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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Greatest Snow on Earth

It's true, I haven't exactly skiied many places on the earth, but I'm still pretty positive that Utah has some amazing snow. Last weekend at Deer Valley it was especially great, soft, powdery, and amazing. The sun was out and it bordered on too warm. The best part of the whole day, I got to spend the entire day hanging with my hot honey!

Warning, stop reading now if you don't want to read about the downer part of the day.

A word to the wise, if you somehow think that it will be easier and not that much more expensive to rent your skis at Deer Valley think again. I about fell over when the guy told us that it was $50, each. That calls for a "holy crap". It was straight up robbery, but we were there and excited to ski, so i gritted my teeth and handed over my credit card. Needless to say, we ate our granola bars for lunch and skipped the spendy restaurant.

The Shack

I started reading The Shack this summer, but got too involved in other books and didn't finish. I recommended it for my book group and it was the topic of discussion on Monday. If you are not at all familiar with the book, it is the story of Mack who gets invited to the shack where his daughter was killed for a conversation with the trinity. God is a large black woman, Jesus is a not so attractive middle eastern man and the Holy Ghost is an Asian woman who is described to be almost fairly like. Before you pre-judge, I highly recommend you give it a chance. There are several points that don't jive with my beliefs, but there are also a lot of great examples and analogies that got me thinking. The primary focus is God's love, something that I would definitely like to understand better.
The members of my book group have extremely varied backgrounds and opinions when it comes to God and religion so I was excited for the discussion. In fact, that is part of why I suggested the book. The group did not disappoint. We had a lively, respectful discussion and I really learned a lot about the beliefs and faith processes of others.
In the book, God and Mack spend a lot of time talking about the age old question of why bad things happen to good people. God tells him "If you knew I was good and that everything - the means, the ends, and all the processes of individual lives - is all covered by my goodness, then while you might not understand what I am doing, you would trust me."
One of my favorite parts of the book deals with forgiveness, and why it is so important that we forgive those who have wronged us. He says that forgiveness is "to release you from something that will eat you alive; that will destroy your joy and your ability to love fully and openly". The entire section is very powerful.
The book isn't perfect, but I would definitely recommend it as one worth reading. A- (It got bumped from a B+ because of the gread discussion and thoughts that it provoked.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

RIDICULOUS!

Seriously people, what is this world coming to? We were at the Gateway where there are too many people with too much time and money on their hands. Standing outside a store, apparently waiting for his wife, was a MAN WITH A DOG IN A STROLLER. It was one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time. This photo is not the actual man, but you get the idea. Unfortunately Jami ruined any chances of a discreet photo when she basically stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and pointed and laughed at the guy. The scary thing is that apparently a lot of people think that carting their dog around in a stroller is a good idea. A simple google search brings up limitless options for purchasing such a stroller. - and they aren't cheap For crying out loud people, it is a dog, they are meant to walk - it is not mean to put them on the ground.
By the way, the blue underlined letters are not trying to make a point, I just don't know how I did it or how to turn it off.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentines

Friday at about 6:30 p.m. I finished a very busy week of work, wedding plans, errands, etc. and headed for Tremonton to spend the weekend with Tim. I hate the drive there, but I love arriving to him and the calm and beauty of his house. This drive was fairly typical for a weekend with one bad accident, heavy traffic, and a little bit of bad weather thrown in for good measure. I was driving Tim's natural gas vehicle. I thought I knew how to switch it to regular gas, but it turns out that maybe I wasn't paying such great attention when he showed me where the toggle was. So there I was, crusing in the fast lane when suddenly I lost power (that's what happens when you run out of gas), and slowed down to about 40 mph. I tried frantically to find the switch, then gave up and began desperately trying to get from the fast lane, across four lanes of traffic to a shoulder where I could try to figure it out. Of course, no one thought they should slow down to allow me to change lanes. Instead, they all just got super annoyed at me for going so slow. Did they seriously think I was doing it by choice. I couldn't even find the hazard lights to try to garner a little sympathy slowing. There may have been a small amount of cursing involved, but I finally made it to the shoulder, frazzled, but intact. After 5-10 minutes of struggling, I found the switch and was on my way. I was still a little tense when I arrived at Tim's house, that is until I walked in and discovered this...

