"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Friday, December 30, 2011

Life is Bigger than a Pizza Crust

I married a good man. Such a good good man.

Yesterday me and Trevor both had the day off! So we slept in super late (2:30?), went camera window-shopping, ate breakfast/lunch together, were lazy, didn't do dishes or clean up anything, played a couple round of tetris, I spent forever trying to figure out my new hotstick and curling hair straightener, went grocery shopping, ran some errands, and ended up buying all the X-Men movies on blue-ray, Kung-Fu Panda, How to Train your Dragon, Hook, and Star Trek (also blue-ray :) for like only $70 because the Blockbuster by our house is going out of business. I like date days with my Trevor :)

None of that is what this post is actually about though. After all of that, we went home and cooked up a homemade pizza! I randomly decided to make one and got really excited about it, so we went topping shopping to make our awesome pizza! Trevor even got out our pizza stone to use for the first time. I've made that same pizza crust recipe several times before, but this was the first time I tried making it with a kitchen-aid and for some reason it didn't turn out right at all. It was too thick and lumpy and wouldn't roll out, so I tried to add more water...which mostly just made it really slimy. It didn't help that I couldn't roll it out on the pizza pan like I was used to because the pizza stone was supposed to preheat in the oven before we put the pizza on it, and we didn't have any counter space for me to use. It was a mess.

the offending kitchen mess (post battle)

I kept getting more and more frustrated and upset with the whole thing. Trevor washed a cookie sheet for me to roll it out onto and then transfer to the pizza stone, and I got resourceful and used a long cup as a rolling pin since we don't have one and the dough was too stubborn to respond well to just my hands. I tried to make that stupid dough bend to my will and finally succeeded in getting it to flatten out somewhat reasonably. Then we pulled the hot pizza stone out to transfer the crust. A bit of smoke and an icky burnt smell greeted me when I opened the oven. I had put flour on the stone before I knew it needed to preheat, and it was charred dark brown. So I had to try to carefully wipe all the burnt flour off of the 400+ degree pizza stone so the pizza wouldn't taste nasty, and it decided to spill all over and make a nice stinky burnt little mess. I just left it. Then I peeled the shaped dough off the cookie sheet to transfer it to the hot stone...but I forgot that a large square pizza crust wouldn't fit on a smaller round pizza stone.

It might have been because my sleep schedule was off, or because I was hungry and cranky; maybe the impending clutter pressing in from all sides was getting to me, or it was a side-effect of the new medication I just started. Maybe it was my occasional perfectionism flaring up, or worry from the fact that we had just impulse spent so much hard-earned money on entertainment, maybe it was some girly hormones running a little crazy, or maybe it was all of those and more. I don't really know. But by this point I was worked up into such an upset tizzy that I couldn't even handle it. That pizza crust was so unfixable and so determined not to do what I wanted that the world might as well be ending! I just wanted to scream and cry and throw something and pound that stupid pizza crust into obliteration all at once! (...which is really a very non-normal way for me to feel, I might add) I ended up half shouting and half exclaiming hopelessly and exasperatedly "It's all wrong! Trevor! I don't even know what to do!!" And it was true.

He didn't start a yelling match or argument about how this was supposed to be a fun dinner date and I was completely ruining it by being so uncharacteristically rude and upset the whole time despite his help and attempts to lighten the mood, or even get upset at me for yelling and being unpleasant and mad when nothing was even his fault. He just came and put his arms around me, then walked me out of the kitchen and sat me down on the couch and just held me for a minute without saying a word. And then he told me that he loves me. He always knows the right thing to do.

Then he prescribed that I stay on the couch and not worry about the pizza, and watch the next episode of White Collar while he fixed it. He's so wonderful :) I only got part-way through the episode before I was myself again, so I paused it and went back to the pizza kitchen to apologize and say thanks and see what he had done to fix the crust. It was pretty simple and brilliant really. He just rolled up the long edges so it made a nice thick end crust, but the middle was normal. I pressed it around a bit more so it met with my satisfaction, and then we loaded it up with our favorite toppings, and had a wonderfully yummy happy dinner date after all! I'm a lucky girl :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Another Stab in the Dark

I had yet another idea about a possible source for this nausea of mine. A soy allergy or intolerance. I'm leaning toward intolerance at the moment. Based on the random collection of websites and articles that I Googled over the past 45 minutes or so, if you're soy intolerant, your intestines don't release the enzymes needed to break down soy or soy by-products, so you have nausea, vomiting, cramping, fullness, etc. even though your system is perfectly healthy, but not the allergy symptoms like rashes, itchy mouth, trouble breathing, and all that good stuff.

Some other interesting facts: in the later months right before the beginning of this whole year+ episode of nausea, I kept getting these red, itchy, almost pink-eyeish symptoms. It wasn't ever really really bad, but there were a good many days my last Winter semester when I only wore one of my contacts and didn't wear makeup because my other eye wasn't doing well. That's a symptom of soy allergy. I also had an eczema flare up in my elbow about the time things started to get bad. That's another symptom.  You'd think they would have continued like the ever-persistent nausea if they were related though. Probably just a coincidence, but I did think it was kind of an interesting one though.

If my symptoms really are the result of a soy intolerance, that would explain why eating food makes me sick all the time! Soy is in EVERYTHING! I really don't know how I could realistically avoid it. I guess it would still be nice to know, if that ends up being part of why I'm sick all the time.

Who knows. I sure am tired of not knowing why I feel awful. And I'm even more tired of actually feeling awful like all the time. I guess I'll have one more thing to bring up in my next doctor's appointment though!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Quick Note

I was just looking at the statistics for which of my posts had the most views since I started my blog, and to my surprise, Noteworthy is only 1 or 2 views away from the top 5! When I came home and randomly decided to post my notes from Stake Conference I had no idea it would get that much attention! I hope all you viewers who read it got at least something from my scattered notes. It was a great Stake Conference :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Not Bad for a Monday!

I didn't sleep well last night. I was up late typing up a long thing about what I hate (hated?) about being asked on dates I don't want to go on, and then I was so tired I wasn't very efficient at getting myself to bed. Plus I've had these silly cold symptoms that have lasted for like a month now, and my body just aches all over like a grandma randomly...so I wasn't very excited about getting out of bed in the morning. Especially since it was a Monday, and I had to leave my sleeping Trevor and my cozy warm bed to go to a nice long 8 1/2 hour shift of work.

Thanks to taking extra time convincing myself that I really did need to get out of bed, I didn't take a shower and I didn't have time for a good breakfast, so I ran out the door - toast in hand - ready to scarf it down at the stoplights after scraping the layer of ice off my windows. But there was no ice! Thank goodness! I was a few minutes late is it was! I started the engine of my super old trusty little truck, and attempted to eat my toast at the stoplights as I raced to work. But all the lights were either green, or turned green within moments of me hitting my breaks. That never happens! So I made it to work with a minute to spare, which I spent sitting in my little truck, happily (and hurridly) eating my toast and humming along with the Christmas music.

Work itself actually turned out to not be too bad after all. One of those days with more than enough to do so we don't get bored, but not so much that we're totally stressed out and overwhelmed. We did get called out by the auditor who randomly showed up for something we haven't been good at doing...but hopefully I personally won't end up taking too hard a hit from it. I'm one of the most diligent workers at remembering and actually doing it :)

I called my doctor and left an hour-long window for her to call me back with the results of my two ultrasounds the other day because I wasn't sure when exactly my half-hour lunch break would be.  If she didn't end up getting through I'd have to wait until the next day to get them and talk about setting up an appointment for an endoscopy. Lo and behold, I punched out for lunch, got my phone from my locker, and within about 3 minutes she called! Everything was normal in both ultrasounds, which is both good and bad. Good that they didn't find anything wrong with what they were looking at, and bad because there is still obviously a problem...and now we have to do more tests to try to figure out what it is. Oh well. We talked about the endoscopy for a minute and she said I can probably take Zofran when I go in for it! What a load off my mind! That's my biggest fear. More than the potential pain and sore throat after having a tube with a camera shoved down inside me, is just the fear of gagging and wanting to throw up while they're doing the endoscopy. So now I can lessen that main fear, and try to just worry about them finding answers.

After work I pulled out my phone again on the way home, and I had a voicemail...for a job interview!!! For a receptionist position in the imaging department at the Central Utah Clinic! I'm super excited!! The more I think about it the more excited I get actually! I still don't know many specifics about hours, salary, benefits, if you have to commit to working for a year or more, or any of that because it wasn't included in the description. But I'll sure find all that out tomorrow before I head off to my current job. A lot of maybes, but I'm hopeful :)

Then I got home and found out some more good news! First, a little background. I keep seeing these ballet-inspired wedding pictures and I'm just in love with them! So I decided I want to have a ballet bridalesque photo shoot! I even found a budding photographer who said she'd do a shoot of me for only $40! So I looked around to try and come up with a good location...and I found the perfect one. Sleepy Ridge. It's GORGEOUS! It was my #1 favorite venue for our wedding reception...except it was waaay too expensive. I talked to the schedulers about the possibility of using it for a just photo shoot though, and they said they would only charge me $50!



