: I was fine about January coming until I got to work today. Ackkkkkk! I have first-of-the-month stuff and first-of-the-year stuff, plus things I've been putting off because I thought I would have more time in January than in December.

The good news is, Kandis is back a day early.

: Not surprisingly enough, I am now bored. I brought a ton of work to do up front while I am babysitting the switchboard, but I managed to finish it in just 45 minutes. I am now going to cut out snowflakes to decorate my ugly calendar board. The good news is, this isn't my job anymore. How did I do this for five hours a day, every day??

[Comments] (4) : I am enjoying my new CD (Dar Williams) from Sumana. It makes me laugh. My favorite line is "Now when Christians sit with Pagans only pumpkin pies are burning."

[Comments] (6) : The good thing about snow is that Utah is less ugly with it. I also think it's cool that you can see the same in the daytime and at night. The bad thing is just about everything else. I hate driving in it. I hate getting all slushy trying to get to my car. But it's pretty. We've had probably 8 inches here at work and it's still coming down.

[Comments] (2) : Yesterday was, like, the best mail day ever (in married life at least, since we don't *live* for mail. We got a letter from Aunt Anne, a paycheck, our first Newsweek (Mom, I think it's so cute that you put it in John's name!), a pair of slippers and our cruise info. John bought me a pair of slippers at Nordstrom. They didn't have my size, but it was only $3 to ship them to us. Oddly enough, they came from the Mission Viejo store, which is where Jamie and Davie live. Don't worry, Sumana, he is saving the gift card for himself.

We are very excited about our cruise. I think we got a good deal, and that we are going at a great time, price and weather and schedule wise. Speaking of fancy vacations to Mexico, Brook and Erin are going to Cancun next week, and we get to watch the kids for the weekend. Erin's parents are taking over after that. Speaking of the fam, we are going up for Nathan's birthday tomorrow.

[Comments] (5) Pesto!: Last night I made Spinach Pesto a la Aunt Jeuney (although her recipe calls for basil). I'm not sure if this is the recipe I used last time. But for all of Leonard's obsession with pesto, he doesn't have an actual recipe posted anywhere. Here is mine: Some nuts. Some garlic. Some salt. Some lemon juice. Some green stuff. Mix in blender, pouring oil in. This is very hard to make in the blender. I'm not sure I would use a food processor for anything else, though, so I'm not going to buy one. But I might accept a hand-me-down. Anyway, it was quite yummy, John loved it, and there is a ton of it left. I filled three of our little tiny tupperware, and made seven ice cubes. I used MacNut Oil, and Gilroy Garlic. It was very garlicky.

I also made an Eclair Cake. I was on a roll. I love Eclair Cake.

: Snow is all gone. It had been raining. The weather is lovely- just a sprinkling of rain, and it's nearly 50° outside. Today will busy day, but I forgot about that and slept in. I mostly slept in cause John kept not getting up, so I thought it was ok if I didn't. But he doesn't have class until 11.

[Comments] (1) : I've been cooking since I got home! I can't believe lasagne takes this long, but it's just as well because John isn't home from class yet. I made Aunt Jeuney's recipe in my box, and some garlic bread and more spinach salad. I also used leftover pasta and made some pasta salad.

We had leftover pasta (little shells) from the stroganoff. I also had an extra piece of lasagne, and for some reason, didn't think I would have enough and made half a box of big shells to stuff just in case. I cut all of it into tiny pieces for the pasta salad. It's not the yummiest thing I've ever made, but I'm sure I'll eat all of it.

[Comments] (3) : Last night, when I was trying to cut up spinach for the lasagne, I tried to cut my thumb off. Luckily, I have abnormally short thumbs, and even shorter fingernails. I just got a big scratch in my fingernail, which I have apparently already chewed off. I really need to quit biting my nails.

Dum De Dum: For having so much to do I am doing so little. I suspect this is because I am waiting on my boss, but I won't blame it on her. I finally changed the January calendar though. I changed the actual calendar on the 3rd, but I still had red and green crepe paper up.

It's payday! John gets paid every week, which is nice, but it's especially nice when I also get paid.

[Comments] (4) The Beginnings of a Wonderful Day: An old Turkish proverb says "All good things begin with... Cheesecake!" When I got to work, I went around unlocking everyone's office, and the door to our lobby. There comes Tina down the hall with her cart, cleaning up from a meeting yesterday, and offers me two pieces of Cheesecake Factory cheesecake. (I don't know what kind, chocolate with chocolate pieces and syrup on the top.) She also gave me two "Carb-Friendly" yogurts.

By the way, she says she got the cheesecake at Sam's. I fully excepted the company had it shipped just for whatever meeting.

[Comments] (4) : I am eating my Christmas goldfish, which I've been saving in my desk for an emergency. This can hardly be classified as an emergency, seeing as I'm being taken out for Sushi (or stir-fry in my case) in 18 minutes, but I'm starving!! Fishies!

