Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 35: Living the Dream

Question #7: What is your dream job, and why?
I want to be a stay-at-home mom who works part-time in the salon attached to her house.
I think the reason for this one's pretty obvious.  I have always dreamt of being a mom and have never felt like a career woman.  Though, as I've spent all these years working and have yet to become a mom, I have gained an appreciation for having something outside of motherhood that's just for me.  The appeal of cosmetology is that it's pretty flexible, I feel good helping others feel better about themselves and there's good money to be had there.
So, someday I hope to be the wonderful mommy who spends her days with her beautiful children, but I also want to be an individual and spend an evening here and there doing something that's just for me...and why not make some extra bucks on the side too?

Ha ha:
The other day Clinton and I went out to supper with some of his coworkers from his last rotation.  We went to this restaurant called "Juniper 61".  It's this trendy little place in Tosa.  Anyway, the food was fantastic and we had a lovely time.  When it was time to go, I headed for the car while Clinton headed for the restroom.  Once I got in the car I looked up and saw the following billboard.
At first I thought, Why would they call those ballroom jeans?  They aren't very fancy.  And then I realized they meant "ball room" jeans, as in, room for one's balls.  Then the slogan "crouch without the ouch" made even more sense and I started killing myself laughing.
Once Clinton got in the car, I pointed to the billboard.  He looked up and said, "I don't get it.  Those don't look very dressy to me."  I started laughing and said "BALL - room jeans".  He laughed and said, "That's actually pretty clever!  And it is pretty uncomfortable to crouch in jeans."
Anyway, thought I'd share.  I guess their other slogan is "crouch without singing soprano".  Also funny.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 34: God Bless Me

Question 6:  What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
I think that without question, the hardest thing I've ever experienced/am experiencing is infertility.  There's something to be said of watching everyone around you so easily achieve what you've worked, cried and prayed for for so many years.  I ruined at least one really wonderful friendship and experienced strain in my marriage and family because of impatience, envy and jealousy.  One year in particular I lost count at 32 baby shower invites in a period of about 9 months.  Putting a smile on my face with every announcement or pregnancy story was literally more than I could bare.  I was bitter, I was angry, I was hurt and I was devastated.
One afternoon, I received a phone call from one of my family members.  She was hesitant and carefully told me that she was expecting another baby.  Of course, I knew it before then.  That's one thing I've noticed--a sort of sixth sense--I can often tell someone's pregnant before they know or decide to start telling others, it's what I would call a tender mercy.  Anyway, she apologized and started to cry.  I told her, "I have to go now." and then I hung up the phone and cried like I'd never cried before.
Had I really sunk so low that people felt they needed to apologize to me for being pregnant?  What had I let happen to so many people I cared about that they felt they needed to skirt around their happy news for my sake?  Why did this have to be so painful?  I couldn't take it anymore.  My heart was so broken.
I told the Lord I couldn't do this any longer; the hurt was unbearable.  I was so unhappy and so tired of feeling dark and bitter.  I needed to let all of this go but couldn't begin to know how.  I prayed that my heart could be softened, that the pain would go away and that I could be healed.
Now, I've heard people bare testimony of the power of the atonement and always wondered how they could possibly know.  Sure, Jesus died for us and all so that we could be forgiven and he'd know how to help us, but how could anyone really know or feel anything more than that?  I will tell you, that I know the atonement of Jesus Christ is real and it truly can heal our hearts and save our souls.  The moment I finally let go of all of the hate and bitterness I'd been clinging to and finally opened my arms to the love and healing power of Jesus' atonement--I was finally set free.  I'm not going to lie and say that I never feel pain over infertility because I totally do, and I still cry about it at times, but I'm not bitter anymore.  I can actually be happy for my friends and family (after a quick cry) and I am filled with hope that God has a plan for Clinton and me--and that it's better than anything else I would have or could have ever planned for us.

Ha ha:
The other day I was talking to a coworker and had to sneeze.  As she continued to talk I turned my head to the side and sneezed into my shoulder.
Ooo, that felt a little wet.  Best to take a peek.
So I looked on my right shoulder and noticed a giant booger clinging for life on my wool sweater.
Meanwhile, my coworker keeps talking and I sorta duck down, hoping she doesn't see it over our little wall between our desks.
I grab a tissue and wipe my nose and then "casually" wipe off my shoulder, hoping any residual sheen is absorbed by the barely-soft tissues they provide for us at work.
Talk about embarrassing!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 33: I Could Honk I'm So Happy

Question 5: What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
Family and my husband are of course a given...
1. Food (Milky Way candy bars, peanut butter pancakes, sweet potatoes and cheese crackers. I was going to list all of these separately but then I realized that "food" would be almost all of my happy thoughts.)
2. Taking Peter on walks.  I love seeing the cute little smile on his face and the wind blowing through his hair.  When he's happy, I'm happy.
3. Taking links off of the countdown chain I made for how many days I have left at work (down to 127 now!!)
4. Getting ice cream cones from McDonalds every Saturday afternoon with Clinton.
5. Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead and Vampire Diaries.

