Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas

I feel like I should write something about how our Christmas went etc. etc. but I almost feel like that is old news now! I will write about it any way though, but I will warn you, it might be a little long for a blog post.

We flew from our moderately warm Los Angeles to freezing Salt Lake on Dec. 22. That was also our anniversary so this will be the second year in a row that we have spent our anniversary travelling. Yuck! We did schedule our flight late enough so we were able to go out for brunch at a nice little french restaurant before packing all our stuff and heading to the airport. It was also our pre-Christmas since we opened all our Christmas presents to each other before we left (or maybe they were all anniversary presents?).

Flight was good, airport wasn't as horrendous as we feared. We made it into Salt Lake in time to catch the tail end of my mom family's Christmas party. It was at the same chapel where we held our wedding reception exactly three years earlier. I had fun seeing all my aunts and uncles and cousins while Robert hid away watching the BYU vs. UCLA football game. Sunday we stayed in Magna and went to church with my family at my old ward. I got to see some old friends and it felt oddly like I was back in my teenage years. Might have had something to do with going to the YSA class. In the afternoon we met Robert's family at Temple Square, saw the beginning of a concert in the assembly hall (see pictures below), and took the classic pictures with temple and Christmas lights. Now it was really starting to feel like Christmas.

Christmas Eve we were with Robert's family in Provo. In the evening we went to his Aunt Deena's house in Orem for dinner, presents, and scripture reading/presentation. I need to figure out how I can edit some video from this evening to post. Christmas was excellent, spent at home with the Wheats (well, in Provo at Rob's grandma's house where we were all staying). We missed having David and Jen there with us this year since they have recently moved to San Antonio and couldn't make it all the way up to Utah. The next day we (Dad and Mom Wheat, Kevin, and Rob and I) went up to Park City and shopped the outlet malls. I got a nice sweater from Liz Clairborn to wear to work, exactly what I was looking for. Then we hopped down to Magna for dinner and went to the airport.

When we got there the departure boards said our plane was going to be ten minutes late and Kevin's, who was flying out to Denver to be with his fiancee, was going to be half an hour late. Kevin boarded his plane and was gone before our plane even got in SLC. We finally got on the plane an hour after we were scheduled to leave. Coming into Los Angeles we had a lot of wind and therefore turbulence. The kids on the plane thought it was really fun, they were laughing and having a great time on the airplane ride. The adults were trying to be light hearted about it too, but we all couldn't help but be a bit nervous. Coming into land the plane was going side to side and we were actually a little titled as we touched down. Then the pilot came on the intercom and told us all welcome to L.A. (etc. etc.) and everyone clapped. Yeah!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Kevin's New Shoes Dance

video

Over Christmas every once in a while Kevin would come in wearing his new shoes and do this little dance. I think it might have had something to do with being excited to get engaged in a few days. Congrats Kevin and Ellen!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

We Must "Feel the Way Others Feel"


“I learned that unless we feel the way others feel, we cannot be too effective in meeting their needs. I have often said we must feel another’s need before we can fill them. Sometimes we learn another’s language or culture and are able to feel the way they feel, but not always. Feelings go far beyond mere language or knowledge. To feel how others feel is a great blessing and is accomplished as we hurt with them, laugh with them, mourn with them, rejoice with them, cry with them, suffer with them, wonder with them, pray with them, experience miracles with them, and become reconciled to die with them if necessary." – John Groberg


I love this quote. Elder Groberg wrote it talking about his mission, but it applies to anyone who is trying to help other people, whether at church, work, or in your own personal life. One of the most important qualifications my line of work of direct social services is empathy for the clients (in my case, the homeless and low-income). Everytime I meet with a client I try to think of how I would like to be treated if I were in their same position.

I often get clients who get very upset for some reason or another, (especially if we cannot provide them a specific service they were seeking). They will yell, critize, and threaten. Whenever this happens and I feel like yelling right back at them or making a smart alec comment, I try to remember that I am seeing my clients at their worst. They are desperate for help and don't know where else to turn. When the day is over I will go home to my nice warm apartment that has plenty of food. I don't have to worry about how I am going to surive through the next month. My clients don't have the same luxery. When their day is over they will still be homeless or be worrying about their month-to-month survival. Hopefully we will be able to help them out of that situation, but immediate help, like food, only lasts so long and permanent change is far from instant.

