Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Everyday Heroes Vol. 1

I've been thinking a lot recently about people in my life who I consider my heroes. Some of them are living, some of them are not. The thing is, it's the little things that people do that make them my heroes.

Number one: My dad.

On Saturday, I worked a very long shift at work. I was exhausted. I got off at eight, and was so badly looking forward to going home and eating the pizza that Christopher ordered for us. Well....my car wouldn't start. I called my dad, and asked what he thought, and then I was off to the gas station. The gas light had never come on, and I wasn't sure why the car wouldn't start. Well...I walked through the snow, and got back to my car...put the measly gallon in the tank, and it still wouldn't start. I called my dad again, this time, on the verge of tears. I said, "Dad...it still won't start." He got in the car and came to me. (Mind you, I was all the way out at Kenwood, which is 30 minutes from home on a good day) In the meantime, I walked back to the gas station and got more gas. Well, the second time, my car did start. I drove around the parking lot, but was still scared to make the drive. I called my dad for the third time and said, "Dad...it's running now...but I'm scared because I don't want to get stranded." He told me to drive over to the gas station, so drive, I did. He met me there a few minutes later, got out of the car, and told me to open the gas tank. I said, "Why?" He said, "Just do it." So I opened it up, and he got out his card to fill up my gas tank. (It was already full by this time, but that's beside the point) He told me that the roads were really icy, and promised to follow me home. I'm 22 years old, but my Daddy still comes to rescue me when I need it. Cool? I think so.

The truth is....

I was reading Sarie's blog...and I was secretly wishing she would tag me...

And she did!

3 things I was doing 10 years ago:
1. Having sleepovers with Jill and Nicole
2. Being in Concert Choir at the Middle School
3. Developing film in the darkroom at school

3 things on my to-do list today:
1. Take a shower
2. Go to the bank
3. Go to see MISSY HIGGINS!

3 things I love about my [fiance]:
1. He takes VERY GOOD care of me
2. He knows when to tell me that I'm being ridiculous
3. He reminds me that I'm a daughter of God and that it makes me very special :)

3 jobs I have had:
1. Build-a-Bear
2. Nanny
3. Preschool teacher

3 movies I have seen more than once:
1. The Holiday
2. Mormon Pride and Prejudice
3. John Tucker Must Die

3 places I have lived:
1. Fairfield, OH
2. Chandler, AZ
3. Provo, UT

3 places I have visited:
1. London
2. Paris
3. Tijuana

3 T.V. shows I watch:
1. House
2. Will & Grace
3. Friends

3 things you may not know about me:
1. I hate my bellybutton
2. I named my car Norma Jean
3. I love pizza, but it makes me very sick.

3 people I tag: My sister Sarah, L.Bales, Cait

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The North Pole and The South Pole

I've been debating about whether or not I wanted to write this for some time. Clearly the decision has been made, and I've chosen to write. If you don't want to read the whole thing, don't. I don't even know how long it's going to be, seeing as once I get started, I may not stop. The subject line may be a bit deceiving. I'm not talking about Santa or penguins. I'm talking about....

*drumroll please*

Bipolar disorder.

"Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. Different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through, the symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide."
-National Institute of Mental Health

My life has been filled with unavoidable ups and downs. I don't usually mind them so much...I'm used to it. I've had some big things happen in my life. My mother passed away when I was six years old. My dad remarried quickly. My sister became a mom to me...and she left for college. I was overweight, awkward, and shy. I know you don't believe it...because I was overweight, awkward, and INCREDIBLY LOUD. That's my bipolar talking.

According to my dad...and this seems to make sense, people who are bipolar tend to be recognized by their manic modes. You all probably know me as bubbly, outgoing, smiling, happy, loud, rambunctious, and energetic.

What you don't see are the hours of crying, the sleepless nights, the endless fatigue. You don't see the times Christopher has to wait with me until I can calm down, the hours he's spent trying to convince me that everything will be okay, and that I'll pull out of the depression eventually.

So maybe the point of all of this is to convince you that Christopher is a saint. He is.

I've spent most of my life dealing with what I call "Trust issues." It means that I hold my guard up VERY well until I know how to trust someone. There are very few people that I have ever been able to trust completely. Christopher is one of them. Because I trust him completely, for better or for worse, he gets to see both sides.

We start out the evening just fine. I'm happy, he's happy, and we've both returned home from work. We laugh and play...we make dinner, turn on our favorite show, and build a fire.
...wait, what? I can't build the fire fast enough? Here it goes...and I'm gone.
suddenly the world is a miserable place. A place where I'm convinced that I don't do anything well enough, that everyone hates me, that nothing really matters. I try to hold on to myself for a few minutes, but we all know what's about to happen...

You get the picture. Nagasaki has just occurred in the family room. So he calms me down. He makes me drink some water. He waits until it's over. And then I'm fine again.

Luckily, because Christopher knew what was going on, he was able to discuss it with our family doctor when I went in for my initial visit. The verdict, you already know. Bipolar disorder.

So I take Prozac and Depkote. How does it feel to take an anti-psychotic? Ha...well, at least I'm not as psychotic while I'm taking it.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

- Plato

Lots of people struggle with things that nobody else ever knows they're struggling with. This is my battle. I don't tell you so that you'll feel sorry for me, I tell you so that maybe someday, somehow, you might feel like it's okay to be fighting a battle of your own. I have been fighting this for most of my life. I just recently started with the medication. The truth is, my greatest help came from

Alma chapter 7:

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

I know it's hard. But even without the Prozac...there's an answer.

