Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I hate the nights where I can't sleep (much like this one).
The nights where I keep twisting and turning trying to find a comfortable position.
The nights where there is so much weighing on my mind
That not even my tempurpedic pillow can support the weight of my head.

I hate the nights where I can't find peace.
The nights where I keep thinking to myself "Brain! SHUT UP for crying out loud! You're expected to function in less than 5 hours."
The nights where I keep thinking "Okay, if I fall asleep RIGHT NOW, I'll get at least 4 1/2 hours of sleep."

I hate the nights that throw me into the depths of morning without sympathy.
The nights where expensive moments tick away beyond my control, and each second is one I can't get back.
The nights where my body aches for an unconscious moment of serene.
The very nights that will lead to my downfall the next day.

Much like this one...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Virginia's Solstice

There was a summer that smelled of oranges,
Where thick humidity softened the day
And I was young, sweet, and impressionable
Green hills flirted with black top for miles and miles
And the depth of Virginia's land saturated my soul

My mind cleared and peace took the place of pain
Max sat next to me on the porch swing, panting over his collar
Haze of evening carried the weight of my thoughts on her shoulders gracefully
And I was willing to let her do that for me

Because I needed the release
Because I needed the exchange
Because I longed for her harmony

I was finally free. Free to laugh, free to write, free to find a spirit
My own, the one I had locked away summers prior to that
And I knew he watched from a distance, but I let him do so
He loved me for it, and I loved him for being there
He was my laughter and my escape,
Reincarnating the giddy butterflies in my stomach

There was a summer that smelled of fireworks
Where effervescent lights coveted night's sky
And I was young, sweet, and impressionable
Silver stars danced above us as we lay on our backs
Flirting on that very black top, still warm from the heat of day
And the depth of his tranquility imparted to me a gift I hope to one day return

A soft, seamless, serenity
A summer solstice in Virginia

Thursday, January 21, 2010


"Sometimes me think;
What is friend?

 And then me say,
A friend is someone to
share last cookie with!"
                                                                     -Cookie Monster

NUFF SAID! I have the most awesome, caring, loving, sharing, supportive and beautiful friends in the entire world. Thanks you guys, for being there. For being some of the richest blessings in my life :)

I LOVE YOU, and I'll share my last cookie with you ANY day!

Gonna Miss Him

One of my all time favorite TV personaities is Conan O'Brien. I love his whacky sense of humor and he has kept me laughing for years.

I'm saddened that NBC is moving Leno back to the Tonight Show (it's obvious the guy needs to retire as his newer show this year hasn't taken off). I don't really think it's fair that NBC yanked a program that was working (O'Brien's) only to give it back to Leno when Leno's show was the failure. But, that's showbiz I guess.

Hopefully another TV network will offer Conan a contract soon. I will miss watching him and all his quirkiness. However, I have confidence that we'll be watching him and all his comedic goodness soon.

So long Conan, it was fun while it lasted! Here's to the next opportunity!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Today, There Was A Party In The USA

On my drive to work today I saw something I don't see every day, and quite frankly, I'm glad I don't.

I came to the top of the hill I drive down every day and the roads were a bit icy. I saw the flashing red and blue lights just as my car reached the top before the decent, and there to my right was a black SUV that had crashed through someone's front yard, having taken out the railing that lined the steps up to their doorway.

The woman driving the SUV was still in the drivers seat, filling out paper work. The residents (or at least I assume they lived there) were standing on their front porch just looking at the mess in disbelief. And the cop was sitting in his jeep and also appeared to be filling out paper work.

It's scary enough to wreck a vehicle I'm sure (I wouldn't actually know because I have never wrecked my car, KNOCK ON WOOD), but to wreck your vehicle AND take out someone's front yard (and almost house) has got to be pretty nerve racking.

That just goes to show how important it is to slow down and drive carefully in Utah's winter conditions. Even when it appears that only a "light dusting" of snow has fallen, it's still cold outside, thus making the roads "slickery" to quote my hubby.

In other news of things strange (and funny in this case), I walked into Subway for lunch and two guys were sitting at a table eating. They looked a little eccentric but nothing too out of the ordinary. All of a sudden the song "Party In the USA" by Miley Cyrus comes on, on the overhead sound system. One of the guys said (rather loudly) "Party in the USA! I LOVE this song!"