This was last week, and me and Trevor had a little chat about it. The conclusion was that if I was going to spend the money to have my perfect location, I should have the shoot with a photographer I really really liked. Easy answer. Whitney Lewis. I LOVE her work! I don't know much, if anything, about photography, but I just can't find another photographer who's work I love more. Maybe it's because the colors are so bright, maybe it's because her lighting looks incredible, maybe the people she photographs are just more attractive than most, maybe it's the cool artistic effects, maybe it's something completely different, maybe it's all of those and more...who knows. She shot our engagements and formals for our wedding, and we loved them! The only problem: she's too expensive.

But then, miracle of miracles, Whitney decided to have a creative photo shoot contest! You submit an idea, she chooses her top 10, and people vote on facebook for their favorite! And the person with the most votes gets their shoot for free!! So I submitted my idea...and I made it to the top 10!!!!!!!

Now there is only a day or two of voting left, and I'm in about 5th place. So if you could vote for my idea that would be awesome!! Here is the link:
http://www.facebook.com/WhitneyLewisPhotography/posts/322577091103979

and you just click to see more comments, click "like" on the comment that says idea #5 by Karin, and go to her page Whitney Lewis Photography, and "like" her page! I would be much obliged :)


So after my jubilation at the realization that there was a chance that I might get my dream photo shoot with my dream photographer at my dream location...for the grand total of only $50 (!!!!! gaahhh knock on wood!!!!), I took a short nap. It was great. And I woke up to the sound of my dear husband's voice as he walked in the door. I love him :) So then we had a dinner-making party in the kitchen! And I made myself a super healthy and delicious sandwich with turkey, spinach, tomato, sprouts, onion, mustard, and pepperjack cheese on multigrain bread. Yum! Except I discovered that I'm allergic to sprouts, which makes me sad. But oh well, I wasn't allergic enough to keep me from loving my sandwich!

And then I ate some chocolate and made plans with a friend to go to the temple later this week! And me and my dear Trevor finally went to bed after a long wonderful day :)

(Ok well actually his was really stressful and he took some finals and worked and studied his brains out for his two hard finals today...but it was a wonderful day for me :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Take That

Bodies are wonderful and incredible, and I'm sure glad I have one. I love my body :) But I'm tired of my body always telling me what to do. I woke up this morning with a sore throat and what feels like the start of a sinus infection. Really? I've had 2 colds already this month on top of my stomachness. Today is my day off and it's my ballet day. Usually when you're not feeling well it's your body's way of telling you to slow down and help it do what it needs to in order to get you well again, but today I'm tired of my body always telling me I'm too sick to do what I want to do! So just for today I'm going to silence it with meds and go to ballet and have a good day!

Some Christmastime Hope

Well, I had another doctor's appointment today. My stomach has been having a worse time the past few days, and I needed to have another follow-up monthly visit anyways, plus it was time to start seriously planning for an endoscopy (blah). I was thinking about it yesterday, and I realized that even more than my fear of actually going through the endoscopy, I'm afraid of what we'll find out.

Based on what I've heard from other people, and what I've read online and in forums and whatnot, probably either they won't be able to figure out what's wrong and the whole thing will be a bit of a waste, or they'll find out it's what they thought it was...which is incurable and not effectively treatable. That's harder to swallow than an endoscope. Carrying on one day at a time through the ins and outs of nauseousness with the blind hope of someday getting better is one thing. Having someone sit you down and say, "you're sick, and you will be sick like this for the rest of your life", is completely different. That terrifies me. Even though in my mind I've very nearly accepted that this will be a struggle for the rest of my life, having it officially confirmed is somehow much worse. And since my 'fight or flight' switch is permanently in the 'flight' position, in my mind it seems like running from it and avoiding it will remove my problems. But it won't. So I went to my appointment to schedule an endoscopy today.

It turned out to be a good move actually, and now I'm feeling a bit more hopeful about this whole situation than I was expecting to. First off, I discovered that I actually haven't gained 10 pounds since my wedding like I thought I had! Only 5! Which is about the same as I was before my health and weight plummet a week or so before the wedding, so a good healthy normal Karin weight that I've maintained even after 5 months of married life! Also, they did a blood test and found out that I am not anemic like I was afraid I was. I'm at the lower end of normal, but still normal. Yay! And I have a nice cool painfully deep little bruise from where they stabbed me. My doctor also decided that I should go in for an ultrasound to check out my gallbladder first before the endoscopy. It's less expensive, and less invasive, and there's a chance they'll figure out what's wrong that way and I won't even have to get an endoscopy! That most likely won't be the case, but maybe.

Also, I've been taking peppermint oil occasionally for the nausea and it seems to help sometimes. The doctor said the fact that peppermint effects my symptoms helps narrow things down a bit, and prescribed me some medication that has a similar effect, but stronger.

She also said I should keep a complete food log of everything I eat, and after we get the ultrasound and endoscopy out of the way in the next week or two, if we still haven't found our culprit, she's sending me to an allergist. And we're going to test for like everything and see if it's food that's the problem. I already know I'm allergic to most fruits, vegetables, nuts, and soy, so hopefully I'm not gluten intolerant or something on top of all that, or I really won't be able to eat like any food.

So basically, steps are in place to make progress towards something. Who knows if we'll actually find anything...and even if we do, we probably won't like what we find...but I'm still feeling hopeful. It's all going to be kind of rushed because I want to get it taken care of before I leave my health benefits at Costco, so my Christmas present to myself is to get the ultrasound, endoscopy, and allergist appointment all done and out of the way before the Holidays! And it's quite the pricey gift too! A couple hundred for the ultrasound plus a couple thousand for the endoscopy (Aetna please help us out here!). But I guess if it makes me well again it will be more than worth it!

Oh, and after my appointment I got a check in the mail for $200! True story. Pay your tithing my friends; God gives better gifts than Santa :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Noteworthy

Last night and this morning we had Stake Conference. Instead of assigning speakers like usual, the stake presidency asked each member to come prepared with a talk, and they called on speakers from the congregation in both sessions to speak on the spot. Honestly, if I hadn't known, I never would have guessed that the speakers didn't know they were going to be speaking, they were so well-prepared! It sounds kind of mean to put so many hundred people through that anxiety, but the idea was that all the members would come up with something meaningful, spend time studying it out and growing personally, and come to the meeting prepared to teach and learn.

Usually I just keep my notes to myself and don't really read them again, but this time I keep feeling like I should post my notes from stake conference instead of keeping them hidden away in my little blue notebook. So here they are! I don't know who most of the speakers were...so they're nameless :)


  • do justly, walk humbly, judge righteously, that you may always have His Spirit to be with you
  • it is important to God that we be recorded, remembered, nourished
  • as oft as they sought forgiveness with real intent, they were forgiven

This next one was easily my favorite talk
  • Mark 4 gives several parables
  • our lives are stories we live. we find the meaning and make our parable. No matter the parable, the outcome is the same. Something is threatened and needs to be saved, fixed, or found. We are that something. And there is always someone who saves it or is looking or fixing. 
  • Peace be still. and there was a great calm
  • think of the story of Christ calming the storm. When the storms come in our lives and toss our little ship, He is there. No matter what the storm, make your life a parable and tell how you called on the name of Christ and were saved. "Master, carest Thou not that we perish?" He is in our ship, and even when it looks like He is sleeping and unaware, He is still there, waiting to be asked, and He will calm the storm and save us

  • Satan's tools are distraction, diversion, and procrastination


Richard Edgely of the Presiding Bishopric asked the congregation to tell personal lessons they have learned from adversity:
  • God knows us and wants us to learn and will bless us as much as possible without taking the trial away
  • sometimes it's going to be tough, and you just need to learn to make the best of the situation
  • there is always a silver lining. there are miracles in your life
  • sympathy and compassion are learned from trials and help us understand and serve others better
  • adversity teaches you how to deal with adversity
  • there are lessons to be learned from our adversity, but perhaps the most important is that God is with us

His response to the question from the congregation, "how do you handle situations with homosexuality in immediate family members?"
  • you love them. always. and teach them how to live appropriately
  • there are many heterosexual people who have strong sex drives and are single and they have to learn to control it too.
  • homosexuality is a struggle. love those who struggle with it, do not treat them as any less because they struggle, and do not talk badly about them to children or other family members, but do not tolerate the sin

His response to a request for advice for parents on how to deal with sons who do not want to receive the priesthood
  • I don't know, let me know when you find out because I'm trying to figure that one out too
  • have patience. 
  • don't blame yourself; this is just the way some of these kids come.
  • don't force them or you will start a rebellion. 
  • live your covenants. be an example for them. love them.

Sunday Session conglomeration of notes:
  • he likes turtles. they don't go very fast, but they only look forward and always move forward. This is what valiance is
  • consider the blessed and happy state of those who keep the commandments of God
  • God wants us to succeed
  •  try to share your testimony every Christmas season
  • it really doesn't take any more time to be a missionary than to not be a missionary
  • be more "rescue-minded"

Richard Edgely again
  • we are called to serve; our entire life is that calling
  • we are driven by our testimonies, we sustain our leaders, that is what moves this church forward
  • how are we nurturing our testimony? What condition is it in?
  • now is our moment to shine and reach out, speak out
  • those who really know us respect us and defend us
  • there may be parts of the ride or parts of the package cruise deal that you don't like (a meal, performance, etc), but stay on the good ship. Don't jump out in the water when you know you want to go see other attractions, eat more meals, sleep, etc. that are a part of the cruise, just because of the one thing you didn't like. Don't leave the church because of one petty offense, or because of a sin, or something else. Stay on the good ship.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Little Bit of Calmer

I'm on a posting roll today! I came home a little early from work today because I wasn't feeling well, so I've got stomach on the mind I guess. Along with having an endoscopy and possibly/probably? not finding anything useful or conclusive, I think it's time to acknowledge the definite possibility that these problems may be psychosomatic anxiety. I know stress exacerbates my symptoms very notably, but I don't think it's the root cause. I'm guessing that's something medical or physical. But assuming there is a way to treat the anxiety aspect, maybe it would be more possible to live without symptoms?  Or at least make them more manageable?