Yes, I realize I could be eating cheesecake... I'm saving it!

[Comments] (4) : I can't believe it's been nearly a week since I've updated. So I guess I'd better.

I've been very busy at work. I thought the tide of HR work was supposed to ebb in January, but it hasn't happened yet; I just feel busier than ever. Luckily being busy is very motivating to me.

Last night we got to watch Lily for a little while. She is so adorable! John is already a better parent than I'll ever be. Maybe I'll catch up when he is working late during busy season, or studying for the CPA exam.

Drinking Umcka. Can't get sick.

: Even though I've been very tired lately, just about falling asleep at my desk every afternoon, I came home with lots of energy today. I made John dinner (chicken pockets with rice and brown-sugar glazed carrots), went grocery shopping, did the dishes and tidied up. Now my feet are catching up with the rest of me.

At the grocery store, I was looking to see if the potsticker wrappers were on sale (are they ever?) and I noticed two things: First, Macey's has decided to carry Yakisoba noodles- hurray! Second, there was an entire line of juices (in the produce section, right next to the wontons) put out by Bolthouse farms. Fancy, expensive juices. Who knew.

I bought some kiwis. Maybe the vitamin C will help my throat. We have been married nearly 18 months and just opened our second regular-sized box of dishwasher detergent.

[Comments] (9) Bookworm: Last night I finished reading The Work and the Glory. I was so proud of myself I counted up all the pages- 5,261 pages in 9 books. John is already encouraging me to read other serieses, I think partly to discourage me from reading Harry Potter for what he claims is the 7th time, but I think I am going to take a break from reading for a while. I think I will get ahead on my crocheting and card-making and scrapbooking for now.

When I get into reading, all I do is read. When we were first married John thought I didn't like reading because I never did, but I've gotten into it since then and proved him wrong. I think it's been about a year. I've read seven Chronicles of Narnia, five Harry Potter, eleven Series of Unfortunate Events, The Lord of the Rings, about ten novels about the Amish, two movie-ized books after seeing the movie, The Book of Mormon and nine The Work and the Glory. And about 50 magazines.

If there are 5,261 pages to read in a series, I don't do much else in my spare time until I've read 5,261 pages. I need a break.

: Last week at Logan's basketball game, John was looking at an I Spy book with Ember. I saw a little wooden horse on wheels (toy Trojan horse!) in one of the pictures and said "that's just like our little hedgehog" I got in my stocking at Christmas. Sure enough, one of the items to look for was a "wooden porcupine", and there it was. I still think it's a hedgehog, though. Little did Leonard know when he stopped at that yard sale he would find a famous hedgehog!

[Comments] (4) : I've been sick this weekend, so it has been good to relax. On Saturday, I slept in, then cleaned the house while John was taking his test. We went out to dinner and then to see Saints and Soilders, which I liked but John wasn't in the mood for. Between dinner, the movie, and a Shopko-purchased treat, we only spent $10- not bad.

We had Matt and Celeste, some neighbors, over for dinner. I made stroganoff and Raspberry Spinach Salad with poppy-seed dressing. I actually followed the recipe for the dressing this time, only I halved it, and it still made 1 1/2 cups. But it turned out a lot better following the recipe. Can you tell we love the stroganoff?

: I am already out of Kleen*sneeze*ex. I guess I am going to have to take a walk to the supply closet to get some company-issued tissues. Poor nose.

I've noticed that I tend to do the things that take up space on my desk first, because they sit there and bother me.

[Comments] (4) : Yesterday I was reading some articles on resume-writing, and this is so true! Then I decided to get another email address, although that's not one of the things that bothers me. Unless it's like "Iamthemacdaddy@Imnumber1.com" or something.

Probably the things that bug me most are unqualified candidates (especially those who think they are), long paragraphs, and non-Word formats (I can't open them). Linda is slowly taking over most of recruiting, so my experience in that area is starting to dwindle. Just as well though; I have plenty of other things to do.

: Today the long strip of bright greenness on the mountain reached Springville. Actually, it may have been a while ago, but I haven't seen the mountain in several days due to the haze. I also learned that they are putting in a new gas line and the green stuff is seed, to prevent landslides.

Speaking of haze, yuck! It rained today, so hopefully it will clear up a little. The other day I was driving home from work and I looked directly at the sun and at first thought it was the moon. That's how sick the air has been here.

[Comments] (2) : Jodi spent the night with us last night, so we ended up staying up pretty late talking. Franco is out playing with his guy friends, so we are sitting around watching John do homework.

Monday is our 18-month Anniversary. We are going to Red Lobster for lunch, and to see "National Treasure" to celebrate.

Thanks to Joe, I have a new gmail account. Email me!

We are planning to go down to Bakersfield for President's Day. Hope to see some of you there!