Now I know what you're thinking... he was probably making fun of the song and said it sarcastically. Don't worry, that's what I would have assumed too, had I not been there and seen the twinkle in his eye and heard him START TO SING ALONG!

I'm not joking.

Singing along. This guy was actually sincere about his love for the song, and was singing in between bites of his 6" sub.

Now I don't hate. Who cares if he likes the song right? But seriously, coming from this guy, I would have never imagined in a million years that he's a fan of Miley Cyrus. But to each his own right?

I'm noddin' my head like "Yeah!"
Movin' my hips like "Yeah!"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tell Me Something True

If you're like me, you love a good read. A book you can't put down. A book that takes you to a place that you've never been, even if you don't leave the comfort of your own home.

For me, I usually get into the reading mood this time of year. It's typically cold outside and I like to be at home, warm and cozy, with a good story. This year, I happened to randomly pick out a perfect book on a total whim. That book was "Tell Me Something True" by Leila Cobo.

I seriously cried during the last few chapters of this book. Michael asked me if I had cried sad tears because I had finished it and the story was over, or good tears because the story was so good. My answer to this was "both" :)

I'm not going to tell you about it, you'll have to read it for yourself (this book has a 5 star ranking on and there are several good customer reviews if you'd like to read more about it). The most amazing part is that this is Cobo's debut novel. Such a talented writer, I'm anxious for her to release more books as I'm always in the mood for a wonderful read.

Pick it up! You won't be sorry you did!

Monday, January 18, 2010

On the Air

Remember the wolf dream I posted about below?

Well, I was on the radio this morning having my dream analyzed by Lauri from the Dream Zone on the 97.1  ZHT-Morning Zoo radio program this morning.

My friend David was kind enough to send me the email addresses of the three dj's on this program because he has had his dreams analyzed in the past. On Thursday, I sent them an email about my dream and Frankie responded to my email asking if I'd like to go on the air Monday morning. I agreed and at 6:30 this morning, I had an early wake-up call from DB (other dj).

It was quite amazing and not what I had expected to be honest. Lauri told me that since I was surrounded by snow, in a cold environment, that meant a relationship of some sorts had grown cold in my life. She asked how things were in my marriage to which I responded great and then I mentioned that I pretty much hated my job and she said that must be it. I had grown cold to my career. Which makes sense considering in my dream I was on a path.

Lauri described the field lined by trees and a fence in my dream what I am viewing as the unobtainable career (which makes complete sense). She said I was walking on a snow covered path, more a less my career path that I had grown cold towards. Isn't it amazing how our subconscious minds try to work out our emotions in our dreams?

She then went on to explain that the wolf represented a mother and children (the wolf was female and I new she had babies hidden somewhere in the field). She asked me if I had kids and when I responded "no" she asked if this was something I wanted, or if it was a challenge I was facing in my life.

I basically explained that Michael has had a vasectomy and that we both know having children in the future is going to take some serious planning, money and effort. She explained that this is what the wolf represented in my dream (in the form of a challenge and fear of the situation) which I faced head on (thus I hit the wolf on the head with the rock).

I wanted to ask her more questions but it was over with so fast and I didn't feel like I had much time. However, what I was able to gain from this was a lot of perspective about my dream, what my subconscious is telling me, and how I am sorting through my emotions. Now if I only had time to get my other dream analyzed... perhaps in the future, but for now I have at least one explained.

If you guys have dreams that you'd like analyzed, you can visit Lauri's website at or you can tune in to 97.1 ZHT on Monday mornings.

Sweet dreams :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Survival Mode

Where did I sign up for this? I want to know. Show me the dotted line that I signed stating I was more than willing to participate in this monotonous, day in day out crap?

I’m tired (and obviously bitchy).

This isn’t any fun. All it is, is work. Drive 45 minutes to work, sit in a box for 8 hours, stare at a monitor, eat lunch alone, drive 45 minutes back home. DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY!

