Friday, December 23, 2011
Last night I met up with some out-of-town friends who I haven't seen in a few years. That wasn't the 'worst night EVER' part of the night. That was actually a really, really nice visit and it was great to see them. I stayed visiting with them until midnight (much later than I had planned, but it was a really enjoyable visit!), and then made the 45-minute trek home. The drive wasn't the 'worst night EVER' part either. The roads were pretty empty and it was smooth sailing all the way home.
I got home a little before one o'clock. The three animals currently living in my home all found me within minutes of my return.
It was quick work getting myself ready for bed.
It was not quite-as-quick work getting the animals ready for bed. I got them outside, walked out onto the grass with one of them, encouraging him to go to the bathroom so he wouldn't wake me up in an hour (which, as it turned out, wouldn't have been an issue - that's a teaser...).
I came up with a genius (literally, in my opinion) idea... And it worked.
Success, and I was ready for bed.
I got in to bed, opened up the window just a little bit (I love fresh, cold air while I'm sleeping) and curled up ready to crash.
My back started itching.
For the next hour I'd settle in, and then have an itching fit where I'd be rubbing my back on the bed trying to scratch it.
During that hour, the visiting cat started meowing at my door. She knew I was inside my room and she wouldn't go away. I ignored her for a while but didn't want her to wake anyone else up so I let her in.
I curled up again and she started circling me on the bed. Purring.
I wasn't sure if this was some cat ritual that meant she was planning on eating me or something, but at that moment I didn't really care. I was too itchy to care.
After the hour of resting, twitching, and rubbing my back on my bed I got up and filled up the bathtub with really warm water. I climbed in and fell asleep.
For about an hour and a half.
It wasn't comfortable sleep, but it was sleep. I woke up because the water had gotten cold. I turned on the water as hot as it would go just to warm up, climbed out, and got ready for bed again - slathering lotion all over so I wouldn't stay dried out from the water I had just soaked in.
I climbed in to bed.
And couldn't fall asleep.
I was itchy again.
I remembered this back-scratcher that my mom had gotten all of us for Christmas last year or the year before. I kept it by my bed but hadn't used it a ton.
Now I will say -
Best. Invention. Ever.
That thing saved my life.
And my sanity.
I scratched that thing up and down my back for a long time. I rolled onto my stomach and started dozing with the scratcher sticking out of the top of my shirt. I wanted it close by in case I had another itching emergency.
At one point I rolled onto my side and the top of the scratcher was resting against my head.
I still wasn't ready to release it to as far away as the floor.
I finally moved it but kept it rightbymybed. Just in case.
Around this time I started feeling hungry. I had gone out to dinner but hadn't eaten a lot because my stomach was still a bit unsettled. And I hadn't planned on being awake for this many hours after dinner.
I started feeling really hungry.
I remembered that a friend had given me some Reese's Christmas trees.
I remembered those Reese's Christmas trees were in my shoulder bag... which was rightbymybed.
I reached over, shuffled things around until I found one, opened it up and started eating it.
While still lying down.
That was the lowest point of the night.
Around 4ish, I ended up finally being able to fall asleep.
I woke up at 8.
I was supposed to be at work by 7.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Watching my friend's cat for a couple weeks. She's a pretty cute little thing and gives me a good purring/cuddle session at least once a day. I got this one today after coming home from work early.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Verdict: really, really good!
Thanks, Bess, for introducing me to the recipe.
And here it is:
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 8 ounce bag of spinach leaves
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 15-ounce can refried beans
- 1 15-ounce can low-sodium black beans, drained
- 10 corn (or whole wheat) tortillas, quartered
- 19 ounces canned enchilada sauce
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- green onions, sliced, for garnishing
- Vegetable oil
Heat approximately 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they become translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the spinach leaves and continue cooking and stirring until they start to wilt. Add the corn and continue cooking until heated through. Set this spinach-corn mixture aside.
Spread one-third of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and top with one-third of the tortillas. Layer with the refried beans, the black beans and half of the remaining enchilada sauce. Top with one-third of the cheese.
Next, layer with half of the remaining tortillas, all of the spinach-corn mixture and half of the remaining cheese. Top with the remaining tortillas, the remaining enchilada sauce and the remaining cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the sauce starts bubbling and the cheese has melted. Garnish with the green onions before serving.
(recipe from Sunset magazine)
So, over the last year or so I've learned that when a recipe calls for vegetables, it normally doesn't matter if you don't use the quantity it calls for. That being said, I'm not sure how much spinach I used, but it was a TON. I just kept dumping it in there. And I used a full onion. I also used more corn than it calls for.
The recipe above is for a 9x13 pan and the one I used was bigger. I also doubled the beans for the bean layer and used two cans of each type instead of just one. I used more tortillas (didn't count how many, but just made each layer pretty covered), but only one can of enchilada sauce. I also used more cheese since it was a bigger pan. But again, quantity isn't that important.
The one change I would make to it when (not if) (: I make it again is that I will add cilantro to one of the layers. I may dump it in with the veggies after they're cooked, or I may mix it in with the beans (speaking of which, I mixed the beans together before putting them in the casserole dish, but I don't think that's necessary). Either way, cilantro (if you like cilantro) would be an excellent addition.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Today a co-worker told me that I was one of the - if not the - nicest people she knows.