Ha ha:
The other day I was listening to the scriptures from the Gospel Library on my phone.  I noticed the recording (Psalms 30) sounded a little weird, but I knew something was off when I heard a honking sound in the background.  Knowing I live on a busy street, I thought, Was that outside or on the recording??  I listened again and sure enough, there's a definite *honk* towards the end of chapter 30. Go on now, go listen to it for yourself.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 32: Life Lessons

Question 4: List 10 things you would tell your 16-year-old self, if you could.
1. Finish college! There will be complications to finishing, but stick with cosmetology at Mt. Hood despite the fact that the teachers there stink--you'll be trained wherever you end up working.  You won't have another opportunity for quite a while.
2. You won't be able to have children when you want to.  You'll go through lots of painful moments.  Don't let other people's fertility hurt you, be happy for them and know that there will be lots of growth and happiness in your life as well.  Don't lose your faith over this.  Enjoy the childless time you and Clinton will have together.  Use the atonement early on and the whole experience will be much easier to bear.  You'll get through it and you'll be stronger for it.
3. Stop eating so much junk food.  Calories in, calories out.  Work now to become healthy and fit so you can enjoy the benefits of feeling good about your body when you're young.
4. Never stop being who you are and doing what makes you happy.  Laugh loud all the time and don't worry about what others think about it.  Hey, you're being happy, if they don't like it, they can shove it!
5. Date lots and have fun learning what you want in your future husband.  None of those boys will probably meet your expectations, but the experience will teach you that life is unpredictable.  Be bold and be sure to tell those around you how you feel.  Don't hold back.
6. You are a perfectionist but need to accept that you can't control everything.  A crooked picture doesn't have to be straightened, your body does not have to be freakishly tiny to be attractive, your eyes don't have to match to make you beautiful.  Accept that perfection is a mindset, and an unhealthy one at that.  Do your best and know that that is good enough.
7. Floss your teeth more regularly.  Cavities can form in between your teeth if you don't floss often enough.  You know how much you hate going to the dentist, so avoid this and floss regularly.
8. Be patient.  Be patient with your parents, your friends, other drivers, long lines, trials in life, and most importantly--yourself.  Life is not a race.  Enjoy the journey even when it's hard.
9. Moisturize your face every single day or you'll get wrinkles by the age of 18.  They won't go away once they're there.
10. You will marry someone who will love you even when you're moody (which will be often).  He will never give up on you and will often remind you how much your relationship means to him.  He will be the happiest and funniest person you know.  There will be times when life is hard and you'll be frustrated, learn to not sweat the small stuff and laugh together often.  Your marriage will be a partnership that will carry you through everything.  Marriage takes a lot of patience and hard work, but it will be those hard times that bring you closer than you ever thought possible.

Ha ha:
I bought a shirt for $1.97 at Old Navy the other day.  It's a cute white t-shirt with some little flower cut outs across the center of the chest.  As I was getting ready for bed, I took off my pants and was about to take off my shirt but realized I wanted to show my awesome deal to Clinton first.  I walked into the room and said "Hey, do you like my new shirt?  Isn't it cute?"
He: Yah, it goes really great with your underwear.
Oh, I laughed about that for a while.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 31: Relationships: Parents & Food

Question #3: Describe your relationship with your parents.
Despite the physical distance, I would say my parents and I are pretty close.  I would also say that living away from them has actually made our relationship stronger.
When I was younger I was extremely attached to my mom; I could barely even spend the night at a friend's house because I got too homesick.  I even worried that I'd be too homesick once I got married!  As I got to dating-age I began to pull away cause I didn't want to have to explain every detail of my close-to-non-existent dating life.  And then when I was engaged, I wanted to hold on to every moment and pulled even further away.  It really wasn't until we moved for med school that I really realized how much I missed and needed my mom.  Now I call her for everything and spare no details.  I am so thankful for her and I love her very much.
My relationship with my dad is one that has truly become more since growing up, moving out and moving away.  I've always been more of a momma's girl, but since she's not close by anymore and rarely has her phone on ( ;) ), I've come to rely on my dad lots more.  I have always turned to him when I have questions about how to handle a situation in life, or questions about the gospel, but I have come to lean on him much more for emotional support too.  I believe he's seeing me more as a grown-up and I'm seeing him more as my daddy.

Ha ha:
Well, I guess you could say I'm making progress.  After eating four hot dogs, a sweet potato, a bag of crackers for dinner and a Milky Way for dessert--I got off my butt and did some squats, lunges, crunches, oblique twists and back bends.  It was only for about 30 minutes, if that, but now my legs feel like jello...Mmmm...jel-lo.

