Friday, November 30, 2007

A whole lotta catching up...

As I was driving to work this morning, I took note (as I do on most mornings) of a homeless man with a cart who walks up University Avenue every day. And every day, I wonder, "Where is he going? Why is he homeless? Is he cold?" ...and many other questions spring to mind. For three years, I've been coming to work early early in the morning and I see this man. And this morning I thought, "Why am I so blessed and this man has nothing?" I look at my cush life and a flood of thankful thoughts comes to my mind. Wow, I'm grateful for a place to shower every day. I'm grateful for a job and a house and all the other big things. And the little things, too. So why is it that I want for pretty much nothing and this man I see walking has almost nothing? Makes me think of the responsibility that I have to society...I can't just be enveloped in my own little world of self-pity (why isn't my shirt that I ordered here yet?! who put raisins in the stuffing on Thanksgiving?! why don't the garbage bags fit my garbage can?!). I have to buck up and realize that there are bigger things in life than the rising cost of gasoline and what got deleted off the TiVo before I could watch it. Don't I sound spoiled! It's amazing what a little thinking can do...sorry to get all philosophical on you!

As for life, it happens so fast! It's been a couple weeks since I've posted, and so much has happened! Firstly, Adrianne's wedding was great. The weather held out just long enough to get some fantastic pictures and we got her all cinched up in that dress about 14 times. :) I'm glad I was there to help out. Gives me a sense of purpose. I ate WAY too much cheesecake and probably slacked in some of my duties, but it was fun to see her and Michael and how happy they were. Here's a picture of her and me at the temple.
I got to meet or re-meet a lot of her family, and we got along so great! I have new blog friends now (hi Dev and Brit!)...we went to Cafe Rio after the Salt Lake reception and had such a great time.

I'm actually friends with Brittany through stamp club. We meet once a month and make cards with rubber stamps and ribbons and markers. I'm new to it, so I'm not the best yet, but I have a good time! Here is the card I made this month. We also made ornaments (glued my fingers together doing that!), but I don't have a picture of that. It's hanging on my tree, though! I'm sad because the club was clear up in Layton, so Adrianne and I decided that we were going to find one closer to our geographical location. Brittany...we will still stamp, no worries. :)

Thanksgiving was great. We had my dad's side of the family over, and that means one thing: PIE. Holy cow, people, there were probably 30 pies for around 45 people. Talk about abundance! I ate pie for about three days straight, no joke. After Thanksgiving dinner, my family has this tradition where we go see a movie. This year it was Enchanted. It was a pretty cute movie! Cheesy, yes. Predictable, of course. But it had Patrick Dempsey in it; need I say more? I do love Thanksgiving. All the eating and the preparations and the football and the's just so right. And I got to sit next to my nephew who is a barrel of laughs. He was telling everyone about his asthma medication and how it works...and he got it right! He's only heard about it once, but that boy's mind is like a steel trap. Here are some cute pictures of him. I think the funniest thing that happened was the day after Thanksgiving. Let me preface with this...when you have almost 50 people to dinner, things get a little hectic. So much food is being passed and plated and prepared and all over the place. The next day, we were making some lunch and my sister, Sarah, turned on the oven to cook some cornbread. She opened the oven to put it in...and there were two pans of stuffing in there. We had completely forgotten about them from the day before! What a waste of good stuffing. :( I did, however, get out of the Snow family tradition of hauling three bazillion chairs out of the church the day before Thanksgiving and then hauling them back the day after. Don't ask me how I pulled off that feat!

I also went to the Silverchair concert last weekend with my friend, Lynne. I won the tickets on the radio! It was amazing! Some bands are not so good live. Silverchair was awesome! And they even played my favorite Silverchair song, Ana's Song. Their lead singer, Daniel Johns (I just had to look that up...), was fantastic...he was playing the guitar with his teeth. I'm not even kidding. And his pants were the tightest pants I've ever seen on any human being--ever. Here's a picture of that. The concert was at a club, so it was smoky and people were so drunk, but we had such a good time. We were standing on the balcony, and there was one girl who kept trying to walk down the stairs, but she fell down them. I thought it was a clumsy moment the first time and I felt kind of bad for her...and then I saw the same girl fall down on the stairs again and I realized she was completely drunk. This made me think two things: wow, Annie, you are pretty sheltered that you've not been witness to someone like this before; and: wow, that girl needs someone to cut her off! But I saw her a few minutes later walking UP the stairs (she made it this time!) with another beer. Anyway, if you get a chance, I highly recommend listening to Silverchair's new album, Young Modern. Thank you, Natalie, for introducing me to it.