How blessed we are to have the atonement of Jesus Christ to make us strong! Christ experienced all of these things so that we can be succored.

I guess that's all for now. Just some food for thought.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Remember that time I was a chipmunk?

So...I have been tagged by my friend, and I am supposed to tell you seven odd things about myself. I'll tell them quickly, as I have already shared my unspectacular quirks.

1. I always peel the chocolate off of the outside of a ho-ho and eat it first. Then I unroll it and eat it.

2. I regularly end my sentences with the word, "Huh?"

3. I didn't know until fairly recently that the word piano has 3 syllables. Apparently I've been saying it wrong for years. Also...garage is not pronounced, "Grodge." Thought you should know.

4. I really enjoy changing my handwriting.

5. I love taking pictures of myself. I feel like it's more accurate than a mirror.

6. I hate the sound of metal silverware scraping the bottom of a plate or bowl that is not plastic. I endure it only for the last little bit of ice cream.

7. I don't necessarily think my clothes always have to match.

Now. On to the important stuff.

I'm getting married in darn near 6 months. Suddenly today I started FREAKING OUT about all of the work that still needs to be done. All help is welcome! Tips, ideas, manpower.... the list goes on!

Last week I was blessed with an infection around one of my wisdom teeth. It began as a nagging pain and a little bit of swelling, and as the week progressed, my face got bigger, the pain got more severe...and $166 later, I had a visit with an oral surgeon who told me I was infected and I was well on my way to recover with a mouth rinse, penicillin, and VICODIN. The Vicodin saved my life last week.

I have been promoted at build-a-bear. I'm now an associate store manager in three different stores, one of them happens to be the "Gapper" store in the Reds stadium. The others are Kenwood and Florence. :) Come visit!

This has been a huge blessing for me, because I have been struggling with this work thing for quite some time. Trying to figure out how things are going to work out. I've taken a little bit of a pay cut since I left the preschool, but I think that it will be for the best. I happen to love this job, and don't mind waking up and going to work. The preschool job left me wanting to stay in bed all day long.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Realizing that you see others in an imperfect light will make you likely to be a little more generous in what you say."

President Henry B. Eyring

This quote hit me with some force as I re-read President Eyring's talk, "Our Hearts Knit as One" the other day. I realized that all too often, I am guilty of not saying enough good about others. I have held myself highly in a position of indifference...not creating discord, but not creating any unity either. So here's the thing...what if we all wrote some good things about people in the ward? How much more unified could we feel?

So here's what I propose: I'm going to say some things about a couple of people. I'm not going to mention your names, but you should know who you are. Then, you say some things about a couple of other people. It's like the reverse of gossip...because it's all good. What do you think?

First, I'd like to mention a dear sister from the ward who was my young women's president some time ago. Things had taken a sour turn for me, and I wasn't attending YW anymore. I was unhappy, and I felt very alone and unwelcome. She was called as the president, and it seems, she took every effort to make sure I felt loved. It worked. I returned to YW, I attended mutual, and I became much stronger and happier as a result. I felt the love of the Lord...through her. She has been one of those guardian angels to me that Elder Holland was talking about.

Second, let me tell you about my sister. (I guess I ruin the not dropping names thing here...) She is beautiful, talented, loving, and compassionate, just to name a few of her awesome traits. She's always been a mom to me, and is the person I run to when I don't have a recipe for something, or if I need to get something off my chest. She's the mother of my 2.5 beautiful nieces, and the greatest example I've ever had in my life.


It's your turn. Who can you say kind things about?

Oh yeah, and my wonderful, wonderful, super-talented, handsome, funny, strong, loving fiance. :) He created the new thing for the top of my blog :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

In case you didn't know by the name of the blog...

I really am getting married. And soon. Just kidding...it's not really SOON, but in honor of the 200 day mark in our countdown, I'd like to show you all the fabulous picture of my dress!

Christopher and I were shopping around in the Reading bridal district, and happened upon a store whose owner I'd been e-mailing. She had told me that she had one modest dress in the store. So...we went in. I tried it on. I almost cried. It was perfect. I was in love. Well...it cost $750. She told me that if I bought it off the rack that day, that she would take $250 off of it. I didn't have $500 to spend that day, so do you know what?

Christopher bought it for me. My wedding dress. :)

I'm trying to decide on my wedding hair. I'm thinking plain and simple.

What do you guys think about veils? Tiaras?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Just another beautiful Sunday...

Today was one of the most beautiful Sundays I've experienced in a LONG time. Don't get me wrong, I love Sundays...this one was just markedly special.

First of all, I got to sit in the pew just ahead of my family, and it was the first time in a LONG time I've seen my dad sit with the family.

Emily came up and sat with me for a little bit and played with my keychains for a while. One of the keychains has a picture of the Salt Lake Temple. Emily kept saying, "Temple, Aikey, Temple! Going there some DAY!" I said, "To feel the holy Spirit, to listen and to..." She looked up at me with her big bright eyes and said, "PRAY!" It's so beautiful to see the light shining in the eyes of little children!

Which leads me to the other awesome experience I had today. We talked about being reverent in Sunbeams today, and my kids were priceless. There was a new boy in the class, and he's much much younger than the other children. He didn't really know how to be reverent, and was really struggling. Talking when the other kids were talking, and getting up out of his chair and playing. I taught the kids in the class that if someone who is new at church doesn't know how to be reverent, the best thing we can do is show them our best example of being reverent. They were ANGELS today! I can't describe to you how amazingly reverent they were today. We went on a reverence walk through the church, and I sat them in the back pew of the chapel. I told them a story about being reverent, and they seemed to understand it perfectly. I taught them that they were showing Heavenly Father that they love him when they are reverent. They seemed to get that pretty well.