Day 30: Scary, but True

Question #2: Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
1. I'm afraid that the reason we've not been able to have children yet is because the Lord is preparing me to have enough patience and faith to deal with a handicapped child or some other horrible tragedy.  I think this fear has developed over the years of struggling with infertility; you just begin to think There must be a reason for all of this, it must be ______.
2. I'm afraid of being raped.  I know this is pretty heavy stuff for my blog, but honest and true, that is one of my biggest fears.  It's not that I really see that in my future, but after lots of tv shows, movies or even stranger danger specials on Oprah, it is one of the scariest things I can possibly think of going through.
3. I'm afraid of ghosts.  (I know, I know, at least I only have to list three!  Eesh!)  I've had several encounters in my life and they're nothing I would want to experience again.  I had a seminary teacher talk once about how people in the scriptures became possessed by spirits and it SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME.  I actually start to have panic attacks if I think about it much, so I'm moving on now to something happy. :)

Ha ha:
And now for some Deep Google search "funny inspirational thoughts"
To do is to be. -Descartes To be is to do. - Voltaire Do be do be do. - Frank Sinatra

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 29: 20 Random Facts About Yours Truly

I had a little time on my hands this afternoon so I decided to spend it wisely by going onto Pinterest.  Now, in my defense, I did come across a great pin that has inspired my blog post today.  It's from  In this post, the author has listed 30 questions to answer about herself for posterity's sake.  As a regular journal-keeping-blogger, naturally I thought this would be good for me.  So, for the next little while, I'll be taking one of her questions and answering them here.
Question #1: List 20 random facts about yourself
1. I have a rather serious phobia about skin disorders.  I dry heave if I see anything "nasty".  It's bumps that do it to me. (gag!)
2. I prefer to eat chocolate bars chilled (except for Charleston Chews).
3. I have had a giant salad every day with my weekday lunch for the last 3 years.
4. I sleep on a travel pillow that's on top of a feather pillow.
5. Any time Clinton and I leave without the other, the last thing I have to say/hear is "I love you".
6. I didn't have a text messaging plan till 3 years ago.
7. I wash my hair every 2-3 days.
8. I passed out after getting my MMR vaccine.
9. The one time I donated blood, I was out for 3 hours.
10. The only other time I kissed a boy besides my husband was in a play in high school.  Turns out his hat covered my face so no one saw it anyway.  His lips were really wet and salty too. Blech.
11. I once donated a 17-inch ponytail to Locks of Love.
12. I have slept with a fan blowing on my face every night since I was 6.
13. It has to be totally silent for me to focus when composing a letter/blogpost/etc.
14. I wear a toe ring on my right foot's 2nd toe.
15. I can quote the entire movie "Ever After".  I watched it twice a day for 2 weeks when it first came out.
16. I was a closet Barbie player till I was 13.
17. I always chew on my straws and I always chew my ice.
18. I make a loud gulping sound whenever I drink.
19. I can burp like a man.
20. My favorite color is blue.

Ha ha:
I went onto the internet this morning to learn of some new ways to better spend my time.  45 minutes later I had checked my email, read some posts on FB and pinned a bunch of stuff on Pinterest.  Fail.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 28: Beautiful Sights (For the Most Part)

One afternoon I decided to take my parents on a tour of three of Milwaukee's famous museums.
The Pabst Mansion:
 The Villa Terrace Decorate Arts Museum:
And the Charles Allis Art Museum.  All three of the museums are contained inside famous Milwaukee mansions.  It was so bloody hot that day!  While we were at the Villa (no air conditioning), my dad happened to find three vents in this room we hadn't looked at yet.  He called after my mom and me.  When we walked into the room he pointed to one spot and said, "Mom, you stand right there.  Dani (pointing to another) you stand there."  He walked to another spot and we all stood in the first blasts of cool air we'd felt in about an hour.  It felt so good.  Needless to say, we didn't spend much time in this museum as we did the others.
Another thing my dad wanted to do while he was here was see a cardinal.  So, on a couple of occasions we went bird watching.  On our first trip (Estabrook Park), he spotted a female and male cardinal together.  My mom and I watched from a distance and marveled till they flew away.
A little later, I got the idea to Google the call of a female cardinal to see if we could get the male to come out again.  After about 45 seconds, out comes the male and female together.  They kept circling over head trying to figure out where the other female was.  We replayed the video for about 10 minutes, enjoying the up close show we were getting.  How cool!
After getting home we looked cardinals up on the internet and discovered that they are monogamous for life.  The male and female work together as a team to provide for each other and their offspring.  How sweet!  Needless to say, birdwatching was a favorite activity during their trip.  We went 3-4 times and even put out our camping chairs in the backyard to watch the wildlife there (cardinals, finches, yellow-bellied flycatchers, rabbits, lightening bugs, chipmunks and squirrels).
We stopped to get some pics at Hoyt Park...
And then headed over to the dog park for some more bird watching.  Did the same thing with the bird call and had quite the show.  So neat!
After all of this, we headed over for a trip to Cedarburg to show off the cute town.
Of course, we absolutely loved having my parents here.  It was so hard to see them go.  You know you've had a good visit when you don't want your company to leave.
Thank you M&D for coming to see us!

