Monday, November 30, 2009

And on the 30th day, she rested.

Grateful for:

Leslie, Amberly's "sort-of cousin" who started it all, Amberly for promoting the Gratitude Project, and all of the people who accepted the challenge and gave me so much food for thought and insights over the last month.

Workdays that go smoothly. I am 100% sure that Heavenly Father loves my patients and wants to bless them in they ways they need.

Conference talks that keep popping into my mind at opportune times.

The opportunity to work extra this month and next. Overnight shifts aren't very fun while I'm doing them (particularly between about 2 and 6 am), but it's so nice when payday rolls around.

Missionary letters that are forwarded to me each Monday. They are so full of enthusiasm, testimony, encouragement and faith. I'm strengthened by their example, and I know the people they're teaching are, too.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Two more days of gratitude

not really...I will still be grateful, even if I'm not blogging about it.

Today's list:
1. Having Kilo come home and getting to see J and M for a little bit yesterday.
2. A comfortable bed to lie in when I'm sick.
3. Netflix.
4. Substituting in the Nursery. Those kids were so cute and amazingly quiet.
5. Turtlenecks when it's cold.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rainy Day Grateful

We had the first significant rain in weeks and weeks and weeks today. I love rain, we needed it, and I am so grateful for it.

Today was the funeral for a very sweet sister in our ward. She was 88 years old. Her posterity half-filled the chapel, and friends and other family filled and overflowed the rest.

She was such a lovely person. One of our first weeks in the ward, she introduced herself and welcomed us into the ward. Her friendship was very genuine. A little over a year ago, she had a stroke. Her short-term memory was impaired, but her memory of hymns and gospel principles was solid. She could recite all 13 articles of faith, and she could bear her testimony with surety. Those things were a part of her, and it was obvious in how she lived her live and how she raised her family.

I am grateful for the Plan of Happiness, that Heavenly Father sent His son to earth, that Christ lived and died for us, and that through the Atonement, we can repent and return to our Father.

I'm grateful for the restoration of the Gospel, that the Priesthood was restored, that we can make covenants that bring us closer to God and give us the chance to be with our families forever.

I'm grateful for the good examples I see all around me of people who love the Lord and serve others.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Post-Thanksgiving Gratefuls

1. My education and training. The things I do at work are often life-altering (usually in a good way), but sometimes procedures are life-saving. Today, one of my procedures definitely fell into the latter category, and things went very well.
2. Going to the movies with my sweetie. We saw "The Fantastic Mr. Fox". It was good, but keep in mind that it may be slow-moving for small children.
3. Leftovers! I made an extra-big turkey in order to have leftovers.
4. Beverly, one of my "private patients". I see her every Friday. She has such a positive, pleasant way about her.
5. Finding something new. I happened on Schott's Vocab in the NYTimes today. Very entertaining, if you like playing with words.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


1. Amy's three things she was grateful for included how well we all get along as a family. I totally agree. It's a blessing to be able to enjoy your family members, and I'm grateful for that. We've had a great time with Jamie and Amy and their kids. I'll miss them, and I'm glad that we'll get to see them at Christmastime.
2. My computer was totally acting up this morning. I'm grateful that it came back to life. Even though it's almost six years old, I'm not ready to get a new one.
3. I was a little inattentive when it came to the turkey today. Fortunately, it's better to be lucky than good, and it turned out wonderfully. I'm grateful that our dinner was a success.
4. The KitchenAid did its magic on the roll dough. I'm grateful that I could let go of my guilt feeling about buying it.
5. We're good friends with a family where the mom is an intern and had to work today, and the dad had sinus surgery two days ago. Their daughters had Thanksgiving dinner with us. I'm grateful that we had such abundance that we could share our dinner with the girls and send them home with lots of leftovers for their mom and dad. I'm also grateful that the we and the girls (aged 9 and 12) get along so well and have fun together.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sexiest Man Alive

R: Why did they pick Johnny Depp? Would you leave your children with him?
D: There's just something about Johnny Depp. Besides, one of the sexy things about him is that he is a really good dad.

No, in my opinion, the true sexiest man alive is this guy:

I'm grateful that he knows how to put himself together.

I'm grateful that he is healthy and strong.

I'm grateful that he loves his kids so much and is a fun dad.

I'm grateful that he's a tough competitor.

