Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm Actually Quite Surprised . . .

because I loved it.
I didn't think I would, but I did.
I even want to see it again.
It was nice that they stuck almost exactly to the book. Granted, they had to omit a lot of extra character development (like the Cullens) because the a movie can only be so long, but they did a really good job of giving you the 'gist' of every character.
That was nice. But I said I loved it, remember?
Some reasons why I loved it . . .
1. First, I bought the casting. I didn't think I would. The books are describe everyone in a way that allows you to develop your own perception of each character, which is why everyone has their own perfect 'Edward' in their head. I didn't think I would buy into, let alone approve of, any of the casting for the movie. But the actors did such a good job that I loved them all. While they don't (and never could) measure up to my imagination (especially my beloved Carlisle), all the actors fit the bill quite well and I wasn't disappointed with anyone. They biggest weakness in the casting in my opinion was Jacob. He was too cute. His smile was too white. Jacob was supposed to be more rugged, in my opinion. Maybe they'll do that in the next move, after his big "change".
2. The music. I loved the music in this movie. It was very outside-the-box and "mystic", if you will. The music went perfectly with the way the film was made and worked very well with the story itself. My sister-in-law actually gave me a copy of the soundtrack and its not my 'usual' music. But I love it. I especially love the song at the end, when they are dancing at prom. So romantic.
3. The thing I loved the most was the way the movie was made. It was a relatively low-budget film, and the production was . . . . artsy. That's the only word I can think of. It was artsy and mystic. It didn't look like the basic Hollywood-produced teeny-bopper film. The cinematography was also unique, and brought in some interesting shots. I loved that the filming and production itself was the way it was. It fit the book and the story so well. (This might not make any sense, but watch it and you'll know what I'm talking about.)
It wasn't perfect (is any film adaptation of a book every perfect?) and it had some weaknesses (Jacob's hair) and even 1 or 2 (or 3 or 4) corny parts, but all-in-all, they did a good job with a book that so many of us hold dear.

P.S. We had a great Thanksgiving. Tales to come at a later date.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Am Grateful

I am grateful for eternal families.

I am grateful for brothers . . .
like him
and him
and him.
I am grateful for family the used to be 'his' family, but is now 'our' family.

I am grateful for family that used to be "new" family, but is now just family.
I am grateful for Sam, because she is family.
I am grateful for parents who lead, guide, and walk beside--even now.

And I'm grateful for him.
And this.
And here.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grown-Up Christmas List

Wowzah. I'm so sorry for being such a Debbie Downer yesterday! I'm not sure what that was all about. I wrote it in a few moments of emotion and before you know it it was up there for all the world to see! Hazard of having a blog, I suppose. Its funny though because I tend to get over things quickly. Last night I posted that just before 5 and then got off work and had a good hour-long work out. I felt a billion times better after that and was in a great mood. Unfortunately, during my moment of emotion I had a break at work and called and told Chris all my "problems". So 2 hours later after my workout he had been worrying about it all afternoon and I had already gotten over it. I saw him and could tell he was upset and I was like "What's wrong?". I know, really perceptive of me.

Anyway. I am SO excited for Thanksgiving in Indiana and SO excited to go to Idaho in December. Those are very happy things that I'm looking forward to.

Moving on. Have you ever heard that song (I've only heard it sung by Mariah Carey) called "Grown Up Christmas List"? She talked about how as a grown-up she wants peace and happiness and love, blah blah blah. Its a really good song, actually, and its been in my head (even thought I try to kick it out because NO Christmas music before Thanksgiving!), but it got me thinking. Chris and I have both really struggled to put together Christmas lists this year. For me, its gotten to a point where all I want is Christmastime. Not presents, just the season--because I LOVE Christmas and December 26th is the most tragic day ever. That's why this year all I really wanted from my parents was plane tickets home--and that's what we got (Thank you, Mom and Dad!!).

But there is something else that comes along with a "grown-up"Christmas list--the desire for things you can't have/can't ever afford. Here we go, its picture time.

My "Grown-Up" Christmas List~~

1. Christian Louboutin heels. Aren't they gorgeous? They go for around $1000.

2. Honda CR-V. My dream car. Not super fancy, but perfect just for me.

3. A trip to Germany during Christmas to see the Christmas Market.
This is where C served his mission (Munich) and
I really want to go and see where he spent 2 years of his life and
had so many experiences and memories.
And he LOVED the Christmas Markets.

