Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tiny Tim Foundation

A FEW YEARS AGO my family got involved with a charity called the Tiny Tim Foundation. Each year this foundation takes food, clothing, blankets, and hope to the residents of Ascension, Mexico.
This year, the Tiny Tim Foundation is unable to take volunteers to Mexico to serve the sweet people who reside there.
The state of Chihuahua has erupted in violence with over 1,500 drug related deaths in the area in since January 2007.
Death toll in Mexico's drug war surges Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora says 5,376 people have been killed so far in 2008, more than twice the toll for the first 11 months of 2007--Los Angeles Times, Dec 9, 2008
Every year, it is my heart's desire to travel to Mexico and serve the people who reside there. To see a glimmer of hope in their eyes that the world is not all harsh.

Please pray for the people in Mexico. Most of them are not the ones we see. They are living in their own country and trying to take care of their own families on meager wages. Most of them have little hope for the future. This drug war is not their doing, but it is causing them to suffer. They need our prayers and our assistance.

The Tiny Tim Foundation is providing as much assistance as possible and everyone wishes that next year brings peace to that land so that the Tiny Tim Foundation may do what it set out to do and help these wonderful people.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is it really Christmas?

This Christmas
I haven't exactly been feeling the Christmas Spirit.
Maybe it's because I haven't decorated my apartment yet.
Or because James and I opted for no tree this year.
Or because I'm dieting and not partaking of all the good yumminess at work.
It could be that I'm not going home for Christmas
for the first time in my life or that
I did all of my shopping online.
Maybe my head is too filled with Wedding preparations to let
in some red and green cheer.
It's possible that I'm working too much to really notice that it's the
jolliest time of the year.
And there's always the theory
that my head isn't screwed on just right.
It could be, perhaps, that my shoes are too tight.
Whatever the reason, I've been in a
void where Christmas hasn't reached.
They're all there, the sights and sounds of the Season.
What's wrong with me?
Have I forgot the reason?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gathering the Cows

Instead of shopping on "Black Friday" my family went looking for cows.

It was Cold. And Snowy. And Wet.

And some of us looked a little worse for the wear.

But we did get to see some interesting things.

Like James on a horse.

The boys showing off.

And the most amazing scenery the West has to offer.

The cows we were after are a wild bunch and all told it took two days and no less than nine cowboys to bring in one cow. The optimal outcome would have been to find and gather all the cows that were left, but that one caveat aside, we had a great time building memories, getting bruised, and working together.

Instead of shopping on "black Friday" my family went searching for cows . . .

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

In the news today . . .

It has really been bothering me lately that this is a top headline:

While I have to search for information on this:

What has happened to important news?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Here we sit.

Once again I find myself delayed at the Denver airport. I haven't figured out how I manage to get delayed every single trip I take through Denver. This time I have a tired James and a grumpy General (yes, the General is coming back to live in Omaha). Why is General grumpy, you ask? Well, in order to travel as an extra carry on, we have to stuff him in his very own doggy duffel bag. General hates the duffel bag. We fight every time he goes in it, then he just pouts the whole flight. Poor little guy. I try to make the best of the situation and just enjoy the confused looks I get when my bag barks or tries to roll away.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Breaking up is hard to do . . .

ON MONDAY I FINALLY got the guts up to break up with Carpool. It's not that I think carpooling is bad, in fact I think that theoretically it's a very good idea--but that's theoretically. In real life, it wasn't such a wonderful thing. There are a multitude of reasons for the breakup. I have to admit that I missed the autonomy of just leaving work when I wanted, but I have some actual valid reasons also. First, I had to drive an extra 20-30 minutes each way to pick her up (in city stop and go traffic, mind you). This added up to saving one day's drive to Lincoln every two weeks, so the monetary savings aren't as grand as one would imagine. Second, she has this horrible outlook on the world and is NEVER happy. That gets super draining when you're in a car with someone for six hours a week. Third, and most importantly, her driving seriously scared me. She's really aggressive and she tailgates people constantly. Call me crazy, but I'm not a fan of riding someone's bumper going 85 mph. With wintertime just around the corner, I figured I value my life a little more than saving some money and miles on my car. So on Monday, I told her I probably wouldn't be able to continue our carpool relationship.

