Sunday, July 18, 2010

Part One of Our Trip Back East!

Clinton and I have been married for almost seven years and we have never been anywhere. When we have vacation time we go see family, but this month we had about 5 days to have our very first vacation ALONE!

One thing that's good about living where we do is that we are so much closer to the east coast. We decided to make a whirlwind trip to Ottawa, Canada, Palmyra, New York, and Niagara Falls, Canada. We set out at about 3pm on Wednesday the 30th and arrived in Ottawa at about 7am on July 1st (another first...a road trip over night!) Anyway, we arrived at our destination, I took a shower and then we were back on the road to get to Parliament Hill where we would watch the festivities of Canada Day.
Here we are in our Canadian garb...I had a Canada shirt on underneath the sweatshirt, but it was pretty cold that morning, so the sweatshirt stayed on.

Anyway, Clinton really wanted to see the changing of the guard. The groun
ds were absolutely packed with people, so had to climb on a staircase railing just to be up high enough to see over the throngs of people.

Next, we walked around downtown Ottawa for a few hours until the Queen of England arrived. Of course, we could not see her because of all the people, but we saw her on the GIANT screen they had on the hill and were able to thus pay our respects. Anyway, by this time of the day we were so exhausted from being up for so many hours that we decided to head back home for a siesta.

Later that evening there were fireworks on the hill and a live concert. We got there in time to hear the Bare Naked Ladies sing, "If I had a Million Dollars." It was so much fun! The fireworks were great, but I told Clinton at the beginning that it seemed the fireworks were fairly limited in colors due to their flag only containing red and white. However, after a few minutes of red and white, they branched out into lots of colors, and the display was fantastic!

The next day we went to Quebec, Canada. I wish we could have spent more time there because it was really beautiful and it felt more foreign. Everything was in french there. I even got to hear Clinton order lunch for me in french! I had him order Poutine for me. (When my brother, Anton came home from his mission he told me about this dish that he loved, called Poutine. It is basically fries covered with cheese curds doused in Poutine gravy. Anyway, he said it was so good that I thought I'd try it for him. He was right! It's deliciously horrible for you!) This photos is for you Anton! P.S. We are bringing home some gravy packets for you next month!Anyway, the stuff really was good! Here is another photo of Clinton and I both enjoying our french lunch!Once we were done eating we headed over to Gatineau Park. If you head to the top of the park there is an amazing view of Ottawa Valley. We proceeded to take lots of pictures for posterity sake. Enjoy!...
This is Clinton and Jay, one of Clinton's missionary companions

After the park, we went back to Parliament to enjoy the leftover festivities and the beauty of the city.I felt so sorry for this guy! It was about 100 degrees outside and he was standing directly in the sun. No water, no shade for FOUR hours! That should be illegal! But it was cool nonetheless!

Our last day in Ottawa we spent with people from Clinton's mission. We had lunch with a family he baptized (the mom anyway) and reminisced with them for a few hours.
Both parents work for the RCMP so it was quite entertaining to hear all of their cop stories!

Needless to say, our time in Ottawa and Quebec really was lots of fun! I have more pictures to post, but I think this post is maxed-out! I'll have to just do a picture post next. I'll also be blogging about out time in Niagara Falls and Palmyra, New York next. Anyway, hope you enjoyed!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy Father's Day Dad! (I realize it's a bit late, but as you always said, "Better late than never."

I realize Father's Day was a couple weeks ago and all, but I don't think that it is too late to write this post. It's late, yes, about a quarter of a century late, but perhaps the timing is just right after all. I don't think I could be very eloquent as an illiterate child, and blogging has only been around so many years, so I guess now is a good time anyway.

I apologized to my dad a couple weeks ago for not having sent him a Father's Day card. I had scanned the card aisles hoping for the perfect card. I, as well as several other card shoppers, felt that the card selection "sucked". I really wanted to find the perfect card with just the right amount of humor and warm-heartedness, but my searching left me empty-handed. I resolved to return another day to another store in hopes of finding "THE card". To my dismay the racks were cleared of all tributes to fathers and I was left with the choice to grab a generic card, with hopes of being able to make it work, or figure out another way to honor my dad. I have chosen option two.

I think that some of my earliest memories with my dad contain a lot of tickles, snuggles and giggles. I remember that he would come home, give my mom and hug and a kiss and then all of his attention was turned to us kids. One of the games he/we loved best was the name game. The following is a scenario that would happen every day when he came home from work...
Dad: "Hello Georgina"
Me: "I'm not Georgina!" (giggles)
Dad: "Oh, you're not Georgina? Why you must be Gertrude! Hello, my little Gertrude."
Me: "I'm not Gertrude, I'm Dani!" (giggles)
Dad: "No, you're not Dani. My little Dani is small, and has tickley pits. You must be Ruth!"
Me: "No. I'm Dani!" (giggles)
Dad: "Well, if you're my little Dani then when I tickle your pits like this..." (he would proceed to tickle and I would break into uproarious laughter. When he stops tickling, he pauses and says) Oh! You are my little Dani Cakers, how are you?"

I could always count on a Daddy-pony ride, an extra push on the swing or, my favorite, a ride on his shoulders. I remember going to the farmer's market and being able to see all of the booths and tables from a bird's eye view. It wasn't because I was outrageously tall for my age, it was because I was perched on my dad's shoulders...the best seat anywhere!