And while we're there, we'll go see this, because it was in his mission too
but he never got to see it.

4. A trip to Bora Bora with my hub. This is my all time dream vacation--in a little
hut with glass floors where you can see the fish underneath you.
5. One of these for C
and one of these for me.
6. And if you give an E a puppy (or 2),
she is going to need a yard to go with it.
7. And what do yards come with?

What's on your "grown-up" Christmas list??

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's About Time

So I haven't really had the best day. The phone won't stop ringing at the office and I've been the only one answering it because who knows where S**** has been all day or who she has been talking to on her phone ("Girl, he's all up in your business!"). Most days I seriously don't care, other than the fact that I still feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants in this job sometimes, but today I was tired and grumpy. And it smelled like stale coffee. Gag me with a wooden spoon. I'm really a typically happy person, so I've been wondering all day whats wrong with me today (other than the tired and coffee smell thing, that is--and NO I'm not pregnant, and NO its not that time of the month).

Then it hit me.
And here we have Idaho.

I'm homesick. Horribly, tragically homesick. It only took 3 months, but I'm finally there. I think its because its cold outside, but it will never snow. Its because last night I told Chris it will be weird to see real mountains again--because I couldn't remember really what it was like to be surrounded by them. Maybe because I have never spent one single Thanksgiving in my entire life away from my mommy and daddy, and this year I'm doing exactly that (not that I'm not excited for my first Conn Fam Thanksgiving, but you know what I'm saying). Or maybe it was the Christmas music playing in Walmart last night. Since when did I spent Christmastime in Knoxville, TN? I heard "I'll Be Home for Christmas", and I will be home for Christmas (I cannot wait!!) but not until then. And then I'll come back and won't be home again for who knows how long (except hopefully in April for graduation, but other than that I mean). I was really good at being a big girl so far from home, but I tap out--at least for today.
So, to make things infinitely worse, I picked a few pictures of things I'm missing. Good therapy, I know.
BYU. Isn't she pretty? And Y mountain. And mountains. This is home, too. And its weird that its been so long since I've been home.

A very T Fam Thanksgiving. Remember last year how fun it was to do Christmas card pictures, T Fam? Ha ha. This picture perfectly displays how "fun" it was. If only I'd gotten a picture of B on his cell phone.

Family. Yeah, my hubby looks sexy in this picture, I know. I miss my brothers, even the one who's not in this picture.

Rocco's cooking. My dad is a master in the kitchen. He and my mom are quite the Thanksgiving team. Every Thanksgiving I wake up to burning eyes because my dad is chopping onions for his famous stuffing.

My mommy. I love her.

Temple square Christmas lights. We will be coming West for Christmas, but I'm not sure we'll be there long enough to make it to Temple Square. Its truly the most beautiful place in the World at Christmas time.

For the Record:

Things that save me

1. C

2. Working out when I don't have a cold or mysterious foot bruises.

3. Penguins games online

4. A blog where I can vent and post pictures nobody but me wants to see.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sporty Spice

I don't think its any secret that C and I are big sports fans. For me, its a hazard of growing up with 3 brothers, but I wouldn't have it any other way. When I was a little girl, my mom put me in ballet (I was her only girl, after all). I didn't last long. Shortly after my one and only performance in The Nutcracker (I was a gumdrop), I hung up my ballet slippers in favor of soccer cleats--and basketball shoes, and baseball cleats, and track shoes, and, eventually, tennis shoes (actual tennis shoes). Anyway, needless to say C and I love to participate in and be spectators of sports.

Which brings me to the activities the the last few weekends.

Last weekend we spent Saturday morning at the golf course with some friends from our Ward, J and A. Yes it was the middle of November and yes it was early in the morning, but no it wasn't that cold. A benefit of the south, to be sure. Unfortunately, I was still battling my nasty cold, which is the only explanation for the fact that I'm a horrible golfer. But it was fun nevertheless.
Beautiful day.

J showing A his sand-escape skills. The really cute Nike golf ball Alixa let me use after I lost all of mine.
Is that Tiger Woods out there? I think so, yes.

