MMB

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Russian Eyes and Some Awkward Dancing

Last night, I went to what was probably my last YSA dance. I have less than three months left till I turn 31, and therefore a pumpkin, I mean a MSA - Mid Single Adult.  So, Going to the YSA dance last night, I was hesitant. Especially since I heard most of the guys are about 19 years old. yeah, I've waited for a missionary once already, thank you, NOT DOING THAT AGAIN!! 
 Any way, I also had a sprained ankle, so I knew I would have to sit out most of the dancing. Thankfully they played some disco songs that allowed me to dance without moving my feet much. I decided to go because a lot of my friends would be there, and I miss them. Plus, I am becoming socially awkward again, so I need to interact with people. 
 I went to this dance with no pressure to do anything but love my time with my friends and enjoy myself. I can't dance, because of my ankle, so I didn't have to enter the "most outrageous dancer" competition. The men were mostly too young, so I wasn't looking for their attention either.  The only real stress I had was to come up with a costume. Rock Star. DONE.  that was easy, leather jacket, shiny pants, dramatic make up, spiky hair, and punkish jewelry, and some glittery finger nails. done, done and done. 
 So, with my only expectations being to enjoy myself and hang out with my long lost friends, I was rather surprised  to leave the dance "meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a (handsome man) can bestow."  How did I happen to meet with these fine eyes? From whence did they come? To whom do they belong? 
   Sometimes I am very surprised to come across very very hansom and attractive men that seem equally interested in me. There are a lot of toads out there, and that pair of fine eyes was very refreshing and invigorating.  I saw him on the couch in the foyer of the church as I entered, but I had no thought of meeting him, though he was good looking.
  Twenty minutes later Sister La Mar, a councilor in the bishopric's wife, and   a very good friend of mine was leading this very very handsome man my direction. "He was born in Russia, and grew up here in the states, I thought you two should meet"  She said as she introduced me to the fine pair of Russian eyes.  
  We talked a bit, and then we were interrupted and I lost him for most of the rest of the night, but I couldn't get him out of my head. there was just something intriguing about him, and I so longed to talk to him again. Awkward moment, they switched it up and asked the girls to all find guys and ask them to dance a slow song. I determined to find my Russian, but alas, some other girl beat me to it.  
 Finally, it was time for me to leave and go home. No opportunities had presented themselves, and I was kind of sad. I said good bye to all my friends and then I saw him, sitting by the La Mars. eh ha ha, a chance, I shall say goodbye to the La Mars and some how give him my number. 
  I said good bye to the La Mars, he was just a chair over, I turned to him. I said "It was a pleasure to meet you" We had a short, but awkward conversation where it seemed clear we were both trying to figure out what to do, how to meet again, but how to not make it awkward.  Finally I said, "Do you have your phone? I'd like to give you my number." 
  What I was actually thinking and held my tongue and avoided saying was "Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, your born in Russia, now in the navy, Here's my number, call me maybe?"  yeah, we've all had enough of that song, so I used my better judgment and didn't say that. 
   He talked about wanting to do something next week, but I don't know if he completely realized that he didn't give me his number, because he wanted me to get a hold of him with my schedule, which I reminded him, that he would have to at least text me so I  could get his number if anything is to happen.  
 I don't know if he will contact me or not. If he doesn't I will be sad. But, for now I have the memory of a pair of fine Russian eyes warming my soul.  Happy Halloween everyone.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Halloween Identity Crisis- WHAT AM I GOING TO BE?!!!

Today I am having a bit of an identity crisis!! Usually for Halloween I have twenty different costumes lined up as to what I want to be. This year I have plenty of options, but I don't want to be anything!!! I have worked so hard to be completely comfortable in my own skin , that I don't want any masks, I don't want to pretend to be anything, I just want to be me. But I have a dance tonight, which I will mainly be sitting by the wall thanks to my ankle, but  I MUST HAVE A COSTUME!!! I don't know what to be!!!  such a dilemma, I don't know what to do. 

 Also, I think I have been spending too much time alone. I went to a bridle shower with friends today, and I felt extremely socially awkward, because all I do is work on stuff with counseling, and watch movies on Netflix. My social life needs a help. It was fun. I am still hilarious, and that was good to know, but I am loosing my talking to people skills.  What a weird Halloween.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Movies, My List For Wimps Like Me

When it gets close to Halloween time, I have to watch Halloween type movies, but I am a bit of a wimp. I have made a list of the movies I like to watch every Halloween if possible, to get in the spirit. I also made a list of things I've seen once and hated and never want to see again. Too Scary,  or too stupid. Its a short list, because if its scary, I probably wont watch it. But here are my picks for other wimps like me

My Favorites:
1. The Ghost and Mr Chicken
2. Les Diaboliques- 1950's french movie, awesome and suspenseful
3. Hocus Pocus
4. The Halloween Tree
5. Clue
6. Little Shop of Horrors 
7. Into The Woods
8. Ernest Scared Stupid
9. The Burbs
10. Shawn of The Dead (my one and only zombie movie)
11. The Adams Family 
12. Casper
13. Ghostbutsters
14. Harry Potter- Hallowen I just have to watch Harry Potter. 
15. Signs.  I love it. It was suspenseful, and I love corn mazes, so it kind of relates.
16. The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. 
17. Edward Scissor Hands
18. The Nightmare Before Christmas. (originally I hated this, changed my mind)
19.  Secret Window- So TWISTED!!!! I love the ending. 
20. A Beautiful mind- nothing scarier than not knowing if what you think is real isn't.
21. The Goonies
22. A Smokey Mountain Christmas- it has a witch in it. it scares me a bit, it counts.


