31 May 2009

goal accomplished, WCWS style

31 Days ago I started a goal to post something to this blog every day for the month of May. Here we are at the end of the month and I would call it a successful goal reached. I have enjoyed the process, mostly in the things I learned along the way, like linking within the post and creating slideshows. Also, in researching some of the topics or finding links for some of the posts, I learned a great deal. I am glad that I set and reached this goal.

Doing these daily posts have given me other ideas on what to blog about. So, I've decided to keep going on the daily posts as long as I can, we'll see how long that lasts, eh?!

When I was growing up, my mom had me playing softball for a few years. I guess I was trying to follow in my aunt's footsteps. She was very athletic and I idolized her, at the time. I was not athletic and I was afraid of being hit by the ball, so I usually just stood there, never swinging and was often walked. One time, I actually swung the bat and hit the ball. The players were so surprised that they flubbed the play and I made it to second base! That says a lot, considering I have never been a fast runner! At the end of that year, I got my one and only ever all-star vote for that hit. Later, I would become friends with that opposing coach and his family. I was friends with his daughter in school, then they moved into our ward and I was his son's primary teacher. I love this family and miss them...where are they now, I often wonder...

These last few days we've been watching a lot of softball. WCWS from Oklahoma. We watched a great deal of this last year and enjoyed it, so when I saw it on last week in preparation for Oklahoma, I decided to watch it again. Alabama, one of my favorites, was back again, but lost out today in a heartbreaking last moment grand slam with only one out to go to force a second elimination game tonight. We remember watching and we will now miss seeing the likes of Brittany Rogers and Kelley Montalvo again next year! Kelley really is a spark plug and Brittany loves the game and her school! My second choice to into the finals and now my first choice to win it all is Washington. I am not as familiar with this team or its players as this is the first time I've really seen them. I was very impressed with Danielle Lawrie, though. She kept calm and focused for the game! I'm thinking that played a major part in her receiving the 2009 Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. They will be playing Florida in the best of 3 final matchup, starting tomorrow night. In that matchup, Lawrie will be going against one of the top players that she beat out for player of the year, Stacey Nelson. I am cheering for the Huskies all the way! In any case, one of these teams will reach their goal for this season, winning the WCWS. It will be a first in the history of either school. Good Luck all around! PLAY BALL!!!

30 May 2009


In a world that has most everyone playing on their computers, much like you are right now, I'm sure, just as I am, there are still people out there that love to play board and card games! I am one of these people. We grew up playing games. One of my brothers gave me a board game every Christmas until he took himself away from this part of the family. The last game he gave me was The Hardy Boys Mystery Game. I still have it and I still love it! I even still have my original Candy Land game, the outside box is pretty worn, but the inside stuff is still great. I even have The Cinderella Game in its original box. I have loads of games, board and card games. Yes, we even play games with face cards! I am blessed to have a husband who is usually willing to come and play games not on the computer. I am even more blessed to live near cousins who love to play board and card games with real live people. We don't have as many game nights as we would like, but we always have a good time, even with poor sports in the crowd and other such negative nonsense! Tonight was one of those nights. The cousins came over and we played The Game of Life, you know the real one, not with credit cards and such. We also played Payday, one of their favorites!

Funny story about Payday, on my mission, my companion and I spent a family night with a family in our ward. My companion was losing pretty bad and then had the brilliant idea that the reason she was losing was because she wasn't paying her tithing, so she started setting money aside for tithing and ended up winning the game! It was really funny.

Another time, playing Monopoly (another favorite, we have several different versions including BYUopoly), my bestest friend was setting money aside for tithing and my nephews couldn't figure out what she was up to, they were convinced she was cheating! Then she won the whole thing and we made them figure out what some people set aside money for and pay to the Bishop. I have tried this with many games, but for me, it works best with Payday and I do it almost every time. Sometimes it works and I win by a lot, not even counting my tithing and sometimes I don't win, but it is always funny to have the new person playing try to figure out what I'm up to by setting money aside every time I get money!

Card games, growing up, we even played 21, or blackjack. It isn't one of my favorites, but my dad loved it and would play. My mom had a hotel bank full of pennies and we used them to play. These type of games, board and card, were used to help us learn counting and often money lessons were involved, too. My dad didn't play many games, his favorite was probably UNO. He would play Skip-Bo, very rarely and Yahtzee, too. One time we got him to play Yahtzee and he got 4 Yahtzee's in one game. We didn't like him to play that one anymore, LOL! My mother-in-law taught us how to play Screw Your Neighbor (face cards) several years ago and it has become a family favorite with loads of funny stories, but they aren't necessary appropiate family stories, LOL. This game is very similar to Phase10, to give you an idea.

After my dad died, my mom and I, would play one sheet of Yahtzee every night before going to bed. It would take us about an hour. On the night, Steve and I met, in person for the first time, he and I were sitting out on the porch talking and my mom came to ask if we were going to do our nightly Yahtzee. Steve and I went in and played. That tradition continued for quite awhile after that, whether it was just the two of us or with Steve.

I also love to do puzzles. I love word searches, cryptoquotes and sudoku! I love game nights! The slide show is mostly games we have and a couple my cousins have that we all love to play. What are your favorites? I can't decide, I love too many of them! Some I have, some I dont'! As I said before, we have tons of games and we love to play them. Who's game?! BRING IT ON!!!

29 May 2009


From beginning to end, in May, we had two major extended family events that occured this month. On 2 May 2009, my cousin (technically, 1st cousin once removed) was baptised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Somehow we didn't manage to get a picture of him, but my husband took this one shot of me with my Uncle Tim, who most everyone admires a lot!

Later, while my husband and Rhett (another 1st cousin once removed) were playing basketball, I took these few with my cell phone:

I also snapped a couple of my cousin (Rhett's dad) while he was visiting with others. It amuses me that he looked right at me, and probably still has not clue I was taking pics, LOL. I admire this family so much, they have progressed greatly and are wonderful examples, to all that know them, of making good choices!

Today, my cousin, Colton (Rhett's brother) graduated from Lehi High School. Steve had to work, so I don't have any good shots with his fancy schmancy camera, but here is his senior pic received in his graduation announcement. Also here is a pic of the "L" at the graduation.

I also have a few shots with my not so trusty cell phone camera, including the L above. I knew several of the graduates, but was only able to get pics of three of them. McKell with her parents. Devin, sorry, my cell phone didn't do better with that window in the background. Both of these amazing young adults are very good 'kids' and we are proud of them and I know their families are as well. Congratulations!

Then, of course, Colton, my cousin. The first two are outside of the Marriott Center and then one at Golden Corral, where he wanted to go for the after graduation family dinner. Thanks Colton, I love Golden Corral and don't remember the last time I was there, it was better than I remember! Oh, and I love the tie dye shirt!!!

This post started out as a short thing, ready to post when we got back from the graduation festivities, but I heard a lot of things that I liked, so I will share them here. First, I love their class motto: "Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to." by Henry Van Dyke. Several of the speakers focused their remarks on this motto, which I found motivational. The senior class president, Reta Ray said, "Although we didn't all receive the same grades, we are all receiving the same diploma." WOW, how true and equal! Of course, what you did in high school matters and can make a difference, but in the end, you all leave with the same diploma! I would say that we each must make the most of what we have, no matter where we are in life, graduating high school or trying to fulfill old and new goals!