I just related to my coworker the other day how I could always count on my dad's sneeze to help locate him when were were (inevitably) separated in the store. He ALWAYS wandered ahead and at the moment that we discovered we didn't know where he was, he would sneeze (wahhh-choo!) The same sneeze. Always. It still makes me chuckle thinking about it. "Ah. There's Dad." we would say and we'd find him carrying some sort of special treat for us. Good memories!

My dad has an amazing talent for writing. He could find a rhyme for just about any word. He taught us how to sing to our animals (Ex: "Oooooh, Wrecksy is so kitty cat. He is so meow and soft and fat! He goes 'purr-purr' oh-so-sweet, from his kitty head to his kitty feet!") Little did we know, till much later in life, this was not a "normal" thing to do and was viewed as "weird" by our friends and spouses. We could never match his superior composing skills, but sing to our animals we do! Really though, all you need to do is give him a topic and he will write the most amazing poem or story about it. I can't tell you how many hearts he has touched with his writing, but I would venture to guess that anyone who hears it feels the spirit. Some of his best writing is about the Savior. There is no room for doubt about his testimony of the reality and mission of Jesus Christ. He knows He is real. He has never shied from an opportunity to share it with his children, friends and neighbors. It, with the testimony of my mother, was the foundation for building my own testimony.

My dad is also very smart. Not just book-smart, but he is very intellectual. He is constantly reading. His idea (and mine) of a good vacation is a comfortable chair, a bowl of bing cherries and a great book! His library is full of mysteries, cowboy novels, historical novels, autobiographies and church literature. If ever I had a question about how something worked or why something was the way that it was, I could always ask my dad--knowing I would get a solid answer, especially on the subject of religion. He has read so many books about church doctrine and the origin of our religion that he could probably write a book of his own! He is a great example of one who is always striving to learn and grow. Thank you Dad, for teaching me that opportunities to learn can be found everywhere.

On top of being very smart, my dad is also very good at giving counsel. Not only was it his profession for many years, it is who he is. When I was eight I had to go in for a very scary surgery. My dad found a pair of elephant earrings and told me the story of the man who had to eat an elephant...He said the man was very discouraged when he saw how large the elephant was. He thought he would never be able to finish it. A wise man came by and told him that he need not eat the elephant all at once, just bite by bite. The man followed the counsel, was able to put his heavy burden in prospective, and soon completed his task, one bite at a time. He told me that when I felt the earrings dangle, I needed to remember the story of the man who had to eat an elephant and that anything is possible if we just take it a moment or problem at a time. It was from that moment that I chose elephants as my favorite animal, and they still are to this day! It's not just cause they are cute (which they are!), but they remind me of my dad and the love and comfort he brought to me at a very scary time in my life. It is counsel that I reference often and am thankful he took the time to teach me.

My dad is very generous and thoughtful. He knows when we need help and is always willing to give a blessing or lend a hand. He is very loving and leads his family in righteousness. I am so thankful to have been raised in the home in which I was raised. We had family prayer and scripture study and we laughed always. Some of my fondest memories are of Sunday nights when we would have a bowl of ice cream while we watched "America's Funniest Videos". It was so fun to hear my dad squeal with laughter during the montages or other side-splitting clips! We had some good times as a family watching that show, and I believe our laughing at other people brought us closer together.

Now, anyone who knows my dad knows he also has a strong love for the t.v. show, "Law & Order". He loves it so much that for quite some time the theme song was his ringtone! It never failed that if the t.v. was on, it was because "Law & Order" was about to come on, was currently on, or had just finished. The man LOVES that show. (I don't know what he'll do now that NBC, after 20 years, has canceled the show!) I thought it only appropriate that I pay a tribute on this blog to the show that brought him so much entertainment and happiness over the years. Please click on the link below and observe a moment of silence for this most considerable of losses...

That was for you, Dad! Seriously though, his love for that show instilled in me a desire to fight crime. I too love "Law & Order" and have even considered going to school for criminal justice. I would never have had such a love for crime-solving had it not been for my exposure to this beloved show. You will be missed "Law & Order", but your reruns will continue to forever be viewable 12 times a day on TNT network.

Anyway, suffice it to say, I have a wonderful dad. He is a wonderful example to me in many ways. I am thankful for his willingness to share his love of the Gospel with his children. I am thankful for his ability to rhyme on the spot because it has brought me millions of smiles and giggles.

I love you Dad. You are a great husband to Mom, a wonderful Papa to your grandkids and an exceptional father to your children. I love you tons and I hope that (even though this is very late) you have/had a fantastic Father's Day!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Am I Scandalous?

Life has been pretty enjoyable since Clinton finished his first year of medical school. During the weekends we actually get to go DO things. Yesterday, we drove down to this little restaurant that I have been begging him to go to since we moved here. It is called Apple Holler. It is ADORABLE! The restaurant is a converted barn and the insides are all lit up with thousands of Christmas lights. There are old country signs everywhere and there is a cute little country shop attached (with country prices to boot!) There is a bakery in the back and the food is all homemade. Anyway, there is a restaurant and all of the food served is also homemade. We went to their lunch buffet and it was delicious! The food was so yummy and the atmosphere was just so much fun! I guess they have a dinner theater as well, so hopefully some day we'll be able to attend that as well.