Ha ha:
Today I made a lunch run for Clinton after he got home from his 28 hour shift.  He wanted McDonalds.  I thought I'd just get some ice cream, but on my way there I passed by Subway and thought it sounded way better.  So, I made my trip through the drive-thru at Micky-D's and headed over to Subway.  Now, as I was about to get out of the car I realized that when I left the house I thought I wasn't going to be seen by anyone so, who cared what I looked like, right?  Well, I wish I'd just taken the extra second to put on my boots...
The fact that I walked into Subway looking like this should exemplify just how much I love their sandwiches--that and the fact that I go there at least once a week. :)

Day 27: Chicago Trip, August 2012

Course, no trip to Milwaukee would be complete without a trip down to Chicago.  Our first stop was to Due's Pizza for some amazing deep dish.  We all totally cleared our plates and some even went back for seconds.  So delish!!!
Next stop:  Navy Pier.  I've been here several times now, but I always enjoy it...especially when I get to be there with people I love.
 On the Ferris Wheel...ain't they cute?
 Dad and I on the swings.  Both of us felt a bit queasy afterward, but it was worth it. :)

While on the Pier, we bought some Garrett's Popcorn, some giant snow cones, played a game of miniature golf (Dad won of course, Mom came in 2nd, me 3rd and Clinton LAST!), and enjoyed the stained glass exhibit.  I knew it would be a favorite, especially since my dad used to work at a lead glass company and he could truly appreciate the artistic talent put into the display.
 After the Pier, we headed over to Millennium Park
 I like this skyline, cute parents
Ha ha:
My parents were especially amazed by two things from Chicago: the amazing road rage of Chicago drivers (you wouldn't believe the honking and number of close calls there) and the cicadas heard on our drive home.  We all thought we were driving through construction, but after about 20 minutes of it we figured it had to be the bugs, and it was!  They were so loud we had to roll up our windows to hear ourselves talk!  Crazy!

Day 26: Replicas Found In & Out of the Milwaukee Public Museum

If you ever visit Milwaukee, you must make the trip to the Milwaukee Public Museum.  It is seriously the coolest museum I've ever been to.  While Clinton was working one day, I took my parents and knew they'd just love it...I was right.
There's this amazing "exhibit" called Streets of Old Milwaukee.  No detail is left to the imagination.  Even the ceiling looks like a night sky.  The streets are cobble stone.  The shops and houses are so real. My parents truly loved it there as much as I.  We were at the museum for about four hours.  I'd say a good 2 hours of it was spent in this exhibit.  We looked around in the other exhibits, again all amazing.  The panoramas are just cool.  But I knew there was one place they needed to see and I knew my dad would love it.
The Butterfly Garden

My family has a nicknamed my dad "the animal whisperer".  It doesn't matter the type of animal, be it friend or foe, it is a friend to him.  I don't think I've ever seen him kill a spider, but I can't tell you how many times I've heard him go to the kitchen, get a cup from the cupboard, walk back into the room he came from and then walk back out with some sort of bug inside the cup, and then open the front door with a softly spoken, "there you go little guy", as he sets the bug free.  We've recuperated many hurt animals because of my dad's big heart (including a pigeon and a hawk).  So, with this history I knew he'd love this special garden.
We all struggled to get just one butterfly to land on dad however?
Ha ha:
After the museum was over it was time to pick Clinton up from work.  Since we were halfway there, we decided to head over to Golden Corral for some buffet food.  They don't have Golden Corral in Oregon so we knew this was a must during their visit.  Problem was, there was a man dressed exactly like my dad there (same gray hair too).  My mom, Clinton and I, each on separate occasions during our meal, made the same mistake of confusing this other man for Dad.  We'd get up to get something, come back to the table and share the encounter we'd just had.  Too funny.

