Monday, February 19, 2007

Who knew?

Tonight Matt asked me when I was getting my hair cut. I told him I hadn't set a specific date yet. He said, "You shouldn't get it cut. It should be long enough to put in a pony tail." (I wore it straightened in a pony today. A style I rarely do because I didn't think it was all that flattering on me.)

I just have to laugh since two weeks ago he told me he liked the meg ryan cuts the best on me.

It's taken me by surprise. I don't quite know what to make of it...

But I'll take the compliment.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Svithe: First comes love, then come marriage

With Valentine's Day this past week I have constantly been thinking about love, what it really means, and how love is applied in marriage.

I personally do not feel I need a material present or card for Valentine's Day. I don't ever buy a card for Matt and we don't always exchange gifts. I prefer giving the gift of good food (I have made it a tradition to make cheesecake for dessert) and receiving a thoughtful word or deed. It is nice to receive flowers, but mainly because I know he is trying to show me he cares. It is the gesture, not the flowers, that I most appreciate.

During his Feb. 14th monologue, Leno pointed out that Valentine's Day used to be more of an exchange of love and gifts between men and women, but recent advertising and promotions are geared toward women, women, women. Women need chocolate or flowers or diamonds. Women deserve a day of pampering for putting up with men. And men, you dare not forget it, or you will BE IN THE DOG HOUSE!

For some reason, none of that sits well with me. Maybe because I think it has turned from a day to honor your love into a day to honor yourself with selfish desires and demands. I think it is silly to demand gifts and even sillier to feel like a victim if you didn't receive what you wanted. Honestly, I think the acts of kindness and love on a random day mean more to me than those that come on a dictated holiday.

For instance, about two weeks ago I experienced one of my happiest weekends in my marriage. We both got off early on Friday because we had worked extra hours at the beginning of the week. We went to a dollar movie--we found that they actually do have a dollar theater here--where we watched Jet Li's Fearless (a surprisingly wonderful movie). After that we went to dinner at Jalapeno Tree, which turned out to be very second rate Mexican food. The next day we played racquetball together (where I lost horribly every time), and that night we rented The Illusionist. Not one of those things were AMAZING or expensive, but the spirit in which we did them was very gratifying. I very much felt his love for me and knew he wanted to be with me. That was better than any Valentine's Day chocolate, flowers, or diamonds, in my opinion.

I guess that brings me to the question "what is love?". Now, this is probably one of the most over answered questions in music, movies, poetry, and literature, but that will not stop me from giving you my schpeel on the subject today.

First off, if charity is the pure love of Christ, I'd imagine that is one of the types of love you would want to have for your spouse. To paraphrase 1 Corinthians 13:1-8: It means nothing if you speak in tongues, prophecy or understand all of the mysteries of the universe unless...; it doesn't matter if you can move mountains with your faith unless...; it is of no significance if you give everything you have to the poor or let your body be burned, unless you have charity.


1. suffers long (not in agony or as a victim, but is patient)
2. is kind
3. doesn't envy (or covet other's successes, good fortune or happiness)
4. vaunts not itself, is not puffed up (doesn't brag about own successes, good fortune or happiness; is not arrogant or "high maintenance")
5. doesn't behave unseemingly (inappropriately)
6. seeks not her own (isn't selfish but is concerned for others' well being)
7. is not easily provoked (doesn't get offended easily. not hypersensitive)
8. thinks no evil
9. rejoices in truth rather than sin
10. bear all things (including other people's burdens maybe?)
11. believe all things (Mosiah 4:9 "Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all things which the Lord can comprehend.")
12. hope all things
13. endure all things (with patience)

If we at least TRY to have charity for our spouse, I think our marriages would be all the better for it. They are not perfect. We are not perfect. The Lord is perfect and will help us along if we allow him. We just have to remember that our feelings, wants and needs are not inherently better or more important than our spouse's. They are people with feelings, wants and needs as well.

Lastly, I will end with probably my favorite quote. Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Conversation with Single Adults,” Ensign, Mar 1997, 58 (Quoting Jenkins Lloyd Jones in Big Rock Candy Mountains,” Deseret News, 12 June 1973, A4)

“There seems to be a superstition among many thousands of our young [men and women] who hold hands and smooch in the drive-ins that marriage is a cottage surrounded by perpetual hollyhocks to which a perpetually young and handsome husband comes home to a perpetually young and [beautiful] wife. When the hollyhocks wither and boredom and bills appear the divorce courts are jammed. …

“Anyone who imagines that bliss [in marriage] is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. The fact is] most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. … Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Eat your hearts out chocolate lovers!

We just booked an anniversary trip (May 3rd will be our 4th anniversary!) to the sweetest place on earth, Hershey, PA. Well, we're actually going to fly in and out of Philadelphia, and our trip will technically start one day after our anniversary, but close enough. Since Matt served his mission in Philly (and since it is quite an historic city), we're going to spend a few days there partaking of the food wonders of the east coast and visiting cool places one might find in the Rocky movies...or history books.

After we've tired ourselves out there, we'll probably head to Reading, PA (the home of the Reading Railroad on the classic Monopoly board) to visit more people from his mission.