After our lunch we decided to head down to the outlet mall to find some shorts and sandals for this Wisconsin summer we are/will be having. I found a few pairs of shorts, Clinton also found a pair and a couple of extra shirts (no surprise here...they are all plaid button-ups...but he did buy shorts, so I'm slowly helping him become more casual...he's even been wearing open-toed sandals folks!!!;)! Anyway, as we were rounding the corner we came across a White House/Black Market outlet store and I couldn't resist--their clothing is so fashionable, but with the fashion comes a heavy price! However, this was an outlet, soI thought I could maybe just peruse. I scanned their $60 discount racks (ha!) but couldn't bring myself to spend that much on something full-priced, let alone "discounted"! I continued to scan the racks until my eyes fell uponthe most amazing little-black-dress they ever did see. I looked at the price tag and this originally $200 dress was marked-down to $20! It was gorgeous! There is no way this dress could be made for $20. It is covered in black lace, it had cap-sleeves and came down to the knees. I HAD to at least try it on.

I went into the dressing room and the zipper slipped effortlessly up my back...I looked AMAZING! I came out to show Clinton, passed all of the gasps and twitters from my dressing room companions as I graced their presence in this gorgeous dress. I come around the corner while Clinton turns and looks at me--sheer boredom on his unimpressed face. I ask what he thinks, and with a brief shrug he nods and says, "Do what you think." Um....(sound of balloon deflating)...I walked back into the dressing room as the women literally pull their friends out of their respective dressing rooms to show off "this girl" in "this dress" (AKA:Me!) A much better reaction than the one I got from my husband outside the dressing room. So, I'm feeling pretty at the moment and since it is ONLY $20, I decide I would be more sad if I didn't get it, than if I did. I take my purchase up to the counter and the clerk looks at the tag, exclaims how much she loves "this dress" and how tiny I must be to get a size 0 (it's a dress folks, I'm not really that little) my balloon begins again to inflate. I leave the store a little lighter than when I walk in. It was a great moment!

So, all evening I'm thinking about how I'll fix my hair and how I'll do my make-up for church the next day so that I can best show off my new dress. I woke up and took extra care to get ready. I ate in my tank top and slip so as to not spill on "the dress". Then the moment came to put on my dress. Again, the zipper slid up my back like warm butter does on hot buns (pun intended). I glided down the stairs (feeling like a skinny-million-bucks) and rounded the corner into the kitchen so that Clinton could hook the loop at the top of the zipper. I turned around, expecting a complimentary "Dang girl!" and got, "Um...should this dress be so low in the back?" (sound of record stopping abruptly) "What?!" I responded. "What do you mean? My garments are totally covered (no tucking or anything)...What do you mean?" He said my dress was almost scandalous. Scandalous?! Really? The $20-antidepressant was scandalous? I couldn't see how, but I was running out of time to get to church so I marched back up the stairs, yelled down to him to come help me with my hook and eye, rapidly changed into something WAY less satisfying and walked out the door for church.

This brings us to the purpose of this post. As I was contemplating what to blog about today I thought...perhaps I should ask my friends what they think.I had Clinton take pictures of me with my dress on and I want to know, honestly, what you think. Is my dress actually scandalous or was Clinton just seeing an optical illusion of, as he put it-"half of [my] back hanging out" perhaps because my hair is short? Was there no optical illusion at all for him but for me in thinking that my dress wasn't really scandalous at all? So, please let me know what you think.

I thank you in advance for being gentle with your words :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wonder of Wonder, Miracle of Miracles

These last couple weeks have been filled with wonderful stuff. First off,
That's right! I can now say that my husband is a second year medical student! The first message he sent me when his exams were complete said "The grass is greener, the sun is warmer, even food tastes better!" He has been free to sleep-in and rest. He has been laughing more and it is so nice to have my husband back! Congratulations Honey on a job well-done and one year under your belt!

The next set of miracles have been more apparent in my personal life.

I have been dealing with a series of health issues lately and wasn't sure how to deal with them. To keep a long blog short, I'll list what's happened in Cliffs Notes version...
1. As mentioned in previous posts, I have been having problems with my vision. I had been told that there was damage to my eye and it would need time to repair. This made me very nervous as I'm sure you can imagine since I only have the one eye left. I had my follow-up appointment a couple of weeks ago and my eye has completely healed! I can see again and I am so grateful!
2. In order to avoid extra personal details, suffice it to say, my cycle has not been regular ever, but especially since the beginning of this year. It became a large enough problem that I made a hasty appointment to some no-name doctor. This doctor wasn't very personable and wasn't really helping me solve my problem. She told I needed to see an OB/GYN and I was quickly scheduled with the first available doctor. She is a WONDERFUL doctor. She met with me regarding my current issues and asked questions about my long-term goals. She tried one treatment on me and it didn't work and told me I needed to have an MRI to make sure my brain was normal. This scared the crap out of me. I only know MRIs as necessary procedure when someone has a brain tumor or something else terminal. Here's where the miracle comes in...
Hold on, I need to preface this: A few weeks ago, before I started going to the doctor, I had Clinton give me a blessing. The blessing counseled me to go see a doctor and to trust in them to find the solution to my problem and to follow their counsel. A week or so later, when I found out I needed to have more testing done I talked to Clinton about my blessing and how I thought I might need another one. He gently reminded me that blessings are not a fortune teller, they are an ordinance and once the ordinance is given the blessing is complete. It is then up to our faith for the healing to take place. I thought about that for quite a while and studied up on it that evening.

