I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Today, I was not so Happy

Day 59

It was more that I was tired. Am tired. Very, very, very, very tired. And that's only the half of it. I thought I would fall asleep at every moment during church. The music was played rather slow, and that didn't help in trying to rouse me. The lessons were not as involved with the students, so I couldn't even keep my mind alert for those. Various responsibilities spiritually and mentally weighed down on me as well, which seemed to make the physical exhaustion even worse!

But what were some things that brought me joy and gratitude?

*The Spirit reminding me that I am doing well, that I am in the right place and time doing the right things even if my heart longs for something else. So my heart can be at peace knowing it's where it belongs.

*Having a missionary discussion with the missionaries and a recently returned missionary. I love being around their enthusiasm and spark.

*Being able to focus more on some of the hymn lyrics we sang today

*Having memories of my sister from the special musical number

*Being able to play fairly well the new choir piece--on first look! (It's a really pretty arrangement of "I am a Child of God" and "I Believe in Christ" called testimony. You can find it here.)

*Having leftovers from last night to come home to and enjoy

*No responsibilities or appointments which allows for a very early turn-in time. (I am really grateful for that one!)

*Not passing out at church or while driving

*Having one of the fudge cupcakes before Sunday School. It was a happy thought during a rough time

*Reading the wonderful Ensign talks for our Relief Society lesson today. They were great!

*Listening to my Hilary Weeks CD after a 2-month break.

*Being able to find the good things after a hard day.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Today, I was Happy

Day 58

I had an absolutely fabulous and fantastic day. Very full, but totally worth it. It involved:

1) a great sit-down breakfast with others (and *ahem* eating two more cupcakes)

2) finishing up the Isaiah chapters in 2nd Nephi of the Book of Mormon

3) donating blood (first time in almost 3 years, because of the last 2 times leading to terrible health issues)--I'm still a fast, um, bleeder!

4) giving my friend her present. I helped her open it...
...and she loved it!
5) My Amazing Grace Party (in commemoration of the 203rd anniversary this past Tuesday) which included:
  • ELEVEN people coming to the party!!
  • Much enjoyment of guests helping me make and wontons, sweet-and-sour sauce, fried potatoes, and Disco Crazy Cake.
  • Potlucky kind of additions to our sit-down dinner included smoked turkey, buffalo wing chip dip, chocolate peanut butter pie, chocolate silk cake, angel food cake (made from scratch!!), pineapple rice, and spinach dip. It was all amazing, fabulous, and delicious.
  • Lots of talking and laughing
  • One of the best ever movies being watched
I needed this day. I am so happy I had it. Now if I can squeeze in finishing up an enjoyable YA book, I'll go to sleep in sheer happiness.

I love a good, happy day that involved others having a good, happy day, too!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chocolate Beans

Day 57

(for Serene's Picture of the Day Challenge, I couldn't pass up this photo op)

I had enough leftover ingredients to make the Fudge Cupcakes again. And as my chocolate-flavored anything craving has not subsided--since I usually need 3 or 4 days of filling it to get it to go away, and I haven't had that...plus I honestly believe the recent month of stress has been a factor--I decided to not wait until tomorrow or Sunday to make them.

I figured I didn't need to make the cupcakes as big because I wasn't frosting them. So I stretched the 18 cupcakes into 24. I had already been planning I would save a few for my co-workers. I always share products of Hannah Swenson recipes with them! But I also knew I was going to be scarfing a bunch.

And, yeah, I scarfed a bunch. Bet you would never be able to guess how much a bunch is. I wouldn't have, as I've never seen myself eat that much anything chocolate--even only chocolate flavored!

Oh. And that pot on the back of the stove? Yeah. That's my weekly "ration" of beans (navy this week!) that I'd just finished cooking. Perhaps no one else sees the irony, but it makes me laugh. Low-fat, high protein, decent carbs and calories, great-for-my-healthier-attempting lifestyle beans along with two dozen (raspberry syrup) fudge cupcakes to fill a month-long craving. Yep. That's my life!

Filling a craving, while knowing I'm not straying from my lifestyle changes, is a happy thought indeed.

Oh! And I must share this happiness, too. This present has been over 2 years in the making, mostly because of the whole "out of sight, out of mind."
But a month ago I realized I should finish this or I would feel guilty for ever and a day.
So I spent as much as I could the last 2 weeks working on this blanket (luckily one of those weeks was an unexpected blessing).