And from there we'll head over to Chocolate Town USA, the home of all things Hershey and my sister J.. This is their last year of her husband's medical residency, so we figured we needed to head over there before they head back west.

We'll be gone a little over a week. Hopefully we can figure out how to see my NY brothers while we're out that way.

Maybe we'll have a chocolate spa while we're there...

or not.

Lets just hope this anniversary trip treats our stomachs better than the Guatemala trip 2 years ago. Just say no to giardia!
*shiver in remembrance of one horrible (seemingly-never-ending) month of bowel issues following that trip*

Monday, February 12, 2007


How many world renown surgeons do you know that call their patients the evening after surgery to make sure they're feeling ok? I know one.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Family History

My Grandma is a huge family history buff. She travels all over the country and calls people she's never met to find long lost ancestors' names and information. Last year she requested that her posterity write a simple personal history as a Christmas present to her. That little assignment was quite exciting to me.

A year or two earlier I received a book about my great-grandparents as a gift from my mom. I tried reading it once or twice, but was never interested enough to make it very far. One Sunday, however, I decided I should read it to tell my mom I'd read it. I began to read, and to my surprise, I didn't want to put it down. It was very well written, a lot of work had gone into it, and I was learning things about my family I'd never known. It was delightful.

After reading that book I started writing my own personal memoir. I jotted down a few memories, but lost interest after the first day. So when my Grandma requested, I decided it was good to pick up where I'd left off. By the end of the day I had a 25 page rough draft! I've recently felt the desire to make it more complete. Sometimes I'll have random things trigger memories I didn't know existed. I need to write those things down.

My mom just finished her 30 page life history and sent it to us today. I enjoyed it very much. Though I've known her my whole life, I learned things about her I never knew. The moral of the story is, it's good to write things down. Make it easy for future posterity who may be interested in finding you.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Back to square one and a half

Some of you probably remember that I've been waiting to hear about the HR Assistant position I interviewed for last November. At the end of December I was told I was still being considered for the position, but they were putting off hiring until they could get W-2's and the new time clock worked out. Since W-2's were due out last Wednesday, I decided to call and check on the status of the position after work on Friday.

"We're in a quandary [yes, she really did say the word quandary] over that position. You haven't been completely eliminated, but [my supervisor] is the one with the final decision. I wouldn't hang everything on the chance of getting this job. You should keep applying for other jobs in the county. If we are unable to fill that position by the time you're done at the property tax office [at the end of February], I might have you come over and try that position as a temp. and go from there."

It was pretty much what I expected. The woman who would actually be my supervisor liked me in the first interview. I could tell. Her supervisor was my second interviewer and I didn't have a good feeling after that. When I can't read people's body language and responses, I get nervous and a little up tight. I tend to give dumb answers, and I walk away slapping my forehead, wondering where some of those things I said came from. I actually think that if I were to walk in there right now, knowing what I know about the county and how I can contribute to an office setting, I would be snatched up in an instant. But I refuse to be like those sad American Idol rejects, begging for a second chance with no hope of acutally obtaining it.

I'm not quite back to the beginning, but I am trying to figure out, once again, what I should do with my life.

Keep job hunting, hoping that my resume will somehow stand out enough to get interviews? I'm starting to feel a little dejected and the thought of hours of fruitless job searching is a little disheartening. The best options seem to be with the county in all honesty.

Go back to school for my Masters or PhD? I could see myself doing some sort of Counseling Degree. Like a school counselor, not a therapist. Certify as a music teacher and either teach school or beef up my piano teaching? Maybe I could combine these two and get a Masters in Music Education...

Certify as a yoga instructor or message therapist? As appealing as both of these are, I am left to wonder if these will be as useless in the job market as my degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development. I'd have to somehow wriggle my way into teaching at one of the two studios here or start my own studio. Though I have the entrepreneurial spirit, starting a business requires a lot more than I may be willing/able to supply. Capital, looong hours, marketing, patience, a location, permits, etc. It's enough to make my head spin.

Cosmetology? Culinary school? Graphic Design? Become a professional quilter and sell my stuff on Ebay?

Though I have interest in many, many things, I don't know if any of them are truly marketable or worth the time and money I would have to put into obtaining the training necessary.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Office

The Office is one of my all time favorite TV comedies. It ranks right up there with The Cosby Show for me. Anyway, it's a wonderful conglomeration of awkward and odd people mixed with some witty and rational people. It makes for some side splitting laughter on my part.

However, I'm here to say it's not just fictional offices and management that can be humorous. Though it's a little unprofessional for me to do this, and I really ought to be more careful, I thought I'd let you all read a little ditty that was passed through my office this week. I will not mention any names or places for fear of the wonders of Google searches, but rest assured this was an honest to goodness memo.

English majors, prepare yourselves.

Subject: Wednesday will be Jean/cold weather gear day

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 will be a day for jeans, or cold weather gear.

I don't know to suggest "layering" of clothing, due to outside temperatures, and the variability (some just say cold) of temperature we have had recently in the office.

I say, no, thank you. Thank you for helping me feel less intimidated when I go to my next job interview.