plus oils will add taste to dishes.

Lesson 7 - It is Okay to Splurge
It is alright to eat a piece of cheesecake at Elisha’s wedding. It is alright to share a bowl of ice cream with Sissy. It is alright to have a chocolate chip bar (or 3) on Barry’s birthday. It is alright to have dessert when you are out to dinner with your friends just because you want one. Depriving yourself of all luxuries is not a good idea. As long as you make a plan for these goodies and maybe eat a more healthy lunch on that day. As long as you do not tell yourself daily that a splurge is alright. It is called a splurge for a reason, do not overindulge. Plus cutting out all sweets will make you cranky just like cutting out all carbs will.

Lesson 8 - Not All Diets are Good
Let’s hear a shout out my overweight friends (and some skinny one too) is there a diet you have not tried? They usually sound so good! The concepts typically are the same “Pay us and we will teach you a fool proof way to lose weight.” Um, right. That is why I am fat, because I have paid someone else to teach me how to lose weight. Gotta tell ya, diets did not work for me and I tried plenty of them. If they work for you, great! Congrats. What worked for me was finally learning what in my life I needed to do without, and make a lifestyle change. The way I found this out might not be what would motivate you. Each person must find what works for him or her.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fortune Cookie

Today I got a fortune cookie that I actually think sums it all up...

"You are always entertaining and delightful"

That just sums it all up for me, I have known it for years and now to cosmos has confirmed it. I am not sometimes entertaining and occasionally delightful... ALWAYS!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Lion King Tickets

I have 5 tickets for Lion King the Broadway Musical when it is here in Salt Lake next year that I am not going to use. So here is what happened: I am a season ticket holder so I can buy extra tickets before they go on sale to the public. I was buying some for my sister in law's sister and I bought the wrong section on accident. So I have 5 extra tickets. I will sell them at face value which is (gulp) $91.25 each. They are really good seats, frankly. I can sell you one or all 5 if interested. The seats info is below. Either post a comment here that you are interested or send me an email at my gmail account. Of course this will be a first come first serve situation since I only have 5.

The Lion King is playing at the Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City, these seats are Mezz 2C seats 1-5. This is the first row of the mezzanine (not counting the Grand Tier) in the center. See pic below, I have circled where the tickets are... and there is an arrow, I know I am a giver!! This is my personal favorite section to sit in because being in the mezzanine I can see the entire stage and being in the center they should be really really good seats for this show. I think the mezz begins about the equivalent of row 10 in the orchestra, but because it is higher I find the seats better than sitting in the floor section.

The tickets are for Saturday August 14, 2010 at 8:00 p.m and will be $91.25 each.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I had a pretty rough week this week and I realized that I had given control of my life to someone else. Not totally but enough that I let my emotions be clouded by another person's actions. Another's actions toward me made me mad, I gave up control of my life a little. I stayed mad, am still a little mad at the actions of this individual that I am forced to be around because of work situations. However, I now realize that it is my control I gave up this week.

I claim my control back. My attitude is mine to change, and I change it now! So in the great words of Tina Fey: suck it 'co-worker' you are nothing to me anymore than a annoying fly on my wall.