I love the saying “think outside of the box” because it’s such an oxy moron. How are we supposed to think outside of the box when we are constantly IN a box? I mean, look around you? EVERYTHING is square. We live in boxes, we work in smaller boxes within bigger boxes, we shop in boxes, we eat in boxes, we spend our lives on computers shaped like boxes, we park in boxes, we sleep in boxes, bathe in boxes, watch entertainment on boxes...(have I made my point?) EVERYTHING is square. So yeah, think OUTSIDE the box will you? (laughs)

And right after I get the chance to ask where I signed up for this, I’m going to ask about the concept of money. Why? It’s just something that made the entire human race slaves to life. It made us greedy, powerful, dishonorable, poor, prisoners, miserable, etc.... It sucked the life out of any life we had a chance of living.

We go to work. Why? To make money. Why? To survive. And yet, is what I’m doing on a daily bases really surviving? Being miserable all the time? Is that living? The needle is stuck and yet the record isn’t scratched.

When am I ever going to have the chance to travel the world and put my toes in every body of water that exists on this planet? When am I going to have the chance to sleep until I’m not tired, so I can wake up feeling refreshed and alive? When am I going to have the chance to spend the day doing what I want, how I want to, for as long as I want to without the pressures of a job and bills and responsibility constantly looming in the back of my mind? When am I going to be free? Free to LIVE OUTSIDE of a fucking box?

Am I depressed? Maybe. Hell, who wouldn’t be living within this record stuck on repeat? Maybe everyone who is depressed is actually normal because we SEE REALITY and those who aren’t are the ones living in a crazy fantasy.

This world is full of SICK. Power hungry bullies, liars, cheaters, killers, losers, betrayers. This world is sick itself. Disease, poverty, pain, pollution, death (now you know why I don’t like watching the news anymore- I can already tell you what’s on because it’s been on the last 30 years of my life). New channel please.

I’m not angry or bitter (really, I’m not although the tone of this post probably comes across that way). I’m just tired. I’m tired of feeling trapped. I’m tired of being too tired to escape. I’m tired of hoping for change. I’m tired of working so hard just to live like this. I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of feeling this way.

I had the strangest dream last night. My old 8th grade teacher had given us a photography assignment to capture 4 images of ourselves in everyday objects. I don’t mean literal reflections in objects, but more like symbols, or representations of us in objects.

My one friend started taking pictures immediately, of bright, soft, round objects like fuzzy polka-dotted slippers. She was moving very quickly as if she didn’t need to give the assignment much thought.

I on the other hand didn’t know what to capture. I went walking to think about what I would shoot, and found myself in an abandoned car sitting in the driver’s seat with my legs stretched out towards the passenger side. I was trying to capture the frame of the passenger side window within the shot so that the picture would show that I was inside something looking out. I was aiming the camera at some white flowers that closed up at night (much like tulips). And they were growing along the perimeter of a rusty barrel.

I think I wanted to capture this because I somehow knew the barrel had been placed over the soil where the bulbs of the flowers had been planted, and yet with the barrel there, the flowers were able to still break soil and simply grow around the barrel. I was in total awe of this. And yet, I was taking the picture from inside the car instead of outside in front of the flowers.

A few nights before this I dreamed I was walking along a snow covered path. The snow was fresh and it was very cold. There were trees that lined the right side of the path and a fence behind the trees. On the other side of the fence was a field. On the other side of the path, there was a field and far across the field was a public road, but it was far to get to and nobody would be able to see me from the road.

As I was walking down the path, I recognized a large white and grey wolf ahead of me, also walking on the path, in the same direction as I was so her back was to me. But I knew she would catch wind of my scent as soon as the breeze carried it to her. I was afraid because somehow I knew she had babies somewhere waiting for her, and she was out searching for food.

As soon as this thought crossed my mind I saw the wolf stop walking and turn around to face me on the path. I quickly dove behind a large rock that was along the path in the hopes that she wouldn’t find me because I knew she’d turn around and come looking. As I hid there, I pushed snow around on the ground looking for a large rock. I was searching for any kind of weapon because I was fully aware that I was too far from the road to get help. When I looked up the wolf was facing me, her body prepared to attack. She was growling at me, salivating, and showing her teeth. She wanted me out of there.