Day 25: Mom and Dad Visit the Fair

I was on a blogging hiatus when my parents came to Milwaukee for a visit.  Since I've neglected to blog for the last four days, my next few posts will be comprised of pictures from their visit.  We absolutely loved having them here.  It was so nice to say, "Hey M&D, let's go..." and actually be able to.  I'm thankful to have the parents I do and I'm thankful I'll be living much closer in about 7 months. :)
Below are our pics from the Wisconsin State Fair (1st day):
Since both Mom and Clinton aren't privy to amusement park rides, Dad and I thought we'd have a go on the Stratosphere: 150 feet up and spins around.  We could probably see for about 3 miles.  It was awesome!
 Getting ready to go!
 Mid flight, having a blast

Wisconsin State Fair offers all sorts of specialty "delicacies" that we knew my parents needed to try.  We had ginormous Original Creme Puffs, Wisconsin Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches (Mom/Clinton), Greek food (Dad), a 12 inch hot dog (me), lots of fudge and not-so-fresh-squeezed lemonade.  We were totally stuffed by the end of the night, but what fun we had!  We visited the 4H houses and oo-ed and aw-ed at all of the beautiful animals.  We perused the vendor's pavilion and found a couple of sweet deals on sheets and candy (thanks for those chocolate covered almonds, Mom!)
After a (ahem) fair bit of walking, we decided we were faired out and all thought it was worth the $2 tickets to catch the 10-minute chair lift back to the other end of the fair grounds to head home.  There were just throngs of people!
Somehow, we still managed to take a snapshot of just the two of us. :)
What a fun day!
Ha ha:
While my dad and I were waiting in line for our 90 second ride on the $5/each Stratosphere, I noticed this placard.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 24: What a Relief!

A special shout-out thank you to my HB for giving me a neck massage last night.  He had come home from an especially long day at work and still made time to lend a helping hand...or two.  Thank you HB!

Ha ha:
It was so very foggy in Milwaukee yesterday.  Near bedtime I decided I should take Peter out for one last potty break, so I put on my shoes and opened the door.  When I stepped outside, I'd forgotten how foggy it was and totally thought it was my contacts.  I kept blinking and blinking and blinking trying to clear them up.  I was about ready to rip 'em out and stomp on them.  Finally, I walked back inside and noticed I could read the clock clearly.  Duh!
What a weird sensation.  I must have looked like such a coo-coo bananas with all that unnecessary blinking!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 23: One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

If one is in need of recognizing a blessing in their life, one need only turn to their family for inspiration. (I just made that up!  But if I was to be grammatically correct, I'd've replaced all the "their"s with "one's", but that's one too many one's for me.)
It took a couple attempts, but here is a picture from the other day that made me smile...
Ain't he cute?
Ha ha:
You know how I said the above photo took a couple tries?  Well, this is how the first turned out...

A little too "Halloween"y for me
Also, yesterday I was running my fingers through my hair to pull out some tangles, and pulled out a little surprise while I was at it...
One black, one blond.  Spooky.

Day 80: Snowfallen In Love

Woke up to more snow. Fortunately the temperature was "warm enough" to melt it as soon as it hit the ground so the roads were clear.
Clinton and I used the clear roads to run a few errands and have some McDonald's for lunch. I'm really loving this whole eating dairy freely thing. My two ice creams cones were lovely.
Another nice weekend with my HB!

This morning Clinton, Petey and I were all lounging in bed. I was snuggling the pup and giving him kisses.
Me: Oh, Petey, I could just kiss you all day.
Clinton: I wouldn't do that, that's how I got that lip fungus.
Me: Well, I'm not worried about that cause I'm not kissing his butt!
Clinton: Huh, I see.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 22: It Takes Guts

Our ward had the Primary Program during Sacrament Meeting today.  If you've never seen one of these, you have truly missed out.  It's a chance for all of the three- to 11-year-old kids to share special scriptures or talks and to sing primary songs for the whole congregation.  Not only is it a treat to watch all of their smiling faces and adorable waves to their parents, it is so fun to see the adoring looks on all of the parents' faces.
What a wonderful, uplifting experience it was to hear the sweet and simple testimonies of these little children!

Ha ha:
I have a bit of a confession to make.  Last night while Clinton was on call I needed a little something to do to pass the time, so I called my sister-in-law and asked if I'd be too scared to watch the TV series, The Walking Dead.  She said, "It's pretty graphic I guess, but you eventually become desensitized to it."  Naturally, I thought "OK, sign me up!"
4 episodes and 4 hours later, I decided I should probably get to bed.
All I dreamt about last night was zombies.  Nothing really scary or anything, but I couldn't stop thinking about it.  I woke up and wanted to watch more but I wanted to also keep the Sabbath Day a little more holy than human-eating zombies and zombie slayers could offer.  I am proud to say I resisted!
I guess the wait will make tomorrow's episodes all the more exciting!
Thanks Jen.

Day 21: Holy Places

Had the chance to go to the temple with my 81-year-young friend, Marji.  It's a 90-minute drive so we had lots of time to chat.
Firstly, the temple was a nice and peaceful experience.  This was Marji's 3rd time going, so it was especially nice to go with someone who is so very excited to be there.  I loved being there.
Secondly, I really enjoyed visiting with her.  She is extremely outspoken and is always making me laugh, but this time our conversations were more spiritual in nature.  I really felt like I was talking with an old friend (no pun intended).  Thank you Marji for sharing your words of wisdom.
Here is one of my favorite quotes from her as we traveled back home:

  • Why you gotta be spending your time worrying about stuff?  Don't you know that's God's job?  Let go and just trust that He knows what's best.  He ain't gonna let you fall when you's doing what's right.

