Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Tonight was the long-awaited "Young Women in Excellence" dinner.  My board and our YW did an amazing job of making this meeting a success.  I feel like my board took a vague idea I had and made it an incredible evening.

1)  I am grateful to be able to work with the women I do, both the youth and the adults.  They are really amazing people.
2)  I'm also grateful for the men that support us.  We had plenty of help getting things put away afterwards, but more than that, dads supported their daughters, husbands supported their wives and priesthood leaders supported the auxillary.
3)  I wish I could show that video that our secretary made.  It was a combination of slide show of activities the girls have done in YW and outside over the year and video of them talking about what excellence means to them, how they strive to be excellent, and what they think is excellent about the other YW.  They ended with, "I'm (their name), and I can change the world".  I wasn't the only leader crying through it.  It was just beautiful.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Not As Cranky On the 27th

I am grateful today for:

1)  Very kind friends who gave me the support, encouragement and aid I needed to get things back on track.
2)  You know how sometimes, when you are making a new recipe and you don't know how it's supposed to turn out, you get worried that it's going to be terrible?  And then you have to make it for some event and serve it to a bunch of people?  I'm grateful that the feijoada that I made for YWIE tomorrow night turned out great.
3)  The synopsis for "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" was, "A curmudgeon tries to end merrymaking".  Thanks, Cox Cable, for a good laugh.
4)  I actually am grateful for my calling.  I take back what I said yesterday.  Aunt Flo must've typed that.
5)  I so love "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".  Thanks Dr. Suess, Chuck Jones and Boris Karloff.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I'm Grateful This Craptastic Day is Almost Over

Yeah, that's #1.
2)  uh...I'm grateful for answered prayers and resilient little old ladies.
3)  I'm grateful to know deep down inside what's really important.
4)  Some days I'm grateful this YW calling is only for two years.
5)  I'm really grateful that after I publish this, I can go take a bath and go to bed.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Seven Year Grateful

November 25, 2005, Rowdy Matt Bricco and I were married by our bishop in the living room of the home I was renting in LaJolla.  My parents and sisters; Rowdy's parents, his youngest sister and her husband; Jordan, Keiler and Max were all in attendance.  We had no way of knowing everything we would experience together up to this point, but we knew that, whatever was ahead of us, "it's always better when we're together".

Seven things about Rowdy I am grateful for:

1)  He can pull himself out of a bad mood really quickly.
2)  He has a lot of common sense.
3)  He has a way of connecting with people and is very thoughtful.
4)  In the event of an emergency, he's the man you want in your corner.  He is levelheaded in a crisis, knows how to survive most any disaster, and can handle a gun.
5)  He is a great travel companion, always up for adventures.
6)  He knows how to express his opinions and lets others express theirs.
7)  He thinks that I'm beautiful, and he says it.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Interesting Things About My Ancestors

Well, interesting to me, anyway.

My great-grandpa, John Basil Dahlstrom, was an Idaho Fish and Game commissioner for a long, long time.  He helped my dad get a job as a surveyor the summer Dad was 18.  Dad and another person surveyed land up by Driggs, Idaho, when a dam was going to be built.  Dad says that Grandpa was really nice and really quiet, very laid-back.  He was well-liked.  I already knew that he had been the mayor of Alameda, Idaho, which is basically part of Pocatello.  Grandpa was a mechanic and had a shop that Dad says was "the filthiest place I've ever been in.  There was grease all over the tools....It was not tidy."

Here's a link to a little newspaper article about Grandpa Dahlstrom in the January 8, 1949, issue of the Spokane Daily Chronicle.  And here's another one.  Dad says that he used to go fish on the Fort Hall reservation, and there was good fishing there.

My dad did work a little at his family's Coca-Cola bottling plant, but he says he was kinda flaky, and his uncle George, who I think was the manager, didn't put up with that.  Here's also something interesting (maybe just to me and my sisters) about the Chaffee family and the Coke plant.

Double-Up 23/24

1)  Things were super-busy on Friday and the people I was around were exceptionally whiny.  I'm grateful that I can see reasons why they were whiny and could help them.
2)  My goal is to finish the Book of Mormon by the end of the year.  It's my Value Project for the Virtue part of Personal Progress, but it also enriches my life.  I'm so grateful for those people who lived those experiences and recorded them.
3)  My mom and I had a great time today, going shopping and to lunch in Coronado and shopping at a nearly-empty Target.  I'm grateful to have had that time with her.  She's a good lady.
4)  I'm grateful for my mad-skillz at making pizza.
5)  This morning, I ran five miles and found out that I am only 0.4 lbs away from my goal weight.  I'm grateful for a healthy body.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day!

It has been a satisfying day.