I believe it was Carter Durrant who quoted Eleanor Roosevelt by saying, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." He also quoted Dr. Seuss, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose." It was their Principal, Charles Bearce, or as they affectionately called him, "Chuck" who quoted Cecil B DeMille as saying, "The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication." He strongly encouraged each of the graduates to never lose sight of their goals! Finally, Donna Barnes with the Board of Education, talked about this being the last class that will have students from Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain and said, "There is so much more that keeps us connected than keeps us apart." How true all of these words are and I, too, encourage all of these great young people to keep their eyes open and their minds focused on their goals. Never lose sight of your goals and never give up on reaching them! EVER!!!
Congrats to all these young people for doing their part and making good choices. I hope they continue to follow the many good examples in their lives and reap the blessings that will abound!

28 May 2009


I didn't have the best day and am very tired as I type this up and try to figure out what to blog about for today. So, I kept thinking about different funny things from recent memory and so I decided to call this post "PB&J". I will get to the title later on, but suffice to say right now, I do not like Peanut Buter & Jelly sandwiches. I do not like peanut butter.

Yes, that is a Utah license plate taken on the road with my sometimes fuzzy cell phone camera. Anyway, why original Reese's Peanut Butter Cups is one of my favorite candy bars makes no real sense, except that it doesn't seem to contain REAL peanut butter. It's still one of my favorites, yum, RPBC rocks! I could go on and talk about my favorite candy bars and although that could be a lengthy post by itself, it isn't what I had in mind when the title came to me...PBJ stands for several things, yet none of them are the reason for the title to this post, either. That would be movies, if you watch commercials or seen a certain movie this year, you will get it..right here, right now...if not, well, read on...
My favorite movie of all time is It's A Wonderful Life, but it has to be the one with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed...you know the one, the REAL one! I would have loved to meet Jimmy Stewart and I did cry, a little, when he died. There is something about the movies and the celebrities from his generation that I think has been lost in today's society. I practically still have this movie memorized and some people in my family don't like watching it with me because before I know it, I'm talking along with the movie. My favorite lines happens twice, "I wish I had a million dollars, (click), HOT DOG!" My favorites scene is with Clarence right after he 'saves' George! Classic movie that I can watch any time of year!

I want to keep this short, so I will blog about other favorite movies another time, but the current commercial I referred to above is for the new dvd realease for Paul Blart: Mall Cop. I saw this show twice in the theaters and would have seen it more, if opportunity had presented itself. I am a fan of The King of Queens, where I first saw Kevin James. I have enjoyed some of his other work, like Hitch. Haven't seen the commercials or the movie and wonder how PB&J relates? It's quite simple actually, Pahud says, "Peanut Blart and jelly! What, what, what's up, man?" Somehow, I don't see them adding this to the list above of what PBJ stands for, LOL! Have you seen this movie and what do you think?

27 May 2009

Cancer - it's nasty stuff...

In 2000, I went to a PartyLite conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The American Cancer Society is the charity of choice for PartyLite. They do several things throughout the year including rounding up for donations to raise over $1,000,000 a year for the American Cancer Society. Also, at their conferences they pass around and do separate collections of donations and donate that amount to the local Ronald McDonald house, wherever the conference is being held. But, I digress...at this particular conference, since it was so close, we had a lot of people from our region attend. They did a little demonstration of sorts as a whole group of well over 13,000. They started by having those who currently personally have or have survived cancer stand up...a few hundred did so...then they had everyone who knew someone who has or has survived cancer stand up, all but a few hundred of those there were now standing! In our group there was one lady that was not standing. She was very touched by this demonstration. She has never personally known anyone who has ever had to deal with cancer. This is very unusual, as one could see by this simple demonstration! This great woman was a smoker and such, this motivated her to quit smoking. In the almost 9 years since that amazing and small conference, I have lost touch with her and don't know if she is still not smoking, but I remember how touched many of us were by her motivation and realization of how wide spread cancer really is...we were all also very much more motivated to help in raising donations for The American Cancer Society.

I tell that story to remind people that cancer is out there and that it affects all of us, in one way or another! In my recent visit to Mesquite, I read an article about the current Miss Mesquite and how she is trying to educate people about cancer and using nutrition as prevention. At the bottom of this article they had the picture below of the different color ribbons for the different cancers. I thought this was really cool and wanted to share it with all of you.

Oh, incidentally, I do still sell PartyLite and if you are interested in helping our cause along, book your party and I will donate a vast majority of my profits to the cause, as well....

26 May 2009

Valley of Fire - Nevada State Park

Ok, I know this happened 10 days ago, but I just finally got all my pics from mine and my moms cell phones to the computer and saved so I could learn how to create a slideshow with them. Success, as you can see above, although, they have no captions, which is safer since some of the order got mixed up in the sending to the computer. Saturday morning, mom decided to go into Henderson (Las Vegas) to visit her sister. On the way, we decided to take the llllloooooooooonnnnnggggg way in to Vegas from Mesquite. We have taken the long way a few times before, usually bypassing the Valley of Fire. This time, we decided to drive through it and we loved it! There are a lot of places to hike, have picnics and even use the restrooms! Seeing as how this is in Nevada, we would recommend this as a trip in the early spring and earlier in the day, before it gets hot. We got there around 1pm. We didn't do any hiking at all, just drove through and took lots of pics with our cell phones, since Steve wasn't there with his fancy schmancy camera. Some of them were even taken while we were moving in the car...and they don't even come close to doing this wonderful and beautiful place justice! Then, on monday, I used up almost all the space left on my cell phone to snap a few shots of the nice sunset we witnessed just before getting to Fillmore and eating at Larry's, where there was a sign that said:
We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone
-no matter who you are-
-or think you are-
-or who your daddy is!
Only in Fillmore...or some other small town! Needless to say, we were blessed to see a lot of God's work on this trip and we still wonder how anyone who sees such beauty in the world can deny the existence of God! We respect their right to choose that belief, we just don't understand it! As for us, we will continue to express our deep gratitude for such blessings...

25 May 2009

Decoration Day

My dad often referred to Memorial Day as Decoration Day. I used to just think a lot of people just used that phrase, not realizing that it was because it really used to be called that! I, along with many others, have always thought of Memorial Day as the beginning of summertime. From what I understand all things to do with memorial day are to do with honoring our veterans who have died, mostly in combat. What I don't understand is when, how and why did this holiday become about decorating graves of all we have known and some we haven't but feel obligated by ancestry. Now, most of you already know that I am a family history consultant and that I love my ancestry and the study of all things ancestry in general. With all this in mind, I find that the commercialism of feeling like one has to buy flowers and place them on all these graves is very overwhelming, especially for those with large families, like mine...and that is NOT even counting the countless friends along the way! For example, if money were no object or we had unlimited supply of flowers, these are the cemeteries we would visit every year, at least this one day:

Larken Sunset Gardens in Sandy, UT: my dad, my grandma, my grandpa, my uncle, my aunt, my brother, my sisters ex-fiance (7)

West Jordan Cemetery in West Jordan, UT: my uncle, my cousin, a brother of a former best friend from childhood (3)

Redwood Memorial Estates in Taylorsville, UT: two of my uncles, my aunt, two cousins and several friends (5+)

Salt Lake City Cemetery in Salt Lake City, UT: my best friends baby, a former neighbor friend, a grandpa (3)

East Lawn Memorial Hills in Provo, UT: my cousin and his grandma (2)

American Fork Cemetery in American Fork, UT: my friends mom, an uncle, aunt and their son (4)

Timpanogos Memorial Gardens in Orem, UT: two uncles, grandma, and an aunt (4)

...here is where I lose count, but I think you get the idea:

Orem City Cemetery in Orem, UT: many friends from school and neighborhood

Provo City Cemetery in Provo, UT: grandparents and many other family and a few friends

Manti City Cemetery in Manti, UT: my grandma, great grandparents many aunts and uncles and cousins

I think I will stop the specific list there, but I could go on with cemeteries in davis county, utah...new mexico...gunnison city, lehi city, etc etc.