Ha ha:
Marji and I stopped for lunch at this restaurant I've passed every time I go to the temple, but have never been able to go to: The Point Pancake House.  Lemme tell you, I'm sure the other patrons began to feel a little nervous with how much Mmm-mmm-ing and moaning was coming from our table.  The food was fantastic (yes, I ordered pancakes with a side of peanut butter)!  I'll definitely be stopping there every temple trip from now on!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 20: Happy Times

I had a really good day today.  Nothing special happened, in fact quite the opposite, but despite all of it I had a happy day (more details to follow on a new blog I'll be starting called "You Might Work for a Micromanager If..."!  I feel in control and kinda can't stop smiling.  This too shall pass I'm sure, but I'm enjoying the happiness while it lasts.
Thanks for any prayers said on my behalf!  I could still use them if you're willing to spot me a couple moments' time in your prayers. :)

Ha ha:
We ran into our friends, Matt & Kim, at Subway again tonight.  I think this is twice in a row.  When we walked in and saw them, Matt called out and said, "Hey, we were just about to text you guys to see if you were on your way."
Ha ha!  Nothing says "exciting young lives" like a night out at Subway.

Day 19: A Couple Moments in Heaven

There's just something so soul-satisfying about making a baby belly laugh.
Thanks Chels for having me over, feeding me, and letting me play with your adorable little boy!  What a great night!

Ha ha:
Hello.  My name is Danielle and I am a breakfast food junkie.
Some people say they love breakfast food, but I--I LOVE breakfast food!  I could be happy eating eggs, pancakes and hashbrowns three square meals a day (with a couple sausage patty snacks in between).  I love everything about breakfast food:  the smells, the taste, the...the...OK, I guess that's all there is, but I LOVE it!
So, last night my friend had me over to try peanut butter waffles with syrup.  With my rather refined breakfast-food-palate, I couldn't possibly imagine how that could even taste good; I mean, why "fix" somethin' that ain't broke?  So, with a bit of curiosity and trepidation, I decided to partake.
HOLY CROW!  It's like a waffle candy bar!  My tastebuds sung the whole Hallelujah chorus!  I was filled with joy!
If you have not tried this breakfast food delicacy, I urge you to put down your computer, whip up some  batter (waffles or pancakes would do) and get ready to sing the song of redeeming love!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 18: Sometimes I Wish I Had a Hiding Place

I came across this talk by President Henry B. Eyring titled, "Where is the Pavilion?" from this most recent General Conference.  I've edited it a bit, so feel free to read the whole thing by clicking the link above.

"In the depths of his anguish in Liberty Jail, the Prophet Joseph Smith cried out: “O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?”1 Many of us, in moments of personal anguish, feel that God is far from us. The pavilion that seems to intercept divine aid does not cover God but occasionally covers us. God is never hidden, yet sometimes we are, covered by a pavilion of motivations that draw us away from God and make Him seem distant and inaccessible. Our own desires, rather than a feeling of “Thy will be done,”2 create the feeling of a pavilion blocking God. God is not unable to see us or communicate with us, but we may be unwilling to listen or submit to His will and His time.
Our feelings of separation from God will diminish as we become more childlike before Him. That is not easy in a world where the opinions of other human beings can have such an effect on our motives. But it will help us recognize this truth: God is close to us and aware of us and never hides from His faithful children.
My lifetime...objectives might have been a pavilion dividing me from a loving Father who knew better than I did what my future could hold. 
...Another way we can create a barrier to knowing God’s will or feeling His love for us: we can’t insist on our timetable when the Lord has His own. I thought I had spent enough time in my service...and was in a hurry to move on. Sometimes our insistence on acting according to our own timetable can obscure His will for us....
We remove the pavilion when we feel and pray, “Thy will be done” and “in Thine own time.” His time should be soon enough for us since we know that He wants only what is best....

Submitting fully to heaven’s essential to removing the spiritual pavilions we sometimes put over our heads. But it does not guarantee immediate answers to our prayers.

The Lord’s delays often seem long; some last a lifetime. But they are always calculated to bless. They need never be times of loneliness or sorrow or impatience.
Although His time is not always our time, we can be sure that the Lord keeps His promises." 