But I had found a large rock on the ground and was now holding it in both hands. I knew she was close enough that I could slam the rock down on her head hard enough to either seriously harm her or kill her, which would give me enough time to escape to the main road. But I was torn. Torn because I knew if I killed her, her babies wouldn’t survive. But if I didn’t protect myself, she would attack me. So, I slammed the rock down on her head as hard as I could, and I heard a cry pour out (I don’t know if it was mine or hers). I could see blood on the snow and I immediately felt so guilty that instead of getting up to run towards the road, my eyes began to water. I hurt her, bad. And I was certain she was going to die. I felt too guilty to run but I didn’t know what to do. Then I woke up with a huge knot in my throat.

These dreams seem to have two common themes and a common color as I think about it: White, Being trapped, and survival. The white flowers trapped under the barrel survived by growing around the barrel. I was trapped behind a large rock, face to face with a white wolf. But I survived by killing the wolf. Is my conscience trying to tell me something? Am I simply in survival mode right now?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Somedays, I Wish I Had a Wife

I'm sure this thought has crossed the mind of every married woman: "I wish I had a little more help around the house."

Lately, that thought has crossed my mind too.

Recently, Michael and I enjoyed 2 weeks of holiday vacation. However, I think one of us enjoyed it a little more than the other.

Don't get me wrong, Michael did take all the boxes of Christmas stuff downstairs after I spent two days taking it down (by myself). Granted, I'm the one who put it up, so I guess logically, I'm the one who should take it down right? But didn't we ALL enjoy it? Wouldn't someone have said something if I hadn't put the tree up or hung the stockings by the chimney with care? I'm sure the lack of Christmas decor wouldn't have gone unnoticed or unmentioned... so I put it up. And I dare say WE ALL enjoyed it.

Also during the two weeks of "vacation" I did all loads of laundry. Twice. I also cleaned the bathrooms, dusted everything, vacuumed everything, windexed everything, and swept the kitchen floors. I also baked, cooked, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher countless times, folded and put away clean laundry (except I put all of Michael's things in a basket which are new strewn across the floor on his side of the bed or still in said basket), and made sure dinner was on the table every night. ALL BY MYSELF.

Is it any wonder that I returned to work from my holiday "vacation" and got sick? Probably not.

Yes I watched my fare share of movies, and played video games during my time off. But I also made sure all the house work was done too. I didn't spend all day downstairs in the "man cave" in my pj's having not showered, watching football all day. In fact, when this did happen for the umpteenth time, I was upstairs fuming (which is why all Michael's clean laundry ended up in a basket on his side of the bed and not put away; I was annoyed and exhausted).

One night he was downstairs so long playing games that he didn't even make it upstairs to bed. He just stayed in the basement. And all the Christmas lights and bows are still up outside even though the sun is shining and this would be a great day to put it away... His son Kyle went home last Monday after spending two weeks with us, and finally yesterday I went and collected the boxes and wrappers left behind in his bedroom. The bed is still unmade and the sheets haven't been washed, because I keep hoping SOMEONE will realize it would be nice to strip the bed and do the laundry (but it'll probably sit there until I do it because it needs done in time for another house guest).

I'm not writing this post to bash my husband. I love him and he's a good guy. I guess I just wish I didn't feel like the burden of keeping up a 3600 sq ft house falls on me everytime. A marriage is supposed to be team work right? And before you tell me I should talk to Michael about this, I'm well aware that a marriage consists of communication too, but a small part of me is hoping his observation skills will kick in without me having to say something (probably the mistake of many wives).

The floors still need mopped, the rugs need washed, the carved pumpkins from our Halloween party are still sitting on the back deck frozen and covered in snow (and yes, I've asked him many times to throw them away, but apparently the Halloween party was MY party... he wasn't there having fun or carving pumpkins or anything...).

Today? He's upstairs sleeping. Has been for 3 hours now. Yesterday he mentioned he wanted to make sure he "felt like he had a weekend."

I know exactly what it's like to feel that way. I have pretty much felt that way after every weekend. I work a full time job too, and I'm trying to finish my field project. And yes, I have had the last two days off of work, but I've been downing medicine and going through the Kleenexs faster than you can blink.

I don't know if he doesn't recognize all the cleaning projects that need to be done constantly because he's spent the last 5 years living on base in the room the size of a shoe box that didn't require much attention, but something's gotta give. I'm not OCD like some of my friends, but I have a hard time relaxing in a home that isn't clean. And I have a hard time letting messes sit around until someone else notices and takes care of them.