I also just watched Radioland Murders, it was a fun murder mystery, its OK. Also, I vaguely remember Beetle juice. Was it a good movie? I don't know, so its a maybe because I may have liked it as a kid, but I don't know why.

Halloween movies I hate!!

1.Elvira - I watched this recently because I remember it was popular when I was growing up in the 80's. I have no Idea why. 
2. The Shinning- I am still terrified of Jack Nickleson's eye brows, and red rum. 
3. Dracula Dead and Loving it- I feel dumber for having watched this
4. The skeleton Keys- I love this one, except it terrifies me, so I hate it. 
5. Chronicle- I don't think this was meant to be scary, but super hero kid gone wrong is terrifying to me, and the end was dreadfully sad. 

Anything scarier than the favorites list is too scary for me, but based on my two lists, I bet you could tell me some new movies I would like. I don't like zombie movies FYI. Shawn Of the Dead is the only exception, because its a comedy, and its British-y and its got Simon Pegg, and  Penelope Wilton. I just love her voice.  I always think "Harriet Jones, Prime Minister" and smile.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Falling in the Gutter

I have notoriously horrible problems with rolling, spraining, and twisting my ankles.  At the moment, I am sitting with my foot elevated, ice pack on one side, skinned knee on the other, a bruised and kankled ankle hurting, but no longer throbbing. Its better than it was yesterday, but I still can't really walk very far on it, and I am horribly unstable. I'd be worried, except I've done this so many times, I can tell that by tomorrow it should be OK again if I stay off it today.  Yesterday, I fell in the gutter.  I was taking some copy paper boxes to my friend, she picked me up in Bainbridge when I got off the ferry. Bainbridge has this weird double curb thing going on, its a curb with a half step in it. Quit honestly, its a dangerous idea.  I stepped off the curb, but not all the way because I didn't realize it was a double curb, and then I went down.  I went down and I knew I wasn't getting up, not quickly.  
    Well, of course I posted this trauma on facebook when I got home, I could barley walk, I had to tell the world. As I did so, I got this response from Mindy, one of my former roommates:
"Aw, Mandi! You fell in the gutter again???" 
I believe that this response merits an explanation to the rest of you, who are now thinking, jeez, she must fall in the gutter often. Well, yeah, I kinda do.

   The first really memorable sprained ankle for me came in my 9th grade year at Syracuse Jr High, in Northern Utah. My ward Young Women's church basket ball team had just finished a killer season in our stake and had moved on up through the regional tournament. We were amazing, when we played as a team. I believe it was the semi-final round we were playing in that night, and I wanted to win. 
  Earlier in the day, at Jr High, we were playing basketball, and I wanted to get some good practice in, so I of course over did it and stepped wrong and sprained my ankle pretty good. My mom took me to the doctor after school and I asked if he thought I could play that night. He told me it was my choice, if I wanted to and thought I could, then I could, but it would hurt. 
  We wrapped my swollen ankle and shoved it in a shoe, and I played. I played horribly. I couldn't run, and it hurt like heck, and then I fell and twisted my  other ankle. My mom, who was our coach, benched me. I was pissed. I kept trying to get back in the game right up until she threatened me that if I didn't sit down and shut up I would no longer be figure skating. I sat down and shut up. We lost the game. 
  
The next year I had a doozie of a sprain while in a foreign country. I went with a bunch of French people to Germany for a weekend. It was the town Fest of Wald Michaelbach, some small village in the west of Germany by Frankfurt.  We were in a hall, and everyone but me and my french friend that hated alcohol were getting terribly drunk, so it was incredibly  ironic when I was the one to step wrong going down the stairs and severely sprain my ankle.  Now, I didn't have travel insurance and my friend and her family were freaking out about taking me to the doctor. 
  
 "Oh no," I said "this is nothing to go to the doctor for, I do this all the time. I just need to RICE. REST ICE Compress, and Elevate."  You would be surprised at how hard it is to find some ice in Germany apparently, because we couldn't find any. After hours of searching it was discovered some brilliant Frenchie decided to freeze a bottle of spring water. Voila, stuck it on my foot, stuck my foot on a pillow so it was elevated, and tried to sleep. But, before that, I decided to hobble around the cobble stone streets lined with drunk people so I could be in pain while pretending to have fun and enjoy my night in Germany. 

I have had many sprains since, but those are the most memorable, right up until last January when I was sick, got up to get water because I was dehydrated, tripped on my shoes in the dark, and sprained my ankle. Since I was dehydrated, I hobbled on to the kitchen any way, and then I preceded to feel like I was going to black out from the pain of standing on that foot. somehow I made it to the couch and then I did black out for a second. It was kind of scary, so I didn't forget that one. 