I'm not saying this to brag at all, but it got me thinking.
A lot of people have told me I'm nice. I'm glad. I try to be nice.
I don't think there's ever an excuse/reason to be mean.
I've said that before, and I believe it.
But that's what I've started thinking about.
I don't know that I'm as nice to my family as I am to these people that I work with, or go to church with, etc. I make friends with them, and I'm sometimes nicer to them than I am to my family.
Not that I'm mean to my family, but I don't think I'm always as nice to them as I am to others.
I need to work on that.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Strangely enough - I've actually looked at it. A lot. I have it set to list articles from CNN, FoxNews, NYTimes, etc. And sometimes I see some pretty interesting things.
Like the crazy wind storms that have been going on in Utah while I'm not there (yep, I'm still in Denver).
Last night I saw this article that talked about scientists being able to identify changes in photographs. I linked to this article from the original article I saw, and then I linked to this. If nothing else, check out that last link. It may blow your mind. It kinda blew mine (be sure to use the toggle feature. are you excited to see it now? it has a toggle feature.). (:
I think it's pretty cool that rather than just saying that a photo has been touched up, or assuming it has been, they can actually show you the changes.
Here's a teaser from that last link - just in case you haven't clicked on it yet.
But seriously, click on the link. It's more effective if you're toggling between the pictures.
The thing that kills me though - they're still attractive people even when they're not photoshopped. Sure they have more wrinkles and lines, and maybe some scars. That happens to... humans. But it's not enough that they're attractive. They have to look perfect.
Monday, November 28, 2011
If you haven't seen it, you're missing out. (:
There are some awesome races coming up.
Here are some of the races I'm the most excited for -
Friday, November 25, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
- leave work in 7.5 hours (yay!)
- go to verizon to hopefully finally get my blasted phone working properly
- 4:30 - meet friends for frozen yogurt
- 5:30 - get to the temple for my shift in the baptistry (first time back after the last few weeks off)
- 8-??? - play in the regional volleyball tournament (done when we're eliminated, however long that will be)
- afternoon - clean things up, do laundry, clean fish tank, PACK
- evening - hopefully get to friend's birthday party in park city
- 9-12 - church
- 12-??? - visiting teaching stuff
- rest of the day - finish packing (unless i'm done) and relax (hopefully!)
- 10 - plane departs for DENVER
- 11:30 - arrive in DENVER
next 2 weeks and 1 day -
- spend Thanksgiving with my sister and her family, meet my new niece who will be born while i'm there (unless she comes before monday...), and love it!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I find this tragic.
My mission (and I chose to accept it since I assigned it to myself): send her one Christmas song a day starting the day after Thanksgiving (I listen to it earlier - and right this second - but she refuses to do so and I will respect that) all the way until (and including) Christmas day.
I have a list of four songs and artists I would like to include, three artists who I'm going to include but I don't know which song yet, and one song with no artist selected.
At this point, I'm taking suggestions. Comment, text, facebook message, whatever - let me know your favorite Christmas song(s). I reserve the right to refuse. (: But I will listen to each suggestion.
I'm going to try to convert this girl to Christmas music - or at least some of it.
Here's one of the songs I'm going to include -
Oh, and I figure I may as well post them to my blog the day I email them.
Just so I have a record. (:
Monday, November 14, 2011
I turned 30.
And the world didn't end.
I didn't really think it would.
I had a really nice day (couple of days).
It started a day earlier when I was out to lunch with my internship supervisor (turned co-worker). While we were eating she asked when my birthday was (she knew it was coming up) and when I told her it was the next day, she insisted on paying for lunch. Which was really nice.
Thursday (my actual birthday) my mom came up to my office, brought me a plant for my cubicle, and took me out to lunch. We tried a new-to-us restaurant and it was pretty good. Our meals were served with mole sauce which neither of us loved, so I scraped it off of my enchiladas (previously my only mole experience was when it was served to me on top of an iguana omelet... yuck).
Thursday evening a friend arranged for a group of people to go to a frozen yogurt place to celebrate. I had been kind of torn between celebrating and not, but Amber kept offering to do something. So I finally stopped being difficult and let her. And I'm glad I did. It was a lot of fun.
Following that, Amber and I went back to her place where I proceeded to do what I hadn't done in a looooong time - stay up way past midnight. It was after 1:30 by the time I got home. Way too late for a 30-year old. (:
During the day on Thursday I heard from lots of friends and all my family in some way or another. I got two awesome phone messages from a niece and then a nephew singing happy birthday to me. Those are my favorite messages (little kids singing any song really, so feel free to leave random messages of your children singing on my voicemail). (:
The next evening a couple of friends of mine from the master's program wanted to go out to dinner. The three of us have tried to get together about once a month for lunch or something, and they decided to combine it with my birthday. I had taken Friday off from my temple shift in case I needed to crawl into a corner and cry (which never happened, thank goodness). When I got to the restaurant to meet them I saw that they had invited another guy from our program and his family, my parents, and a friend of mine from my ward (thank you facebook for letting people who have never met get in touch).