I came across a talk by Pres. Faust called, "Spiritual Nutrients". In it he counsels us to incorporate the counsel of the scriptures into our daily lives. We need to shape our lives by what the scriptures teach and by doing so we will be blessed with a closeness to the Lord, an increase of our faith in Him and a better understanding of the answers to our prayers.

I then found a talk by Pres. Kimball called "President Kimball Speaks Out on Administration to the Sick". This talk is a great reference! Here are a few of my now-favorite quotes...
"It is felt that sometimes the holy ordinance is abused...It is felt by many that too frequent administrations may be an indication of lack of faith or of the ill one trying to pass the responsibility of faith development to the elders rather than self."
"It must be remembered that no physician can heal. He can only provide a satisfactory environment and situation so that the body may use its own God-given power of re-creation to build itself."
"It must be remembered that whether the Lord sees fit to heal instantaneously or gradually, whether it be through surgery and treatment or without it, the healing is still the Lord's miracle."
I am a hypochondriac. I worry about things that no normal person worries about. However, every time I thought about my MRI I knew I was going to be okay. That, in and of itself, is a miracle. I had brought to my mind certain phrases from my patriarchal blessing that reminded me that my life was nowhere near over. I went in for my MRI and was blessed with peace while the machine banged and squealed all around me (for 40 minutes, I might add). I was called about my results and my brain is normal! There were no growths or abnormalities and she said that my cycle issues can be fixed with medication! The other "hidden" miracle to this is that an infertility issue (solvable) has been found! We would have had no idea had this scan not been made. What a miracle!
3. I really love my job but have been struggling with working with one of the doctors. It was so bad a few weeks ago that I had to meet with my supervisor to see if she had any recommendations for me. (I had been praying for help to read this doctor's mind and do a good job.) My supervisor offered for my coworker (who is paid the most and has the most time on her hands) to take him on instead. I thought about it and began to pray about it. As soon as I started to pray I felt an answer, "Don't you already realize this IS the answer to your prayers?" The last couple weeks since the change have been wonderful! And you know what? He has been so much nicer to me! He has even been coming to me for assistance with some projects instead of my coworker which is a HUGE compliment to me! Yeah for miracles!
4. A couple Fridays ago I went home sick from work with a really bad stomach ache/nausea. I was sick for 3 days. After I read the articles listed above, I prayed specifically for my faith to be strong enough to remember all of the times I'd been healed and to be healed again, in a quick way. Almost from the moment I finished I felt better. The next day at work, I was back to normal. Before I had started my prayer I was still quite sick...this truly was a miracle!
5. The other day I went grocery shopping and ended up shopping at a store in a "sketchy" part of town. At first I found myself beginning to judge the people walking in, I was the only white person, but I didn't. I had a feeling of brotherhood with them. I did my grocery shopping, put my groceries away in my car and walked back up to the front of the store to return my cart. As I was walking back to my car I heard the security guard (yes, this store has a security guard) call out to me. I turned and saw him holding my wallet! He asked if it was mine. Shocked, I replied "yes!" he said that someone had found it in the parking lot and brought it in. All my cards, ID and $20 cash were still in there. It just goes to show that you really can't judge a book by its cover!
6. Lastly, last week I took Peter to the park to play fetch with his favorite toy "Squeaky". On my last throw I looked away for a second and lost track of where the ball had landed. Peter was looking all over for it and couldn't find it. I walked over to meet him where I thought it may have landed. I LOOKED EVERYWHERE! I scanned the same areas about 4 times each. I said a quick prayer pleading with Heavenly Father to have mercy on this pup and to help me find his favorite toy. After another 5 minutes of searching I decided it must have been lost and started to walk back home. I stopped by a family that was playing on the equipment nearby and asked if they had by chance seen his toy. The father said he saw Peter pick it up, drop it and the next moment he saw us looking for it. I decided to go back one more time and see if I could find it. I again said a quick prayer and I looked in all the same areas again. I couldn't find it. I started to walk back when I heard a man call behind me "Ma'am?" I turned around to see who it was, but no one was there. I looked down for a second to catch my footing as I started to walk home and right in front of my foot was Peter's toy! I know I walked over that exact area several times, but this time I was looking with the eyes of the Lord. I couldn't believe it! The Lord cared not only for me, but for my little dog too!

Sorry for the overly-long post, but I just had so much to say. I really have been blessed by the Lord and am so grateful for opportunities to see miracles in my life. They exist today just as much as they ever have!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Well, a few things have happened in the last couple weeks that I guess could be labeled "blog-worthy". 2 weeks ago Clinton and I were extended the calling of...nursery workers! I told Clinton this calling was his fault because he's not comfortable around children--so the Lord is providing him an opportunity to become comfortable. I was released from my two other callings and am looking forward to the treats and play time during church hours.:) The funny thing about this new calling is that one of Clinton's really good friends at school and his wife (my co-worker) are our partners in nursery. We will be teaching the same group! We just can't get away from each other!;) We're both really happy about it actually. We get along really well and this way the burden of working in nursery won't seem so bad!