Ha ha:
About a month ago I had one of those "Aw, crap" sort of days--seemed like everything was going wrong.
My morning started out well.  We had a faculty candidate come through and she was a pleasure to escort back and forth to all of her interviews.  In between one of her interviews I had a few minutes to spare and ate a peach.  Before I could check my teeth to ensure they were peach-free, the candidate came back to my desk and was ready for her next meeting.  I prayed my teeth were clear!
We walked and talked for about 5 minutes.  I chatted with some people, dropped her off, talked with a few more people and then stopped in the bathroom.
When I went to unzip my zipper it was already down!  I had conversed with all those people with an unzipped zipper!
Well, when I washed my hands I flashed my teeth and, sure enough, I had a HUGE chunk of peach skin in my teeth!!  What didn't anyone say anything??
Mortified, I walked back to my desk, got out a piece of floss and worked to get the peach out of my teeth.  I got the peach out, but the problem was, I had just used lotion and I couldn't get the floss back OUT of my teeth.
Finally, after a good yank with some tweezers I was able to pull it out of my teeth.
Wow.  What a morning.

Day 17: We Can Do Hard Things

I liked this and thought I'd share.  It's from The Friend magazine, May 2012.

Ha ha:
There's a maintenance guy at work that is not only creepy, but he's also a fair bit dopey.  Tuesday he came into the kitchen while I was in the middle of washing a dish (aka, I couldn't just high-tail it outta there).  He said "hello" and so did I.
He:  I'm just getting a couple'a sodas.
Me:  Go right ahead.
He:  (puts his money in, pushes the button, turns to me and starts talking small talk)
Me:  (replies, watches him not take out the first soda and push the button for his second soda--realizing it's going to jam)
He:  (reaches in to get his sodas)  Uh-oh.
Me:  Are they stuck?
He:  Yep.   I guess I shouldn't'a did that.  (he then proceeds to stick his arm entirely into the machine and digs around in there as if he were birthing a calf--surprisingly he gets them out)
Me:  At least you've got a refreshing drink to enjoy after all your hard work!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 16: "I Feel Like Barfing", she said. "Yah, Me Too", he replied.

About 2 hours into my work day I started to feel really dizzy and nauseous.  I have no idea where it came from and there was no warning.  But there are blessings amongst this madness.
First off, Clinton had just finished his 36-hour call and was available (and awake enough) to come pick me up so I didn't have to walk home.  (Plus I was able to take home my crockpot that's been sitting at work since Wed of last week!)
Secondly, Clinton was so sweet to me and helped me get more comfortable at home.  He brought me my pillow, a blanket, a drink, and even set up my computer so I could watch more episodes of Downton Abbey while I was sick on the couch.  Thank you Honey!
Thirdly, even though I was not well, being sick meant I wasn't at work and not being at work meant that I got to make up for the lost time I missed with Clinton yesterday (even if that making-up consisted of me curled up on the couch feeling like I was dying).
My body felt like crap, but my heart felt wonderful.

Ha ha:
For those of you who don't know, one of my biggest worries is having someone smell my breath if ever it is bad.  So, with that, it is with a bit of hesitation I share the following.
As mentioned above, I have not felt well today.  Not feeling well equals not-feeling-well types of foods, ya know, the starchy kind that make your breath smell like the bile you've been holding back all day.  Well, needless to say, after our dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, Clinton and I were sitting on the couch watching some Antiques Roadshow.  He'd make a comment and I would reply.  I noticed that each time after I'd speak Clinton would make a quick sniffing sound.  After a little while of this he eventually sniffed and then asked, "Did you just let one go?" (aka, fart).  I'd told him "no" and then continued watching the show.  This sniff,-did-you-let-one-go series went on for about 20 minutes until Clinton finally said, "Honey, I think it's your breath."
Indeed it was.
I of course felt pretty embarrassed but fortunately for me (and him) this is not a conversation we typically have, so I guess that makes it OK...LOL.

Day 15: Feeling Downton Abbey

I was feeling a bit blue on Sunday (probably due to Clinton being on call and also knowing I'd be returning to work the next day) and wasn't my usual, social self.  I was a bit of a wallflower, but fortunately for me, there are some great girls in the ward.  Two in particular took the extra step to make me feel noticed and loved.
First shout out goes to Chels.  Thanks for inviting me to dinner and for helping fill the void while Clinton was on call.  You're a great buddy!
Second shout out goes to Emily.  Thanks for seeing me sitting alone in RS and for filling the vacant chair next to me.  Your smiling face and care-free chatting helped me snap out of my slump and feel better.

Ha ha:
One of my friends posted on FB that she was finally able to watch the 3rd season of Downton Abbey online.  Whaaaaaa??!!! I didn't even know it was online yet!  Naturally, I was most intrigued and had to get in on the whereabouts of the website that was streaming one of my favorite shows.  After about a half hour of searching (and bombardments of Asian-persuasion half-naked pop-ups), I FOUND IT!!
It was already getting close to bedtime, but I'm proud to say I persevered and completed the first episode!
What a fantastic show!  And I love Matthew Crowley even more than before (didn't know that was possible)! :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 14: Thrills and Spills

For the first time in a long time, we had a totally LAZY Saturday.  I watched some shows on Netflix, slept in -ish (still got up to clean the bathroom, but after that I did NOTHING), got lunch at McDonalds (2 ice cream cones = food to me), dinner at Noodles and a Milkway for dessert.  Clinton and I even had time to snuggle without him passing out from exhaustion on the couch!  What a lovely day!!