Did I mention that while sick, my husband still came home to a post roast dinner, complete with hot biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy?

Like I said, I need a wife too.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mario Queen

Yup, I did it. I passed the game.

Oh, I don't mean just all 8 worlds. I mean I unlocked the secret world, then I got all the start coins in worlds 1-8 and unlocked all 8 playing courses in world 9, and then I completed all 8 courses in world 9.

The only thing I have left to do is go back through all the courses in 9 and collect the coins.

Yeah, I'm the Mario Queen.

Eat it, Princess Peach :P

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Don't Mind Me

I'm just here sneezing all over the place.

At least I'm not coughing. But my nose is running and I have that annoying little twitch in my nose (causing me to sneeze) that won't go away. It just makes my nose tickle and my eyes water. BLEAH. I hate being sick.

I got the crock pot out today and put in a pot roast, cut up some onions, carrots, celery, and potatoes. Let it cook and simmer all day so I could spend my free time sitting on the couch bonding with a box of Kleenex.

I'm sure it smelled yummy. I hope Michael walked in the house thinking "Mmmmm dinner sure smells good!" I didn't get to enjoy the aroma (stuffy nose).

Once everything was cooked, I made mashed potatoes, gravy, and biscuits. I wasn't THAT hungry, but it all looked so good! However, I couldn't taste a bite of it. About the only thing I could taste was the melted butter on my biscuit. KeeLee ended up getting the roast and gravy that was left on my plate (no I didn't feed her from the table). I did make an effort to eat my veggies though. Gotta get better somehow.

I'd probably be really skinny if I went through life unable to smell and taste food. It sorta takes all the fun out of eating. Food just feels like something in your mouth that shouldn't be there and I have a gag reflex that is easily triggered, so yeah, I'd like to think I'd be wearing size 4 pants. A girl can dream right?

At least I got to work on my field project today. Not something I consider fun, but it needs to be done, and one of my resolutions this year was to get cracking on it. I'm almost done with chapter two. Only four more to go.

Hopefully I get better soon. I'm not one who gets sick often (it's been a solid two years without a cold) so I'm pretty cranky right now. Blew my track record...

Ha ha, get it? "Blew" as in my nose? As in... yeah, I know. LAME.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Breathe In, Hold It, Breathe Out

Well, after spending one hour in the waiting room at the doctor's office, I finally got to visit with my doc about my lungs (and how they aren't functioning up to par). Oh yes you read that right, ONE HOUR. Here's a timeline recap:

3:45- Leave work for my appointment
4:00- Check in for appointment
4:15- Scheduled appointment time which comes and then goes... me still waiting in the waiting room.
4:30- Still waiting, and getting very annoyed with the children screaming, crying, coughing and sneezing all over the place.
5:00- Go back to the front desk and remind the receptionist that I checked in an hour ago for a 4:15 appointment and am wondering if there is a problem.
5:15- Finally get to see the doctor.

The next 45 minutes is a blur as I tie on a cloth gown and have two oxygen tests run (blow into a tube, let me put this on your finger, blah blah) and then chest xrays.

The doctor comes back in and gives me an inhaler with instructions, tells me to keep a close eye on myself and symptoms over the next week (considering I have had pneumonia) and tells me that something is certainly going on with my lungs but it may just be a virus (or the shitty Utah air). I'm supposed to call her in a week to let her know if I need another inhaler.

6:00- I finally get to leave to go home.

What's insane is that it took me (from start to finish) 2 hours and 15 minutes to get an inhaler.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Not Again

I guess once you've been lucky enough to have Pneumonia, you're totally susceptible to having it again.
I was precisely so lucky to come down with Pneumonia right after my wedding shower.

I was also lucky enough to trudge around in my wedding gown having my bridals taken while:
A) I was hot and then cold, hot and then cold, back and forth, on and on
B) I was breaking into either a hot sweat or a cold sweat based on my temperature
C) I ached all over like someone had literally hit me with a bus and then reversed over my limp, lifeless body
D) I was wheezing like an 80 year old chain smoker, unable to catch my breath as I walked up and down the hills of Thanksgiving point in my heavy ass dress and wedding shoes, trying to get good shots.

Michelle, you got married in 2007, why are you bringing this up now?

