Obligatory Thanksgiving post

Thanksgiving was actually quite lovely this year. We started off with a blip--fought with my mom about pies. She made the pies, and I was made cuz I wanted to make the pies! But we kissed, made up, and I told her under no uncertain circumstances that I am making pies for Christmas. (Love you, Mom!)

We had dinner at my Grandma's house up in Bountiful. We haven't done that in AGES, since I was a little kid. My cousins kept having kids and we outgrew their house, so everybody stopped going to Grandma's and started having Thanksgiving with their own families. Well, now we've got a bunch of empty nesters. So I had a couple aunts and uncles there with their last remaining unmarried adult-children, and my parents and I. It was different, but pleasant. Very low-key.

My grandma got her hands on a bunch of 8mm film and had Costco turn them into DVDs. So we watched some home videos from 1959--my dad was 4 years old. And he was a charmer! (which, if you know my dad at all, is surprising. He's so quiet now!) But it was so fun to watch these videos, to see my aunts and uncles at these young ages. And my grandparents! So young, so cute. And so formal! Part of the video was a visit to the zoo. The men wore suits to the zoo! And the women and girls were all in skirts and dresses. My grandma was so dainty, it was cute. It was really just a different time.

On Friday, I went up to Ogden to spend the weekend with my best friend Melissa. LOVE HER. Can't even tell you. Friday night we dorked around, played this weird game called Quelf (which I won) and Ticket to Ride, my favorite game ever (which I did not win). On Saturday, I watched while Melissa and her dad hung the Christmas lights on their house. Melissa wanted me to go up on the roof, but heights and I are not good friends. So I stayed on the ground and WROTE--and it was awesome, climatical goodness. That afternoon, Liss and I did a little shopping, but got very little. That evening, we went to see New Moon again. We ended up at a later showing, so we went to the Fat Cats arcade for an hour or so, where we played Deal or No Deal. I know its retarded, but its still strangely amusing. I got some more of these mini mechanical pencils that I have come to love, and a plastic dagger that amused me greatly. Then it was back over to the movie, which was enjoyable. I have now gotten my fill of Taylor Lautner's abs and can move on. ;)

I went to church with Melissa and then departed southward. I spent the evening with my birthdad & co. The majority of our time was spent watching the Steelers game. My b-dad is a Steelers fanatic. It's funny. I am slowly growing to appreciate football. Maybe one day I'll actually go to a game! Haha. We'll see.

And throughout the weekend, I was pretty much on my phone nonstop IMing or texting Grady. He's turning me into a Crackberry addict by association! But that's life, I guess. :P All in all, it was a great holiday weekend. I'm looking forward to Christmas!



Five days left in November, and I just hit 50k! Kick-butt-boo-yah!

Now back to writing....


I like to be chill.

There is so much drama in the world, in my life. So little of it has anything to do with me. Drama surrounds me like a haze. I guess I experience drama vicariously through others. Roommates. Friends. Coworkers. My mother. (Love you Mom!) I guess I have my own share of drama. But I imagine myself (my own construct) to be pretty low-key in this regard. I may be crazy-crazy-busy, but despite this, I still have a low modicum of drama. In proportion to the aforementioned people in my life.

I think I like it better this way.

PS: The title of this blog has nothing to do with temperature. I'm finding this winter that I am cold ALL THE TIME and it's driving me crazy. I'm becoming like Whitnee, which is NOT exciting. Grady says I'm a wuss. He's probably right. But regardless, I do NOT like to be cold.


Giving Thanks

It's that season of Thanks Giving. Some of my friends have been making daily posts about things for which they are thankful. I haven't had the time or energy for daily posts, but I thought I'd take some time today to tell you some of the things for which I'm especially grateful this year.

My job. Sometimes I don't give enough credit to my job. First of all, I HAVE a job! I love my coworkers, they're the best. And I love everything else that I get to do at my job!

My family. I absolutely adore my parents. They are the shiz. I really appreciate their love and their support--letting me "shop" in their pantry, my dad coming over to fix the furnace at my apartment, my mom taking me out to lunch. Seriously...the shiz. And all my other family as well! My birthfamily, my cousins, my Jacksons, my grandma...everybody. You. Are. Awesome.

My roommates and my friends. I think sometimes I take for granted how many friends I have. I am so grateful for their love, for their interest in me, for their kind words, for their invitations to activities even when I can't come. I am very blessed in the friend department.

Taekwondo! I am incredibly grateful that I've been able to get back into Taekwondo this year, and that I've been given the opportunity to teach, and work toward my second degree black belt. It's a challenge. And it takes a great deal of my time. But the opportunity is one which I value very much.

My afore-linked volunteer work. I've actually been feeling particularly grateful this week that I've been given this ability and means to help people in such a personal way. It's important to me. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the trust that has been given to me to shepherd people in need.

My Church. I can't make a thankful-list without this one. I am grateful always for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the security in my life that is offered by my faith. This is a huge one I could go on and on about. =)

Let's see--some other things for which I am grateful:

-Heat in my house!
-Tithing settlements.
-Well, just my ward in general.
-Awesome books. I love books.
-Awesome movies. (ie STAR TREK)
-The piano, and my ability to play it.
-Learning how to cook.
-NaNoWriMo making me write.
-The Ensign. It's awesome.
-My cell phone. And having the internet on it.
-My awesome, awesome, awesome car. I LOVE my car.
-The season of Autumn. That smell, that crispness in the air, the colors of the leaves, all of it.
-Hot chocolate.
-Well, chocolate in general.
-Being able to have a fire in the fireplace with the flip of a switch. Sooo nice.
-Fun-filled days.
-Being a girl. Even though I hate it sometimes, I really do like being a girl.
-Bloggers. I love reading blogs. Especially adoption blogs, and my friends' blogs.
-The holiday season.
-Going shopping with my mother.
-Getting to speak at conferences. (TEDx is in 2 weeks! eeek)
-Pea coats.
-Hand sanitizer.
-Music! All kinds of music, from MoTab to Metallica. And listening to it really loud, in my car or at home with my roomies.
-Dating an awesome guy. =)

There is much to be grateful for, all year round. But I'm glad that Thanksgiving gives me the excuse to air some of them out. Oh, and make pie. I'm becoming something of a pie snob, but I honestly think homemade pies (when done right) are better than storebought pies. And I do love to make pie. =)

Happy Holidays!