The surprise was complete with balloons (a must for surprise parties, I'm told) -
And a present from Katie who made this after remembering I mentioned this quote a long time ago saying that I intended to eventually cross stitch it and frame it. And now I don't have to!
I love it.
And I think it's a great addition to this picture grouping.
Thanks to everyone who emailed, called, texted, facebook posted, took me out etc. - or thought about doing any one of those things - to wish me a happy birthday. It was a great couple of days. (:
Thursday, November 10, 2011
In no particular order (and not a comprehensive list)...
I'm blessed because -
- I have grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, in-laws and 21 (soon to be 22!) nieces and nephews whom I love
- I have the gospel in my life
- I have the blessing of being able to repent
- I have been able to work at the temple once a week for a year and a half, and I work with some pretty great people
- I have had really good health for pretty much all of my life
- I have really good friends in my life
- I have had the blessing of being able to get two degrees
- I have two dogs who love me
- My natural hair color looks good on me (:
(that's what my mom tells me)
- I have a body that allows me to push it to do hard things and doesn't hold it against me
(for too long anyway...)
- 1 marathon, 4 half marathons, and multiple 5ks and 10ks, as well as 1 half-marathon relay
- I have working senses that allow me to see, hear, taste, smell and touch beautiful things
- I had an internship that turned into a real job (with benefits!)
- I've learned to be happy in whatever situation I'm in
(it's a process, and sure I have harder times than others, but overall... I think I'm doing pretty well)
- I have never struggled with addiction to harmful substances
- I have a roof over my head and a bed to sleep on
(thanks Mom and Dad!)
- I don't know what it's like to really go hungry
- I have a car that gets me where I need to go
(even with it's recent repairs)
- I have a Savior who lived and died for me because He loves me that much
- I have had one dating relationship in which I learned a lot about myself
(hey, it's more than zero...)
- I learned to drive a motorcycle and got my motorcycle license
(again, thanks Mom and Dad)
- I am a certified SCUBA diver
(ditto to above)
- I have the ability to learn and grow from my experiences and mistakes
- I have the ability to feel joy and pain
- I know how to laugh
- I live in a place where I am surrounded by beautiful things
- I am happy
Happy Thursday (weekend eve!) Everyone!
I hope your day - and your life - is filled with reminders of wonderful and beautiful things around you.
Jesus Christ lives.
And I am so blessed because of it.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
If not, well here you go.
So funny. And so sad.
I love the last two little boys, and how the older one is still really encouraging his brother who tries to add two and two, at the same time he's dealing with his parents eating his candy. So sweet!
Monday, November 7, 2011
This is what I found -
Which led me to this -
Which led me to this.
Modern medicine is truly amazing.
As is the strength found in some people.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
My dogs were out walking around the trail.
Fifteen minutes later I was out the door of my building and on my way to the car to drive the half hour back home. -- With my supervisor's blessing.
This was after I had called my mom who works at home to see if she happened to have any breaks in her morning appointments. -- No answer. Twice.
This was after I had called my neighbor to see if she, by any chance, was home and had time to drive around looking for my dogs. -- She answered (my phone call woke her up), but she had to be out the door in an hour. I told her not to worry about it.
This was after I had called my dad, who also works half an hour away from home but in the opposite direction, to see if he had any ideas on what else to do. -- No answer.
My neighbor sends a text message right as I'm leaving and I call her back. She says she can go look for them after she's gotten ready, but that she'd have to leave by 11 even if she hadn't found the dogs. I appreciated the offer, but told her I was on my way home to look for them.
I called the lady who had left the two messages earlier, asked if she had seen them again (she hadn't) and asked if she would call me again if she did.
My dad called, suggested I call my grandpa who lives next door and let him know in case the dogs decided to come wondering back home. I did.
The lady called when I was two minutes away from the trailhead by the park and said that she had just seen them and she tried to get them to stay with her but they were headed in the opposite direction and wouldn't come. They were headed home.
I looped around to where the trail breaks to cross a street, parked my car, and whistled for them. Nothing.
I drove home, grabbed their leashes, and started walking toward the trailhead where I knew they were last seen. I walk to that same break in the trail where it crosses the road. Nothing. Along the way I ask people if they've seen two rogue dogs. I get a few affirmatives, 'Yeah. A big white dog, and another one in a coat?' 'Yep.' They tell me when and where they saw them (unfortunately nothing more recent than 15 minutes) and I feel good about the direction I'm heading. At the break in the trail I see a lady on the street. I ask her the question, she gives me the same answer. But points in the opposite direction saying she saw them down there about 15 minutes prior.
During this information gathering stage, I hear from a couple of people that there's also a coyote out somewhere along the trail. Dingo kind of looks like a coyote, but I think the coat domesticates him a little bit. I also run into a lady who's looking for her mom's cocker spaniel. I get her number so I can call her if I see her dog. I never did.
By this point I'm wondering how the devil can the dogs be on one side of the trail 15 minutes earlier, and then 5 minutes later I ask someone else who saw them on the other side of the trail 15 minutes earlier.
