Saturday, December 31, 2011

So Long SUCKER!!!!

2011...

- I enjoyed a much anticipated kiss
- I bravely (or stupidly) quit my job
- I moved
- I made some new friends
- I had a fantastic tan all summer
- I got one new nephew and one new niece

but...

I wasn't in my best form for most of it. I spent waaaaaaaaaay too much time in doctors offices and hospital rooms and on bed rest. I have never been so beat down by life before. Although I can think back to a few found memories in 2011, I am happy to say my goodbye and look forward to better times.

Happy 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Kindle


I think today was a tough day for me. I think I didn't feel well. I think I felt bad enough to spend the entire day (except for a quick car ride to buy a sandwich) in bed...but I'm not entirely sure. See, I spent all that time in bed with my Kindle. I read a story about an interesting character in a fascinating land. I imagined myself as an integral part of the story. And when I read a story (especially a thriller), I believe it is my responsibility to read the characters through to safety.

I think I'm addicted to my Kindle. I think the gift certificates that I received for Christmas are feeding my addiction. I think that losing myself in another world might be the very best medicine to make me "forget" that I feel like garbage. I know that I am lucky to have the distraction!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Blind Dates

Blind Dates are one of my favorite fairy tales. They are as imaginary to me as castles and princesses and witches who cast spells...but they are just as intriguing as well. I love the idea of being fixed-up...in fact I am convinced that it's the most likely way to be introduced to a man with potential! If my memory serves me correctly:

I've had one perfect blind date,
I've had a handful of "meh" blind dates,
I've had one awful blind date, and
I've had DOZENS of failed attempts at a blind date.

Speaking of witches who cast spells, there is some kind of curse that falls over most attempts to set two people up. Most of my girlfriends will back me up when I tell you that a small percentage of intended blind dates ever actually happen. Sometimes the friend playing cupid fails to let the guy know that they ever mentioned him to you. Sometimes the guy gets your number and he doesn't call (because he's seeing someone else at the time, or he's too nervous, or your "friend" gave you a bum sales pitch, who knows?!). Sometime too much time passes and when he decides he does want to call he dismisses the opportunity because too much time has passed. Sometimes he doesn't get what he wants when he does call (like your availability on short notice) and isn't open to an alternative.

My point...I'm not afraid of a blind date. In fact, I don't need a lot of information about the guy. If he's great enough for a friend to recommend him, he has to be worth meeting. I'm interested in most people and can fun-up for a few hours with just about anyone. I have no expectations for a Love Connection, but I'm open to the possibility. As long as he practices good general hygiene and is willing to provide a portion of the conversation, I can't think of a reason not to go...if he calls, of course.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sister Friends

Tonight I got together with a group of girls who have been my friends for...geez!...at least 15 years. We all met in a Young Single Adult ward when we were in our early 20's, and although the reunions don't happen often enough, when they do happen it is always such a good time.
Our lives have changed significantly since the carefree days of what now seems like our youth, but there is still a sincerity and closeness with one another. Their kind words and tight hugs were exactly what I needed tonight.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Beauty Parlor

My hair got no attention today...but it was so worth it!

Although it was just a tiny chunk of my day, this morning I had the thrill of spending a few minutes with two of my nieces chatting and blowing out their hair. I'm sure it's a chore that exhausts a mom, but as an auntie, I really did love the chance to play a little beauty parlor with the girls.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Big Surprises!

All three of my brothers have worked hard and found success. In addition to their generosity towards me, I love seeing their generosity toward my parents this Christmas!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I Believe


Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Best Christmas Eve Ever!

I've been known to laugh to tears. Sometimes it's just a moist eye, other times my oxygen supply is shut down and I lose all control. I never spent a lot of time wondering who I inherited that from, but if asked, I probably would have said my mom.

But I was wrong. SO WRONG!

Tonight during a game of "Things", my dad laughed so hard that he got the ugly cry! So of course, we all lost it too!

I'm sure it's probably one of those "had to be there" moments, but for me it will always be the high point of Christmas 2011. I hope it happens again often between now and Christmas 2036 (get it dad?! that will be the Christmas you've turned 85!)

How Many?

How many inflatable lawn decorations are too many?

My answer: one



Our friend's neighbor answers differently. It was a drive-by counting...but I think there were 62.

Friday, December 23, 2011

An Elf's Work is Never Done!

I really wish Christmas was tomorrow for two reasons:

1.) I love the excitement of watching others open what I've found for them! and,

2.) I keep buying stuff. And everytime I buy more stuff, it has to be wrapped. And the more I wrap, the less I love wrapping the way I said I did here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Epic Mealtime

**Notice: This is one of those posts that makes it evident that I really do come from a very "boy" family!

The video below is foul. Seriously disgusting. Like, "throw up a little" disgusting! ...and I've probably watched it 5 times! ...and laughed pretty hard each time! ...but tonight I think I laughed the hardest.

Brett pulled up the video on my Kindle for my Dad to enjoy...and his enjoyment was our enjoyment! Sometimes there's a serious disconnect between what my brothers and I find humorous and what my parents find humorous (i.e. Napoleon Dynamite). Tonight, dad got the joke immediately and his reaction was priceless! And soon I found myself laughing to tears and suffocating and pounding my foot into the ground involuntarily! It was so awesome.

So...if you think you have the intestinal fortitude, I present Epic Mealtime:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Success!

Turns out that two kids can trick and surprise their mom...even when that mom happens to be the infamous "Sheri Denney!". It was awesome! The consequence? We're all e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Super Spidey Jedi-Mom Sense

What is it about moms??????????

I can't even post this yet because she's still in position to thwart our plan if we aren't careful! How do moms just know when their kids (ages 37 and 27) are up to something?!?! How do they, when they don't know a single detail, find a way to be in the right place or ask the right question to suss out a conspiracy? HOW??????????

Brett, Kristy and Owen were supposed to arrive Friday for the holiday break. But Friday is no fun and there's a pesky storm brewing, so it was decided that they would be creative and sneaky and come home early and surprise the parents. They should arrive in the dead of night tonight and surprise her at breakfast in the morning...but it's been nearly impossible! At one point I broke down and confessed to my dad (I think I needed the moral support?). We've all told a blatant lie at some point during the adventure. If we were playing the game of Survivor, my mom would Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast us all!

Is there any chance that she'll actually go to bed before they pull into the driveway?? I've gotten a good laugh out of it a few times...I'm just hoping that she gets enough sleep to find it funny when she finds us all out!