I'm grateful he married me four years ago today.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Consumer Guilt

I'm going to buy a KitchenAid mixer tomorrow on my lunch hour. I have to admit that I feel somewhat guilty about making this purchase, though I have a 20% off coupon for Bed, Bath and Beyond, which will bring the price down to what Kohl's is offering as a sale price, and it's not like we will suffer financially because of it.

The thing is, I have a perfectly okay stand mixer. I say perfectly okay, because it runs, it has all of its parts, and it handles basic functions. But I've had it for probably 15 years already. It was a hand-me-down from my friend, AmyJo, who received it as a hand-me-down from her grandmother, who probably had the mixer for 10 years before AmyJo got it, and AmyJo probably had it for five years before she gave it to me. So the mixer is most likely 30 years old.

It doesn't have a dough hook, which is its only negative, really. Since I've been making bread more often, I think that it would be a handy thing to have. And you can get lots of fancy attachments, like juicers and ice cream makers, to stick on the KitchenAid.

I'm worried that I'll buy it and not use it enough to justify the purchase. I also feel wasteful, but I won't just throw the mixer away. I'll give it to the Salvation Army or something. And I guess that I'm being a good American and boosting the economy with my $230 purchase. And I think they're made in America. So, I shouldn't feel that guilty, right?


So I was driving in the car with Rowdy today and we were listening to a comedy channel on XM. The comic was doing a bit about how no wedding present is for the man. And as he listed off gifts and commented on them, Rowdy and comic said in unison, "Aw look! It's a ladle!" We both busted up laughing until Rowdy said that his stomach hurt. The funniest part was that R had never heard that bit before. He just knew what would be a completely unexciting wedding present for a man.

Yeah. It was funny. Maybe you had to be there. Or be a man.

24 hours of gratitude

Nah, I don't have the energy to think of things for that.
1) I am grateful to have a bed that is relatively comfortable and comes furnished with a hot redhead.
2) Running, hot water! Yay! What a wonderful thing to be living in a time and place where I can just step into the shower and be warm. I would not have been a good pioneer.
3) Brazilian Fruit Bowls. Bananas, mango, pineapple, coconut, strawberries, yogurt and acai.
4) Work ran a little late, as it does, and I had to run off to presidency meeting without lunch. I am grateful for the ability to get through everything though I really felt like I was running on fumes the whole time. Things always seem to run smoothly and a lot gets done in our meetings, thanks to our organized president. Plus I think that we all work hard to be in tune so that things just flow.
5) Facebook chat. I talked to my SIL, Molly, for a little bit last night. That was fun.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Grateful for...

1) Rowdifornia burritos--like a California burrito, but with baked yam fries instead of french fries.
2) Celestial help at work today. It was a crazy day, but it could have been crazier.
3) The Felt 35 women who are my oldest friends outside of my family and great role models.
4) Oliva. Every other Monday, I walk into a fresh-smelling, tidy and clean home with sparkling bathrooms and a grime-free stovetop.
5) My scooter, Scootie.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 22

My heart is full of gratitude today for:

1) Jamie--Rowdy's brother, my BIL. A stalwart husband and father and as cool as you would expect a Bricco to be (which is mighty cool).
2) Amy--Jamie's lovely wife. Chic, sweet, and fleet! She's that kind of girl who throws on jeans and a tshirt and looks like a million dollars.
3) Jaiden--the raddest 9yo boy I know. He rocks the 'hawk. I love how even-tempered and what a good brother he is.
4) Thaiya--7 yo gymnast and dancer extraordinaire. How can you resist her big brown eyes and "I love you very much"?
5) Jetrin--perpetual motion machine, giggle box and charmer. My favorite almost-2 yo.

Jamie, Amy and Co. arrived yesterday from Denver. They agreed to watch the fights with us at the Wildes last night, which was pretty sweet. They're off to The Magic Kingdom for two days, then back to SD for Thanksgiving. I'm glad they can spend some time with us. We just don't get to see them often enough.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

21st Century Gratitude

Here are five things that have been part of my life in the 21st Century that I'm particularly grateful for:

