Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I love my birthdays!  I love the attention (who doesn't?) and I love getting presents (again, do I really have to say this?)!  So I was really excited about my birthday last week.

Dave was really good at getting me all hyped up for my birthday this year.  For the 2 weeks before my birthday, basically every day he would say something like "It's your birthday in ___ days!" or "I bought your present today" or "I am not going to do this, or this, or this for your birthday."  Apparently he was more excited about it than I was before he started making all of these comments.

(To preface the story that follows, I have to say this: Dave loves to trick me/surprise me.  He does it all the time.  It ranges from jumping out to scare me when I get home to convincing me that he got kicked out of one of his classes this semester.  He is absolutely happy if he can pull a good joke on me.)

For my birthday, we decided that Dave would make me coconut soup (so yummy!) and then we would go bowling.  It was going to be a later day for both of us than normal, because I was doing some extra tutoring that day and Dave had to go to a practice for his trial advocacy competition (maybe Dave will write and tell the family about that).  So both of us were getting home after 6pm.  I got home first, and just relaxed while I waited for Dave to get home.  I was supposed to get out the chicken and thaw it for the soup, and start the rice, but I had forgotten that.  And I wasn't in a big rush.  It's not like bowling alleys close early on Friday nights.

Dave got home around 6:30, and we got started working on the coconut soup.  We talked about our days.  But Dave seemed a little distracted.  He was really hurrying to get stuff done on the soup, and so he wasn't interacting with me as much.  In our house we call this behavior "being business-like."  I am usually the one that is business-like, when we need to get up in the morning, when we need to clean up our house or we're in a hurry.  Dave can't stand it, and he is rarely business-like.  He loves to chat while we do stuff, and usually even if we are in a hurry he is still very talkative and funny.  I asked him if he was stressed about something, or if there was a hurry to get bowling.  I knew something was up, but I didn't think it was anything important.

Dave immediately knew that he was being business-like and apologized.  I don't remember the excuse he made up.  Maybe he said something about thinking about the practice he'd had that evening.  Anyway, we continued making the dinner, but Dave was much more talkative.  While I was doing something with the chicken, Dave went upstairs and made a phone call, although I didn't notice him leave.  And when he came downstairs, he brought Anita and Dean with him!!

Anita is Dave's sister, and one of my favorite people in the world.  Dean is her husband, and they got married about 6 months before Dave and I did.  So we've all been newly weds together, and just have a lot of fun getting together and playing games.  They brought two of their favorite games for us to play, although they did give me the option of choosing to go bowling still, if I wanted to.

It was a good birthday surprise!  Dave got to feel oh-so-sly in keeping it a secret from me, and I got to hang out with some of my favorite people!  It was a great birthday celebration.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

2011 Goals

Okay, I am finally getting around to setting my goals for 2011.  I haven't been completely on top of them so far this year, but I hope that I remember them better now that I've written them down (and they are going to get printed and put on my mirror!  Here are some of my goals for 2011:
  •  Health
    • Run 4-5 days a week
    • Run a half marathon relay race in May
    • Run a regular half marathon with Dave in August or September
    • Eat sugar only one day a week
  • Creativity/Projects
    • Basic scrapping of some wedding things (cards, advice, etc.)
    • Fix/modify various items of clothing (1 per week)
    • Make all of my baby shower gifts this year (nursing covers, baby quilts, modify onsies)
  • Financial
    • Pay off 10% of student loans before graduation
    • Use couponing blogs to save money 
  • Organizational 
    • Unpack and repack items in storage in preparation for moving
    • Organize my teaching papers from past classes in a folder filing system 
  • Spiritual
    • Read 3 chapters in the Book of Mormon every day
    • Write in my gratitude journal every day
  • Intellectual
    • Finish my master's degree!
    • Graduate in August 
    • Play the piano 10-15 minutes 3 times a week
    • Blog 1-3 times a week
  • Family
    • Be a better gift giver
    • Read the Book of Mormon together by the end of July
I think that it will be a good year to accomplish these goals!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

MS Walk

Dear Friends and Family,

In 2008, my friend Tara found out that she had MS.  (To find out more about what MS is, click here.)  She decided to do something about it and help raise money to research MS through The National MS Society's Walk MS.  She has been doing it every year since.

Last year I had the chance to participate as a walker.  I was amazed at how many people gathered in Salt Lake to donate and support research on MS and help those who have been diagnosed with it.  Here are some pictures from that event:

Huge crowds with tons of balloons.

This big room is where the balloons were coming from, and I loved looking up and seeing all the "escapees."

Some very creative T-shirts for the teams.

Here's where we started our 3-mile walk.

Tara and me!

It was so much fun, and I really hope that lots more people will donate and participate as walkers this year.

The National MS Society is kicking off Walk MS 2011: Salt Lake City, Presented by Questar. I am planning to be a part of this inspiring event and I am asking you to join me in the movement to MS by making a contribution to support my effort.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is dedicated to ending the unpredictability of MS.  They simultaneously fund research for a cure while also helping people who currently live with MS lead more fulfilling lives.  I believe in the work they do, and I invite you to see for yourself all the good they've done for the MS community.  More than 400,000 Americans live with MS, and your support can and will make changes in their lives.

Why not join me at the event?  Side by side, as teammates, we can work together to raise the funds to make a difference.  I am a member of Tara's team, the Hoppers.  We would love to have you join us.

If you can't come, please make a donation.  You can donate to my page, to Tara's page, or to the Hoppers group.  If you don't want to support this group directly, you can donate to the National MS Society directly.

Please help by making a donation - large or small - to end MS.  Whatever you can give will help! I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Book of Mormon Challenge

The leaders of our ward (the bishopric) has issued a challenge for everyone to read the Book of Mormon as families in the next 6 months.  Dave and I already read the Book of Mormon personally every day as part of our spiritual routine.  Before our bishop talked about this new push to read the Book of Mormon, we had just finished reading the Pearl of Great Price together and had started reading the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C).  So we put that aside and started reading the Book of Mormon, to follow the counsel of our leaders.  If we read about 2 chapters a day, we can finish the book in 6 months.  We'll read from the beginning of February to the end of July.  Since Sunday we've been reading one chapter in the morning and one at night.  It is a great way to start the day, with a little scripture study over breakfast.  The Book of Mormon is such a great book, and I feel so blessed to have the spiritual guidance that that ancient scripture offers us.

Just so you know, we do believe in the Bible, and read it too.  For the first year of our marriage, Dave and I slowly worked our way through the New Testament together.  And I'm sure that we'll also tackle the Old Testament together sometime in our marriage.