Now we come to the moment I fell in the gutter. It was 2001, I was at Snow College, and I was writing a missionary that I one day hoped to marry. I was taking a courtship and  marriage class and the professor had a saying "falling in love is like falling in the gutter. You don't fall in love, you grow in love. You fall in lust, you fall in the gutter."  Too true professor.  I got a letter from my missionary and I was in a haze of absolute twiterpation as I floated to class on cloud nine, right until that moment I literally came crashing down and fell into the gutter, sprained ankle, tears, crying and all. Yeah, that missionary didn't work out so well, guess we know why.  I RICEd my ankle, then I later RICEd my heart. 

 So yesterday, as soon as I started coming down off the curb I knew what was coming.  When my friend offered to help me up, I asked her to put the boxes in the trunk and leave me on the ground for a second. It was going to hurt to stand, but I was going to do it on my own. I summoned the courage, I stood, it hurt a lot, I cried. I hobbled two feet to the car, and then I sat down and thought, "oh boy, I've fallen in the gutter again, Mindy would get a kick out of that."  I cried some more,  calmed my self.  I do do this all the time you know. and in the past year I think I have fallen in the gutter in that figurative sense a time or two too. But I always pick myself up, hobble home, and RICE. Hearts and ankles  both heal, You just need to RICE. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Its Green, But What Else Is About It?

 This week, a strange quote from one of my favorite YouTube videos has been popping in my head. If any of you have seen Kid History, you will probably know this, if not, check it out.. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fh0NLQJfAYU

So, in this episode of Kid History, the mom is pushing off healthy eating and green smoothies off on her kids. Some of the kids handle it well, some think its "dross" The part that has stuck with me all week, is when one of the Roberts boys  is handed a green smoothie, and looks and and says "I know its green, but what else is about it?"

In terms of my life, I am a green smoothie. I know a lot about myself. I am a Mormon, I am a woman, I am an American, I am a figure skater, I am single.  there are lots of obvious things about me, but like a green smoothie, you can't tell "What else is about (me)" until you take a big swig.  If its anything like one of my green smoothies, you can taste the subtle flavors of spinach and kale right along side strawberries and banana. 

The past month has been about me getting to know and understand myself much better. This week, as I explored some of my issues, and some obvious things about me I took a moment and said, OK, I know that about myself, but that isn't everything. What else is about me? or what else is there about this or that aspect of me?  or more specifically an example: I am a figure skater, but what else is there about that? I'm a good jumper, I am a hard worker, I am determined, I love the ice, the smell of it, the cool crispness contrast with the warmth of working. I love the feeling of flying when I jump, the glide of my skate pushing against the ice, and the burn in my legs, I love that for a moment I can put on a piece of music and skate what I feel,  put a song into a motion that creates beauty that everyone can see and feel. There is a lot else about it,but that's probably good enough for an example. 

The other quote that has run through my head for the past month or so, comes from the movie What a Girl Wants, with Amanda Bynes- I really like Amanda Bynes movies. Any way, she is with this super hot British guy on a boat, and wants to learn the ways of her upper class family, so he offers to help a bit by teaching her to balance in a boat. She falls out, he falls out, they get back in the boat and he looks her in the eyes and asked her a question that I think we should all ask ourselves at some point in life- "Why are you trying so hard to fit in, when you are born to stand out?"    
    I think we are all born to stand out, I think we all have that "what else" about us, and I think when we really start to look for and recognize and build off of those things, off of who we are and all we can be, when we quit trying to blend in, and take a risk at showing  our abilities, we do stand out, and can lift others. 
   I saw a good example of this in a post my friend put on FB of a UK X Factor contestant, Christopher Maloney, that had major nerves, he was 34, and had never sung in front of a crowd, but he had an amazing voice  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1T9-I3wx8I    I cried when I heard him sing. It was amazing. 


So lesson of the week, You may be "Green" but don't forget to ask "what else is about (you)" and when you figure it out, don't be afraid to stand out as you are meant to. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

One Pretty Amazing Weekend....

You know, I think its rare that I reach the end of a weekend and feel at peace, and ready to go back to work on Monday. Don't get me wrong, I am not anxious to get up at a quarter to five in the morning, but I feel like my life is in order, and I can handle a Monday tomorrow.  Why? Well, I had one pretty amazing weekend, let me tell you about it.

  Friday night I came home and just chilled, by myself and watched movies. I don't want to do that every weekend, but it was nice for once just to not have anything to do. I just sat in my room with my dog and watched Gordon Ramsey's F Word, and Project Runway. Congratulations Dimitry S. on the win!! Where can I buy your clothes? and Melissa's? because those were the two designs I wanted to wear. Actually, I would also Like Chris' distressed leather jacket as well. I think Fabio is amazing, but his clothes are not my style.  
  Saturday I woke up, and I don't know, I guess I got bit by the cleaning bug or something, but I cleaned the whole house. My room is spotless, by bedding is all nice and clean and fluffy, the floors are vacuumed in the whole house, I reorganized our kitchen. I feel pretty good about that. I still need to clean the fridge, but everything else was deep cleaned and re structured and I think both I and my roommate are a lot happier because of it. Thanks to Pintrest, I also home cleaned the living room carpets. It worked well, looks nice and smells awesome. So my house is clean, all my laundry is done and everything is in order. I did not clean the bathroom, but my roommate did. So, Clean house= awesome.  