Who knows. We're still in the learning and discovery phase here. And the enduring phase. But I guess that one doesn't really count, since it lasts the whole duration of...well everything.

Anyways, I'm not wanting to jump on any new prescriptions or be reliant on medication for the rest of my life. Good heavens, I'm young and strong! My body should be about in its prime! And I want to keep it that way, and do it naturally if at all possible. So here are some ideas I've found online from various sources (most of them from here and here) of things to do to relieve stress and cope with anxiety.

- yoga!
- turn on some good music while you  clean your house
- watch fish in an aquarium
- go on a walk (or bring along a buddy for a walk-and-talk)
- plan to be 10 or 15 minutes early to everything to avoid late-ness stress
- don't say yes to as many things
- turn on some music and sing along
- set up a home spa (not sure what this entails, but I do love our heated foot massager, a long hot shower, and a good back and neck massage from my husband)
-  breath deeply and slowly
- draw a picture
- dance to your favorite music
- sit down to eat instead of eating on the go
- do a puzzle, crossword, or brain-teaser
- look at the situation optimistically
- take a break and step away for a minute
- pray
- keep a gratitude journal
- play music and cook something wonderful
- take a nap
- listen to relaxation music and meditate
- tell a good joke or find humor in the situation
- have good friends. a network of social support helps get through things
- drink something warm and soothing
- close your eyes and breathe in slowly through your nose (5 seconds), and out your mouth (5 seconds) several times
- eliminate clutter
- exercise
- stretch out and reduce tension
- read or watch a movie to escape from your stressful reality for a little
- aromatherapy. find your favorite scent and get a candle or airfreshener of it for home or your safe place. then use that scent to help you mentally get back to your safe place when you're anxious
- write about it, and then leave it all behind
- eat chocolate! yes, I did find some places that said it really works!
- smile, even if it isn't natural quite yet.
- listen to water

So there you have it. A nice long list of stress-reducing things. Some of them are ones I'm really good at (eat chocolate, dance, play music and cook, pray...), and some of them I should definitely start doing (get rid of clutter, be early, meditate, go on walks)! Hopefully my body will sort itself out somehow, and in the meantime I have a nice long list of things to do, and even if they don't help, they still sound fun to try :)

A Happier Stomach

Well, one nice thing about all this daily on-off nausea nonsense, is that it makes days where I actually feel good seem like holidays! That being said, most days are not holidays. Which isn't fun.

My symptoms have been getting milder in general post-marriage, but they're still a pretty frequent thing. And it's frustrating never knowing if 10 minutes from any given moment I'll feel awesome, or be trying not to puke. So...it's time for an endoscopy. I'm absolutely terrified. I HATE stuff like that. Medical procedures, an IV, laying on a table, having to swallow nasty-tasting spray, having them shove something down your throat and blow air into your stomach, gagging, choking, ugh. It sounds just awful!! I've been reading about it online and about personal experiences with it and a lot of people said it's cake and it's over in 5-15 minutes. Which is great once it's over...but that still means I have to go through 5-15 minutes of misery and being terrified and nauseous, and that's a long time to feel like that! I'm sure I'll be glad I did it once it's over, but it's the actual going through it part that I'm so scared about. 

This has been something I've put off for a couple months now. Mostly because it sounds so awful, and party because I've heard from a bunch of people that they didn't even find anything. What a waste of money and nerves! It's time to stop avoiding something that could potentially help me, especially since I'm leaving my job with cush benefits soon. So for my Christmas present to myself, I'm going to schedule an appointment and get it over with. Then no matter how much a fret and worry, and how awful it is, it will be done. And I will be free to enjoy the Holiday without it hanging over my head!

Happy Joy

The past couple of days I've just been really happy and I'm not quite sure why! I just have this feeling like I'm being buoyed up from the inside, and I really just can't help but be happy! 

Maybe it's because I've been better about reading my scriptures lately, or because I got a new calling I'm excited about, or because it's almost Christmas, or because I'm scheduled 10-3 for the next 2 weeks (best schedule ever! sleep in, and still have my nights free!), or because I've been eating a lot of chocolate lately, or because I've been playing the piano more, or because I bought a couple cute clothes yesterday, or because I finally get to go to ballet again today for the first time in like a month, or because I realized yesterday that it's been 2 1/2 weeks since the last time I took a Zofran (I've still been sick, but I've taken several TUMS every day and peppermint oil.  Zofran is the expensive last resort one for when I really can't handle it), or because I'm excited about my next batch of cupcakes I'm planning, or because I've been eating a lot of bananas and getting potassium...I don't even know. I'm just a happy girl, and I really hope it stays that way for a while. I like it :)

Anyways, yesterday ( I wrote this on Wednesday, and just didn't get around to posting it :) I was just so happy I figure I better write about it! Trevor worked late Monday night/Tuesday morning, so I left him sleeping when I went to work in the morning. I missed him though, so I wore his hoodie :) Work wasn't too crazy, but there was still plenty to do to keep us busy. I like it when it's like that. Not stressful, but not boring. Time passes quickly when it's like that. And they had samples of Ferrero Rocher chocolates! Yum! After my short little 5-hour shift I went home for some snacks, got my work schedule for next week (same as this one! yay!), and did a little shopping. Some warmer clothes, and some groceries.

Then I made some chicken soup for my poor little sick puppy Trevor. He's fighting a mean cold while working a ton, going to class, and trying to keep his head above water with his deathly pre-finals homework/project/exam load. Poor guy. I just want to tell him to take a day off and stay home and have a movie marathon with him and cuddle under warm blankets and feed him soup. But no. All I can do is make him soup to scarf down during his few minutes home between things, and hope his homework doesn't keep him up to long. I'm sure having to bike in the cold a couple times every day doesn't help anything either :(

After our quick Progresso chicken pot pie soup dinner (he wanted bread dipped in it instead of toast or crackers because of his sore throat, and it was surprisingly good!), Trevor got all suited up to play in the University Orchestra performance later that night. He looked so good! He came and sat next to me on the couch while he put on his shoes and socks and I just couldn't keep myself from staring at him and smiling ridiculously. Good heavens, you'd think I was a little high school freshman and the crush of my life just sat next to me in lunch or something! I love him :)

I had to run off to a quick visiting teaching appointment before going to see his performance, and it was really good! My companion is super cute and fun and the girl we visited is someone I've never met before and she's super cool and smart and pretty. All three of us are blonde newlyweds, which I think is cool :) We got to know her a bit and had a fun little visit. It turns out she even knows a couple of the same people as me and Trevor from ballroom! Small world!

I was late to Trevor's performance, but I still got a good seat and he wasn't playing until the second hour anyway. Another girl got there at the same time as me, so we waited outside the doors together until the song they were playing was over. It turns out she was in Trevor's ward before we got married and was even in a dinner group with him! More small world fun :) Then I went in and found my seat, and lo and behold, there was my aunt in the row in front of me! No one was sitting next to her so I moved on up and neither of us had to watch alone! I had forgotten that my cousin Jenny was also playing in the orchestra. And a ballroom friend Owen was too it turns out. The performance was not exactly mind-blowing, but it was still really good and I loved the songs they played! Especially the Blue Danube Waltz. I LOVE that song!! So much personality, plus it's just a really fun rich waltz! I really really want to choreograph something to it some day.


Trevor was so much fun to watch playing the cello! He got so into it and would bob his head around and everything, he was just so lost and completely absorbed in the music he was playing and it was so cute and awesome! I usually end up picking out a favorite or two whenever I watch any sort of performance. Trevor was my favorite this time, and he's even mine to keep! I just kept on smiling the whole time!


Afterwards we met up with Trevor and Jenny and took pictures, and then me and Trevor drove home so he could do even more homework. Poor guy. But I made him more soup, and rubbed his back, and sat next to him for awhile since that's really about all I could do to help. He works so hard. I'm so proud of him :) Then our day ended with our scripture study of the Doctrine and Covenants together before bed, like always.

So I guess that's it. Not any sort of ridiculously wonderful day in itself, but still a very very good happy day! The only main thing that could have made my day better, is if Trevor wasn't sick or swamped. But that will change eventually. My life is wonderful and I am one lucky girl to be living it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Coincidence? I Think Not

Back when I wrote my post about my first encounter with Trevor on facebook chat I forgot to include one important detail.

A year and a half or so earlier I was dating a guy who lived about a 45-minute drive away from me and I was working 40-70 hours a week. We only got to see each other in person a couple times a week, so we filled in the holes with facebook chatting and texting. I'm pretty sure I texted until I fell asleep almost every night during those months. At some point, I got into the habit of ending our facebook or texting conversations with the words "sweet dreams" every night. No reason in particular, I just did. And the fact that I only said that to him made it special to me for some reason.

Later we broke up, I spent some time being single, and started dating someone else. We spent quite a bit of time together in person, and also chatted and texted on top of that. I wished him "sweet dreams" every night too.