So then we talked a little bit about how they know Heavenly Father loves them. Here are what some of the kids said,

Me: Luke, how do you know Heavenly Father loves you?
Luke: "He helps me be good!"

Me: Olivia, how do you know that Heavenly Father Loves you?
Olivia: My family told me. I believe them.

Me: Connor, how do you know Heavenly Father loves you?
Connor: Because it's true.
Me: How do you know?
Connor: I just do.

How simple is that faith! They're so beautiful. Thank you for letting me teach your children on Sundays. :) They really brighten up my week!

Christopher and I went for a walk this evening. The weather is BEAUTIFUL! It's my favorite time of year. :) We had fun talking about the last 9 months or so, and the incredible journey we've been on since he was baptized. I'll have to share it with you sometime. :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

If you blog it....

they will come.

So I recently installed google analytics to my blog. I'm fascinated. Absolutely, entirely, unnaturally fascinated.

So today I left work at my fabulous part-time job-
Oh Build-a-Bear...how I love you. Let me tell you what I experienced at work yesterday. We launched two new animals. Their names are Hal and Holly moose. They're Christmas animals, and they're adorable. ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE. now....because I work for the company, I will tell you that you can order them here. For some reason, I feel obligated to tell you that.

Are these guys cute or what?!

I'm in love with them, and quite frankly, wish I could have them. There are also miniature versions of them that the kids call "baby moose." Now...let me tell you why these are animals of interest. They cost $18 a piece. For just the animals. But in the last 2 days, I have seen 2 or more transactions leave the store totaling OVER $100. ONLY IN CHRISTMAS PRODUCTS! I'm outraged!! I thought there was an economic crisis! Don't get me wrong....I love the store. I love the products, and I wish I could have all of them...I simply wonder....how can anyone afford them these days? What are they doing for a living?

Well... one little girl who did a little extra begging....left the store with two moose, the book that goes with them (it's free with the purchase of the two animals), several outfits, pajamas, babies, and shoes. Each moose also included a $4 Jingle Bell Rock sound...and her total was...get this...


People. They're stuffed animals.

I love my job. I need another though. Does anyone know of any possibilities for part-time or full-time work for me?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I guess I feel like I should say something...

I voted for the first time yesterday. I would like to detail for you my experience. Okay....just kidding. it's not for you, it's for my posterity!

...like my kids will ever want to go back and read some ancient communication like a "Blog...."

As I said a moment ago, I voted for the first time yesterday. I was terrified. I have spent the last few months thoroughly researching the candidates and the issues, and couldn't for the life of me make a decision. So...I prayed. And I prayed, and I prayed, and I prayed. Then...I prayed and wrote down my concerns before I studied my scriptures Monday night. And I prayed some more. I still didn't have an answer.

On Tuesday morning, I was still worried because I wasn't sure who I was going to vote for. I prayed some more, and eventually, I felt at peace. I hadn't made a decision, but I felt like I was ready. I drove to South, and stepped out of my car. I walked up the long sidewalk to the school and.....

oh wait...

I have to sidebar this story, because it amused me. I purposefully did not vote for the judge that was standing on the sidewalk up to the school because he was arrogant, AND he was standing too close to the polls. I would have scribbled out his name if the computer allowed it.

Anyway...I walked up the looooooong sidewalk to the school, waited in line for what seemed like an eternity... just kidding, I waited in line for all of thirty seconds... and then I walked to my voting booth. I inserted my card, and instantly felt guilty...like I was spending money I shouldn't. Hahaha...it was like a credit card, you have to admit.

Anyway...the presidential candidates come up on the screen. I stare at them for a few seconds, and then I find myself pressing the box next to the name "John McCain." I finished voting, pressed to go to the next page, and a flood of emotion hit me. I knew I'd done the right thing.

Now...I'm not saying the right thing to do was to vote for McCain. I don't know if it was or not. In all actuality, it doesn't even matter. Obama is now the President Elect. I'm okay with that too. But what I did, was give it my all. I did my research. I said my prayers. I voted where my heart was. I agreed mostly with McCain's morals, and I felt like when push came to shove and I didn't want to vote for either...so I voted based on morals.

I feel good about it.

I also voted for Ken Keith. He smiles and waves a lot. Puts me in a good mood every time I see him on the corner.

So for the first time in my ENTIRE LIFE, I was part of something massively historic. I voted against the first African-American president. Well, really....I canceled out Christopher's vote. Such is life. ;-)

In other news, tomorrow is Christopher's birthday. You oughtta tell him happy birthday and stuff. :) Maybe he'll start blogging.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

So I've been tagged....

and seeing as I haven't visited Blogger in a little while, I think it may be time to jump back on the bandwagon. I don't write very much, but in the spirit of the leaves changing colors, I think I'll start up again. Did you miss me?

I've been tagged by Patty, and I guess I should be glad for this opportunity....

MY unspectacular quirks.

Here are the rules:
1.Link to the person who tagged you
2.Mention the rules on your blog
3.Tell 6 unspectacular quirks about you
4.Tag 6 following bloggers by linking to them
5.Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged.

