Thursday, December 24, 2009


Most of y'all already know I am an absolute Christmas junkie: I have been listening to Christmas music since just after Halloween and have been known to listen to it in July or so if I'm having a bad day.

My love for this season is added to by Crystal and I celebrating our anniversary the 23rd. When I hear the music not only do I remember Christmases past, but also when we first got married. We have now been married for 3 years, and every year is better than the next. I love you, Crystal.

Earlier this month I swapped some favorite Christmas memory stories/traditions with some friends. We laughed with each other and noticed that we all had similar themes. All of our stories and memories were about good times with our families. Years after the fact we do not remember the gifts we received or even the gifts we gave, but rather the love and happiness that can exist in a home as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ together.

We get the special feelings this time of year as more people open their hearts to Christ's healing power. Christ always reaches out to us as he asks us to "be converted, that I may heal you...if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you and whosever will come, him will I receive" (3 Nephi 9:13-14). During this season more people allow Christ's love to influence them.

Without Jesus Christ, each of us is lost in this life "for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Only through the selfless sacrifice of Jesus Christ, called the atonement, can we be forgiven of our sins and look forward with hope to eternal life with God and our families. It is because Jesus Christ came to the world and loved each of us enough to die for us that we sing 'Joy to the World', the angels proclaim 'Glory to the Newborn King', and the wise-men watched the new star appear 'With Wondering Awe'.

Paul described his new life in Christ thus:
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

I hope each of you are able to take a moment to pause from the commercial side this season and reflect on the life of Jesus Christ and how it blesses all of us. We love you all. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm married to a gourmet chef

For our ward Christmas activity, we held a service auction. Members could (if they wanted) offer service to other ward members. At the activity itself there were several carnival games where we could compete to gain monopoly money (I competed in an eggnog chugging contest - it was awesome!). After gaining money, there was a silent auction on most of the services followed by a verbal auction on 6 or so of the most desired services.

Crystal's offered service was a romantic dinner for two, or a dinner for a busy family. Because of her renown cooking skills, this was one of the verbal auctions. The games came and went and it was time to auction Crystal's services. What ensued was a brutal bidding war for Crystal's delicious dinner. When the dust settled and the fast talker yelled "SOLD!" this dinner became worth $450! It was monopoly money, yes, but when was the last time dinner for two cost you $450? It must be because I am simply married to an amazing chef. This Friday we're going to make good on that service with dinner for a couple in the ward. Hope it's worth the money!

Oh yeah, want to know what my offered service went for?

10 bucks

It's pretty obvious who the talented one in the family is :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More than just a resolution

As 2009 comes to a close I have been reflecting on this past year and thinking of the new resolutions that I want to set for 2010. Can you believe it's already 2010???

For me 2009 has been about getting healthy again. I was really inspired by my sister, Shannon and my in-laws, Anne & Clyde. I was just amazed at their dedication to get healthy and it really helped me to get back at it. It hasn't been easy, but it has been so worth it. From my highest recorded weight in 2009 I have now lost a total of 28lbs. I've done it all on my own. I've just changed my diet and I exercise every day (minus most Fridays and all Sundays). I've really had to work on portion control, being consistent and figuring out what to do if things don't go according to plan. It has been so rewarding.

A lot of you have asked, "what's next?" and I know I've told a few of you, but I really wanted to write it up on the blog. For 2010, my health goals are to stay healthy, lose these last few lbs and keep them off.

The big kahuna is:
Salt Lake City Marathon on April 17th, 2010.

I signed up a month or two ago for it and I am so excited!!

Most importantly, I am running this for my parents. It was really my dad who got me interested in running. He didn't run races or anything like that, but he would always run "around the block" and I would go with him a lot when I was junior high and throughout high school. These were times that I really enjoyed- even if we just walked it. Heh, when I was in high school I had to beg him to do track and cross country. Eventually, he gave the O.K. and I can never thank him enough for letting me have the opportunity be apart of those teams. I honestly don't know if I'd be running like this if I hadn't participated in cross country or track.

My mom will always be my hero. In high school I was always wishing that she could be at the finish lines cheering me on. Although, she really did push me in all my races. Whenever a hill seemed too steep or I felt like I had hit my max I would think of her and just press on. I am running this marathon in memory of her. The marathon supports the Huntsman Cancer Foundation and part of my registration fee will be donated to that. Her memory is what pushes me every step of the way and through all those really long runs. :-)

My mom always told us, "Always have a dream!" and this is one of mine (as crazy as that sounds).

Some day, I hope to run a marathon that benefits cancer with any of my siblings (hopefully all!)- now that would be amazing. Are any of you up for it? I was thinking the 2011 National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer in Florida. I can always dream, right? hehe.

Now to work on all my other resolutions....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A really fun freebie

Today only you can download the entire soundtrack for Disney's movie, UP for free. Just go to this link- freebies4mom and then the code is: latimesdisney. I really LOVED this movie. I think it's one of Pixar's best. Enjoy!

Thanks to cnet for the picture :-)