GRADUATION!! (Grad School)

Wednesday, January 25

Cookies... A Worthy Substitute.

        I added a streak to my hair last fall. For the first time in my life I didn't have a job that said I couldn't and I have always wanted to. So why not? I started with a green streak that looked awesome.  This semester I decided to change it up. Tonight was the night to make that change! But the appointment had to reschedule. Therefore, I am stuck doing homework... Cultural Astronomy. UGH! 

      Since I was stuck here I wanted a dessert. But I was craving something really really good. I wanted Gourmandise.  The greatest European bakery in Salt Lake. Their desserts are to die for! But they are all the way in SLC and that is not an option for tonight. 

      So, what does that leave me? Raw cookie dough, the safe kind (i.e. no eggs). While it isn't Gourmandise, it isn't bad for a small treat on a night at home. I am adding the recipe here so I can find it when I need it again. I have a habit of eating chocolate chip cookie dough with out the chocolate chips. I got the recipe from and it can be found here.

  • 1/4 c. Butter (room temperature)
  • 1/4 c. Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 c. Granulated Sugar
  • 1/8 c. Milk (or just a touch more, depending on the texture you want)
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 c. Flour
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 c. Chocolate chips (though I don't add these)


  1. Cream Butter and Sugars together
  2. Blend in Milk and Vanilla
  3. Add Flour and Salt and mix well
  4. Stir in Chocolate Chips

Tuesday, January 24

Stolen Moments....

Life is full of moments. Happy moments, sad moments, and especially busy moments. Those who jump on the Carpe Diem train tell us that we should always be looking to live every moment to it's fullest potential. Yet, some of my favorite moments are not the ones where I have stepped out into the unknown and started an adventure. My favorite moments are those simple times of joy that you share with those that are important to you.

Last Friday Meg, Sarah and I had our annual Christmas lunch. Sarah and Meg have been friends since Jr. High. Meg and I met junior year of high school. And Sarah and I became friends her sophomore year of college. Add it all up and we have known each other for a very long time. Therefore, while yes we know that it was half way through January, to us it didn't really matter. Between, work, school, children, and our own family holiday stuff, Friday was the first time we could all get together. This year Los Hermanos was a little hard to get to so we settled on the other traditional restaurant. JCW's in Lehi. With Burgers, Charlie fries, and delicious shakes we celebrated yet another year of friendship.... Plus who else would know to get me a bag that says "I like Big Books and I cannot lie."  We had our hour and then the 3 of us went our separate ways; back to work, school, and children. As I drove away I filed the time in my memory as a stolen moment. Nothing but laughter and chatter among friends. Friends who have been around long enough to understand me and my choices.

Today I got to have another one of those stolen moments. Tuesday mornings have become breakfast day. My sister Tallie has to drop her oldest off at preschool, my brother Ian is at work (He is the GM for a fast food restaurant) and I have some time before class starts. The only other addition is Tallie's little one, Ezzie. So we snag breakfast and Ian takes a break and we just chat. About family, about life, about whatever tickles our fancy. Ezzie steals our tater tots and our drinks. Ian runs behind the counter when someone needs a hand. I take a picture or two with my phone. But mostly it is just a chance to talk and laugh and be there for one another.

Life might be a about seizing the opportunity, but I hope to collect as many stolen moments as possible.

Tuesday, January 17

And then I remembered....

One would think that the title of this post would connect to the last post but it only does in the most peripheral way. As I wrote on Saturday, there is so much that I want to see and do. Nothing is impossible for me. The places I want to visit, the things I want to learn... all of that are with in my grasp. Then Sunday comes and I am reminded....

For those that don't know I am LDS (Mormon, Latter-day Saint, how every you want to phrase it.) I teach the Sunbeams in primary. What does this mean in non-LDS vernacular? During the second and third hour of church on Sunday I teach six 3 to 4 year-olds about our beliefs. There is singing, lessons, snacks... it is a lot of fun and kids at that age are really cute, if trying.  I have been in this calling (or post) for about 7 months or so now and we just got our new class so they are all 3 years old. It is sometimes odd for me, a woman who professes to not want babies of her own. The youngest, Sam, just turned 3 in December so he is really such a baby still.

Church begins at 11 and so we have the children from 12:15 to 2 pm: Prime lunch and nap time for our little ones. Yesterday Sam turned to me and told me he wanted his mommy. He was tired and wanted to be in his bed. In an effort to start to train him to stay for all of church, I stood at the back of the room with him while singing time went on. I had forgotten how sweet it was to hold such a precious child and rock them until they fall asleep. That trust is amazing. After about 15 minutes, Sam was awake and we were on our way to class.

So what does this mean? Why am I writing about this? Here we are two days later and it still had an effect on me. I truly don't believe small children are in my future. Not only because having babies is not something I want to do, but also because I believe my talents can be better served in other arenas. If I ever do marry (or just settle myself long enough to have a stable home and a stable job) I want to work in the foster care system an then move into adoption. But as much as I love little children, I want to work with the older kids. Kids that are around 8 -17 (I think they leave the system at 18 right?). So many kids are struggling in our over burdened system and I want to help them.