[Comments] (3) *gasp*: I finally have a moment to catch my breath. Today has flown by, as did yesterday. Yesterday I spent the morning covering the switchboard and finding other people to cover it (both operators were sick), and the afternoon verifying every single number on every single W-2. Twice. Then I went home.

Today we've been trying to, as Linda put it, catch up on our real jobs. I took back some recruiting stuff from her so she could do benefits, and I also have to do five salary surveys. I guess I'll get to work on that now.

I gave John a ride to school today because he had to take his big tax books, which remind me of the big compensation books, which are very expensive, which is why we do the surveys (to get a discount).

[Comments] (5) Ahhhh: Today I got to sleep in to my heart's desire, and it was great. John left to take a test after I got up, so I've been cleaning and running some errands, including renting Catch Me if You Can for tonight. This week has been so busy, I am excited for John to have a short break in tests so we can spend some time together.

On Thursday I checked out The DaVinci Code and was unable to put it down. Of course, reading it before bed got me a little scared, so I didn't let myself read any yesterday. I looked up some of the paintings it refers to online, and am now less scared, so I guess I can finish it now. I think it's pretty good, I like figuring out the mysteries and such. But I'm not taking any of it to heart.

[Comments] (4) : John and I made Fried Ice Cream tonight. Essentially, you scoop the ice cream into balls, roll it in cornflakes and deep fry it. It was yummy, but too much work for every night.

I painted my toenails orange. They have been naked for quite sometime, and I thought it was about time they had some fun. I also painted nine of my fingernails. The tenth hidden under a Band-aid, due to an unfortunate incident this morning involving a tomato. And a knife. My goal in painting my fingernails is to embarrass myself by their obvious and atrocious shortness enough to stop biting them. Hey, it could happen.

Back when I worked in the dishroom, I was always accessorizing with Band-Aids. I went through a box at least every month. Of course, half of that was also biting my nails too much. I really need to stop.

I have been doing a LOT of data entry at work lately. I definitely think my ten-key is improving. The problem is that I already type faster than anyone in my department (we are stuck with this project because of the confidential nature), and that means more of it for me. I like being busy, but I get so bored sitting at my computer typing boring numbers for hours at a time. And to think I was looking for a data entry job. I am so lucky.

[Comments] (2) : It seems like I never update anymore, even though I still think "why doesn't anyone else update?" Another incredibly busy week at work. But I only have one more page of numbers to read! (After all the data entry (again) we had to verify every number (again) twice (again)). Yesterday I spent 2 hours doing my job- store order, resumes, itineraries, and mail. It was great! I felt so productive, after sitting in our conference room reading numbers for four days straight.

We are having some of John's old roommates and their wives over for dinner tomorrow. I am making taco soup. My P. Chef party is Thursday (if anyone wants anything!) and we are going to make Mexican Chocolate Pies and Taco Dip, yummy. But what I am most excited about this week (besides finishing our numbers project) is going to California! yay!

[Comments] (1) : John and I went to a new place for dinner tonight. It was a soup/salad/sandwich place called Zupa's that just opened this week. We were out and about buying scrapbook stuff- the traffic was terrible and everywhere was crowded, but this place was relatively empty. While the tomato basil soup did not compare to The Soup Kitchen, it was still yummy, and I loved my salad. I was going to get a sandwich, but they didn't have sandwich bread yet... Anyway, go try it if you're around.

: One thing I really like about gmail is that it puts up a message box if the internet is out, instead of trying to send it and then losing it. It's great, since our internet is always going out.

: Even though we both said we weren't getting anything for each other for Valentine's Day, John brought me home flowers last night! They are so pretty and I am excited to show them off when everyone comes to my PC party on Thursday. I am excited for my party, for treats, to hang out with everyone, and to get free stuff.

[Comments] (7) : I asked John what he was making me for dinner and he said "Yummy Balls!" which are, of course, pre-made in the freezer. I will use that question in the future to get him to give me ideas for dinner. We are also having aspargus with hollandaise sauce, because aspargus was on sale.

It feels like it is practically the weekend because my party is on Thursday and Friday we are driving to CA. I've been giving myself fun projects at work, like cleaning out old files. I am even determined to organize our miserable and hopeless file room, mostly with the help of the company records retention room- We never look at it- why should it be in my way when I'm filing?

We went up to the retention room today, Linda and I. She hadn't been up there in about four years, which is probably why she forgot that our stuff was in a different room in the back. We spent 5 minutes wandering around looking for a Human Resources spot, only to find four entire shelves for us in the other room. I am excited to use those shelves to get rid of the junk in our back room.

[Comments] (3) I am becoming boring: I never write anything anymore. Well, one exciting thing: I finally made tomato-fennel soup today. It was pretty good, but I made a huge mess, even with the blender less than half full. I did like the croutons though. I bought the fennel in Bakersfield.

We had a great trip. We spent lots of quality time with Mom and Grandma learning about Grandma Della, Grandma Rachel, and Grandma Susanna. All Grandma remembers about Grandma Susanna is that she was honery and she has a picture of her sitting on the porch with a gun on her lap.