That afternoon we decided to journey to our first Tennessee football game. It was homecoming and they were playing Wyoming. I voted we go to this one because Tennessee would probably win and it would be nice to see a familiar Mountain West foe. To our surprise, Wyoming beat Tennessee. Vols fans were very unhappy, to say the least. One guy got so mad he jumped up and threw his hat down. The metal buckle on the hat hit the metal bench and it sounded like a gun going off--it was so loud. Then he stormed out--I'm not sure if that was over anger or embarrassment. Somewhere in there I started rooting for Wyoming (words I thought I'd never say). I don't know if it was because I'm sick of the Mountain West getting bashed and bad-mouthed or because its fun to see an underdog win, or because I don't think Tennessee has been very cool about kicking Philip Fulmer to the curb. Whatever the reason, I was shockingly pleased with Wyoming's victory.
Yet another shot of the two of us.
(People, I have two sweatshirts on. C feeds me well, but not that well.)
The team running out in the Power T.
The huge stadium and the famous "Pride of the Southland" marching band.
I do have to mention, I heard "Rocky Top" about 100 times too many during this game. You know how at BYU games (and most other games, I'm guessing) they only play the school fight song after touchdowns? Well, the Pride plays Rocky Top after every single little good play. Two yard rush? Rocky Top. Good punt? Rocky Top. Wyoming has an incomplete pass? You guessed it: Rocky Top. Now, the song has really grown on me, but that Saturday I heard it enough to last me for a while.

Moving on. This weekend C humored me (he's good at that) and agreed to go a Knoxville Icebears game (a local minor league hockey team). I think 8 months ago C expected my hockey fandom to die out, but I have persevered. I was so excited about the game and C did a good job not looking too bored (I'm being unfair--he is growing to love hockey too. The other night he jumped up and down in our office with me as we watched the Penguins beat the Redwings 7-6 in over time--very exciting game). Anyway, the crowd was a crack-up. Wonderfully stereotypical Southerners. We had a good time and hopefully we can go again soon (hint, hint.)
Yes, another picture of the two of us at a sporting event.
We picked up some t-shirts.
Got to have something to wear the next time we come! (hint, hint)
Yay hockey!!
After the hockey game we came home and watched "Great Sports Moments of the 80s" on VHS. Not even kidding. It was so exciting (not even kidding). I didn't know anything that was going to happen (hey, I was born in '86) and kept yelling at the TV ("No way! No way does he catch that!"). C just laughed because he has watched that video about 1000 times since he was 10 years old.

So there's our sporting festivities of the last two weekends.
A big humongous giant THANK YOU to my mother-in-law, Lisa, who went to Provo a few weeks ago and brought us back Quest shirts. Its been an exciting year for BYU football and we were sad to have missed it. This Saturday is the Holy War against Utah and my anxiety attacks are beginning already. Go Cougs!

(Sorry for this insanely awkward picture.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Not gonna lie.
I've been stressed about this post.
Not even kidding.
It's really not a big deal, but its my 100th post!
I wanted to do something really cute and clever to celebrate.
So I've been putting it off while waiting for my creative juices to flow.
Alas, I was bamboozled by
my total lack of creativity--
and lots and lots of high school transcripts--
and a debilitating cold that will not leave me alone.
So this is what I ended up with:Nice. I know.

I was reminiscing last night about how I started this blogging thing in the first place. My sister-in-law, Cam, had/has a blog. She's a creative genius, though, and her blog is exceptional (check it out), so I felt a little intimidated. But it looked like fun, so I figured why not. Chances of anyone actually reading it were slim. Little did I realize there is a huge universe of bloggers out there--and in no time I was finding old/new/current friends to keep in touch with.

My first post was about C's adventures in applying for graduate school. I remember writing it. I remember "knowing" he was going to go to BYU (life, its so twisty-turny). We were sitting in our History of Creativity class. It was a night class--2 1/2 hours long. So I wrote it and figured out the pictures and everything--I pushed "publish post" and there it was! I was so proud. However, I didn't actually tell anyone about the blog until a few posts later.

I really love my blog. Its fun to have a place to say whatever you want, from the meaningless to the meaningful, from the major to the mundane, I share it all here. And I've realized that I switch off between writing about my (our) doings and my (just my, usually) thinkings. I like that. I've also become more comfortable in my blogosphere skin. Not too worried about sounding smart or exciting. Just write what I think/feel/want to. I like that too.

