Tuesday, February 17, 2009

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

Kyara has been getting notices from the schools she applied to. She has been accepted to Northern Arizona University with a partial scholarship, University of Pacific with a partial scholarship, BYU Idaho, and now BYU Provo! She hasn't heard back yet from UCSD. We're very excited for her! It's nice that she has so many choices.

Fortunately, she's not going to keep us in suspense. She fasted today and decided BYU Provo was where she should be going! Yay! I, of course, am beyond thrilled that she chose my alma mater. I had such a fun time going there -- especially my freshman year. I know it is a different experience for everyone, but I really hope she is able to enjoy a lot of the things I did back in the day.

Kyara ran into so many obstacles just to get her application in on time. I'm so grateful to everyone who helped her through the rough patches and encouraged her to go in this direction.

I'm so proud of my girl! Go, Kyara! Go, Cougars!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Crappy Week

This has been ... a crappy week! I was overdone from last week, and I just didn't rebound very well. I reverted back to comfort food (in fact, I'm finishing some fries as I type), I stopped my belly dancing, I didn't cook, and I barely got in a half-hearted yoga session or two. So, I am proud to announce that I gained three pounds! Why am I gleefully sharing this information? Because when the water retention starts to melt away, my weight loss next week is going to look REALLY impressive.

Menu for next week: White Beans, Pasta, and Chicken, Kale, Lentil, and Chicken Soup, Baked Salmon, Skillet Vegetables on Cheese Toast, and Black Bean and Corn Stew.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On Hold

Alright, I am not posting this week about how my health goals are coming along, because it's my birthday and I've got my womanly hormonals going on (yes, Happy Birthday to ME!), so I will be cheating and eating a lot of chocolate right now and I'm not going to let the scale JUDGE me for this.

The Best Husband in the World and You Wish You Had Him!

That's right -- Rom is officially the best husband ever. For my birthday, he has given me a gift certificate for not one but FOUR spa visits! We're talking aromatherapy, soothing scalp, neck, shoulder and back massages, salt scrubs, body wraps, and even WAXING if I so choose. (Hmmm, I haven't even thought about who I'd like to have waxed.)

You know how husbands are always trying to find just the right gift? And how it is often something you enjoy, but it's closer to what they'd personally like to get from the wish fairy? Well, congratulations, Romney Howells -- you have just hit it right out of the ball park!!!

Getting old is soooo worth it!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Book Review: The Last Lecture

First of all, before I get to the Last Lecture, let me just say that "Pastwatch" was not very well received in my book club! Few people could find it, so not everyone read it. Out of the women who did, only Nikki really liked it. Robyn was trying to be diplomatic, but I got the impression she didn't much like it, either. Oh, well! I must have particularly strange taste.

"The Last Lecture," on the other hand, was a big hit. The author, Randy Pausch, is diagnosed with terminal cancer and only given a few months to live. He decides to give his last academic lecture and share what he has learned from life as a legacy to his three small children. From that experience, he then compiled this book, "The Last Lecture."

There is so much good stuff in this book! He told how he was able to accomplish his childhood dreams. He put people and relationships before things. He says brick walls are for people who don't want something badly enough -- and that brick walls are there for you to discover how badly you want something. He talked about the people who care enough about him to let him know when he's screwing up. He said that when people stop correcting you, it means they've given up on you. All told with a nice dose of humor.

I would definitely recommend this book.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pursuit of Excellence

Here I am, nearly finished, but I've only posted once or twice! One of my favorite talks was "The Infinite Power of Hope," by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf. I was also lucky enough to give a Relief Society lesson on this. It was a great lesson (thank you friends for contributing!!!), and I learned so much. It is interesting how I have a tendency to zero in on those things that help us through trials. Maybe I've had a taste of those in my day!

I've often heard about faith, hope and charity, but it seems hope never gets much attention. I appreciated how this talk expanded my understanding of what hope is and how I can apply it more in my life.