Work is going well. I am keeping very busy by picking up old filing anytime I find myself with nothing to do. I like being busy, but I suspect I will eventually even run out of filing.

[Comments] (6) Unboring: ok, ok, fine.

Today our insurance brokers came and took us to lunch. I insisted we get mexican, because I had to slave in the cafeteria over fajita toppings all morning and then didn't get any. It was yummy and I learned about some state propositions affecting insurance plans.

I have spent most of my freetime at work (I think most of my time is pretty discretionary) doing ancient filing. Today I did old encapsulation tests and exit interviews, which were filed together instead of in individual personnel files. As boring as it sounds (or should I not use the word anymore?) I enjoy filing. I especially enjoy finding mistakes and fixing stuff (files in the wrong year, wrong order etc). It makes me feel organized.

Enrichment is tonight and we are doing yoga.

: Kathy wrote a quote on the board for us the other day: "We'll reach success by taking small steps, so let's take them quickly!"

: Hanging out briefly while waiting for Kathy to finish her part of a project we are working on. Luckily we are almost done with the part I'm relying on her for, and then I can go home and finish the rest while she is gone next week.

We are working on something confidential and I am securing it. I learned how to password-protect read-only cells in an Excel sheet so people don't accidentally change stuff, but can still change the stuff we want them to change. I also made a big list of passwords (and password-protected the file) so we can put passwords on each individual file. I also have to send out voicemails to everyone with their password.

I like figuring out how to do new things in programs, although I realized when I was halfway through that I was doing 1/3 more work than I needed to.

[Comments] (2) : Last night when I got home all late from work, John had cooked a yummy dinner for me. He made porkchops with creamcheese-garlic sauce, carrots and some yummy lemon bars. It was delicious! We did a puzzle together and watched Harry Potter. It was nice to move our table into the center of the room so we could do both at the same time and be comfy.

Today we are up at my in-laws, shopping and making John's graduation announcements. And doing laundry. I even got the house all cleaned before we left, because John had to go to a stupid group meeting.

Also, I am teaching Relief Society tomorrow, and getting my lesson all ready. John asked if I was going to bring a tablecloth, but I informed him that the Relief Society has it's own tablecloths.

[Comments] (4) I won 50 cents in Wendover: Well, the tally is in. I am getting $45 of free stuff from my Pampered Chef party, plus I saved $15 on the other few things I bought. I am excited for free stuff! I got some cool things.

John was making dinner again when I got home from work. Jana and I went to the scrapbook store to make cards and just hang out.

Linda took her daughter to Wendover for her 21st birthday. I gave her a dollar to gamble for me. I was up to $8 once, she said, but Brian said "one more push" and I only came out 50 cents ahead. I spent it on paper at the scrapbooking store.

[Comments] (3) : What is the point of smashing peanut butter cookies with a fork? I didn't in my first batch because I wanted to put chocolate chips on them, but they got all crackley.

We are enjoying the first episode of the new Amazing Race season. Tomorrow morning Linda and I are going to Salt Lake for a meeting. We have to get up early, but there will be free breakfast. I guess that's about all the news.

[Comments] (1) I love Saturdays: Today is a great day. Since John took his test yesterday he was able to sleep in too today, so he is also in a good mood. I leisurely cleaned the house, cleaner than usual because John is helpng. He is a better cleaner than me, and only have to clean two things gave me energy to do a better job.

We get to see Grandma June this afternoon. We had dinner there last month, but it still seems like a long time since we've seen her. I'm especially glad we're going because she apparently hasn't been feeling well lately. Even though we are old we still get spoiled (this is also true with John's parents). I think this is because we don't have any kids.

Aw, my honey is vacuuming, how cute!

John graduates in just 48 days! Which means 56 days until our cruise! and less than 150 until we move. Yay!

: Had a good day today. At work, I wrote "Happy Birthday, Kathy" on a cut-off end of wrapping paper- the whole roll. Linda and I wrapped it around her office. It was a lovely day and John and I went on a walk. I miss walking. John needs the computer now for important school stuff.

[Comments] (1) : My goal today is to be as productive as possible. (don't worry, I'm not clocked in). I've done lots of filing, put my store order away, and other various projects.

Kathy is back from Canada today. She has learned lots about Canadian employment law and social medicine. Canadians have about twice the amount of taxes witheld, and about 50% of the tax base goes towards healthcare. The social insurance, however, only includes stuff that is done during an office visit. Anything else is not covered at all and you need supplemental insurance anyway to cover anything else (generously provided by your employer, if you're lucky). Sounds like a waste of taxes to me, since they still need to have other insurance to actually cover stuff.

Although I think if you offer insurance to some of your employees, you must also offer it to others in a different country even if social healthcare is provided.