Now, mind you, I do believe in honoring those that have gone before us, but I think that the original meaning of this holiday has almost disappeared completely and, in its own way, been taken over by a form of commercialism. Between the obligation to buy and place flowers on so many graves and the BBQs, the meaning is lost to many. Do your kids know the real meaning behind Memorial Day? I encourage us to continue remembering all those who have gone before us, but also help everyone remember why we truly celebrate Decoration Day!

With all of this in mind, I would like to thank my aunt for sending me the following the pic just over a month ago. Then, I would like to thank a new found cousin, Danny, for emailing this to me a week or so ago. You both have amazing timing

From Danny: I found this tid-bit online and decided to you. I also found out that Jesus died in Saipan on July 18, 1944 and was buried in Puowaina Hawaii, Military Cemetary. He was born June 23, 1914. He was only 20 years old son of Leandro Trujillo and Angelica Salamon (Sullivan) of Guadalupita New Mexico. Leandro was the son of Jesus Trujillo and Manuelita Pacheco. Angelica was the daughter of John (Jack)P. Sullivan of Missouri, and Guadalupe Romero all of Coyote (Guadalupe) New Mexico

[Jesus would be my great uncle]

Oh, and know that I won't hold it against you if you do place the flowers on graves, we still do it, when we can, too. Maybe it is my guilt of not doing so more often that lead to this post? I don't know. Oh, and more important, I won't hold it against you for the BBQs, either, in fact, I won't turn down an invite, even! As long as we all remember to stop at 3pm and have that one minute of silence and truly remember to focus on the real purpose of this holiday!

24 May 2009

Tornado warning & Networking...

Ok, they have nothing to do with each other, but someone requested I share the story referred to in yesterdays blog post. We went to an Orem Owlz game in the 2007 season. As we arrived, there were some dark clouds coming over the west mountains. Steve kept talking about how he didn't like the looks of those clouds. I kept telling him to 'shut up' and that we would be fine! Before long, they started an evacuation to the McKay events center due to a tornado warning headed right for us. We had a few other family members with us, it was kinda funny to see the different reactions, from nervousness to thinking it was all for nothing. It turned out that it was all for nothing, there ended up being no tornado...but from then on when my dear man starts being negative and then it happens, I tell him it is all his fault, just like the tornado warning! LOL!

Networking - at one time, I was sort of unofficially known as the networking queen. I had tons and tons of business cards from the people I met in my networking circle. I have seen great benefits from the power of networking. If someone needed something, I almost always knew someone that could help them! Having moved from the state for 2 years, people move on and my network is nowhere near as large as it once was, but I am working on it.

This leads me to the changes I made to my blog today...you will notice that I now have a long list of links to the right here. I have added all my friends blogs and business websites that I know about. If you are listed to the right and don't want to be on the list, let me know. If you are not listed to the right and want to be, let me know.

For the month of May, I made a goal to post to my blog every day. This has been a great experience for me. I have researched more topics online and learned a few new tricks in the process. I have come across some websites and information that have taught me much. I hope that we all can continue to help each other build traffic to each other's blogs and business websites and businesses in general. It is by networking and helping each other that will help us all become bigger and better as time goes on....

In the meantime, I am still doing PartyLite. I am also available to do data entry, organizing, family history research, babysitting and a few other things. Let me know what you need and I will see what I can do to help fulfill that need!

23 May 2009

Derk's Field Forever

I am a baseball fan, always have been, most likely always will be. In fact, we would love to make the trip around the country one day visiting all the major league ball stadiums. I was lucky enough to find a guy that would love to make this trip together! Growing up in Salt Lake, we have a minor league baseball team which has been owned by several different major league teams. Now it is finally owned by my favorite, the Angels (I will not use their STUPID official name). I could live with Anaheim Angels, for that is the city in which they play, but they don't even play in Los Angeles COUNTY, so please forgive me for about hating their official name! To me, they will always be the California Angels!

Growing up, I was a Los Angeles Dodgers fan. When I was about 10 years old we visited my uncle's house in Anaheim. He was watching a Dodgers game when we arrrived. The adults all migrated out to the patio while I settled in to watch the game on tv. My uncle told me I could change the channel or go out to the patio. I assured him I was fine. The story goes, my mom says, that Uncle Arvid walked out to the patio with his jaw dropped in shock over a girl that loved baseball. The next night they surprised me by taking me to my very first California Angels game. They played the Kansas City Royals and I believe, lost. I was hooked and have been an Angels fan ever since. I have also been to several games and fan appreciation night over the years! Yes, I cried with excitement when they won the World Series in 2002!

Ok, back to the triple A team in Salt Lake. I remember going to several games growing up, especially remember the Trappers, who we watched play in Idaho. I don't remember details now, but my favorite player was known as Jo-Bo (Joseph Beaulac)and his number was 24, which is my favorite number to this day! I love that they are now called the Bees and especially that they are owned by the Angels. I have a few ticket vouchers for this season and look forward to going to a couple of games with my man!

Incidentally, we went to a couple of Orem Owlz games last year, which is also owned by the Angels and had a blast! Even getting evacuated to the McKay events center over a threat of a tornado and it was all Steve's fault, LOL!!! I have yet to attend an Ogden Raptors game. We just don't make it to Ogden that often.

The reason for this post is my distaste of renaming Derk's Field in the first place. I remember being so mad when they changed it to Franklin Covey Field. I finally, sort of, got over that because at least it flowed off the tongue. But, Spring Mobile Ballpark, are you kidding me?! It's so all about the money! When I heard they were announcing a new name, I thought surely it would be after Larry H. Miller who had recently passed away, to honor him. I am so not pleased with this new name....but I will continue to support the Bees, at least as long as they are owned by the Angels...after that, who knows?! LOL! In my mind it will always be Derk's Field and I will continue to roll my eyes at the new name that I won't be using anytime soon!

22 May 2009

Old habits....

No, I'm not running out of topics, I just been doing a bit of self-admiring lately...and need the boost today, so...

Growing up my dad had long nails. Everyone commented on it, strange for a guy, I know. We used to tease him that if and when he broke a nail he would cry. So, when it would happen, he would do a pretend sniff and cry to make us laugh. We would tease him more. When he would clip them, he would often leave his pinky nails long. I, on the other hand, used to bite my nails like nutso. My dad used to tease me by putting his hands towards me and saying, "Here, want some more?" I would glare at him, not funny, dad! EEEWWW!!!

I don't know when it really happened, but I stopped biting my finger nails, somewhere around the same time I went on my mission. I have not had this bad habit for around 17 years now. I have never been one to use nail polish or have manicures. I am picky about when and how my nails are clipped. I do not like clipping my nails. I let them go and go until one breaks, usually...or is about to break. With this habit, they can get quite long, I've been told too long by one. Most people, when they pay attention, compliment me on my long nails and can't believe they are real, not fake!