While my goals are sound and I believe worthy, some days the truth hits like a body blow. There will probably never be a little child of my own that I rock to sleep like I did Sam on Sunday afternoon.  I don't know if the sadness that comes from such thoughts is a natural instinct or something ingrained that I have learned due to my upbringing. Either way, some days it makes me sad.

But not to worry, one of these days I will meet my goals and have the chance to help troubled kids just as  I have wanted to for years.

Sunday, January 15

I had a thought.....

I spent the evening with Amy watching my favorite Disney movie on the big screen: Beauty and the Beast. While driving home late last night I had a thought for a blog post. Sadly, 12 hours later I can't remember what that thought was. So I shall talk about something else.

 Beauty and the Beast was originally released in November of 1991. This was also the time that my world was turned on it's end. Within months my parents were divorced, I had moved twice, my mother had remarried, my father was in a war zone with bombs exploding over his civilian head, and I had 5 new siblings. Is there any wonder that an 11 year old girl would find solace in the stories of Anne and Emily (L.M. Montgomery books) and Belle and her beastly prince?

As time passed my delight in these characters never waned. My entire family knew of my love for my two favorite heroines: Anne and Belle. One an orphan who desperately needed to prove herself to the world in order to make her adopted family proud of her and the other willing to sacrifice everything for her family. Both girls were rewarded for their efforts. More than just getting the guy, these heroines facilitate their own happiness even as they feel out of step with the world around them. It was easy for a shy young girl who loved to read to feel a kinship to Belle. Belle was stuck in what she termed a provincial life. Though provincial in the sense that it was not an urban metropolis, the reality was that Belle didn't fit into the society which surrounded her. A girl with a mind of her own, Belle wanted more.

Even now, when I am neither young nor shy (well as shy as I was) the words of the songs from Beauty and the Beast resonate with me. "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand, to have someone understand. I want so much more than they've got planned."  I have had the opportunity to travel and visit many places in this great country and yet I want more. More than adventure I what the chance to learn and explore. As Katherine Brook in Anne of Avonlea says: "I've always wanted to travel and see that place. To see the Taj Mahal, the pillars of Karnak. I want to know, not just believe, that the world is round." I might not want the pillars of Karnak or the Taj Mahal but there are so many places that I want to see. So many things that I want to learn. And if I have learned nothing else in my 32 years here on this earth it is that, if it can be achieved through hard work and diligence, I can achieve it. After all, I'm graduating this semester aren't I?

Saturday, January 14

Another week done....

Well, I have made it through another week. Cultural Astronomy hasn't killed me, I survived math, I didn't get any readying done (which frustrates not only me but Amy as well...she is still waiting so we can discuss Blood Rose) but the journal is well on it's way to well... to more editing. Lol!

Sadly the Cherry coke I had when I went to see We Bought A Zoo has me awake... with no helpful or insightful thoughts to share. Maybe I will try to sleep. Wish me luck... and a better post next week.

Sunday, January 8

Retreats and the flu....

So there goes my resolution to write more often. Lol! Last week I had a 3 day retreat into the Capitol Reef National Park.
The university has a field station there and our staff was invited to join the staff of the English student journals for their bi-annual editing retreat. Pam, Rachel and I were able to set a schedule for the rest of our publishing. I also had a chance to learn a lot about a program that is new to me but that we will be using for our publishing.
Doesn't Rachel look so happy to be there. Lol!

Even though it was January we got some interesting hiking in. The first day we stopped at some place called the goose neck... I think. Then the second day we got to go out for a couple of hours into the park.  I even got a few cool pictures....

It was nice to be out in nature and I had a lot of fun.... there was even a 6 hour marathon Gin Rummy game.
Jane our station manager also taught us a lot about minimal impact on the surrounding desert and conservation. The station is completely solar powered and it was cool to learn about how we impact our surroundings. Not to say that I am a fan of cold showers...*shiver*.... but I can see why we need to work on ways of preserving not only our history but the world that our history

 was created and preserved in. The petroglyphs that were written on the rocks out in the national park tell us about the societies that have passed through there. Fascinating....
After a great trip to the wild outdoors.... I either came down with a flu or got food poisoning. *sigh*

So now it is Sunday night, and I have been in bed for three days. School starts tomorrow, and I have a job interview (YAY!) and we have to get back on track with our editors. It is my last semester and I am looking forward to being busy.... and maybe a little nervous.

Monday, January 2

I like to write....

So, I like to write. And I don't suck at it, if I do say so myself. During the semester I miss blogging. School writing, while infinitely better than anything that ends up on my blog, takes a lot of work and all of my attention. Yet, I need the verbal diarrhea that comes with blogging. Lol! I think this is why society is fascinated with the current social media. Facebook, twitter, and blogs are the therapy everyone is afraid to admit they need. I am not afraid to admit it, when I don't blog I talk a lot... to anyone... about things no one really cares about. Lol! So I revert to blogging. There the thoughts get out there without me forcing myself on people.

So what do I do.... I start a second blog to go with the first one. Not that I really have time for either but there you have it. The second blog that will probably get more of my attention than this one. It is a commentary on the books that I read. What ever book I finish will get put on the blog with my scattered thoughts about it. This makes me happy.

But for now... I have to go pack for our editing retreat. I leave tomorrow and I still have to figure out what to pack. :)