How much of our tax base goes to healthcare anyway? I know there are free clinics, but maybe those are all privately sponsored.

[Comments] (4) : The Girl Scout cookies I ordered came today. Yummy!

: After work I went over to see Shelley and invite her to dinner on Sunday. She has a pet snake named Napoleon.

Thursdays are great because it's Friday Eve! I exercised, made a yummy dinner, and read. It's so relaxing to know I can wear jeans at work tomorrow and there's only one more day until the real weekend.

: The Board is coming next week and we are making expresso. By "we" I mean the corporate assistant. We are apparently practicing, because I feel like I am working in a Starbucks, only I'd probably be busier if I did.

I have done some random projects today, which is probably good. It has given me a chance to catch up and finish things so far back on the burner they'd been lost behind the stove.

: I broke a nail! I've been really good about biting them. Then yesterday my hands were wet and I went to open a drawer and my hand slipped and my nail broke. I'm so proud- I've finally become a real woman.

I've been wondering about boys with fancy cars. I'm talking about both ganstas and mid-life crises. When they're driving around do they just think "I'm the hottest thing!"? Or do they get over it eventually?

[Comments] (4) Saturday Evening Post: Yesterday, as usual, I cleaned the house while John got another A on a test. I also made some pretzels from scratch (yummy). Unfortunately, other than that, yesterday was a pretty boring day. Oh, except I did take Camilla to Jo-Anns to buy some patterns.

Today we are busy, but we are making special plans to go on a walk together. It is such a beautiful day, how can we not?? All the cousins are coming for dinner tonight (Except for David who has to work). We're very excited. I just hope there's enough food.

[Comments] (2) : Well, since John has recounted our wonderful evening with the Whitney cousins, I don't have much to say. On the other hand, I don't have much to do either, so I'll just prolong my lunchbreak.

Linda is at a birthday lunch and everyone else is upstairs with the Board, so I am all alone. Except for Hugo. I think I like Hugo so much because my own grandpa isn't around anymore. I spent the morning doing payroll filing for him, back to 2003. The receptionist spent several weeks putting it in alphabetical and chronological order. At least I didn't have to do that part.

Yesterday Linda and I spent the afternoon cleaning our file room. We threw out a huge pile of stuff, old books and benefit stuff and trashy decorations. Everything is organized, labeled and put away, and we can actually shut the firedoor now!

John made dinner again for me last night. He's the best!

: Woo hoo! My Pampered Chef stuff should be arriving tomorrow.

[Comments] (4) Why grind wheat when you can blend oatmeal.: Joe left a piece of chocolate cake with us. I asked John to save me half, but he accidentally ate all of it. He was so sweet when I asked about it and promised to make me a replacement treat. Unfortunately, I didn't give him a chance because I made Jake Cookies today. I need to post the recipe for that, but I'm too tired now. The cookies have shaved chocolate and blended-up oatmeal in them. They're John's favorite, but a lot of work.

Jake Cookies:

1 cup butter
3/4 cup blended walnuts
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar

Cream together.

Mix in:
2 eggs
1 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking soda

2 1/2 cups blended oatmeal
2 cups flour
1 12 oz. bag chocolate chips
1/2 8 oz chocolate bar, grated.

Cook at 375° for 7-8 minutes.

[Comments] (1) Orange-Mint Marinade:

1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons sesame seeds -- toasted
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

John prepared steak in this marinade for dinner tonight. I think it is supposed to be for chicken, but it was delicious! We used dried mint though, because we are poor.

I cooked the steak while he was at class and also made Cheddar-herb bicuits and garlic mashed potatoes. We also have some kind of a pear with a brown skin (John did the grocery shopping...) It is yummy, and I think it tastes like hyacinths.

: On my way home from work I drive down old State St. and pass a mileage marker that says 332. I can't figure it out; this sign isn't 332 miles from anything.

John made french toast for breakfast, which almost makes up for snow on the first day of spring.

[Comments] (2) What is the opposite of buyer's remorse?: I am very happy with my new wiper blades. How can something so cheap make such a happy difference in a commuter's life?

Rainy Day: John made some yummy french toast for dinner. He is in class now. I ran some errands, including buying our last allowance of groceries for the month. We have been so good- we haven't eaten out at all and we've been very good with our grocery money. We're trying to save up for moving, as well as clean out our cupboards a bit.

I'm going to a stamping party tonight, but I'm sure I won't buy anything. After Pampered Chef, I don't need to spend anything on stuff like that.

This weekend we are going to Park City, hopefully with Jodi and Franco. Should be fun times.

[Comments] (3) Okay: I'm a liar. But I'm a liar with cute 50%-off stamps! I also won two free little stamps at the party. It was a lot of fun and we made a cute little gift card holder.

Yesterday I signed up for our 401(k) program. I figure, if the company will match 50% of 6%, and I can transfer it for free into our IRA when we move, why would I not take the free money? I realize this works out to about 1% of my earnings, but still- free money.