Because I have a doctor's appointment today at 4:15 to hear that I'm on the verge of Pneumonia again.

Last time I didn't notice the signs. I just thought I was really tired at first. Then I thought that I was way out of shape because I couldn't go up 14 stairs without being completely winded and feeling like I was going to faint.

It wasn't until my chest felt like an elephant was sleeping on it that I realized I might want to go to the doctor. I seriously just thought I had a really bad cold with chest congestion. But no, the doctor listened to me breathe in, decided to take some x-rays and came back in the room and said "I can't believe you are even up walking. You're left lung is completely full and you only have 40% breathing capacity in your right lung."

I walked out of there with a prescription to some serious steroids and an inhaler. But the worst part? I started feeling crappy at my wedding shower (April 21st). I didn't go to the doctor until the middle of May. Yup, I walked around with my "cold" for almost a month before getting help.

Now that I can recognize the symptoms and warning signs (and now that I'm susceptible to Pneumonia again) I decided to not waste any time and go to the doctor. It started this weekend when I couldn't get warm. I literally had to take a scalding hot shower to warm up on one night because I couldn't get warm. Even cuddling up to my hubby, the human furnace, I couldn't get warm.

Then the lack of air started. My lungs feel weak. I'm wheezing (not coughing but wheezing, and yes, there's a difference). I don't feel like I can take a good solid deep breath, I'm hot, I'm cold, I'm tired... I started to contribute my lung issue to this crappy Salt Lake inversion (for those of you not in Utah, look it up, it's something awful and us lucky Utahns get to live with it every winter). But rather than make excuses, I decided I was going to be ahead of the game on this one.

I know I don't have all the symptoms, but I have enough of them. And I am NOT going to go through what I did last time round. Pneumonia knocked me flat on my ass and I was lucky that I got better in time for my wedding in June.

I KNOW! JUNE! Who gets pneumonia in the summer?

Anyway, I'm hoping for some good news at the doctor's visit today. I'm also hoping for something to help me breathe!

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Vision...

Have you ever found yourself in the place you were meant to be with the person you were meant to be with?

I'm lucky because I have. The only problem is, I'm not there now.

I'm still with Michael but we are here in yucky, nasty Utah. I hate this time of year, especially here. I look outside and see a fog of inversion that I know won't lift until March, and that's if we're lucky.

I pull on my hoodie knowing that I'm going to freeze until May, maybe even June. It has snowed on my summer birthday before, and more than once.

Unfortunately the place I feel most alive isn't the place I've put down roots. The place that feeds my imagination, and offers a welcoming calm that I can't obtain here is along the east coast. Specifically coastal North Carolina. I ache for her. I have since I last left her. And it's been far too long since I've returned to her.

I mean, look at this place? How can you not gaze upon this beauty and not feel at home?

I just look at these pictures and find myself dreaming of being on the beach, hearing the waves crash, feeling the sand between my toes and the coastal breeze in my hair. There's nothing more energizing for my spirit.

And I also love the idea of decorating a coastal home. If you ever visit my house, you'll see North Carolina throughout many of the rooms. It's my comfort, and my permanent wish to be surrounded by it. I look at pictures like these, and I just feel peace, tranquility, and the reassurance that I was born to walk barefoot in the sand :) Maybe one day I will, and there won't be a suitcase waiting for my return to a place I don't belong.


My ultimate dream is to move to the coast and be an interior designer with a coastal flare. Funny that what I'm living now is so far from that dream. Then again, and in my defense, I didn't realize this dream until about two years ago... but one day, ONE DAY it will be a reality.

What's your ulitmate dream/vision?

(All images found).

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Auld Lang Syne

A recap of 2009 (thank goodness it's over)!

I closed on our new home on January 5th. I say "I" because Michael was still in North Carolina so I had to go to the closing myself. Which means I had to sign all those billions of documents TWICE. My hand kinda hurt afterwards, but not so much that I couldn't put the house keys on my key chain :) It was exciting and I was so glad the wait was over.

Also in January, I had the hardwood floors in our new home re-sanded and stained. They hadn't been touched in 20 years and needed some TLC. I also purchased new carpet for the entire first two floors and had that installed before we moved in. I also purchased new tile for the master bathroom (which still isn't in yet as we are going to wait till after we rip out the vanity to do that).