I doubt either of them remember; they probably didn't even really notice or care. But for whatever reason, it meant something to me, and they were the only ones I said that to.

Then that first night when Trevor started talking to me on facebook chat out of the blue, after our long conversation which ended with me thinking something along the lines of "well that was interesting and he seems nice" but nothing more then that, his last words to me were "sweet dreams".

I don't remember him ever saying it since then. Just a one-time thing. It didn't change my impression of our conversation or change my then lack of interest in him, but it did catch my attention for a moment. God's little way of turning my own personal meaning to those words around and telling me to pay attention so I wouldn't miss out on something wonderful maybe?

In any event, those words themselves didn't change my life, but I'd rather not forget them :) And now that we're married, the typed words "sweet dreams" has been replaced with "I love you"'s in person, and it's much better :)

And speaking of sweet dreams, I love this rendition of this song!
Dream a Little Dream of Me

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Pie Machine


In lieu of Thanksgiving being this week - and the fact that I work for Costco's Bakery - I have temporarily been turned into a pie making machine. The bakery is open 24/7 the 7 days leading up to Thanksgiving Day just to keep up with the demands for fresh baked pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie, dinner rolls, specialty bread, pumpkin spice bread and muffins, and all of our other bakery items that people buy tons of to feed the masses of friends and family they'll be having over for the Holidays.

My shift this Thanksgiving was the 3:20-11:50 pm shift. One of the pie shifts. Blah. This hasn't exactly done wonders for my sleep schedule. I've been getting home around 12:20 am and eating breakfast and wasting time before finally getting to bed, and then sleeping in really late, and heading off to work again.

Something I wrote one night/morning this week about the beginning to one of my many wonderful shifts:
I parked in the back by the back door we come out of at midnight, and rushed across the massive parking lot, hurried to the fridge to leave my lunch, and then to my locker to drop off my purse and pick up my hat and name tag, and punched in just barely in time. The night had begun. I made the mistake of leaving my hoodie in my locker the first 2 nights, and I made sure I did NOT do that again. They turn the heat off at night, and with all the refrigerated stuff in the produce, dairy, deli, and meat departments (plus it being winter) it gets nice and chilly! We're not allowed to wear jackets or anything back in the bakery when we're working with food directly, but just having it to wear while walking back and forth from the time clock at the front of the store, and the bakery in the back, makes it worth it!
The rest of my 3:20 - 11:50 shift and I all met up around the bakery sink to put on our hats and hairnets and wash our hands before starting our shift, and the bakery manager singled me out as he walked by. "Karin, how are you doing? Are you ok?" "um, yes? I'm good?". Then a couple of seconds later a cake decorator looked over and asked, "Karin, are you feeling ok? What's wrong with you?", followed by another coworker's greeting, "Did you just wake up or something? You look...more minimalistic that usual today". Haha remember that post where I said everything I think or feel usually can be read right off my face? Well I guess my dissatisfaction with my job and overall unhappiness of working like crazy over the holidays is showing. Oh well, I intend to make this my last holiday season working retail ever!

The 3:20-11:50 pm shift starts pretty much like normal. Finish up some muffins and cookies, make sure the products out on the sales floor look pretty, yada yada yada for about an hour or two. It's once that stuff gets finished that the real night begins. Pumpkin pie mania! The pie press is a super cool contraption that makes a perfect pie crust in just seconds! You drop a pre-measured blog of dough in the center of the pie pan, set it in the machine, press the two levers, it presses the hot top and bottom pieces together and voila! A pie crust! One or two people each shift get assigned to be pie pressers, and they just press pie crusts the whole time. The machine has to be going all night and most of the day to crank out enough pie crusts.


We mix up our pumpkin pies fresh every day in these huge mixing bowls probably big enough to hold me. One bowl holds enough filling for about 90 pumpkin pies, and we make over 20 bowlfuls every night! Once they've got enough pie crusts, the boys scoop the filling into the crusts, and load them onto our huge metal racks. 30 pans, 3 pies per pan, 90 pies. Then the full rack gets pushed over into one of our many monster-sized ovens to bake for over an hour, and then cool for a bit before being pushed into our freezer that's the size of a huge living room for another 45 minutes or so to expedite the cooling process.

this rack only holds 24 pans and only has 2 pies per pan...so 48 total. Ours have 90. We're cooler :)

When the pies are finally not hot anymore, we wrappers take over! I'm easily the smallest person in the entire bakery...so I usually send someone bigger to get the racks out of the freezer. With 30 pans each weighing nearly 5 lbs., 90 pies weighing about 4 lbs. apiece, not to mention the weight of the metal rack itself, that's like almost 500 lbs per rack to push around! And it only gets harder when the wheels freeze while the pies are getting un-hot, and the tread of your shoes is jam packed with food and you can't get a good grip on the floor. Our job is to make sure the new racks of pies end up in the freezer to cool, take out the cooled pies, put them in the white plastic tubs as fast as we can without breaking the crusts, throw away the ugly pies, snap on the lids, send them through the shrink-wrapping machine, put on the labels, stack them on wooden pallets 9 layers high (they have to be stacked exactly right or the weight of the pies will crush the packaging and smash the pies on the bottom), wrap the entire pallet in plastic wrap so none of the 99 pies fall off while we drag it around the store, make signs with the sell-by date so we can make sure we don't end up with a bunch of old pies at the end, and tote the pallet of pies off to a refrigerated trailer where they get to live until the store gets mobbed in the morning. Over, and over, and over, and over, and over....you get the idea...non-stop until morning!

It's tedious and repetitive, not to mention it makes your body ache from all the bending, lifting, pulling, and all that other good stuff that we get to do. I usually give everyone countdown updates till our punch out time every time I look at the clock. All night long. I'm such a terrible person, making time drag, but seriously the thought of going-home-time getting closer and closer is the happy thought I need to get through our 8 1/2 hour shift! There are a couple cool things about working so late though.

For one thing, once the customers start clearing out (8:30ish), we get to crank up the music. The first few days it was like a Kesha/Lady Gaga/Katy Perry/radio hits dance party. That was cool I guess, but after hearing the same songs several times a day for a couple days it got kind of old. Then yesterday it was like screamo rock band/guitar hero craziness. I guess that's what we get for just complaining about the music instead of bringing our own? The Sound of Music started playing at the end though...randomly...

Another fun thing is that we all punch in and out at the same time, so we end up taking our breaks at the same time and we're the only ones in the whole gigantic warehouse, so basically, we own the place.

Once we finally reach the end of our shift (which by this point I have been announcing countdowns for like every 5 minutes for the past 2 hours...) we hurry and try to mop up most of the bright orange raw pumpkin pie mix that's spattered all over the floor and the pie-pourer's pants and shoes before the midnight - 8 am crew comes in, and run to the front of the store to punch out. Then we get to make a mass exit out the back door, and scrape all the ice off our cars and go home. Finally! Yay!

All in all this year's Thanksgiving baking adventure was much better than last year's, and I'll even admit, I did enjoy parts of it. Not so much the first 2 or 3 days, but the last couple of days definitely got better. And yes, I did actually have a bit of fun :) That being said, I'm tired of being a pie machine! And I can't wait to go back to being a human now! Well...until the week of Christmas anyways.

In case anyone has a hankering to know more about Costco pies, I found 3 links you might find interesting Here and Here and Here.
   
Some fun and not-so-fun memories from this past week of pre-Thanksgiving work:
- the other day me, Tyler, Craig, and Blaine all randomly decided to wear green shirts almost the exact same shade. Our white bakery aprons were missing, and we had to wear red food court aprons, so we were all unintentional matchy matchy Christmas watermelon friends!
- there is a Clavinova type electric piano on display at Costco that plays music, and it got left on all night the other day. So there was this eerie synthesized harpsicordesque Mozart music echoing around in the huge cold dark empty warehouse
- I came home and ate breakfast at midnight a couple times. Egos with cinnamon maple syrup one time, and frosted flakes and Life another
- Trevor worked until 4 am last night, so after work I picked him up on his lunch break and we went to Wendy's and ate a frosty with fries in my truck before he went back to work :)
- In the random mix of music that played today, one of them was a Christmas song (Jingle Bells? I forget) made from cats meowing at different pitches
- today before we closed a little boy in a shopping cart was singing to the tune of Clementine "Oh my monster, oh my monster, oh my monster Frankenstien, you are very very scary..." and I didn't hear any more because I was laughing. It was so cute! Then a minute or so later, a lady walked by going the other direction humming Clementine. I'm guessing she heard him singing near the produce section and got it stuck in her head too :)


for the sake of not plagiarizing, I got the pictures from the first linked article, and http://pievcake.wordpress.com/tag/pumpkin-pie/
and http://www.ocregister.com/sections/printer/photo/?id=275613&pic=19

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Will Work for Cookies

There aren't a ton of things I like about working until midnight, but one good thing is that I get to sleep in and spend some time with my husband :) Our previous plans to go on a hike fell through thanks to some snow, a baby shower, and some other random things, so we slept in until about 11. That's always good. After a shower and breakfast and a good bit of laziness, we decided it was time to tackle our bathroom that has avoided a good deep scrubbing for way too long! And we decided it was also time for some cookies.