1. I am obsessed with smelling good.

Guilty of spending too much on that perfume that I just MUST have? You can bet your money on it. I can't bet mine, because truth is...I've already spent it. Right now...Betsey Johnson (The default) and Hanae Mori, which is brand new, and I'm unhealthily obsessed with smelling myself. Once upon a time, someone who was giving me a makeover asked me what perfume I wore, and my answer was, "...uhh..." needless to say, that never happened again! I tried perfume once, and I was hooked forever. Once, I actually turned around and went back home to put perfume on because I felt naked without it.

2. I'd rather die than leave the house with my hair not fixed.

When I turned eleven, my hair started growing. Not in length...in depth and width. I didn't know what it meant, all I knew was that my mom insisted that I blow it dry every day, and I ended up looking mostly like a cross between a christmas tree and a poodle. By the end of the vulnerable seventh grade, I felt like the biggest fool in the world, and decided to try what all my friends called, "Scrunching." Guess what? Where my greasy looking sorry curls were supposed to be, there were beautiful spirals. And my curly hair was born. As high school wore on, I began to learn how to fix my hair. Straight, curly, braided...it was all possible, if I wasn't trying to wake up at 4:00 in the morning to fix it before seminary. So...My hair stayed in a ponytail until I was about 20. Then I learned that I was darn good at fixing my hair, and that I could make myself look put together in 90 minutes or less.

3. If I'm barefoot, I go out of my way to walk in a puddle, because I love the way my footprints look.

This summer, this quirk was pointed out to me. Christopher and I got out of the pool, and I walked in a loooooooong circle around my towel before I picked it up and dried off. Not because I felt like my good looking body needed to be ogled in my bathing suit...haha...but while amusedly watching my footprints. Then I made Christopher walk in front of me so that I could see his footprints too. This was even more amusing to me, because I have reeeeeeallly high arches, and he has flat feet...so his footprints are rectangles and mine are shaped like the letter "C." Amusing. :)

4. The first time it snows, I always walk outside barefoot.

I've done this since I was a little girl, and I don't know that I'll ever stop. It's something about the first time that shocking wet cold appears in the winter....and enjoying every single moment of it. Snow has always felt like Heavenly Father's gift for me...wrapped up and gifted with a sparkling bow with a tag that says, "Adrienne, Everyone else hates this stuff, but I know it's making you feel better. Love, Heavenly Father."

5. I love makeup.

I almost never leave the house without makeup on either. Not because I hate the way I look without it, but because I actually ENJOY putting it on. It makes me feel put-together. Makes me feel ready to conquer. I had a friend whose sister died, and after a few days of crying in her room, her grandma came in and said, "Put on some lipstick and face the world." Something seriously true about that statement. I'm not selling out to the makeup conglomerates, I actually...like it.

6. I like...no...LOVE to read.

You know those weird little kids who go to bed and get caught several hours later with a flashlight on under the covers reading? That's me. I don't care what it is. The cereal box. The air sickness bag....I love to read. I used to pretend to be asleep with my light on in my bedroom when I was little so that I wouldn't get in trouble for being up reading. The only difference between then and now is that I don't have anyone making sure that I go to bed... so clearly I don't get enough sleep.

I tag:
1. Julie
2. Caiti
3. Scott
4. Maura
5. Michelle J
6. Christopher

Friday, September 12, 2008

Look what I made! :)

Pyzam Family Sticker Toy
Create your own family sticker graphic at pYzam.com

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The truth is...

I'm going to be honest.

I'm not going to keep pretending like life is perfect right now, because it isn't.

I'm stressed.

I've been sick for over a month.

I've been in and out of the doctor, with lots of needles put in my arms.

I quit my job.

I feel like I'm letting people down.

I need a new job.

So that's where it all begins. It's been a hard little while for me. Don't get me wrong, I have lots of blessings...but there comes a point where I really am just tired of keeping up my facade everywhere. So I'm letting it down for a moment. I'm STRESSED. Even angry sometimes. More than once, I have wanted to throw things, scream, or just curl up and cry.

I know everyone's lives are hard from time to time, but what consolation is that when all I have energy to think about right now is how I'm going to get out of this predicament?

Anyway...if you have heard of any job openings, I would love to hear about them.

(I will be working part-time at Build-a-bear in Kenwood.)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The "Joke" known as Provo Parking Enforcement

I wrote this some time ago for my Freshman English class that I took Junior year of college. I enjoyed re-reading it...and if you've ever gotten a parking boot, you might too.

Let me know if you've heard this one. A blond, a brunette, and a redhead are all in a car. They park it in the lot of a friend's building as they quickly run in to borrow an Epi-pen so that they can save the life of a poor child who's been stung by a bee several blocks away. Upon returning to their car, no less than two minutes from parking it there, they find an ominous parking boot attached like a tumor on the wheel of the car. An hour later, a University Parking Enforcement employee moves more slowly than grass grows to remove the boot, charge an arbitrary fee, and shoot them a dirty look for inconveniencing him by having him come remove the boot. Luckily someone dialed 911, and the life of the child was saved, but wouldn't it have been better if the girls had been able to return quickly with the Epi-pen? Not only were the blond, the brunette, and the redhead inconvenienced by being booted, but they were treated unkindly by the person who placed the boot in the first place. Why does this occur so frequently in Provo? Why booting? I feel that University Parking Enforcement employees place boots on cars and treat people unkindly because they believe in cruel and unusual punishment, they dislike their jobs, and they feel no charity towards their fellow students.