I want to thank my readers (BOTH of you!) and anyone else who's ever skimmed across my crazy thoughts--especially if you left comments. I heart comments.

I'm getting sentimental. I'm not sure why. It's November 13th! Where did November go? Where did 2008 go?! How did all the sudden my little baby blog with 3 posts on it grow to the big 100 mark? What's with time and the way it always flies? Like I said, I'm getting sentimental.

Anyway, there you have it.
My 100th post in all its glory.
I'm glad its done with, actually.
Now I can stop stressing and move on to 101.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What is This, the 1830-40s?

So I was chuckling to myself about how in my Cooling Runnings post I said I was taking a break from politics, and my very next post was about Conservatism. Well, I'm not done yet. But actually, today its not about politics. Today is about religion (don't they tell you never to talk politics or religion?). In the few days since the election, I have been driven nearly to tears on more than one occasion from the persecution the Church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, that is) has faced since Proposition 8 was passed (a big shout-out to California for passing Prop 8!). Anti-Prop 8 folks are giving all the blame (or credit) of the Prop 8 pass to the LDS Church. On election night I was sent a message about a commercial that an anti-prop group (I don't remember their name, something about "courage") made. It depicted two young men, clearly supposed to be Mormon missionaries, knocking on a lesbian couple's door and saying "Hi, we're from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and we're here to take away your rights." The commercial went on the show the two 'missionaries' pillaging the home until they found the couple's marriage certificate and tearing it to pieces. I was so furious. So mad it drove me to tears. How come anti-Prop people are allowed to share their opinions, but when the Church stands up for what is right, we are a bunch of bigots?

On Thursday anti-Prop people staged a protest march on the Los Angeles Temple. I watched a video of it at work, and was once again almost in tears. They were shouting hateful things, had signs saying "Go to Hell, Mormons" and were banging, yes banging, on the gates of the Temple. It gave me chills. What is this, the 1830-40s? I was telling C about it, about how they weren't organized or peaceful or respectable, or trying to get a meaningful point across. They were wild and hateful. They were like . . . . a mob? C asked. Yes. That was exactly it. And our Church doesn't have the best history with mobs. Remember Kirtland? And Independence? And Far West? And Nauvoo? This isn't the same, I know, but I've never seen the Church persecuted like this, not right in front of my face on CNN Video. I was sick, watching them bang on the gates of our glimmering white temple. Then I couldn't help but think, could the people inside the Temple hear them? Probably not, they build those temples pretty sound-proof. But can you imagine if they could? Or if you looked out out the window or walked out the door and saw that mob? Talk about leaving Zion and walking straight into Babylon. Then I proceeded to read the comments posted below the video--big mistake. One man said the Romans had it right, all Christians should have been killed a long time ago (what? how is that not discriminatory?). Another man said he lived in Utah--he knew all about that evil Mormon cult and their founder James Smith (not even kidding--he said James Smith). So much hate. And this whole time the Church has insisted this isn't about hate or money or politics or power; its about family.
People who are pro-gay marriage have a right to say so, but do it civilly. Do it gracefully. Not like this:
My father in law said a while ago that he believed this is the issue that would ultimately divide the Church from the rest of the world. I think he's right.
And of course the mainstream media would never mention this, but the Church actually came out with an official statement on the election results. This is an excerpt from the Church's website:
Most likely, the election results for these constitutional amendments will not mean an end to the debate over same-sex marriage in this country.

We hope that now and in the future all parties involved in this issue will be well informed and act in a spirit of
mutual respect and civility toward those with a different position. No one on any side of the question should be vilified, intimidated, harassed or subject to erroneous information.

It is important to understand that this issue for the Church has always been about the sacred and
divine institution of marriage — a union between a man and a woman.

Allegations of bigotry or persecution made against the Church were and are simply wrong. The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility toward gays and lesbians. Even more, the Church does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.

Some, however, have mistakenly asserted that churches should not ever be involved in politics when moral issues are involved. In fact, churches and religious organizations are well within their constitutional rights to speak out and be engaged in the many moral and ethical problems facing society. While the Church does not endorse candidates or platforms, it does reserve the right to speak out on important issues.