That was Saturday morning. I was going to go skating, but Thursday I ran further than I should have, and I had to give my foot the weekend off so it could recover. Now it has, so tomorrow I will be working out again.  Saturday afternoon, I went with a friend of mine to the temple. Its kind of cool because we've both, over the past month, opened up to each other about a lot of things, and its great because I have a lot of things I need to talk about that are super awkward for me, and I need a friend I can trust and that can listen. Its also cool because we have such different problems but they still produce similar feelings so as she talks about what she is going through, we can relate to each other even though its not the same thing, and we just understand different life viewpoints so much more clearly.   

 The most amazing thing though, and the thing I needed the most  happened when I walked into the Temple Saturday evening. I am going through a lot emotionally right now, as I haven't hid, I am going to counseling and I am dealing with a lot of personal trials that I have carried around and ran away from for most of my 30 years on this Earth. Since I have started dealing with these things, I need safe harbors, I need places I can go and just feel completely loved and accepted for me, and I need to know I am accomplishing something, because this process is going so much longer and slower than I would like. I sometimes think that with the amount of work I have put into working on things, I should be done with dealing with things by now ,but I still have a lot of work to do. That can be discouraging. I have been praying for the past couple of days that I can just feel that love that I need to, to have the extra strength and to fill the void that I am beginning to recognize.  
  As I walked into the temple I was so overwhelmed with a feeling of love, peace, and acceptance. I knew and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my Heavenly Father, and Jesus know, they understand me, and they love and accept me. I know that they are pleased with my decisions, and with all the work I am doing. I felt that so strongly in the temple, that I could barley hold back the tears. It was far better than the best hug I have ever received. For that moment,  and since I know belong to a family to Gods family, I know I fit in with that family, and I know someone has my back and is watching out for me. 
  Not to take away from my earthly family, and my many wonderful friends who are there for me and love me and do so much for me, I know you guys do, But it was so much what I needed because God can always be there for me, and my friends and family cant. God can understand me perfectly, when I don't even understand myself. And that is a really great thing.  I need both, and I am grateful for all the love I receive. In fact, FYI, I can really use hugs right now, so If you see me, feel free to just give me a hug. Unless its at work. that would be slightly awkward. I would turn red. 
   Any way, that said, on to Sunday. Today Rocked!!! I woke up from a really weird pirate dream I had(likely from eating a burrito at 3am) and decided to write a short story based on it for my friends online magazine http://underneaththejunipertreemag.com/ . It was an Awesome story, so I hope it makes the cut, but if not, I already have one that should be in there soon.

  Also, I am a culinary genius. Once again I cooked meals for me and my roommate that could have belonged in a really fancy and expensive restaurant. I am an amazing cook, and I am a foodie, so I love cooking, I love food, and I love when it turns out and the flavors are there and the presentation is spot on. I also went to ward and stake choir (which was soulfully awesome and totally Atypical) today, so my vocal chords are also happy.  Well, there you have it, my pretty amazing weekend. hope you had a good one too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Put On My Shiny Pants and Then....We Became a Band, and I Am A Rock Star!!!

Ok,  so today I came home from work exhausted and stressed out. So I worked out, I ate healthy, and then it was time to put on my shiny pants, grab my guitar and head to my friends house for our "Band Practice" by   band practice, what I mean is that usually Ali plays her songs and I listen and say how I like it, and then we try to write a song together, get half way through and then the next week we forgot what we did and start over.
  Today was different. Today I had my shiny pants on, I was a rock star. Seriously, I bought these jeans a few months ago, they are skinny jeans that have a shimmer to them. They almost look leather. Almost. They are so rock star. So when I wear them, I think, Hey now, Im a rock star! and then I get my game on and go play. No joke.
  Because today was the most productive band practice for me that I have had in months. That could be that I am reaching a point in my counciling where I am finally starting to deal with some of my issues and get them under control, and also I am no longer feeling depressed and moapy.  Since band practice is the day after counciling, its been the hardest day to concentrate on things for a monthish.  I am usually emotionally drained on Wednesday, and my music is totally emotional. I can't play well if I aint feeling it. Today, I felt it.
  We didn't write anything new, or attempt to. I busted out my old stuff Ali had never heard and I played it like there was no tomorrow. Then Ali played a few. Ali is my band mate. Our band is called Naomi's Bandits. We were talking about a farewell concert because she might move. I think we should do it any way.
  Any way, I have never really taught anyone to play any of my songs, and neither  has Ali. so Ali has her songs, and I have my songs, and we have our unfinished songs that we've written together , but tonight I think we finally became a band.
  Because I finally taught Ali how to play one of my songs, one of her favorites of my songs, and we played and sung together, and then she harmonized, and it was magic, it was like- Wow!! finally after all these practices we are actually playing together like a band. She totally rocked it!!  I think its the shiny pants, and she was wearing a hoody which is so gangsta, so it totally rocked. Or it could be that this one song was my one song that swears and we were just having fun singing such and angry song.  Any away, yeah, Naomi's Bandits. When we find a place to play our first gig, we will be coming to a stage near you.  Rock on. NIGHT!!!      PS spell check is broken. and I am a horrible speller. Sorry for the errors, but I am not going to try to fix this without help.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What is Fast Sunday? MFAQ

MFAQ- Mormon Frequently Asked Questions


Today I have decided to tell you what Fast Sunday means for Mormons.   

