Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What The Heck Are Voles???

I am giving up gardening!  My garden is under attack!!!  It was bad enough that we had rocks go missing from around it... but now, we have voles.  Yup, I did not misspell that.  Is it just my East Coast City self that did not know what these things were?  They are like little field mice. 


Ewwww!  Our next door neighbor very recently dug up their back yard and put in a basketball court.  We think that they must have disturbed them since they almost immediately after that showed up in our front garden patch.  They have eaten every marigold, all my hosta and the three baby bushes that I planted.  THERE IS NOTHING LEFT!!!!!  Dang things.  They have also made a complete mess of the yard pushing dirt out through all the remaining rocks.  I hear you can get some pellets to put down the holes... so I'm off to exterminate me some voles!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Food For Thought...

Found an awesome quote on Sparkpeople today that has really got me thinking:
"The principle is competing against yourself. It's about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before." -Steve Young
I don't know about you, but I am a chronic compare-myself-to-OTHER-people person...

"So-and-so is a much better mother than me..."
"So-and-so is a much better cook than me..."
"So-and-so is much more fashionable than me..."
"So-and-so is much more fit than me..."

Am I the only one that has this problem???  The thing is, when I constantly compare myself to OTHER people, I always seem to come up short, which makes me miserable!  Then comes the thought that that I need to work harder to be as good as "so-and-so" and it's not really like I am trying to compete against them, but subconsciously I kind of am because I want to be a better person!

This quote kind of gave me an A-HA moment... I need to stop comparing myself to other people.  I just need to be a little bit better today than I was yesterday.  I think I can do that!  That is not to say that I will not continue to be INSPIRED by the people around me.  It is not to say that I won't ADMIRE the people around me for their many talents... but I guess what I am saying is my journey... my goals... my life have to be about being the best me.

The End!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Flashback Friday...

We first came to visit Utah 9 years ago this month to visit my sister and some very close friends.  Who would have ever imagined at the time that we would end up making this our home?

Here are a couple of pics from our trip in 2001:


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Eat That Frog...

No, not this kind of frog...



...though some people do like to eat those, I'm definitely NOTone of them!

I have been learning about eating frogs from Brian Tracy:



This is a book on organizing, prioritizing and accomplishing!  Your biggest, most challenging tasks of the day are your frogs.  (Things you don't want to eat.)  They are the things you procrastinate doing, but they are also the things that would probably have the biggest impact on your life if you completed them...

Personal Example:  I hate exercise with a passion. Hate it... Hate it... Hate it!

It is a task I do NOT want to do.  However, I think about it all day... it puts me in a foul mood... I am overweight because I don't do it... I am miserable every time I look in the mirror because I know I should be doing it.  So, it is pretty safe to say it is one of my frogs!

So what is my plan for eating this frog?  Well, I have started getting up at 4:40am to exercise every morning except Sunday.  I have now been doing this since June 26th and I haven't missed a day.  I get it out of the way first thing in the morning because that works best for me.  As a result of eating this frog I am slowly dropping weight, I feel better because I'm doing something about it, and I am happier since I don't have it hanging over me the whole day!  THAT is how I am eating that frog.  And it is working. :)

Interestingly enough I am really good at prioritizing and getting the big, ugly frogs eaten first at work.  It is more my personal life that I need to apply this to.  I have made a list of my frogs, (and I am sure I will be adding to it).  I am prioritizing and I am tackling. 

What about you?  What are your frogs and how are you gonna eat them??? :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fragile...

My Mom & Dad are returning early from their trip to California to take care of the music at a funeral tomorrow.  A 29 year old mother of 2 young children in their ward was hit by a pickup truck while cycling along Highland drive.  She was training for a triathlon with several other women.  Her youngest daughter is only 4 months old.  (You can read the full story HERE.)

This story has haunted me since I heard about it last week.  Such a young woman with a very young family.  She did nothing reckless.  She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time when a driver wasn't paying attention and ended up dying.  Her life over, just like that.  I'm sure her husband never dreamed that he would never get to talk to her again.  I'm sure she had no idea that it would be the last time she kissed her children goodbye in this earthly life.