Monday, December 19, 2011

SNL Tim Tebow

Being in Denver, it's hard to have a conversation with a resident that doesn't at least brush past the topic of the City's resident Hero: Tim Tebow. So, of course the SNL sketch below caught my attention. Now, you might not be a football or Bronco's fan, but if you have any kind of feelings regarding the LDS faith, then you should probably watch the entire thing because the final 15 seconds got my biggest laugh!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What I Learned in Church Today: Perspective in Adversity

As a student of the scriptures, I have an understanding that adversity is part of the human experience and will be for every person who comes to earth. However, in the context of my own adversity, I have been struggling to hold on to that understanding. The following address was recommended to me just last week, but in an act of rebellion, I put off studying the message...so, it was an interesting coincidence to be taught from that message today in Sacrament Meeting:


Following the speaker's remarks and testimony, I spent the remainder of the meeting re-reading the address in full and then finding myself reading this as well:


I am hopeful that someday soon, my understanding of these things will be more complete and that I will be able to bear my own witness to these teachings.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Loser...with a lower case "l"

I was in my pajamas before 8:00 p.m. tonight.

But for some reason, being out of town makes me feel just slightly less losery about it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Turning Tables

I sat with a friend tonight and talked with her about a really tough trial that she has been working through. And while I have been fighting my own struggle these past few weeks, I was humbled to listen to her story. Humbled because for the first time since November 21st, I actually preferred to have my trials over someone else's.
For weeks I had convinced myself that I would feel better about my condition if it were the consequence of my own actions. I was certain that I would have a sense of peace (or at least control!) if that were the case...but I see things differently now.
I can now appreciate the peace that I have because my trials are not the consequences of poor decisions. That there is a confidence available to me by knowing I've lived my life as best as I can and have not brought these things upon myself or my loved ones.
I guess it means that I'm beginning to see the light again.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Lights


There is something incredibly soothing about curling up on the couch, in full view of the lit Christmas tree, with a good book!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Over the river and through the woods...and I'm safe in Denver for the holidays!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Baby Girl!

I dreamt about her all Sunday night and then, with no alarm, was wide awake at 4:50 a.m. anxiously awaiting news from Miami...and she's here, and she's sweet, and I'm so happy!

Congratulations to John and Christy!!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 12, 2011

Boys (and men) Will Be Boys





This "mature" gentleman kept me company at the Jiffy Lube this afternoon by playing his video game at full volume and with the intensity of a 7 year old (uh...and 13 year old, and 19 year old, and 27 year old...they really never grow out of it!)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Santa's Workshop


This evening I shared that my favorite Christmas tradition is the Denney family Christmas Eve. Some of the specifics have morphed over the years...but for the most part the general itinerary is the same and I love it! (details to come...probably on the 24th...be patient).

But a close second place favorite is wrapping the gifts. I have been Santa's helper for as long as I can remember and I really do like it. I love fancy paper and ribbons and using a little creativity to really make things pop...but even in a budget kind of year, with no bling involved, I still really like some Christmas music, a tape dispenser and a great pair of scissors. Can't wait to get to Denver this week!

Mom! Dad! Save some wrapping for me to do!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Spanning the Decades

When the brothers played football at BYU, I remember watching my mom make her social rounds. She'd reminisce with the alumni from the years when my dad was playing, then she'd catch up with the parents of the football players, then she'd spend a few minutes chatting with cheerleaders, and of course she'd "dish" with the football wives as well. A few times I considered throwing her a birthday party in Provo so that all of her friends (of all ages) could celebrate with her.

She has formed amazing friendships with older and younger (most children know "Sheri Denney" well by the time they are 3)...and I guess I'm appreciating that gift passed down to me as well.

Tonight I hung out with my baby brother (10 years younger), his dorm buddies, and their wives...and we had a great time! And I didn't feel like it was a sympathy invitation...I really do think of them as my friends as well. And I know that the ability to have friendships that span decades is a gift passed down from my parents and a huge blessing to me in my life. I am the grateful recipient of so many great things that come from so many great friends!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sister Wife

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, aka The Mormons. There is occasionally some confusion regarding the church's views on polygamy. The short answer is that the church does not approve of polygamy (the long answer can be found here).

That said, most members have a pretty healthy sense of humor about the topic and can dish and take jokes on the topic...so I had a good laugh when I was invited to spend the evening with an engaged couple as their Sister Wife. While I believe that they are no more than 0.0000001% serious (meaning if it had to happen, they'd consider me a viable option), I still take it as a compliment...cause even a 0.0000001% proposal is better than no proposal, right!

Plus, they are dang fun company! (thanks for the fun evening guys!)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Winter Cold

I'm battling my very best cold battle, but sometimes it just hangs in the air no matter how much Zicam I've sucked on! What are the chances that I'll beat this cold before it beats me???

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Passion Pursuit

As a theater junkie, I had the treat of watching a friend's musical in workshop this evening. He's been developing the concept and script for about 3 years and tonight it was presented in a reader's theater format.

The raw theater environment was very cool to be a part of, and it totally hit the grungy backstage stuff of which I love to participate. But the very best part was watching a friend in the process of pursuing his dream. There is no big fame or financial payoff at this point, but he appeared to be fueled by nothing more than the chase of the dream, and that is such a cool thing to witness.

An identified passion continues to be something that I covet in so many of the people that I meet. And I still maintain some kind of hope that one day I will have identified that thing for myself.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Hardest Part of Christmas

Men.

For years, the hardest thing about Christmas for me, has been shopping for the men in my life. I often blame it on budget restrictions...but with a million dollars, I still wouldn't know what to give! And it's strange, because I feel really comfortable with men and I think I even have the rare gift of being able to communicate well with them...but for some reason, I don't know how to give them good gifts.

Anyone out there know how to choose a great gift for the father and brothers who don't have a wish list?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Self Control

Today I went to Costco with the intent of purchasing one item...and I left with that one item as the only thing on my receipt. I declare that a pretty big victory over the big box store of temptation!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

11th Annual 27th Birthday!!!

Okay! So you're good at math! And that makes me 37 years old today! I've avoided my usual year-in-review journal entries and I haven't even begun to think about the improvements I hope to make this coming year...I guess I'd hoped that ignoring it meant it wouldn't actually happen? I better get my act together and make some solid plans for the year...especially now that I only have 364 days left to make those things happen!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Nephew Goo

Today I spent a chunk of time with nephews and their slime...I should do it more often!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 2, 2011

Oh, Utah County...

how your marketing makes me laugh!!!




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I am Grateful for: ...wait, what?...it's December?!...I don't have to be grateful anymore?!?!

True confessions...30 gratitude posts in a row was tough. Especially since ingratitude might possibly be my biggest character flaw. But, I think that exercise saved me!

The past 5 months have been rough (shoot! the past 20 years haven't really been a breeze), but November specifically presented some particularly lousy information. It made identifying a daily blessing tougher than it ought to be...but more necessary than ever. And although I found myself in the middle of the month with a cold, hard heart (emotionally speaking), the act of finding something~anything!~to be grateful for was critical for moving me through the funk.