I know this is a silly topic to blog about, but, hey, it works, right?! I even have pics of my nails as they are right now...I will be forced to clip them in the next few days. Oh, and, ya, I sometimes don't clip my pinky nails, just like my dad!!! Also, like my dad, my fingers fit perfectly together...go ahead and admire, you know you want to! hee hee

21 May 2009

PART 2: General Young Women's Meeting - March 2009

After typing up all of the thoughts on the talks, I decided to take this one and make it the post for today! So, here is part two of my thoughts on the General Young Womens meeting on 28 Mar 2009:

May You Have Courage BY President Thomas S. Monson: "You communicate through cell phones, text messaging, instant messaging, e-mailing, blogging, Facebook, and other such means. You listen to music on your iPods and MP3 players. This list, of course, represents but a few of the technologies which are available to you....Although this is a remarkable period when opportunities abound, you also face challenges which are unique to this time. For instance, the very technological tools I have mentioned provide opportunities for the adversary to tempt you and to ensnare you in his web of deceit, thereby hoping to take possession of your destiny." I use every one of the technologies he specified. In Jan 1996, I was able hear Pres. Hinckley speak at the tabernacle on Temple Square. He warned of the dangers of the internet. In Feb 1996, my dad died and in Mar 1996, we got the internet in our house...my sister wanted email. I quickly learned what Pres Hinckley was talking about. It was a bit scary and intimidating. I began to pray about to find the good things because I believed that we would not have been given such a wonderful tool if it couldn't be used for good. I quickly found the Mormon Chat room (this isn't always the best thing for everyone, but it was for me at this time) and a giant load of genealogical opportunities. From these finds alone, I am now able to get more training to stay on my skills as a genealogist and prepare to open my business. Most importantly, finding the Mormon Chat room led to me finding my eternal companion, Steve! As well as some eternal friends that we still communicate with regularly! I always add here that Steve and I met before meeting your spouse on the internet was the cool thing to do, what trendsetters we are! hee hee "First, the courage to refrain from judging others; Second, the courage to be chaste and virtuous; and Third, the courage to stand firm for truth and righteousness." Yes, these things do indeed take courage. It isn't easy to not tell the world when you feel wronged by someone. I am guilty of this. Some of you know the experiences we have had in the last year alone and I tell you that it has been hard to teach myself to not just tell anyone and everyone my thoughts and feelings on the subject! One friend inquired and noted that I had not blogged about these events and such. I told her that there were too many people that read my blog that would be offended and I did not want to go there. Not everyone in my household shares this same view and feel it necessary to tell most everyone about these experiences and the pressure to support them is high and hard to resist! As for the third one, well, that was a huge part of what lead to us having these experiences last year. A short time after that journey began and long before it was over, I had to go in and renew my Temple recommend. I was grateful, almost to the point of tears, that I was worthy to renew this because even though I was beginning a very dark journey of struggles, I had kept my integrity in tact and was very grateful for the strength that came with those choices! "Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this truth: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”" I think Mother Teresa was a very smart and humble woman and gave us ALL a great example to follow to become better Christians! "My sweet young sisters, maintain an eternal perspective. Be alert to anything that would rob you of the blessings of eternity." Again, wonderful advice and a great challenge to us ALL! "My sweet young sisters, maintain an eternal perspective. Be alert to anything that would rob you of the blessings of eternity. Help in maintaining the proper perspective in these permissive times can come to you from many sources. One valuable resource is your patriarchal blessing. Read it frequently. Study it carefully. Be guided by its cautions. Live to merit its promises. If you have not yet received your patriarchal blessing, plan for the time when you will receive it, and then cherish it." A lot of our lives and the choices we make are based on our perspective at that moment! I continue to read my patriarchal blessing regularly, especially when making major decisions in my life. It is a great help and blessing to me! "Esther, through fasting, faith, and courage, had saved a nation" I am grateful for the reminder of the story of Esther. "You will probably not be called upon to put your life on the line, as did Esther, for that which you believe. You will, however, most likely find yourself in situations where great courage will be required as you stand firm for truth and righteousness." If only we all would strive for this same courage and FAITH! Even in the closing of this talk, he tells us that although dark times lie ahead we have the gospel as our beacon of light and with that we can and will have the courage necessary to be "an example of the believers" to many others to come!

20 May 2009

PART 1: General Young Women's Meeting - March 2009

In case you don't know or haven't figured it out already, I set a goal to post something every day for the month of May! I have done very well with this goal, so far! One of the reasons I thought of this goal was a way to share my thoughts about the talks given at the April 2009 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Here we are with the month almost gone and I have yet to say a thing about this topic. So, today that changes, as I will comment on the talks given during the General Young Women's meeting on my birthday, 28 Mar 2009.

Be Thou an Example of the Believers by Ann M. Dibb: I remember being excited to be in Young Women's as I was going to be sharing that experience with an Aunt of mine. Although we lived in West Jordan, we were attending the Copperton Ward at that time. We would spend every weekend with my grandma, who would take us to church. For those that don't know or remember, my mom was not active and my dad was not a member. I turned 12 in March and was very excited about being in Young Women's. Having just worked to get my Gospel in Action award (the first in our ward), I remember getting my Personal Progess book and being very excited about working on the goals for my young women's medallion. I proudly wear both very often even still today. Although, I do not remember the specifics of what I worked on, I do have my book somewhere and look forward to finding it and reliving that time in my life! Alas, in July that same year we moved to a new house in West Jordan, near an Uncle's family. We decided to start attending that ward and continued to do so until I got married 14 years later. Even though my aunt was no longer in my ward, I loved Young Womens. I loved my leaders and my peers. I miss some of these examples and have recently renewed others of these relationships via Facebook. I, too, had a dad that was very supportive, which being a non-member himself, was very impressive to me! He would get up early to make sure I was on time to early morning seminary. He would also make sure I was there for basketball practices and games. No, I don't play, but it was fun then and I loved that he was supportive in everything I did. Oh, I found it interesting that Elder Neal Andersons wife was a big part of this story, little did any of them know that just a week later, he would be sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles!

A Virtuous Life - Step by Step BY Mary N. Cook: "Virtue brings peace, strength of character, and happiness in this life." This is so true and I am grateful for the strength of character living a life of integrity has brought me! "He has been successful in confusing women about their roles in the Lord’s divine plan." I don't think it is just women who are being confused about the roles of women in the Lord's divine plan. I will that at that, though! I had a home teacher once who gave us each a sheet of paper (Bro Reading was a seminary teacher and I'm sure he used this in class) and as he read Lehi's vision, he had me draw it out, I can't remember if this was the one with my eyes closed or not. Anyway, that always stayed with me and helped me picture it better. I need to be way better about holding fast to the Iron Rod, my next goal to complete, maybe? I have my For the Strength of the Youth book nearby most all the time. Although, it is from when I was in Young Women's when they first published them, so it is a much older version than the current one I've seen floating around. I first listened to these talks on my Ipod and this was probably my favorite part of this 'session': "Daily habits of righteous behavior will also help you to continually hold fast to the rod. As a Young Women general presidency we have invited all of the young women in the world to develop three daily habits: First, pray to your Father in Heaven, morning and night, every day. Second, read the Book of Mormon for at least five minutes every day. And third, smile! Why? We have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, which brings us true happiness." I encourage all of us, male or female to strive towards these righteous behaviors, they can only make us stronger and increase our FAITH. No matter your beliefs or mine, we all must continue to progress in our lives and this is best done step by step versus all at once, which is usually so overwhelming it makes it hard to not give up! Hmmm, somehow the phrase "baby steps" comes to mind....

Come Let Us Go Up to the Mountain of the Lord BY Elaine S. Dalton: When I became and adult, one of my Young Women's leaders told me that as an adult, age didn't matter as much to guys looking to be in relationships. I bless her for her efforts and although I am a firm believer that age difference doesn't matter, in the big picture, age was NOT my problem in the lack of attention from guys. That's ok, my time was not to come for several years! "Never before has there been a greater need for virtue and purity in the world." We hear these types of warnings or counsel often in our conferences, it must mean we are not getting the message. I hope that we can all really get it and strive for it, WOW, can you just imagine the blessings that would be poured out upon us and those around us?! It would truly be amazing! "You are not common. You are not ordinary. You are daughters of God." Well said! White roses are my favorite flower, for much the same reason that Sister Dalton said she chose it when she was in Young Womens. Sister Dalton is completely right on when she says that we can change and return to virtue thanks to the Saviors Atonement. "your personal purity will enable you to become a force for good and an influence for righteousness in the world. I truly believe that one virtuous young woman, led by the Spirit, can change the world." This is my hope for myself, those I love and just everyone, no matter your gender or your beliefs!