Not only did Tim have the house decorated, he also had prime rib for dinner and had baked heart shaped brownies. It just got better after dinner. He bought me flowers, and several little presents including Power Gels and new running socks. Does he know me or what. We had a fantastic evening.

Saturday we celebrated with his kids. We went to Siegfried's Deli (my first visit) where we ate German schnitzel, rottkohl and noodles with gravy. Later we met up with my parents and went through the Draper Temple opwn house. It was beautiful and peaceful.

This year for Valentines I was surounded by love, exactly as it should be.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

AT LAST..............

My love, Tim, has come along.....and last Saturday night, he arrived with this:
(Thanks dad and Jami for the photo help, closeups of sparkly things are tough)




Seriously, there is no photo shopping involved, that is my hand, with an engagement ring on it. As my babies would say, horray! I don't know what the cool kids are saying these days - another area where my age is showing. Those of you that have not yet met Tim are seriously missing out as he is an amzaing man. I have waited a very long time, and suffered through a lot of bad dates, but the end result has been so worth it. He is kind and caring and considerate. Did I mention funny, smart, and incredibly goodlooking. He has three kids, 14, 11, and 6, I am blessed to be getting to know and love them as well. Assuming we can find a venue (that's the lingo I learned a the Bridal Fair), we plan to get married on June 6. It turns out that is a popular date so wish us luck, or bad luck on someone who has reserved the date (I haven't seen Bride Wars, but I can already understand the desperation). I will probably post details and options on the blog, probably more than the casual reader cares to read, but the sisters need it.
Given that this is such a huge deal, and so amazing, it feels like I should have an incredible post to mark the occasion. However, my brain is a little mushy. It may not be witty or original, but I am seriously in love and so excited to share my life with this man. Looks like I will be having a super Valentines Day this year. Love you babe!
Since none of you were there to share the moment, Jami has reinacted the moment. Enjoy.

video

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Beach Reads

One of the best parts of my vacation to Mexico (other than the views, the sun, the guacamole, etc.) is the ability to lay on the beach, for hours uninterrupted, and read. I read two books this trip, along with some magazines, and really liked both books.


"Change Of Heart looks at the nature of organized religion and belief, and takes the reader behind the closely drawn curtains of America’s death penalty. Featuring the return of Ian Fletcher from Keeping Faith, it also asks whether religion and politics truly are separate in this country, or inextricably tangled. Does religion make us more tolerant, or less? Do we believe what we do because it’s right? Or because it’s too frightening to admit that we may not have the answers?" (from the author's notes)
I really like Jodi Picoult's books. They always tackle a tough subject but never come off "preachy" or as if she has an agenda. This topic of this book was fascinating and some parts really made me think. There were a few twists to keep you guessing. Overall, I would give it a B+.

TheAppeal begins with the shocking conclusion to a lawsuit filed against Krane Chemical by Jeannette Baker, a young woman who lost her son and husband to cancer within eight months. The $41 million settlement is unprecedented, and Krane isn't taking it lightly. Jeannette is only one of hundreds of people in fictional Bowmore, Miss., who have been affected by Krane's decades of dumping toxic waste in what has come to be known as Cancer County USA. If the chemical company doesn't get a reversal on appeal, future lawsuits on behalf of more than 160 cancer victims will drain its deep pockets, especially the gold-lined wallet of owner Carl Trudeau. He has vowed those "ignorant people" won't get a dime of his money. Meanwhile, he's spending millions of his billions on his vapid trophy wife, junk art and most important, electing a limited-liability justice to the Mississippi Supreme Court who will deny Jeannette's monetary award on appeal. More than a novel, The Appeal is an exposé of how highly organized special-interest groups, loaded with cash, can manipulate the judicial system. It's Grisham's bully pulpit for reform. "(USA Today Review)

Generally when I read John Grisham books, I can look at them as pure fiction. This book got me really irritated or concerned about some of the back door politics that go on, and the way we are often manipulated by people with money. The ending was extremely unsatisfying, but overall, the book was well worth ready. B