I think I still have a little funk on me, but I feel the buds of hope beginning to peek out...and for that, I am Grateful!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I am Grateful for: The Wisdom of Others

Most of the really great ideas I've had in my life, were born from the really great ideas of others. Most of my understanding about the things that matter most to me, grew from the understanding that someone else first shared with me. Most of the wise choices I have made, were encouraged because of the wisdom of others. I am grateful for the wisdom of others, it has definitely helped me to define my own beliefs and experiences.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I am Grateful for: Other People's Talents

I'm pretty good at a lot of things...but not really excellent at anything. So that means that I am blessed daily by the talents and skills of people who are really excellent at different things. I find medicine fascinating, but don't have the stomach for it...I'm grateful for those who do. I am constantly sucked in by social sciences, but don't have the emotional fortitude for it...and I'm grateful for those who do. I am enriched by the arts, but lack the finesse and technique...so I'm grateful for those who have it. My life is better every single day because other people are talented and willing to share those talents...I'm so lucky!

Monday, November 28, 2011

I am Grateful for: Weirdos

Of all of the many gifts given to us by the internet, the ease of finding weirdos on video might be one of my favorite. Sometimes I feel like I'm crazy...but then I see others and their weirdness makes me feel really, really good about myself:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I am Grateful for: Good Drugs

Aside from the drugs I'm currently prescribed to keep me from an untimely death or stroke, I'm particularly grateful today for things like sleep-aids and pain-killers!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I am Grateful for: Childhood Memories

I was dang lucky to have a really great childhood. Sure, lousy things happened along the way, but the lousy things always dimmed compared to the really great things. I loved getting lost in some of those childhood memories while at the movies tonight...and I look forward to figuring out an adult version of dimming out the lousy things that keep tripping me up. You know, for when I'm old and I have to be thankful for Middle Aged Memories.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I am Grateful for: Diversity

I am loving the Griswold family in my neighborhood. The house is ri-dic-u-lous! I wanted to snap a photo on my way home...but there was a crew of 4 out front still adding to the spectacle, so the photo will have to come when I can capture it without attention.
I would never invest the time or resources into such a hobby, but I really am grateful that they will...and that thought has helped me to appreciate the diversity in people all around me.
Sure! I like "my people"! You know, the ones who act and think like I do. The ones who agree with most of what I say...but the others are just as great to have around. The others probably play a bigger part in helping me to experience life and find my own way.
And I'm grateful for the diversity of my friends. They all offer me different things that I need at different times and I'm so lucky to be the recipient.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I am Grateful for: Invitations

I am the grateful recipient of more than a dozen invitations for Thanksgiving day festivities. It really makes a girl feel lucky and loved. There is a lot of security in knowing that there are at least 12 places to go to feel welcomed and loved at any given moment!

Just Because...

oh man! I will laugh about this forever!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I am Grateful for: Intelli-gel

That blue stuff is what my bed is made of. My bed is a-ma-zing!

I've spent a lot of time in my bed this year and I feel incredibly lucky that it is such a comfortable place to be!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I am Grateful for: Television and Movies

Aside from the fact that I've always hoped to one day grow up and do some acting, I love television and movies for the distraction they offer. It's good to be able to completely forget your own life and jump into someone else's!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I am Grateful for: Hugs and Kisses

This guy was the perfect medicine for a lousy day...


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I am Grateful for: Hysterical Laughter

Aaaaaaaaaagh! HaaaaaHaaaa!

I don't remember the last time I laughed that really awesome consuming laugh....the one when your entire body seizes up on you and you can't breath! In fact, trying to breath only makes actually breathing that much more difficult! And then the thing that was so funny to begin with is only half as funny as the fact that you and your bestie have heavy tears streaming down your faces and are struggling to take a breath or make a noise!

And after this past weekend, I don't know if I could accurately count the number of times I was doubles over in laughter! Aaahh! It's good for the soul!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I am Grateful for: Courage

Today I rocked the ropes course, zip line, and archery course...I considered sitting out, but did it all anyhow. And when I noticed those who had actually stuck it out with the sitting out, I was glad for courage to try something new at the risk of appearing foolish...if only for a moment!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:lake arrowhead

Friday, November 18, 2011

PlusOne - Day One

such a fun day of travel. we started dang early but were able to fun up and have a fun day in Cali.

the single's event is starting out awkward. the event I had imagined in my head is not happening. facility, crowd, and itinerary are definitely different than what I expected...and the biggest obstacle so far is the individual insecurities of 40 single adults. I'm optimistic for tomorrow...hopefully a good night's sleep does us all some good!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

I am grateful for: Airplanes and Rental Cars

I have been incredibly lucky to have so many opportunities to travel and see amazing things. I feel so blessed to live I. a day when those experiences happen so easily!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I am Grateful for: Vacations


Believe it or not, an unemployed girl still needs a vacation. I am very excited to be joining 3 friends for a trip to Lake Arrowhead, CA...for a singles weekend: PlusOne Weekend

I guarantee interesting blog material is coming soon!

Monday, November 14, 2011

I am Grateful for: Modern Conveniences

I did a lot of laundry today and man! am I glad for a room to rent with access to a washer and a dryer in the home. I have really drab memories of apartment living and massive trips to laundromats. So, I guess it's more than just gratitude for modern conveniences...it's also gratitude for easy access to all of the things that make my life soooo easy...even though I take all of them for granted....
...hot water, electricity, dozens of outlets in one room, air fresheners, cleaning supplies, cars and airplanes, telephones, computers, debit cards, running water, hot water, indoor plumbing, hair dryer, flat iron, waterproof makeup, video txt messages of my nephew (seriously, you have to see the one I got today!), media in every form, and on and on and on.

I've only ever gone without by choice...and even when I camp, I have it easy! I know that absence makes the heart grow fonder but I hope that I can become more grateful in my everyday appreciation for these things so that I'll never have to do without to be reminded.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I am Grateful for: What I Learned in Church Today: Examples

Today's Sunday School lesson focused on 1Timothy, 2Timothy, and Titus. These were letters written by Paul to two of his former mission companions. As Christ had lived as an example to Paul, Paul was living as an example to Timothy and Titus. He also counseled them to be mindful of their duty to be an example of the believers:

I am grateful to associate with hundreds of examples. As I witness their strength and diligence and sacrifice and joy, I am inspired and encouraged to continue in obedience and strive to be a little better.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I am Grateful for: Past Work Experiences

Babysitting
Cleaning Houses
Teaching Violin Lessons
Fireworks Stand
Screenprinting Shop
Dozens of temp secretary (etc.) assignments
McDonald's
Yogurt Delite
Media Play
Contact Optical
Checker Auto
Call Center
Visendus
BYU Scheduling
BYU Graduation Evaluation
BYU Women's Athletic Department
Outback Steakhouse
Digital Globe
Timbia
Investools
Corporate Alliance
One On One Marketing

I think that covers most, if not all, of the jobs I've had. Some were short lived (McDonald's probably being the shortest, and others still have a bit of my soul (BYU). I have been introduced to hundreds of professional scenarios and seen the best and the worst in terms of management, leadership, service, and integrity. I've found that I'm really good at doing a lot of things, and I've become painfully aware of where I fall short. I've met so many people who have made my life better, many of whom I hope to know my whole life. I have developed a confidence that allows me to find some level of success in any assignment...
...so, I should be able to find myself a new place of employment no problem! (right?)