I got myself a nice project at work last night, so hopefully I will be busier today.

[Comments] (2) : Not only did I dream this last night, but I kept waking up and saying "I had a dream about this. I need to write it on my weblog." So I guess I do.

Ahem. I had a dream that a niffler dug a hole up into my bedroom (some fake bedroom). Now, I don't know exactly what a niffler is. In my dream it was a bear-dog type animal. It was supposed to be either those things that sniff out gold in Harry Potter, or the truffle-hunter thing in Ever After. And in real life, probably my Piglet pillow. Anyway, Mom and I couldn't figure out what to do with the niffler. It kept snuggling up to me. Maybe I miss Gretel.

: I am getting very excited for my day off. John and I are going to go to the temple tomorrow morning, and then up to Park City. Jodi and Franco are coming up for the night too. We're making dinner, they're making breakfast, we'll play games. I hope the weather isn't too bad, because Franco has never been to Park City, and we should show him around downtown.

In the meantime, I have one more day of work.

: I'm sitting at the front desk, and it's raining, which is lovely. There is a huge skylight over this part of the building, and it sounds so cozy.

[Comments] (7) : I knew the scary headless Gretel picture had to be around somewhere.

[Comments] (1) : What a great weekend. As John said, it's weekends like these that make you feel like you can go back to work. We had a great time in Park City with Jodi and Franco. We watched movies, played games, wandered around town, ate food and talked. And rested.

For Easter, we went up right after church, other than a short visit with Grandma and Lawrence Welk, and hung out at the Chadwicks. I made eclair cake and helped make the rolls and ham and Jello-eggs. It was fun cooking with Susan. She made funeral potatoes, which are my favorite, I think I ate 2 cups of them. Her rolls are really good too.

Everyone loved my eclair cake and wanted the recipe. I've never gotten anything but raves for it, but Linda made it for Bunco two weeks ago and a few people just said it was "ok". Weirdos.

We also had a nice shopping trip in the food storage room. We got lots of meat and some flour and sugar. The flour and sugar were food storage that needed to be rotated, and I think the flour smells funny. But it was free so I will give it a try.

Anyway, we're home now. I'm exhausted, but I actually feel like a break- maybe cause I took Friday off- and I can go back to work. Hopefully it will be a busy week.

[Comments] (1) The Best April Fool: I've never had a really good April Fool's joke played on me, but Linda gave it a great shot today. I had to go to an orientation for some volunteer work I'm going to be doing, so I didn't come in until 9:15. My mouse didn't move. I wondered why someone silly had put velco on the bottom. When my drawer wouldn't open, I remembered it was April Fool's Day (partly because Linda was standing there laughing at me). Got the drawer open, and my computer had never turned on. Linda had unplugged my moniter (that was pretty good, since I had no idea how to get it back on).

The best joke was that she had pried off the "M" and "N" on my keyboard and switched them. The reason this joke was so great, is because Linda was standing behind me shouting "how are you doing that!!?!" as I typed along. The joke was on her- I don't look at the keyboard when I type.

: The other day I was doing I-9 information on an employee from another state and the driver's license said "anatomical gift information on back".

Things have picked up around here, although it may be because I was lazy on Friday and I am catching up on beginning-of-the-month stuff. I brought my lunch today and the exact same thing was being offered in the cafeteria. At least I paid less.

[Comments] (2) Spoiler Alert: On Finding Neverland. I thought it was so obvious the first time she coughed that she would die. It was supposed to be foreshadowing, but it was dead obvious.

[Comments] (9) : Linda and I spent half an hour in the copy room shredding stuff today. We cleaned out the recruiting office, where the former occupant apparently printed out and kept every report every written. One example: sign-up sheets for Breakfast with Santa in 1996.

Last night was my first night going to USDC to volunteer in their hippotherapy program. I got lots of advice from the Rec Therapists there, but it wasn't a good day to ride- only a few individuals came out. I think it will be good experience though.

I'm afraid today is going to be another slow day.

[Comments] (5) : We had a good, if lazy, weekend. We borrowed the extended-version The Lord of the Rings from Kristen and Aaron and watched the whole thing. We also went out to Macaroni Grill, bought a new swimming suit for me, and had some neighbors over for dinner, games and good times. It went by way too quickly.

So, what is the Holy See? It reminds me of The Great Eye (and not because I watched too much Middle Earth). Ok, nevermind, I will look it up and enlighten us all. "The authority, jurisdiction and governmental functions associated with the papacy." Basically what I thought. It's the governmental state of the Vatican City.

See? You DO learn something new everyday.

[Comments] (2) Roadkill: There are some ponds outside of my work with lots of ducks, and geese, and even more pigeons. (Now, it's pretty obvious what an entry titled "Roadkill" that starts out "There are some ponds outside of my work with lots of ducks, and geese, and even more pigeons" is about to say, but I thought I might need an editorial note to warn you just in case. If you love ducks obsessively, stop reading!)

