25 September 2007

i LOL'd

so i was just reading the blog of a friend of a friend that i've actually met. anyway, whatevs... here's the point:
she posted a little "i got tagged and had to do this" thing where you come up with your spy name or nascar name or stripper name by combining your parents names and your favorite colors or something like that. anyway... i decided to kill a little time and write down my answers on a post-it. it was kinda lame until i got to my Star Wars Name.
to find your Star Wars name combine the first 3 letters of your last name with the first 2 letters of your first name.
go ahead... try it with my name. if you know me, this will be hilarious.

if you don't know me... well, i'll just tell ya. my StarWars name is...

wait for it...

wait for it...


yep. still funny.


turns out 2 miles IS a big deal when you haven't run for 3 months.

24 September 2007

back on the track

i've decided to get back to running after a WAY too long break. i think i've only run 5 miles total since i did the 10k in july. my planned one week break turned into 3 months. oops!
so, i'm going to be running a half marathon in january and i have to start training TODAY! so i'm gonna go run 2 miles. i realized that i NEED a goal. i need something to look forward to so that i keep running so as not to die on race day.
13.1 miles- big deal. 2 miles today- no big deal.

20 September 2007

becoming angelina

New life plan: Find a husband who hablas espanol, get married, adopt Mexican orphans.

Last weekend I went with a group of about 30 people on a ward trip in conjunction with the Kaiizen Foundation to volunteer at an orphanage near Ensenada, Mexico. It was amazing!! I am so in love with those kids and their amazing spirits. Some of them have come from awful situations and just the thought that none of them has parents brought me to tears on several occasions. But they are so happy and so well behaved and very well taken care of. It was so fun to spend time with them and feel of their love. Awesome kids!

We set off on Thursday evening in cars packed to the brim.

Lissa and I before we hit the road.
Me and Lissa in the back of Bishop Z's navigator. We had so many supplies, food and gifts to take down. The drive from Vegas took about 6 or 7 hours. I'm not really sure since I spent most of the drive reading (Twilight!) and sleeping.
We camped out on the beach at Playa Saldamando on Thursday night. We didn't get to sleep until about 3:30am by the time we got there, set up tents, etc. The lull of the ocean waves was so relaxing that Lissa and I slept in until 9am, long after everyone else was up eating breakfast and swimming in the ocean.
Some of the cars in the caravan as we were getting ready to leave Playa Saldamando and head to the orphanage.
Josh- Master and Commander- is one of the co-founders of Kaiizen. He's pretty much amazing and every girl who's ever met him is in love with him. But really, how can you not love him? He's too cool. Here he's giving us info about what to expect, how to behave and what we'll be doing.
We went to an orphanage called Rancho Milagro. I was pretty nervous when we got there just because I wasn't sure what to expect with the kids but once we met them all fears dissipated. They were so sweet and I didn't want to waste any time NOT playing with them. The children there range in age from about one year to 17 years old. Most of the kids are between 5 and 10 years old. This particular orphanage is a Christian run orphanage and therefore gets no funding from the government. They depend a lot on donations and volunteers and will pretty much take in any child who is brought there. Some of the kids are just dropped off by families who don't want or can't afford to raise them, others are brought in by family (govt) services if they've been in abusive situations. I was really impressed by the people who run the orphanage. They love those kids and take such good care of them. All the kids go to school, are assigned chores, have homework time, etc. They are so clean, so smart, so well behaved.
When we got there we set up our tents in the area where the volunteers stay (the kids aren't allowed to be in this area). There is an area for the tents, a cooking area and bathrooms for the muchachas and muchachos (painted in an Adam & Eve theme). It was crazy trying to get used to NOT flushing your toilet paper (amazing how that can throw off your routine so much) and using as little water as possible to wash your hands.
Friday while the kids were at school we did some landscaping work. These are the "Hoes". Eight of us gals raked, shoved and hoed for several hours in the hot sun and counted how many times (a lot!) we got honked at. We were so tired but we were really excited about how good things were looking after all our hard work. Some of the other volunteers worked SO hard mixing and pouring concrete. They did a little porch by the laundry room and a stair landing down at the school that Kaiizen is building for the orphanage. Others installed toilets at the school. There was a lot of hard work going on and we were all so tired and so satisfied at what we were able to accomplish.
I absolutely fell in LOVE with a couple of the kids there. This is 4yr old Luis. He has the most amazing big dark brown eyes! He was so mellow and so cute. I seriously want to bring him home.
This is Nicholas, the other boy I fell in LOVE with! He is probably 10 years old. He understands a lot of English and we had a lot of fun playing with him. I was so impressed by him because he just seems to know who he is and isn't apologizing for it. Really cool kid and really beautiful light brown eyes. There was just something about him that absolutely intrigued me.

