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


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'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


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


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, 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 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




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


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


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 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 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, 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 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


Two thumbs up!

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

Thursday, October 6, 2011


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


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


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 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!