We had a birthday in our house this last week...Clinton turned 29! He celebrated his birthday by studying for his finals :( Yipee!...however, I did see him for about an hour on his birthday and we enjoyed some Golden Double-Stuffed Oreos (his favorite). I prefer the regular, non-double-stuffed myself, but this way he gets extra innerds...I always scrape out the center and just dunk the cookie part (unless of course they are the original Oreos and then I can't help but eat the whole thing.) The day after his birthday all of our friends got together at Buffalo Wild Wings for supper. It was really nice to see him relax and enjoy a dinner out with friends. After dinner we went to DQ for $1.99 small blizzards (one of his friends bought his...I thought that was really nice), I picked up my glasses and then we went home and he returned to his studies. Not the most exciting birthday ever, however, I think amongst all the chaos he still felt loved and appreciated. Happy Birthday H.B.!! You are so wonderful and smart and I am so blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for working so hard to achieve your dreams and for working so hard to provide a wonderful future for our family. Thank you for making me laugh every day and for helping me to become a better person. I love you so much!

Update: I FINALLY got my eyes taken care of and can see again!!! I've had my prescription changed a couple of times now, but last Saturday I met with the eye doctor and had my eyes checked and was given the "O.K." to get contacts again and was told my eye had healed completely! I picked my contact up yesterday and it is soooo nice to be able to see again! I forgot how clear my vision used to be. Both my glasses and my contacts are fairly similar in prescription, so it will be easy for me to switch back and forth. I also upgraded to the shatter-resistant lenses to help protect my eye more. Grand total for eye exam, glasses and contact lens...$316! I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Oh my, I hadn't realized it was that much (swallowing bile)...however, to make myself feel better, I haven't had to make any purchases for my vision in almost three years, and before that it was five (stomach churning)...I guess I feel better? On top of that, I get to pay for a new shell in a couple of weeks! Yikes! I am so grateful for a good job.

Summer has Summed here in Wisconsin. It is hot and humid outside. It is currently 87 degrees outside with 55% humidity...blech! I know, I know. It will only get worse. However, let's just say that I am so thankful we have air conditioning! I've never really had to live in humidity before, last summer was pretty decent here, so we'll see how I do.

I was trying to think if there was anything else I had to write about and I can't think of anything other than I had a video I wanted to share. We were over at a friends' house a couple weeks ago and we watched this youtube video. I laughed so hard! It is one of those Japanese prank shows. I have NO IDEA how they get away with some of this stuff, but my personal favorite is "driving the porcelain train". The quality of the video is terrible, but oh-so-funny! Enjoy!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day Mom

Growing up the youngest of six, I had a great advantage of "time with Mom" over my siblings. I remember our lunch dates to Arbys or Carl's Junior while my siblings were away at school. I'd tell her which of my fries represented certain members of my family (started with my longest fry as Dad, (take a bite) Mom, and so on until there was just a crumb left as me.

I remember going down for naps and her singing "All the Pretty Little Ponies" to help me fall asleep. Or when she'd play song after song from the "60 Progressive Classics" book to help us all quiet down. She was the perfect pillow to snuggle with as a child and continues the position with my nieces and nephews today.

I remember that my favorite color was pink until I heard my mom say her favorite colors were peach and green, then my favorite colors rapidly changed to peach and green. I never seemed to be able to form an opinion of my own, because I wanted to be just like my mom. While most sick children were excited to miss school and stay home, I was excited to be able to go to work with my mom. I was the best under-age office assistant ever! I had all the pencils, pens, sticky tack and push pins to match her collection. I wrote some very good meeting minutes (not really, I made up a lot of stuff and had her type it on the typewriter for me:) Her ways were my ways.

Some of my favorite memories of my mom were of the times when she'd come to school. I LOVED when she could come and volunteer in my class. I was never embarrassed to say, "That's my mom!" She came for everything. She was there for talent shows, track and field events, choir concerts, art nights, and parent-teacher conferences. I never had an opportunity to doubt that she cared about me and my successes.

Being the only child in my family to not yet have children, I at times feel sad that all the family names have been used. There aren't any left for me to pass on to my children. However, upon reflection of my childhood, I believe I was in fact the very first to name "my child" after my mom. The Christmas of my 7th or 8th year I received my favorite baby doll. She was more beautiful and special that all of my previous babies. I knew she needed a very special name and so I named her Jane Marie. I sang to her the same lullabies that were sung to me and made sure that she knew I loved her...just like my mom had done for me. Even though she was just a baby doll she was the first "official" grand-baby to be named after my mom. So, I guess I don't need to be that sad after all.

My mom has the best ability to see the good in all situations. She is extremely patient (a quality I unfortunately did not inherit, but am striving to obtain), loving and forgiving. I can not recall a time in all my years as her daughter that she felt something was more important than the happiness of her children. I think she ate more cold meals than warm ones, went without because "she was full anyway", and laid on the floor because "it's more comfortable"--than any other person I know. She wanted us to be happy. That's all she ever wanted because when we were happy, she was truly happy.