Everyone told me to use the old "It's me, not you" line, but I ended up using my boss as a scapegoat and saying that with all the changes in the office my schedule is going to be messed up for a while (It's half true). She took it surprisingly well. No uncontrollable sobbing. No irrational anger. No begging to take her back. All I got was an "okay, if you want to start carpooling again in the future let me know." I breathed a sigh of relief and dropped her off for the last time.

Driving alone to work this morning was glorious. I got to leave my house an hour later than I used to and I got to actually listen to my radio stations without gloomy comments. I get to leave right after my last client today and I get to talk to my Mother the whole way home. I'm starting to wonder why I waited so long for this breakup. . .

PS-Okay, so I know that title is a little misleading, but I couldn't resist. James and I are still together and still happy as can be.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Why I love Mormon Women

Yesterday was one of those days where I really
appreciated the way
that Mormons are willing to serve.

The first incident occurred at the gym when I ran into a woman, Sister Dryden, that I barely know. She was asking me how things were going and about wedding plans. As we were talking she first offered me some advice that I can really take to heart: "Keep it simple."
Second, she offered to help in the kitchen. I've been stressing over who to ask. Back home there are so many family members and close friends who just show up and pitch in, but in Nebraska, I don't have that resource. So it almost made me cry that Sister Dryden so readily volunteered. But then again,
Mormons are just like that.
They see a need and they jump right in. It doesn't matter if you're family, friends, or
just some random girl who they run into at the gym.
The second incident involves the love of the Relief Society. Nicole has been having some problems with her pregnancy and was given Doctor's orders to stay in bed for at least a week
(don't worry, at this time, Nicole and the baby are fine).
I would love to be there all the time to cook and clean for her, but with my responsibilities, I'm not able to be there every night and Creighton's been working double shifts at the restaurant, so he can't take care of her all the time either. My mother suggested calling her Relief Society President. After about 10 phone calls, I got her number and gave Sister Cotton a call. When I finished explaining the situation, she was so willing to organize dinners and company and anything else Nicole needs (crud, I just started crying thinking of it). The members of her ward are there for her when those of us who know her and love her can't be.
It's that kind of love and willingness to sacrifice
time, jello, and funeral potatoes
that really shows the love between

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ahh, Engagement Photos

Last Saturday, Nicole went out with James and I
to take our engagement photos.
It was so much fun traipsing
around Elmwood Park
taking all sorts of
cuddly pictures.
Okay, so we took some kissey pictures too,
but I'll save everyone the
of having to look at those.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pun'kin time

On Saturday night Nicole and Creighton invited Chantal (who was visiting for the weekend), James, and I over to carve pumpkins. We had a great time getting messy and trying to make our pumpkins look cute as can be. Nicole and Creighton go all out with carving. They purchased all the carving tools and even some stencils. I'm used to just doing the same happy or sad face Jack-O-Lantern with the only variable being where the tooth would be. This year we got a little more creative.

Creighton drew his spider pumpkin by hand, Nicole
took the time to do the scary
Jack Sparrow,
and Chantal, James, and I had fun with the little

Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 6, 2008

Thoughts on General Conference

Wow. I think that's the only way to describe General Conference this last weekend. For those of you who are not familiar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, twice a year we are able to gather and listen to inspired talks given by those who we revere as chosen leaders, Apostles and the Prophet of God. Every Conference is great, but this one seemed so pertinent to my life. There were so many wonderful things to learn and to try to apply to my life. I can't wait for the Conference report to come out so I can really study the things that were said.

In listening to the warnings issued by these men of God, I felt very comforted in knowing that hard time are ahead, but that we don't have to worry about them. We can prepare and be ready for hard economic times and civil strife. It is so great to know that we can fortify ourselves against calamity. I know even if we are prepared, that we won't always be as comfortable as we are now, but can prepare enough to keep ourselves and our families safe.

Okay this last part may not be so wise to say, but I also noticed (in this Conference and in the last) that not a darned word was mentioned on the so called human caused Global Warming. With a topic that is on the forefront of so much media and hype, don't you think that if it were a problem and a major issue that the Prophet would have some counsel? Kinda makes you wonder if it's either a natural phenomenon or a distraction created by Satan to blind men to the important things going on in the world? Just a thought (my own, may I add, not anywhere near church doctrine).