Then on Saturday, I found myself once again in Salt Lake...for a blind date. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about the blind dates (I'm WAY more about the ones that are not set up, though), but it was a little bit awkward. I love Laura, my friend who set us up, so I don't begrudge her at all. It was a married couple, two "dating" couples and then this guy and me. Her boyfriend's friend's date (did you catch that?) fell through, so I was the alternate. It was fun going up to Temple Square, and I got to ride TRAX, which I've never done before. I tried my best to be polite and ask things about him and get him out of his shell...he was not having it. I think he's shy. But it was one night. I doubt I'll ever see him again...and that's ok.
As for this week, I've just been trying to get back into the normal routine. I did kick my friend Ben's trash at Settlers of Catan, so that was good. And I finished Adrianne's quilt (don't have a picture...hmmm....) for her wedding. I also started in on holiday baking...if you can call it that. I tried making a batch of fudge and it turned out fabulously. I've had problems with the recipe in the past, but I got it to work this time! Practice makes perfect. Now I've got to get practicing on pie crust. I also worked on my quilt blocks for quilt club (I'm realizing how much of a nerd I am as I type all these things I do...oh well...I sure like doing them!) and got those finished last night.
Now I've got to get ready for a pretty busy weekend. Relief Society Retreat is tonight and tomorrow morning and then I've got quilt club, a luncheon, a reception, and a concert tomorrow. Whoo! Busy busy! It's good, though. I'll be sure to write about those events on here, too. :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

An unlikely "vacation"

I get two days off this week. I should be home cleaning my house. Wait...who takes days off of work to clean their house?! Instead of tackling my "to do" list, I find myself in Idaho helping to prepare for a friend's wedding. So far today I have failed at multiple attempts to make her hair look good (we're practicing for the main event), made my second trip in 24 hours to the Wal-Mart to stock up on final needed items, and consumed a lovely McDonald's breakfast in my pajamas and glasses. Now who says this isn't vacation? Tonight, we get to go help set up for the luncheon/reception at the church. Idaho is sure fun. :)

In other news...Sarah found out last week that she will be having a girl! Finally, the niece I knew would someday come. I'd better get started on making a quilt for the little tyke. If Michael has his way, they'll name his little sister "Michael Sarah George" after his mom. He's a thinker, that one.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Too much too soon

Christmas lights. The joyous bulbs of color that twinkle and make us warm and fuzzy inside? Sighted. This morning on my way to work in downtown Provo. And yesterday morning, for that matter. What is this? Don't we get a chance to be thankful this November? What happened to days of gearing up for a huge family dinner and pie galore? Who decided that we need to skip straight from the 4th of July to Halloween and then straight on until Christmas? I mean, I'm all about a little forward thinking and planning things out and having them ready to happen when they need to...but people, this is ridiculous. Some radio stations are now playing non-stop Christmas tunes. I don't want to be a scrooge or snow on anyone's parade, but it all seems like too much too soon to me. Let's take a minute to actually digest the turkey and show a little thanks for our multitude of blessings before we chuck the cranberry sauce and break out our pinecones and holly.

Growing up, we had a rule that we weren't allowed to listen to Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving. I thought it was ridiculous and that it was my dad's way of stopping the madness that becomes children when the season of cheer gets going into full-swing, but he had a good thing going there. It gives you time to love the music and appreciate it for what it means, while sticking to the calendrical boundaries of Thanksgiving and New Year's--a definite beginning and end to 'Silver Bells' and 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree' time. I even rebelled the first couple years I was not living at my parents' house. I started listening at the beginning of November, anticipating the holidays with childlike glee. By the time the middle of December rolled around, right when Christmas should be at its height, I would begin to skip tracks on my favorite Christmas albums and find myself searching for something else to satiate the appetite of the music monster I had become. And by January 1, I wanted to break every Christmas CD ever invented. Maybe this was evidence of something deeper in my life at the time than a mere overload of holiday cheer...but my hypothesis remains this: too much of a good thing is not better. Letting yourself eat as much ice cream as you can is fun in theory, but in actual execution, it gets messy, not to mention, you risk creating in yourself an aversion for something quite delightful if consumed in moderation.