I also try not to be overly judgmental. Yes, a lot of my clients have gotten where they are because of their own bad choices, but my job now is to help them, not to point out all their faults. There are other issues with homelessness that I will eventually write about, but the most important topic I feel is remembering to treat the homeless and low-income populations as people, people just like you and I. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand them. After all, we are all children of God and equally important in his eyes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Random and Weird

I was tagged by Rachel.

5 Random or Weird Facts About Myself:

1. One of my eyes are darker than the other. I didn't notice this until I was in my teens, and for a long time I wasn't sure if this was true or if was just the lighting. But in every lighting my eyes are different shades of brown. I also have a a purplish birthmark on my left eyeball.

2. My name rhymes with celery.

3. When I was little my favorite chore was washing dishes because I liked to build towers with the dishes in the sink. To this day I still don't mind washing dishes and actually find it kind of relaxing.

4. I have never broken any bones nor had any stitches. Kind of ironic considering Robert has had surgery five times, stitches six times, and broken two bones.

5. Robert says when I walk I curl my toes up.


I tag:

Kevin

Ellen

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Perfect Gingerbread House

Such deep concentration (by one of us at least)

The finished product
My Evaluation of Costco's Gingerbread House Kits: I like that the gingerbread house package came with everything all ready to go. All the major elements were all there and I didn't need any extra candy or extra frosting (we had some of both left over). I didn't like that that house pieces had little lines imprinted in the gingerbread for the door and windows, and even on the roof. I felt like it limited my ability to personalize my house. In the end it looked remarkably like the house on the front of the box. Shocker, I know. But, it sure beats baking the gingerbread myself, or even just having to walk all around the store to get candy, frosting, and graham crackers. I don't think I would have ever gone through the effort unless I had kids back home anxious to make this year's gingerbread house. I'm glad I went with the kit and had some Christmas fun with Robert.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Congratulations Robert!

Robert just found out he got a 91 on his financial CPA test! Two down, two to go.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

We


On this page I have written:
"Robert and I"- 6 times
"We" (referring to Robert and I, sometimes+other people)- 36 times!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Peru!

We're going on a trip! Robert and I are in the early stages of planning a foreign trip somewhere, and right now we are leaning heavily towards Peru. (By leaning heavily I mean Robert has a detailed itinerary for us already, complete with dates in late May.) Hopefully it will be a celebration for Robert passing all his CPA exams, but if not we are going anyway. We both love traveling and had a blast together in Guatemala a couple years ago. We figure we better get some of our traveling done before we have kids, especially places like Peru where you can stay for cheap. If anyone wants to join us let us know!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rearranging

Robert and I spent the majority of our weekend rearranging the furniture around our apartment. Last week we got DSL internet instead of the cable internet we used to have. However, we found out the only place the DSL connection worked was in our bedroom. So we had to bring our computer and computer desk into the bedroom, which meant we had to rearrange the bedroom. Then we had to take some furniture out of the bedroom and into the living room, so we rearranged the living room. We also got a new TV stand over Thanksgiving so we set that up and cleaned out the closet while we were at it. Whew! The layout

Putting together the T.V. stand

It felt like spring cleaning, but in December. Robert and I are liking the fact that it never gets really cold here. We haven't even turned on our heater yet. That doesn't mean it doesn't get cool in our apartment, but the temperature is nice enough that we can just put on some warm pjs and slippers and be good. Contrast that with last winter when Robert and I went over to checkup on his grandma's house in Provo while she was out of town. The heat was off in the house and it was literally freezing! I had never been that cold inside before.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

BYU FOOTBALL!

The final BYU football game of the regular season was on Saturday in San Diego, and Robert and I were there. We drove down to San Diego with some friends from our ward. The Aztecs play in Qualcomm Stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers. It was niiice. We had padded seats at the beginning of the game when we were up on the club level. After halftime we went clear down to like the twentieth row near the west end zone. There was so much space! I think there were more BYU fans there than San Diego, and since it was in a professional football stadium we didn't even come close to filling it up.
Robert's Mom told me that this game should be warmer than our game last week in Utah. It was warmer, but it sure was colder than we thought it was going to be, which might be worse since we weren't expecting it. It was drizzling on and off all morning and it was cold once the sun went down. Luckily the couple we went with had a sibling there who came prepared with some blankets.



video

Cougars Score a Touchdown