Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Checkin' It Twice

Not to take away from the Earth Day celebrations, but today is also another very important day.

Today is my half-birthday. So, in honor of turning 26 and 1/2 I am checking in with my list of 26 things to do this year.

1. visit somewhere new, outside the United States 
Not yet! Oh, I do hope I can squeeze this in somewhere. Anyone up for a little trip?
2. get back to my college weight (and maintain it)
Pretty darn close, though not completely at my goal. However, I feel more energized and healthy than I have in ... well, maybe ever. It feels so great!
3. buy a digital SLR camera
Not yet, but soon. My 3 year old point and shoot just isn't cutting it anymore.
4. get those glasses/contacts the eye dr. said I needed
Really, really close to checking this off the list. And let me tell you, it has not been easy. Did you know glasses are expensive? And, it is really hard to find ones that look super hot! But, with some help from Kristy, I was able to find an awesome pair....now I just have to wait for them to be delivered. Be anxiously awaiting photos of my sophisticated side.
5. run a marathon
This has not happened. And I'm not sure that it will before my next birthday, though it is still a goal. I have, however, maintained an active running schedule since the beginning of the year (going along with number 2) and it has been fantastic. I have worked really hard and now am very comfortable at a ten minute mile. To some, this is very slow. To me, this is a great accomplishment. A few weeks ago I ran in our ward Fun Run and completed the 5K in 30:12. It obviously doesn't compare to completing a marathon, but I was happy about it.
6. read my scriptures every day 
This is an ongoing one, but so far I'm doing well. I know I've missed a few days here and there, but overall I'm learning a lot!
7. watch the 6 hour version of Pride and Prejudice
Done! Finally! I'm not sure how I put this off for so long, especially considering how many females I've lived with who adore this movie. And now, I finally understand, as I too adore this movie. Granted, it took me at least 5 days to get through the whole thing, but I was strangely disappointed when it was over b/c I loved watching every part. I then watched the newer version with Kiera Knightly and ugh!!! I know these version are so different so I shouldn't even compare, but her rendition of Elizabeth Bennett was disappointing at best. I will be sticking with the 6 hour version.
8. plant my own herbs
I probably should get on this....but who am I kidding? My thumb is the opposite of green...
9. take a dance class
My little sister Abbie willingly taught me some stuff from her dance classes, so I got a little start. But, it only whet my appetite...I should get on this too.
10. learn how to use photoshop
I forgot this was on my list. I guess I've got something to look forward to in the next 6 months
11. visit Nashville (perhaps while doing number 5)
I really really really really really still want to do this....not sure when I'm going to make it, but seriously, I really want to go. Lori and Jackie...I'm coming for real!
12. get married
uh......maybe this was put here for positive thinking, but as of now I'm currently accepting offers
13. continue my education
Yes, in a way that I hadn't originally planned. I will be completing a teaching fellowship starting this summer/fall. I am going to be teaching elementary school and it will definitely be a daily education. More updates on this soon.
14. learn and perfect one challenging piano piece
Man, I need a piano...
15. give away a Book of Mormon
Yes, I did this. Actually I did this twice. Both were very positive experiences. 
16. try out for American Idol (just once)
No, but there's still time to meet Simon Cowell...
17. learn to make homemade ravioli
Yes....see here. Can't wait to continue this tradition 
18. give up resetting my alarm in the morning
I plead the 5th
19. see a need, fill it, repeat
20. start the personal history of my mom and dad 
Briefly started....and it looks like it is going to be a major project but one I am looking forward to working on
21. learn italian (at least start)
Briefly started....by listening to some cds in the car. Maybe in a few more years I'll get the hang of it :)
22. give up wasting time
Depends on the day...am I wasting time right now?
23. go parasailing
Not yet
24. hug and kiss more often
Wouldn't you all like to know :)
25. sacrifice 
The more I learn about sacrifice, the more I realize how completely selfish I am. This is a lifelong lesson, but one that I'm really trying to implement on a daily basis. 
26. live my life 
I'm doing it!

I feel pretty good about my list, and I'm looking forward to another great 6 months. 

Happy 1/2 birthday to me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Tonight our ward had an open mic night. I had originally signed up and then forgot to prepare anything. Yesterday at church I was reminded and encouraged to still perform, so today I put something together and did just that. It's the first time I've performed the guitar in front of people besides my family and close friends so I was a little bit nervous as clearly my guitar playing needs some work, but it was fun anyway. We have some great talent in our ward and it was a great activity.

Thank you Ginette for the lovely video.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Two Weeks Without You

I've been on a blogging hiatus. Actually, I've been on a media hiatus. I have an extreme love/hate relationship with the "instantaneous information at our fingertips" age. I've recently become aware of the many ways in which the media sucks up my time and I have also felt that I am incredibly desensitized to the messages of the media in a way where I have a hard time distinguishing the effects.

This I did not like. And so I took a break, or tried to anyway. It was a lot harder than I expected but I have learned some valuable lessons about myself and the positive uses of the media in my life. I hope knowing the positive will help me eliminate the negative.

My rules for my "media fast" was to consume no media that wasn't spiritual in content. No movies, no TV, no radio, no magazines, no books, no blogs, no facebook, no nothing....oh wait, except email. I was allowed to use email because it would basically be impossible for me to get the things done that I need to do without it.

Here are some lessons that I learned
#1 Unnecessary media forms and choices breed laziness and a lack of productivity.
#2 Media choices that add useful knowledge (not just spiritual) create within me a productive mindset.
#3 I cannot run without pumping music. Thus, the ban on music was lifted much sooner than other forms of media.
#4 My focusing problem is so much better when I have a productive mindset.
#5 Wholesome yet useless media choices, when shared in a social setting, serve a good purpose for me.
# 6 I don't spend nearly enough time each day contemplating and learning spiritual truths.

I want to hone in on how to best use the media in my life and how to eliminate the unnecessary things. As of now, blogging remains on the best uses list, or maybe just the good uses list...

Either way, I think I'll continue writing.