How can I make such a claim, you may ask, as to suggest that the employees favor cruel and unusual punishment? Simply defined, cruel and unusual punishment is any punishment that is inhumane or violates basic human dignity. What part of placing a giant, and by no means inconspicuous, metal boot on my car that renders it immobile does not violate basic human dignity? Everyone can see the boot. This is distressing, and uncomfortable. But despite the discomfort of the parking boot, it also is a violation of basic property rights. I spent eleven thousand dollars on my car. What makes it all right for any individual to immobilize my vehicle? What laws govern these parking lots? How can anyone be wholly aware of the restrictions on any particular parking lot? I suggest that there's no way to know which arbitrary rules are going to be enforced, not to mention how or when said enforcement will occur. The parking lot at my building has posted signs stating that people who park there without the proper stickers will be booted or towed. When I called University Parking Enforcement on the Fourth of July to ask them to boot or tow people from the lot, they informed me that they weren't going to be booting or towing that day. What use is this company if they aren't even going to protect the residents? Who gave the "booters" supreme authority over certain parking spaces? These are all questions that I have been unable to find the answers to.

Among other things, I find it cruel and unusual to use extortion tactics on anyone. If a booter can place and remove a boot in half an hour, then the company earns a whopping one hundred dollars an hour. Is it worth it? BYU uses green parking tickets that cost twenty dollars, and do not render the vehicle immobile, and they are effective. Most students can barely afford to pay the BYU parking ticket, and the University Parking Enforcement boot is more than twice the cost. Let me play out a scenario for you. What if I leave my apartment to go to work, and find a parking boot on my car? Let's say it takes the company forty-five minutes to arrive there, and then fifteen minutes to remove the boot. This means that I have lost not only fifty dollars that I can never get back, but I have also lost an hour of work, which means that hour's wages, and am no longer in good graces with my employer. It seems to me that University Parking Enforcement is destroying our liberty one boot at a time.

Now when someone does something as cruel as booting, they are not likely to feel good about themselves. This snowballs into a dangerous situation that ends in transferrence of anger to those who have been booted. When a car is booted, a paper is placed on their window that says something along the lines of, "Warning: You've been booted." This paper is attatched with tape. When a friend of mine discovered a boot on her car, she pulled the piece of paper off of the window, and found that the tape wouldn't come off. Just as the booter was leaving, we sent another friend of ours to ask the booter to remove the tape from the window; he promptly began cursing at our friend, and suggesting that they fight. All we wanted was for the tape to be removed from the window. Our friend gave up the fight, not wanting it to come to blows, and as he walked away, behind the booter's car, the booter put his car in reverse, and sped towards my friend. Realizing what he'd done just before hitting my friend, he put the car in drive and sped away. This leads us to another problem with University Parking Enforcement. Obviously the employees have an unresolved anger issue they need to work out: they hate their jobs, and as a result, are lashing out at unsuspecting extorted individuals. In our society, it's easy to suggest that we "kill them with kindness," a very simple strategy that would involve me keeping a fresh homemade batch of cookies in my car, and leaving them on the hood whenever I think there's a chance of being booted. This strategy, would be effective, and I suggest that as I begin to do this, you all follow suit. Now I'm not saying that they deserve homemade cookies for their cruelty, but sometimes there's no choice other than to be the bigger person.

This booting process is contrary to gospel principles. We live in a community that is predominantly LDS, and as a result, should be able to expect to be treated in ways that can peacefully coexist with gospel living. We are not a church that believes in public embarrassment, in taking money from the poor, or in lashing out in anger at those around us. These are all things that occur as a result of booting, not to mention provoking our neighbors to anger. What they do as a company is not only unfair, unjust, and frustrating, it's just plain wrong. There's not a person who deserves to have the pain of booting. What University Parking Enforcement needs is a lot more charity. I understand that charity is not a profitable business, and that they would have to make their livelihood somewhere else, but the rewards can be seen on all sides. The citizens of Provo would be happier, the booters would be happier because they'd be doing what was right, and as a result, the booters and civilians could live in harmony.

I do suggest that we are victims of cruelty. It is nearly impossible to describe the injustice of booting, but if you've ever found your car with a parking boot on it, you will understand. You'll understand the sinking feeling you get when you discover the boot, the fire that emerges as you realize the cost of the boot, and lastly, the enduring bad mood that generally follows any booting experience. The knowledge that you've just lost all of the money that it takes to buy groceries for two weeks. Two weeks! "It's all right," you'll tell yourself, "I was trying to lose weight anyway." This fallacy will keep us thinking that it's really our fault, and that we deserved the boot. This battered wife syndrome allows the booters power that they don't deserve, and abuses the common man. No number of tears is going to end the parking tyrrany. It's time for action. Write the local government. And, if we all park in only unmarked parking spaces for just one month, University Parking enforcement will lose hundreds of dollars.

So our joke was missing a punch line. What ever happened to the blonde, the brunette and the redhead? Well, they contested the boot, and received no reimbursement after a long and miserable month of trying to get the money back. Not very funny, is it? That's because parking enforcement isn't a joke. It's a pain.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dear world:

Just in case you didn't hear it yet, I thought I would let you know very officially that I will only be an Unklesbay for 317 more days!

That's right.

I, Adrienne Unklesbay, am getting


Christopher proposed to me on July 3, and we have set our wedding date for May 29, 2009. :) Look forward to the forthcoming details.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Master, the Tempest is Raging...

Imagine that you are in a boat out in the open sea. A sudden storm arises, the boat fills with water, the waves are tossing the boat, and you are terrified that you will be thrown into the depths of the sea, and find yourself in a watery grave before morning. Jesus' disciples found themselves in this exact predicament, and it is recorded in Mark 4. We read:

37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 
  38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 
  39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 
  40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 

I don't imagine that in most of our lifetimes we will find ourselves in a literal boat with the Savior, begging him to awake and to calm the storm, but I'd be willing to bet that most, if not all of us, can see the parallels between this and our own lives.