And I finished it tonight.
Although I feel attached to this asthetically weird concoction of a blanket, tomorrow I will part with it and bequeath it to one who will love it so much. At least I'll have the memories!
Yay for a good use of various yarn from 3 donated boxes as well as using a skill I learned over 10 years ago.

P.S. A bunch = 7 cupcakes.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cast Thy Burden

Day 56

It was yesterday's scripture. And not only did I find myself looking at it repeatedly throughout the day, I kept going back to it today as well:

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
-Psalms 27:14

It is exactly the peaceful and calm reminder that I need in the mental tumult that is causing extreme physical exhaustion. I am happy. Truly, truly happy. And growing so much. But it's hard to fully enjoy that happiness when I'm ready to pass out at every moment.

So I am grateful for the reminder that pressing forward in the Lord's will and with Him at my side, I know he will strengthen my heart.

Waiting on the Lord is a most wondrous blessing.

LDS Hymns, Cast Thy Burden upon the Lord, no. 110

Cast thy burden upon the Lord,
And he shall sustain thee.
He never will suffer the righteous to fall.
He is at thy right hand.
Thy mercy, Lord, is great
And far above the heav’ns.
Let none be made ashamed
That wait upon thee.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Slow can be good

Day 55

I know--I like being busy at work. I love it. I love having so much to take care of. But I'm still grateful for a really slow day that allowed me to feel like I got something done. And kept my head from exploding. I don't think I need to cry to let it all out now.

I'll just eat my comfort Mac & Cheese.

And get back to my storytime planning.

And sing along to Pete's Dragon.

I think I might be wanting some chocolate, too. Is it odd how the last month's stress seems to have triggered that craving for chocolate-flavored things?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Day 54

Happy Birthday to Handel! What an amazing composer. He's played a significant role in my musical life.

I'm grateful for how he has helped build, expand, and express my testimony.

Monday, February 22, 2010

At the End of the Day I'm Another Day Older....

Day 53

So much to be grateful for at the end of this day:
  • I got the splinter out that had been in the crook of my left index finger for about 6 hours
  • I had leftover dumplings for my dinner
  • I had leftover Sis. E.'s potato salad (so good!) for a snack
  • I got some books added to the order
  • I got a pile of books pulled to prepare for my soon-to-come storytimes.
  • The headache didn't get much worse
  • I had a good excuse to not go to the singles' FHE where the headache would have inevitably gotten worse and where I would have had to deal with the stress of my social anxieties (and annoyances)
  • My fabulous bed now awaits to welcome me with blissful sleep and take away "the Monday Migraine."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"You Raise Me Up to More than I can Be"

Day 52

I had a slightly rough day. Just some little things that needed to run their course of healing. I am always grateful for the Atonement, but some days I seem to understand it a little more, and feel its power more acutely. Today was one of those days. And most of my tears were not from sadness as they were from testifying again and again (even if only to myself) how much I know the Atonement is real. How I know that power works in my life, and that I feel that power. How I know that the Savior truly and personally understands the physical, emotional, and other pains I am enduring.

And I am so happy to know that I am not alone in my hard times, and that I am strengthened to endure the pain until it will reach its assured end.

P.S. I'm also grateful for some fantastic friends who give me hugs, smiles, and laughter to help me move past the "silly" yet inevitable and re-occurring things that can get to me.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Moving Around

Day 51

We had a Relief Society activity of helping a sister move from one apartment to another across town. We had 9 show up, and were able to persuade 3 elders to come help us out with a couple of the big pieces of furniture. (It helped that one was dating one of the sisters and another was a spouse of a sister--and the branch president.) I had a blast. I think everyone did. Every time we passed one another we were smiling and full of energy and life. I made sure to take it easy on my right arm (which is still being brought back up to its regular strength), but I was managing plenty of boxes, and numerous stairs.

What a workout! And what a joy to have fun with the sisters in a needed and appreciated service.

Friday, February 19, 2010

It sticks to your ribs

Day 50

I made a discovery yesterday. One that made me enjoy yesterday morning and this morning with extreme delight. Making my daily oatmeal with my powdered milk (Morning Moo's brand--best powdered milk ever, and I think it's the same that the Church uses in the food storage program) instead of just water and then adding my daily "medicinal" dose of cinnamon brings about a creamy, absolutely delicious breakfast.

(Oh. If you try to make it yourself, don't forget to let the milk cool--it can be scalding!--and that if you want a thicker, less runny oatmeal to put it in a container and keep it covered for 5-10 minutes. Fantastic!)