1)  Rowdy and I went to the boot camp that he usually attends.  It was a good way to get moving around and have fun before getting into the business of making dinner.  I am very grateful to have a strong, healthy body.
2)  After all Rowdy went through in 2010 and 2011, there was a real risk that he would be a "nutritional cripple", unable to absorb enough nutrients from food to sustain himself.  But here is is, eating two big helpings of Thanksgiving dinner, running circles around everyone at boot camp, and weighing more than me.  I'm grateful for all of the blessings he received to get him to this point.
3)  All of our dinner turned out delicious (except my gravy was lumpy, oh well).  I'm grateful to have tastebuds and olfactory nerves that work so I could enjoy the results of my labors.
4)  I'm grateful that my dad likes to reminisce.  He was telling me today about how he went on a month-long tour of the US when he was 13, because he was going to the national Boy Scout Jamboree at Valley Forge, NY, in 1950.  And then the next year, he went to someplace in Oklahoma with his softball team for the national championships, which they won.  I knew that he was on a national championship team, but I didn't know the timeline.
5)  I'm grateful that my big sister is starting to feel a little better.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

21--Legally Grateful

1)  I'm grateful that the Salted Caramel Apple hand pies are done.  The pumpkin pie is in the oven.
I go for taste, not looks.

2)  I'm grateful for Rowdy's cousin, Honoree, for pinning that recipe in the first place.
3)  I'm grateful that my mom and dad made it here safely and that we can spend a few days together.  My dad was telling us stories at dinner about how Grandpa Chaffee was a high-wheel bike racer in his youth.  There was a photo of him somewhere (oh, how I wish we had it!) from when he was a racer.  Dad says that Great-Grandpa's body looked like The Great Sandow's (a strongman from the 19th century).  Great-Grandpa started out as a beer distributor, before becoming a Coca-Cola bottler and Buick dealership owner.  He used to pick the full beer kegs up easily and fling them around.
This is not the photo, but you get the idea of what it might look like.

It's fun to be descended from a fearless bicycle racer and all-around strong guy.

4)  I'm grateful for my mom's enjoyment of cooking and kitchen gadgets, which she passed along to me.
5)  I'm grateful for family in general--immediate, ancestors and family-by-marriage.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

19/20 People Are Grateful

1)  I'm very grateful that my mom and dad are coming tomorrow for Thanksgiving, but very sad that my sisters can't make it.  Karen is in NYC, and didn't really have the funds to come this year.  Dayna was going to come, but she's had a terrible stomach flu for the past four days.
2)  I'm grateful for a freezer.  I overestimated how big our turkey needed to be.  It's double the size we need.
3)  I continue to be grateful for my sweet husband.  One of my colleagues is having a hard time in his family.  He asked me if Rowdy was a good husband, and I told him that Rowdy would win the gold medal if there was a husband Olympics.  He said, "Well, let me know if he ever wants to do a Power Point presentation on how to be a good husband.  I'm terrible at it."  Rowdy is very thoughtful and is very intuitive when it comes to interacting with people.
4)  I'm grateful that I've found a new hairdresser that I like.  She did a good job on my haircolor.
5)  Sleeping in this morning was nice.  I'm as grateful that I didn't have to go to boot camp this morning as I was
6)  grateful that I could go to boot camp on Monday morning.  I like the people in my group, and I like being healthy and strong (though yesterday I had to quit early because I was still suffering from the effects of my cold).
7)  I'm grateful that I am still in touch with my friends from high school and
8)  Grateful (again) that I am not a grandma yet.
9)  I am grateful for my teeth.  It's been a whole five months since they've given me trouble.
10)  I am grateful for the new furry pillows that we bought for the family room couch.  They are luxurious.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Eighteen! I Can Do What I Want, 'Cuz It's 18!

I heard that Alice Cooper song the other day.  Funny.

1)  I'm grateful that I was able to get to at least some church today.  I love my YW calling, really and truly.
2)  We had the missionaries over for dinner tonight.  They are good guys.  I'm grateful that we could share ideas, testimonies and meatloaf.
3)  I am just so, so, so grateful for the Gospel, and I want to do better at sharing it.
4)  I'm grateful that my mom, dad and big sister are coming on Wednesday, but we will miss my other sister.
5)  I'm always grateful for my Rowdstar.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


1)  I'm grateful that Rowdy and I got sprung early from our obligation as chaperones at the Regional Youth Dance.  We were relegated to a back hall, and the only entertainment was doing calisthenics.  It was a mini-boot camp.
2)  So, lesson learned--double, triple, quadruple check with the temple that you have a reservation for baptisms.  We showed up at 2:50 for a 3 pm session only to discover that we were not on the schedule.  I'm grateful that we were worked in anyway.
3)  I'm grateful for covenants and the opportunity to make that happen for our kindred dead.
4)  I ran/walked for five miles this morning.  I'm grateful to be done with my cold, pretty much.
5)  Rowdy has been praying that I would have a light call week, since I was sick.  I'm grateful for answered prayers.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sweet 16th

1)  The team of people I work with are terrific.  They make me look good, and I am very grateful for them.
2)  My nose is only running a little bit.  Yay!  I'm grateful that colds only last 7 days if things go well, a week if they don't.
3)  I'm grateful for professional recognition and
4)  a reliable income
5)  that I can use to do things for other people.  So I'm grateful for service opportunities.