When I was a kid, I always thought Fast Sunday meant that it was supposed to go faster, that church would be over quicker. But the opposite seemed to be true. So what is Fast Sunday anyway?

For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Fast Sunday is usually the first Sunday of the month (except for special occasions like General Conference, or Stake Conference that move it to a different Sunday like this month). 

On Fast Sunday, Members of the church who are able  observe a two meal or twenty four hour Fast, abstaining from all food or drink during this period. 

Generally, we start our fast with a prayer. Most people will fast for a purpose- to find a job, to have help for a sick friend or family member, to gain greater understanding of this or that principle.. etc.  The purposes of fasting  are to spiritually bring us closer to God, and closer together as a ward or church. Sometimes special fasts are done that aren't on fast Sunday for individuals, families and communities that feel a special need.  A family may choose to do a special fast on Fast Sunday for a sick family member, or an entire ward (congregation) may do a special fast for one of its members, or for missionary work, etc. This brings people together in a united purpose and builds extra faith and prayers in behalf of that person or cause.

 The money that would have been spent on those meals is donated by individuals and families through the churches contributions system which goes to the Bishops of the wards to distribute that money to families in the ward that are in need of extra help financially.   So by abstaining from food and then donating money that would have been spent, we can help those in need, help the hungry, and gain some empathy by choosing to be hungry for a little while ourselves. 
  Another part of Fast Sunday is what is called Fast and Testimony meeting. Normal Sundays we have a Sacrament meeting that consists of taking the Sacrament (communion) followed by Talks from the general ward congregation as assigned by the Bishop  or his councilors on a specific subject. On fast Sundays, after we receive the Sacrament,  the Bishop or one of his councilors start off the meeting by sharing their testimonies of Jesus Christ, and other gospel subjects, and then they open the floor to anyone who would like to share their testimonies. 

 This means anyone who wants to can get up to the pulpit during the allotted time and share their feelings and thoughts about Jesus Christ, the atonement, the Book of Mormon, the Bible, etc.  People will tell family stories about the way that they have felt Gods love, or seen his influence during the week. This is more or less  Fast and Testimony meeting.   

Any further questions about this or MFAQ that you would like answered, please post in comments. thanks

Top Eight Time Wasting Sunday Morning Activities

Well, Its Sunday morning. I should hop in the shower right now, as I have choir practice at noon, and a roommate that generally wants the shower the same time I want the shower- 20 min before I have to leave. But its fast Sunday, (I explain this in my MFAQ blog) so I don't have to cook or eat anything so that means I can in fact wait to the last second.  So here are the top Eight things I am doing this morning to avoid taking a shower.

1) Playing Chefville on Facebook. Its a completely pointless game that just reminds me that I'd like to go cook and eat breakfast, so really its a form of torture

2) Writing interesting Blogs for you to read here. Yes, this means there will be multiple posts today

3)Watching Priesthood session of General Conference. Yeah, Its important to know what they told the guys, so its completely legit for me to not get ready for church today because I am listening to conference.

4) Writing posts about absolutely nothing, doing absolutely nothing and eating absolutely nothing on Facebook. because talking about wasting time is a great way to waste time

5) Playing song Pop on FB. Song pop is a great game because it increases my musical knowledge

6) Staring off into space for minutes at a time considering going back to sleep

7) listening to the melodic rhythms and occasional sleep barking of my cute fuzzy little dog

8) researching possible job opportunities in a way that makes it so I think I am being productive, when in fact I know I will not find what I am looking for where I am looking.


yeah, that's pretty much all I can think of to do. I think I can write one more blog, then I will have to go shower.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Time Vortex

As I sit here procrastinating doing anything I have to wonder, has my mind been sucked into some sort of a time vortex black hole? How many hours have I been staring at my computer wondering what it is I should be doing, I want to do? I dont know. I know there is a bunch of things, like going to the store, cooking, eating, walking with my dog, practicing music, peeing. 

  yeah, Peeing. It took me a half hour (I think, I actually dont know, I lost all concept of time) of sitting here thinking, man, I really have to pee, before I actually decided to get up and go to the bathroom. Now its eating, shopping, I am sure there is some yard work I can do. Its Saturday, I dont want to do anything. I dont even want to get up to eat. But I am SO HUNGRY!!!  order a pizza? no, then I have to get up to answer the door. Some days I am just lazy like that. Its incurable, I swear. Well, I think I have wasted an undermind amount of time writing this blog about nothing. I am really hungry. maybe after five more times playing games on fb I will get up and do something about it. I bet I am the only person on the planet that ever does this too. 