I love oatmeal, and I love that I have many different ways to make it and I still thoroughly enjoy it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Smile! Your teeth want you to!

Day 49

It's no secret. I am not a fan of being at the dentist. So much as a little scraper or drill or polisher or tiny mirror inside my mouth and my entire self is not happy. (OK. The suction thing is always kinda cool.) But even in the needed dental trip, I find many things to be grateful for:

  1. I have insurance to make dental trips easier and more affordable. No dental insurance for many years makes me even more appreciative of this great blessing.
  2. A fantastic dental hygienist. Oh yes. I make sure my appointments are always with her. I could go on about how amazing she is!
  3. I was told I had great hygiene and all looked good. The only reason I had pain was because I haven't quite figured out how to brush correctly with my Christmas present of a toothbrush. And go figure--there sitting right next to me was the same toothbrush I have. The dentists really are endorsing it! And she told me how to use it correctly. I'm relieved. I was starting to think I had some horrible gum disease beginning even though I was being so good about flossing.
  4. When she flossed my teeth-only the sore ones (see previous glad note) hurt. No bleeding, no "what are you doing with that string?!" Go me in awesomeness.
  5. The toothpaste she recommended must be working since the things she recommended it for she didn't mention on this visit. Good, too, because I really like that toothpaste.
  6. No need for digging out calculus. No need to schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon. No need to take x-rays. No need to poke at my gums. No anything except examining and cleaning.
Clean bill of teeth health is always a happy thing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hero's Quest: Part 2

Day 48

It feels fantastic to be exhausted from an extremely busy and productive day of work. Especially it being a FIRST day of work in a new position. "Trial by fire" will be the phrase to describe the next 6 months of my life at work.

And I'm thrilled!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Closing One Door

Day 47

Tomorrow I begin a new chapter of life. Not so much of an all-new chapter as it is flowing easily from one chapter to the next. But a new chapter nonetheless. The last chapter, though in two parts, was one that I have greatly appreciated having in my life. I have enjoyed every experience, project, patron, friend, co-worker, lesson, joy, annoyance, and more that has come with being an Adult Services Reference Librarian.

I wouldn't change any of what I've had with that job, and I'm happy and grateful that I loved that work.

Monday, February 15, 2010

"Just [Sing & Dance] While You Work"

Day 46

I love to clean. I really do. As long as I'm not told I have to. Yeah, that didn't work so well while I was growing up. But I'm pretty good (at least I have been as an adult) to know when to clean. And how to clean. And even how often. Some rooms more frequently than others. I also know how important it is to have my own "space" where things can just be until I have more time to focus on it. Still, even that space needs to be straightened, tidied, and/or cleaned once in a while.

I have been wanting to focus on that space for some weeks, because it was creeping out into all the rest of my teeny living space. And today was a wonderful day off (no need for pie to console me). Not only did I get the budgeting and bills finished for the month, and fit in a good strength training workout, and pulled out the crocheted quilt blocks so I can finish this long overdue (2 years in fact) birthday present by Saturday, and made the fudge cupcakes (with raspberry syrup) for a not-as-belated birthday present, but I cleaned.

A nice, good clean of the whole place. (OK. I admit. I didn't deep clean the bathroom. I'm saving that for another week.) Things put away. Things dusted, swept, and vacuumed. Things tossed in the trash. Things organized. And yes. I put in a whole lot of singing and dancing while I did all that cleaning.

Oh yes. Cleaning is glorious, but even better is how wonderful it feels afterwards not only with the great accomplishment, but with the peace and joy that comes from being in a clean room.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mettle to the Pedal

Day 45

I am grateful for chances to try new things, or reach new accomplishments. I've "played" the organ many times before. Well, it seemed like many to me. I was called as one of the 3 organists in my home ward during the two years I lived at home a few years back. I learned "sticky fingers" and such, but never tried foot pedals. They boggled my mind and I was often too pressed for time to practice the hymns I needed to play, never mind figuring out the pedals with that.

Well, for our branch conference choir number, we were asked to sing "Love One Another." So the choir director and I picked one that was a little different from the typical, but not hard to teach the choir members. It wasn't until a week or two into practicing it that I noticed the accompaniment was for the organ! And it didn't look ridiculously hard, but still....pedals. If I weren't going to try the pedals, I could just play the piano. But it sounded awful without those sustained bass notes.