1) Rowdy. I will post more about him next week, but he is definitely the best thing to happen to me in the 21st century.
2) A subset of that blessing is having J, K and M in my life. I knew that Heavenly Father would come through somehow on my having an opportunity to be a mother.
3) Internship,residency and fellowship. Not every moment of those SIX YEARS was filled with joy, but I am so grateful to have had that chance. It opened many doors for me.
4) Ending up in New York for the first half of the first decade of the century. I was dubious at first, but it was the best place for me to be at the time. It was the embodiment of Nephi's statement, that Nettie reminded me of when I really needed it: I know that (God) loveth his children; nevertheless I do not know the meaning of all things.
5) And then, here I am in beautiful San Diego. If I hadn't come to California, I wouldn't have ended up with Rowdy. I have a job that I enjoy with people I like spending time with, our neighborhood is pleasant, our ward is truly a ward family to us, and we've been able to do some fun things here. And did I say that it is bee-you-tee-ful here?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Today's List

1. My scooter. It gets me where I need to go economically.
2. A restful evening.
3. My thoughtful husband.
4. Clean drinking water.
5. Computers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ni'm I'neteen*

plus a story from Vietnam with pictures!

Rowdy and I took a cooking class in Hanoi at our hotel. Our instructor was Nguyen Thanh Van, the Assistant to the Executive Chef at the Hotel Metropole. She was delightful. Our first stop was the outdoor market in the Old Quarter. It was crazy and chaotic--lots of live animals, baskets of produce, people and mopeds everywhere.

Then it was back to the schoolroom in the hotel's Spices Garden restaurant. Thanh taught us how to make Vietnamese banana flower salad, deep-fried spring rolls, marinated pork grilled in bamboo, grilled chicken skewers with lemon leaves, steamed fish with beer and herbs and sauteed pumpkin branches with garlic.

Of course we were able to taste everything, and everything was delicious. We both received goody bags with an apron, cooking chopsticks, a wire holder for barbecuing, spring roll papers, vermicelli, black mushrooms and all of the recipes for our day's dishes.

And then, we were able to have an all-you-can-eat lunch in Spices Garden! It was heavenly! We had snail soup, and even that was delicious.

Today, R, K and I made banana flower salad and shrimp spring rolls. We need practice to make things look prettier, but everything was still delicious.

Today, I'm grateful for:

1) The cooperation and ease with which R, K and I worked together in the kitchen. I love my boys (including the one that's not here and our girl, of course!).
2) The opportunity to travel and see the beautiful, wide world and the interesting people who live on this earth with me.
3) Patience. It's something that I have struggled so hard to gain.
4) 30 Rock.
5) Book club tonight at Liz's with her, the Amys, Marilyn, Juli and Kathy. You don't have to have read the book to come to our club. We have a good discussion, but it mostly is about getting together and catching up.
6) SWBH, who will know immediately where I got the title of this post. (It's from The Muppet Frog Prince.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On on the 18th day, she posted

Let me tell you how grateful I am for:

1) Heavenly Father making our bodies so they metabolize acetaminophen and ibuprofen differently. That way, I can alternate them when Aunt Irma comes to visit and I still have to function at work. The first two hours of work were horrid until all of the pain relief kicked in.
2) A co-worker with a fridge full of Diet Coke that he's willing to share. There's nothing like it to help me get through four hours of reading ultrasound.
3) The power of prayer and the answers that came when needed. It was a struggly kind of afternoon.
4) Periodical bonanza this week! Real Simple, Cooking Light and Saveur magazines and the Boden and Tiffany catalogs. I marked probably 20 recipes in CL, picked out a turkey recipe from Saveur and got some ideas for homemade Christmas gifts from RS. Tiffany has some darling stuff, but I have a bowl full of jewelry that I don't even wear. If I could, I would fill my closet with Boden. Their clothing is well-made, cute and fits well. It's fun to snuggle up on the couch with magazines and catalogs.
5) Amber and her generous sharing of hotel perks as well as her Nutella cheesecake. People will want to stay in our hotel with us over Christmas. As soon as I get the recipe for the cheesecake, I'll pass it along.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What day it is again? I've lost track.

So tired, but also grateful for

1. A good dentist appointment for R. He's the only one of the three of us who didn't reach and exceed the deductible. K's first round of fillings seemed to go well, too.
2. The Madagascar Christmas special. We're watching it now and having a very good time.
3. Abundance, including leftovers on a day when I just couldn't face figuring out what to make for dinner.
4. Having to think about gratitude daily, so when I'm exhausted and annoyed and frustrated I can stop and remember to be grateful that I can help someone who really needs me, that I work with people who are doing the best I can, and those thoughts help me keep it together and behave more kindly to others.
5. My big sister and her example of giving today.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A couple of things to add...