So, as soon as I find a Spanish speaking husband I'm going back to Mexico and bringing these two boys home.
We played jump rope with the kids for hours and they loved it! They were really fun. We would count to see how many times they could jump or see how many of them we could fit in at one time. Some of them were so good! Others were endearingly bad at it.
This is little Louis, about 4yrs old. He was one of our favorites because he had the most engaging smile and the cutest little boots! It was funny to watch him (and several of the other boys) while they were jump roping because they kept having to pull up their pants. It was hilarious.

We managed to have a little fun too while the kids were doing chores. It'd been years since I'd jump roped but I was so good... even at double dutch. FUN!
Here's Louis making play dough flowers. It was really neat to watch how artistically talented some of these kids are. One of the younger boys was coloring with crayons in a coloring book and SHADING! Man... at his age I was just working on coloring within the lines! Others were really great at freehand drawing.
Me and Elizabeth. She was my Spanish teacher and translator for the weekend. The most useful phrase I learned was "No estoy loco. Estoy apreniendos a los espanol." (sp??) I had to learn to say that because some of the kids would look at me like I was crazy because either I couldn't understand what they were saying, they couldn't understand what I was trying to say or I'd just instinctively break out in french trying to speak to them. They were really great at helping us non-Spanish speakers learn and they knew a lot of English words so we were able to communicate without much problem.

We made dinner for the kids and got to eat with them on Friday evening. It was fun to just chill with them. We had fun eating with Jessica, 17 yrs old. She was loving being with 'the grown up girls' and we had fun getting to know her. Sadly I didn't get a photo with her.Bishop Z and Luis eating dinner. A couple of us had to laugh when we realized that a lot of the volunteers we'd come down with were drinking the lemonade we'd made for the kids. It was made with the Mexican water we weren't supposed to drink due to risk of... well, you know. We were worried everyone was going to be sick but we didn't hear of anyone getting the runs (so to speak. sorry.)
This is Ian, 20ish yrs old. He's from Oregon (I think) and had previously been down to the orphanage with his church to volunteer. Now he is living there for a year doing an "internship/mission". He'd just arrived a few days before us and was still trying to acclimatize but the kids had already welcomed him right in and were totally attached to him. He's a neat kid.
Friday night after dinner we got to just play with the kids for a few hours before they had to go to bed. We had so much fun with the little boys. They were fascinated by our digital cameras so we let them go crazy with them. We got A LOT of VERY close up photos and lots of photos of little fingers covering up the lens or just nothing. It was so sweet to watch the boys with the cameras.
Me and Luis.
Me, Lissa and Heather with Luis and Tito. Tito is hilarious! Such a fun boy.
Tito and Luis had fun taking pictures of each other taking pictures. So cute.
We all fell in love with little Juan. He hasn't been at the orphanage for very long and previously spent most of his life forced to live in a closet. He doesn't speak using words but makes noises to get peoples attention and calls everyone "Ma". They are having a speech psychologist come in to work with him to see if they can get him to start speaking. He was such a happy boy. He was entertaining us by acting like a monster.
Darling Sonya with my little reading friend whose name I can't remember. She and I read a book (Yes! I can read in Spanish!) about people from all around the world. It was so fun to read with her.
The kids REALLY wanted to play dodge ball and they had a pretty fun game going on. Too bad my camera couldn't get a good picture because of the darkness/flash because it was a great game.
Darling Nicholas. There was a "fatality" in the dodge ball game. He's an actor, that one.
Lissa and I were in charge of planning crafts for the kids. Actually she ended up doing everything to prepare the crafts but I gave excellent supporting advice ;) So, Saturday after breakfast and chores we did lots of crafts with the kids. We had finger paint (which was a mess! because the kids were trying to use it like play dough), notebooks to decorate with paints, stickers, markers, etc, friendship bracelets and paper bag puppets. I did puppets with a few of the boys and they turned out so cute!! I can't remember this little guys name (David maybe?) but he was super fun, had a winning smile and was a good little jumproper.
This is Daniel and he was so endearing!! Very serious and a total perfectionist! He made a frog, a panda bear, and a dog. He just kept wanting to make more. He was so sweet but I think he was getting annoyed with me because I kept asking him, "como se dice 'eyes'?" But he was good to try and communicate with me.
I can't remember his name either (maybe this is David?) but he was so cute. We had brought little puffy sticker things. Here he's stringing a bunch of little fish on a string. He was holding them as if he'd gone fishing and had a very successful day. Darling!
Laura got to give a ton of haircuts! The boys sat and drew while she cut their hair. It was hilarious to watch the difference between Louis and Luis. They are little buddies. Louis was grimacing and acting like it was just the worst, most painful thing in the whole world to have to get his hair cut. Luis on the other hand was just sitting so calmly as if he'd had a million hair cuts in his day (which he probably has!) No big deal!
Juan, Lissa, David (?), Nicholas and I. Not sure why I'm making that face!
This is our "after" shot of the area the "Hoes" weeded.
This is the departing shot of the orphanage. I was in tears leaving! Right before we left all the kids and all the volunteers gathered in a circle and held hands and a few of the kids and volunteers were able to say thanks. I could NOT hold back the tears!! The kids were so, so sweet and so appreciative of the time we spent playing with them. They LOVE the attention. I wanted to tell them how much I loved them but couldn't get a word out because I was crying too much! Finally before leaving, sweet (ok, he was very high-spirited!) Norberto said a prayer for our safe return home. SO MANY TEARS!!!