So I have spent every spare moment near an organ practicing this song. About 3 weeks ago I made a break-through with the pedals. It was so exciting! But I still had trouble evoking the beauty of the piece on the organ at our church building as opposed to the one where we attend Institute. And playing in front of others occasionally brings about nervousness. And with me, one little mistake tends to lear to others....

Yes. Needless to say, I did not play the piece perfectly. You know, I rarely do. Some days it upsets me. Some days it doesn't. It didn't bother me much today. Just upsetting to know that I played it perfectly last Tuesday. But, of course, no one was there to hear it. Oh well. I may have made mistakes, but overall the number went quite well.

And I felt so happy and accomplished for playing my first organ piece with pedals.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Time to Feast

Day 44

There are many, many reasons I have for being grateful for my Chinese heritage. What's today's reason? It's my excuse to make Chinese wontons as tonight is Chinese New Year's Eve. Not that they make wontons for New Year's. But it's one of my specialties. And so I make them. And eat them. Lots and lots of them.

And in so doing, I love every fiber of my Chinese being.

Friday, February 12, 2010

As Always...

Day 43

My parents used to laugh at some of the odd/misplaced things they would find around the house and attribute it to all the teenagers.
I'm starting to believe that it was just me...
...being me.

As always...I make me laugh.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm All in Anticipation

Day 42

I haven't done them, yet, I know, but I'm grateful just for the anticpation of it! Tomorrow (I hope tomorrow; maybe Saturday evening after work) I will be making Fudge Cupcakes. With raspberry syrup! I know, de-lish, right? They sound like it! And I'm still on a chocolate-y craving kick. And it's for Sis. E.'s birthday.

Add to that anticipation the one of the Winter Olympics beginning and you've got one ecstatic me. They're muy favorite! I've finally decided. Because with winter, I can turn on any sport and be intrigued to watch (except hockey). But in the Summer Olympics, there are a few sports that I don't care much to watch. Plus--they're in Canada. I've been there!

Then add even more the fact that tomorrow night I'll be going to a dance that, in spite of my not liking dances anymore, I had so much fun at the one last year and this year my very good friend will be joining me, and I am excited for the swirly-twirly dress I'll be wearing (oh you know it!!), and that I have an excuse to leave early in case it ends up being as unenjoyable as the other ones though they have some amazing food there that at least there's one thing I'll thoroughly enjoy, and.....*gasp!*

Maybe I'll figure out how to work in the ice skating date with myself (and Bob), too.

Yeah. I'm grateful for anticipating great things.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lesson Learned

Day 41

Making Mac & Cheese without butter and milk cuts off hundreds (literally) of calories and allows for me to still eat one of my favorite ever comfort foods without worrying about cutting out other food altogether for the rest of the day. Yes, it may not be as creamy, but it still tastes great. A lot less oily and greasy, too. My arteries thank me. (Oh--and I can add broccoli and spices, too, and still be well in calories range for my other meals.)

What are some of your comfort foods?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Still Going Strong

Day 40

I have been using SparkPeople for 60 days now. And I feel absolutely great! I'm still keeping up with tracking what I eat (and carbs, fat, calories, protein, sodium, and various vitamins and minerals to go along with that). I've added exercise into it all in the last 3 weeks. My clothes are all starting to look a little less flattering us they don't quite fit as they used to here, or they hang a little differently there. Though my stress has been medium, it hasn't bothered me much. My energy level is quite high, even with my bouts of the current EB "episode." And the goal tracker (for other things like scripture study, journal keeping, family history, etc.) has been a great and fun reminder to get "the little things" done when my busy day can often have me forgetting.

I don't have my next weigh-in until the end of the week. My guess is that the exercise is replacing some fat with muscle, so I'm not expecting too much (if any) weight loss since my last weigh-in 3 weeks ago. But if there isn't any weight gain, then I'm on the right track! And considering it's been so cold with lots of snow, getting in the exercise I have has been quite the accomplishment. Factor in my insane sweet cravings over the last 2 weeks, and going out to a restaurant to eat, and still keeping in with my goal ranges--things are wonderful!

I feel incredible and fantastic. And it just keeps getting better.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A New Part of Life

Day 39

After two weeks of a whirlwind--and actually years of wondering, wishing, and hoping--at the end of my work day I was offered one of my dream jobs.

And I accepted.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Lesson Today

Day 38

I love a lesson gone well. A subject I like, but am worried how it will come across. And yet there is energy and enthusiasm from the class members, and definite connection between students and teacher. Answers are at the ready--and given! People willing to participate. Experiences shared.