19 May 2009

Larry's Drive In (Fillmore, Utah)

Growing up, when we would travel as a family, with my dad, we would stop every 60-90 minutes. Dad had to stretch his legs. So, I was pretty used to that...then I met Steve. When he travels, he is used to just going and getting there, with as few stops as absolutely possible. I quickly adapted to this way of traveling until my mom started traveling with us....we are at a sort of happy medium. We stop more than Steve was used to, but less than when we traveled with my dad.

Now when we go someplace, we try to just have pit stops when we need to put gas in the car. We also like to get hot dogs....there isn't much like a gas station hot dog...yum yum yum! Maveriks have become a favorite, not only for the hot dogs, but for the rewards program in buying gas and everything now! If you need a card, my mom will be more than happy to help...she works at the Maverik at Thanksgiving Point, affectionately known as "turkey maverik", lol...

On our trips to Mesquite, we often stop at the Maverik in Fillmore. We have been there 3 of our 4 trips to Mesquite this year. We have not gotten hot dogs on any of these visits because they looked very gross....so, I took pictures and I am working on showing them to the powers that be....
these are from 3 Mar 2009, 31 Mar 2009 and 18 May 2009, respectively...

So, last night, after finding the icky hot dogs once again...we ventured off to find something else to eat in Fillmore...we ended up at Larry's Drive In, just across and down the road from Maverik, at 1030 South Highway 99, phone number 435-743-5411. We got there right at closing time, 9pm, but they were nice enough to let us in, anyway. It was a little high priced, so we just got an order of chicken nuggets and a corn dog with an order of french fries. The chicken nuggets were ok, but we probably wouldn't order them again. The corn dog was very good, much like Arctic Circle, as they both use Foster Farms. The french fries were very good, but very high priced, too. We would like to go there again and try the hamburgers and shakes. I tried finding anything about this place on the internet, but didn't have much luck. It does not have a website and it seems that it is listed on a bunch of other websites, but with no reviews or other information. So, I hope you find this helpful and yes, I would recommend Larry's as a great place to grab something fast and delicious!

18 May 2009

Coco's Restaurant & Sorority fun...

I will blog more about my Mesquite trip, but I am too tired tonight, so for a quick post, I decided to post a few memories that came to mind this weekend...I almost always am thinking about blue dots, but what triggered the desire for this post was a song I heard in Coco's restaurant in Las Vegas, NV over the weekend...Georgia On My Mind....here goes:

Ok, after I had to leave Snow College in March 1990, I ended up at the Salt Lake Community College institute, yes, just the institute! I loved this place, it was my home away from home for about 7 years! Bro Hatch was the absolute best!!! I miss him...

I quickly discovered Lambda Delta Sigma, the LDS Sorority. I pledged and became a member in spring 1990. I was a member when I went on my mission in 1992-1993. I came home from my mission and was finally blessed with the opportunity to be an officer, thanks Michelle!!! What an awesomely amazing year that was, 1994/1995! This is one of our officer pictures:

It was during this time (summer 1994, I think), 6 of us piled into my Geo Metro and went downtown to the Michael Bolton with Celine Dion as the opener....talk about getting a bang for your buck! I won't go into details but suffice it to say I don't think any of us will forget about the connection between our pre-concert meal at Subway and having Michael Bolton sing Georgia on My Mind about 7 rows in front of us! Right, Heidi? We were 7 rows up from the floor and at one point he disappeared from the stage, we were thinking just to change clothes or whatever, but then, out of no where, he was right there 7 rows in front of us and he just happened to sing that song! We laughed and loved it!!! Who was it all that went? Michelle W, Heidi S, Janice Y, Becky H, Lori U and myself? Is that right girls, help me out here...

On another occasion, we were at an officer's retreat at Snowbird when one of our own had an experience that many of us will not soon forget! In fact, I have a BLUE bowling ball that became known as THE BLUE DOT to many of us...I still use that ball to this day and every time, I think of my good friend Janice and our wonderful time together as sorority sisters! Ah, the little things that remind me of A LOT!!! I love you all....are we ever going to get together for a reunion??? Let me know the time and place, I'll be there!

Coco's has really good food. My mom enjoyed the tortilla soup. I had a hard time deciding between the Turkey Avacado Jack Croissant or the California Chicken Sandwich. Both sandwiches are pictured here. I went with the latter and it was a good choice. It is delicious.

Oh, and just in case you are wondering, I left Snow College because I ran out of money for school...

17 May 2009

Panda Garden

Ok, I am not sure where this habit of reviewing restaurants came from, but I kind of like sharing my opinion, in case you haven't noticed! Many you know I am in Mesquite, Nevada this weekend. In Mesquite is the best chinese restaurant, Panda Garden. (the website seems to focus more on the St George location, but there ya go, anyway!) This is my favorite restaurant in Mesquite and every time we have visited since moving, I have eaten there! This trip is no different. In fact, we just came from there to the library for me type this post. I had been debating over several topics for today's post when we left the restaurant, I knew it had to be about Panda Garden!

Many you know I love my lemon chicken. I used to go to Panda on my lunch sometimes when working at the library on Saturdays. The quick service was perfect for the time we were given. I have always ordered the Lemon Chicken, but know that the Sweet & Sour is really good, too. Steve's favorite is Sweet & Sour pork. The egg drop soup is good, too...and I'm not a soup person! I just love this place! I did mention it in my birthday blog and included a pic of my mom and her friend out front by their water feature!

So, if you find yourself in Mesquite, just passing through or staying for a visit, I highly recommend eating at the Panda Garden, 12 W Mesquite Blvd. Ste 101! It is time and money well spent!

16 May 2009

The Total Money Makeover Live Event

My bestest friend turns me on to the bestest things....this post is a little about one of them, Dave Ramsey!

I love the things Dave Ramsey teaches. He is about common sense and what it teaches in the Bible! Last year was the first time Dave Ramsey brought his Total Money Makeover Live Event to Salt Lake City! Ok, that clip was just a nibble of what you can expect at this event! Jo and I went and had a wonderful time! We paid for the platinum package and was able to hear a little from Dave before the event in a Q&A, with lunch provided and received a goodie bag with a few autographed books and other goodies. We were able to shake his hand and have our pic taken with him, too! It was awesome! We were excited to do the same this year. BUT when it came time, turns out the price for the platinum package was jacked beyond our means and I couldn't win it from the radio station, so I did not go...although, probably a good thing, maybe, since I ended up in Mesquite and Las Vegas this weekend, eh?!

Jo and another friend of hers paid for the regular tickets and are there right now as I type this from my aunt's house in Henderson, Nevada! She did text me to let me know that Dave (and probably his family) ate dinner at the Red Iguana last night. That is near Jo's neighborhood...cool!

I wanted to do a more complete blog about Dave, but I have yet to take the time to watch The Town Hall for Hope, so that will be in another blog, later in the month or June, whenever I get around to watching it!

I decided that because he is in Salt Lake again today, I would take the time to note a few things that I love about his process, and, I believe, is really good advice for everyone:

The 7 Baby Steps, sorry, but must click the link to see what they are! During his live event, he uses a clip from the movie, What About Bob?, which adds a great deal to the humor! After the event last year, I had to netflix the movie so I could see it! Loved it!

