Monday, November 24, 2008

roll out the holly ...

... put up the tree before my spirit falls again.

That's right. I need a little Christmas. Right this very moment. So we started our decorations a little early.

I won't be home much the next few days, and there is nothing better than flying back from Thanksgiving, walking in the door and seeing the tree all lit up in the living room. I LOVE Christmas!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

the life of Miss M

I know I'm a little late, but there are still 25 precious minutes left in the talented Miss M's birthday. Miss M is a new, old friend. We've known of each other for years, but just barely really got to know each other. We're stupid for ignoring each other all these years, I know.

She's witty, kind, understanding and above all a great friend willing to help me out no matter the problem.

She even DVRs The Office for me and allows her roomies to use fancy dishware to make a bowl of green jello with office supplies trapped in it. Now how cool is that?

Happy birthday, Miss M. I love you!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


All my elementary school fantasies came true last weekend. Not only did I get to see the New Kids on the Block in concert, but ... wait for it ... I TOUCHED Joey McIntyre. You heard me right. Touched him. It's OK to be envious. I would be if one of you got to touch him.

NKOTB is back after a terribly-long absence.

And yes, like giddy school girls, Elissa and I brought out the puffy paint and made "I LOVE JOEY" T-shirts. P.S. They were glow-in-the-dark. You know you're jealous. Random strangers wanted to take their picture with us. Pretty sweet.

And no, just because they are grown men DOES NOT mean they cannot sound like teenage boys going through puberty.

They aren't really new kids anymore. The average age of this "boy" band is 38. But you know what? That didn't matter. They are still pretty hot. The audience went nuts during the Jordan Knight-unbuttoned-white-shirt-blowing-in-the-wind-machine-while-his-washboard-abs-glisten-with-the-stage-lights move. Apparently he did that in the olds days (Elissa was lucky enough to go to the concert when she was a kid. I was relegated to the Disney Channel concert on TV at the Irby's house).

Now, if only I could see Backstreet Boys and N'Sync live in concert, all my boy bands dreams would be fulfilled.

Friday, November 21, 2008

sharing the love

Christmas is a month away, and if you're like me, you have no idea what to get the many people on your list.

My family knows they will be receiving a Deseret Book Christmas this year. They've all flipped through the catalog and made their picks.

So, in the spirit of giving, here are some gift ideas I'm considering for my friends and family. Feel free to steal the ideas, and use this coupon to get a nice discount.

My top pick: Reflections of Christ -- This project is close to my heart, as I have spent every day since I started at this new job looking at these beautiful images of the Savior. The book makes you feel like you are personally witnessing the Savior's most awe-inspiring moments. This is a great missionary tool and is non-denominational. Then, there is an amazing DVD that not only has a touching slide show of the images coupled with beautiful music, but a documentary DVD with the photographer, and my good friend, Mark Mabry, sharing his testimony of how this project has changed his life.

Top Christmas Book: The Miracle of the Wooden Shoes by Deborah Pace Rowley -- This is a marvelous book and tells the story of a 10-year old boy finding special gifts at Christmas time inside his wooden shoes, which is a German tradition. The website says: “For many nights, his wooden shoes are filled and needful gifts continue to appear, each with a scroll and scripture testifying of Jesus Christ. Then one morning, Walter and his family receive the best gift of all.” It's a great Christmas message for any family.

Must have for singles: A Single Voice by Kristen M. Oaks Believe me when I tell you this book is inspiring. Sister Oaks was single until her early 50s, and went through the struggles we all face. Her life is much different now, as she wed Elder Dallin H. Oaks. Even still, she understands the struggles. In the book Sister Oaks urges single members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to “rewrite the dream.” “If you sit and wait, you’re asking life to dominate you, when you have the opportunity to go out there and make your life wonderful,” Sister Oaks said. It’s a message that applies to all – single or married, young or old, male or female: the unexpected life is no less a life. Here's a link to an article I wrote about the book for LDS Living.

Great gift for missionaries: Let Him Ask of God by Lloyd D. Newell This book is a beautiful collection of inspired messages from the life and teachings of Joseph Smith with insightful commentary by my old BYU religion instructor -- the man behind Music and the Spoken Word.

The gift I should buy my dad: Mine Errand From the Lord by President Boyd K. Packer This book is an encyclopedia of gems from President Packer's lifetime of teachings. It's a great resource for anyone compiling a talk or lesson. Check out this video for more info:

Those are just a few of my favorites. I have a laundry list of books I want to read, but don't have time for.

Get out there and use this coupon fast. It expires on Nov. 30, and feel free to pass the coupon on to your friends. And Happy Gift Giving!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

the ybh girls

I write tonight mainly for three sets of eyes, none of which are my own. I write for the talented Miss M, the spider woman, and the bee.

These fine women of the yellow brick house are a breath of fresh air after a long day. Tonight, after a 10-hour day of work and another few hours doing relief society visits, I happened upon their lovely abode for a quick hello. I quickly found myself in awe of these amazing sisters who were scouring the scriptures and discussing every word of a recent general conference talk. I was overcome by the spirit, and knew I was in the right place. I ended up staying for a few hours, and engaged in a great spiritual discussion.

I'm so thankful to have friends who are great examples of faith and hope. I'm thankful that they kick me in the butt to be better. And I'm thankful that they know how to laugh and keep me grounded.

These three ladies are just a handful of amazing people the Lord has blessed me with.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

concert time

Last night I went to this beautiful man's concert last night with Meg at the Avalon Theater in Salt Lake. The venue was FREEZING, but his voice just makes you melt

He's the guy that sings the song "So Close" from the movie, Enchanted. And yes, that is him on the screen singing in the movie. Unfortunately he only sang a verse of the song during the encore (I'm guessing he doesn't want to pay the Disney folks so he can sing the full version of a song he didn't write). But the rest of the concert was amazing.