Well Mom, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to be a good mom. You have taught me so much about love and sacrifice. You have always been able to give me guidance like no one else. Your ability to dry my tears with hugs and kisses has reached far beyond the scrapes and bumps acquired in childhood. Thank you for your prayers and tears on my behalf. They have not gone unnoticed and I am blessed because of them. You are one of my very best friends and I love you so very much!

Happy Mother's Day!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Guy Studley Hung-Well

This last week has been rather several ways.

First of all, you may each be wondering why I titled my post the way that I did. Well, on our way home from church today Clinton shared with me a part of the lesson from the gospel essentials class. He said they were talking about dating and the teacher asked for comments. One sister, who looks like a fair bit like Madam Mim on Sword in the Stone and is sort of new to the gospel/returning less-active, raised her hand and said,

"I get so tired of seeing all these Ms. Goody-Two-Shoes going out with these Guy Studly Hung-Wells."

Now, I don't know that she realized what she said, but she must have! Needless to say, the teacher quickly put the book in front of his face and to stifle a laugh while Clinton busted up laughing in the back row. Somehow, no one else heard it, but I thought that was hilarious! I will never be able to watch Sword in the Stone the same way ever again!

The second eye-opening experience was discovered yesterday afternoon. I have been having problems with seeing lately. The second I put my contact in, it gets foggy or blurry. I'll wash it, use eye drops and pray for clarity, but alas, I am left with blurred vision. So, I made an appointment to see the eye doctor at Stein Optical. To make a long story short, I ended up going back for a second opinion and ended up with a good doctor the second time. She put dye in my eye while I was wearing my contact (unlike the first doctor) and noticed that my contact was not fitting properly. In fact, it was too flat and it was flattening my cornea. She said that it was causing my cornea to be ashy, basically, my cornea was flaking away like your skin does when it is dry! Naturally, I began to panic because I only have the one left, but she said that as long as I don't wear the contact anymore, use eye drops every 2 hours for the next two-three weeks and come back for an eye exam, I should be fine. She said that the bad news is that I'll have to wear my glasses (from 7th grade mind you) until then. It is so frustrating because I can't see through them very well either. So, for the next two-three weeks I am going to be blind and unattractive! But, hopefully my next eye exam (May 15th) will go smoothly and my eye will have reshaped itself properly and the healing of my cornea will be complete. If all is back to "normal", then they'll refit me for a new contact lens and I can get an accurate prescription for glasses. Oh, woe is me.

Anyway, I don't know how the last week went for each of you, but I hope it was a little less eye-opening than mine. :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Trololo, Tonight-Bye-Bye!

CONGRATULATIONS CLINTON!! Clinton finished his LAST set of exams before his finals in May! All last week I think I saw Clinton a total of maybe 2 hours because he was gone all day everyday studying. His exams went well and I have my husband back (for the next week or so before he begins studying again:) I can't believe that his first year of medical school is already so close to being done. He has less than three weeks left of school! Weird! It is so weird to think that we have lived in Wisconsin now for over nine months. The time, for the most part, has passed rather quickly and we look forward to a school-free summer!!

Work has been going well for me. I actually had some communication-issues with one of the doctors get cleared up this week and I'm starting to feel a little more confident in my work. As good as my job is, it is difficult having to be an adult with responsibilities. Clinton and I were really wanting to be able to travel this summer and spend lots of time with family, but we will be here. However, with that said, we are so thankful that I do have a good job. We both know that this job was provided by the Lord perhaps family will come here instead! (hint hint!)

Well, this morning Clinton showed me a video on Youtube of a Russian man singing a song called Trololo. It is a very popular song right now, I guess. The singer is really weird to watch though, it seems his mouth never really opens and when it does, it in no-way matches what is apparently coming out of it. Have you seen this video? Please watch the whole thing.

Clinton is the KING of getting "catchy" songs stuck in his head and this one has been his song-of-choice for the last week or so. Well, apparently someone made a voice-over to add to this video to highlight the awkwardness of the singer. Clinton and I watched it this morning and we were laughing so hard. I thought I'd attach it for your viewing enjoyment!

Ha ha ha! Well, I don't know that I have much else to write about. The weather has definitely turned to spring and the flowers and blossoms are spectacular. I will take some pictures and post with next week's post.

Love from the Logans and I hope each of you have a great week!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wise Counsel