"The things we hope in sustain us during our daily walk. They uphold us through trials, temptations, and sorrow. Everyone has experienced discouragement and difficulty. Indeed, there are times when the darkness may seem unbearable. It is in these times that the divine principles of the restored gospel we hope in can uphold us and carry us until, once again, we walk in the light.

"We hope in Jesus the Christ, in the goodness of God, in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, in the knowledge that prayers are heard and answered. Because God has been faithful and kept His promises in the past, we can hope with confidence that God will keep His promises to us in the present and in the future. In times of distress, we can hold tightly to the hope that things will “work together for [our] good” as we follow the counsel of God’s prophets. This type of hope in God, His goodness, and His power refreshes us with courage during difficult challenges and gives strength to those who feel threatened by enclosing walls of fear, doubt, and despair."

I also had the opportunity to give a lesson on unity from the talk, "Our Hearts Knit As One," by Elder Henry B. Eyring. As you all know, because I've said it many times, I love my ward! It is because the people in my ward really love each other, help each other, and serve each other. When we have discussions, we are not afraid to "let it all hang out," because we don't judge each other and gossip. We know that this is a safe place where we can find help in trials and discouragement as well as celebrate joys and triumphs. Being with these people, I can see why the Lord encourages us to "meet together oft," because it is so wonderful to not have to go this journey alone.

"What will become more obvious to us is that the Atonement brings the same changes in all of us. We become disciples who are meek, loving, easy to be entreated, and at the same time fearless and faithful in all things. We still live in different countries, but we come into the Church through a process that changes us. We become by the gifts of the Spirit what the Apostle Paul saw:

"'For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

“'Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.'”

I finished my lesson with a challenge to add one more thing to your list of New Year's resolutions -- Apply the atonement more fully in your life. That means be willing to lay at your Savior's feet everything that weighs down your heart: all your sins and imperfections, all your sadness, illnesse, trials and difficulties.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Next Season of Survivor

Have you heard the buzz about the next season of Survivor? Here's the basic idea:

Six men will be dropped on an island with one van and four children each--for six weeks. Each child plays two sports and either takes music or dance classes. There is no access to fast food.

Each man must take care of his four children, keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook, do laundry, etc.

The men only have access to television when the children are asleep and all chores are done: There is only one TV, and there is no remote control.

The men must put on makeup daily, applying it themselves either while driving or while making four lunches. They must attend weekly PTA meetings; clean up after their sick children at 3:00 a.m.; make an Indian hut model with six toothpicks, a tortilla, and one marker; and get a four-year-old to eat a serving of peas.

The children vote them off the island based on performance. The winner is the first one voted off who gets to go back to work.

Hmmm, do you think that would spark a little manly appreciation for their women?

Gabe Has a Plan

Gabe has a plan. When he goes out to walk the dogs with Ian and Josh, if they encounter a man with a shotgun, Gabe is going to run away zig-zagging to ruin his aim.

Checking In

Why is that little (or not so little) number on the scales so important? It doesn't matter if we're looking better, feeling sexier, losing inches, or able to exercise more. For some reason, we need that number to validate us and tell us we're succeeding.

So, I lost three pounds this week! Yay! That's in spite of Kyara's most delicious homemade lasagna in the world! I splurged three days in a row. Fantastic. I also ate a good chunk of chocolate last night before Rom told me it was 330 calories -- per section!!! I also lost 1/2" overall, my percentage of body fat went down almost 2%, and I feel good. But all that pales before the almighty scales. Yes, it was a good week.

Here's my menu for the upcoming week: Tomato and Basil Flatbread Pizza, Crockpot Pineapple Chicken (because it was sooo delicious, and I want more!!!), Lentil Salad, Cajun some kind of fish (no recipe here -- I just coat with seasonings and grill on my Foreman grill), and Almond Beef Hawaiian (I'm going to try to conquer my fear of beef here).

I'm still looking for good, healthy, EASY recipes! Leave a comment or submit on my website.

How are the rest of you doing with those New Year's goals? Any progress? Need some love? I'm always willing to cheer you on!