I start to feel like I'm playing a real live version of 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.'
I don't like it.
When I'm almost back to my house I call my grandpa again who announces, 'They're here. They walked up to me outside about 3 minutes ago.'
Relieved, tired, frustrated, and with the beginnings of a headache, I go talk to my grandpa who said that after he got my call he went outside and saw that his gate had been pushed open by two rotten dogs (my words, not his). He fixed the gate then got in his car and drove around looking for them. After getting home he was standing outside for a minute and they came running up the street toward him. - Dingo sans coat.
While I do appreciate that they stay together (it was hard enough - and I was unsuccessful - at finding one moving target, it'd be that much harder to find two), I hate that they get out and take themselves on a walk. I'm also really, really grateful for people who call to let me know that the dogs are out. That's why I got the ID tags. And I try to do the same when I see a dog running around. Good karma and all that.
And that's my story.
...I'm back at work.
With a headache.
Monday, October 24, 2011
When I told a friend she should come checkout my sweet setup today I had stepped out when she happened to come by. I caught her leaving, and she came back with me and showed me what she had left on my screen:
Friday, October 21, 2011
- Zenhabits and a post encouraging you to 'Toss Productivity Out the Window.' Definitely interesting. A friend posted about it a while ago and I've had it on a tab in my browser ever since.
- An article about how there's not a really great reason to celebrate Columbus day. Another friend linked to this on Columbus day. I'm a bit behind, but stay tuned for a post on how Columbus day saved my life. (:
- Google translate. I'm trying to learn Spanish again...
- This post about a recipe that helps dogs pack on the pounds. Dingo is getting pretty skinny even though he's eating. I'm hoping this will help him beef up a bit. Looks like an appetizing bunch of ingredients, no?
- And this just for fun and just for dreams, right now anyway.
- A princess bride reunion picture. I love it. Saw it on her blog.
I think that does it for now.
ps - When I was younger I used to often have bruises or scrapes that came from unknown reasons. I'm realizing that that's not a thing of the past yet.
Yesterday at work I kept bumping my knee on my desk and it hurt a lot more than it should have. It felt tender to the touch too and I figured I had just bumped it harder than I thought. Last night I finally realized that it was most likely a real bruise (I had pants on so I never actually checked it out) and that it came from me throwing myself on the floor one, two, or maybe three times during a volleyball game on Wednesday. So I guess not technically from an unknown place... just a bad memory. Another sign of aging? Perhaps.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
(I have an audio book about him that I haven't listened to yet. - he was part of a failed assassination attempt on Hitler)
I think it's a great reminder of the need to listen to other people even if (maybe *especially* if?) their viewpoints differ from your own. Not that you have to agree. That's not what I'm saying at all. But I don't know that it's ever harmful to let someone explain where they're coming from. I think it can lead to a greater understanding of and love for your fellow man.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
This morning, the last thing I did before leaving for work was buying a plane ticket to Denver. While I'm not spending my 30th birthday there like I had originally planned to, I will get to be there when my sister has her 7th baby (5th daughter) and makes me an aunt for the 22nd time, as well as Thanksgiving - spending a total of 2 weeks and 1 day there. I must say - I'm pretty excited about it.
Just FYI, Southwest and Delta both have awesome fares to Denver right now. Cost me $115.10 through Southwest - it was $110.10 yesterday when I checked, but I forgot to buy it when I got home from work... oops.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
A counselor in the presidency brought her Richard Simmons Sweatin' to the Oldies DVDs. We put volume 2 on (my favorite is Volume 1, I think... it's been so long...) and started sweating.
I had forgotten how much fun those videos are! I remember doing them with my mom and some siblings. It was so much fun. I loved the music (big Oldies fan here).
So, as an early Halloween present (you are so lucky, who gets Halloween presents?!) I'm giving you this link.
No need to thank me.
Just know that I'll be doing that video sometimes.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, we had a 100% satisfaction rate with that activity. The 6 of us that were there loved it. (:
(read more about Richard here)
Thursday, October 13, 2011
That same day I deactivated my account.
I must say, I'm not really missing it.
Also, when looking for the above image, I found this and this. I must say it seems as though there are really good, legitimate reasons for not having a facebook account, but few that are really great arguments in favor of it... (that second link is pretty cool, showing how the availability of info on facebook has changed over the years - it took me way too long to figure it out, but click on the graphic to see the different years, or click on the years that are in faded letters next to the graphic)
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I don't have to write a report on Columbus day in order to have
A DAY OFF FROM WORK.
The joys of working in a state office.
It will be a very happy Monday. (: I'm planning on using the time to put the principles from 'It's All Too Much' to use in my bedroom.
When I left for work today I still had pillow marks on my face. Let's just say I woke up a bit late.
The last two nights I've gone to sleep after taking a dose of melatonin and Excedrin PM because of a nasty soon-to-be-migraine (I hate how I can feel those coming on, but I guess it's better than being totally blindsided).
Also, I don't remember if I've mentioned it before, but for the past few weeks I've been waking up sans alarm. After sleeping through my 374th snooze one more for the 837th time I realized that the whole alarm thing wasn't really doing it's job.