Friday, November 11, 2011

I am Grateful for: Veterans

I am so blessed to live in a diverse community where there are talented men and women who choose to do the things I can't ever imagine doing myself. Aside from the fact that my medical records alone would earn me a quick dismissal, I still can't picture myself serving in the military. There is a level of sacrifice required that I just don't think that I can make. And so I recognize that I am a lucky, lucky girl to be a member of a society where there are many who are willing and able to volunteer to do the things that I just can not.

So much gratitude for their service!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

I am Grateful for: Being Unemployed

WHAT?!?!

Someone is actually grateful for unemployment? Crazy, right? Nope, it's true. Especially today.

Last night I wrote out an agenda for today. There were specific things that I decided had to be done. I woke up at 7:00 to go to the gym, but felt awful...so I took a nap, then laid in bed and read for two hours, then I lethargically drug my body around the house trying to convince myself to get crackin' on that "To Do" list. I finally got out of the house around noon and headed towards the temple...but decided I wanted to stop by my Grandma's on the way. I had only intended to pop in for a few minutes...but we were having some good conversation and I stayed much longer.

I did accomplish a few things on today's list, but that morning nap and the long visit with Grandma were never part of a "To Do". In fact, there have been a lot of naps and visits with people I love and dozens of other things that I never would have had the luxury to indulge in if I were working my typical work week. So I'm especially grateful today that the timing of my unemployment has allowed me to do things that are important but would not be getting any attention otherwise.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I am Grateful for: Protein Style

3 weeks ago I began following a strict low-carb diet. I've executed my menu with impressive discipline and more enthusiasm than complaints...but today was rough. It's been coming on now for a few days...I'm just not loving my chicken and broccoli this week. So I splurged tonight and indulged in a Double Double protein style, mustard instead, extra pickle and enjoyed every bite!

I know this thankful post isn't well thought out...but my gratitude in this very moment runs very deep!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I am Grateful for: The Internet

I remember seeing the Internet for the first time. I had an older roommate attending grad school and she seemed so hip and advanced and some evenings she would get on-line to chat with her old mission buddies and the whole thing seemed wildly mysterious to me. A few short months later, I remember showing some of my friends all of these cool things that you could do and see on the Internet...and they would think that I was so hip and advanced and wildly mysterious.

Today, I don't even think about the Internet...I just use it like I use air. I have an entire grouping of Apps on my iPhone that I have titled "Look It Up". They are some of my favorite fact producing Apps (imdb, SoundHound, Wikipedia, ESPN, WhitePages, Dictionary). I really adore having the answers to so many questions at my fingertips at any given moment. This definitely assists in satisfying my curiosity in every aptitude!

Monday, November 7, 2011

I am Grateful for: Celebrations

Early this morning my phone rang with the best update from a friend...she's engaged! I might have been groggy when I said hello, but it was an easy transition to a big "YEEEEEHAAAAAW!". It was fun to chat through the details and imagine all of the happy things in her near future.

Just a few hours later, Sassy sent a text letting me know that she had completed the GRE and done well. I called her to talk and laugh and share gratitude that it was over.

And that was just this morning!

I am grateful that I have people in my life who share their celebratory moments with me...almost as grateful as I am to have so many who share my celebratory moments with me. The sweet stuff in life is just so much sweeter when you get to share it!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I am Grateful for: What I Learned in Church Today: Humility

"And no one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope, and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to his care."
Recently I have been feeling very humbled. Occasionally I've felt shame for needing to be humbled. But while reading this verse during Sunday School this afternoon, I felt a great sense of gratitude for the experiences and insight that help me to be a better daughter and disciple.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I am Grateful for: Personal Growth

When I was 19 years old I met a pretty incredible man and spent the following five years falling head over heels for him...he never spent any time feeling the same way about me. When he finally met and married his match, I was crushed and I wondered what sadness would consume the rest of my life.

Well, that was silly. My life was never consumed by sadness and I actually went on to have some pretty incredible experiences with some pretty incredible other men. But the best part was that I continued to become improved and refined through the process. I often reflect back now and feel a huge sense of relief that the girl I was at age 24 didn't get married! I like the girl I am today so much more!! I'm convinced that this girl, the one that I have grown into, will be an even better wife and mother than the girl I was 13 years ago.

And that is just one example. There are so many things that are more and better and improved because of the personal growth I have experienced in my life. Recognizing the opportunity to become better is exciting. Convincing myself (and sometimes those around me) to let me live up to that improved expectation seems to be the next challenge.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I am Grateful for: My Parents


I have taken a few opportunities to talk individually about my mom and my dad, but today I am specifically grateful for the two of them together as a team. I am grateful for how I've been blessed by that team, and how I've been taught by that team.

I don't think most kids get to grow up with parents like mine. Parents who like each other, parents who love each other, parents who share the same "big picture" goals, parents who want the same things for their children, parents who thrive in the roles they chose to play in our family.

I carried around a lot of concerns as a child, but never did I have to carry around the concerns that come from a discontent or broken home. I wanted to be "cool", but never did I wonder which behaviors were acceptable. I felt lonely and lost at times, but I always knew that there was a place for me in our home. I hated learning that the world was unpredictable, but loved knowing that my family was. I detested the work and expectations place upon me, but can't imagine any other way to have learned how to be a useful adult.

As any team of parents does, I'm sure my parents have things they might have done differently. And as grateful as I am for the sacrifices I know that they made, I probably can't comprehend the entirety of those sacrifices. And while I've been able to list a few of the advantages that I have because of them, I imagine that it will take me at least the rest of my life to really recognize all of those blessings.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I am Grateful for: Second Chances

...and third, and fourth, and fifth...

I am feeling sad today. But that is not a good start for a gratitude post.

A dear friend, Sarah Hays Shurtz, passed away Tuesday night after an 18 month battle against cancer. I am one of the fortunate who got to know and love Sarah in this life. We met as she moved in, a stranger, to the condo at Riverstone. We weren't strangers for long, she and I hit it off immediately and her laughter is the soundtrack to so many fantastic memories! Through her entire fight, she has been the kind of person I wish I was...namely, hopeful.

Between moments of unexpected tears, I have spent some quiet time hoping for understanding...trying to make sense of how a fighter, full of so much life, had to go while I, barely "living" my life at all, is left here instead.

And so I am grateful that we get many chances in life to learn some things and then start again. I can let Sarah's example shape how I will live my life tomorrow, I can let the love that she felt for her friends mold the way I treat the individuals in my life. I will take the time that I have here and learn to live with the kind of hope Sarah taught me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I am Grateful for: Freedom

Like I mentioned yesterday, I could use to be more grateful. I feel sorry for myself far more often than I deserve. Often, it is the recognition of my freedom that snaps me out of my funk. I can not even imagine what my life would be like without the freedom with which I have grown-up.