The long-promised pics of Writing Camp! The roomies and I, writing away.

My novel is coming along quite nicely. I hit 30,000 words yesterday and have pressed onward. Having good times!


NaNoWriMo: Week One

My dear friends, we are coming to the conclusion of NaNoWriMo's first week. I have spent the last seven days writing, and I have to tell you, I'm feeling great.

Anna, my fabulous roommate, has become my writing buddy, and I think writing buddies make all the difference in the world. Our dining room table has become writing camp. We have a lamp (it kind of feels like an interrogation light, not gonna lie), and all sorts of cables. Music and food abound. We share ideas and lines and plots from our novels. We encourage each other. We spend our late-nights together at the table, writing.

It's going pretty well before. I've stayed ahead of the daily quota, though not as high as I'd like to be. Although if I'm being honest with myself, I'm doing REALLY well considering the chaos that is my life right now. Last year I wrote more, but last year I didn't have work AND taekwondo AND dating AND roommates to hang with and whatnot. So I think I'm doing myself proud.

The story is coming along nicely. I'm really happy with most of the characters, and the plot is developing in some interesting ways. So I'm just plugging along and having a good old time.

I'm hoping to post some pictures soon--I want to show you the funsies that is our writing camp. =)



Board Breaking Extravaganza--check out the awesome videos

This weekend at Beyond Sports, we're having a Board Breaking Extravaganza! Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Well, it is! We've invited all our students to come--and to invite all their friends to come too! Everybody comes, and we spend the first part of the event teaching them how to break boards--or in the case of our students, how to perform a new break they've never done before. We practice and get ready. Then we spent the next half BREAKING--everybody who comes gets at least 2 boards, and they perform the breaks they've been taught. We're going to go through half a forest's worth of board, I tell ya.

So, for black belt test, we all have to break 10 boards. That's right, 10. Those testing for their 1st degree plan out in advance which kicks and hand techniques they will use to break their 10 boards. They plan the setup (which is more important than you might guess) so that their breaking makes an interesting performance, without a bunch of shuffling in the middle. At testing, they have 5 minutes to set up their boards with their board holders, practice, and break all 10. If any of their boards don't break, they lose points. If it takes longer than 5 minutes, they lose points. Points are awarded for good technique, power, and the boards breaking.

This weekend is a dry run for testing. All the kids testing for their black belts in January get to do all their breaks, just like they would for testing. It helps us evaluate where they're at with breaking, and if we need to adjust any of their choices.

For me, things are a little different. At black belt testing, I will be sent into another room. My head instructor will set up an arrangement of boards (and bricks!). Then I will come back into the room. I will have 2 minutes to break all the boards (and bricks!) I get judged on having good technique, but I also get judged on how challenging the techniques are that I choose (on the spot!) to break with. I am judged on my performance--how flashy I can make it, on the spot.

This weekend, though, I get to pick my breaks. I am doing 10 boards also (no bricks...my hands aren't conditioned enough quite yet!) Last night I sat down to decide what breaks to use this weekend. My instructor told me to choose things that will challenge me. And so I have!

First will be a blindfolded jump back kick. (This clip made me laugh! Now imagine, no gear--WITH blindfold--through a board.)

Next is a double jump front snap kick. (Couldn't find a good vid, sorry)

The next one is kinda fun. I will toss a board into the air, and as it comes down, I will break it with a ridge hand.

Following that, I will break 3 boards with a palm strike. This is how I will break bricks at my black belt test.

And last I will break 3 boards with a triple spin hook kick. (This one is crazy-sauce, but will be awesome if I can pull it off.)

All I have to say after all that is: board breaking is awesome, and Taekwondo is the shiz!



Halloween is a ridiculous holiday, but it still can be incredibly enjoyable.

It's easily the biggest holiday celebration at my workplace, which is kind of random. On Friday, we had a huge Halloween party. There were contests for desk decorating, best costume, and pumpkin carving, and we had a great barbeque, with trick-or-treating for kids and adults alike. Cindy and I, the Front Office Team, won the pumpkin carving contest with our cannibal pumpkin:

The costumes at work were pretty exciting, I'm not going to lie. I never hoped to win, but it was still fun--especially because I got to be in my PJs all day. =)

On Halloween itself, Grady and I went up to SLC. It was his first time meeting the Peeps, or my college friends. We watched "Little Shop of Horrors" and then we took Trax downtown to Studio 600, a dry dance club that was having a big Halloween party. My friend Justin was a huge hit--he was Optimus Prime for Halloween. This was an AWESOME costume. He was like a Disneyland character, everybody wanted pictures with him. We found out after we got there that there was a costume contest--and Justin won, hands down.

We had an awesome time. We danced for awhile, but then we went and spent most of the evening in the karaoke room. We had pizza and virgin bloody pina coladas. We played a little foozball, goofed around, and just had fun. We almost missed the last train home, which was a little alarming. Being stuck in downtown Salt Lake City at 1 am without any way to get home would NOT have been fun. Fortunately, we caught the last train and headed home. All in all, a great evening.