Now, I don't go to sleep until after saying an urgent 'please-let-me-wake-up-early-enough-for-work-and-maybe-even-early-enough-to-exercise-before-work-like-5:30-would-be-great-but-no-later-than-6-...-20-...-please-please-please-please-please' prayer.
I don't always wake up as early as I'd like (take this morning, for example) but it's almost always been early enough.
And it's soooo much nicer than an alarm clock jerking me awake.
random - last night I had a dream that I wanted to sail from one place to another. It was like a city on water, but not really. I knew the way I had to go over the water was really hard, but I still wanted to go. I was going to go with five other people and the boat was really little. Actually, first we started planning to take a raft-type-thing, but then switched to a small rowboat. For some reason I was really intent on making sure Max could come with us, when at the last second I said it was okay if he didn't. Also, when everyone was ready and we were trying to decide how to fit in the boat I realized that I hadn't packed anything. So we all went over to this big building where I kept my stuff and I tried to make other excuses while I packed my bag - grabbing whatever random stuff I could. It was a weird dream.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
For the last couple of years I've had an account with audible.com. Earlier this year I really started taking advantage of it. Now, almost all of the 'for fun' reading I do is through audio books. It took me a while to get used to it, but now I love it. I've noticed, that just like when I'm reading, I listen to multiple things until one grabs my attention, etc, etc.
Here's what I've been listening to lately - in no particular order (except that it's alphabetical, so I guess that is a particular order...) :
My sister sent me this book years ago thinking that it would help me with my 'issues' (my word, not hers), and I just barely found an audio version of it (not through audible). I've been listening to it for the last few days and I really think it's helping me work through some things. It's a great book for figuring out your current relationship with food, yourself, and your body.
I've heard from a few different sources that this is hilarious. I've just barely gotten into it, and I must say, she's pretty funny.
I've mentioned this book on my blog before. Like here, and here, and even here. It's a great motivator to change your eating to be healthier. So many things can be prevented if you eat a healthy diet (I'm talking real healthy, not fake vegetarian or vegan healthy that is stocked full of pastas and breads - and sadly, I love pastas and breads).
I found this book when I did a search for a feng shui book that my sister asked me to look over so I can help her baby-prep her house when I go visit. I couldn't find the feng shui one, but I've been listening to this one and I really like it. I have a problem with not getting rid of clutter, and I like the way this guy talks about why we have it and how to get rid of it. He used to be on the show Clean Sweep (which I've never seen, but think I might enjoy). I'm also looking forward to listening to his book 'Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?'
No explanation necessary. It's a classic. I'm listening to the unabridged version. It's about 60 hours long.
BIG NEWS - have you heard about this? I'm really pretty excited about it (not that it's 3d, but that they're making a musical movie version). I just really, really hope they don't ruin it. And that the actors can actually sing. I mean really sing. I will say that I'm pretty thrilled with the casting of the lead role.
I read books like this and I think - I have nothing to complain about. So why do I keep complaining? Wow. It's about a Russian girl during WWII. I started listening to it a while ago but it got pushed to the side with some of the others. I'll try to finish it in the next week or so since I have less than an hour and a half left.
There's an in-depth look at my audible app on my phone. I have lots of others yet-to-be-listened to. Some of those include: 'Cary Grant: A Biography,' 'The Story of My Life,' 'Endurance,' 'The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook,' and 'Tears in the Darkness.' Plus more... I'll keep you updated. (:
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
How to Build Self-Discipline
Discipline is freedom. You may disagree with this statement, and if you do you are certainly not alone. For many people discipline is a dirty word that is equated with the absence of freedom. In fact the opposite is true. As Stephen R. Covey once wrote, “the undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites and passions”. And in the longer term, the undisciplined lack the freedom that comes with possessing particular skills and abilities – e.g. to play a musical instrument or speak a foreign language.
Self-discipline involves acting according to what you think instead of how you feel in the moment. Often it involves sacrificing the pleasure and thrill of the moment for what matters most in life. Therefore it is self-discipline that drives you to:
- Work on an idea or project after the initial rush of enthusiasm has faded away
- Go to the gym when all you want to do is lie on the couch and watch TV
- Wake early to work on yourself
- Say “no” when tempted to break your diet
- Only check your email a few of times per day at particular times
In the past self-discipline has been a weakness of mine, and as a result today I find myself lacking the ability to do a number of things which I would like – e.g. to play the guitar. But I have improved, and I can say that it is self-discipline that got me out of bed this morning at 5am to run and then write this article. Believe me, I would love to be curled up in bed right now, but this desire is subordinated by my inner sense of purpose.
If you struggle with self-discipline, the good news is that it can be developed. For example, it is only in the past two years that I have trained myself to wake early. The following are what I have found to be the five traits of self-discipline:
Discipline means behaving according to what you have decided is best, regardless of how you feel in the moment. Therefore the first trait of discipline is self-knowledge. You need to decide what behavior best reflects your goals and values. This process requires introspection and self-analysis, and is most effective when tied to written expression. I highly recommend taking the time to write out your goals, dreams and ambitions. Even better, write out a personal mission statement. I found that writing such a statement gave me a greater understanding of who I am, what I am about and what I value. Dr. Covey has an excellent Mission Statement Builder on his site.