Um, I should go exercise now, I feel incredibly lazy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Singled Out- Attention: Big Elephant in the Room

Something happened earlier this week that I just have to blog about, first because it involves me being single, and second because it applies to everyone.
  So Tuesday on my way from counseling, I noticed I had a voice mail. I listened. It was from the Relief  Society Presidency second councilor reminding me that there was an activity that night, and that there would be free food.  I had no idea what the activity would be, nor did I care- SHE SAID FREE FOOD!!!   My old college instincts kicked in and nothing else mattered. I went and got to sit by one of my new ward buddies the whole time. 
  It was a blast talking to all the sisters and socializing. I love Relief Society meetings. Then it was time for our  lesson/activity part. The lesson was on Continuing Courtship After Marriage.  Part of what I have been going to counseling for is working on my current issues with courtship and relationships in general, so even though I am not married I thought "oh great, I can so apply this to the future when I am less of a hot mess and  am dating/marrying/ continuing to court my future super hot and talented husband" (which I drew a picture of for my friend during the lesson)
  However, as the lesson began things got slightly awkward. I do not fault the lesson giver for this, I am a firm believer that awkwardness makes us stronger and more comfortable with the truth of who we are- eventually.  I confirmed this theory as a missionary, and then a return missionary, because its pretty hard to make me feel awkward after 19 months of telling complete strangers in a language I slaughtered frequently that I wanted to tell them about a really important book and a 14 yr old boy that saw God.  Any way, back to the RS activity. 
  What made this most awkward was that to start the lesson she had each sister introduce herself and her respective marital status. We had two older sisters that were divorced and there for currently single, and everyone else is married. It was a little awkward, but I know I am old and single in a family ward, so that was fine for me.  I felt slightly awkward to be the only one never married and without kids, but again, I am used to this fact now and fine with it. 
  But then the sister teaching the lesson added to awkwardness by pointing to the big 2 ton elephant in the room and said she wanted to know why we single people would choose to come to an activity about courtship after marriage. Valid question. Probably best asked after the lesson so that people don't suddenly feel like maybe they should leave, but again, we all get these situations we feel awkward and completely botch, I've done it, and I don't take it personally when others do too.  
  Here is where the big problem came in for me, she tried to adapt her lesson for married people to try to suit  the three single sisters in the room. That is good, to make small adaptions, but the fact single people were present seemed to completely disrupt her flow and consume the rest of the lesson.  
  I appreciate the effort, but sometimes its best if you just get on mostly as planned and let the spirit tell people how to adapt things for themselves. After the meeting I went to a friends house to watch Downton Abbey. We had a good talk about those awkward elephant in the room moments, and it made me realize, EVERYONE HAS THEM. 
  Maybe you are divorced, maybe you are a stay home mom, maybe you are a working mom, maybe you are single, maybe you are a widow, maybe you are a single mom, maybe you are a return missionary, maybe you are not a return missionary, maybe you are a convert, maybe you are not a convert, maybe you love your husband and everyone is bashing theirs, maybe you bash your husband and everyone else loves theirs, maybe you can't have kids.... the list goes on and on. 
 Point is, we all have individual circumstances and adaptations. We will all feel awkward and alienated at some point in life, in church, in Relief Society. And we will all teach a lesson, make a comment, or give a talk or testimony that makes someone feel uncomfortable. But in the end, it doesn't matter, we are all sisters, we are all daughters of a Heavenly Father that loves us, and as long as we love each other we can take those moments to laugh at the elephant, and then build some bridges of understanding. That's what its all about. 
 I didn't answer her question, so I will now. I came for the food, but if I had remembered what the activity was going to be, I still would have come. The reason I decided to move to a family ward early, rather than going to the YSA ward for the remainder of my 30th year was that I want to learn about marriage and families from people who are experiencing it. 
  How else can I continue to prepare for a marriage I hope one day will come?  How else can I learn to understand most of the women my age who deal daily with children and husbands and that sort of thing that I really don't know much about? I can't. I have to have awkward moments because I have hit that time of life when that is what is around me, and I have to adapt to a new environment. 
  I hope the sisters of the RS wont be upset, offended, or wish they could have my "fun and adventurous" single life when I talk about my experiences, and I hope they wont hesitate to share their experiences.  How else will you ever understand what the single people of the world experience if I don't say?  how will I ever know what you married people go through if you don't say?  we wont, we can't.  Embrace that elephant, learn to love it, and love to learn.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Eyes to See

So, I just got home from my first visit to the eye doctor in six years. I've had vision insurance all year long, but for some reason the optometrist scares me worse than visiting the dentist.  I think its all those scary looking machines and tests they use on you, and shining bright lights in your eye and other uncomfortable things.  I finally found the motivation to go because, well, its been six years and my glasses are less effective, and I have lost or broken all but one of my six pairs I bought six years ago. 
  Also, the fact that I don't want to wear my glasses when I skate or play sports, but I couldn't see  who people were  was very aggravating. It wasn't a safety concern yet- I could see the people, I just couldn't tell who they were- my coach, or if I was playing soccer - my teammates. So a year ago I decided to get vision insurance so I could got get new glasses and contacts. Its almost the end of the year, I didn't want to waste my money I had paid in so I though, I'll go soon. I still didn't go. 
  Then all my friends started going to wal mart. I noticed the wal-mart doctor was listen on my insurance. OK  , I will go to wal-mart.   Everyone had told me the Doctor at the Poulsbo Wal-mart was awesome. they were right. Last week when I could see that there wasn't enough work for me to work from home before my counseling appointment, I decided , heck lets extend our vacation one day and spend it going and taking care of medical things. 