I just read Amberly and Jaime's posts for today, and I thought of two things I wanted to add...

1) Not to be bandying about the sacred, but I was told in a blessing once that I should always be grateful for the things I have and that I would find many rich blessings in just being grateful. I have really gained a testimony of this in my life, and there have been tiny, tender mercies given not only in my life but obviously in that of all of us who are part of what I call The Gratitude Project.

Yesterday, R turned to me in church and said, "I just realized that I will only be able to spend two days with Jamie and Amy when they're here." So I said, "Well, be grateful that you will have those two days with them. We haven't seen them in ages." And then the thought came to me, and I feel like it was inspiration gained from being grateful, "Honey, why don't you just drive up and spend a day in Disneyland with them?" Okay, maybe that would have been obvious to others, but our minds weren't open to thinking about options until we were grateful just for the fact that we would have a few days with family we never get to see.

2) Jaime mentioned that she was grateful for how things sometimes don't go according to plan. We had that experience here in K's life today. K had been planning for a couple of weeks to try out for the wrestling team. The tryout was going to be a 5-mile run, which he could've done fairly easily. However, because of certain vagaries of his school's schedule, he ended up having to run in the gym, do a bunch of calisthenics, and then do some wrestling drills. In the middle of the drills, it became apparent to him that being in wrestling would interfere with jiujitsu. So he decided not to join the wrestling team. If he had been able to just do the run, he would've been on the team before he realized that he wouldn't be able to participate in the sport he really likes and has a lot of talent in. So what might have been a let-down ended up being a positive experience. Where he was unsure about competing in an upcoming tournament, now I think he's actually going to do it.

Sweet Sixteenth

Today, I am grateful for:

1) A good dentist to take care of my family's considerable dental needs.
2) Dental insurance.
3) Being on call. Maybe I will be able to work enough to cover the part our deductible does not cover the NINE fillings for a certain young man who has had particularly poor dental hygiene up until now and hopefully has learned his lesson.
4) Dental floss, toothbrushes and prescription toothpaste. Yes, prescription-strength toothpaste.
5) The eventual empathy I'll be able to muster up from my prior experiences having dental issues and being a stubborn teenager.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Gratitude Project, Days 14 and 15

Somehow, the day got away from me yesterday, and I never had time to post.

Yesterday's Gratitude List:

1. Being friends with a family who shares some common interests, particularly (and unusually) MMA. It's always fun to watch the fights with the Wildes.
2. Beautiful San Diego weather.
3. The energy to run/walk (yep, being honest here) for an hour and then serendipitously ending up at a Pilates floor class for 40 minutes.
4. The wisdom to know when a sale is a bargain, or if it is better just not to buy anything.
5. Hot showers

The theme for Sacrament Meeting today was, it should not surprise you, Gratitude. One of the speakers said, "Gratitude is like gravity; it's not just a good idea--it's the law." He also took some of his text from a talk by President Faust, who mentioned that two things he was grateful for were gentle, sweet-smelling soap and oatmeal.

One of the group of bloggers whose Gratitude list I'm following mentioned a couple of days ago that she thought her previous day's list was "lame" because she said she was grateful for windshield wipers and crayons. Well, if President Faust could say over the pulpit that he was grateful for soap and oatmeal, no one should feel bad that they are grateful for such seemingly-mundane things as windshield wipers and crayons. They make our lives better and really can be a blessing at times.

So for today:

1. A good son who made gnocci with tomato sauce for lunch. (Not from scratch of course; that would be quite the feat.)
2. My sisters in the Relief Society. The more I know them, the more I love them.
3. Parents who taught me to say "thank you". I don't remember it being stressed particularly, but I think that Mom and Dad must have taught by example. R, K and I thank each other for little things all the time, and it really helps us to have the Spirit in our home.
4. The opportunity to take the Sacrament.
5. The priesthood. I'm grateful to have it in our home. Tonight is Priesthood Preview. It's the third year in a row that I get to attend. The speakers always present something that gives me new insight into some aspect of the priesthood.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Grateful the Thirteenth

1. Thankfully, tomorrow is a chance to reset, renew, and recharge. Too much of the wrong kinds of food today and not enough exercise this week.
2. Penny and Aaron had a baby girl yesterday! I'm grateful that all went well, and they have their sweet little Sandi with them.
3. We thought that Keiler was going to get a promotion from white to yellow belt at jiujitsu today. I'm grateful that I have a good support staff at work and we work well together, so that I could get out of work in time to run over and watch the end of his class. He didn't get promoted today, but it was fun to watch him.
4. So I'm grateful for how jiujitsu has helped Keiler to blossom.
5. I'm grateful for the love of reading that my mom instilled in me. She taught us how to read, as I recall, mainly by reading to us. Our dad read to us also. He especially loved reading Dr. Suess books to us. But Mom read us chapter books that were her favorite as a girl, like The Secret Garden.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

On the twelfth day of gratitude...