2. Conscious Awareness
Self-discipline depends upon conscious awareness as to both what you are doing and what you are not doing. Think about it. If you aren’t aware your behavior is undisciplined, how will you know to act otherwise?
As you begin to build self-discipline, you may catch yourself being in the act of being undisciplined – e.g. biting your nails, avoiding the gym, eating a piece of cake or checking your email constantly. Developing self-discipline takes time, and the key here is you are aware of your undisciplined behavior. With time this awareness will come earlier, meaning rather than catching yourself in the act of being undisciplined you will have awareness before you act in this way. This gives you the opportunity to make a decision that is in better alignment with your goals and values.
3. Commitment to Self-Discipline
It is not enough to simply write out your goals and values. You must make an internal commitment to them. Otherwise when your alarm clock goes off at 5am you will see no harm in hitting the snooze button for “just another 5 minutes….” Or, when initial rush of enthusiasm has faded away from a project you will struggle to see it through to completion.
If you struggle with commitment, start by making a conscious decision to follow through on what you say you’re going to do – both when you said you would do it and how you said you would do it. Then, I highly recommend putting in place a system to track these commitments. As the saying goes, “What gets measured gets improved”.
Did you notice the sweat dripping from the man in the picture at the start of this article? Make no mistake, self-discipline is often extremely difficult. Moods, appetites and passions can be powerful forces to go against. Therefore self-discipline is highly dependent on courage. Don’t pretend something is easy for you to do when it is in fact very difficult and/ or painful. Instead, find the courage to face this pain and difficulty. As you begin to accumulate small private victories, your self-confidence will grow and the courage that underpins self-discipline will come more naturally.
5. Internal Coaching
Self-talk is often harmful, but it can also be extremely beneficial if you have control of it. When you find yourself being tested, I suggest you talk to yourself, encourage yourself and reassure yourself. After all, it is self-talk that has the ability to remind you of your goals, call up courage, reinforce your commitment and keep you conscious of the task at hand. When I find my discipline being tested, I always recall the following quote: “The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret”. Burn this quote into your memory, and recall in whenever you find yourself being tested. It may change your life.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
It helps if there's someone on the show that I either knew of before and liked, or get to know a little bit about during the show and they seem like good/nice people.
This season it's this guy:
J.R. Martinez was wounded while driving a Humvee while serving as a U.S. Army infantryman and the Humvee hit a landmine. Read more about him here.
via - follow the link and read more about him - plus a video of him
And as a bonus, he seems like a nice guy (I know, I know, what can you tell from a few hours on TV? Probably not a whole lot...). He also seems to have a great attitude, saying things to his partner like - 'I only have one ear, so I can only hear half of what you're saying.' Anyway, I hope he wins this season.
Check out his most recent dance. Week 2, the Jive:
update: he got a 22 on this dance (same as last week)
even though carrie ann was ticked about the lifts at the beginning and len thought it looked more like a lindy hop than a jive
Monday, September 26, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
practice flight -
flight number 3 or 4 (or 5?)
Soooo fun! I loved it. I almost always got nervous before take off (just a little) but I loved being in the air. It was awesome. It's way too expensive to become a hobby for me now (maybe at some point in my life...) but I would love to go on a tandem flight sometime. Alex - my instructor - offered to cut Annikki and me a deal if we ever wanted him to take us up. I'm probably going to take him up on it sometime.
Not all of my take-offs were as flawless as what's in the video. After that flight I hiked up the slope to go on one more flight. The wind was kind of picking up, but Alex said we could get one more in. I was all set to go, got the paraglider up, and the wind picked me up and threw me right back down onto my backside. It was kind of hilarious - and maybe just a little bit painful. He got me re-set up right away, and that time I got the paraglider up, and then the wind started shooting me way over to the left. I thought using the right brake might help compensate for that, and it kind of did... except I shot the brake down way too far, ended up falling down on my right side and getting dragged through the rocks and weeds a little ways until the paraglider decided to come down and join me on the ground. That one was a bit more painful.
Don't worry though, I did end up having a flawless last flight (after the two blunders) and it was awesome. It's not a sport for sissies, and I have the scrapes, bruises, and sore muscles to prove it. (:
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Anyway, I have a friend from my graduate program who is also turning 30. 11 days before I do. We've been commiserating this week about all the aches and pains we're getting. So sad. We're talking like old people.
Just this morning I mentioned to him that I pulled a hamstring while running yesterday. He said he was doing the criss-cross-type of crunches and could feel a pain in his back starting, so he left off the last set.
How sad is that?
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I also want -
- a pudding/cream cheese dessert my mom made last night
- ice cream - cookies and cream
I think that's it.
Am I going to have any of those things?
Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope.*
Because I'm back on 'Eat to Live' as of Monday.
I knew the cravings would come, but ugh...
I'm leaving work in 20 minutes.
I'm stopping at the store on my way home.
I'm buying -
- dog food
No Krispy Kremes, ice cream, etc.