So I did, and here I am now, back from Wal-mart $200 dollars poorer but with both glasses and a butt load of disposable contacts on the way. Oh and a pair of contacts in my eyes!!! I love it!! Why do I love it? Because I can see bark on the trees again and I don't have my annoying glasses on  then wouldn't have seen this much detail any way. I don't know why I hesitated so long to go to the eye doctor, I'm always happen when I get home and can see better, but since I am going to my counseling session later today, it ties into other things too. 

 I am going to counseling because a lot of little problems that I failed to deal with, and they therefore became big problems. It would have been much easier to deal with this stuff years ago, instead I get to deal with it kind of all at once- at least in a short period of time and its had years and years of build up under it. When I work on something with my councilor and come home I feel much better about things, but that doesn't make it less terrifying to start the process, just like with the eye doctor. 

People may tease people with glasses, call them four eyes or something. People may tease people who go to counseling.  But really we all have issues, whether emotional or physical or visual and its far better to face and treat them sooner rather than later.  

Ultimately the place we all have the greatest need of the greatest doctor ever is spiritually.  We shouldn't put off our relationship with Christ  even more than we shouldn't put off those other appointments. He has the ability to heal us, to understand us, to know exactly who or where to send us or to us for help. For those that will have "Eyes to see, and ears to hear"  he can correct our every vision problem and help us to see things as they truly are.   So whatever appointment or doctors visit you are delaying, go today. A friend of mine put off going to the dentist for a few weeks when her tooth was bothering her. Not only did she have to have a root canal, she also had to deal with massive infections. Don't delay, take care of yourself today. Physically, emotionally and spiritually we all deserve to be made well and kept well,  for we are all beloved children of God. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Do You Love Me?

I can wake up tired, and distracted, and not really wanting to pay attention to the speakers at General Conference, right up until Elder Holland speaks. When he speaks, I have to listen. How can you half hear such a talk? How can you not pause all other activities and give full attention?
  As I listened to his talk, I was reminded that I do indeed love my Savior Jesus Christ, and it is him I want to serve, it is  his word and instruction I want to hear, and there is no sacrifice too great that can be made for one who has already sacrificed and endured everything for and with me.
  When Elder Holland gave the account of Peter and the resurrected Christ, and asked in such a way that it was as if the Savior himself were asking me Mandi, Do you love me?  Yes, I do. Ok then, you know what you should do.  I loved that talk. I needed it.

President Monson asked after that that we take an inventory of the blessings in our lives. I will do part of that here. Heavenly Father does know and love us perfectly, and my life right now has done nothing but point that out to me.        
         1. I have some of the Greatest most supportive and wonderfully wise and helpful friends  on the planet
         2. I have the perfect ward to transition from YSA to family, full of equally wonderful friends most of              who just recently moved here.
          3. Nickolai, my wonderful dog, who was only supposed to live five years, but is now six years old
         4. my family back in Utah
          5. my mission, and the people I know from it
          6. my language abilities
           7. figure skating and an awesome coach from Finland.
           8. a steady job that pays the bills and has medical benefits.
           9. Internet access to conference broadcasts, and all the wonderful speakers

this is just the beginning, but I am pretty blessed right now, and I know it.

Slow to Hear and Feel: Sunday Morning Session of General Conference

ARGGGGH.  My plan this morning was to wake up early and listen to Music and the Spoken Word, eat breakfast and mentally prepare for conference. That did not happen.
   Last night, In hope of finishing one of six books I  am currently reading, I stayed up till 1 am to finish a book, and I didn't finish it.  So this morning, I didn't wake up  until 9:15, pacific time the conference broadcast starts at 9:00. I woke up and dashed around starting my computer and trying to get it to connect to the Internet, which it didn't want to do. Around 9:30, it was finally working, but I was still too distracted. I caught half of president Packers talk, but I had a hard time paying attention. another great talk started, I still am struggling to pay attention. I feel super tired, I could sleep another hour!!   I have learned a great lesson about preparation by not being prepared.  As I listen to the talks I know I need to hear them, I know they are great talks, I know I will have to listen to them and study them again later, but right now, I have a headache and I am having a really hard time hearing and feeling the words and the spirit. 

I have learned that it is a bad Idea to stay up till 1 am  the night before conference. things that are as important as the words of the apostles one has to be prepared to hear and get everything out of it that you could. Yesterday I did better to prepare, and yesterday I got a lot more out of it. Preparation is important.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I'm a Mormon, and I Love it!! And Other Reflections on Today's General Conference

 Holy Cow!!! I love conference!! Its my favorite. And this was one of my all time favorites ever- so far, it can only get more awesome. 