It is times that I hear about things like this that I am especially grateful for the Gospel.  It may not be able to immediately remove all the pain for the many people who will be affected by this tragedy, but the one thing it does offer is hope.  Hope that this family can be reunited again in the future.  Hope that those children will one day know the mother who was taken away from them way too early. 

It also reminds me that life is fragile.  Sometimes I go about day to day getting upset at stupid things or not paying enough attention to the people I love the most.  Sometimes I live way too much for the future instead of the right now.  Sometimes I'm so caught up with what I DON'T have, that I forget all the things I DO have. 

Finally, it reminds me that I need to take every opportunity to "dance in the rain", figuratively and literally speaking...  living my life right... not leaving "choosing the right" for some future time when it is more convenient.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Little Piece of Heaven...

Last night I experienced a little piece of heaven at the Conference Center in Downtown Salt Lake.  Mum and Dad were out of town and couldn't use the four tickets they had to The Pioneer Day Commemoration Concert featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square, so Mike and I decided to make it a family night and take the kids.  We had dinner at Cafe Rio, then headed over to the Conference Center, arriving early enough to sit on the front row of the balcony which was PERFECT. 


We were surprised and excited to learn that the Prophet was also attending this concert and would make a few remarks.  I just can't explain what a completely spiritual experience it is to hear the conference center go COMPLETELY quiet and how everyone stands when the prophet walks in.  Time literally seems to stand still and you can hear a pin drop.  The spirit there is unexplainable. 

For those of you who don't know, this year marks the 100 year anniversary of  The Mormon Tabernacle Choirs recording excellence!  In 1910 the Mo-Tab made its first commercial recording in the Salt Lake Tabernacle with Columbia Records.  This concert followed the Choir through 100 years of recording... it had the most interesting, amazing history lesson intertwined with fabulous performances.  I was completely engrossed for 90 minutes.  I get goosebumps and teary eyed just thinking about it. :)


Some amazing highlights for me included songs that I have accompanied or sang back east at the Washington Temple Visitors Center with the Washington Family Singers as well as other favorites.
  • The Battle Hymn of the Republic arranged by Wilhousky
  • The Hallelujah Chorus
  • Come, Come Ye Saints
  • Amazing Grace, complete with 4 bagpipers... absolutely breathtaking
  • Climb Every Mountain, from The Sound Of Music
  • Unfold Ye Portals
  • Let The Mountains Shout for Joy
  • Seventy-Six Trombones from The Music Man
Additionally, I had the pleasure of hearing Clay Christiansen perform Festival Toccata on "St. Anne" on the tabernacle organ which was incredible.  He reminds me of my Dad... I only hope I can play like that when I get older. :)

Seriously, it was a concert you just need to see.  And if you want to, YOU CAN!  They are broadcasting the concert tonight on the Internet as well as BYU-TV and other stations at 7pm MST.  Just check HERE for details. 

I really believe that I experienced a little piece of what heaven is like last night.  Not just the concert, but spending an evening with my fam whom I love so very, very much.  Now that the kids are teenagers we don't do as much together as we used to, but after last night I am going to make a better effort to "schedule" these kinds of evenings at least once a month. 

We finished up the night at Yogurt Land in Jordan Landing.  If you haven't been here, you need to visit!  We are trying to be healthier at our house, so to have a place that serves low fat or fat free but DELICIOUS yogurt (seriously, you would not believe this was yogurt), with fun toppings at a good price is a great treat now and then.  The best part is that they will give you sample cups so you can try the flavors before you decide.  It's completely self serve, so you can choose the perfect amount of yogurt and toppings. (The kids like to put multiple flavors in their cups.) 


Last night I indulged in lemonade-passion fruit yogurt with fresh raspberries on top.  It was divine. 


My pics are terrible because all I had on me was my camera phone and it was dark!  But you get the point right?  Take a look at how full the fams cups were... but despite that, all of ours together was only $12!  That's pretty reasonable, so get over there and have a pretty guiltless treat! :)  Your fam will love you for it. ♥

Friday, July 16, 2010

I Love Him...

So I did a combination of the ideas from last Friday for my anniversary... I did a scroll on parchment paper that included "Ten Reasons I Married You" AND "Why I Love You Today" and rolled it up with red curly ribbon, (which matched the red heart balloons I printed for the border). 