Two blogs filled me with joy today and made me grateful for:

1. The internet
2. The gospel and how it brings joy and peace to our lives
3. The way that "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass"
4. Marvelous missionaries who are serving with honor and dedication and being great examples

The blogs are:

Developmental Delays, written by my friend Linda's niece-in-law. Her first child had a severe genetic disorder and wasn't expected to live more than a few minutes, if at all. But she lived until she was almost four years old, and her life was pretty remarkable.


Sorella Mallory Hansen. This marvelous sister missionary is Amberly's cousin. What a fireball! She is serving in the Italy Rome Mission (lucky), and she is tearing it up! Her posts are entertaining and inspiring.

I highly recommend checking out those two sites. Go do it now. I'll wait.

As part of my calling, I am a Unit Commissioner for the Cub Scouts in my Stake. Yeah, I have no idea what that means or what I'm supposed to do. I went to the monthly meeting tonight, and I feel even more at a loss. But it was really neat that the meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance. I probably haven't said the Pledge since I visited a DAR meeting when I was in med school, hoping for a scholarship. My patriotic feelings from yesterday were enhanced by it, and once again I am:

5. Grateful for my country and the liberties we enjoy here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Half a Dozen on the day before the 12th

1. Today I threw together a dinner. There was leftover roasted chicken in the fridge and a lonely potato and some english muffins in the pantry. The chicken was pulled and thrown in a pot with some BBQ sauce, K put together some baked french fries, and we had a dinner much, much better than the McRib sandwiches that were advertized as we ate dinner and watched The Simpsons. I love food. I'm so grateful for enough food to eat and the opportunity to feed the people I love.
2. R gets very emotional when it comes to patriotic things, and I just don't. But I am patriotic, and I am so thankful to live in this country and for the people what have sacrificed to keep us free.
3. I am so grateful that my husband loves me and thinks I'm attractive. He both shows and tells me how he feels. That's important.
4. Like Jaime, I am grateful that Netflix is sending Flight of the Conchords, season 2. Having things to laugh at is a great blessing.
5. It's Rad Tech week, and I am grateful to work with some great ones. You know how sometimes you meet people and feel like you have met them before? I totally felt like that when I interviewed here.
6. It's double-punch Wednesday again!!! How can I not be grateful for Fiji Yogurt's deliciousness?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Tenth Day of Gratitude

1. I'm grateful that my work schedule has built into it a half-day off every week that is inviolate. It doesn't matter how busy we are, I will never be pressed into staying over. Rowdy and I had Brazilian fruit bowls for lunch, then I was able to just sit and talk to him and his jiujitsu friends, then I picked Keiler up from school, went on a big grocery shop, and then made a very satisfying dinner.
2. I have this talent for being called to a calling just as it reaches its busiest time, which is daunting, but I'm grateful for the pressure of having to jump into things and see what we can do as a presidency. Everything will seem easy after that.
3. Rowdy has had a few days lately when he hasn't felt well. Maybe Remicade isn't working as well for him as it used to, but it has been a blessing to have almost two years of him being Crohn's flare-free. I'm so grateful for that.
4. I'm grateful that K listened to us and went to his Biology teacher to make up some missed homework. I'm also grateful that she let him make it up.
5. My friend Melissa emailed me today. She has A LOT going on in her life all of the time. I'm so grateful for her friendship and the chance to touch base with her. She's one of my heroes for putting up with all of the crap that goes on in her life and still staying strong.

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Fairy Tale Life

STEPMOTHER. The word just sounds ugly, and is it possible to say it without at least thinking "evil" before it?

Four years ago, when I married Rowdy, I didn't really know what to think about being a stepmother. Definitely, I didn't want to be the wicked kind. Rowdy said that I'm just a mother, not a stepmother or "Jayvee" version of a mother. My mothering was just as valid as the mom who bore the kids.