He also uses a gazelle video (this doesn't seem to be the exact clip, but it is the closest I could find quickly) to talk about being gazelle intense in your efforts to become debt free and stay that way. While searching for that clip, I came across this clip on youtube and thought it was very appropiate, too! Sorry, I know some out that have, uh, issues, with youtube, but that is first place I thought to look for these clips!

Ok, I realize that a lot of this advice is similar to what has been given for many many years by the LDS church leaders. BUT, not only does he tell you what to do, he tells you HOW to do it! So, did you go last year? this year? What do YOU think of Dave?! We happen to think DAVE ROCKS!

15 May 2009

Mesquite, Nevada

Growing up my dad liked to take us on family vacations at least once a year! We often went to New Mexico and California. We had loads of family in both places and all along the way. We would also take trips out to Wendover, almost regularly. When in Wendover, my sister and I would go through almost as much in the arcades as our parents would in gambling. My dad especially liked Black Jack, commonly known as 21. I am told he also liked to play craps and roullette and was pretty good at both. He was never into poker at all and did very little on the slots. I have many memories of these trips, but the one thing I would like to focus on this posting is the trips to California during which we would always stay one night in Mesquite, Nevada. We all liked Mesquite much better than Las Vegas, which is too big for our taste. We all liked Mesquite much better than Wendover, too! I really can't say why we liked about it better as kids, there wasn't as much by way of arcades (which I'm a sucker for) and Mesquite was always HOT HOT HOT to us, like take your breath away hot, gasping for air when we get out of the car! I DO NOT like hot weather!!! As I got older and was able to play Bingo there, it was even more fun. Now, if Wendover would get some bingo out there, our viewpoint may just change! Ok, maybe not...

In March 2003, my bestest friend and I took a road trip to Mesa, Arizona (that could be a whole other blog post in itself, lol...already mentioned here) and along the way back spent the night in Mesquite, Nevada. I could not believe just how much Mesquite had grown since my last trip there in 1994. I loved it. I went home and told my mom about the changes and growth and in a matter of weeks her and I took a trip to Mesquite. Mother's Day weekend that year, we moved her down to live there in the Bluffs apartment complex. She lived, worked and played bingo...AND got sick.

In October 2004, she was taken from work to the hospital (yes, they have their own hospital now). I went down the next day and stayed for two weeks. It was beautiful fall, so thankfully not HOT, weather. I went to a multitude of appointments with my mom trying to figure out what exactly was wrong. During that two weeks, I began to have promptings (impressions, whatever your word of choice) that it was time for her to have family closer. I knew she was not willing to move back to Salt Lake and my sister was not going to move to Mesquite. So Steve and I decided that we were ready for a change and took the plunge to move to Mesquite ourselves. A few weeks later, he took time off work and went down to Mesquite. He had showed an interested in wanting to be a dealer, but ended up getting a job at Virgin River in the sportsbook. So we teased him that he was a bookie instead of a dealer, lol. Right after thanksgiving 2004 we moved all our stuff down and also lived in The Bluffs apartment complex.

The following June we found the perfect house with a wonderful landlord out of CA. We all moved into the house together and were there until we moved back to Utah right after thanksgiving 2006. In August 2005, I started working at the Mesquite Library, part of the Las Vegas Clark County Library District. I absolutely loved this job! Of course, anyone who has been reading my blog knows I loved to read, so why wouldn't I love working in a library?! Also in August 2005, Steve, still working at Virgin River, changed from working in the sportsbook to working in the slots department, where he worked until we moved. Mom worked at the Oasis hotel front desk, ending her employment there as a supervisor working the graveyard shift as Night Auditor!

In getting this post ready, I asked mom what her favorite thing about Mesquite was and she said the weather and being able to play bingo pretty much whenever she wanted. Her least favorite thing was the lack of stores and other entertainment without having to go to St George or Las Vegas. She says she finds it ironic that before we moved down there she went to St George more than Las Vegas and after we moved down we went to Las Vegas more. I told her it was because then she didn't have to drive in the Las Vegas traffic! I do the driving, unless Steve is with and then he will usually drive. Of course, with the traffic and my knowledge of getting around, I usually did drive when we went to Las Vegas, anyway.

I asked Steve the same two questions. He didn't know what he liked the best, although, my guess would be the small town atmosphere and the weather as he doesn't so much mind the heat. He said his least favorite was the smoky-ness in the casinos where he worked. I said I thought he would have said no trains nearby. He said, "That, too!"

As for me, my favorite things there...the ward (we miss you tons and tons, Bishop Reber), the library system (I do have to openly admit, though, that the Bunkerville branch is my favorite), playing bingo to blow off steam whenever I wanted and could, and the small town atmosphere. My least favorite thing is easily the HOT weather, although, after living there, it really wasn't so bad, after all! I realized that if you just move there during the winter by the time it gets really hot, it isn't that bad and it DOES NOT take your breath away anymore! So, with that in mind, my least favorite thing was not hearing my beloved train sounds! Otherwise, I miss Mesquite terribly! Steve and I both still keep up with the goings on by reading the Mesquite Local News online several times a week!

Oh, did I forget to mention that pretty much as soon as I post this, I am leaving for a weekend trip to Mesquite with my mom?! YAY!!!

14 May 2009

Recession Choices

Recently there has been a commercial airing on the radio. I have heard it several times, but have not been paying attention to know who the commercial is for until the end when they say "We heard about the recession, we chose not to participate!" I love this and I still wonder which company this commercial is for, maybe some day I will be paying attention before the end of the commercial.

I love this because the so-called recession really is a matter of opinion. I have always felt this way. Life is made up of highs and lows, ups and downs, as it were. Maybe we are too poor to really feel any affects from this so-called recession, but I don't think so. I think that some people will take any excuse to complain about their money issues. What people tend to forget is that whatever their money situation, it is a direct result of their choices! Obviously, there are many others out there who agree with this theory!

Perfect example, me being fired from a couple of jobs over the last few years. No, I did not choose to be fired, but in a way, I did. I refused to put my integrity on the line for anyone and didn't like it knowing that others were very willing to throw away their own integrity in the name of better business. I hope they know that in the long run this method will not work and most definitely will not be worth it. Another choice I made (make) is to not be ashamed of being FAT! Of course, if you have read any of my posts in the last few days or if you know me at all, you already know this! I am FAT, it is a major part of who I am and, again, if I can accept it then others should, too! BUT, this is not the topic for this posting...

So, you can see that even though I did not choose to be fired and left unable to impress anyone enough to be hired again, I did choose to do things that people (following society) didn't like or agree with and rather than accepting me for who I am and learning to work together, which, I promise, would have been possible, it was easier for them to get rid of me. I have accepted this for what it is! I also think that once a few people starting making choices that leads to others making choices that resulted in someone somewhere having new negative money issues...well, it just kind of snowballed from there to this so-called recession.

As for all the "layoffs", it is my opinion (and many others) that some companies will take ANY excuse to make adjustments to the bottom line and it is much easier to cut people loose altogether than it is to make more frugal choices that can result in people keeping their jobs, but means less profit to be shared among the big shots or even hours being cut, at least on a temporary basis. Some complain about there not being any jobs, well, I'm sorry, but this is just not true. There are a lot of jobs out there, a lot of companies are hiring. The problem isn't the lack of jobs available, it is the choice people are making about just how picky they are about what they are willing to do for legitimate work. Then you have companies like Hobby Lobby that run on virtually no debt and recently gave their employees raises.