Let me share with you a story that Howard W. Hunter shared it in the October 1984 general conference. 
"Mary Ann Baker's beloved and only brother suffered from the same respiratory disease that had taken their parents’ lives, and he left their home in Chicago to find a warmer climate in the southern part of the United States. 
For a time he seemed to be improving, but then a sudden turn in his health came and he died almost immediately. Mary Ann and her sister were heartbroken. It only added to their deep grief that neither their own health nor their personal finances allowed them to claim their brother’s body or to finance its return to Chicago for burial. 
The Baker family had been raised as faithful Christians, but Mary’s trust in a loving God broke under the strain of her brother’s death and her own diminished circumstances. “God does not care for me or mine,” said Mary Ann. “This particular manifestation of what they call ‘divine providence’ is unworthy of a God of love.” ...
“I have always tried to believe on Christ and give the Master a consecrated life,” she said, “but this is more than I can bear. What have I done to deserve this? What have I left undone that God should wreak His vengeance upon me in this way?”

“Carest thou not that we perish?” was the cry of Mary Ann Baker. This comes from each of us at one time or another, as feebly we find ourselves on our knees calling out to the Lord in our own way. We experience the pains of life, disappointments, failures, struggles and stresses, death and sorrow, and at times find ourselves feeling completely alone, and sometimes feeling that even the Lord has turned away, and would not care if we were to meet our destruction. When we feel this way, it is helpful to turn to the words of the Savior, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” 

The Savior asked his disciples, “How is it that ye have no faith?” We might ask ourselves the same question. 

Howard W. Hunter said:

None of us would like to think we have no faith, but I suppose the Lord’s gentle rebuke here is largely deserved. This great Jehovah, in whom we say we trust and whose name we have taken upon us, is he who said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” (Gen. 1:6.) And he is also the one who said, “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.” (Gen. 1:9.) Furthermore, it was he who parted the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to pass through on dry ground. (See Ex. 14:21–22.) Certainly it should be no surprise that he could command a few elements acting up on the Sea of Galilee. And our faith should remind us that he can calm the troubled waters of our lives."

Easier said than done, right? Probably. For all of us, the days of darkness are very real. The threat of destruction is tangible, and we need to learn to trust in the Lord as He has taken our pains upon Himself. 
Alma 7:11-12 reads:

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. 
  12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

How wonderful it is to know that Christ was willing to suffer these pains for each of us! As we learn to recognize that Christ has done these things so as to help us as we struggle, we will begin to feel the storms of life dispersing, and the seas will begin to be still. 

I have struggled throughout my life with migraine headaches. These headaches often leave me unable to function, as they affect my vision and my balance among other things. Often the headaches progress to a point where I feel like I can bear no more. One night, my headache met up with its emotional equal, and not only was I feeling pain and dizziness, but also loneliness and inadequacy. I didn't know what to do, or where to turn. I spent a good amount of time kneeling in prayer, pleading and sobbing that the Lord would not leave me alone, and my phone rang. A dear friend on the other side of the country suggested that if I felt it would profit me, I should ask for a blessing. I agreed that this would be a good idea. A priesthood holder from my ward came over, and before the blessing, asked me to tell him a little bit about what was going on. I told him that I'd been struggling with migraines, and that I needed a blessing. I didn't mention the other struggles, mostly because of pride. As part of the blessing, I was assured that I was not alone, and all of my concerns were addressed as if they had been presented to the Lord in list form. The pain in my head did not subside, but the anguish of spirit ceased, and I slept for the first time in days. That night, I understood the power in the Savior's words, “Peace, be still,” because I felt the stillness within myself. 

Remember Mary Ann Baker? The storms in her life began to subside as well, and as her immortal testimony, she wrote these words, 

Master, the terror is over. 
The elements sweetly rest. 
Earth’s sun in the calm lake is mirrored, 
And heaven’s within my breast. 
Linger, Oh, blessed Redeemer! 
Leave me alone no more, 
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor 
And rest on the blissful shore. 
The winds and the waves shall obey my will; 
Peace, be still! Peace, be still! 
I add my testimony to that of Mary Ann. I know that the Lord can calm the stormy seas in our lives. I have seen it happen. I know that God lives, and that He loves each and every one of us.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Dear Saturday,

Dear General Conference,

Once again, you have changed my life. Everything feels more peaceful and calm, and I once again remember that everything is okay.  Thank you for everything you are, for being broadcast in my own home, and for coming on such a beautiful weekend.  I hope you didn't mind that we spent the two hour break away from you...lounging on a blanket at the park.  We were just hoping to soak it all in.  The weather, the Spirit, the wonderful things that we have.  What a blessing. :)  

I know you'd like to think that it's just you, but the thing is....everything else included, I am feeling like the luckiest and happiest girl in the whole wide world.  As always, one of my favorite times of the year.  Thank you.



PS.  In case you haven't met him yet, this is that guy I keep talking about...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Dear Curves,

I love you.  That's all I can say.  I love you more than words can express.  I don't know if you're effective, I don't know if they ever clean the machines, but what I do know is that I am deeply and madly in love with you.  I love that my workout is planned for me.  I love that I'm not going to run into ultra-obnoxious men going there, I know that nobody is going to judge me if I look stupid using that machine.  I love that there are bulletin boards decorated with colorful paper.  You have won my heart, and hopefully, all of the fat around my midsection. 