Our drive home was long because we were so tired and dirty. We had a little problem getting to the boarder (signs aren't so helpful down there) but we crossed with no problem. We stopped to use the bathroom at a gas station in San Diego and were so happy to flush our toilet paper and used so much water to wash our hands! We got home around 1am and the only thing I wanted was a shower. It was wonderful to feel clean again!

Overall it was an incredible trip! I miss the kids! It made me so much more appreciative of all that I've been blessed with and I was able to see just how much each person can make a difference in this world. I learned that no matter what our situation is we can be happy and make the best of it. These kids will always be in my heart. I can't wait to go back and see them!

13 September 2007

Randon... I mean, Random

When I was a senior at USU I was so in love with a guy named Randon that was in my ward. I never, ever talked to him. Not once. But I was pretty sure we were gonna get married. This really has nothing to do with anything except that I just wanted to explain the title of this post. Anyway... random.
  1. I just realized it's Pumpkin Spice creamer/syrup season. I'm heading to Starbucks for lunch so that I can get a hot choco with pumpkin spice flavoring. Heavenly...
  2. I'm totally addicted to Lily Allen. Seriously I've been listening to her CD nonstop for 2 days now.
  3. I'm going to Mexico tonight. I'll be playing with orphans until saturday night. I wonder how many Chiclets I'm going to come back with.
  4. The other night I saw an advertisement for the debut of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team 2 and for the first time in my life thought, "I have GOT to get TiVo so that I don't have to miss that"... and I was serious. And that's when I realized I need to get help. I'm not too worried about missing the show though since I'm pretty sure they're going to re-air it about two thousand times throughout the season. Of course DCC isn't the only thing I'd TiVo. There are a lot of other uplifting, educational and inspiring shows I'd record- The Hills, The Girls Next Door, The Bachelor, Newport Harbor, Tori & Dean: Inn Love, etc, etc, etc...

i'm a poet and didn't know it

I inadvertently forgot to give credit to William Earnest Henley for the poem Invictus that I posted the other day. The error has been corrected. I love the power behind his writing here. It has been my favorite poem since 1995 when I discovered it as a naive, 17 yr old, college freshman.
I'm not one for poetry in general (probably because I usually don't have a clue what they're about). Limericks, however... now there's an art form I can get behind.
Anyway, I remembered that I have another favorite poem that echoes a similar theme as Invictus.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!
~Rudyard Kipling

12 September 2007


this positive thinking thing is hard! but it helps and is thereby worth it.

