Monday, November 30, 2009

My Thankful Vacation

I got to have Thanksgiving with Paul this year. This was a treat, especially considering I've worked the last 5 Thanksgivings! It was so fun to spend a lot of time with Paul:) Here's what we did:

We unpacked Paul's garage.... or maybe Paul unpacked it while I talked on the phone...

At lunchtime on Thanksgiving Day, we volunteered at the Salvation Army in Cheyenne and it was SO fun! We were lucky we got to do that since it was just us two for the holiday and we didn't need to cook for anyone:) The favorite part of my day. If it were possible, I'd love to make it a regular part of my Thanksgivings. I'd recommend it to anyone.

We waited on tables for people that came for their Thanksgiving meal...

And we wrapped presents...

After, we went to 2 more Thanksgiving get-togethers (Yes, I had 3 turkey dinners total... wow). Paul and I brought these yummy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies:)

We decorated Paul's house for Christmas. Step one of putting up the tree:

Step two:

We'll skip the next few steps, 'cause you can probably imagine them. Step whatever:

All done!! Christmas is magical:)

Paul and I exchanged presents early. He got me a beautiful framed print of the Nashville LDS temple signed by the artist. Maybe the best present I've ever gotten. I love it:) Thanks Paul.

Last but DEFINITELY not least... I accidentally made my first batch of Christmas pistachio bars.

I hope everyone had wonderful Thanksgivings with their families and friends. I am thankful for everything Heavenly Father has blessed me with and I know I don't even realize most of it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Family away from Home

Many, Katie, Tessa, and Kate:

I'd like to introduce my family away from home:) My amazing roommates:

Kate: Kate teaches 5th grade in Springville. She got her Master's degree in education at NYU. She plays the harp beautifully! When she's playing, neighbors that hear will come over and lay on the floor just to listen:)

Katie: Katie (check out her blog to the left) teaches choir at Dixon Middle School in Provo. She has a beautiful voice. She has helped me learn how to accessorize my outfits (I struggle).

Melissa: Her nickname is Many. (Check out her blog to the left also.) Many also teaches choir, but at a high school in Orem. She has mad skills! She's very involved in musical productions in the community.

Fun things we have done together:

American Idol Concert


Group dates

Eating food

Traveling to Prince Edward Island!!

So fun:) Once again... I'm a lucky woman:)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Emergency Room

I work in the emergency room as a social worker. The one at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, where I was born- I have come full circle:) I really enjoy my job and I am grateful for it. People sometimes ask me what I do there:

1. I get to do crisis evaluations. This means if someone comes in who is feeling suicidal, having a psychotic episode, or having a manic episode, I talk to them for an hour or so and we decide if they need to be hospitalized or not. This can be very interesting! A woman almost kissed me once (she was manic at the time. I was able to dodge!). One man was in a somewhat catatonic state- he had schizophrenia- and was mute. A man told me yesterday that he is Jesus Christ. So, you know, lotsa crazy stuff going on. And, of course, it can be very sad. Abuse happens. Addictions destroy potential. When mental illness becomes severe, it is a huge loss to the family. Life can be very hard. Overall, it can be a heavy job, but very rewarding too. People struggle, like all of us- and I get to help them:)

2. I also work with families in trauma situations. So when someone comes in with severe injuries from an accident or anything, I work with their family. I have to be there right away when the patient arrives from the ambulance/helicopter. This is so I know what to tell the family. It's also so I can ask the patient who they'd like me to call.

Now, I am NOT a blood/gore kind of person. Therefore I spend much of my time in the trauma rooms looking at the floor, the ceiling, or the back of my eyelids. And I definitely have lost my appetite on several occasions! Only once so far have I had to help a family through a death when there was a death in a car accident. That was hard, but more intuitive than expected.

That's what I do! It is kind of heavy stuff, but I like it. Am I weird? On a positive note, I've had magical moments with patients where they are finally asking for help and ready to change. And there's nothing quite like connecting with someone at a really human level, which I get to do every day at my job. So I think I'm a very lucky woman.

Monday, November 16, 2009

It's beginning to feel a lot like...

Christmas hit me on Saturday! Huzzah! I haven't been able to stop listening to Christmas music, lighting Christmasy candles, or thinking about decorating for Christmas. I know there are people out there who hate people like me because Thanksgiving hasn't come yet. So you'll have to indulge me for one little blog post. Here is what Christmas is to me...


Presents from Dad


Gingerbread Houses

Santa (I know him!)

Presents and Clarence

Christmas Eve Fondue

Cutting down my own tree (okay... I've only done this once.)

Christmas pistachio bars


Merry Christmas to all! God bless us, everyone- Tiny Tim

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Wyoming Times

Confession: I almost quit blogging a few hours ago. I had serious technical difficulties with my first blog post and pretty much had to redo it. It took me HOURS haha. (I'm not kidding.) So here's a shout out to my roommates, especially Katie, who encouraged me to push forward and keep on blogging.

So, recently I've been spending a decent amount of time in Wyoming. Here are some fun things I get to do while in Wyoming:

One time I made chicken curry. I think it was quite yummy, but it was a little spicy for me.

Paul surprised me and took me to Denver to see "Wicked." I was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited:) It was an excellent show.

Here's the snow that almost prevented us from getting to see Wicked. The freeway was closed and opened right in time for us to make it!

We went and did baptisms at the Denver Temple. Of course, there was snow.

I haven't had trick-or-treaters for about ten years due to my location of living. So my excitement was out of control for real trick-or-treaters at Paul's house. Paul and I were extra cool because we appealed to both children and parent trick-or-treaters by having both candy and non-candy items. One little girl took a pencil, looked at me excitedly and exclaimed, "I can use this for school!" Paul and I are bettering the world, one child at a time!

We did halloween crafts- cupcakes, cookies and a very, very scary house.

I made two of the following cookies, and Paul made two. Guess which ones are whose... Don't look at the answer until you've guessed...

I made the top and right one; Paul made the bottom and left. Paul has skills.

It tends to snow every time I go to Wyoming (All 2 times). I am going over Thanksgiving again, so if you live in Wyoming, go ahead and start expecting snow... :)

A Brief Autobiography in (mostly) Pictures

I was born in Provo Utah. My first two pictures in life are atrociously inappropriate. So instead I will show you this one (I'm the baby):

My mom and dad loved me right away:

I loved food as a child. This is a love that still continues with me today.

Then when I was 8, my brother Ethan was born. This is what he looked like:

I grew up, became a woman, and went to college at BYU. I graduated in psychology August 2005. I don't have pictures on my computer of these special times. After I graduated, I got to travel:



Kenya (I'm not in this picture)

New York

Now I am in graduate school at BYU. It's very fun. I am done in April, then the world is my oyster: