Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas...Past, Present, and Future

As a kid, I loved Christmas: the Christmas music (especially sung at church), the lights on the houses, the tree with all our school-made ornaments, and the traditions of our family. After moving to Cedar, we sometimes we went to Vernal to celebrate the holiday with extended family, but most of the time, we stayed home and celebrated it with just our family. Christmas Eve, after dinner of ham, potato casserole, rolls, veggies, and other goodnesses, we'd drive around looking at the lights on houses, singing Christmas carols. I'm sure us kids would fight at times, but I don't remember. *smile* When we got home, we read the Christmas story from the Bible and got to open one present before going to bed. When I was younger, I'd always hope for some really cool toy to open, but it was always pj's. After a few years, I caught on to the pattern and realized that present would always be pj's and finally understood the coolness of getting to wear brand-new pajamas to bed Christmas Eve. Of course, we would leave a plate full of homemade sugar cookies and a glass of milk for Santa. Then we'd put our individual stocking in our "place". This place signified where Santa was to put our gifts when he came.

Christmas morning, we weren't allowed to get out of bed until a certain time - preset the night before. I remember being awake in bed, willing the alarm clock to go faster so I could get out of bed. (I was an extremely obedient child, as you know.) Corey would come in and get me and sometimes we'd go look at our presents before waking up Jason and Kevin. We'd all play with our new toys an hour or so before waking up our parents (also a preset time from the night before). After showing them our loot, we'd open up the presents under the tree. We took turns (usually youngest, Kevin, to oldest, Dad), opening up one gift at a time, so we all got to be the center of attention for a moment and so that present would get its proper importance. It also stretched out the fun, something I really enjoyed. Oh, and we always had stuff in our stockings, too. Stocking stuffers wouldn't be anything extravagant, especially when compared to what I've heard about from other people, usually just an apple, orange, banana, some candy, nuts, and maybe a small toy. After presents were opened, we'd have Mom's breakfast casserole, then spend the morning playing with our toys and often playing the game(s) Santa had left for the family. For lunch, we'd have Mom's delicious clam chowder. I can eat clam chowder from restaurants, but none of them are as tasty as Mom's. I really need to learn how to make it someday. The rest of the day was really relaxed. Lots of spending time together. It was wonderful.

When my parents divorced, things changed. We developed new traditions, started having two Christmases - one at Mom's and one at Dad's, and I lost a little of my Christmas spirit. I hate to say it, but it's true. It took a few years, but eventually, I started to dislike Christmas. I still enjoyed the music/singing, the lights on houses, and all that stuff, but I started to dread Christmas Day. I hated leaving my mom all alone on Christmas Day when we went to Dad's. Then I felt bad leaving Dad's house because we usually didn't stay there very long. And, I felt bad bringing the gifts from him and Paula home to my mom's. I probably made it worse than I should have, but what can I say, I'm a sensitive gal. *smile* Then my brothers got married and started having kids. Kids make Christmas. That's all there is to it. Having in-laws to plan around, and then a nephew we only got to see on Christmas Eve complicated Christmas. It started to become a 2-day affair. Since Kevin only had Scott on Christmas Eve, we'd spend part of that day with Mom and part with Dad. Repeat that on Christmas Day. I always ended up being the one who coordinated when we'd go where, and frankly, I hated it. I always had fun once the festivities were upon us, of course. I just wish I had relaxed enough to enjoy it beforehand. Ah well. Live and learn, right?

Two years ago, I scheduled my lap band surgery for December 23rd for two reasons; one because it was the best time to take off work and the other to avoid some of the stress that I caused myself at this time of year. It helped. Then last year, I decided to go to Paris on Christmas Day. I was still around long enough to be able to enjoy the festivities, but I was determined to not let the normal frustrations interfere with my excitement. This was a break-through for me. I finally realized that I didn't need to make sure everyone was happy. This wasn't my responsibility. I didn't have kids, I was single. Why did I need to make the plans? So I didn't. And I had a really enjoyable Christmas. I realized how stupid I had been for so many years and was determined that I wouldn't be ever least about Christmas.

This year is the first year in a long time that I won't be spending Christmas with my family. Steve and I are going to Denver for Christmas. We fly out tomorrow afternoon and are coming back Tuesday afternoon. Since we're leaving on Christmas Eve, we're opening our presents tomorrow morning and doing "traditional" Christmas Eve night stuff tonight. After dinner, we're going to watch a Christmas movie (probably the cartoon version of the Grinch since he's opposed to Charlie Brown), then drive around looking at the lights on people's houses. I'm betting I won't get him to sing carols with me. *smile* When we get home, we'll have hot chocolate and open our stocking stuffers. In the morning, we'll open our presents and have breakfast. I'm thinking of making a quiche or maybe Mom's breakfast casserole! (I just thought of that while I typed.)

I don't know what the future holds, but I know I want to be with Steve for every Christmas yet to come. I want to have traditions that are ours, traditions that we establish together and can pass on to our children, if we have them. I know that some years we'll spend with my family and hopefully we'll spend some with his family. No matter where we are, I'm going to be with Steve and that makes me happy. The future certainly looks bright.

Wherever you are going to be this Christmas, whoever you're going to be with, whatever your traditions are, I hope you have a very wonderful day!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Wish List

Dear Santa,
First of all, thank you sooooo much for the wonderful presents you gave me from my list last year! The trip to Paris was a dream come true, better than I could have ever hoped for. It was exciting, romantic, inspiring, and I got to spend half of the trip with my dearest friend, Cardine. Kissed four guys, saw pages and pages of historical sites (Notre Dame, Montmartre, and the Louvre being some of my favs), and visited TWO amazing cemeteries! Plus I ate an acre worth of pastries but walked so much I ended up losing 7 lbs. Yay!

Thank you for the new job too. The salary was quite a bit less than what I had been making, but it had potential to increase and it had health insurance, retirement benefits, and free tuition. Oh, and I loved the people with whom I worked. I liked it so much that I planned on working there for years to come, if not for the rest of my professional life. That said...

A million merci's for the boyfriend. Actually, you were really generous with this one; two boyfriends (not at the same time) and multiple interactions with several different guys. It was a romantically educational year for me, culminating in Steve, the man I love with all my heart and who I hope to be with the rest of my life. He is perfect for me in so many ways. Definitely the best present you could ever leave for me under the Christmas tree. I must have been a really good girl.

I probably wasn't as good a girl this year, but I'm hoping the scales will be tipped in my favor. On the chance that they are, here is my Christmas Wish List for this year.

1. A job.
It's really hard being unemployed. I'm fortunate to have a place to live, renters who pay my mortgage, and someone who cares for me. I'm learning to depend on someone else (which is remarkably difficult though something I need to learn), but my self image is suffering. It doesn't have to be the bestest job ever; just something that pays my bills and gives me money to spend on myself and others. I'd prefer an office job, M-F, evenings and weekends off.

2. A ring. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get one this next year, but why not wish for it anyway. I've never wanted to get married more than I do now. I want to spend the rest of my life with Steve. I want to be his wife.

3. Mario Kart. For the Wii, with 2-4 steering wheel attachments. I love this game. I haven't played it since Kyle borrowed it from his brother and I miss it. I've probably lost all my skills. *sigh* I'm a little disappointed I didn't get it last year, but you gave me so many other wonderful gifts, so I'm not too upset. *smile*

4. A dog. I want a dog. I've wanted a dog for years but just haven't been in the right situation til now. I have a wonderful house and it's surrounded by a great neighborhood and close to an amazing walking path. I'd love a greyhound or a boxer. Nothing small and yappy, please.

5. A local friend. I already have some of the bestest friends a gal could ever wish for. However, they all live far away. I could really use a good friend that lives close...less than 15 minutes away would be awesome. Someone I can just hang out with without having to get on the freeway to see them. Someone to go to chick flicks with. Someone who doesn't want to hang out too often, because, quite frankly, I like to spend most of my free time with Steve.

6. Love and joy for all my friends and family. I am so blessed with the people I have in my life. Please bless them with the things that will make them happiest this year.

Well, that's it. My life is already pretty wonderful, so these items would be the cherry on top (except a job - that would be several scoops of ice cream). Thank you in advance for the presents you'll be giving this year!

Merry Christmas!

Julie :)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

I love walking. It calms my soul, energizes my body, and puts me in a good mood, regardless of how I feel when I start out.

One of the things I missed about my home in Cedar was its proximity to a wonderful walking path. It gave me several route and distance options, and I didn't have to worry about traffic. When I moved to Layton, I enjoyed discovering the neighborhoods near my home, but only one route really satisfied my walking requirements and I knew I would soon get bored with it. Then I moved to Riverdale and, happiness of all happinesses, there's a river walking path just a block or so away from my home! Yay!

Steve and I started exploring the area even before we moved in and I knew it would be perfect for my walking style. There are several different "routes" for me to choose from, all of which are just variations of the same path but which will keep me from getting bored. It's been fun to see the path change with the season, too. We started exploring in October, with the leaves changing into beautiful oranges, reds, and yellows. Last week, after being dumped on, the walking path became a beautiful winter wonderland. One day, I happened to have my cell phone along for the walk and decided to take pictures, as I was kind of mourning the fact that no one was around to share the beauty of the morning with me. Please keep in mind that A) I used a cell phone to take the pictures and 2) I'm not an accomplished photographer...or even a semi-respectable one. That said, here they are.

Most of the walk had been plowed but I thought it was really pretty during this long stretch of walkway that hadn't been. And, it gave my legs an extra work-out. Woohoo!

The Weber river is really close to the path and there are stretches of the walkway that give a perfect view of it. Steve can't wait to fish along the river this Spring.

There are actually 3 wooden bridges along the least just 3 that I've found so far. The path is super duper long and I've only scratched its surface. I LOVE wooden bridges, so it makes the walking path just that much more enjoyable for me.

This is a view from one of the bridges, facing away from the river. It's hard to believe that Riverdale Road, a busy commercial road, is just a few blocks away. Instead, I feel like I'm in the middle of the country. I love it.

My pictures fail to capture the wonderful peace and beauty of the moment. The only thing that would have made walking this path in all its loveliness any better would have been to share it with someone I love. Where were you all? *smile*

Monday, November 22, 2010

Having Faith and Hope

Life sometimes makes me chuckle.
Because if I didn't chuckle, I'd probably break down and cry.

Okay, I did cry a little. A week ago, I was laid off from my chiropractic job.

Yep. After deciding, and managing, to have a better attitude about my job, I was let go. It happened on a Friday, after the work day had ended. The day after I found out my car needed $700 worth of repairs. Steve had to pick me up from work that night because my car was still at the repair shop. I got into the car and responded to his questions monosyllabic-ally. He caught on fast and asked what was wrong. I started to cry and told him I'd been laid off. He pulled over and held me close until I stopped crying. We talked about my options. My boss had given me two options - to have Monday (the last day of the pay period) be my last day or to work a little longer while I searched for a new job. We decided to see if he'd let me work the rest of the month, just a couple weeks, but the money would be helpful. Steve took me out to dinner and I tried hard to forget about being laid off.

The next day, Saturday, we moved into our new home, which really helped to take my mind off my job situation. Nothing soothes the mind and soul like manual labor. I love the new house and already feel at home in it. This weekend, after spending Thanksgiving with my family, we'll bring up my red couches, kitchen table, and all the other stuff I left in Cedar. It will be awesome to have everything with me again.

Monday came and I asked my boss if I could work through the end of the month. He said that would be great and was happy that I had decided to stay a little longer. weird is that? If it were up to me, I'd be staying even longer, but whatever. Then, Wednesday after work, he called me into his office and said he had a better idea. Friday would be my last day and then he'd pay me for Monday (today) and Wednesday. That way I could get a little more money without having to work. It wasn't an option, it was how it was gonna be. I found out later that this change came about because the office manager, the diva I dislike, insisted that I be gone by the end of the week or she'd quit. Even though I dislike her, too, it was humbling to find out that someone dislikes me so much.

The past few months have been hard job-wise. I've learned just how much my self image has depended on having a good job, one that I enjoy and excel at and that challenges me. Not having a job like that has been really difficult. I don't regret moving here, being around Steve is worth all the job heartache. And, it's helping me develop a few attributes that I lack or am not strong in. I'm having to depend on someone else, something that my independent side struggles with. My brother gave me excellent advice about letting Steve take care of me and I'm doing my best to follow it. I'm grateful that I have such a wonderful, generous man in my life who is willing to take care of me when I need it (and when I don't). Most importantly, I'm having to have faith and hope that I'll find a good job soon; one that will pay the bills and that I'll really enjoy. I'm trusting God that He knows what is best for me and that if I work hard at searching for a job, one will pop up. I've already been blessed to have a friend let me know about some openings at her job. I'll just keep praying and crossing my fingers.

For years, I led a safe life. It was a good life but a part of me hoped for something more, something new. Boy, did I get what I hoped for! Life is fun and new and scary and exciting and nothing is for sure, and goll darn it, I'm happy.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Attitude Adjustments

I'm constantly amazed by how often I need to remember how important my attitude is. A couple examples:

As I've mentioned before, I work at a chiropractic office. It's part-time, just Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for about 8 hours a day. It pays just enough to pay the bills and give me a little spending money. I was so happy when I got hired - a month without working had done a number on me - but then I got an interview at Weber State University and suddenly my attitude took a nose dive. I started to see that my boss could be a bit of a jerk. And the office manager is a diva that creates drama and tends to throw people under the bus for things she does. I started dreading going into work. I really wanted the WSU job - it was full-time so more money and included health insurance, free tuition, and life insurance. I loved working at SUU and was thrilled at the prospect of working on a university campus again.

Last week, when I found out I didn't get the job (they said they really liked me and would have hired me but the gal they hired had a little more experience at a university), I had to re-evaluate my attitude. I started remembering the positives about my job. It's really nice to have the weekends off (there are a lot of jobs that would require working weekends) and a couple days during the week to do whatever I want; write, exercise, cook, run errands, etc. With my better attitude, I stopped dreading going to work. Yes, the doctor may be a jerk sometimes and the diva still gets on my nerves, but I also work with two really awesome gals that make work a lot of fun. I'm comfortable with my job responsibilities and am getting to know the patients. And, I'm incredibly thankful to have a job at all with money coming in!

I stepped on the scales not too long ago and it showed 175 lbs. I grimaced! I actually grimaced. Yes, the number hasn't significantly changed in quite awhile, but I still can't believe I was bummed at weighing 175 lbs. I once weighed 350!

Lately, I've been thinking of myself as being "so fat". A big part of this is due to the excess skin around my thighs, arms, stomach, and breasts that make me feel and look bigger than I would otherwise. I'm losing good habits and starting up bad habits again. In the two months I've lived here, I've stopped exercising as much and have started eating desserts and snacking more. These contribute to the disappointment I feel about myself and my weight loss. I remember thinking I was so skinny as I was able to fit into the theater seats without killing my hips. Or as I tried on smaller sized clothes than I wore in high school. When I thought of myself as skinny, I acted like I was skinny - being more active and being more in control of my eating. Now, I focus on the skin around my stomach, my saggy breasts, and the other areas of my body that aren't "perfect".

My friend Ashley wrote to me about how our thoughts about ourselves can help or hurt us in our goals; weight loss, quitting smoking, anything. If we think of ourselves as fat, we become fat. I know this first-hand as that is what happened as I grew up. I was taller and bigger than the other kids my age and decided I was fat (really just hit puberty sooner) and eventually fulfilled that belief by becoming obese. As I lost weight, I was so proud of myself and felt so good and those feelings fueled my desire to continue to lose more. Now, as I've hit a plateau and with only 15 lbs to lose to hit my doctor's recommended weight, I can see how my attitude has shifted and thrown me off the path I want to be on.

Instead of telling myself I need to lose weight and focusing on my imperfections, I need to tell myself how great I feel and how skinny I am. My brain will register that I'm skinny and will help me act like a skinny person. As I remember to appreciate my thinner body, I'll feel more comfortable in my own skin again, and will remember to love the feeling of running and walking and will do both more often. Instead of hearing the words "fat" and "bigger" repeated over and over, my brain will hear "pretty" and "amazing" and "thin". And that's what I'll become (or stay).

Instead of telling myself to stop eating desserts and stop snacking, I need to focus on eating good foods. My brain doesn't need to have chocolate cake repeated over and over - it tends to ignore the "no" in front of those two words and starts craving cake. So, I'm trying to say apple over and over again. Fortunately, I love apples, so it won't be a huge deprivation. And, I'm sticking with my 80/20 rule and will give myself the pleasure of chocolate every now and then. And, I'll keep telling myself that I'm satisfied and not hungry at all, then I won't feel the need to snack as often.

I know how to lose weight, I've lost A LOT! I'm hoping that my new attitude helps me at what I've heard and am learning for myself is the hardest thing to do - keep off the weight. I refuse to allow myself to gain back the weight I worked so hard to lose. I believe my attitude adjustment will go a long way to helping me accomplish this goal.

I'm no Pollyanna, but I really do believe that looking at the positive side of life and the situations found therein can make life a lot more enjoyable. I'm blessed to have so many positives in my life and remembering them puts a smile on my face even when I'm as blue as I can be.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Living without TV

Today, I'm not going to watch tv at all. In fact, I have a new plan involving television in my life.

Last month, I watched more television than I had in the past year. Not having a job, I'd wake up, turn on the tv, grab something to eat for breakfast, then pull out my laptop. I'd apply for multiple jobs online while watching Food Network shows by the half dozens. Then I'd go for a walk (sometimes, not often enough), shower and get ready, then watch tv while eating lunch. It would take me awhile to pull myself off the couch, but eventually I'd go out and apply at establishments in person. I'd get home about an hour before Steve got off work, so I'd watch more tv. Ofttimes, Steve and I would watch a show or two at night, too. In short, I watched a lot of tv!

Now that I have a job, I know my tv viewing will decrease substantially, but I also have two days off during the week. I can totally see myself sinking into the television abyss and not doing anything productive on those days until Steve gets off work. I don't want this to happen, so I'm experimenting with not watching tv on my 2 week days off (Tuesdays and Thursdays).

What are my plans? Here's a list of some things to do instead of watching tv:

1. Exercise. This past month, I've kind of gotten out of my exercise habit. Since I credit exercise with most of my weight loss, this isn't a good situation. So, I am rededicating myself to exercising every day and am going to start keeping track of my exercise again since that really helps me.

2. Write. I am not terribly ambitious about my writing. I will blog a little more and work on a novel I'd like to write. It would be awesome if something came of it, but really, at this point, I'd just like to say I finished a novel. I have the title and the basic story outline, so we'll see how it goes.

3. Clean. The apartment isn't exactly a mess, but I'd like to clean something every day I have off. That way, the apartment stays clean and I get back in the habit of cleaning. It's funny how many habits I've lost over the past year - too busy having a social life. *smile*

4. Explore. There is a lot of this area that I don't know and this is a great time of year to explore it. The leaves are beginning to change colors and everything is beautiful. I'd like to drive around, go on some hikes I've heard about, try different restaurants, and see all there is to see.

5. Read. Let's be honest...this is what I'm really looking forward to doing the most. I love reading. I have a long list of books people have recommended to me and am excited to finally have time to start reading them. However, reading can be even more addicting than television, so if I start spending all my time reading, I'll have to start limiting my reading time. So, I'll be much as I can be. *grin*

6. Wii. Though using the tv, this isn't the same as watching tv, since I'll be up and moving around. Steve and I love to play tennis and bowling on the Wii and I always beat him. Always. However, he started practicing and is getting a lot better. He's almost better at tennis than me (he kicks my butt in real life) and he finally is figuring out his throw in bowling, so I have got to step up my game. This will probably be the least-chosen activity, but it's definitely something to turn to when I need a little something different.

I'll still watch TV in the evenings with Steve, if that's what we decide to do, but we have so much fun doing other things, that I'm not worried about us spending all our time together in front of the tube.

Mostly, I want to live life, not watch fake people on tv live theirs. So that's what I'm going to do!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Working for a Living

I am now gainfully employed again, after exactly one month without a job. I'm going to be honest, I had a few mental breakdowns about being unemployed. It had been sooooo long since I hadn't had a job, that it was a little hard to not be earning money. That said, it was kind of nice to have a break. I was pretty lazy, when not applying for every job I could find, and even at places that weren't even hiring. I slept in, watched a lot of tv, ate too much (gained only a couple pounds, thankfully not more), and spent lots of time with Steve. Like I said, the break was kind of nice.

That said, I'm glad it's over. I feel better having a job; more useful, more productive, more like myself. I don't like not having a job. Especially since I have bills to pay.

The job I accepted isn't much. It's only part-time and so doesn't pay a lot, but it's a job. It's at a chiropractic office that is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 9am to 6pm. I like that I don't have to be at the office at 8am, especially since I have to leave 20 minutes early to get to work. So, now I leave home just before 8:30am, 30 minutes after I used to have to be at work! I don't love staying til 6pm (usually we don't leave until 15-20 minutes after 6pm), but since it's only 3 days a week, it's not too bad. I have lots of ideas about what I'll do the rest of the time, but I'll save that for another time.

There are two doctors; I work for just one of them. The other doctor has 2 office workers, my doctor has 5 - me, an office manager, and 3 chiro assistants. One of the assistants started on the 1st of October, too. It's kind of nice to have someone there who doesn't know what they're doing, too. I really like everyone that works there, especially 2 of the assistants; the new gal and her best friend who told her about the job opening. They're 21-ish and kind of silly, but I like them. My boss, Dr. D, is cool enough. I don't see a lot of him, which is very unlike the last medical professional for whom I worked, and actually makes me miss Eric. He is pretty busy seeing patients and when he isn't, he sits in his office. I stay up front completely. It's a fairly easy job, nothing too challenging, but I enjoy it. I like interacting with the patients. In fact, it's nice being in a medical office again, although I really really loved working at the university and miss it a lot.

Well, that's the scoop. Now that I have a job, I feel even better about being up here. I miss Cedar, my family, my friends, but I'm glad to be here. I love Steve with all my heart, and I love being able to see him every day. It's fun to be having new experiences and meeting new people. I am enjoying exploring the area, too. The drive to and from work is surprisingly beautiful with lots of trees with leaves now changing colors. In short, I'm happy.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I'm sick. I have been for a little over a week. Last Sunday was pretty bad but then I started to feel better, so I had a pretty nice week. Saturday, I started to feel sick again but I thought it was due to walking around in the heat at the Salt Lake farmers market. I love the farmers market, by the way. It is full of fresh veggies and fruit, wonderful breads and cheeses, crafts, honey, and pretty much anything you could ever want! It's fabulous and Steve and I tend to spend a couple hours there whenever we go. By the time we left, I was feeling pretty wilted, so he took me to get a fresh cookie and orange julius at Gateway mall. I felt much better so didn't think much of it. However, Saturday evening, I was in full-blown sick mode. Sigh.

Sunday, Steve insisted I relax, so we pretty much just hung out and watched television (mostly football) all day. At one point, I really wanted to make salsa using the wonderful ingredients we'd bought at the market, so I started to chop veggies while Steve ran to get tortilla chips. I had done most of the chopping, Steve was waiting patiently at the computer (near the kitchen), when I started to feel a little dizzy. I decided to just keep chopping since I was almost done. Bad idea. I felt myself start to pass out and almost chopped off my thumb. Fortunately, I just took a big nick out of my thumbnail. Also fortunately, Steve saw me sway and rushed to grab me as I fell backward. He lowered me to the kitchen floor and held a cold, wet towel to my forehead as I recovered. I felt like I was going to throw up, so we stayed in the kitchen until I didn't feel nauseous any more.

Finally, I felt a little better, so Steve carried me to the couch and held me tight. My hands started to shake and feel tingly. Steve explained that it was probably adrenaline caused by the experience. I was pretty shaken up, but slowly, I started to feel better. Steve asked how much water I'd drank during the day...none. So, he started pumping me full of water and I really settled down. He pretty much babied me the rest of the evening. I don't usually like to be babied/nursed when I'm sick, but it felt nice when he did it. It felt good to know he cared and wanted to make sure I was ok.

Have I mentioned lately how wonderful he is??? He's so wonderful and I love him so much!

Today, I'm just resting and applying for jobs online. I'm nervous about money, but I have to have faith that something will come along. Hopefully soon. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Grand Little Adventure

I had honestly begun to think the crazy, spontaneous girl in me had died or at least fallen asleep indefinitely. I was nicely settled into a pretty darn good life. I loved my little condo, I had a good job with career potential, and was surrounded by my loving family and terrific friends. True, I lacked a special someone in my life, but I was still very content with life.

Enter Steve and that crazy, spontaneous girl in me awoke and now my life is totally changed!

Today marks two weeks since I moved and as I sit in my pajamas an hour after I used to be at work, I'm amazed. Amazed at how quickly I made the decision to move after years of trying to move but never having a strong enough desire to actually do it. When I moved back to Cedar after living in New York, I promised myself I'd only stay until I graduated from college. When that time came, I had a really great job I loved, and I was offered a full-time position at that job. I stayed. A couple years later, I was itching to do something different and was thinking about moving to Portland, OR. My boss gave me a promotion and hefty pay raise, so I stayed, making a 2-year commitment to him. I even bought a condo, pretty much locking me in to staying in Cedar for several years...or so I thought.

Now I'm living in Layton, unemployed, and having a ball! I miss my family and friends and my condo...and my paycheck, but it's nice to have a little adventure again. Every evening I go for a walk around my new neighborhood and am enjoying exploring the area. It's fun not knowing where anything is then slowly finding where to go grocery shopping, where my bank is, and trying new restaurants.

Job hunting isn't fun and there's a small part of me that wonders if I made a mistake by turning down the job at the alarm company. Oh well, it's in the past and I can't do anything about it. I have at least one possibility today at a chiropractic office. It's only part-time and not a lot of money, but it would be money coming in. If I get it, I'd only work MWF, so I'm thinking about applying as a substitute teacher for T and Th. Or writing a book. Or going to school on those days.

Last week, Steve and I visited the culinary school and I really liked it and was uber excited until the counselor told us the price tag. I had prepared myself for $8-10k because the culinary school in Vegas was just over $7000 for a year. So, my jaw dropped when he said it would be $25,000, although it may be less for me since I have a Bachelor's already so won't need to take the academic courses (math, english, etc). Still, I'm thinking it will still be close to $20,000 for a year. Steve says we'll manage it if it's really what I want to do, but how the heck am I supposed to know when I've never even worked at a restaurant? I love cooking at home, but it's gotta be different, right?

So, I applied at a restaurant I really like that is near my new home. The manager looked at my work experience and asked me if I had any waiting experience at all. I said no and he got this look on his face like "why in the name of all that is good would I hire you to be a waitress with absolutely no experience". He said he's pretty sure the place is fully staffed right now but I can check back in a couple weeks. Sigh. I haven't given up hope...yet...and am planning on applying at a few more restaurants, but it made me realize that my experience and credentials definitely are in the office sector of the workforce. Which would be great if I was ok with working in an office the rest of my life, but I'm not sure that's what I want. I want to be passionate about what I'm doing, I want to be creative, I want to be proud of what I'm doing.

Sigh. I'm not going to lie, having everything up in the air is a little scary, but it's kind of exciting, too. Life certainly isn't stale or predictable. I'm looking forward to seeing how things play out, to meeting new people, to learning new things, and to having new challenges.

Oh, and being near Steve is absolutely wonderful! He is so good to me and for me. On Monday, when I had a little money-related breakdown, he put his arms around me and held me tight until I calmed down. Then he told me everything would be okay and he'd always take care of me. Whether we're playing tennis, hiking, playing cribbage, making dinner, or just relaxing and watching tv, I love being with him. We laugh a lot, talk about everything, and really enjoy being together. I love him.

Well, that's the scoop. Please keep your fingers crossed for me that I find a job soon. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


I'm moving.

It's a little sad, a lot stressful, and mega exciting.

I'm moving to be closer to Steve. Don't be fooled by any other reason I may try to give as to why I'm moving. They are all valid, but when it comes down to it, I want to be closer to him. *sigh* The truth is supposed to set one free, but sometimes it bogs me down in honesty, clarity, and forth-rightfulness until I just don't know what to do with myself. I'm moving to be closer to a man I've only been dating for 3 months. Me! I would never have guessed myself capable of it, but there you have it.

I pondered moving closer to him after the first month of dating because I knew this was a guy I really liked and wanted to get to know better. However, I figured it wouldn't happen for quite some time. Then, out of the blue, I realized that now is a wonderful time to get people to move in to my condo - it's the beginning of a new school year at the university! So, I discussed it with Steve and a couple wonderful advisers, and made the decision to move. By the end of that weekend, my condo had tenants lined up. Wow!

I have a roommate currently; she's staying until October-ish. At that point, I'll pray to find someone to take her place. The other two gals are students and plan on living there at least through the school year. They both move in on August 16th. I decided to give my work a month's notice, so I am moving up north Labor Day weekend. Those of you who are awake will realize the issue here. I am moving in with my mother for a couple weeks before I move up north. It's very generous of her to let me do this and it will be nice to get to spend some extra time with her before I move away. My friend Cardine has generously offered to let me store some things at her place on a very temporary basis, so everything should be taken care of. *knock on wood*

I'm sad to be going. I've been happy here. I live near my parents and my brother and his family. I love being a part of my niece and nephew's lives and will sorely miss seeing them, going to their ball games, dance recitals, etc. I have good friends here that keep my social life a-buzzin' and that I can talk to about almost anything. I'll miss my condo. It's the first house I've owned and as such will always be special to me. It's been a work-in-progress and I'm not leaving it completed. I have always felt at home there and have loved it!! I'm not too sad about leaving my job, but I feel kind of bad. It's a good job with good people, but it isn't something I'd want to do forever. It had potential to become a career if I had stayed, which is sad, but as it is it isn't too hard to leave. I feel bad that I've only worked there a few months, though. And, my boss is super generous and is going to try to get me an unpaid leave of absence for September, in case things don't work out and I decide to come back. Super nice, eh??

I'm stressed because I have lots to do to get ready and no time in which to do it. I've needed to empty out my back bedroom, my bedroom/bathroom, the kitchen, and anything else I want to take with me or at least take out of my soon-to-be-filled-with-strangers home by August 16th. However, I haven't had a whole lot of time to work on it. No weekends to work on it because I spend every weekend with Steve. During the week I work until 5pm and then have every intention of working on my house but something always comes up. Always happy things, but things that take away time to do what needs doing. Once I move into Mom's, my stress level will decrease dramatically (though not completely). I look forward to this.

I'm mega excited to move, though. It will be so nice to be able to see Steve on a more regular basis. On the weekends, we have tons of fun, but life gets put on hold during those days and I'm ready to see how we work out when life's Play button gets pushed. He hasn't seen me mad or frustrated or hungry/tired (which is a deadly combo). I haven't seen him any of those ways either. If things progress like I'm hoping they do, this is an important step towards that - being around each other more often, I mean. And, I just really like being with him. When we're together, I'm so happy. Even if we're just watching tv on the couch or strolling around the farmer's market, it feels good to be with him. He's such a great guy and I am so happy and lucky to have him in my life.

Steve isn't the only reason I'm excited, though. For a few years now, I've contemplated going back to school, either to get a graduate degree in Economics or to go to culinary school. Both interest me and both required moving, which I'm now doing. Both options are possible where I'm moving. I'm excited to do something with my life, to find my passion and to have a career that makes me feel fulfilled. And, I'll live closer to one of my best friends, my cousin Cassie, and my brother Jason and his wife and son. It will be nice to be able to see them more often. Finally, I'm excited to live in a bigger city again. I love my hometown, but there is a definite lack of diverse eating establishments. Mmmm. Places I'm looking forward to frequenting: Zupas, Bombay House, Cafe Med, Mimi's Cafe (divine mac & cheese, believe it or not), Roosters (in Ogden), and so many other places!! And, think of all the bookstores I can enjoy! *happy sigh* I'm looking forward to the adventure of exploring my new neighborhood and city and of meeting new people.

It's a little scary, picking up my life and starting over somewhere new, but I'm ready for it (emotionally, at least; technically, my house is still a disaster and as such I'm not at all ready). Adventure is staring me in the face and I'm going to win the staring contest or die trying!

I'll do my best to keep you updated on what's going on.

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I have curves and I'm proud of it.

I walked across campus today and saw a few girls sunbathing on one of the lawns. They were barely wearing anything at all, just mega skimpy bikinis. I'm female and human and imperfect, so I compared my body to theirs. They are young and fit and tan and skinny and if they had curves, they were kind of hard to see.

For a brief moment, I felt bad about my body. Then I shook my head with disbelief. I've lost 176 lbs and am literally half the person I used to be! I love how my body looks right now, especially when compared to how it used to look. No, it isn't perfect. I have excess skin from my knees to my shoulders, but I can run, fit in an airplane seat, wear cute clothes, and do all sorts of things I couldn't before.

I'm a woman with womanly curves. I have hips and a behind. I have breasts. If you saw a shadow silhouette of me, you'd know I'm a woman. I'm proud of my body and I appreciate it. And, cherry on top, I have a man who thinks I'm sexy and feminine and beautiful AND who makes me feel sexy and feminine and beautiful.

I walked the rest of the way to my destination with my head held high and my spirits soaring. I love being a woman with curves!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


I'm dating someone again.

In fact, I have a boyfriend. That's right. I said it. I.Have.A.Boyfriend.

His name is...can you guess??...Steve.

I met Steve on back in December, right after I started talking to Sam. It didn't work out at that time...I just wasn't feeling it. We somehow managed to reconnect since I broke up with Sam and I'm so glad that we did! We've been talking since mid April and have met up twice. We're hoping that starting in July we'll be able to see each other more frequently than once a month (our schedules have been crazy!).

Here's a little about him: he lives in Layton and is in the Air Force. He's 38 years old, 6'4", and has brown eyes and a bald head (he's balding so shaves it). He loves sports, especially baseball, and is a huge UCLA fan. I told him I'd be happy to cheer for UCLA unless they play Utah, then no way jose. He's a great guy; a perfect gentleman, kind of goofy, very nice, kind of shy, positive, dependable, strong...the list could go on and on.

It's still really early, but I have high hopes for this one.

I like Steve...a lot.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I joined my work softball team on a whim. Last Spring, while watching the softball games of various friends and family members, I thought how fun it would be to play softball, to be a part of a team, run, hit the ball, move my body. Someday, I told myself, someday. Well, when the email went out inviting employees to join the co-ed team, I found myself responding. I attended the team meeting and got nervous, big time. These people could of the gals is one of the softball coaches at SUU (where I work), which isn't intimidating at all. I told them I'd try my best but that I had never played on a team before so please don't expect too much.

I got more and more nervous, especially because playing kept getting put off; one practice was canceled, I couldn't make the other one, two weeks of games were canceled due to snow, so by the time our first game rolled around, I was sick with nerves. I don't know how to throw a ball and it had been over a year since I'd picked up a bat. And, friends and family were going to be in the stands watching! Sam, my ex, came up from St. George and gamely played catch with me beforehand, giving me pointers and plenty of encouragement.

Once the game started, I had a blast - I knew I would once I settled down. I play catcher. In this league, catcher is given to the worst player on the team...all I do is catch the ball when the pitcher pitches it. If a play is being made at home, I step out of the way and let the pitcher run up to take care of things. I don't care that I'm the worst player on the team. It's better than being in the outfield for two reasons; 1) I can't throw the ball, so if I was in right field and the ball managed to make its way to me, I'd have to throw it in and would look absolutely ridiculous and b) I'm in the game - I may not have a lot of responsibilities, but I get a hand on the ball a lot, get to practice throwing the ball (to the pitcher), and I get to chat with the umpire. I love it.

How have I been playing, you ask? Not too great, but not too shabby. I've had a couple hits, a couple strike outs, and made it on base one...I walked. My goal is to get on base due to hitting the ball and then to someday actually score. They aren't lofty goals, but they're mine and I like them.

My team is awesome. I'm one of three Julie's, which we all find terribly amusing. The guys on the team aren't as scary and demanding as I'd feared they'd be. They're very patient with me, give me encouragement, and give me high 5's when I do something even resembling a good job (like when I almost caught a foul ball). As a team, we laugh a lot and have a good time. And, we actually do a fair amount of winning, which is an added perk.

Two years ago, I would never have contemplated being on a softball team. Oh how my life has changed. I'm actually living it instead of letting it roll by like a twig in a stream. I'm doing things that I always held myself back from doing because of my weight. I love that my body can run, not very fast or for very long, but the feeling of the various parts of my body working in harmony to produce this feat is tremendous. I love when I swing the bat and can feel the power of my muscles in my arms and back. I'm about as graceless as a horse on roller blades when I throw the ball, but I'm getting better, and sometimes, every once in awhile, I throw it correctly and I can feel the difference. My body works and I revel in it.

I'll probably never be the best player on any team, but I love playing the game. I love being active and part of something outside myself. I love the sounds of the game; the ball hitting the bat, the Ump calling Strike (unless it's on me or someone on my team), the cheers of the people on the bleachers, and the kids running around laughing and having a grand ole time. I love the way my hand smells like my glove afterward. I love that my mom and friends come to the game to cheer me on. It's so cool to get up to bat and to have them rooting for me, even when I hit the ball right to the pitcher. I love putting on my jersey (#32) even though it's just on loan and I don't get to keep it. I love that my previously white(ish) shoes are now dirty from the red softball diamond dirt. I simply love playing the game.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Living with a Boy

I haven't posted in ages! Wow! I now realize how much I blogged at my last job.

Anyhoo, for those of you who don't know, I live with a boy. His name is Brian. We met at a friend's house, hit it off, ended up kissing at the end of the second night knowing each other, then he moved back to Illinois, then he moved back to Utah, then he was thrown out of the place he was staying with a friend, and, since he knew no one else in town, I offered to let him stay with me on a temporary basis.

That was the shortened version.

It's been almost 3 weeks since he moved in. During that time, my official roommate also moved in - she answered my craigslist ad and we'd arranged to be roommates weeks before this happened. She's really laid back and was okay with it when I told her about Brian moving in the week before she did. So far, we're a pretty happy family.

It's an interesting phenomenon living with a guy who isn't family. Oh, and before I go on, I should make it perfectly clear that whatever spark existed between us when we first met is no longer in play. We're just friends...nothing more! We haven't kissed since that night, not even held hands! So, don't worry!

It's kind of fun living with a guy. First, you can shock ultra conservative people. Second, he tells me I'm pretty a lot. And not in the "I'm trying to date you so I'm flattering you" way...just a matter of fact "you are a pretty person" way. It's very nice to hear, especially from a guy, even if you're not dating said guy. Third, guys think differently than girls. We end up having interesting discussions that are totally different than a conversation I'd have with a girl. And, he gives me insights into the male psyche, especially in regards to dating. Fourth, he keeps a sink full of dirty dishes...oh wait, that isn't a fun part. However, it's something I can live with. Heavens, I've mellowed out a lot!

I'm not saying I'd love living with any ol' guy, but I'm enjoying living with Brian. I hope his situation gets better so he doesn't have to stay with me, but only for his sake, not for mine. And, I hope that the next guy I live with is my husband and I have a ring on my finger. And, I hope it's relatively soon.

I'm just saying. :)

Friday, April 09, 2010

Did You Know...

...the longest I've gone without coloring my hair (since I started in 1993) was 18 months?

...that I once went 5 months without wearing makeup (January to June 1999)?

...I can wiggle my nose like a rabbit?

...I went one month without eating meat? Just to see if I could do it. It was easier than I expected.

...that May 15th is my birthday?

...I only have one niece? She's my favorite niece and I'm hers.'s been 5 years since I've gambled in a casino?

...that the last time I gambled in a casino, I lost $500 (my own money, not previous winnings)?

...I'm planning on going skydiving this May/June?

...that "While You Were Sleeping" is one of my favorite movies?

...that I'm exactly 5 feet 6 and 3/4 inches tall? (measured a couple weeks ago) current toenail polish color is pink?

...I used to bite my nails but stopped in 6th grade?

...I bought my first computer in February? It's a red laptop.

...I have freckles? If not, do you not know me at all???

...that one of my goals is to run a 5k this year?

..."only the boring get bored" is one of my favorite sayings?

...I have an 11-yr old sister?

...that I once won a print worth $650 and still haven't framed it and hung it on my wall?

...being stranded on a deserted island without contacts/glasses is one of my biggest fears?

...I've never karaoke'd?

...I love to turn nouns into verbs and force them to be past-tense? (see above)

...Spain is now #1 on my list of places I want to go? Cordova, Spain to be exact. Wanna come with me?

...that I wear a watch again after 5 years or more of not? I love knowing the time!!

There. Now you know everything there is to know about me! *wink*

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

How I Impressed My Future Boss

So many of you know this story, but I'm going to tell it anyway...because I's my blog.

I can still remember how I felt as I walked down State Street in downtown Salt Lake City. It was a beautiful, warm April afternoon (exactly 13 years ago today), and the sun felt glorious on my upturned face. There was a slight breeze, so I was glad for the light sweater I had worn that matched my flowing floral skirt and white cotton blouse. I was on my way to a job interview and was a little nervous but mostly confident...even back then I was a pro at job interviews.

That day, I had decided to skip my last class so had arrived downtown early. I'm a freakishly punctual person, but an hour is excessive even for me. I decided to eat lunch at the mall food court to pass a little time. Clam chowder in a bread bowl. Mmmm. It was yummy. When I finished, I had plenty of time to walk the 7 or so blocks down State Street to the small repertory theatre at which I had the job interview. State Street is one of the busiest streets in Salt Lake and at lunch time it was teeming with cars and people. I strolled amongst my fellow walkers, daydreaming about my latest crush, enjoying the hustle and bustle around me.

I was about a block away when I noticed a guy running across State Street's 5 lanes. He was kind of cute, from what I could see at that distance. I smiled when he turned and started to walk toward me; he really was good-looking. As we passed each other, I said a quiet "hi" and my smiled widened when he turned around.

"Excuse me, Miss." he said, walking back toward me. He had an accent I didn't recognize. I turned around and smiled again. I figured he was going to ask for the time or directions or something. I was wrong.

"Yes?" I asked.

"Um...your's trapped." he stuttered.

"Excuse me??"

"Your is trapped."

I slowly felt behind me. He was right; my skirt was trapped. When I had sat down at the mall, my skirt had been pushed up and now happily resided in the bottom my sweater, exposing my backside (covered by undies, of course) to all the world.

Turning bright red, I fixed my skirt and thanked this nice, cute guy for telling me. I appreciated him having the decency to tell me my skirt was trapped, unlike all the people, women included, that hadn't. True, some of them may not have noticed, but I can guarantee that a lot did and said nothing. I try to think charitably; I'm sure they just didn't want to embarrass me. To this day, I always tell people when they have food in their teeth, a zipper in the down position, or a trapped skirt. Better to have a moment of embarrassment than to get home and wonder how long that piece of spinach has been covering your front tooth.

For a brief instant, I considered retreating to a safe place - I was at 6th South and could easily turn up it and walk the 6 blocks to my home. I needed the money, so I went to the interview. When I told the box office girl who I was, she called the boss, Tom, to inform him I was there. He said he'd be a few minutes, so I waited quietly for about 2 seconds. And then, because I'm a chronic oversharer, I told her about my trapped dress. She was still laughing when Tom arrived. He wanted to know what was so funny, so I told him the story. He hired me after 10 minutes.

He later told me that he had been impressed with my ability to laugh at myself and had known immediately that I'd fit in perfectly at the theatre. I worked there the rest of the time I lived in Salt Lake and considered it my home-away-from-home. In fact, I spent more time there than at my apartment. The actors and stage crew members became my friends. Tom was like a father to me and his family like my family. I even had Thanksgiving with them that year. I loved that job more than any I've had.

And I owe it all to my trapped skirt.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Bucket List

Last summer, I had a dream that I was dying. I had an incurable disease that would give me about 6 months of truly live-able time. I quit my job, sold my home, and planned what to do in those 6 months. Spending time with my friends and family topped the list but the one thing I really had to do before I died was go to Paris. I felt I could be proud of what I had accomplished if I managed to check this one life-long dream off my list. I awoke from the dream realizing just how important it was for me to make it to Paris. I didn't know when or how I'd make it over there, but I knew it had to be done. I started to think about other things that I've always wanted to do and hence created my Bucket List.

Having a bucket list really appeals to my nature. Creating goals for my life and then getting to check them off? What's not to love about that?

My Bucket List: (in no particular order after the first one)

* Go to Paris - December 2009 WOOHOO!!!

* Shoot a gun - December 2009

* Go skydiving (hopefully this May/June)

* Rock climbing

* See a Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas

* Paint a picture (that actually looks like something other than a blob of colors)

* Hike Angel's Landing in Zion National Park

* Run a 5k

* Go hang gliding

* Write a novel

* Earn a graduate degree

* See the Northern Lights

* Love one man with all my heart and soul

The idea is that as I accomplish one item on the List, I'll add a new goal to the bottom of the list. I don't ever want to be DONE. I want to live a life of progress and learning and adventure. Hopefully, by the time I kick the Bucket, I'll have a big long list of things I've done that I always wanted to do and an equally long list of things I would've love to do had I had the time.

What is on your Bucket List?

And, if I like what's on your List, do you mind if I add it to mine? *huge grin*

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


One of my favorite country songs is “Wasted” by Carrie Underwood. No, it’s not about being drunk…yeah, I know it’s a country song but they aren't always about being drunk/depressed/cheated upon/etc. Usually, but not always. This song is about 2 people who don’t want to waste their lives doing or being something less than what they could be. Here's the chorus:

I don't wanna' spend my life jaded
Waiting to wake up one day and find
That I've let all these years go by

Last week, I was putting together a flyer for work and was researching quotes to include. I stumbled across this one:

There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion . . . It is the harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love this quote because I want to be strong enough to be the person I want to be regardless of what people think about my choice. Most of my life, my choices have been in agreement with what the people around me would approve. What would I do if my choices ever don't? Would I be strong enough to stand my ground despite the disapproval of family and friends?

I'd like to think that it would be really hard...mostly because I'd hate to be responsible for causing my loved ones to worry...but that I could do it.

As a friend recently reminded me, life is only lived once and I need to make the most of it. No fear of making mistakes because I always learn from them. No fear of falling in love in case I get hurt - dive in and enjoy the moment as long as it lasts and pray to God that one day it will last forever. Do what I'm passionate about and what makes me feel challenged and fulfilled despite whatever obstacles, hard work, and sacrifices may cross my path. Explore, have adventure, settle down, establish roots, find joy in the big and small moments, love and be loved, cry, laugh, dream big, dare, trust, be best and truest self.

Live a life not wasted.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

At Least I Have Options...

I know, I know...I still haven't written about my trip to Paris, I'm sorry! I won't lie, I feel a little overwhelmed by it. I haven't touched my photos from the trip yet. Once I do something with them, I'll get a post up. Fortunately, I kept a journal while I was there, so I won't have to try to remember what happened.

In the meantime, let me get you up to speed with my dating life. And, for a moment, let us all rejoice that I actually have a dating life. Woohoo! Here are the men that are currently "in" my life, in order of interest more or less.

I met Sam online. He was the first guy to email me. We went on our first date mid-December, just over one week after he first emailed me. For awhile, I considered him my boyfriend. He, on the other hand, has considered me his girlfriend since our second date. Why is it that it takes me longer to get to that point than the guys I date? Doesn't matter. Sam is from Canada and has traveled all over the world. He worked for a few years as a security officer on cruise ships before taking his current job at an airline. His job gives him amazing travel benefits and he added me to them, so we'd be able to travel together cheaply. Things I like about Sam: he likes sports (and is introducing me to the joys of hockey), likes to kiss, has a great sense of humor, is quiet but not shy, is patient, and is strong. Not just physically, which he is, but he also seems like someone I could rely on, depend on, lean on when I need support.

That said, we've run into a bit of a hurdle recently, and I'm having a hard time getting over it. I'm not sure if I'll be able to, honestly, even though I really like him. I haven't broken up with him, but I'm taking a few steps back until I figure out some things. We're still going away for Valentines Day weekend - we're staying with my cousin in Vegas - and I have a feeling that the trip is going to make or break us. The funny thing is, I'm not even sure he realizes it. I mean, he knows that I was really unhappy last week, but he may not realize that I'm still unhappy. I don't know, maybe I don't give him enough credit.

I met Danny online a few weeks ago. I "winked" at him (basically just letting him know that I had looked at his profile and was interested). He winked back, then nothing. For the record, winking is the only first move I'll make, and I haven't even done that very many times. A few days later, he emailed me, saying it was his first time emailing a girl he'd met online and to please excuse any "rookie mistakes" he made. So, we started emailing; our initial emails were pretty short and not very exciting - unlike my emails with Sam...we had such an instant connection that shone through even with our first emails to each other. However, they slowly have become more personal and interesting, and last night we met for the first time. He has two kids from a previous marriage and had had them for the past week. He stopped in town on the way home (Vegas) from Provo (where his ex and kids live). We chatted at a cafe for a couple hours and I really enjoyed it. He's attractive, motivated, LDS (Sam is Jewish), likes sports, smiles a lot, and seems like a great dad. He is an attorney in Vegas and is planning to someday pass the bar in Utah so he can move closer to his kids. I don't know where things are going to go from here. He lives far enough away that I'm not sure how often we'll get together...and I don't know how thrilled I am at the prospect of a long-distance relationship. However, for the meantime, I'm good with seeing what happens.

Again, I met him online, shortly after I started emailing Sam. He lives in Manti and is also LDS. We've had some really good conversations through email, but it doesn't seem to be progressing beyond that. At one point, we exchanged phone numbers, but all he's done is text me, never called. We share a passion for writing, reading, and history. He's always very sweet and complimentary to me in his emails and asks me lots of questions about myself, my day, how I'm doing, etc. I appreciate the interest he many guys don't ask any questions about me and it kind of feels like they aren't interested in knowing me. Again, we'll see where this goes.

Darin winked at then emailed me a few weeks ago. He lives in the same town as me, is divorced, has 3 kids, and is actually older than me. We talked a couple days after our first emails and he seemed...interesting...a little brash and loud. We set up a date, but things got really good with Sam - I started thinking of him as my boyfriend - and I felt weird about going out with another guy. So, I canceled the date with Darin. A couple days later, he texted me saying he was ready to go out as soon as I was. I told him I had just started getting serious with another guy so wouldn't be free to go out with him. He said he understood and asked that I let him know if things didn't work out with the other guy. I figured I wouldn't hear back from him ever again. Well, I was wrong. Every few days or so, he'd text me to say hi. At first, I wouldn't text back, I didn't want to lead him on, but he kept texting me. Then things went south with Sam, so this weekend, when Darin texted me, I responded back. We ended up placing a friendly wager on the Super Bowl outcome, and I lost. The bet was that the loser had to pay for a movie at the theatre, which means we'll be going out at some point. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'm not mega interested in him...he's a little rude and sarcastic and rough around the edges. And, my dad knows him and doesn't think he's a good match for me. However, I'm willing to give him a chance, especially because he's obviously interested in me enough to keep trying even after I canceled our date and told him I was dating someone else. He didn't give up, and he obviously thinks about me during the day because I get random texts from him. I wish I could say the same for Sam. Sigh. :(

There are a few other guys not really worth mentioning in detail; one online (lives in WA), one in Cedar (has asked me out a couple times but 1)I'm not sure if it's just as friends or if he's interested and 2)I'm not sure I'd be interested if he is), and one that is probably never going to happen (a lady who works in a neighboring office wants to set me up with her nephew).

I talked to my dad this weekend about all that's going on. I was kind of stressing a bit, and he gave me some good advice. He told me to just enjoy the dating process...I haven't had a lot of dating experience, especially not with having several actual options at one time. He advised me to not settle on one for awhile, to test the waters, to enjoy the attention, and wait until I'm sure that I've found a guy that could make me happy. Excellent advice. I'm trying really hard to follow it. Because really, I've NEVER had this many options before in my life! They all may fall through, but in the meantime, I'm thrilled and am enjoying the ride as much as possible.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Check Another Off the List!

My life seems to be turning upside down lately. So many changes!

Go here to check out what I asked Santa to bring me for Christmas.

Three days after I wrote that post, I signed up for The next day, I "met" Sam. Now Sam and I are dating. I'm thisclose to calling him my boyfriend. Darn trust issues. If not for them and the fact that he's acting a little "different" (according to my darn trust issues), I'd probably find it easier to call him my boyfriend. Close enough. Check off "A Boyfriend". Thank you, Santa.

Christmas night, I flew to Paris. I had a wonderful trip. It was everything I could have ever hoped for in the fulfillment of this lifetime dream. I swear I'll write a post someday telling you more about the trip and will post some pictures. So, trip to France...done. Check that off the list. Merci beaucoup, Pere Noel!

Yesterday, I was offered a job at the local university in the HR department. I accepted it and will start February 1st. It pays less than what I make right now, but the benefits are absolutely awesome. I'll have health benefits for the first time since I was booted off my mom's insurance. I'll also have retirement, life insurance, and free tuition for classes. I'm going to apply for the MBA program and start taking a class at a time starting this summer or fall. And, now that I have my foot in the door, so to speak, it will be easier to get a position that pays more. So, check yet another item off my wish list! Santa, really, you've outdone yourself. Thank you a million times over!

I'm not holding my breath for the maid; however, because of my decreased income, I'm going to start looking for a roommate. Maybe she'll be a clean freak (in a non-obsessive way) and will be almost like a maid...that pays me rent. :) And, I didn't get Mario Kart for Christmas but I got something that is even more beneficial...Wii Fit! I've used it several times so far and really enjoy it. It's not mega difficult but I can still get a good workout.

Seriously, I've been blessed.

Hope you guys are all being equally blessed!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Year in Review - 2009

What a difference a year makes! So much has happened, my life is different in so many ways, and I've accomplished a lot this year. It's been a good year in many ways. Let's go into more detail. *grin*

Places Visited: (new places in italics)
Casper, WY
Laramie, WY
Price, UT (I know, try to contain the excitement)
Beaver, UT
Milford, UT
Page, AZ
Bullfrog, UT
Delta, UT
Richfield, UT
Panguitch, UT
Logan, UT (woefully left off the first edition)
West Valley City, UT
Spanish Fork, UT
Springville, UT
Provo, UT
Mapleton, UT
Salt Lake City, UT (multiple times)
St. George, UT (lots of times)
Las Vegas, NV (several times)
London, England (really, just Heathrow Airport, but I'm counting it!)
Paris, France (that's right!)

Guys I went on dates with: 3 - one was an ex, one is a new guy, and one guy was in Paris.

Number of Boyfriends: 1 - though I'm still not sure I consider him my boyfriend...but we're getting there.

Guys Kissed: 5!! Don't judge. Especially don't judge that this number was 0 until the middle of December. And, don't judge that 4 happened in Paris and 2 of those were the same day. Finally, don't judge me because this number doubled my lifetime number!*grin*

Biggest Accomplishment: losing 140+ lbs. This has made the biggest difference in my life.

My Proudest Moment: Sitting down on the airplane to London; didn't have to use a seat belt extension and I fit into just my seat - no creeping over to the seat next to me! Woohoo!

My Least Proud Moment: A stupid decision I made in Paris that I'm not going to explain further. Sorry. :)

A New Experience: shooting a gun for the first time ever.

Weight Lost: 142 lbs as of December 25th, which was the last time I weighed myself in 2009. As of today, though, it's 150 lbs!

Number of Books Read: 40. This number is a little suspect...I think I forgot to record a few. Oh well.

Favorite Books Read: Terry Pratchett books (especially Witches Abroad), Fablehaven 1-4, and Lisey's Story by Stephen King (the only one of his I've ever read).

Fun Memories/Activities: Shakespeare festival, cousins weekends, car shopping with Aly, running, making new friends, hiking the "Blood Trail" in Logan, trip to Paris, volleyball with Cardine, buying smaller clothes, New Years kiss, walking the whole canyon trail, tennis with "the guys", teaching Primary, my nephew's baptism, riding the carousel in Paris with Cardine, kissing on the banks of the Seine, "dancing" with my youngest nephew - we have a special dance that he does whenever he sees me, spending lots of time with my family and friends - I've been blessed with the most wonderful people in my life.

Happiest Moment: standing in front of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris and feeling the impact of finally realizing a dream I've had since I was 14.

Toughest Moment: this fall there were a couple weeks of misery where I felt trapped - unable to progress, to change, to move on. I was so unhappy! The cure: I booked a trip to Paris. It gave me something to look forward to, then everything else seemed better and brighter, and I returned to my normal happy self. :)

Most Unusual Decision: joining; however, it's turned out great so far!
Runner up: joining Facebook. Still don't know how I feel about it.

Biggest Regret: I don't usually have regrets because I always manage to learn from my mistakes. I did a couple really dumb things this year, but now I know a little more about myself and what I need to do differently in certain situations.

Hopes for 2010: a new job, more traveling, reaching my goal weight, go sky diving, run a 5k, enjoy having a boyfriend (don't stress out like usual).

I hope you all have a great year!