Nov. 15th, one day late

But no gratefuls short!

Yesterday, I was grateful for:

1)  the opportunity to go home teaching with my dearest husband. I met a sweet little dog named Carl.  He made me sick, though.
2)  Wendy's chili/baked potato/garden salad combo
3)  easy mammo morning
4)  easing of my cold symptoms
5)  Real Simple magazine day and lots of catalogs

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Grateful on the 14th

1)  Cold medicine is very nice sometimes, and I'm grateful for the good people who invented. it.
2)  Even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes.  Today I quickly solved a problem that had been unsolved by others during the previous 24 hours, saving a patient an unnecessary procedure.  I'm grateful for my education.
3)  Pinterest!  How I love thee.  I'm grateful for the people who came up with that nifty site.  I have cute ideas in my head for decorations at our Young Women in Excellence dinner.  The theme is (in case you haven't heard) "Change the  World".  I'm thinking globes and travel books and language books and scriptures, maybe some souvenirs from far-away places.
4)  The human body is so beautifully designed.  I'm grateful that there's more than one orifice through which one can get oxygen.
5)  Indoor plumbing is fantastic.  I'm grateful for clean water and toilets.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lucky 13th

I'm feeling so gross today from that crappy cold.  I'm grateful for:

1)  chicken soup
2)  Minute Maid fruit punch
3)  Young Frankenstein
4)  Half day at work
5)  The opportunity to make someone's day today

Monday, November 12, 2012

On the Twelfth Day of Grateful

1)  The rhinovirus that's been stalking me for two weeks breached my defenses at 3 am.  I'm grateful that it's still a pretty mild case.
2)  Whenever I have a nightmare, I have to wake myself up and remind myself how grateful I am that whatever happened in my dream didn't happen in real life--I didn't do the dumb thing or have to be around the objectionable person, etc.  Sometimes I even catch myself without completely waking up and make changes in the dream.  That's a little trick I learned from my dad.
3)  I'm grateful for my dad.
4)  We completed our December travel plans yesterday.  I'm grateful for time off and for our savings account.
5)  I'm grateful to have been able to visit a sick ward family member in the hospital today.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Grateful For Our Veterans, Amongst Other Things

1)  A grandfather, my dad, an uncle, several cousins, loads of friends and our soon-to-be Marine. From wartime to peacetime, I'm grateful for all you have done and will yet do to protect and defend our country.
2)  Listening to the report from a recently-returned missionary and friend of our Keiler made me teary in Sacrament Meeting today.  I'm grateful for those who serve the Lord, but particularly for our sweet Elder Bricco.
3)  YW experiences are also making me appreciatively teary today.  I feel like the girls are feeling the spirit, starting to really feel deeply the importance of our efforts to develop unity and reach out to our inactive girls, and build bonds with their leaders.  I'm grateful to be a part of it, and...
4)  Grateful for the amazing women with whom I serve in Young Women's.
5)  Vegetarian pizza.  So good and good for you.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday is a Special Day

when I am grateful for:

1)  the temple.  Great ward temple night tonight, with some of my most-favorite ward people.
2)  a nice run around Lake Murray this morning.  Why some days it's easier to run than others is a mystery to me, but today was easy and fun.
3)  great emails from my YW secretary.  She has great things to say.  Every day I see new reasons why my YW board was called for this particular time.
4)  I haven't lost that many pounds, but my recently-purchased pants are getting roomy.
5)  Parks and Recreation on Netflix.

I Got 99 Gratefuls

Well, just five really.  And no, the b$#@* ain't one.

1)  Rainy weather is a nice break from the Santa Anas of a few weeks ago.  I am grateful for the sound of rain outside when I am snuggly warm and dry inside.
2)  Rainy weather also means that I can wear my new favorite pants, seen in this photo:

Thanks, Prana, for making cute cords!
3)  Movie night with my sweetheart.  We went to see the new Bond movie.  I am grateful for my eyes, if ya get my drift.
4)  More gratitude for my team at work.  We got a lot of work done with minimal muss and fuss.
5)  It seemed in the middle of the week that I was going to develop a rip-roaring head cold.  But I did not, for which I am grateful.