10 September 2007

it's all in my head

This last weekend I Hied to Kolob... Kolob Canyon that is. It was amazing and beautiful and so, so fun. Sadly, my camera battery died right when we got there so I have no photos to show you. We rode the 4wheelers, saw lots of wildlife, went crawdad fishing, watched movies, ate and slept. I really wish every weekend could be like that.

I was a bit apprehensive about going because I was afraid of spending too much "quality time" with my head. Lately, I've developed a tendency to dwell on things a little too much and after the week I had I was worried I'd get up there and just drive myself crazy thinking about things I have no control over. But, escape turned out to be exactly what I needed. Not only a physical escape from my environment but an escape from my unproductive thoughts.

I can fully attest to the adage:
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
It all begins with how we choose to think. And that is the key. We CHOOSE to think whatever we think. So, ultimately it's all in my head. I have two options really. I can think happy or I can think depressed.
As Abe Lincoln put it:
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
And I choose to be happy. In choosing to be happy I'm finding that I have to seriously monitor my thoughts and where they are taking me. If I start thinking, stressing, commiserating about how much I have to do and how little time I have to do it, my church calling, my current relationship (or lack thereof), my finances, the past, the future, etc, then I have to stop my thoughts and change them to something productive, motivating or just plain happy.

I've been in an emotional rut for far too long. I've been struggling to figure out how to get happy again. I'm not sure why it took me so long to decide to be happy but I've finally done it. This is my life. I'm not going to waste it by making myself miserable. I am done spending too much time dwelling on the past or thinking anxiously about the future so that I forget to live in the present.

See. This is what happens when you Hie to Kolob. You figure stuff out.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole;
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced, nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of change,
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade.
And yet, the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll:
I am the master of my fate.
I am the captain of my soul.
~William Earnest Henley

07 September 2007

Bright Eyes

The other day, after assuring me that he was emotionally available, my friend Alex said, "Christy whenever I think of you I start singing this monster eighties jam... Turn around bright eyes every now again you gotta turn around..." (I'm not sure if that should make me laugh or cry...) So for the last 4 days (FOUR DAYS!) I've had 'Total Eclipse of the Heart" stuck in my head. And I hate 'Total Eclipse of the Heart'. I figured the only way to get it out of my head was to listen to the whole song in it's entirety (why is that song so long??) and be done with it. So this morning I searched for it and found it on "Mullets Rock! Too! Mullets in Love". Umm...

My excellent logic led me to believe that if there was a CD called "Mullets Rock! Too!" then there had to be a plain old "Mullets Rock!" CD as well. Oh how right I was. So...
Not only does THIS exist,

it was so good that

THIS exists as well.

I'm glad to see that mullet dude was finally able to get some chicks.

06 September 2007


I FINALLY got my laptop back! Hurray! Thank goodness I'm online all day at work otherwise I would have died without my computer for so long. Anyway, I finally got to get all my photos of my camera. Here's just some of them showing what I've been up to for the last month:

I found a giganta bug in the parking lot at work. My coworker decided to be funny and put it on my keyboard while I was at lunch. Super not funny.

I went to Lake Mead but it was too windy to do anything fun.

Collin tried on my shoes and looked hotter than I do wearing them.

I stamped my first set of drawings at work.

I finally finished Harry Potter 7. I should have known better than to take it to work with me. It sat there taunting me, tempting me to read. But it was so good!

Pre-Arm Waxing
Post-Arm Waxing. Sometimes it's painful being pretty.

I went hiking up Redrock and found some cool pools.

I went to a 51s game (oh the baby dodgers...) and unintentionally showed up wearing the same outfit as my best friend.

Skating party. Still loving the pink stirrup pants.

Went camping.

United with the other MCoDs (Midnight Commandos of Death).

Spent the Labor Day weekend in UT with the fam. We drove the Nebo Loop and found a little pocket of red rock. Utah is so beautiful!
I tried to fly but it didn't work out so well. I was laughing too hard.

We had an AWESOME book club! I seriously felt smarter afterwards. These gals are fabulous!