Annnddd...I just couldn't quite believe that. After all, she did bear them, care for them from their births, sit up with them when they were sick. I was just the one-weekend-a-month mom. Not to say that I didn't just fall in love with all three of them from the get-go, and not that we don't have a good relationship (well, one of them de-friended me on FB, but I'm a mom, not a friend, so whatever). It's just that I felt neither fish nor fowl.

It occurred to me this morning as I was considering some parenting issues that we've been having that what I really wanted to be was the Fairy Godmother. I swept into their lives with the time, desire, money and experience to grant their every reasonable, life-improving wish and give them the whole wide world.

Well, life isn't like that, although I do have my own particular gifts and skills that I can give the kids, and I know there has been a reciprocal relationship when it comes to enhancing each others' lives. Part of the "problem", if you can call it that, is that I came along at exactly the period in their lives that kids start to pull away from parents. They didn't need me to tuck them in or read them stories or teach them to walk. But they do need nutritious meals, a good example, a listening ear and encouragement.

I'm just frustrated because I thought that I could turn a young man who has potential but little drive into a go-getter living up to his potential with a wave of my magic wand. He has a different timetable and different needs than I do, and I just can't change that. He's got to want to make changes, and when he's ready, I hope that I can be there to help. I'll definitely be there to cheer him on. Meanwhile, can he just turn his dang homework in???

And with that, let's go to the Gratitude Five for today:

1. Two of my colleagues each lost a parent this week. These coworkers are younger than me, so their parents can't be all that old. I'm grateful that my parents are well overall, though my mom slipped the other day and gave herself a good shiner and maybe a broken nose. They look and act much younger than their ages, because they have energy and are interested in life.

2. We have a new lawn. It's artifical grass, but it looks very spiffy, especially compared to our neighbors' lawns that are all dying because of water restrictions and the plague of bunnies we have. I'm grateful that Rowdy spent the time to organize the whole things and tear out the sod. And, as a bonus, I'm grateful for the savings in our water bill and in our water usage.

3. The internet is a marvelous thing. I'm thankful for the ability to keep in touch with so many of my friends. My BFF Stephanie and I emailed back and forth today. She gave me some good suggestions about how to help K with his schoolwork issue.

4. I'm grateful that, when I was done working late and starving and had an empty larder (almost), I was able to pick up a roasted chicken at the grocery store, have K make us oven fries with the yam in the pantry that was lonely and finish the last of the salad from yesterday.

5. I'm grateful for Tootsie Rolls, just because they're yummy.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Eigth is Greath

1. Last Sunday, we arrived at home at 2 am and slept for probably six hours before we had to get up and get ready for church. We were still pretty exhausted, and my m-i-l had a flight to catch, so we left after Sacrament Meeting. It was very difficult for me to leave my ward family early. The warmth and the Spirit I feel when I'm with them is wonderful, comforting and uplifting. It's great to be able to discuss gospel principles and have my testimony strengthened, as well as to partake of the sacrament. So, I am very grateful for my wonderful ward family and the restored Gospel that we share.
2. I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve in the Stake Primary. I still don't feel quite up to speed, but these things take time.
3. My mom is an awesome cook. (I know I've said that before, but it's 100% true.) I'm grateful that she is willing to share her knowledge with me and that cooking and food binds us. She gave me her beef stew recipe today. Man, it was delicious--all comforting and tasty!
4. I'm grateful for my mom, dad and sisters just because they are wonderful people, and I love them.
5. Jaime posted some lovely pictures of Central Park in the fall. I'm grateful for her thoughtfulness and the beauty she shared.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lucky Seventh

R got on a local mtb forum and put together an all-girl ride today. He did it just for me, because he felt that I would possibly enjoy riding if I went with some other women of my same riding ability.

Well, I ended up having a good time, though I wimped out on a couple downhills and just didn't have the gas to ride uphill all the way in a couple of places. We rode a total of about 11 miles and had the added benefit of a little repair seminar from a mechanic at North of the Border Bicycles. The shop kicked down some very cute t-shirts for us, too!

R and Jake were taking out all of our sod in preparation for installation of an artifical lawn on Monday. When I returned home from my ride, I pitched in and helped for a couple of hours. Needless to say, I am exhausted now, but it's that good kind of exhaustion.