Friday, November 9, 2012

8 is Grateful

1)  Anesthesiologists are lifesavers.  I'm grateful for the guys who helped us out last night.
2)  In addition to the above, I'm grateful for the calm and peaceful attitude I've been blessed to have lately.
3)  Salad for dinner!  Yay!  I'm grateful that Rowdy is supportive of my fitness goals and has some for himself.
4)  Repentance.  Can you imagine how sad the world would be without it?  We wouldn't even have a world without it, frankly.
5)  Everybody else's Gratitude posts on blogs and Facebook.  It's very uplifting and fun to see what is going on in people's lives.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Grateful 7

I'm a day late on posting, but oh well.

1)  For YW last night, we went out to dinner together.  I'm grateful for my darling YW and my wonderful YW leaders.
2)  I'm also grateful that the sister missionaries were able to come and eat with us.  They would like to come to Mutual again sometime and tell the girls good mission stories.  We will definitely take them up on that.
3)  I'm grateful every day for my wonderful husband, for too many reasons to count.  But a couple are how resilient and how intelligent he is.
4)  I'm grateful for a strong body.  I did 45 minutes of boot camp and then swam 1000 meters.  I am tired and so very hungry today, but happy that I can do those things.
5)  I'm grateful for Pinterest.  :D

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Remember, Remember the 6th of November

1)  Today is the 50th birthday of my friend, Cristy.  We have known each other since junior high.  I'm so grateful to have had her as a friend and college roommate.  She has always been a great example to me.

2)I'm also grateful that she was the first of tight group of college friends to become a grandma.  Most of us have married children already, but hers were the oldest of the group.  It will be fun when the Jo-Jos start having kids, but I'm more than fine with them waiting awhile.

3)  Everyone at the polling place today was so pleasant and cheerful.  There were even people dressed in red, white and blue.  Parents took their children with them, teaching them the importance of voting.  It's an enormous blessing to live in a place where elections are free, and where we are civil about our differences.  After the trash talking I've seen on FB, I was a little worried that people would be riled up.  But no, everyone went about their business politely, and even joyfully.  Let's keep that up, people!

4)  Only about 50% of our YW group is active.  I've known most of the girls since I taught them in Primary, so it is really hard to see one of my favorite YW losing her way in the last year or so.  I'm grateful for her loving and caring mother, who gave me some insight into this lovely young woman's life right now and good guidance on how I and the rest of the YW leaders can reach out to her.  I gave a lesson on "the rescue plan" last Sunday, and
5)  I'm grateful to know that I can get divine help in reaching out to all of my YW.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Let's Sing a Song of 5! How many is 5?!

1)  I'm grateful for my weird walnut allergy.  It kept me from diving into a pile of baked goods in the "free for all" part of the techs' break room.
2)  Rowdy and I had lunch with our neighbors, Mimi and Herb, today.  I'm grateful for wonderful people like them living in my neighborhood.
3)  I'm grateful for the capacity to be graceful under pressure.
4)  Last night, I felt horrible--too warm, achy all over, getting antsy like I do when I'm getting sick.  But this morning, I was able to do 45 minutes of bootcamp and then swim for 25 minutes.  I'm grateful for a good night of restorative sleep.
5)  I'm grateful to know that Keiler is being watched over on his mission.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Go 4th and Be Grateful

1)  Divine help with my YW lesson today.  It was a tricky subject--I mean, how do you present the concept of the ward rescue plan to YW?  But...Hurricane Sandy and the rescue efforts there provided a good comparison.
2)  Safe return from Phoenix of my Rowdstar.
3)  Cool evenings.
4)  A great YW board.  The upcoming YWIE is now sorted out and will be lovely, I think.
5)  Sabbath days to gather strength.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

On the Third Day of Grateful...

Thank you, Stephanie, for the cute hat--which I think I lost somewhere in Chile.

1)  A nice, long massage to work out the kinks from a lot of activity and inactivity over the last week.
2)  Honey Crisp apples--more expensive, but so delicious.
3)  Friends who are great examples of kindness and charity.
4)  One more hour of sleep tonight.
5)  Podcasts.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Nov. 2 Gratitude

Today, I am grateful:

1)  that one of my patients shared with me how he had been blessed recently.
2)  that my Jayne made sure my schedule was light today.  Coming back to work for one day after vacation had the potential to be rough.
3)  for cell phones so that Rowdy can be in Phoenix and I can be here, and we can still talk.
4)  for Tylenol and Motrin.  That's the best combo for cramps.
5)  for inspiration to get my YW lesson going.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November is Gratitude Month!

We just returned from a terrific trip to Torres del Paine in Patagonia.  Photos to come, I promise!

Five things I am grateful for today:

1)  The opportunity to travel to wonderful places.
2)  Good health and safety during the trip.
3)  A comfortable home to return to.
4)  A husband that is a great travel companion.
5)  The relative safety of all of my friends and family on the East Coast.
My Rad Life!