Thursday, March 10, 2011

Puppy Bonding Day

I took the day off of work today, and this is why...

I got the cutest puppy in the world yesterday. His name is Mu Shu Mendell. I've never had a dog and I'm virtuously clueless when it comes to raising a puppy. If two human babies would have been dropped off at my door I would have been fine. I would be tired, but I would know just what to do and what I would need. Puppies are a completely different story. I decided to take the day off of work so that I could bond with little Mu Shu and so that I could try to figure out what a day in the life of a puppy is like.

The first thing we did when we woke up this morning was play with the toys. Mu Shu's favorite toy is a small piece of rope with frayed ends. He had a good time romping around and playing with me. I couldn't figure out how to insert the videos into the body of the blog, they always went to the bottom, the Meet Mu Shu video came next, but if you scroll down now you will peek at all of the other pictures. I wish I was a better blogger.

After we played, Mu Shu had a little breakfast, went outside to go potty, and played a little more. Then it was nap time.

I took advantage of the situation and napped too.

Mu Shu can make himself comfortable anywhere.

He changes positions often to get the most snuggling potential.

His comfort is of the utmost importance... regardless of mine.

I put Mu Shu in his kennel (no whining, just sleeping) so I could take a shower. When I was dressed, I came downstairs to blow dry my hair. When I was done he whined to get out, so I let him out while I put my make-up on. He loves to explore, but he won't wander to far from me... yet. Even here he whined for me to pick him up. I used my good mommy skills and didn't pick him up until I was done.

We had to make an outing to get him all set up on the puppy care plan at Banfield at Petsmart. This is how Mu Shu travels. It's a small basket, lined with a towel. Mu Shu likes to snuggle into it. I also threw in his little lamb, and his favorite chew toy.

The doctor checked him out and said he was all good to go. The nurse showed me how to cut back the hair around his eyes so he can see better. I didn't think it was possible, but somehow that made him even cuter.

Our next stop was a visit with Shawn at his work. Shawn promptly fell in love. The feeling was mutual. Mu Shu settled very quickly into his lap.

It was happy hour, so Shawn and I got a drink and a corn dog, and Mu Shu got a treat from the lady in the drive-thru. Mu Shu and Shawn played hard. Check out the video below to see how well puppies slide on concrete.

When we got home Mu Shu was tired yet again. My boy will sleep anywhere, as long as he's touching me.

He's really good at finding the perfect position while still maintaining contact.

Even now he whines unless he can be next to me. So, basically I found out that puppies are a lot like babies. They cuddle and play for 20 minutes, eat, poop, and then sleep for a couple of hours. I love, loVE, LOVE him! Bonding complete!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Top Ten Reasons I'm Friends With Angela:

10) She won't read my blog, unless it's about her... and she will be the first one to admit it. Much like she has no trouble standing directly in front of me in a picture on MY 30th birthday.

9) She is one of the sweetest people on the planet. She will do anything to help a friend. She's so good.

8) She can also be a little "bad." She's not afraid to hang out with me when I'm being a devil.

7) She's up for anything. Seriously. And she will let you take pictures!

6) Every girl needs a friend like her. We can sit and talk for hours about anything. Serious stuff, silly stuff, fun stuff, scary stuff, emotional stuff, and of course guy stuff.

5) She's super fun. Whether we are dancing, eating, playing, or just chilling, we always have a ton of fun.

4) She is the only other girl in our group of friends. I love my guys, but sometimes they just don't understand things like Angela does. They are not as patient shoppers, either.

3) She is (relatively) drama free! She doesn't play head games and is not one of those "mean girls." She's comfortable with herself and with posing like Audrey with me.

2) She can be silly. There are times when the people around us have no idea what's going on and why we are laughing so hard. I love that she will be stupid with me. We were eating with an imaginary friend in this picture. It's best that no one else be around us when we are like this. That's why our friend is imaginary. He left.

1) We are so different. We have different tastes in guys, clothes, style, movies, and lots of other things. Somehow, we are able to find little similarities in everything though. It was a friendship made in Heaven. I love this girl!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Love Cures

Everyone should read this link. Seriously. Right now.

I have tried so many ways to cure myself of this disease that I now have a new problem. I basically blurt out all of my faults as soon as you meet me. I keep all of my messes, physical and mental, out in the open. Awkward much? I think so.

I know I will always struggle with this a little bit, but I have finally found my solution. Dan's solution is to "Be real." Mine encompasses that, but it's a little different. Love. As in the verb.

Love others by accepting their imperfections. Love them by being honest with them. Love them by not judging them or holding them to impossible standards. Love them by allowing their mistakes... by sharing your mistakes. Love them by taking a stand against their hurtful actions to themselves, to you, and to others. Love them by serving them. Love the hell out of them.

Loving others will heal you.

Then, there is the much harder part. Love yourself. Love yourself by treating yourself with respect. Love yourself by letting yourself look at your past mistakes ONLY to make future goals. Love yourself by realizing your unique talents and strengths. Love yourself by not comparing yourself to anyone else. Love yourself by allowing yourself to feel Christ's love for you daily. Love yourself by letting go of that running list of imperfections in your head and starting a new list of accomplishments. Love yourself by allowing yourself to dream big, but not allowing yourself to live in dreams alone. Love yourself by not letting those thoughts of worthlessness occupy space in your head and never letting them come out of your mouth.