As far as our time during this so-called recession, we started it out with Steve choosing to leave a position where he was being treated worse than a 2 yr old. A month later, I was "let go" from my job. On the plus side, I was able to draw on unemployment for a short time and throughout the last 15 months, we have both learned many lessons about ourselves and each other! We made a few choices to cut expenses which taught us even more about ourselves! I am a fan of Dave Ramsey, which I will blog more about on Saturday. He is very big on the fact that just because someone chose to announce that we are in a recession does not mean the world will end. I fully agree with this same sentiment. We are not as prepared as we need to be and the process we have gone through over these last 15 months or so have brought us closer together and closer to some goals that we now share! As things go right now, I am still working towards starting a Family History business. Steve is happily working for the USPS. He is working and his hours are being cut, so, as a temporary fix, if anyone knows of little odd and end jobs, let us know. I am great in an office or better yet, when are you going to claim your free candles?! Steve is even better with a camera! Bring it on!

There are so many choices we can make and we do make, what we tend to forget is that each choice has a consequence, whether good, bad or ugly! It is my hope that we can take our own reality for what it is and not let the role of society and over dramatized media stories control our choices. It is time, now more than ever, for us to look within ourselves and be truly honest! Where do we really sit? Are things really as bad as they seemed a short time ago, when the media was really focused on dramatizing the end of the world as we know it! Personally, I think not!

13 May 2009

A Promise IS A Promise

The Way I See It #299: "There is a subtle difference between a mission and a promise. A mission is something you strive to accomplish - a promise is something you are compelled to keep. One is individual, the other is shared. When a mission and a promise are one and the same...that's when mountains are moved and races are won." ---Hala Moddelmog, President and CEO, Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Several months ago, I took this quote from a hot chocolate cup from Starbucks. I have a thing about the word "promise". I take that word very seriously and do not just throw it out loosely. Seriously, ask anyone that really knows me! If I said that word, you can count on me that it will be kept! AND, thusly when someone "promises" me something, I fully expect that it will be done! The hard part for me, most of the time, is the wait for the promise to be fulfilled. Just something to keep in mind when you think about making a promise to me or anyone...say it like you mean it and then, MEAN IT!

Mission, so many meanings, so little space on this blog post. I served a "mission" for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have worked for many companies that have placed a lot of focus on their "mission". I am working on putting together a business myself and working on my own "mission" for that company. I have also been giving some thought to my "mission" in life. All of these missions worked to accomplishments. Some created for me, some I am working to create for myself, but all will lead to great things! What's your mission?

I say we all work together to move mountains! Who's with me?!

12 May 2009


I am talking about the so called reality show craze...I was never excited about any of them. Then one day I was checking my yahoo email and saw a headline on the home page about a new show, The Apprentice. I read the article and was instantly excited for this show...it was about what so much of my work life had been destroyed by, the dreaded office politics! I have watched every season of this show. I miss the days of just sort of regular people, but don't know that they can ever go back to that now! I have even enjoyed the celebrity versions, although have been greatly disappointed in the finales for both, so far. I read recently that there is going to be a third season, so I will be watching for the release of the celebrities for that one....he's had Trace Adkins and Clint Black, so I can't help but hope against hope that Clay Walker could make an appearance and work for his own charity, BAMS!

The second season of The Celebrity Apprentice just ended two days ago. Joan Rivers (her official site would not come up) won out over Annie Duke (read the bio and in her blog post about the finale, she encourages everyone to visit her charity site, research it and if you can donate because they are the ones who lost, not her...great attitude!), who played the game exactly as Donald has liked in the past. Her style of play was no surprise, Annie said early on that she has watched the show in the past, she knew the things he liked and didn't like in how people played the game. After Donald fired Melissa Rivers and she left like the high school aged spoiled brat baby that she is, it is no wonder that Donald took the wussy way out and hired Joan! One can only imagine what kind of temper tantrum would have been displayed if Joan had been fired! Again, office politics win out over most anything! Last night I just happened to catch a few moments of The Tonight Show, Jay said something along the lines of "between Donald's hair and Joan's face, not much reality going on there" which made me laugh right out loud! But, enough about that, even though The Apprentice is my favorite, it is not the reason for this post!

Over the years, I have watched several finales of several reality shows. I have even watched one sesaon of Survivor, when Neleh was on it and coming in second. I have also watched one season of The Amazing Race and could probably get hooked on that one, but so far I'm ok not watching it! I have tried watching one season of Dancing with the Stars, but couldn't keep up with the million episodes on each week, so I gave up. Steve watched Cops before we were together, so now we watch cops, which is strangely considered a reality show, although not in my book. To me, the typical reality show involves an elimination process and challenges, not just a camera following people around doing their job, kinda. Oh ya, I also watched the end of the season for the The Rebel Billionaire. Ok, if you were paying attention, you would have noticed that the ones I have only watched one season of are one season when people from Utah were on it and it was well publicized locally. The one reality show that I have successfully avoided since the start and will work to keep avoiding, the only problem would come if I personally know a contestant because there have been a few contestants from Utah already...that show? American Idol! Ok, even after that, these are still not the reason for my writing this post....no, that is saved for my most disliked "reality show" of all....The Biggest Loser!!!

Sigh, ok, now I want to warn you here and now, I am NOT a fan of this show. I never have been and even after now watching one season, I never will be a fan of this show! If that bothers you, then you may not want to finish reading this post! Remember you have been warned! The best thing about this show? Allison Sweeney! I have been a fan of hers since she started on Days of Our Lives and was not pleased with the crap over her being FAT, whatever! Allison keeps everything positive no matter how the contestant did or what others think, this makes her a great host for this show! For the record, much to the dismay of the fans out there, even this show CAN be rigged!!!

Just a few notes on some of the characters, er...contestants! This was the biggest season ever, literally! They had the "oldest, heaviest, sickest, youngest" contestants ever. To note on a few of them: Jerry, the oldest at 63 (now 64), he was on campus for 2 weeks, then he went home, he came back to the finale to win the $100,000 for having the highest percentage weight loss of all eliminated contestants. His final stats, started at 369, final 192 losing 177 pounds or 47.97%. Dan, he was the heaviest starting the season at 454, ending on the finale at 312 for a loss of 142 or 31.28%. In his 'video', he said, "If you want to change your life you can. I feel like a fit person trapped in several winter coats and I can't wait to get them all off." Ok, he didn't win any monetary prizes, but I like his attitude, overall. Ron was the sickest, he started out at 430 ending at 238 for a loss of 192 or 44.65%. The entire time he was there, he played the game to the hilt, ensuring his son was in the finals. Mike, Ron's son, was the youngest ever starting out at 388 ending at 181 for a loss of 207 or 53.35%. Mike was one of the final three, losing an additional 17 pounds since their last weigh in a few weeks ago. Neither Mike nor Ron won anything, YAY, their game playing crap didn't pay off!

Ok, there are several others I would like to mention, then I'll really get on my soapbox! Helen, the winner or as they say the "Biggest Loser" started out at 257 ending at 117 losing 140 of 54.47%, guess sacrificing her daughter was worth it, now that she is $250,000 richer! Helen looked sickly, she has lost too much, having lost an additioal 30 pounds in the last few weeks. She needs to learn the art of maintaining her weight and not continue losing it, there is another extreme, you know! Tara was the third finalist and the absolute favorite to win the entire thing, she won 12 challenges throughout the show, a record. Also, now holds the record for the most weight lost for a female while on The Biggest Loser campus. Over 18 weeks of the show, she never fell below the yellow line, so was never up for elimination. Although, they never say that at least once she would have been had she not won immunity for the week! Tara started the season in tears weighing in at 294 ending at 139 losing 155 or 52.72%. Tara lost 20 pounds since the last weigh in a few weeks ago and missed being The Biggest Loser by just 6 pounds.