Because of the freedom promised by this land, I have been able to worship God as I feel best...I have been able to pursue an education...I have been allowed to participate in politics on a local and national level...I have been able to live and work however I see fit...I have been able to experience the consequences (good and bad) of my own decisions...I have the right to dream up whatever I choose for my future.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I am Grateful for: My Testimony


I have a testimony of God as my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as my Savior.

This testimony has brought me power and peace throughout my life. Because of this knowledge, I find hope when logic would suggest otherwise...I feel love in moments of loneliness...I have direction when life seems topsy-turvy...I strive to be better when no one is looking...I crave understanding and knowledge in every topic...and I feel blessed when I don't get my way.

My testimony is the foundation for how I live my life and the woman I hope to become.

November - Gratitude

The popular Thanksgiving trend on Facebook is to post a status update everyday stating something that you are thankful for. My first reaction is cynicism (it's the part of the holiday I dread the most, the going around the table forcing everyone to make some half-hearted declaration)...

but...

I need to show more gratitude in my life. I've been so consumed with thoughts about what is missing from my life that it can only do me good to focus on the things that aren't missing for my life.

So, for the month of November, each day I will post thanks for something that I have probably been taking for granted for too long...I have no idea what direction this will take, so be prepared or anything!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What I Learned in Church Today: Antichrist

"Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."
I was reading in 1 John today and these verses caught my attention differently this time. I have always thought of "Antichrist" to be a proclamation specifically contradictory to the truth of the Savior...but that isn't what I read this time through: "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist".

I find that the most common danger for me lies in neutral areas. It is too obvious, too offensive, to accept things that blatantly witness contrary to Christ...but to not speak of Him at all, to ignore His influence in the world, to be swept up in the dozens of distractions that pull focus from the Savior - well, I fall for it far often than I am comfortable to admit.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fame!

You know, my young friends, long before there was "Glee", there was "Fame". I was reminded of my love for the show when I stumbled across a jaw dropping televised performance of "The Kids from Fame", a concert not unlike the jaw dropping "Glee 3D" I saw this summer. Except that "The Kids from Fame" included my idol Janet Jackson (take that Leah Michelle!).

As a young kid, with stars in her eyes, I used to daydream about attending a school for the performing arts! A place where you could sing and dance and act and play instruments and gain confidence as a performer...but it wasn't to be. And so I lived out my fantasy through the TV show then...and I guess I'm still living out that fantasy through a pretty similar TV show today.

I was also reminded of my first inter-racial crush. Ironically also my first homosexual crush...I had no idea how that theme would continue to pop up into adulthood. At least now, I'm quick to identify when it's happening. Oh, Leroy!


Friday, October 28, 2011

My Worst Dance Ever

The dance was organized and crowded and people looked to be having fun. But it was my personal worst. I am a party starter. I don't hesitate to work up a dance floor even if I have to do it alone. But I can't dance anymore...the ticker just won't keep up. I could do the neck up groove, typically reserved for road trips or nervous evening sharing music in a living room while you wait for the boy to just kiss you already, but anything bigger than that wasn't happening.

I've never stood around at a dance before...it's painful. I've always been so happy to just be in a place where I could dance without apology, that I never noticed how awkward and silly these things can be. Throw in a bunch of conservative, home-grown Halloween costumes and it's even more bizarre. I left early and wanted to make myself feel better in a pile of chocolate...but I've given up sweets too. I think I might actually be left with nothing to live for.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ma'am???

I'm officially middle-aged. Checkers at the store have stopped calling me "Miss", they now all call me "Ma'am".

I thought I was aging well (and I guess I have?), but I really had hoped that I wouldn't ever really look it to everyone else. The genetics were in my favor!!! What went wrong???

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Como Se Dice

One of many regrets is not properly learning another language. My Spanish is pedestrian at best and lately I have been wishing that I spoke Chinese. It would be dang cool and I think it's an unbeatable skill when it come to job hunting!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

LOL

I'm not a big status update girl on Facebook. I like reading the majority of my friends status updates because I feel like I have a sense of how their life is going without all the work of actually interacting with them...but there are a number of "friends" who I have just hid away because I grew tired of all of the complainy posts...so, I thought this image some of my friends shared today was funny because:

a.) I totally agree with the message, and
b.) I thought is was dang funny that those who posted this on Facebook were, in actuality, posting their problem (with others) on Facebook! Funny, right?

Monday, October 24, 2011

SYTYCD Tragedy

The Single's Ward sponsored a So You Think You Can Dance activity tonight. You know that if I had felt even slightly up to it that I would have recruited a "Crew" and choreographed something amazing! But my energy stills drags, so I want to observe. It was bad. Really bad. Like, offensively bad. The best attempt of the night is when the MC tried to kill some time by giving his rendition of Napoleon...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What I Learned in Church Today: Testimony and Conversion,

This weekend I attended Regional Conference for the South Salt Lake Valley and I have almost 6 pages of notes from the 4 hours of meetings...it was well worth attending. Today's key speaker was Elder David A. Bednar who taught on the differences between a Testimony and Conversion:

*Testimony - What we know to be true by the witness of the spirit
*Conversion - Consistently living true to what we know to be true
*Testimony alone is not enough, it must lead to perpetual conversion
*Alma 23:5-7 a.) our conversion must be "unto the Lord" to ensure that we never fall away,
b.) "lay down the weapons of their rebellion" = giving up our favorite sin

I appreciated that he was able to simplify some of the thoughts I've been wrestling with. I have confidence in my Testimony, but there are times when I rely on my Conversion to things like people, circumstances, or expected blessings. I need to be sure that my Conversion is in the Lord.
I gave up my favorite sin in January and found it interesting that as soon as it was conquered, there was a new favorite sin at the top of my list. I know that the new favorite sin needs to go next, but I have been procrastinating. Somehow labeling it a "Weapon of my Rebellion" causes me to feel more comfortable saying goodbye to such a silly habit.

I feel lucky for these, and 6 other, pages of notes that I can use to develop my understanding of Gospel principles and the direction that it brings to my life.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Women and Media

This morning I watched a program on OWN, Oprah's Network (don't judge!), about the representation of women in the media.

***Warning, adult images and themes***

It fascinated me. And depressed me...not so much because of how women have been portrayed in the media (although I was shocked to see it condensed this way), but because I'm guilty for having bought into the message. I have allowed the media's portrayal of a beautiful woman to completely blind me from my own beauty. Why would I give power to someone else to define my beauty and my worth? How did I become so reliant in these sources to measure my value as a woman? No wonder I spouted off with a little bit of snark 2 nights ago!

Friday, October 21, 2011

October Date!