I tell my students that I expect their personal best every single day. Let's face it people; our personal best is not perfect. It can't be. It's a fact. We all know that. Consider making a change in the way you think about it, though. Instead of expecting failure, expect your personal best. Forgive yourself for your imperfections and forgive others for theirs. Love the disease of perfection into remission.

Rainy Daze

I love rainy days. They make the world pause and look for a minute. I think rain speaks a metaphor of reflection to my soul. I always want to wrap up in a blanket on my couch and read or write. I tend to keep my life pretty fast-paced. My phone is my lifeline and it keeps me going, going, going. Even when I forget to put something in my calendar, I use it to text Amanda to find out what I'm supposed to be doing. Rainy days make me forget my phone upstairs and not even know it's missing.

My phone was on silent for most of the day yesterday. I attended a beautiful memorial for my good friend Erin's Oma. I aspire to touch people the way Oma did in this life. I went to the Temple afterwards and watched the Joseph Smith video. They have an exhibit of beautiful paintings of scenes from the Book of Mormon. I was alone in the room, so I even got to sit down and read for a few minutes. Moments like that make life so much easier to handle. I ran errands, got dressed, and played mexican train dominos with my friend family, plus a new friend.

This morning I'm laying on my couch, wrapped in a blanket, looking out the window, and writing. It's lovely.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


It was a GORGEOUS Arizona day. I woke up early today and hiked the Wind Caves at Usery with my little sister and brother. It was beautiful. I felt so good and since we went slower today than last weekend, I didn't even get winded. Last weekend I didn't get to explore or anything at the top. This morning we walked around and checked out the wind caves. There were chipmunks running around. My balance still isn't the best, but I had so much energy! I was singing and dancing around.

After I napped and took a shower, I spent some time planning my part of Bishop's 5th Sunday lesson time. It was such a nice, relaxing, and peaceful day. Then, Kelsey and Akiva brought me a Vegas Roll from Sakai when they came over to check out the kind of pictures I needed for Yesteryear. I got to use my sushi set for the first time. After they left I went to Emily Waldie's. She was having a party, and since she's in a completely different ward than me, it was really fun to meet some new people. Lydia met me there and I had a good time hanging out with her.

Now that it is 1:30 and I should be going to bed. I have a ridiculous amount of energy! I feel SO good! I spent the last 30 minutes dancing around my bedroom getting ready for bed. Today was perfect.

P.S. I am also ridiculously happy.

Wind Cave


In case you were wondering, Phoenix is <-- way.

Amazing view

At the bottom of the mountain.

We are one good-looking family!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My View From Up Here

I love hiking. I always have. The best memories I have of spending time as a whole family, including my dad, were hiking as a kid. We went all over the valley and always stopped on our way home from Woodruff to hike up north. It's been years since I've physically been able to hike. 110 pounds ago it would take me forever to hike a trail. I still did it every once and awhile, but I couldn't go with my friends because it wouldn't be fun for them to have to go so slow and rest so much.

Yesterday I went to Usery with Angela, Shawn, and Kevin. I was really nervous because physically I feel the best I have ever felt, but I know my body has limitations that I don't fully understand. It was kind of a test for me.

Obviously losing weight makes you feel better and be able to do more. By the time that I had gotten down to a weight were I could feel a lot better, I got MS. I feel like I never got to feel the physical benefits of losing weight. March I was a little off. April was weird. May was exhausting. June was horrible. July was beyond horrible. August was very bad. September was bad. October, November, and December made me forget what normal was. During those months I changed my definition of what a good day was. I honestly forgot what feeling good felt like. Halfway through January the fog of MS lifted. Now that my MS symptoms are almost completely gone, I get to feel the benefits of the weight loss too. I feel better than I have ever felt in my life. It's pretty wonderful.

Close to the top I started to feel tired and my balance just went out the window. I fell twice. I looked like a drunk person staggering around. I knew my body well enough to know it was time to stop. Luckily we were very close to the top. Physically I felt fine. My muscles felt good and my chest/lungs felt good too. I had that humming, nerves-are-not-firing-exactly-correctly feeling, though and my balance was definitely off. I was a little scared about making my way down. We rested for a few minutes and started down. I was careful and held on to rocks when I needed too, and by the time I got to the more solid part of the path, Angela and I were both skipping.

Two weeks ago I would have been in trouble. I would have had to be extremely cautious and careful to get down and I would have had a meltdown at the bottom of the mountain. I probably wouldn't have been able to drive myself home. I started to get upset when I first started feeling off, but I made Shawn talk to me to distract me from thinking about it. Angela entertained me all of the way down. I rested at the top and that was enough to keep going.

The part that still scares me is the uncertainty. I feel better physically now than I ever have. I want to do more hiking, running, dancing, playing... I feel like I never know when or how I will hit my limit, but I know that I'm not going to live in fear of my limits. As long as I have my supportive friends and family members around me, I will keep playing the balancing act of respecting and pushing my limits. My view is that normal will be whatever I accept.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I may be the happiest girl you've ever met. Just thought I would let you know.