Ok, now for my soapbox, this is the part I warned you about earlier! You ready? I AM FAT! I am not ashamed to be FAT! There was a time that I was ashamed to be FAT because everyone around me was ashamed of my being FAT and I thought I was supposed to feel that way, too! I have plenty of family and not so good friends that would constantly bombard me with hypocritical comments about understanding what it is like to be FAT! Some of them even used to be FAT and lost weight, saying this made them more understanding. Ya, right! From my perspective, they quickly forgot what it really was like to be truly FAT! I had one aunt who tried over and over again to get me on one diet or another claiming to be worried about me! Oh brother, you be you and let me be me!

Ok, let me take a minute here to detour to another soapbox, this one about The Biggest Loser. Over and over on the show, you were bombarded with so much negative CRAP about being fat! They give a clear impression that just because a person is FAT they are depressed, lazy, overeaters who "can't" do this or that "because of the weight". ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?! Seriously, it isn't the FAT that is holding anyone back, it is their attitude about being FAT! Do a marathon, I can't, I'm FAT...BULL, even Ron on the show did a marathon...he walked every step of it and had to rest, but he finished it in just over 13 hours! Have a man, get married? BULL, tons (no pun intended) and tons of FAT people are married and a great many of those happily! Some of these marriages are where both partners are FAT and some are not! To the one or more contestants (this year and next) who say that men don't like them because they are FAT....BULL, it is WAY more about YOUR attitude than the number on the scale! Look at the one contestants, Nicole was engaged BEFORE being on the Biggest Loser! There are instances where the man is FAT, which is more common...BUT...there are instances where the woman is the FAT one! Yes, believe it or not, there are men out there that are not scared of FAT women, in fact, I went on a blind date with one that only dated FAT women and he was not FAT himself! He just liked his women to be FAT! I don't remember this guys name and the date pretty much sucked because the gal that set us up was just trying to deter him from her and it didn't work, he really really really liked her! One of this years contestants said she wanted to lose weight so she could have babies...guess what? FAT women have babies, too! It's true, I promise! Kristen was shown as saying, "I was 29 and 360 pounds! What is scarier than that is that I would have told you I was healthy." Honestly, people...FAT people CAN be healthy...but I will admit that not every FAT person is healthy, obviously! Kristen was another favorite being eliminated late in the game as a game move by Mike, the cocky loser boy. She started out at 360 ending at 193 losing 167 or 46.39%, missing the at home prize by just 6 pounds!

The Biggest Loser campus makes huge claims of helping people learn a lifestyle. They justify their 'style' by having Dr H on there. They admit training these contestants like athletes. THEY ARE JUST PEOPLE!!! Tara lost 21 pounds in one week, early on, and I'm sorry, under no circumstances can this be healthy and is definitely not REALISTIC to ordinary people! Nicole went home early on, came back later in the season and won her way back on the show. After just a week on campus and living this lifestyle, she got on the scale to find that she had GAINED 5 pounds!!! Hmmm, that speaks volumes to me!!! Maybe this Biggest Loser lifestyle isn't all it is cracked up to be?!

Ok, back to my FAT soapbox. On BL, a lot of contestants complain about being depressed and that they are dying. We are all dying!!! A lot of people are depressed and many, if not most, of them are not FAT! In 2002, I was introduced to the book Fat!So?. I read it and loved it!!!! My first thought was that everyone who has ever met me has to read this book! If for no other reason than to just understand ME better! I mentioned earlier about the feeling that I should be ashamed of my 'number' on the scale! Well, guess what? I AM NOT ASHAMED!!!! One of the things this book talks about is that it boils down to 4 words: EAT RIGHT AND EXERCISE! Not everyone is meant to be a petite model or whatever your viewpoint in on this subject! Everyone is different in about every way! If you eat right and exercise, your body will do what it is meant to do! Sure, you may lose weight, but you WILL plataeu at some point and maintain the weight that is meant for your body! Ok, more on that book another time.

You may be wondering why I even watched this season of The Biggest Loser? I have asked myself that almost every week. I guess it started because my mom and cousin decided to do the Weight Watchers thing and were trying to work out starting it and so my mom was interested and we happened to watch the season premiere. Now on these silly reality shows, if I happen to see the premiere, I am stuck and I end up watching it all, so there you go. I get caught up in the game side of it! My cousin and my sister are big fans of the show and I'm sure that I may have very well offended them with this post, but they have their opinion and I have mine. This is just another thing we will not be changing each others mind about! Now, as we watched it, sometimes together, I listened to tons of comments that bothered me, but I was a good girl and ignored it all. As I watched the finale tonight, they had a contest for America to choose the final contestant for next season, Erinn, who said "My weight has held me back in relationships. We've done trainers, we've done dietitians, it just doesn't work." Amanda (who won and will be on next season) said, "I've missed out on way too many things because of my weight. I just want to go out there and have fun and do everything a normal girl wants to do, but my life is on hold. I can't do what I want to do because of my weight." Oh my...again, it is the attitude about the weight, not the weight itself!

After reading Fat!So? I gained a new confidence, because it was now ok for me to not be ashamed of my weight! This confidence grew over the years and then I watched this show and with the sidebar comments and the comments on the show, I could hear my brain eat at me with those old doubts. I had to wonder, again, you know the world seems to expect FAT people to be depressed and lazy and overeaters and never EVER happy. One of the biggest impression given by the contestants on the show is that they "thought they were happy", but they were just hiding it! Come on, people, I know several FAT people and there are many of us (some I know and some I don't know personally) that are in fact very happy! REALLY, not hiding it or faking it or whatever, just really happy! We live our lives, we do what we want, if you don't like it is your problem! Ok, with these doubts creeping in, I made the choice to go and read Fat!So? again, so you will see the review right here on my blog soon!

Three more things, my favorites to win were Sione or Filipe, but they weren't that close and that is ok. I have always had a love of the Tongan and Samoan people, but especially since my mission. It is hard for me to not like them. I am happy that these guys are taking what they have learned and trying to help others in their culture. I wish I could find a link to the clip of them doing "the dance"! They rock! After watching the finale, my favorite is David who started the season at 393 ending at 350 losing 43 or 10.94%. He is not my favorite because he lost the least! He is my favorite because he is losing it at a more realistic and healthy rate!!! My mom and cousin did finally start Weight Watchers and they are doing ok, honestly! They don't always seem to think so and I lay a big part of the blame on watching shows like The Biggest Loser for leading many people to very unrealistic expectations in their weight loss journey! On his video, David said, "I just want to live the life of a regular 24 yr old." David, you go on and you live that life! Living life isn't about how much you weight, it is about choices! You can still work on losing weight and live the life YOU want! Finally, Max, who is Ron's other son and Mike's brother...during the season, there was a lot of pressure being placed on this 17 yr old to follow in Mike and Ron's footsteps. Watching the show and watching his face, it was sometimes hard to tell if he really wanted this for himself or if he was just falling to the pressure of everyone else! I hope he can be strong enough to do what HE wants and not what everyone else expects of him! If that is to follow in their footsteps, then good for him, but, please let it be HIS choice!

In closing, some mistake my soapbox to mean that I am against losing weight! I am not, I think there are certain people that may be better off losing some weight. None that I know personally, but I do know they are out there! For myself, I am comfortable with myself and it is my burden to carry, literally. If I can accept it, then it is my opinion that everyone else should respect me enough to accept it, too! I wish my mom and my cousin the best in their goals, but I pray they keep in mind that it is just a number and remind them to please do not let that number define who they are! I respect your choices as I hope you would respect mine and love me anyway! Obviously, this is a HUGE soapbox for me and you WILL be seeing more about it and not just in the review for Fat!So? I make no apologies for the length of this post....and, I am opening the flood gates for the heat I'm about to take for such a post! Bring it on!!!