I love the Temple.
I love the Gospel.
The last few days have been emotionally difficult for me. Watching people persecute and desecrate something they do not understand and are never willing to understand. I'm grateful for a loving Heavenly Father, who will take care of his people, even if it involves challenging them along the way. And I'm grateful for a Prophet who is a Prophet regardless of what the World says. And I'm grateful that when the world is crazy and people are banging on temple gates and seeking to take away testimonies and destroy the family and challenge the very God that created them, I can come home to my loving righteous husband, close the door, and remember who we are and what we know.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just Some Thoughts on This Election Night

As most of us are aware, the academic sphere is typically liberal. My office is no exception. There are a few of us "conservatives" in the office though. One such conservative is an admissions counselor by the name of Andrew Wood. And today, he is my guest blogger (except not really--it was just an email he sent me on election night and I thought it was good, especially during Obamamania [though really, I'm interested to see what Obama is going to pull out of his magic hat], so I asked him if I could share it. ). I'm not going to say my feeling match it exactly (I don't do guns, but I do do religion), but pretty close and I think its a nice view of the right side's feelings on election day. Anyway, here it goes:

My immediate reaction tonight is to be depressed, but I am going to refrain from that. We live in the greatest country on earth, why should I be depressed? I have a wonderful wife, wonderful home, and wonderful family. These are the things that define me, not my politics.

I do, however, have a passion for politics, not because I enjoy arguing, but because I love my country. The country that my Granddad fought for, the country that many have died for and the country that has given me more opportunities than I deserve.

I have been asked a number of times about my political affiliation, and why I chose to be on the "right". This decision was not a hard one for me. I chose to be Conservative because I believe that life is precious. I chose to be Conservative because I believe that in America anything is possible. I chose to be Conservative because I believe government should not continue to grow. I chose to be Conservative because "I cling to my guns and religion." I chose to be Conservative because marriage was meant for one man and woman. I chose to be Conservative because my money is safer in my hands than in the government's hands. I chose to be Conservative because I believe in the US Constitution is the greatest political document ever written. I am Conservative and I am not ashamed of that, and I hope that our country will continue to understand and appreciate our Constitution. Change can be wanted and I admit, change may be needed in Washington, but the Constitution must continue to be looked at as a document that is not fundamentally flawed, but a guide that our country must continue to live by.

Just some thoughts on this election night.


In other news, anyone interested in a blogosphere book club? It's going to be super amazing so if you want to join, email my sister-in-law Camie (she's the literary grand master) at And you don't have to be the literary genious that Camie is, because she let me join. So join--it will be fun!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cooling Off

I started a long political post.
But I'm too tired.
And I had a bad morning.
And I'm sick of hearing/talking/seeing anything about it.

I'm ready for a break from this whole political thing.

So I won't be turning the TV on to anything but ESPN.
And the computer will only be used for blogging and watching Penguins games.
And I'm going to watch Cool Runnings over and over again.

Yeah, I said Cool Runnings.
Have you seen Cool Runnings?
Its the best movie ever. I'm not even kidding. We watched it on Sunday night and it was so hilarious. I was laughing the whole time. And the story is really touching too. The way they overcome all the odds. And the ending isn't what you expect, its better. And at the end Junior's rich dad is there wearing a Jamaica t-shirt and Junior is so happy and the dad is cheering and before you know it you're crying during Cool Runnings--its that kind of good. Plus, its got that whole Olympic spirit thing going for it. And I heart the Olympics.
Anyway, its definitely worth your time.

Wait! I'm going to say something about yesterday's results. Kevin Johnson is now the mayor of Sacramento. My Kevin Johnson. He played on the Suns during their glory days when we lived in Arizona when I was a kid and I had his shoes! I loved those KJ shoes. I always say if I could find some now I would totally wear them. Maybe I'll check ebay. But now he is the mayor! Isn't that nice? My wonderful husband brightened my bad morning by texting me that this morning.
I heart KJ.
But in all seriousness, if you look here, you'll see all the hot-button state initiatives voted on yesterday. Prop 8 in California is not called yet, but as of right now, its got 52% with 95% of the precincts reporting. And if you look at the other ones, all the Protection of Marriage initiatives around the country voted on yesterday were passed. At least one thing went right yesterday (other than the whole KJ as mayor thing, that is).