I've been working on getting in shape for quite some time, and when I peaked at 230 lbs. a couple of years ago, I knew that something had to change.  

That's a lie.  Complete and total lie.

When I weighed 230, I thought I was the hottest thing that had ever walked the earth.

When I dropped 30 lbs, had to buy new clothes, and realized that I felt cute in a size 16...that was when I knew something had to change.  Did I change?  Well...I did tae-bo for a week.  That was about it.  I lost 10 lbs. that week, and it stayed off.  I kept losing, and kept losing, and wasn't trying hard at all.  I joined a gym, and went because I felt like it.  I dropped to a size 8 for the first time in my life.   Well, back in my comfortable size 12...I think that I shouldn't be just sitting idly by and watching myself get fatter.   So Curves, I have come to you.  Please help me!

You have promised me results.  I can't wait to see them.  Now I just have to get motivated to come visit you.  

Can I get down to a size 6?

I'd like to be back into my baggy 10 by May 1.  That's my goal.  Help me Curves!


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dear Spoiled Mother of Four,

I don't want to work for you anymore.  I don't like the environment in your home, I don't like the way I'm expected to be the maid, I don't like being bossed around by seven-year-olds, and I don't particularly like the food you make.  I think I'd rather work a 9-5 sitting behind a desk, bored to tears, wanting to rip my eyeballs out from looking at a computer screen for so long, and getting home for dinner on time.  

I used to like you, or so I thought.  Then I discovered that I'd rather not be treated like a maid and a nanny all rolled into one.  You don't pay me enough for that.  Would you like to make it $20/hour? Then I might be on board. 

I've begun applying for jobs at pre-schools in the area.  I think I have a shot, and my dad asked me to get a job where I could smile.  I think there's something to that.  

Please don't be offended, Spoiled Mother of Four, it's nothing personal, I just don't like you anymore.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dear Basement,

I'm not happy with the way you've been behaving lately.  The truth is, some places would be glad to see seven inches of rain...and maybe you were, but you certainly didn't show it well.  It was highly inconsiderate of you to leak in every single room.  If I did that, people would not be happy with me!  

Thanks for helping us see that we have way too much junk.  I guess we needed that.  Maybe we could have a garage sale, get rid of all the crap.  

You've been so kind to me for so long, I guess I couldn't expect ten years without so much as a drip.  I've been fiercely angry with you for the last couple of days, but now, I think I'm coming around...don't be mad when I put my carpet back in, and try to set up a bed...it's just that Ethan and me BOTH sleeping in the living room is terribly tragic.  His alarm DOES go off 5 times in the morning.  As in there are 5 DIFFERENT alarms.  Yeah.  So I haven't had a whole night's sleep.  I guess what I'm saying is, I miss you, Basement, the way that you were.  


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dear Fairfield,

I'm home.  Did I neglect to mention that before?  Well, I am.  And I really REALLY have taken up blogging, because I'm attending the family ward here, and it seems that that's the way to be cool in the ward.   I'm aware that I'm 21 and not married.  Do you think this is going to stop me? NO! You see, I'm doing what's the best thing for me right now, but I'd really like to have some friends here. I've never been in a family ward Relief Society before.  

I've also noticed, dear Fairfield, that you've hardly changed.  When I got back, I almost instantly felt that I was in high school again.  Am I sad about that?  No...I still love you just as much as I always have...most of the time.  The thing I'm concerned about though, is that your drama hasn't changed either.  I'm fortunate enough to have a brother, you may have met him...he's been around for 18 years... and so I get to hear the drama that comes from the hallowed walls of FHS.  Well, the thing is...the drama included, it feels more like home than ever before.  

Now there's something I've been meaning to talk to you about.  This weather just isn't working for me.  I understand that you're trying your best to make everyone happy, but the truth is, I think you're going a little overboard to please those on the extremes...I mean blizzard? Honestly.  That was uncalled for.  Thanks for balancing it out with days of rain.  I appreciate that more than you know.  Could we please see the sun? Please?
Well, if you could arrange it, I'm sure I wouldn't mind.  Thanks for being consistent and comfortable.  I've missed you, and I'm glad to be back.

Thank you Fairfield, for being you.


Monday, March 10, 2008

100 things about me.