So, I have had a friend ask me my opinion on the changes to missionary service ages, in that guys can now go on missions at 18, as opposed to 19, and sisters at 19, instead of 21. I think its awesome, I wish I could have gone when I was 19, but I am glad I went when I was 22, it was the right time for me.  So What do I think about this change, well I think the rising generation have to grow up faster than we did, I think they are ready for this. I think sisters serving at 19 will have less of a maturity gap, so they will be less irritated and frustrated with their Elders immaturity. With the sisters still being a year older, it will help them be less likely to try to date each other than if the Elders were older, or if they were the same age. 
  I'll be honest, as a missionary cut off from dating  and even hugs from the opposite sex, sometimes it can make you a bit hormonal and wacky, so its important to still have some age difference with the sisters being older.  I think the option of going at 18 for the boys will be good because they can loose that awkward year gap between high school and a mission where some people just got lost out of sheer boredom and a lack of direction in life. I think this is a good thing all around. 
  Also, I think the rising generation will be prepared for this. I mean, Preach My Gospel came out in 2004- while I was on my mission. That is nearly a decade ago. When it came out it was Incorporated into Family Home Evenings and other such things, so these kids will have had PMG growing up, and hopefully will have the gospel more written in their hearts and souls.  I came out on my mission just as they switch from discussions to PMG and we came out on our missions ready and prepared by the Lord for that change. God is in charge of his missionary program, and directs his prophet how best to run it and when to make changes, this one is no different, so I am super excited for the missionaries that get to be a part of this. 

I have dedicated the bulk of my writing  to that, because I was asked a specific question, but some other talks that stood out  to me- First Elder Cooks talk was amazingly inspiring and comforting. He talked about repentance in a way that made it something everyone should want to do, and that was awesome. Loved IT! 

Sister Dibbs talk was the funnest most awesome talk ever from a YW general presidency member, and I am a Mormon, I know it, I live it , and I love it! 'Nuf said. 

I was grateful for the comforting talk to those who have lost children, I hope this was comforting to my friends who have lost children or that have sick children. I love them, and their sadness makes me sad too.  

This afternoon I really loved the last two talks. Especially Elder Oaks on Children and protecting them and putting them first. I loved that he addressed the importance of the family, of Traditional family, but I also loved that his talk talked of treating those who struggle with same gender attraction with love and kindness, not hatred and bullying.  Its important to treat all of Gods children with love and we are all Gods children- as was said in another talk.
 I believe the previous talk was Elder Neil Anderson, on trials of faith, when he talked about the older single adults struggling with being older single adults for their various reasons, I appreciated that part. It was very cool to hear the faith of other single adults who wait faithfully and patiently on the Lord for the time they can have marriage and the family they desire.  It can be a fiery trial, but trials of faith really can bring us closer to Christ. I wish I could go through each talk. I loved Elder Nelsons explanations to non-Mormons about missionaries and what they do, and Mormons and what we believe. The whole day was just incredibly wonderful and I am so grateful to have heard every word that I did (some technical difficulties during Elder Oaks talk.)   I also loved Elder Hawks talk about the Book of Mormon and its importancs to the descendants of Lehi. AWESOME!! I loved the whole thing, and I can't wait for more. AMEN to everything that was said. To see any of these talks please visit  http://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2012/10?lang=eng

Friday, October 5, 2012

Almost time for general conference!!!

So, in the next few days i will break down for those who dont know, what this general conference thing is all about. For now, I just want to tell you its the most fun and exciting thing in the world!!

I think my parents did an amazing job of making something fun and exciting that could be very boring indeed for a child or teen.

General conference is a big world wide conference held by   the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints every six months. For two days streight we have two hour blocks of singing from the Mormon tabernacle choir and other less famous choirs, and talks by the leaders of our church.

Its broadcast all over the world by internet, radio, and satilite, or live ib the conference center in salt lake city.
My family have always turned it into a big party, everyone was welcomed to our house and there is a ton of food, and conference bingo wirh m &m markers for the kids. This year, im keeping it low key so i can focus on the talks, but its going to be awesome

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Voldemort, He Who Must Not Be Named

Ive been thinking a lot this week about a truth that is brought up a lot in both Harry Potter, and Doctor Who.  The Doctor always works to name the creatures that he fights, by knowing and acknowledging who and what it is he is battling it gives him more power over them, and allows him to defeat or at least banish his foe. This was more apparent in the David Tenant years, but I think its still true.
In Harry Potter, how many times did we hear that 'fear of the name only increases fear of the thing itself' or something along those lines. Saying Voldemorts name took away a great deal of the power he created for himself through fear.
My friend Bree has this really great children's magazine called Under the Juniper Tree. It tells scary stories at a child appropriate level, which gives kids a chance to  deal with their monsters in a safe and healthy way. No kidding, I just read a psychology article on that very thing.
You should check out the magazine, but that actually isn't my point. I think that there is a reason that the scriptures do not avoid mentioning Satan, but also don't over emphasize him as well, its important to know who and what you are fighting, to figure out the how.
I am finding out lately that my personal problems are more easily fought and won when I am absolutely honest with myself and God, and I am not afraid to name those things. We all have those dark creatures that live in the closets of our lives, skeletons, monsters, i used to think my Cabbage Patch dolls could come to life, but literally and figuratively we all have them. I am discovering that Dumbledore, The Doctor, and my friend Bree are correct as I name what it is I am afraid of, who or what I'm fighting, My Voldemorts, they become more and more Bogart's in my closet and with a Ridikulus twist I can see them for what they really are and I can take control and win.
I am not going to name my Voldemorts here, not yet any way, but being able to talk to my friends and people close to me about them, not being afraid to name them to myself, that is Truly one of the best and most powerful weapons available. The truth, as it turns out, really does set you free. Under The Juniper Tree- Check it out!!!