So here's my five for today:

1. I'm grateful to have a husband who is concerned that I wasn't having fun and went to the trouble to put something together to get me excited about riding.
2. The Pink Bicycle of Death was kind to me today. I'm grateful that I didn't get hurt at all.
3. Kristin, Tara, Juliette, Misty, Allison and Rachel were so fun to ride with. I'm grateful to have met them and hope that we can ride together again soon.
4. We had a little session sharing experiences we've had riding with our SOs, which was definitely bonding for us. I'm grateful to know that there are others out there who feel the same frustrations and weaknesses as me.
5. I'm grateful for a strong body that can ride as long as I did today and then be able to help R and J (and PJ, who picked up some of our sod to plant in his yard) and still be able to move.

Friday, November 6, 2009

November the Sixth

1. Today is my friend, Cristy Greenwood Jones', birthday. I'm grateful to have had her as a friend for 30+ years. She's Superwoman--working as an RN in a very busy ER in Ogden, going back to school to get her BSN, mother of six, snow and waterskier, wife of Rob (who I had a crush on in 7th grade).
2. Finally, Desiree has 'fessed up to being pregnant WITH TWINS! I am so grateful that she's working through her morning sickness. Congratulations to her and Scott. They're going to have such cute kids.
3. I am so grateful that this workday is over. I walked into chaos, with one room down, the other room occupied, my secretary and a tech screaming at each other, and my schedule backed up for two hours. Fortunately, I was able to see two of my "private patients". I'm grateful that they like and trust me and want me to perform their care.
4. But I am grateful that I was able to get through my six cases before 4:30, and I was able to pick up some extra money at the end of the day.
5. Pizza for dinner is always worthy of my gratitude.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bonus Round

So, here's five more, and a response to a request from Amberly:

1. Running with K this afternoon. K is trying out for the wrestling team in a couple of weeks. The tryout is simply running five miles, and he (and we) weren't sure if he could do it. So R and I decided to help him out and run with him. We went out to Mission Trails Park, and K ran 4.5 miles and I ran 4. We'll keep at it, but I'm sure that he'll do just fine. His jiujitsu experience is going to help him pick up wrestling.
2. My awesome hairstylist, Morgan. She wasn't upset at all that I was 20 minutes late, and my hair is cute again. She also cracked me up reciting lines from Zoolander, since we were talking about Malaysia.
3. My sweet husband who was forgiving of me being upset with him for a communication error.
4. A great presidency meeting. I think that we got a lot done.
5. Everyone else's "Daily Five". It seems to be spreading!

So, what wisdom do I have to impart on teaching the Articles of Faith? Hmmm...I always feel like I am about ten steps behind everyone else, so this will probably be obvious to everyone else, but here goes:

For one thing, I love songs to help me remember things--names of the latter-day prophets, the preamble to the constitution, the books of the bible, etc. That didn't work with K, since he really isn't into music, but it does work for some.

But, just memorizing the words doesn't add to really understanding the principles taught in the Articles of Faith. Our bishop uses the third Sunday of every month to teach the Primary kids what the articles really mean. If they're too young to have it memorized, or just have a hard time reciting from memory, he tries to get the kids to at least understand the concepts presented.

Everything kind of flows in a logical pattern. The most important things first: "we believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost."

Okay, now let's go to the beginning of things: "We believe that man will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's trangression."

So, if we're going to be punished for our own sins, how can we ever be saved? "We believe that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel."

Now what do we need to know? Well, "we believe that the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are: first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost." If you didn't have faith in Christ, would you repent? Once you have repented, you need to be baptized (of course, repentance is an ongoing process). And when you have been baptized with water, you need baptism by fire, or the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Who performs those ordinances? "We believe that a man must be called of God by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer the ordinances thereof."

And so on. Get the pattern? Being able to rattle off the words is fine, but there needs to be understanding of the concepts in order to be an effective missionary and to strengthen our own testimony of the gospel.

5! 5! 5! 5! Let's sing a song of five!!

The day is just over halfway over, but I think I'll still put in five now, reserving the right to put in five more later in the day.