I mixed up some chocolate chip cookie dough from a Betty Crocker mix packet thing I bought on sale a couple months ago. They definitely weren't as good as homemade, but we weren't expecting them to be. Plus they were quick and easy, just like we wanted. And they were still actually pretty good.

While the cookies were baking and cooling, Trevor turned on some music and we both scrubbed that bathroom to pieces! And it was so much fun! So now our bathroom looks darlingly cute, clean, and organized, aaaand we had hot fresh chocolate chip cookies and milk just begging to be eaten once we had finished cleaning!

I thought it was such a brilliantly wonderful plan, that I decided we should do it every Saturday. Pick a yummy dessert to make, pick a room of the house/project/that thing you've been avoiding, and do it while the food bakes! Preferably with the man you're madly in love with and with a soundtrack of awesome music. Then it's 10 times more bearable - if not downright enjoyable, the work gets done, and you get treats and you can totally feel like you deserve them! I love it.

Then we played Farkle and I TOTALLY beat Trevor. Like 11,650 points to 3000. He's a good sport :) And, knowing him, he'll probably kick my butt next time we play.

What a great Saturday! Except for the part where I had to work 3:30-midnight after my super fun date-with-Trevor afternoon. But we won't talk about that. It was lame anyways. Except for the part where I earned lots of money! Yay!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Best Blonde Joke I've Ever Heard

The rest of my family may have dark hair, but I am a blonde, inside and out. And then I married into a family of blondes :) Blonde jokes are to be expected.


I should actually be tackling my to-do list...but I just remembered this and started laughing out loud to myself, so I figured it would be worth the 10 minutes to document it and remember it for posterity :)

A couple weeks ago Trevor's sisters were teaching his youngest - and most blonde - sister what a blonde joke was, and she responded "oh! I know one of those! Ok, so a black man walks into a bar..."...and told a joke that has absolutely nothing to do with blondes...apparently some of us are a bit too blonde to realize that we actually don't understand what a blonde joke even is :) hahahahaha oh blondes :) Love it!

Blackberry Walnut Greek Yogurt Cold-buster Smoothie

No picture, sorry, I was lazy, and I've got a nice long list of things to finish before I go to work...where I will be until midnight. Yes, midnight. Blah. Yay for working in a bakery the week of Thanksgiving! On the bright side, at least I have a job and at least I'm making a nice bit of money, and at least I'm unsatisfied enough with retail that I'm quitting and getting a job I like more after the holidays!!! Merry Christmas to me!!!

So about that smoothie, this is one of the first non-green smoothies I've made, and it's a keeper! I've been fighting a cold for the past week, so I did a bit of online research to see what articles/websites/whatever suggested eating to fight a cold. And then I ate them! I'm writing another blog post about the rest of them and what they do for you, but a couple that were suggested were oranges (of course), greek yogurt (which just so happened to be on sale at Costco 2 lbs. for less than $2! Victory!), bananas, berries, honey, and apple juice. So I thought, why not put them all together and make a yummy get-well tonic?

I ended up drinking all the apple juice before I got around to making the smoothie, but it was fine without it.

Here's what I used:
- about 1 cup of greek yogurt, mixed with several Tbs. of honey until it wasn't so sour (maybe 3-4 Tbs? I don't know, I just squirted, mixed, tasted, and added more if it needed it)
- 1 orange cut in pieces
- 2 small bananas frozen and cut in chunks
- about 1/2 - 3/4 cup frozen blackberries (that happened to be the kind I had on-hand)
- about 1/4 cup walnuts

I just threw the walnuts in at the end because I saw them in the freezer as I was putting the berries away and it sounded kind of interesting. Definitely a good idea! They were less blended then the rest of the smoothie because they were thrown in after everything had been mixed, and they added this perfect little touch of texture :) Oh yum! I can't wait to play around with this thrown-together-here's-what-I-have-so-lets-use-it recipe and tweak it to perfection!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Short Fat Story

Once upon a time my dear Trevor went out of town for several days. I was a lonely girl in his absence,  and my poor Trevor had to drive for like an entire day to get home. So to console and entertain myself, and to have something yummy to greet my husband with, I decided to bake a cake. But not just any cake...a multi-layer turtle cake of awesome!!! German chocolate cake batter baked partially, and then drowned in a caramel layer (a bag of those square caramels melted with 3/4 cups butter and a 7 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk), covered in a half bag of Hershey's chocolate chips, sprinkled with a cup or more of chopped walnuts, and topped off with the rest of the cake batter, and then baked just enough to  be cooked through while still being delightfully soft and moist, and just oozing with gooey goodness! Good heavens, it was perfection in a pan!! In two pans to be exact, it was so big it took up both.

Trevor didn't especially love it though, and hardly ate any. It turns out he prefers his caramel untainted by things like chocolate, cake, and nuts. You learn something new every day! And no harm done, all the more for me! I ate a ton right out of the pan, and cut up the second cake and put it in the freezer to preserve the wonderfulness.

Just now I got it out to eat some more and realized there are only 2 rather small pieces and some crumbs left. I made that cake a week ago. So...that means in the past 7 days I single-handedly consumed roughly an entire cake, a whole bag of caramels, a can of sweetened condensed milk, a stick and a half of real butter, and half a bag of chocolate chips. And that's not including the Hershey kisses I've been eating, or the cake pops, or the other half bag of chocolate chips that is now gone, or the scones, or the chocolates, or the cookies from my aunt, any of the other goodies I've eating in the past 7 days as well. Oops. Oh boy, I sure am well on my way to being a fat old married person!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

One Thing from the 80's that Needs to be Resurrected

It's Fall, Winter is coming, and yet again, my legs are cold. I can always put on 2 hoodies, a coat, layer socks, wear gloves, and pull my deep furry hood as far forward as it will go, but jeans...they just don't keep my legs warm. Not even close. 

Despite having been raised on Ballet, I never thought it was worth it to buy leg warmers. We weren't allowed to wear them once class started anyway, so why spend the money? Then one day earlier this year Kirstyn Perry was selling some old dance stuff before she moved, and among the piles was a pair of nice thick long black leg warmers for like $3! So I totally bought them even though I didn't think I'd ever be doing ballet again. Actually I think Travis might have bought them for me because I didn't quite have enough cash on me at the moment...I forget.

They got lost somewhere in my apartment, left behind when I later moved out to get married, were eventually found and picked up, and were then deposited in a random box somewhere in our new home...where they sat unused for a couple more months.

Then a week or two ago I was throwing together a costume for our ward Halloween party and didn't want my legs to be cold. Solution: find those leg warmers! Oh. My. Gosh. My legs were warm! It was crazy!!! Who would have ever guessed?! It's like a sweater for your legs! Best invention ever! And now I think I'm in love.

I'm so short they cover my feet and still come up almost to my hip. It's great! I wear them around the cold basement, I wear them to bed, I wear them under my pj's for late night grocery shopping trips or Guy Fawkes parties, I wear them on the way to church because skirts are chilly...love it!

Unfortunately, they don't fit under my jeans, and I'm not cool enough to wear legwarmers with an outfit just for kicks.  I soooo wish that wearing legwarmers was fashionable these days! My goodness, where are the 80's when you need them? Oh well, I guess for now I'll just have to settle for some nice thick tights, and wear my legwarmers in secret :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Another Dancing Gush

Oh goodness, I've been TERRIBLE at posting lately! It's been much busier than normal lately thanks to working 40 hours this week and lots of rehearsals from my dance show being in 4 days! It's been hard and physically demanding waking up early and enduring a good solid 8 1/2 hours of physical labor pushing heavy racks around and lifting heavy metal pans over and over, and then coming home just long enough to grab a bite of something, change into my dance stuff, and drive off to rehearsal until 10 or 11 pm. And then I get to wake up early the next day and do it all over again! It's like I've been working out for like 12 hours a day all week! Ok so maybe it's not quite like a 12 hour workout, but it's considerably more than my previous 24 hours of work and 1 1/2 hours of ballet a week, if any at all. And I have been absolutely loving every minute of it!!! (aside from spending so much time at work) I just can't get enough! I'm pretty sure I'll cry after this show is over, I've just been having so much fun actually being around people my age again, having dance friends, being around people that actually like the same things as me instead of just video games and whatever other random boy stuff I don't care about, and having more structure in my schedule and less bored alone time, and progressing towards some goal, and DANCING again!!! Seriously I can hardly wipe the grin off my face most of the time at rehearsal, or even when I'm just talking about dancing to people at work. I heard a quote a couple years ago that was something along the lines of "there are several shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them", and it's so true! I love love love it!

So there's my gush. On the downside, more rehearsal means less time with Trevor. That's been really really sad. And tonight is one of the only nights for over a week that I haven't had rehearsal, and of course he's stuck attempting to conquer a homework beast before it devours him, so I still don't really even get to be with him much. But it's ok. At least I found one of his homework solutions amusing (if U=$, an attractive potential is negative hehe not quite sure why, but I think it's hilarious :). And we've got awesome plans for costumes for our ward Halloween party tomorrow night after rehearsal (early work for Trevor, no work for me, and 11:30-5 rehearsal - assuming they get out on time, which is never - instead of later at night!) that we're going on a costume shopping date for once I get back! So basically, it's just going to be a super good day tomorrow! Sleeping in for the first time in over a week, a ton of dancing, shopping, and lots and lots of Trevor for me!! Yay for the good life!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I Have a Problem

I have this problem...well many in fact. One in particular that has been on my mind lately though. I get all these ideas and I get sooo excited about them! Just thinking about them makes me want to jump up and down inside and they nearly consume my thoughts. I can hardly wait to get started and push full steam ahead!!! But I'm a dreamer, not a doer. Or a finisher. My time gets spent in this euphoric ambitious goal-setting head-in-the-clouds escape from reality mode, and I tend to think I have all this potential and drive, and then I take a step back and realize, wow. I'm 23, a university graduate, and I work retail and hate it. I'm not getting anywhere. I only only work 25-30 hours a week, and I still don't seem to have time to do dishes, get looking good every day, eat even just 1 or 2 fruits or vegetables a day, write wedding thank-you cards, sort through old junk, or even make my bed some days...well, more like most days. And on top of that, most of my minor obsessions seem to fade in a matter of months - sometimes even days - so I'm not exactly even sure what I'm really excited for, or if it's worth pursuing since I might not even care about it later.