Ok, off my soapbox about people beginning Christmas too early. I'll give you a little credit for trying to make people smile a little more, for trying to get into the spirit of the season. I really do love Christmas :) But shouldn't Thanksgiving get its chance to shine in holiday glory? That's what I'm really trying to say. So in two weeks as you're waking up to a world where holiday sales numbers are being racked up at what seems to be millions of dollars by the second, take a second to reflect on how grateful you are for things in your life. Then put in your favorite Christmas album. I know I will.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Is there method to the madness?

This last week has been CRAZY! The Halloween party went over very well, at least in my perspective. It at least seemed like everyone who came had a good time, consumed a few calories, jived a little to the music, and enjoyed the awesomeness of the Snow house. I mean, our house is usually a crossroads for all types of people, but this was probably the biggest number we've actually packed in there all at once. Ok, "packed" is a strong word. But it was fun. I've attached some pictures of some of the attendees in their costumes. None of me. :) Sorry...(but not that sorry).

Adrianne's bridal shower was this last Saturday, too. I decided that my calling in life is planning and throwing parties. Not that I'm superb at it, but I really enjoy the details of things like this. Yeah, I get a little stressed, but seeing the final product and people enjoying themselves, that's just gold for me. We had fun at the shower...Adrianne with nine pieces of gum in her mouth after answering the "How Well Do You Know Michael" questions incorrectly was quite funny...she won't tell you that, though. :) And she'll be married in a week and a half! Where did this year go?!

I think I'm losing my mind...isn't the Daylight Savings in the Fall supposed to be the good one? I have not adapted well to it! Everyone was so excited to get an extra hour of sleep, but at 4:45am on Sunday, I was wide awake, my body telling me it was time to get up like it usually does around 5:30. No amount of chastisement made my body slumber again in those wee hours. So, I did what any normal person would do, should they find themselves in such a predicament: I baked. Ok, that's probably not "normal," but it needed to be done anyway for our family dinner. I came away from the kitchen with a batch of rolls and a chocolate marble cheesecake. Wow, not only did I not have good sleep in me, but I've now found myself amidst 239847502983745 calories. People, this is not a good combination. Luckily, I had to go make myself presentable for stake conference, so I didn't have time to consume any of these devilishly good items (if I do say so myself...). Ok, that was a tangent...anyhow, the sleeping hasn't come any more easily in these last couple days. Yesterday I woke up about an hour earlier than I would have cared to, and today, about two hours earlier. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! Don't answer that...

In other news, my dad has been sick with a pretty bad flu for about a week. I don't think I've ever seen him this sick, including the winter fifteen years ago when we were building our house and we all got some awful virus during the holiday season when we lived in a motel (that was a dark time in our lives...). I talked to my mom last night, and she says he's on the mend now, so that makes me happy and a little relieved. It's weird because I always thought of my dad as some sort of invincible warrior (and I still do...), never having any problems, never suffering from any mortal afflictions. As an adult, I guess I can see that he's got his own set of problems, just like the rest of us. Apparently he's subject to the same human-ness that we all are.

Stake Conference this weekend was quite enlightening. All of the talks made me want to step back, rethink, and step up to a better me. It's always good to get the extra nudge every once in awhile, when you know you've been a slacker at some of the little facets, and you try to steady yourself and get moving in the right direction again.

My roommate of two and a half years is moving out. :( Oh yeah, and she's my sister, too. :) I'm sad that she'll be leaving, but it's good for her. She likes to get out and try new things and meet new people. Provo has kind of taken a toll on her because it's not exactly her scene. But she's got a new job up in Salt Lake and will be heading up there in a couple weeks. While I do lament her departure, her bedroom will make for a nice miscellaneous room...piano, computer, filing cabinet, treadmill...I have plans for that place! My room will seem vast and cavernous when all of the moving is complete. I'm thinking about buying myself a new bed.

Last night at FHE, we had open mic night. I was talked into singing a duet of "You Are My Sunshine" with Rachel. I usually handle public performance pretty well, but I got so nervous that I almost forgot the words! Then I started getting that nervous shake while I was standing on the stage...luckily we made it through, for the most part unscathed. The follow-up private performance back at our place was much better.

Ok, if you've made it this far in my blog, I commend you. It's just been a few days, so there's lots to catch up on!

Sarah, my sister, finds out on Thursday if she's having a girl or a boy. My hope is for a girl, mostly just because we are already 0 for 3 on a niece. I have this gut instinct telling me it's a boy, though. We'll take whatever we can get, though! I haven't been around a baby for an extended period in quite awhile, so it will be fun to have a new member of the family. I hope that he or she doesn't decide to be born while I'm in Abu Dhabi next March!