Yes, I know you can't read it... it's personal! ;)  Hubby on the other hand absolutely LOVED it.  He has put it away safe till he gets a frame... just sayin'!  The best gifts don't have to cost a lot of money. :)  And guess what, I got flowers this week for no reason.  Maybe this romantic stuff rubs off?

So what should I do next to show him I love him?  Open book, point to page...

Watch the sunset together.  Find a hill.  Bring a picnic.  It's better than TV!
This shouldn't be too hard since we live on a mountain and the sun just happens to set over our side of the valley!  Sounds super fun.  Anyone else gonna give it a go?

Friday, July 9, 2010

For The Love Of Friday...

It's Friday and I'm feeling the need to be romantic again.  (Love this book of ideas.)  Here is the assignment I randomly picked... (You know, open book... point to page.)
Choose one of these assignments.  Complete it in the next week.
  • "Why I love you." Make it into a scroll.  Give it to him with a red ribbon tied around it.
  • "I remember when we first met..." Write it in the style of a romance novel or in another literary style that you prefer.
  • "Ten reasons why I married you." Have it rendered in calligraphy and have it framed.
It's my 18th wedding anniversary on Sunday.  (How old am I!!!)  I think one of these will make the perfect gift.  What about you?  You don't need a reason to do something romantic!  Pick one and do it this week! :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Case Of The Missing Rock...

There is a (semi-alive) flower bed that has large natural rocks piled around it in front of our house.  Imagine our surprise when we went out Sunday morning to find that one of those rather large rocks had been removed and dirt was spilling down on to our grass.  What the heck???

My thoughts have strayed to the movie "Fun With Dick & Jane" where Dick has no lawn and so he goes around at night cutting out one square from each of his neighbors lawns until his is covered. 

I cannot help but wonder if this is what has happened here?  I definitely believe in innocent until proven guilty, but that being said, I have to just state that on that EXACT day, we saw some pretty new neighbors on our street landscaping their yard with the same types of rocks. If the whole thing wasn't so darn funny I might be a little perturbed, but for now I guess I will just have to have a good laugh and trump it up to the old "they must have needed it more than us" excuse...

Friday, July 2, 2010

I Did It...

I called my husband and sang him an impromptu song that I made up as I went a long.  I decided on a humorous, dramatic, hokey song... like something you would hear on stage at a funny play.  I was kinda hoping it would go to voice mail, but he did actually pick up.  The song went like this:

Because I love you, I’ll sit and rub your feet
Because I love you, I’ll give you all the sheet
Because I love you, I’ll let you drive my car
Because I love you, I won’t yell when you fart

Because I love you, I’ll let you watch TV
Because I love you, I’ll make you warm cookies
Because I love you, I’ll buy your favorite treat
Because I love you, I’ll save you the best seat

Because I love you, I’ll do just anything
Because I love you, you make my heart sing
Because I love you, I wrote this song for you
Because I love you, Because I love you!

We were both cracking up by the end of it and although I felt pretty stupid, it was a TON of fun.  Needless to say he LOVED it.  He then asked me for a copy so I wrote it down real quick.  About 15 minutes later he called me and played me "High Enough" by the Damn Yankees off the radio through the phone.  It used to be one of our songs we loved while we were dating.  Ah, love. :)
 
Come on, it is easier than you think... don't be proud, just do it!

Library Fun...

Ok, I admit it.  I LOVE the library.  I could go every day and just browse the books for an hour.  You can learn so much at the library.  I have checked out books on everything from music to photography to scrapbooking to cooking to parenting to improving self-esteem to marriage relationships and much much more.  I also love a good novel.  This past week I have read three novels by Anita Stansfield... if you have never heard of her, she is one of those cheesy romantic LDS novel writers but everything is clean and I just find her books to be a good, easy read.

Anyhow, I was browsing the library again yesterday, (looking for new books), and came across a book called "1001 Ways To Be Romantic".  I thought to myself, how fun would it be to randomly pick a way to be romantic and surprise hubby.  So I opened the book this morning to a random page and pointed.  Here is what it says I have to do:
"Call your lover on the phone.  Make up a lovesong on the spot and sing it to him.  Make up a tune, make up the words---and just keep singing!  You'll generate laughter, if not appreciation."
Ha ha.  OK, I'm in.  Anyone else care to join me?