(Another problem that I have is writing these ridiculously long-winded posts...but I'll work on that one later :)

Right now my big things I'm excited about are baking cute stuff

( I made both of these this past week for fun:)
 improvised caramel apple spice cupcakes with nuts

 devil's food cake mixed with cream cheese frosting, shaped into cupcakes and dipped in candy coating

and photography. I'm not good at either, but I would LOVE to learn! I don't need to explain why I'm in to baking and decorating at the moment; it pretty much speaks for itself! And I can seriously spend hours looking up photographers online and going through their portfolios, or looking at friends' wedding pictures, or whatever. My dance photo shoot with a local photographer was less than a week ago, and I'm already scheming up ideas for another shoot I want to have (a soft ballerina bride shoot) with another budding photographer who is offering a 1-hour shoot for just $35 while she's building her portfolio, and I would absolutely love to be able to play around with ideas, personalities, lighting, props, scenery, etc. and create some magical shots of my own for other people someday!

Luckily, it doesn't take too too much money to bake cute treats. Well I guess technically that depends on how crazy you get with it, but I have enough supplies and books to keep me happy for the moment. A good camera is a completely different story. And learning how to use it is even more time and money, not to mention other software and equipment. And actually ever being good at it...well that's a long long ways in the future, if ever. And I'm not even sure if I'll still be excited about it a couple months down the road.

So I guess what all this really boils down to is that I'm bored with the rut that I'm in right now, and I'm not quite sure which path to take onward and upwards because I keep thinking I know exactly which way to go, and then a couple weeks later I don't even care about it and I have a new idea I'm all excited about. And in the meantime, I'm getting nowhere, doing nothing, and failing at all these basic easy day-to-day things that should be happening.  It's like the sky's the limit, but I don't have a plane ticket, so I just stare at the clouds all day and don't get any closer to buying a ticket...or even doing anything else productive for that matter. Ugh. Frustrating! (ok so maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration; my dance performance is in 2 weeks! So I am living at least one of my many dreams, and loving it :)

Like I said, I have a problem. It's a personal challege that I've struggled with for awhile, and especially this past year or two. I'm not quite sure how to fix it, but I do know what I plan to do next.

First, and most importantly, I'm going to follow this council of President Ezra Taft Benson in this talk, "We must put God in the forefront of everything else in our lives. He must come first, just as He declares in the first of His Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me". When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities".

So from now on, no facebook until after a sincere personal prayer and a good long dilligent scripture study! Every day! Then I can get some of these consuming ideas that don't last to drop out of my life, and help fix the priorities of things that need to get done.

And I'm already in place to start an internship for personal training and physical therapy starting in January, so if I love it, great! If I hate it, then I'll know and I can move in another direction. And in the meantime, housework first, then dreaming about new goodies to bake, or looking up photography stuff. And once I've found a camera that sounds like a good realistically priced one, and found a class or workshop that sounds like a good option, and saved up enough money for it (by Christmas maybe?) if I'm still interested by that point then I'll think about pursuing it further, and if not then I'll have lots of extra money! Yay! Victory for everyone!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dance Photo Shoot!

Today was my long anticipated just-for-fun-before-I-get-old-and-fat dance photo shoot! Yay! It was planned tentatively for last Wednesday, but the weather decided to get super cold for no apparent reason, and it rained and snowed and was just miserable. So we cancelled it. Actually, I looked at the forecast in advance and decided we'd better postpone it. We planned it to be the following Wednesday (today) even though for whatever reason my work schedule still hadn't been posted for this week, because Wednesday has been my day off for the past like 3 months. And guess what. Lo and behold, I was scheduled to work today. Fortunately, I was off by 3:30, and the photo shoot wasn't until 5:30.

I wanted the photo shoot to be taken at the Provo Castle because it's awesome! Me and Trevor went a couple weeks ago to kind of scope it out and got permission from the office to snap a few pictures to get ideas for the later shoot (you need to pay a small fee to get a photographer up there for a real photo shoot). Here are a couple for those who haven't seen the awesomeness of the castle!! (it's actually significantly cooler than it looks in these pictures, and they only show a little bit of it)


way cool amphitheater!
please excuse the terrible photo quality 


After work I hurried home to get ready...and things sure didn't want to work out the way I wanted. I couldn't find my new tights and I decided my new dance shorts weren't the right look, so I ended up doing bare legs with a dance skirt. A little bold for me I guess (especially since the leotard was definitely french cut...which wouldn't have been a problem with shorts like I originally planned), but I think it actually ended up looking cool in the pictures. My bangs were being stupid and ended up just being down, I ran into construction and had to reroute and got disoriented and it just took waaay longer to get there than it should have and I ended up being 5 minutes late, it turned out 2 other groups of people decided to have photo shoots there today too, I stepped in a mud puddle and stained my flat shoes, and the shank of one of my pointe shoes snapped part-way through the shoot and I started to fall over and scraped my elbow against the stone wall. All kinds of fun stuff! But I think it still turned out great and it was tons of fun! And there's one picture in particular that turned out unexpectedly awesome and I'm just dying to see it once they get me the edited disk next week!!!

And then I went grocery shopping and discovered that donuts were on sale for 25 cents! So I bought an apple fritter which I LOVE!!!! and a raspberry fritter (...not quite as good), and a chocolate frosted one with sprinkles which I also love, and a german chocolate donut for Trevor because he loves that. Lots of things that we love! All for only $1.00! Win!! And then I came home and made chicken bacon pepperjack sandwiches for dinner.


OH MY GOSH I need to eat like this more often!!! I love food :) and Trevor :) and pictures :) and ballet :) And now I'm going to watch another episode of Psych, because I love that show too :D

Yet another good day for the Jeromes :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Can't, I Have Dance

Isn't it just so crazy how sometimes you really just have no clue how much you love something until you think you're had more than enough of it and lose it, leave it, or quit it?



I started dancing when I was 5, and started performing when I was 7. Cinderella. This is me after my first ever ballet performance! The next year it was Thumbelina. Then next year just a non-story end of the year showcase. Then the Nutcracker for the next 2 years. When I was 12 I started taking classes at Caryl Maxwell Classical Ballet and performing in 2 shows each year; a Spring performance and the Nutcracker. A couple years later I registered at the Ballet Royale Institute of Maryland (actually it was still officially named Ballet Royale Academy at the time...the B.R.A.as abbreviated in the information packets) and started performing in an annual Gala with guest artists from the American Ballet Theater in addition to a Spring showcase and the Nutcracker each year.

Those were crazy times! As if 12 or so hours of technique classes wasn't enough, with the extra time for rehearsals I'd be at the studio dancing for 20+ hours a week for most of the year. That's not even including the time spent at the studio waiting between classes and rehearsals, or the time it took to drive there and back, or wait for my ride to pick me up, or do my hair every day, etc.

Dance classes and rehearsals kind of defined my life during high school, especially considering I was home schooled for almost all of my life (I went to public school through 2nd grade...not much). I couldn't ever do anything. "I can't, I have dance" was basically the motto by which my life was lived. After awhile my friends stopped inviting me to things altogether because they knew I wouldn't be able to come. But I digress.


Rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals. I still remember clearly the sweaty smell and humid mugginess that almost knocked you down when you opened the door, the deathly feet stench of the dressing room, the awful thirsty dehydrated heat-exhaustion feeling of sandpaper scrubbed against the insides of my temples, the never-healing shin splints, having sweat run down my face and into my eyelashes, looking like I was made of polished glass from being literally drenched in sweat...even having sweat coming out my forearms and the backs of my hands, laughing at each others awkward sweat marks on our leotards, hearing Mr. Slava yell out "Karin! Line!" in his accent, taking TUMS before rehearsals to help with the nausea that heavy breathing and exercise brought about, the taste of accidentally inhaling hairspray in the dressing room, the excruciating tear-jerking pain of doing pointe with bruised toenails, how my face would always get flushed and red from exertion except right around my lips for some reason, trying to put on a tough face and keep dancing with massive bloody blisters on the backs of my heels right where the drawstring of my pointe shoes rubbed (I've got some nice scars on the backs of both heels from constant blisters on top of blisters), the stress of having a performance coming soon, being exhausted and just wanting to lay down on the floor and sleep but still having to keep dancing...oh man, I could go on all night. SO many unpleasant memories!