I really hope this craving period ends.
*that's a movie reference, obscure though it may be. probably a jazillion points if you get it.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Check it out -
Justin (my friend) is the next to last when they line up to talk to Regis and Kelly, and the one who helps Regis get in position at the end.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
(*those of you who know me well may know how hard it was to write that title. i refuse to take any food or water into the bathroom. it's disgusting. but read on, and then the title will make sense. :)
For a little over a week I haven't been using shampoo or conditioner on my hair. Don't get freaked out, I'm still clean (promise!). I've just been using an unconventional method.
Ready to hear it?
Well, baking soda in water. 1 Tbsp baking soda for every 2 Tbsp water. About. It's not a scientific process. I put it in a little squirt bottle and shake it up before every use (it separates), and after wetting my hair, I squirt some baking soda/water on my head. Rub it in really well (it's a different feeling and takes a bit getting used to), then rinse it out really well. The post-baking soda/water feeling take a bit of getting used to as well.
A few days after doing this, I read this lady's blog who mentioned putting an apple cider vinegar/water mixture in your hair after washing with baking soda, or lemon juice/water. I put some lemon juice (about 1 Tbsp to every 1 cup of water - again, not scientific so it doesn't really matter) and water in a squirt bottle and after rinsing the baking soda out, I put some of that in. I love how my hair has been feeling. It feels clean and is easier to manage. I'm sold.
Next crazy idea:
brown sugar/honey/olive oil/vanilla body (and face!) scrub.
I've tried this for a few days too (a couple of days without the olive oil, then I saw a recipe with olive oil and I mixed that up last night and used it this morning).
Once again - SOLD.
I love it.
This also separates, but I keep it in a little tupperware-type container and keep a plastic spoon with it so I can just quickly mix it up before using it.
With my hands, I scoop some out and start scrubbing.
My skin felt so soft and moisturized even before getting out of the shower. I didn't put any lotion or any kind of moisturizer on my body or face after getting out of the shower - because I didn't need it.
I know I posted about the greatness of baby oil gel a little while ago, but this trumps that. There's no contest in my opinion. It's really amazing.
One warning with the brown sugar mix - careful about it getting into your hair; or wash your hair after using the body scrub. I got some of the mixture in my hair from my hands and shoulders where my hair touched, and my hair was just a bit oily (because of the olive oil). I'm still going to use the scrub because it's awesome, but I'll probably clip up my hair after washing it just to keep it out of the way.
And the best thing about using these things - if you get really hungry in the shower you can just make yourself a cake or something. (:
Which reminds me of this:
(skip to 2:33 - or a bit later - and watch to the end to see what I'm talking about)
also, in honor of National Honey Month (who knew that even existed?) read here.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Saturday, September 3, 2011
One type of nail painting that I thought was really fun is called water marbling. I got some fun colors today (silver and pink) planning on trying it, but the polish I got just wasn't working (they do say that some are better than others). While looking at tutorials on water marbling, I found this post on tie-dye nails. Soo much easier, and also kind of fun, so I thought I'd try that instead.
Simply - paint two layers of one color on all your nails. Let it dry. Paint one layer of another color on all your nails. Let it dry. Take a q-tip, dip it in nail polish remover, and start rubbing different designs into the nails as you reveal the lower color.
It's kind of growing on me, and I'll probably leave it on for a few days, but I don't think it's my favorite look.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
- a 5 am wake-up and a 7 am wake-up.
I'm feeling it...
Monday night I had lights out at 9:37ish. Yesterday morning I woke up just after 5, went downstairs and exercised, then got ready for the day.
Last night I had lights out at 10:30... this morning woke up at 7:10 (after kind of waking up at 5:30, then 6:20, and deciding that I was just too tired) and rushed through getting ready.
Which did I prefer? The first option for sure. It's amazing how much going to bed just one hour later can change how things happen the next morning.
Tonight's goal: 9:00. Wouldn't that be awesome?
Monday, August 29, 2011
Today, this is why:
:I got an extra hour of sleep (it was because I slept in, but I still got an extra hour - and I got to work on time)
:I had a really good lunch (just a microwaved meal, but it was good)
:I finally got the dogs out on a walk - a two-miler - and it felt awesome (they seemed to really enjoy it too and Dingo only started lagging at the very end - it helped him that we walked to the park for my ward's home evening and had a nice break between the miles)
:I got to play volleyball (well, there was no net, but we made a passing circle - and it was a lot of fun)
:I saw the start of the tons of beautiful sunflowers we get near the trail (I've decided that if I get married in August or September, I'm just going to cut a bunch of the sunflowers and use those as my wedding flowers)
:I got told about this crazy article from this friend who had a cute post today (I'm surprised that I'm still surprised at people's stupidity. And who's the genius lawyer who thought the kids actually had a case?)
:I got to read this post from another friend and I love reading her posts
:I feel tired (like, muscle-tired, which is awesome. it's been way too long...)
:I'm in bed and all ready for bed and it's not even 9 o'clock (lights off by 9:30)
This has been a good day.
Yay for Mondays!