Ha ha:
Made a quick pit stop at Target last night to pick up a few essentials.  Isn't it sad that while walking through the aisles, making sure I had everything I needed, I came across a Tide-Stick Pen and knew it was something I needed to add to my list of essentials?  I'm a twenty-something-year-old and I need a magic pen that erases the spills I make on my clothes when I eat.  Pathetic.

Day 13: Tears (Almost) All Around

Friday was my coworker's last day.  She and I have worked together for 2.5 years and during that time built a wonderful friendship.  I was her yin and she, my yang.  We've been through a lot together, especially recently with some changes in management, so I'm sad to know I won't get to see her as often.  I'm so thankful for her example of generosity and compassion and hope that some of those attributes have rubbed off on me over our time working together.  What a blessing she's been to me--I miss you already Lissa!
(P.S. I know the above sounds like a eulogy, but trust me, she's still alive and kickin'.  So happy for her and that's she's moved on to a better the Oconomowoc Library!) :)

Ha ha:
Friday was also one of our fellows last day.  When she came to give me a hug goodbye I thought she was tearing up a bit, so I started to tear up too (I was already sad about Lissa leaving, but I am also such a boob!).  When we pulled out of our hug, she looked up at me, with no tears in her eyes, and said, "Are you OK?"
Realizing I was alone in my emotions, I cleared my throat and with a look of *of course* on my face, said, "Uh-huh."
I have really got to get this crying-so-easily thing under control!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day 12: 3 Hot Gals w/VD Fever

My friend Jess and I got invited over to my friend Chels' house for supper and THE VAMPIRE DIARIES premiere on Thursday!  We had a great time and I'm so thankful for the time I got to spend with them.  I think they're the only other two girls out here who are as involved in this show as I am!  Good to know I'm not totally alone in my "guilty" pleasure. :)

Ha ha:
Only the occasional gasp or "oh man he's hot" escaped from our lips during the show.  Otherwise we were silent and totally engrossed in the show.
That's a true sign of comfort among friends!  How's that saying go?  "Friendship means never having to say anything"?....maybe not quite right, but nonetheless fitting for this group of gals.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I drove the car to work today because I brought a big crockpot full of baked potatoes for my coworker's going-away party and didn't want to carry it all the way from home.  I was already running behind and by the time I got to work the parking lot was almost full.  Half the lot was blocked off by orange construction cones (or pylons as my family to the North calls them).  There was no room for me to turn around so I had to weasel my little compact car through the cones, turn around in the blocked off portion of the lot and then drive back through the cones before finding a spot.
It was an absolute miracle that I didn't run into or rub against those things.  I was totally shocked (and thoroughly impressed) that I passed through them so easily!  I felt like a stunt driver!

Ha ha:
I caught both Clinton and myself off-guard this evening when I was trying to remember what those lick-stick-thingys that you dip in the sugar powder were called.  I kept trying to say Fun Dips, but for some reason it was more troublesome than I thought possible.  Here's the list I went through before I finally gave up and Clinton provided me the right answer between bursts of laughter...
Lip Dips
Lick Sticks
Dip Sticks
Lick Dicks
Yep, that's when we both lost it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 10: Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I received the sweetest message from my dad while I was at work today.  As soon as I got off of work I checked my phone and saw that my dad had called and left a message.  I'm sad that I missed his call, but I'm sorta grateful I waited to listen to the message till I was out the door--totally made me cry.
Thank you Dad for your words of love and encouragement!  I didn't know just how much I needed that boost.  Love you!
P.S. It was nice talking with you after work too!  Made my day.

Ha ha:
I didn't exercise today (see Day 9's "ha ha").
In my defense...I needed to catch up on my blog and finish an episode of Sherlock Holmes (BBC version--awesome!!)  And, I took Peter for an hour-long walk.  That's something, right?

Day 9: For the Beauty

Have I mentioned just how BEAUTIFUL the fall is in the Midwest?  Don't believe me?
 Grounds and Cathedral at Holy Hill Basilica

 Honey Creek Parkway, Tosa
 Looking down a street in the neighborhood
Peter and I during General Conference
 Clinton and I at Holy Hill
I can't help but feel closer to God when I see just how gorgeous this world really can be.

Ha ha:
I started exercising again last night.  Danielle, why would that be something you'd list in your "ha ha" section?  Because I really wonder how long it's gonna last.