Once I graduated and came to BYU I fully intended to be on one of the performing Ballet companies, but I chickened out and didn't audition. Then my tendonitis and other random body issues, plus class scheduling conflicts, forced me to give it up altogether. It was really sad, but at the same time it was great! For the first time in 7 years my life didn't revolve around my ballet schedule! No more having my hair in a bun every day, or stressing about whether or not I had washed my leotards the night before, or carrying all my dance stuff around, or having to keep my legs shaved because I spent every day in pink tights, or struggling to remember choreography or combinations, or any of that! And I turned to ballroom instead for several years and loved it! But that's a whole different story. (ending in me getting a ballroom dancer husband :D Yay!!!)

Even throughout all the ballroom blitz and glamor - not to mention the personal discovery, competition experience, and all the good times, good friends, phone numbers, dates, and boyfriends I got from it - there was still a tiny little unignorable voice deep down inside whispering "I love ballet" over and over. After I graduated from BYU and started fading out of the ballroom scene the voice kept getting louder and louder until just 2 months or so ago when it was practically screaming in my ears, and the little "I miss ballet" of years past was replaced with a massive hunger to fill that part of my life back up again!

I remember getting into my truck to drive to work one day and basically pleading in my mind with my Heavenly Father to let me have one more chance to be in a performance. Once you've graduated from high school and college, there really aren't any more performance opportunities unless you go professional...which is not an option for me, so I knew it was basically a hopeless plea, but still a very sincere heart-felt one. The best I could hope for really was to find a studio that I could take adult ballet classes at and just hope it wasn't for beginners! I started looking up local ballet studios, trying to assess the teaching quality from their websites, comparing tuition costs, and trying to find a class at a day and time that I could take it. One of the only studios with an advanced adult class just so happened to be right between where I work and where I live, and the class was held on Wednesday nights, which is usually my day off. It was just too convenient to pass up. After my first class I was hooked! I could hardly wait for the next week to go back again!!

Before my 3rd or 4th class there the teacher took a couple minutes to tell us about a performance that the studio was doing, and she wanted me to be in it! No way!! Probably the only studio in Utah that had a performance opportunity I could be a part of and I had no idea that was the case when I started going there! A couple of weeks later the director told us in rehearsal that she had been really worried about getting enough dancers for the show, and had been praying for Heavenly Father to send her some dancers who were capable. I don't think it is any coincidence that both of us had our prayers answered :) So now, not only am I in the show, I am in every single dance of the show except for the ones with only the lead husband and wife!! It's been over 5 years since my last performance. Spending my evenings in rehearsals feels like coming home :)

And now the next time something comes up on a Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday night, or a Saturday afternoon, I can say with a smile "I can't, I have dance". And I honestly don't mind one bit!!  :D

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to Have an Awesome Day

1) start it off with a midnight run to Sonic with the man of your dreams
2) have a day off work
3) sleep in and wake up in the arms of previously mentioned man of your dreams who is also your husband
4) mix up some hot fresh apple chunk muffins from scratch for breakfast...well, lunch by this point
5) top your meal off with a nice green smoothie (tangerines, banana, vanilla yogurt, and spinach :) pre-made and thawed in the fridge overnight so no mess other than throwing away the ziploc
6) take a nice long hot shower, and actually give yourself time to get prettied up how you want
7) watch the latest episode of the Sing-off while waiting for your husband to finish his classes of the day
8) get a pretty blue new computer in the mail that you don't understand about at all, but fortunately your husband is not only knowledgeable, but also just dying to set up, so you don't even have to worry about it!
9) go watch your husband be an awesome latin dancer in his first ballroom lesson of the season
10) go on a quick halloween costume idea window shopping date with your husband
11) have a sweetheart husband who helps you practice cartwheels for you upcoming dance performance
12) blog while he does homework :)
13) ...it's not even 8:00 and it's already been a super awesome day! The night is young! Time to make some yummy dinner, do some laundry, go shopping for dance shorts for my random dance photo shoot tomorrow, maybe watch an episode of Psych, and make some cake pop s'mores! Yay!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Food Stuffs

So, I started this food blog for an easy collection/online recipe compilation of yummy easy recipes I like. Also, I'm going through a phase where I'm mildly obsessed with taking pictures of my food before eating it, so now I have recipes and pictures! Anyway, my new blog has gotten over 100 views in the past couple days and all I have on there so far is 3 recipes...most of which aren't really even recipes...haha so it's time to update! So if you want my latest tested recipes for potato soup and apple strudel muffins - or the older posts with recipe/food ideas for loaded nachos, peanut butter drizzled chocolate-dipped sugar cookies, or sugar cookie mini fruit tarts - head on over to my other blog! There will be more to come!

http://karin-happyeating.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Case of the Mondays

My goodness, it's been awhile! I have lots of things to catch up on now! General Conference, dance rehearsals, the continuing quest for a better job, the Trevor and Karin story 1 year later stuff, my cute confection ideas, the stupid meatloaf adventure...but those will have to wait. Today I'm writing about today...or rather yesterday...as of just a couple hours...so basically today!

I woke up exhausted a little after 9. I'm not exactly sure how many times I hit snooze, but my alarm was set for 8:30. Actually, it was supposed to be 8, but I've been quite sleep deprived for the past couple days, Me and Trevor stayed up late watching War of theWorlds and then I was scared so we had to watch another happy movie before bed and it was definitely way past bedtime by that point, I didn't get a nice long nap Sunday because we watched General Conference up in Salt Lake and my evening got chewed up with things to do, I jumped from dancing 1 1/2 hours a week to like 9 this past week and I think my body is still adjusting...you know how it is getting behind on sleep.

The original plan was:
8:00 - 9:00 wake up, shower, dry hair, get prettied up, eat breakfast
9:00 - 10:00 write a cover letter for the place I was applying at and having a mini interview with later
10:00 - 11:00 hem new slacks, iron clothes, double-check resume, write down professional references/work addresses and phone numbers etc. for the application, look up directions, call Snippits photography about postponing the dance photo shoot Wednesday because of the forecasted rain, pack food, dance clothes, and work clothes because I wouldn't be back home till about 10:30 pm
11:00 - 12:00 go to Office Max, print off resume and cover letter, drive to the dental office in AF, be early, apply for the job, ace the interview, get the job, quit Costco, and be a happy girl!

And all before 1 pm!!

...

Who exactly did I think I was kidding?


Here's what really happened:

Over an hour later than I originally planned, I finally managed to drag my seemingly lead-filled body out of bed, and down the hall to the bathroom to take a nice quick hot shower. My eyes did NOT want to have anything to do with my contacts being in them, but they finally accepted the reality of the situation. I did manage to have a pretty good hair day though, which was unexpected, but very much appreciated. By the time I was cutefied and fed I think it was about 10:15.

Editing my previously written cover letter to make it applicable to the job I was applying for was actually a lot bigger of a task than I predicted. It turns out basically everything needed to be changed, so good bye to my A+ earning cover letter from my technical communications class, and hello starting from scratch over an hour behind schedule! Then I realized I didn't know how to start the letter greeting. Google had suggestions of course, but I wasn't satisfied so I just called the dental office and asked them personally who to address it to. The lady on the phone told me to not even worry about it at all and only bring in a resume. I guess the job posting was only kidding when it specifically said to write a cover letter (with asterisks around the reminder for emphasis), and had a mini paragraph listing like 8 things that explicitly needed to be included in it? Oh well, less work for me!

Next on the list was calling Office Max to see how long it would take to have my resume printed. We don't have any resume paper at home. The lady on the phone told me they weren't busy and if I emailed the file it would be printed in a half hour. Slight problem, the resume I had edited with my new name and contact info wouldn't attach to the email I tried to send to them. It kept saying it was 0 bytes and it couldn't do it. ?  so I played around and finally figured out a way to trick it into attaching, and sent the email/order/printjob.

It was 11:00 on the dot by this point, and I still hadn't even started my 10:00-11:00 planned stuff yet! Blast. Next on the list, hem those pants. Thanks to my short legs, my cute new slacks for the interview were about 4 or 5 inches too long. It turns out pants are hard to hem without a needle or thread. Who would have guessed? But Trevor saved the day by finding safety pins! So I pinned those pants. While wearing them I might add :) Yep, I'm talented. Then I discovered that our ironing board is missing. Where on earth do you lose an ironing board in our little house space? But my shirt was in need of it, so, after a fruitless search, I stuffed a pillow inside of my shirt as a make-shift board, and ironed it. That's right, talented AND resourceful haha Before I put it on though, I decided the garbage HAD to be thrown out. I cooked up some hamburger and meatloaf recently, and the package and thrown-away pieces of meatloaf in the trash were starting to smell like rotting flesh. That's not really my favorite.

After all that plus getting directions, packing stuff, getting info for the application etc. I headed off to Office Max for my resume. It was a little after noon by this point. Good thing that application/mini interview thing was only loosely scheduled for "sometime around noon or so".  My resume that was supposed to be done 30 minutes after I sent it still wasn't printed when I got there an hour later. The guy said it would just be another minute though, and starting looking at my emailed order. It wasn't until well after 12:30 that he FINALLY rang me up. Seriously?! How long does it take to print off a sheet of paper?! He was nice though and apologized a couple times and even gave the the messed up copies for free. Which didn't give me back the half hour of my life that I wasted waiting for my resume, or make me closer to my loose target time for the application/interview meeting (good thing it wasn't a real scheduled one!!!), but hey at least it was something. 