Well, as predicted I really don't have much to write about. My week has been fairly similar to weeks past, however, I made a commitment to try and blog once a week, so here I am.
I had the opportunity to attend the adult session of stake conference last night and there were a couple of talks that really stuck out to me. In my ward, I am currently serving as the co-leader for Activity Days and I am also a co-teacher for the Valiant A class. I have never had a calling in Primary before, and now I have two! Anyway, one of the speakers spoke about the importance of our good influence and our responsibility to teach the youth to do hard things. He referred to a talk given by Elder Bednar at a youth conference in Minnesota a little while ago. Elder Bednar said that the youth of today are too soft. They lack the opportunities to work hard and learn the satisfaction of doing a good job. Their thumbs are so strong (texting, playing video games) that their chance for normal social skills are weakening. We need to teach the youth to do hard things.
So often, instead of giving the youth something difficult to do, we do it ourselves, because it would be easier than explaining it or faster than if they were to do it themselves. He cautioned adults that we need to teach our youth how to do hard things, but that we need to be there to encourage and uplift them, especially when those hard things arise. I thought that this was interesting because it really is easy to just do those hard things ourselves--spare the youth the frustration of learning and resolve the solution ourselves in a timely manner. However, when we do this, we are denying our youth an opportunity to learn responsibility and accountability for their actions, we are denying our youth the opportunity to learn to depend on the Lord, and we are denying our youth an opportunity to stretch themselves a little further and learn from their mistakes or feel the satisfaction of doing a good job. I thought this talk was applicable to all of us and I hope that I can do a better job at helping my primary kids learn to do hard things.
Another speaker spoke about service. She said that there are opportunities all around us and the time to serve is now. No time will be "the right time". Nothing will ever line up so perfectly that we'll think, "Okay. Now I have time to be charitable." Regarding opportunities for service she said, "If not now, when?"
Being married to a medical student and having 3 callings myself, it is easy for me to feel like I just don't have "the time" for anything. Yet, I know that I do and I know that when I serve others I feel happy. The speaker shared a quote that I think has now become one of my favorites. It reads,

"The one true key to happiness is to labor and serve for the happiness of others."

I thought that was just great. It is so easy to focus on ourselves and our inconveniences, however, if we get up and serve those around us we will feel happy. We will be happy and who doesn't want that?
I also had the pleasure of attending stake conference today with the Milwaukee South Stake (I'm in the north stake, but our conference was at 2pm and theirs was at 10am, so we went to it instead :) Elder Dallin H. Oaks was there as well as a member of the Quorum of the Seventy. I don't remember his name, but he gave a wonderful talk on faith and trusting the Lord. He said the Lord is mindful of us. He knows our needs and He will provide. He quoted the scripture about tithing from Malachi 3 and focused on verse 11 especially:

10 Bring ye all the atithes into the storehouse, that there may be bmeat in mine house, and cprove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not dopen you the ewindows of heaven, and pour you out a fblessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
11 And I will arebuke the bdevourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.

He testified that God would rebuke Satan, that Satan would have no power to destroy our good efforts, that he would have no power to destroy the blessings we are entitled and that the Lord would provide all we need--even with the power to do as the needs arise. He testified that the Lord knows what is before us and that He is setting in-place the miracles needed to accomplish our work. He testified that tithing is not a matter of money, but of faith. It was such a wonderful talk. I could definitely feel the spirit as he spoke.
Elder Oaks spoke about many things, but ended his talk with a reference to Joshua 24: 15

15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, achoose you bthis day whom ye will cserve;...but as for me and my dhouse, we will eserve the Lord.

He said, "This is a time for choice. This is a time for decision." We need to decide today whom we will serve. He said that this need to choose wisely is not just quoted in scripture, but is found among patriotic men as well. He quoted Patrick Henry who said,

"I know not what other course others may take, but as for me--give me liberty or give me death."

He shared his testimony that this is God's work and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is His gospel upon the earth today. We have a duty to God to use the Gift of the Holy Ghost we have been given to share that message with others. We need to open our mouths and speak about religion. We need to share literature with our friends and extend an invitation to them to come with us to church. We need to decide today whom we will serve.
Needless to say, I have been spiritually fed this weekend and have made some personal goals to be better and stretch a little further. I saw a link on Facebook that has the testimony of Elder Holland on the Book of Mormon. It was fantastic as a talk, and it is great as a Mormon Message. I watched the video and then posted my testimony next to it. I don't know if it will make a difference to anyone, but it felt right and good to me. Perhaps we can each be a little bit more bold in making it known who we have chosen to serve.

I posted the link below, and copied the testimony I posted on my Facebook profile.

To those of my friends who have yet to gain an understanding of why Mormons believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, and that Joseph Smith was in fact a prophet of God, I urge you to watch this video given by an apostle of the Lord in our day. I too know that the Book of Mormon is true. I have read and prayed about it for myself and have received answers to my prayers. God is real, He loves His children and He continues to speak to us today through living prophets and modern revelation.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I think one post a year doesn't quite here's another

Okay. Okay. Okay. I know. I know! It has been "forever" since I have last posted on my blog. But in my defense, I just don't have one, so there! And to those out there that think that I lead such an exciting life that "of course you have stuff to write about" well, you are wrong. My life is actually quite boring; I work, my husband goes to school and we have a dog that I take for walks 1-2 times a day. That is my life. Now, yes, there have been some changes since I last wrote, but I will tell you now that my posts will never be regular. I don't have much to say, but when I do and my siblings have been reminding me for months that I have something to say, then yes, I will eventually get around to writing on my blog. :) I do have a goal to write each Sunday, but that was set two Sundays ago, and seeing as how I didn't write last week, I don't know how well that goal is going to work out for me. With that said, here is what has happened to the Logans in the last 11 months.Well, Clinton graduated from PSU last June and his parents were able to come for his graduation. It was so nice to see them. We went berry picking, toured downtown Portland and accidentally took them to Pride Fest instead of the Rose Festival...I think we got the dates mixed up :) Anyway, we had a really great time with them and look forward to seeing them soon.
I'm sure this is old news, but we have in fact, moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We moved here last summer, and before the festivities were over, we happened to make it to the state fair and tried some of the famous chocolate-covered bacon. Here's what we thought of it!
We also ate enormous creme puffs