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I finally broke down and did it

After living in Nebraska for four full fall seasons, I broke down and went to a Husker game. When I moved to Nebraska and saw what a phenomenon the so called "Husker Nation" is here, I vowed I would never attend a Husker game in person. Well, I went and fell in love with an avid Husker fan, who happens to purchase season tickets every year, and my vow to stave off the Huskers was doomed. I've been teasing James for months that he'd never get me to a game, but my resolve melted and I attended my first Huskers Football game two weeks ago. And to top things off, he even got me to wear a red shirt.

I'd never admit it, but I had a pretty good time at the game. There was an energy at Memorial Stadium that can only be achieved by that many people being excited by an event. I did think it interesting that there were people from all walks of life there, from Justice Clarence Thomas, to small time corn farmers, to Larry the Cable Guy. It was a great time to people watch.

The best part of the game was to see James so excited. He was horse by the second half and even though he was totally into the game, he would take the time to explain things to me if I missed a play or didn't understand something. I think that shows the boy really loves me. I haven't met many men who will take time to explain football to the women in their lives.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


James and I went to Nauvoo, Illinois on Saturday the 6th. We got up super early (no easy task the day after James proposed) and drove strait to Nauvoo and Carthage. I have to admit that I was a little worried about the drive. The radio in the car was out and I was a little worried about how that long car ride would go, but we ended up talking for the whole six hour drive. It was great to be able to sit and talk, just be together, for that long.

We went to Carthage first and got there around 1:00 pm. We were the only ones on our tour with the Sister and we got to spend some time in jail. The tour guide Sister left us alone in the room where Joseph Smith was martyred. It was so powerful to sit in that room and feel the Spirit. It was incredible and was such a testimony builder.

Nauvoo itself was amazing. We didn't have a lot of time to visit but we were able to do a few of the living historical sites. I enjoyed the printing press one the best. After walking around to the restored homes, we went on a horse drawn carriage (or long trailer) ride. That was really neat because the tour guide told a few stories about the pioneers that settled the area.

We also go to see the Nauvoo Temple. It was so great to see it rebuilt. The early Saints of the Church sacrificed so much to build it only to have it destroyed a short time later. I think it's such a tribute to their sacrifice to see it standing again.

The temple itself is a beautiful building. I am so impressed with the construction. To think that the pioneers were able to do the same thing is absolutely amazing. James and I did take some pictures and we took some practice shots in front of the temple and around the grounds. We figured some practice could be be good.

After only a few hours in Nauvoo we had to drive all the way home. That drive got a little long and by about midnight, we were both making animal sounds to entertain ourselves. I have to admit that James makes a much better cow moo than I do. That in and of itself is one reason to marry the boy.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


On Friday James proposed. We've been dating for four months and I've fallen madly in love with the boy. He's the most wonderful person to come into my life and I thank my Heavenly Father everyday for James.

The proposal went off great. He took me to Flemmings for dinner. If you haven't been there, it's a great restaurant. We took our time and ate and talked for almost two hours. We had planned a walk for after dinner, but it was pretty chilly so he asked me to come back to his place to "watch a movie or something."

I had been suspicious when he took me to dinner, but those suspicions were solidified when we got to James's place. We drove back to his place and as he was walking in the door, he kind of blocked my view. When he opened the door fully, I saw that he'd decorated the living room. He walked over and turned on some music and had me sit down. We cuddled through about 40 minutes of love songs. The whole time, I could hear his heart beating so fast.

Once there were about three songs left, James asked if I wanted to dance. So we got up and danced with my head on his shoulder. The last song was Chris LeDoux's "Look at You Girl" (our song). I almost cried when I heard it. The song ended, James looked me in the eye and got down on one knee. He slipped the most beautiful ring on my finger and one syllable at a time asked for me to be his wife and to marry him for time and all eternity. I said yes even before he was finished. He took a long pause after the word wife and I just thought he was done. I was so happy that I could barely breath. I'm still so happy that I can barely breath.