I stated last Saturday that I was going to re-commit to my 2011 goals. Just in time, I was invited to attend the fall concert for the Orchestra at Temple Square with one of my most favorite men. He's a crush from my past, but avoiding repeats was sooooo 2010, so I'm counting it.

I don't see anything romantic ever developing between us, but dang if we don't have a great time together!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Attraction: Men vs. Women

I spent some time with a new friend this evening and we had an interesting conversation about...well, about a lot of things...but one thing in particular has stuck with me.

If pressed, I can rattle off a list of the physical features I find most attractive about a man (tall, calloused hands, full head of hair, great mouth, a beard or some scruff, dimples, square jaw, long fingers, etc.). However, if you lined up all of the men I've dated (or wanted to date) over the years, you would wonder what my list had to do with my picking. I submit that it had very little to do with anything, except maybe for those few years in Junior High when I was cutting photos out of Tiger Beat magazine to hang up in my school locker. Brad Pitt is my celebrity definition of the perfect look...but I've never, not once, had anything to do with Brad or any look-alike. As a woman, my definition of "hot" has almost zero influence on with whom I want to get close or spend time.

I don't believe that it's the same for men. I'm convinced that if a man says that he likes a girl who is 5'4", 110 lbs, blond, and blue-eyed that it is a definitive check list. I recently learned that a girl in my ward bleached her hair blond after learning that her crush wouldn't date a brunette...and guess what, they are now dating. She had everything on his list except for hair color, and after a quick trip to the salon, suddenly became his perfect match where before, she was nothing but a friend.

I recognize that this is a lot of speculation and I really do not have any evidence. Perhaps it is nothing more than my personal summary from all of the stories like the one above and the comments guys make when they're pressed to explain why they aren't attracted to a really great girl...I can't be sure. If I'm wrong, then I need to apologize for my bitter perspective...if I'm right does anyone know a single man who's list reads: 5'8", busty, witty, and great kisser???

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Deacon

In our church, Deacons are typically young men, ages 12-13, who are just beginning to actively participate in Priesthood duties. Occasionally there's a rotten one, but the majority of them are just super adorable! Their clothes don't quite fit right, there hair is a little tousled, they shuffle as they walk, their posture is disturbing and there is about a zero percent chance that they'll look you in the eyes when you talk to them...but they're eager to step into manhood and their baby-faced contributions are endearing. Most young men have grown out of this awkward phase by 16...18 at the latest.

But there's a man in my ward who seems to be stuck just a month or two before his 13th birthday. I secretly enjoy watching him pass the sacrament each week and watching him shuffle, eyes down, through the congregation. However, when we were first introduced, I didn't know how to approach him...I didn't know how to talk to 12 year old boys when I was a 12 year old girl and I don't think I ever really picked up the skill. 6 months ago, he was assigned to be my Home Teacher and we both, have since, had to interact on a personal level. My aggressive "let's be friends" approach hasn't gotten me anywhere with this guy!

But tonight, the two of us had to figure it out. My roommate wasn't home when he arrived for our appointment, and his companion was MIA. The look of fear that flashed across his face when he realized it was a one-on-one situation was priceless. And with a little bit of patience from me, and effort from him, we had something resembling a conversation. I can't be sure, but I think I almost got him to laugh once!

The interaction reminds me of my first personal interview with the Bishop, who told me that he didn't think there was a man in the congregation who wouldn't be completely overwhelmed by my personality, but that he'd find me a husband...just not in that ward. Truer words might never have been spoken!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Curses!

UGH!

COSTCO!

Why is it so hard to leave a "wholesale" warehouse without spending more money than you had intended?!

(p.s. Costco...I still love, love, love you)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Footloose

Oh! The nostalgia!

I remember many pre-teen evenings in my bedroom, with a cassette player, choreographing a lip-synch/dance number to Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out For A Hero"!!

Tonight Kristy and I went to see the remake and I appreciated that they didn't stray far from the original story. I adored all of the subtle nods they made to the original (choreography, Volkswagen, settings, wardrobe).

Disappointment of the movie...the cover of my beloved "Holding Out For A Hero"

Pleasant surprise of the movie...Willard! I loved him so much that I secretly want to start calling my newest nephew Will by Willard...I just don't think that would fly with the fam.




Sunday, October 16, 2011

What I Learned in Church Today: Acknowledging the Lord

Today the speaker addressed characteristics of a Disciple of Christ, one of which was the willingness to Acknowledge the Lord in our lives. I can think of specific moments of gratitude that quickly took me to my knees thanking God for removing trials from my life...I don't know that I've been as quick to thank God for the placement of trials in my life...

But I should be! As I identify the defining moments of my life, I find that they are moments of great adversity and trial. They are periods when I battled fiercely, or submitted humbly, to unwanted changes in my life. Truth be told, it takes quite a bit of time for me to begin to recognize all of the good that comes in those times of struggle. The lessons taught to me by my parents are a close second place to the lessons I have learned in the challenges the Lord so wisely places in my life.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Remember when I started 2011 off with an exciting list of goals? Remember how I was super motivated and getting stuff done? Remember how I was really going to get a handle on the woman I wanted to become? You don't....really....ya, I barely remember either.
Well, I pulled out the old list and I'm brushing off some of the dust. After months of negligence, some adjustment will be necessary...but I've got to have something good to focus on!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hobbies?

All day I've been trying to think of a hobby that requires little to no physical, emotional, or mental effort...something I can do when I'm physically, emotionally, and mentally useless...you know, like every day???

Thursday, October 13, 2011

An Update

(Posted to Facebook notes 10/13/11)

I had my follow-up visits with both Cardiologists on Tuesday.

First with Dr. Cragun (the "plumber") who spent time and actually engaged in a conversation with me about all of the issues that I need to address with my heart.

  • Atypical Variant Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (the condition found when I was 13), caused...
  • Diastolic Dysfunction, which caused...
  • Pulmonary Hypertension, which caused...
  • Atrial Chamber Blowout, which caused...
  • Atrial Fibrillation

The Cardiac Ablation is supposed to correct the Atrial Fibrillation and have positive impact on the Atrial Chamber Blowout as well, but the other issues need to be addressed to minimize the chance of returning to this same place in just a few years. So...Cragun wants to do a procedure (Right Heart Cath) on November 14 to find out more information about the Pulmonary Hypertension and the Diastolic Dysfunction. There are some drug therapies he thinks could be beneficial to help get my energy back.

Dr. Hwang (the "electrician") had little to say except that all of my symptoms (chest pain, dizziness, short breath, and fatigue) are all normal. I requested a change of medication...my homework has taught me that the beta-blocker he prescribed (Sotalol) causes the worst fatigue side-effects and I wanted to try a newer brand, but he said I didn't have any options for 2 more months. I also expressed frustration that I haven't been able to really get a good work-out in the gym, and he told me I won't be able to for 2 more months...which is frustrating, but I'll figure something out.