These ducks are either very stupid or very haughty, the way they cross the street (to the other pond) with their ducklings in tow. But the cars stop for them. I only saw one dead duck in the first 9 months I worked here. This week there have been four. Yuck. Also, when I was driving to USDC yesterday, I saw three roadkills on the freeway that looked like raccoons, or something fat, gray and fuzzy. Too fat to be a kitty. And we will not discuss dead kitties.

Speaking of driving, yesterday my right turn signal suddenly started blinking much faster than normal. It is still doing it, but only on the right side. It is very annoying.

[Comments] (1) : We're going on a cruise!!!! Yay!!! I spent the whole day in Kandis' office with the door shut, which made me feel productive, even though we talk as much as we work. I'm so excited! Thanks for finishing school, honey!

: John and I went to our ward closing social on Friday night. We ate dinner with our next door neighbors, then sat around and talked with our next door neighbors. Then we gave up and came home and played dominoes with our next door neighbors. Yesterday I cleaned the house and got a haircut. John and I went for a nice long walk on the Provo River Trail.

Today we are having another ward thing because we got a new Bishop today. His wife is the dean of the College of Health and Human Performance.

I am trying to sew one of those bags filled with rice that you put in the microwave or freezer. The only fabric I have is quilt squares, but I’m pretty good at sewing in straight lines. I was almost done sewing a pink flannel cover for it, but then my sewing machine started making a funny noise, and wouldn’t you know it, all kinds of stuff fell out of my bobbin door. Mommy, you will have to help me put it back in when you get here.

[Comments] (4) : Last night I got together with four of the girls I went to Romania with (Kristen, Lisa, Angela and Emily). I hadn't seen Lisa since she left on her mission, more than two years ago. Kristen is having a baby, due on October 4. We got married the day before their 1 year anniversary (she was engaged while we were over there).

We had dinner and got to look at Lisa's mission pictures. Kristen and I reminisced about our kids, silly things we did, furniture that fell apart, etc. I got out my "Romania quotes" from my scrapbook and we laughed at ourselves.

I also got my new stamps last night. Unfortunately, I am very busy this week. I may be able to squeeze some stamping time in on Tuesday. I'm very excited to use my new stamps.

I'm also very excited to see Mom, Leonard, and Sumana who are all coming for John's graduation. The next three weeks are going to be great!

[Comments] (8) Brag, Brag: John's so cute! Not only is he graduating with a great job and we get to move back to CA, but he cleaned the whole kitchen for me, top to bottom, inside and out. He even reorganized most of our cupboards. Then he emailed me and said "do you want to go shopping tonight?" Who doesn't! So we went shopping and bought secret birthday presents.

My family's coming today! yay! We are going to have a whirlwind tour of Utah for Sumana.

: Yesterday, the CFO took Linda and I to lunch to thank us for all our help and long hours fixing W-2s. I had a huge piece of chocolate cake.

Everyone made it here safely. I'm excited for all the activities we have planned, and also to see all the Chadwick clan today (except Franco who has to work). What a great weekend it will be!

More Bragging: John, much to is surprise, graduated Magna Cum Laude undergrad, and with Distinction for his graduate. I'm so proud of you! Thanks for being a nerd!

[Comments] (1) : We had a great time with all the family this weekend (except the Woot!). Everyone arrived Thursday night and I made tacos for dinner. Friday morning we drove to Bridal Veil falls (it was closed), then went to Deseret Book. We walked up to the Marriott center to meet the Chadwicks and be proud of John. We all went out to a casual dinner after and I think everyone had fun chatting. Grandma June was there- she always livens up a party.

Friday we went to DI and then picked up Camilla for the big Whitney luncheon at Macaroni Grill for Mom's birthday. I guess I should say Call luncheon, because most of the Omans also came. Leonard, Sumana, John and I left immediately from there for the Salt Lake portion of our journey. We saw the Conference Center, Temple Square, the Distribution Center, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, and the Church History Museum. We only visited the development of the church section and the Presidents' Gallery. The new Joseph Smith exhibit was packed.

We took TRAX to the Sam Weller bookstore downtown and read some books. Then we took TRAX back to the Delta Center to eat dinner at the Gateway. We ate at a place called "Thaifoon", despite the name. the food was pretty good, especially the banana springrolls. While we were eating it began to pour, so we had a fun trip back to the car without any coats.

We picked up Mom at Uncle Jon's and got to visit for a while. Then we squished with Camilla in the car to get back to Provo. John was kind enough to take Leonard and Sumana to the train station late at night so I could spend more time with Mom, who left this morning.

So that's my travelogue, even though I wasn't the one travelling. Thanks for coming to visit, everyone, and for supporting Master John and his achievements.

: Today I went to visit a friend in the hospital- she is having a tumor removed from around her spinal column! Yikes! She is very optimistic though, and the "it could be worse"s are so many. It just made me very grateful for my health.