Saturday, August 27, 2011
I went back East about... five years ago to visit my sister in Delaware. Part of the trip included a drive to upstate New York. We stopped at Niagara Falls and while we were there we grabbed food at a concessions stand. There were tons of sparrows around picking up dropped crumbs. I had a soft pretzel (I love those things) and started pulling off pieces to feed to them. I figured they were pretty used to people so I put a small piece on the tip of my fingers to see if they'd eat it. They did. I tried it a few times, and always, some brave little sparrow would hop up, grab the piece, and hop back. This picture was taken right after one of those sparrows grabbed the food. I got this picture off my gmail account, but I'm hoping I have a better one (normal-sized) somewhere...
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
- I got to work a bit after 7.
- I worked.
- I had lunch with my supervisor and we were able to catch up.
- I got back to work.
- I presented the chocolate mousse I had made for my coworkers.
- It was eaten and loved.
- I kept working.
- I almost fell asleep at my computer.
~ A few times. ~
- I took a quick walking break around the neighboring park with a friend.
- I got back to work.
- I started packing up to leave around 5.30.
~ The earliest I've left work in two weeks. ~
- I took a former schoolmate and current coworker home.
- I almost stopped at the red cross to donate blood since it's been a while.
- I got home and saw that my dad had donated blood at a ward member's eagle scout project.
- I left home and went to donate blood.
- I was the last one to donate so they started packing things up while they were finishing up with me.
- They packed up all the treats.
~ I never eat the treats anyway, but I felt like they could have at least waited until I was done. ~
- I was late to a presidency meeting because I was 'making a difference.'
- I went out to visit some people in the ward.
~ No one was home. ~
- I stopped by the store to pick something up for my dad.
~ They didn't have it. ~
- I went to another store.
- I got home.
- My hoped-for 'short' day turned into a 14+ -hour day.
- I was grumpy when I got home.
- I felt self-righteous in my grumpiness because things hadn't gone like I had planned/hoped they would.
- I realized I hadn't eaten anything since my lunchtime (I had skipped out on the mousse at work)
- I had enough of my mind with me that I wouldn't let myself eat the leftover chocolate mousse that was sitting in the fridge because I knew that the way I felt then I'd probably finish what was left and then feel sick about doing it.
- I realized that it's days like this that it really counts for me to not be grumpy.
~ see Mom, some of the things you taught me really did stick ~
- Anyone can be un-grumpy when things are going well.
- I made the necessary apologies.
- I started crying.
~ I'm not a big crier. ~
- I'm just so blasted tired.
~ Good night. ~
I love this picture
So, I've been losing weight recently. Hallelujah. It hasn't melted off, but it's been fairly steady, and that's healthy and longer-lasting, right? It's all been through the way I'm eating* since I haven't taken time to throw exercise into the mix. I'm hoping I can make that change soon since I just feel better when I'm exercising. I was telling a friend the other day that the minute I exercise, I feel like I'm thinner. Exercise is like magic in that way.
Anyway, back to how I'm eating, and balance...
I've been eating mostly raw and/or whole foods. Lots of salads, fruit, beans, etc. I feel a lot better when I'm eating better things (go figure) but what I'm trying to figure out is amounts. Based on my weight watchers training, there's a certain amount of 'points food' we should eat a day. When I tried that equation it worked great for me. So I'm still keeping that in my mind as I'm working to lose weight. But, most the foods I'm eating are zero points. All vegetables - with the exception of corn, potatoes, etc. (really starchy veggies) are zero points, and all fruits - with the exception of avocados (I think that's the only exception) are zero points too. My daily points target right now - according to weight watchers - is 32. So... if I'm eating mostly zero point foods, I'm having a hard time meeting that target. Beans are not zero points - a can of black beans is 8, and a can of kidney beans is 9, etc. - so when I eat those, I'm getting something. I also will eat 9-grain bread from bountiful baskets that is amazing - and also not zero points.
Here's the problem. I'm eating so well, but I don't know that I'm eating enough. I've noticed that on days where I've eaten more non-zero point food than I thought I should I've actually dropped more weight than on days where I'm restricting so much what I eat and sticking to almost all zero-point food.
Obviously there's a balance in there somewhere that I need to find. Since I've started this internship I've had to bring food to work with me. The first month+ it was because they didn't have any kind of cafeteria or vending machines to eat from. Which was probably a good thing. Now, I'm in a building with a cafeteria but I'm still bringing my food since it's so much better.
I try to space out my meals so I'm not eating everything at once, but I'll have my salad or fruit sometime between 11:30 and noon, and then another part of meal around 1 or so... but I've noticed that when I feel hungry and I haven't 'scheduled' my eating, I ignore it until I want to eat. I'm not sure that this is the best approach. Especially when I'm eating all good things**, then it probably really doesn't matter if I'm eating when I think I should as opposed to eating when my body needs to.
I hope this makes sense. I'm still trying to work it out in my head, but I think I'm on the right track.
*I've focused on 'Eating to Live' before and had amazing results. Good things happen when you eat good foods!
**I don't want to deceive anyone into thinking that I'm eating 100% healthy, all the time, because that's not true. But I must say I'm eating pretty blasted well these days.