Ah, yes. It was a good lesson. As ever, an immense thank you to who the true Teacher was, and through what means He brought it all about.

However, I do wish my heart wouldn't beat so fast when I finish! I don't get nervous teaching Relief Society. But I noticed today that I get a slightly heightened stress when I turn it all over to the Spirit and have no clue what I am going to say, or even the direction that I will end up going! It is exhilarating, and always a testimony builder of the Spirit being the best teacher and how the Lord truly won't leave you without aid if you have prepared. But it can still be a squeak of a heart-pumper.

What did you gain from the lessons in Church today?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Overheard in the Temple

"Sister--we need to find you a husband."

To which I was good and reverent and simply smiled, and kept my mouth closed. The smarty me had a couple of things I would have enjoyed saying. But I didn't. I was very good. Time and place, my friends. Time and place.

Oh, yes. Did I mention this was said to me as I was kneeling down at the altar?

Ah! And here is another reason why I think trees are so lovely in the winter.

It could just be me, but I still prefer trees in winter to be without leaves. I find the snow outlines to be so much prettier then.

What Makes Me Smile?

Day 37

Every evening, coming home to this...

How can that not make you smile at the end of a long, stressful day?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cute and...Classy?

Day 36

I like the word elegant. It's an adjective I would like to describe me. Classy is related, but it's not quite elegant. Still, I definitely think my beloved "BYU pearls" along with (favorite, given to me years before pierced ears) pearl earrings add a sense of elegance and classiness to the overall demeanor.

But couple the pearls with 2 french braid pigtails? That equals one muchly happy (albeit slightly colder) me, and one unknowing image consultant and one mother who would be verily disappointed.

Thus the equation is
a + b = c + d + e, with c > 10(d + e)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

And one, and two, and STRETCH

Day 35

I love sore muscles. I mean, not so much that I'd want them every day. But I love knowing I've worked hard and well. Knowing I'm doing my best to get fit. Knowing that something is going right. But mostly, that 200 crunches, 10 push-ups on the exercise ball, and a 40 minute cardio workout within 24 hours are worth it. If only I could do more stretching while at work!

I am so happy to have a body that works, and that I'm not letting that blessing go to waste.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Scurry for the Curry

Day 34
Sister E.'s curry. (It's more like a good stew with curry in it.) It's fantastic. And it gets eaten fast. So if I wasn't home for dinner last night and knew I wouldn't be home for dinner tonight.... Yeah. You bet I portioned out 2 meals for me to take with me today. Which reminds me, it's time to eat the 2nd meal.

What "spicy" foods do you enjoy?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Day 33

A whole (single) pack of Oreos. I knew I shouldn't have. But I did. And I enjoyed every one. (Except for the one I gave my co-worker who had a sore back from falling on the ice while walking her dog.) I cannot fathom this really long chocolate craving, but I'm glad there is plenty around for me to quench it!

Now on to fix the 2 weeks of a salty craving! :-) Don't worry. I'm still counting the calories and getting in some workouts.

Monday, February 1, 2010

"A little bit of me..."

Day 32

My sister posted this on her blog. And I thought it was an interesting twist to showing some of my joys and gratitudes.

Someday: I will marry my best friend
I usually: fall asleep in less than 5 minutes--once I allow myself
I regret: not knowing the scriptures and the Gospel as well as I should and could
I love: my Savior
I care: about literacy
I always: go to use the restroom as soon as I wake up. Tried to do the whole prayer thing as soon as I wake, but Heavenly Father and I agreed the squirmy dance was too uncomfortable and distracting...not to mention risky
I am not: (like my sister) as tall as I wish I were. Though she is way taller than even my dream height!
I remember: some pretty random things in excessive detail, so I've been told
I believe: in hope
I dance: according to how the music makes me feel (i.e. - Interpretive)
I sing: therefore I am
I don’t always: look over my shoulder when I'm changing lanes--especially if I've been on the road for hours and I know who is ahead or behind me exactly at what spots
I argue: too much
I write: way too much
I lose: weight when I make smart nutrition choices
I wish: more than I should
I listen: to the world around me, and it says so much
I don't understand: the most mind-boggling aspect of my life. I guess I never will.
I can be found: near a computer presently
I am scared: of drowning
I need: hugs. All day and every day.
I forget: to say thank you as much as I should
I am happy: The End.

How about "...a little bit of you?"