As exciting as it was to get a new home in January, the best part of all was that Michael was moving to Utah. Our long separation of almost 3,000 miles had come to an end. He packed up his belongings and bid farewell to the Marines and North Carolina. He drove a UHaul cross-country and arrived at my door step. I can't even explain to you the relief I felt in my heart to finally have the man I love home. No more two week visits and then a trip to the airport. He was home for good.

As if January weren't full of enough changes, I quit my job at Stampin' Up! and started my new job on February 16th. Apparently life changes come in threes: new house, actually living with my husband, and a new job. I don't really remember February as I think it went by so fast. I was probably so busy adjusting to my new life that I didn't have time for the little details of the every day routine.

I believe March was full of house projects. I know we painted the formal living room a new shade of beige. We also painted the bathroom off of the kitchen, and the wall above the fireplace in the family room. The sink fixtures and counter knobs were replaced in the bathroom as well as the light fixture. We went from a sterling silver to a brushed bronze. We replaced the ceiling fan in the family room as well. I believe many hours were spent at Home Depot and Lowes as we tried to improve the little things in our home that were affordable projects.

More house projects! We painted the bedroom in the basement a beautiful sea greenish/blue color that I LOVE! Michael also installed bead board along the perimeter of the room about half way up on each wall. We also decorated it with all the things that reminded me of North Carolina. I love this room and we got it done just in time for a summer guest. Oh, and we purchased and installed new toilets for the master bathroom and the bathroom off the kitchen. When I say "we" I mean Michael, but I supervised :)

I participated in Westminster College's graduation ceremony. I walked across stage with a hood instead of a lapel to signify my accomplishments in the Masters of Professional Communication program. Although I'm not finished with my field project, I am done with all the course work that pertains to the classroom. I've procrastinated a good deal on my field project and hope to get it done this year. But in my defense, I was pretty busy adjusting to my new life and all. After my graduation ceremony, we went to the airport to pick up my step-son Kyle. He flew in from Hot-Lanta and was going to be spending the summer with us. Grandma was unable to travel up to Salt Lake for my graduation because earlier that month she had taken a spill at Wal-Mart and shattered her knee cap. We're so lucky that things weren't worse. She had to have two different surgeries, but she's walking full steem now.

Happy birthday to me! Spent with the girls and my hubby at the Melting Pot eating many delicious treats dipped in delightful chocolate. A very yummy place to celebrate my 29 years. Also, happy anniversary to Michael and I! We celebrated our second year of marriage (although finally having him home, it felt like just six months) by staying the night at the same hotel in Park City that we stayed in the first time he came to Utah. We spent way too much money at the outlet mall and ran into our good friend Marge who was also in Park City shopping.

June was also a month filled with outdoor projects. I spent many hours digging in the dirt, pulling up plants I didn't like that the previous owners had planted, and replacing them with colorful petals of reds, oranges, yellows, whites, and purples. We also hung an adorable white porch swing. I love my front porch. It reminds me of a southern plantation porch. Although it's not a wrap-around porch, the white pillars and porch swing, and the white Adirandack rocking chair help to pull in the southern vibe. I also hung three large hanging potted geranium plants that bloomed throughout the summer.

In the backyard, I planted more flowers, and prepped an island for a fountain that we later purchased which I love. It's a terra cotta color with a lion spouting water. It's so fun to sit on the deck and listen to it. There's just something about the sound of trickling water. And my favorite feature is that it lights up at night.

June was also full of fun because my good friend Jen flew out from Boston for a "workation" at my house and my friend Kim also arrived from Texas. She worked during the day (as did I) and played at night. There were many a cup of snow we purchased from the best lil snow cone shack in Utah.

We're gonna see the fireworks! And we did. Although we didn't have a themed party this year, I did have a large BBQ complete with yummy food, good friends, and a firework show in our driveway. July wasn't as hot as it typically is (which I was grateful for) so the summer was quite enjoyable. I believe July was spent consuming snow cones and re-finishing the basement after Kyle managed to flood a potion of it.