I have now lived through a mid-west winter, and they are COLD! Not as cold as where my husband is from, but cold enough that I don't know why any reasonable person would choose to live here. And the WIND! Blah. It is rather pretty here though.
This is Door County, it is about 3 hours north of us, however, our fall looks very similar here

I love to take Peter on walks near our home along Honey Creek Parkway. There is a creek that runs the whole stretch of that road and the trees and shrubbery along there are always so pretty.
This is a junior high built in 1913 that has since been converted to a retirement center, it's on the parkway
Our neighborhood is very nice. We live in a retired/grad-student town. I feel very safe here. There are enormous houses all around us and the architecture on these houses reminds me of the types of houses that you only see in movies. Most of my walks consist of looking in peoples' windows to see what they have inside. Do they have a grand piano in that bay room? Are there bookshelves full of family photos or antique books? What kind of chandelier do they have in that tower of an entry-way? Overall, there is much to see just in my neighborhood and the nearby neighborhoods to keep one busy peeping for quite some time!

I started out working at a restaurant when we first moved here. I have always wanted to work in that industry, but soon discovered it was not for me. Perhaps it was the restaurant I worked in, Mr. B's Steakhouse. Don't let the name throw you, it was a very expensive restaurant with the best rated steaks in all of Wisconsin. However, there were only two types of patrons; those who could afford it on a regular basis so they treated you like slave you were to them, and those who visited for a very special occasion and were so thankful to just be there. I really hated it there. The hours sucked, I worked every night and every Saturday. So, the first job that came up that gave me normal office hours -- I went for it!I got a job at a home health care agency and loved it for the first couple weeks until my coworkers became comfortable-enough around me to start showing their true character. I had one coworker that I love and still talk to on a weekly basis if not more than that, and there were a couple more that I would call friends, but there were others who were just plain rotten. The gossip there was unstoppable, literally, I, as well as several others, went to my boss to complain and yet nothing was done about any of it, ever. It was a very negative work environment and soon I began to want to get out of there. After about 5 months of working there, my friend Kelli told me about a job that was opening up at the medical college.

It took me about 6 hours to complete the application process, I had a couple phone interviews, received an email that the position had been offered to another individual (it actually was for a position I had applied for about 5 months prior, within the same department but a different title and I just thought it was the same, but weird timing eh?) and then I received a phone call asking me to come in for an in-person interview. I couldn't believe it! Needless to say, I did get the job and I really do love it. I work in the department of Pediatrics/Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant at the Medical College of Wisconsin. I am the administrative assistant to the six oncologists, two psychologists and other various staff who work in oncology specifically. I am very busy, but I really love it. I am gaining so much experience, and for the first time in my life I feel like I'm working in a grown-up job.Clinton is about a month and a half away from finishing his first year of medical school. He says he'd like medical school a lot more if it weren't for the exams. They are tough and it sounds like they only get worse next year. I keep reminding him though that there have been thousands of other students who have been through it and survived just fine, so he just needs to take it one day at a time...and so far, he's survived!

This is Clinton and I at his white coat ceremony...doesn't he look handsome?

Milwaukee has a fair bit to see and we got a chance to see the Milwaukee Art Museum,
the Bio Domes
and now finally, we went to see Chicago!
(videos coming soon)

We live about an hour and a half from there and in the eight months that we have lived here, we have been once (other than trips to the temple). I asked Clinton to take me overnight for my birthday and it was really nice! Clinton scored an amazing deal at The Hyatt right in downtown Chicago. Our room looked like one of those you see in a magazine and the view was FANTASTIC! We were on the 21st floor and could see the river and the lake from our window. The weather had been about 65 degrees all week before we got there and the temperature went from that to about 30 degrees over night. We walked the Magnificent Mile (a mile of all the stores you could possibly think of all lit-up and fancy in the middle of downtown.) We ate authentic deep-dish pizza and LOVED IT. Even Clinton, who would rather anything than pizza, liked it. The dough was like sweet biscuits. Really yummy! Anyway, the next morning we woke up to a snow storm, so we decided to pack up our bags and head up the lake front on our way home. The homes were GIGANTIC! The only solace I had in looking at the homes was knowing that the first real earthquake or down-pour -- those homes were going down. I don't know what those people do for work, but I think it pays a bit too much. However, they were really fun to look at!

My parents just came for a visit a couple weeks ago. The weather had been so nice leading up to their visit, and as it usually does, got horrible the moment they walked off the plane. We got a chance to eat out (a lot), go to the zoo (they have a really awesome zoo here), sight-see and play some cards, and rest. It was hard to see them go, but I'm glad to know I get to go home again this summer for a bit and see them again!
What else?? Ummm...I think that may be it. Oh, I cut all my hair off again! Here are some photos.
Anyway, otherwise, we both miss our families horribly, and we are both certain we will not want to stay here when Clinton's schooling is complete, but in the mean time, of all the places where we have to live far away from family, Milwaukee really isn't a bad place to do it in.