1. I am so grateful that I have an appointment with my hairdresser later today. My hair is looking ratty.
2. I am thankful that I still have clothes that fit, though I am being pretty tubby lately. Thank goodness I can re-join Weight Watchers online, have a good gym to go to and the weather here is nice enough to exercise outside, too. (That's sneaking in three more things to be grateful for!)
3. Keiler and I talked about the Articles of Faith last night. I'm grateful that I recently taught a Relief Society lesson about them and also had Bishop Smith's example of teaching the principles included in the A of F, not just memorizing them.
4. I'm grateful for paydays (and, I suppose, Paydays).
5. I stopped by Deseret Book yesterday to look at some things for Primary, and ended up buying a book entitiled, "Weakness is Not Sin: The Liberating Distinction That Awakens Our Strengths", by Wendy Ulrich. I got it for someone else, but I have gleaned some good information from it. That information really is something to be grateful for.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

5 for the 4th

1. I'm thankful to be able to go to the temple today. I miss being there every week.
2. Smoked salmon from our own smoker! Keiler made the smoked salmon fettuccine while I talked him through it. It was delicious, but my mom's is still the best.
3. Fiji yogurt. Delicious flavors and toppings and sitting with the boys, playing Yahtzee.
4. My friend Mimi! I'm glad she stopped by for a visit today.
5. A day that was slightly cool, just enough to be able to wear one of my new sweaters.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Daily Five

1. Not having to work until Friday!
2. A neighborhood where we have good friends and can play in the street.
3. All of Jo's hard work paying off--she's Sterling Scholar in English for her school!
4. K's pleasant and cheerful nature, which make living with him a joy.
5. The absolute adorableness of B-rad and B-rock, who undoubtedly got it from their mama.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Today's Five

Today, I'm grateful for:

1. Naps
2. Tylenol
3. A significantly decreased power bill
4. Brazilian fruit bowls
5. Yoga

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Here are some pictures from the Malaysia part of our adventure.

We left home on Wednesday night around 6 and drove up to LAX. Our plane left at 11:30 pm. We had a layover in Taipei for two hours. Fortunately, we had passes to the VIP lounge. It makes a huge difference to have someplace quiet with free food and internet in which to pass the time.

We arrived in Kuala Lumpur airport at 3:00 pm on FRIDAY. Good old international dateline! Needless to say, we were tired, but were able to pull it together to go to the Pole Position tour group dinner that night.

We met lots of Aussies and Brits (and a Scot or two). They were really nice, fun people. Jeremy Burgess, Valentino Rossi's crew chief, was the guest of honor and talked and answered questions for a long time. This group really knows their GP, so the questions were all relevant and interesting.

On the way back to the hotel, one of our group passed out (still not completely sure why) and hit his head, sustaining a nasty laceration on his scalp. Rowdy volunteered his EMT skills in the bus, then we both checked him out as best we could and bandaged him up when we got back to the hotel. He made a good recovery.

Our hotel was actually in Putrajaya, the seat of the national government in Malaysia. All around us were beautiful parks, federal buildings and housing for government workers. Malaysia has the goal of becoming a first world country by 2020, so they are spending a lot of money on infrastructure. Things are clean and well-ordered, but they need to hire better city planners. Our tour guide told us that there is just one shopping center for 20,000 people in Putrajaya. People have to travel into KL to do their grocery shopping.

The weather was hot and steamy, very much like Austin or Charleston. The rain held off until just before the MotoGP final. Fortunately, it was a short storm, and the race started pretty-much on time.

Vale was on pole, but he took it slow into the first corner and Casey Stoner took off. It was Stoner-Pedrosa-Rossi, thanks to Andrea Dovizioso's crash and a poor grid position by Jorge Lorenzo. Rossi easy won the Championship, so there was much celebration. We weren't in a good position to see the podium, other than on the minijumbotron, but we were close enough to see and smell the champagne as Vale rained it down onto his supporters.

As we waited for our departure to the airport on Monday, we took a walk through the garden next to the hotel. There was nobody there, but there are so many "don'ts" that maybe people just can't be bothered. Or maybe it isn't located near enough to a residential area to make it worthwhile for the average Malaysian to visit.

Accepting the Challenge

Amberly has challenged one and all to record five things they're grateful for every day in November.

1. My mother-in-law, who spent the last 12 days here in San Diego, away from her loving husband, home and routine to look after K while we were gone. She was a good sport about it, even though she broke her wrist last week.

2. The funds, time and freedom to go to new places and see new things.

3. General good health.

4. Home cooking.

5. Home. Home, home, home.
My Rad Life!