Hwang also expressed disapproval at the procedure Cragun has scheduled...so, I have some homework to do, questions to ask, and perhaps a 2nd opinion to obtain before November 14.I have hit my out-of-pocket max with my insurance, so I want to do as much as I can before the end of the year...but I also want to avoid the hospital if I can.

I'm learning a lot about endurance and adjusting expectations!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How To Talk To Girls


Oh My! This was one of those things that you wished you were watching with your friends because it's just too funny to watch alone.

Some of my favorite moments:

-the background music! classic!
-the constant use of the words "crush" and "ditch", so funny to me
-the crazy mix of suave and matter of fact in his delivery...he seems so seasoned
-"control your hyperness"
-"the best choice is a regular girl"
-"flapping your arms like a crazy mad man"
-"you can keep her until middle school and maybe high school"
-"life is hard, move on!

Thank You Alec!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Not too Shabby!

Down 10 lbs since my Ablation...with my clothes on!

10 lbs at a time...no problem...except for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Birthday, Christmas, New Years...ugh...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Oh man!

Tomorrow is my first follow-up since Cardiac Ablation. I have dizziness, short breath, and extra heart beats...but of all those things, stepping on the scale is the thing I'm most anxious about. The doctor minced no words following my procedure and I have been a very good patient these past 3 1/2 weeks...but the scale and I have never been pals and I fear it's betrayal tomorrow.

I think I've identified my most light-weight outfit and I'm hoping that at least 10 lbs are missing from my official number tomorrow...but the anxiety of it really has me going crazy. You really only want to hear a brilliant Korean surgeon call you fat once in your life, you know?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What I Learned in Church Today: Joy in the Gospel

Doctrine and Covenants 11:13
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;"
As a student of the doctrines of Jesus Christ, I can identify whether or not I am open to the teachings and promptings of the Holy Ghost by my reaction to spiritual teaching, discussion or study, by the emotions I am feeling. When I am not open to the Spirit, I find myself grumbling during and after, convinced that I could have made better use of my time. When I am open to the Spirit, my soul is filled with joy and I am enthusiastic about my life and my opportunities to live what I've been taught.

As a teacher of the doctrines of Jesus Christ, I want the Spirit of Joy to infect the class and I want those who participate to walk away enthusiastic about what they were taught by the Holy Ghost.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Lazy Saturdays

Lazy Saturdays with no obligations or agendas might be my most favorite days of the year!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Moneyball

Two thumbs up!

Keep in mind, I'm the Denney girl and my athletic background and perspective is rarely found in women...so, dudes will dig this and chicks may or may not.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

iAppreciate

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, passed away yesterday at a young 56 years old. Today I walked past an Apple store and saw flowers and notes laid out by admirers. Wendy and I left a note on a wall set aside for short tributes.
I didn't know the man. I've never owned a Mac. I am not tech savvy enough to be educated on all that he did. But I can appreciate the statements that have been left in eulogy of Mr. Jobs...he had a remarkable perspective regarding his purpose in life.
And while I am a PC owner, I have to admit that the iPhone has changed the way I live my life (some good, some bad, all fascinating).
R.I.P to a man worthy of much admiration.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Genetics

My brothers can send some thanks Grandma's way! I spent a little time with her at the hospital this morning and she is one tough chick...clearly this was passed down to my father and then to my siblings. The four of them are tough dudes...tough like Grandma!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Prayers

My thoughts and prayers are with my Grandma tonight. She had a stroke this evening and is in the hospital for the next few days. For months, I've been terrified of a possible stroke and I hate that my fear has happened to my grandmother. She and I spoke this afternoon and we talked about getting together this week...I'd just much prefer her living room to her hospital room!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Get A Life!!!!

I've felt pretty lousy the past few days and it's been a bummer...I kind of thought I was past this point in the recovery. I had set some expectations for myself to get serious about pulling myself together and "getting a life"!
I'm feeling anxious about creating purpose for myself beyond the big decision to wash or not wash my hair everyday (washing and styling my hair is the BIGGEST energy sucker since the ablation).
I've been waiting to have the energy enough to do a whole list of things...but I think the time has come to do those things with or without feeling good. Maybe I need to adjust to a new definition of what it means to feel good?
Maybe I need a good night's sleep???

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What I Learned in Church Today: General Conference

Every 6 months there is a 2 day General Conference held for the entire membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. All of the addresses for the 5 sessions can be found here...which is a really good thing because the experience can feel much like taking a drink from a fire hose and there are more than a few talks that I'd like to read through as I work through my notes and impressions from the past couple of days.

Many of those impressions may find their way here...if I can find a way to express them.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ahhhhhh! October 1st!

I spent the day at the pool soaking up the last of Utah's summer sun. I'd hoped for a killer tan to replace the one I've lost over the past 3 weeks....no such luck, but I did gather a good dose of vitamin D!

Big thanks to Sassy and her family for always being the best hosts!

Friday, September 30, 2011

BFF - KIT - Don't Change!!

My mom brought my old high school yearbooks to me on her last trip here. I thought that they'd be fun to flip through during recovery or while Kara was here, but I didn't get to them until today.

Wow.

I sure looked like 1993. But so did all of my friends! Facebook upped the entertainment value since I think of so many of my classmates as the people in the Facebook photos...it was wild to see them as we were almost 20 years ago!

Often, when reflecting on my life, I declare that, "I like the girl I am today so much more than the girl I used to be!" I've always assumed that rested 100% on how mature I have become...but today I got a different perspective. Today I realized that I might just be the exact same girl I have always been...only maybe I've learned to like her a little more. I read through all of the comments that people wrote into my yearbooks and I think if I had a yearbook to be signed by friends today, they would probably say some of the same things:

I am the funniest girl they know
I am wild and fun
Everyone wants to party with me
I am the best and most devoted friend they have
I am super smart and a hard worker
I am really talented and have mega star potential in my future

I guess the only shocker is that I still have mega star potential...and after 20 years I haven't stepped any closer to it than my 18 year old self?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Progress

Nothing big today...just wanted to report (and remind myself) that every day is a little better than the day before!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Silver Lining

One of the really great things about the dark clouds in life are the silver linings. It seems that the crumbling of my world brings down elevated expectations with it and I suddenly find myself much more pleased with the simple things.

Today my car was giving me grief and although I had anticipated a $2,000 repair in the near future, I wound up acting like a kid on Christmas morning when I found out that it was the battery...warrantied, no less!!

Then I got the great news that the girl who cut my hair before she moved out of state, will be stopping by my neighborhood on her way into town on Friday and she offered to swing by and make a house call!

So, whatever is better than Christmas morning...well, that's how I'm feeling! AND...there are rumors of pool like weather coming our way Saturday...could anything better wrap up the week?!?!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Long Snapper

When people find out "who I am", they often want to impress me by letting me know that they are "BIG, HUGE" football fans. The bigger the bragger, the more I love stumping them by asking who the long snapper is for their favorite team.