Because of the flood, and the stink that consumed our house due to 20 year old wet pad and carpet, we bought new carpet! And if you're planning on painting (which we were) it's always best to do the dirty work before your fresh clean carpet is installed, so we did. My basement is now a beautiful golden yellow accented by chocolates, kelly greens, and a reddish rust color. Jen was willing to help us paint, and when Kim arrived us girls went shopping for furniture and new curtains. There's now a comfy micro-fiber sectional with chase lounges on both ends. It seats 4-5 comfortably. I also have a new entertainment system complete with blue-ray, bose speakers, and a 52" flat screen high definition TV. I also love our custom made book- shelf with sliding doors (it makes me feel like such a grown up to have such a piece of furniture). I LOVE how everything turned out.

Kyle returned back to Hot-Lanta and both Kim and Jen were gone so I believe August was a quiet month for Michael and I. The yard work was done, we took a break from house projects as we were both exhausted and broke from the previous ones, and I believe we spent more time consuming snow cones and sitting on the porch swing. I think this was about the time I started to realize that my new job was starting to feel extremely unchallenging and I realized this was not a company I wanted to spend many years with. I participated in our annual international convention which just about killed me, and then began looking around for something new (which I haven't found yet).

Happy 39th birthday Michael! No, I didn't make an angel food cake from scratch, and no I didn't make seven minute frosting. But if he plays his cards right, maybe 2010 will be his lucky year...

I spent September back outside in the dirt. I love tulips and spring flowers in general so I spent many hours digging holes 4-6" deep to plant bulbs that may or may not come up this year. We'll see. I'm crossing my fingers, because if they do come up, my yard is going to be one beautiful sight to gaze upon come spring.

Celebrated Dave's birthday and went to see "Where the Wild Things Are" which was quite exciting considering 1- Dave's brother Paul chucked a fork across the Pizza Factory, almost taking out a cute old grandpa, and 2- Michael almost had a take down at the theatre with the jerk sitting next to him (his cell phone was going off throughout the movie, and every time he'd take a bite of popcorn, he'd jab Michael in the side with his elbow).

I also decorated the house with Halloween stuff and spent time at the hospital because both Mom and Grandma were having surgery to patch holes in their hearts. My uncle Brent flew in from Alaska to help out and it was good to see him considering it had been 15 years. Both Mom and Grandma recovered well.

I think this was the most difficult month of 2009. It was filled with death and sadness and triggered a pain in me that isn't quite gone. My friend Billy completed suicide on the 7th leaving behind two little girls and a husband. I've never really lost a friend to death until this point, and considering the circumstances of her death, it hasn't been an easy one to accept. Shortly after Billy's death, my next door neighbor from when I was growing up in Price, was killed in a car accident. Also, my good childhood friend's father suddenly died from a heart attack while on a bike ride and his body was found the next day in a ditch not far from his home.

Two good things happened this month: 1- I spent my first Thanksgiving in my new home with family (except for my brother who stayed in Price) and participated in Black Friday shopping in the big city for the first time ever, and celebrated my mother's birthday. And 2- we had new windows installed on our main floor and in our basement. They're awesome and energy efficient!

I loved decorating for Christmas and was so happy with how everything turned out in my house. It looked so festive and cozy. But shortly after I began to really get into the spirit of the upcoming holiday, I learned that my brother and his wife were getting divorced. This put a damper on the remainder of the year.

A blur to be honest. A blur of mixed emotions as I mourned the death of Billy, and a blur of mixed emotions for my brother as I hate to see him in pain but am glad he's no longer married to his ex-wife.

Christmas was a total wreck (see above post) and that's about all I have to say about the holiday.

New Years Eve actually didn't suck this year which was kind of cool. I made a delicious ham dinner, complete with tasty sides, and we rang in the new year with friends, card games, and Rock Band (one of our favorite past times).

So for 2010 my resolutions are:
  • Find a new job that challenges me, and makes me feel like I'm actually contributing something worthwhile to my personal career and the company I work for.
  • Finish my field project.
  • Pay off some debt.
  • Lose (or at least hopefully not gain any) weight.
  • Take at least one trip this year (either to Boston to see Jen, or back to North Carolina as I miss it so much).
  • Complete either a bathroom or kitchen remodel depending on our financial situation.
  • Either fix or purchase a new car as I'm currently driving a lemon.
  • Try to find peace of mind.
Whatever your resolutions, I hope 2010 is a safe and happy one for you!