We're going on a cruise in one week!

Machine Wash Cold: Only non-chlorine bleach when needed. Line-dry in shade. Dry immediately to avoid bleeding.

So reads the tag on my new bathing suit. What do they think I'm going to be doing with it?

John made four wonderful scrapbook pages yesterday. He made two graduation pages and two pages of the Holbrook (Susan's family) and Richardson farms. They are so cute! He used these antiquey stickers and paper for the farms with some old pictures I had, and some pictures of old stuff we recently took in Lehi. John is a much better scrapbooker than I'll ever be.

[Comments] (5) Secretarie!: Yesterday being "Administrative Professionals Day" and all, Kathy went out and bought me a cute 12x12 scrapbook, for our cruise pictures. My co-workers such nerds, being all secretive. They also gave me some gift certificates (our main incentive program there). They said they couldn't get me flowers since I was leaving for our cruise- just as well.

We made it here safe. I had a great afternoon with Evaun learning about recreation consulting, and doing some quick crafts at some of the homes. Even though she can't offer me full-time right now (well, in July), it sounds like a great opportunity- very flexible, and something I can do.

We also visited the Tustin apartments we want to move into. It was much more hopeful than expected. Very cheap, fairly nice. We won't be able to get a 2 bedroom right away, but probably within a year.

Also having fun helping Jamie with her scrapbooking "kit of the month". I cut up 400 yards of ribbon so far. So excited for our cruise!

: We've had a good few days playing video games with the boys and "cleaning" Jamie's scrapbook room. I'm glad we found an apt. so we could relax and have a little fun. We're leaving in 1 1/2 hours for even more relaxation and fun! Yay!

Cruisin': I have about a million things to say about our wonderful trip. I even made a list so I could remember everything.

First of all, our free "obstructed" balcony was wonderful. There wasn't anything in the way of the view. It was wonderful to wake up to the sun rising, and to read out on our balcony, watch the ship come into the port- I'm so spoiled!

On Monday we changed clothes seven times- I counted. We worked out in the gym, went in the spa, sat out in the sun. Tuesday we went to one of the shows, with a swing singer and a few dance numbers. We also went to an art auction, the first of three we attended, to get the free seriographs they were handing out after. We now have three nice pieces of art, each of which at least one of us likes.

Wednesday we were in Puerto Vallarta. We went shopping, then went on a "jungle tour" to Mismaloya. We went on a hike in the jungle and swam in a natural pool with some fishies. I got lots of mosquito bites. We saw baby pineapple, a gum tree, tons of mango trees (these were all over in rural Mexico) and bamboo. We saw an iguana from the bus on a tree in the city. By the way, 100% of the tequila in the world is made in this state. That night a local mariachi band came onboard and played, and there were also dancers. It was a pretty good show.

Thursday we were in Mazatlan. For all the hype, I didn't think the shopping was that good. Of course, that was the day John got sick, and we didn't have a lot of time to shop anyway. We went on a seven hour bus tour to some tiny villages in the Sierra Madre. We got to watch people making brickes, baskets, and really nice wood furniture. Lunch at a Mexican restaurant was included. There was really yummy coconut banana cream pie.

Friday was the best day. In Cabo San Lucas, we ended up going on a boat tour and to a beach club, which we hadn't planned before. The boat tour went around the arches, and the sea lion rocks at the very tip of Baja California. The sun was just coming up and it was beautiful. Then we went to a private beach club and spent a few hours playing around in the beautiful, warm, clear water. I saw a school of fish swim by. I found three pieces of sea glass. We met a couple there from Tehachapi named John and Susie and, even weirder, they were the only other people we met on the cruise that didn't drink. After the beach we got dropped off downtown and walked back to the port, shopping along the way.

The only thing we really bought the whole time was a yellow bowl with chillis painted on it. One of the free things I got was a silver Aztec calendar charm that I can put on my charm bracelet. I also got a free sapphire and a cheap gold charm bracelet- you could get a different charm at each port.

Saturday we mostly just lay around watching movies so John could feel better. Poor thing had a really bad fever for a few days, so we got lots of sleep. One thing I was disappointed in was the food on the ship. I guess I'm just not a fancy food person.

[Comments] (3) : Part of my job is sending "no thankyous" to people who applied for jobs with us. My latest batch is in Texas, and I've decided that Texas has the fruffiest street and city names ever. Friendswood? Sparkling Water? Sugar Land? Misty Lake? I never knew there were so many forests and springs in Houston.

I also had someone who spelled his name wrong at the top of his resume- with three Ls.

: I didn't realize it was Friday the 13th until I read an email from Kathy, who was scheduling something. So Happy Friday, which happens to be May 13th.

May is a great month. I feel like I missed part of May, maybe because I wasn't paying attention to the dates on our cruise. Well, back to work.

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