Then I was off to go find that dental office to apply! For anyone who hasn't been on I-15 recently, they did this new thing (to help with traffic to Salt Lake I'm guessing?) where suddenly it splits into two separated highways running side by side in the same direction. One has exits, the other one doesn't. Guess which one I found myself in. I watched the exits go one-by-one knowing that mine was coming up soon and freaking out because I couldn't get to it! How do you even turn around on a highway with no exits?! And I had no idea how long they were separated before coming back together, or if I would have to go all the way to Salt Lake before turning around. As luck would have it, the two highways converged back into one right as my exit came up!! Thank goodness! So the next time you take I-15, if your exit is before 275, take the highway on the right with the exits or you will miss it! If not, it doesn't matter.

When I finally got there it was 1:00. A couple days ago when I found the job posting for a dental assistant, I was confused by the line "no experience necessary" in the description. I thought that was a position that required schooling, certification, experience, etc. So I called to double check. The guy on the phone said none of that was necessary, and he was actually a BYU student with my same major and got his job with the same lack of qualifications as I had. And that really the office was looking for a trainable person with a personality that worked well with the dentist, instead of a highly trained and qualified person who would be harder to mold to what they wanted. Or something like that. He suggested coming in person to fill out the application so they could see me, and asked about what time I would like to come in to make sure the dentist would be there so she could meet me and chat and I could kind of 'audition' to be her assistant. That sounded good to me and "sometime around noon or so" for Monday was agreed on. So I was expecting to go in, fill out an application, chat a bit, talk to the dentist for a little, leave my resume, and be on my way.

What really happened was I got there, and the front desk lady directed me into a room with another lady. She had a stack of resumes on her desk. I said hi, introduced myself, and she took my resume. Then she asked if I had experience as a dental assistant. I said no, she told me she was pretty sure they were only interested in people who had experience, put my resume into a different stack, said they would probably still look at it, I didn't even need to fill out an application, shook my hand, and said goodbye. I was so surprised and a bit confused that I wasn't quite sure what to do, so I said something impressive like "oh...I thought...ok. Bye" and left.

Looking back I probably really should have told her a tiny bit more about myself when I walked in and gave her my resume to sound more qualified, explained briefly what I was told on the phone, said something about how I'd love to work for them...basically anything other than my "...ok bye" to leave at least somewhat of a good impression. Oh well.

At least now I have a cute new outfit for future interviews, my pants are already "hemmed" and ready to go, I bought a cute purse that I love (except that it doesn't have any pockets inside which is really kind of a nuisance), I know more about the splitting highway, my resume is touched up for next time, I know to have my resume ready the day before and not to trust Office Max to help me be to my interview on time, I learned that you can iron a shirt by stuffing a pillow inside of it, and I have some ideas of things to improve for first impressions for the next place I apply for!

Note: I fell asleep writing this, so pretend it got posted earlier :)
Oh and the actual event that made me decide to write this post was on the way to work afterwards. I stopped at Wendy's to get food and change into my work clothes, and the first stall was occupied, and the second stall looked like someone had wadded 3 rolls of toilet paper down the toilet. I took the last stall, and as soon as I touched the toilet paper dispenser it promptly fell off the wall. Yes indeed, a case of the Mondays.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Free Giveaway! Happy Birthday Marcelle!

Today is photographer Marcelle Calder's birthday, and in honor of it she's doing a give-away! She has some pretty fun prizes, and the details are given on her photography blog http://marcellecalder.blogspot.com so be sure to check it out! It ends tonight, so sooner is better than later, and now is best :)

And even if you're not too interested in getting free stuff, you should check it out anyway because she's awesome! I heard about her like 8 months ago through her brother Morgan, who was in my ward at the time. She's super nice and great to work with! She did a fun little photo shoot with me and Trevor at the Provo Library back before we were even engaged, so look through her portfolio and find us! That photo shoot was part of the reason I wanted to have our wedding reception at the Provo Library. It's just such a cool building.

Anyway, be sure to check it out today! And happy happy birthday Marcelle!

Aren't Sundays Wonderful?!

I've always been partial to Wednesdays for some reason. For as long as I can remember, I've just associate happy good feelings with them. Maybe it's because that's the day that my friends the Maughans would come over for piano lessons and stay to play back when we were little kids? Or because it was the day of the week my dad would let us have oatmeal for breakfast growing up instead of cornmeal, cracked wheat, or rice? Or because it's the day I used to have my first demi-pointe class? Or because that's when I had variations class with Mr. Slava? Or because it's the day the social dance labs at BYU usually are? Or because it's the day I usually have off work lately? Or because it's the day I have ballet each week now? Or maybe I just like the way the word sounds? Or some other reason? I really don't know. I just know I really like Wednesdays. Always have.

None of that really pertains to this post anyway, I just have a random train of thoughts apparently...this post is about Sundays! This past one in particular. And this may end up being more of a 'gush' than a 'post'...but my posts are turning out that way more and more, so I suppose that's nothing new.

Usually we have church at 9 am, which is way too early in my personal opinion. But this week we had a late night, and we were going to a different sacrament meeting for a missionary farewell later, so we slept in an hour :) Nursery was unusually fun! Probably partly because I actually got a decent amount of sleep, and also because there were only 6 or 7 kids instead of up to 13. We hardly had to do anything! So we relaxed a bit and talked to the other parents in with us while we played with the kids.

After our 2-hour block of babysitting was over, we headed over to the Bishop's office to pay tithing. As Trevor was writing a check and filling out the form, I got to listen in on some of a sacrament meeting talk of the ward after us (Marci Edgington's ward coincidentally!). I only heard maybe a minute or so of the middle of the talk, but it was still very powerful. He said it much more eloquently and powerfully than I can, but basically he was talking about how being at church and listening to the speakers invites revelation and inspiration, and that same spirit and message is there regardless of whether or not you choose to come, and whether or not you choose to listen and let yourself hear. So come to church and partake of the blessings. I guess it's kind of like having an extra large of your favorite milkshake right there in your hands and just staring at it instead of eating it. Or even pouring it out on the ground. It's just such an obvious waste; why do it? Then when we were handing in our tithing, the bishopric member (I still don't know names...oops) asked us if we wanted to go to conference, and handed us 2 tickets and a parking pass for the Sunday afternoon session!! The lesson here: Pay your tithing, and you will be blessed! Sometimes more immediately than others. And if we had waited to pay till next week, we wouldn't have gotten the tickets!

Then we came home and got some snacks, and went to the missionary farewell. It was for a friend who I actually don't even really know...haha interestingly enough, we heard about each other through friends when we were both searching for short ballroom partners. We added each other on facebook and almost tried out with each other, but didn't for whatever reason. Then a semester later we almost tried out again, but didn't again for whatever reason. But we're friends on facebook and we both have a similar circle of friends through the ballroom world, so we pretty much are! There were about 15 or so of us fellow BYU ballroom dancers there to hear him give his farewell talk. We all sat together and it was like we were a little ballroom family :) Can I just say that I LOVE the bonds that form within the ballroom world? And also the Mormon world :) The chapel we met in was really cool! One of the walls was stained glass, and the ceiling looked like an upside-down bowling alley! I don't know if the big pipes for the organ were real, or just decorative, but the organ sure sounded amazing!...even though it was really slow, and we all felt like we were just plodding along. Especially during one of the most funeralistic versions of Called To Serve I've ever sung.

I really wish I had just written this on Sunday, because I remember especially loving the first speaker's talk, but I have no idea what it was about now. Oh well, that's what I get for procrastinating I guess! Geoffry's farewell talk was about the power and blessing of personal revelation. One of my favorite topics :) It was really simple, sweet, and strong, and the fact that there were so many of us all there just to hear him just made it all the more...I don't even know what the right word is...so I'll say cool? But that's not quite the one I'm looking for. Special? Moving? Something along those lines? Articulateness is not my forte.

Anyway, after Sacrament meeting me and Trevor went home and cleaned up our living room a bit before the home teachers came over. A clean house feels so nice :) Our living room furniture isn't that impressive, so we wheel out the two office chairs for them to sit in when they come. We had a nice little visit, and a short, but direct, lesson about General Conference this coming weekend and how sometimes what we 'hear' or learn isn't always limited to the words that were said. Basically the take home message of this Sunday's teachings was to be in the right place at the right time, and be doing the right things so that you can have the presence of the Holy Ghost and hear what God knows you need to hear. We also found out there are going to be monthly get-togethers for the younger couples in our not-so-young ward! Yay!

Then we went to have dinner with some new friends in the ward. Their daughter is in our nursery class, and she's definitely my favorite. She's like the only one that really gets what's going on. When we try to sing action songs with the kids they just stand motionless and stare at us like we're aliens or something, but she actually understands and does some of the actions. She also really likes telling the boys to chase her :) They served us super yummy homemade pizza, and this delicious guava juice drink, and as it turns out, the husband graduated from BYU with the same major as me! We all had a nice chat for awhile, and then their daughter woke up from her nap and she was so happy to see us, especially Trevor! It was sooo cute! She'd be doing something and look over at us and just start giggling and smiling! She even came over and gave Trevor her three favorite toys, which her parents said is pretty rare. I don't blame her, I'm completely smitten with Trevor too :) We were too full for dessert so they sent us off with a plate full of some of the THE best brownies I've ever tasted!

And then we went home and I spent hours on facebook and reading people's blogs and reading my dance anatomy book, and fell asleep at like 11, and it was just a wonderful day!