Most people don't know who the long snapper is...many people think I'm making the position up...hardly anyone can really answer the question.

It's an unfair question. One that I would not be able to answer if it wasn't for the fact that my little brother does it for a living. Our family learned long ago that the position comes without any fame...as long as the guy is doing his job right...so it's always fun to see my brother get some positive recognition:


Monday, September 26, 2011

Kara

When it comes to friends, I am spoiled rotten.

My best friend from Colorado came to stay for 4 days after my parents left. She came with no agenda other than nursing me to health. We spent most of the time talking. Talking about the past, talking about the present, talking about the future.

My favorite thing about Kara is that she is a central figure in nearly all of my laugh until you cry memories. Some of my most favorite stories to retell at a party or to liven up a dull conversation are stories that somehow involves Kara. And she has a knack for bringing out a side of me that I'm rather fond of...everything has a funny slant when she's around.

Of course there was some heavy conversation...but it is such a blessing to have a friend that will let you talk freely with no punishment or judgement.

We don't see or speak as often as we should and I hope to do better. But I so appreciate that she's the kind of friend that is all quality regardless of quantity.

I am a very lucky girl.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What I Learned in Church Today: Listening

As a regular Sunday School teacher, I've recently been asked to spend the next 8 weeks attending a Teacher Development class. I've both taught and attended this course before but I think it's always helpful to brush up on teaching.

In today's class we were asked two questions:
1.) How can we increase our love of our class members
2.) How can we express our love of our class members to them,
My answer for both of those questions are the same, by listening to their comments and testimonies as they are shared during class.

I have sat in Sunday School classes and observed as a teacher asks for comments, then completely disregard that comment in an attempt to motor through their prepared lesson plan. While I do believe that it is the teacher's responsibility to mediate classroom discussion and keep it focused on the outlined curriculum, hearing and validating the comments is a powerful skill.

As we really listen to and hear and understand what is being shared, we begin to develop a better understanding about the individuals we are teaching and consequently we increase in love for them. Additionally, listening and hearing and understanding individuals is a remarkable way to express love to each class member.

I know this to be a powerful tool because I recognize it in my personal relationship with God. As I feel that my prayers are being heard...really heard...I feel an increased measure of love from God. And, as I listen to Him....really listen...I know that I am actively expressing my love to Him.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Reminder

I do not like "Romantic Comedies".

I don't believe it. I've never seen a man in real life act anything near the lead of a Romantic Comedy. And maybe that's why so many men avoid relationships. Many friends' recent relationships ended when the man observed that he just didn't feel the rush anymore...which seems so silly. Unless he's holding himself to the standard of the Romantic Hero who gives up all sorts of things because he's so powerfully compelled to be with the girl-next-door?

I used to think these movies were only damaging to the women who expected the men to behave like that...but maybe it's just as much a relationship killer for the men?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Housework

Sheri didn't think I could do it...but today I put fresh sheets on a bed all by myself! You know you're recovering well when you can do housework unassisted!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

So Alive - Love and Rockets

I went for a short drive for the first time since the hospital. This song was the first on the radio and seemed somewhat appropriate....enjoy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Unpaid Advertisement

My parents have been so good to me this last week. I was feeling pretty good this evening (it's all relative), so for their last evening, I wanted to take them to dinner. Although they both appreciate a great mexican restaurant, I actually took them to Pistol Pete's for the ribs.

It's one of those places that you'd never know about unless someone else took you there. About a year or so my brother Ryan and I both ended up there simultaneously, but through different recommendations. He and I both agree you won't find better ribs. I can't vouch for the Mexican food, but I'm going to go ahead and advise you not to waste your time.

**Warning** One order of ribs is enough to fill an army. Three of us gave it an effort and there were still enough for a take-out box!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vampire Bites Are Not Sexy

(Posted to Facebook Notes 09.20.11)


“Vampire bites are not sexy.”

That was my first complete thought Thursday evening after the Cardiac Ablation procedure. It was late, friends and family had long since said goodbye, and it was just me standing in a dark hospital room attached to a bunch of wires, taking my first glance in the mirror to see exactly what “hit by a semi” looked like. My right jugular vein had been one of the entry points into my heart and I stood there staring at these bizarre little “bite marks”, right where they should be had I been jumped by a glittery vampire...but my version lacked all of the sparkles and romance of the Hollywood sort.

The procedure was a success as far as the doctor’s ability to identify, and accomplish what he had hoped. He identified 47 offending areas to burn (it didn’t occur to me until now to find out how that compares to the average). It turns out that the end results aren’t manifest until 3-6 months afterward. I'm currently navigating some wicked heart-burn...as in burnt up heart, not acid reflux...and too frequent bouts of dizziness and shortness of breath...but I’m leaning optimistic that these will all soon fade and I'll be in Rockstar condition in no time!

The first 24 hours following the procedure are blurry...thanks to the high doses of Ativan.. and I spent most of the afternoon and evening asking my parents the same questions repetitively. The haze has stuck with me at home. In fact, just yesterday (96 hours later), I discovered an EKG patch still stuck to my left rib cage. I LOATHE those things and can’t believe that one lasted through showers, and wardrobe changes, and restless nights. It’s just evidence that I’m still working my way back to sobriety.

The competitive Denney side of me showed up that first night when I was given permission to take my back-less gown for a late-night stroll...I walked for 45 minutes...a floor record (which would present with much more pride if I wasn’t 50 years junior the average patient)!! I am continuing to feel out my limitations here at home by pushing expectations during my daily walks.

I am immensely grateful for Craig and Sheri who were willing to make sacrifices to be by my side. Although I don’t think there is anything wrong with being tough and pushing myself into recovery, it has been good to have my parents here to help me, encourage me, distract me, and pace me.

Saturday and Sunday were much tougher than I had anticipated, and I found my independent self both frustrated and submissive. Fortunately, sleep is coming more easily now, and each morning I wake up feeling a little better than the day before. I still have a lot of work and required patience ahead of me, but I think that tomorrow I might even feel up to returning the emails and phone calls that I haven’t had the sense to before.

I’m learning a lot about faith. I feel blessed to be sustained by the thoughts and prayers of those who have mastered it better than me. Big thanks to so many people who have been a great support as I fight through current struggles and work toward an exciting future.

~kimi d


Monday, September 19, 2011

Good Intentions

My head has been in such a fog, that I have had a really hard time putting logical or interesting thoughts together. But today, I had every intention of taking time today to put together a great post-procedure review.

When I finally got around to taking a shower about noon-ish, I found evidence that my head was still a haze:

AN EKG PATCH STILL ATTACHED TO MY BODY!?!?!?!?!

I know I have complained about the irritation of the patches and the goo they leave behind in the past (see most of July's posts), so the fact that I've had one on my left rib cage for 4 days unnoticed, even in previous showers, is all the evidence necessary to postpone an update for one more day.

Tomorrow....I promise....pretty sure about that.