1. I try to pretend I don't like writing in a Blog.
2. I have three blogs.
3. I don't write in my regular journal as much as I wish I did.
4. Sometimes I don't feel like the things that are going on in my life are important enough to write down.
5. Sometimes I realize that the most important things that have ever happened in my life are happening right now.
6. I love my life.
7. That doesn't mean it's easy.
8. I have a love/hate relationship with my job.
9. I'm a nanny...and have been for the last few years.
10. The first time I took a nanny job, my dad was really mad at me.
11. He bragged about that same job to a neighbor 2 days ago.
12. 2 days ago was the first time I ever remember being in a blizzard warning.
13. I used to love snow more than anything.
14. Now I can't wait for Summer.
15. I used to hate Summer.
16. Then I lost 65 lbs.
17. Now I don't feel like the fattest girl at the pool.
18. Now I love the pool.
19. So I love the Summer.
20. I can't wait to get a new bathing suit.
21. I need to get in shape...Spring is still coming, even though we got a foot of snow...
22. I hate dieting.
23. I love losing weight.
24. I always feel bad about myself when I notice that I'm gaining weight.
25. I have a hard time getting motivated to do things sometimes.
26. My room is a wreck, but I still haven't cleaned it.
27. I have more clothes than any person should have.
28. I don't wear most of them.
29. I also have more shoes than I should.
30. I love shoes.
31. I never feel fat while buying shoes.
32. I used to be afraid to wear heels because I felt like a monster.
33. Now I don't feel like a monster.
34. Sometimes I actually feel beautiful.
35. Mostly when my hair is straight.
36. My hair is naturally curly.
37. Sometimes I love my curls, but I feel like people don't take me seriously if my hair is curly.
38. Maybe because I look like Curly Sue.
39. I had a girl scout leader named Sue.
40. I was a girl scout for years, but never sold cookies by myself.
41. I did sell cookies outside a bank with my troop members.
42. Very few girls I've been friends with since before middle school were outside of the GS troop.
43. I always wish I hadn't quit girl scouts when I did.
44. There are lots of things I wish I'd never quit.
45. I quit dance after years.
46. I also quit piano.
47. I am a little talented at a lot of things.
48. I've always wished I was very talented at something.
49. The only thing I've found is loving children.
50. I can't wait to have kids of my own.
51. I'm terrified of growing up.
52. I don't want to be treated like a child.
53. I moved back into my parents' house.
54. Sometimes I feel like I child
55. Sometimes I act like a child.
56. and sometimes...I like it.
57. I have a boyfriend.
58. He acts like a child with me.
59. That's the most fun part of our relationship.
60. We went to elementary school together.
61. We went back to said elementary school, and he pushed me on the swings.
62. With him, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
63. And I believe that I really am.
64. I'm also lucky to have such a great family.
65. Sometimes I forget to look at my parents as real people.
66. When I realize they are, I love them even more than before.
67. My sister has always been a mom to me.
68. I don't thank her enough for that.
69. I trust her more than any other girl in the world.
70. I secretly think that most babies are ugly when they're born.
71. Not my nieces.
72. I rarely get enough sleep.
73. This is not because I have important things to be doing.
74. Some of the best conversations in my life have happened at 4 AM.
75. I wouldn't trade my "conversations" for the world.
76. I love talking to people.
77. Sometimes I consider this a talent.
78. Sometimes I don't think I have any talents at all.
79. ...and I wish I wasn't insecure.
80. I am insecure.
81. I used to get made fun of.
82. That doesn't happen anymore.
83. At least not that I know of.
84. People started treating me differently when I lost weight.
85. I noticed it.
86. I liked it for a while.
87. Then I wasn't sure if anyone knew who I really was.
88. Then I wasn't sure if I really knew who I was.
89. I didn't start trying to figure out what it meant to be me until college.
90. I am currently a college drop-out.
91. I'm not embarrassed about that.
92. I hate sitting in classrooms.
93. I've always wanted to do hair.
94. But I've always wanted to change the world.
95. I haven't figured out how to.
96. I have a passion for American Sign Language.
97. This has not helped me accomplish anything worthwhile.
98. I'm proud of myself.
99. Sometimes I feel like I'm really weak.
100. But the thing is... I feel strong.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


The worst feeling in the whole wide world is to feel useless. Like nothing you could do would make a difference.

When someone you love works for years trying to achieve something, and then doesn't...and they're hurting, and you're frustrated...because you're useless.

When you're miles away from someone that you want to be able to console...and you can't. You're useless.

It's terrifying sometimes living more than a thousand miles away from all of the people that mean the most to me in my life. The distance makes it so difficult to feel helpful or worthwhile sometimes. Once again, useless.

...and then I find myself wondering what I'm really doing with my life. What are my goals? What am I becoming? Well, I'm not really sure...so once again, I feel useless. Awesome.

The truth is, I'm tired. I'm burnt out. I don't like Build-a-bear anymore, as a manager I barely get to play with the kids. I have two wisdom teeth coming in, and not only do they hurt in my mouth, but I constantly have a headache. I have no idea what I'm doing...and I just need a hug. Awesome.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Junk food, Candy canes and love.

So this isn't a new year's resolution...in fact, it's far from it. I don't make those.

I'm going to stop eating so much junk food. Why? Because I just got back to Provo, and realized that I've eaten nothing but crap for the last three weeks...and that is nauseating. So I'll stop eating junk as soon as I finish the little debbie holiday cake that is on my coffee table.

I just finished the most bizarre vacation of my entire life. I probably made some people mad, but I was doing what I felt was best for me. Selfish? Yes. But hey...that's part of being human...! Not to worry, I'm sure that I'll be back soon. Positive, really. Not a lot tying me down in Provo right now since I'm not doing the BYU thing right now. My job is great, but I'm sure there are better things out there. We'll see what happens. It's a big decision to make.

Caution: You are about to enter the heart of what is really on my mind. If you don't want to know, then stop reading now.

All my life, or at least all of my life that I can remember, I have struggled with feeling that I am good enough. I've always been second best. I didn't make Rhythm Express the first time. I didn't make Wind Ensemble. Didn't make Choraliers the first time. Never had a lead in a musical. Was second best and walked all over in high school relationships. I always felt like there was something or someone that was better than me, whether in school, relationships, or family.

Not anymore. Granted, I know I'll never be perfect...but still...I finally, and for the first time in my life, feel like I am important. This has been a process. I had to spend some time in serious introspection. I had to spend countless nights crying and praying that I would be able to recognize my worth and potential. I'm not all the way there, but slowly, it's happening. I am starting to see that it doesn't matter what anyone else says or thinks.

Then...something magical happened. As I worked to become a better version of myself, someone wonderful inched his way into my life...and now...I don't feel second best. Maybe it's because I like me now. Maybe it's because he likes me...or maybe it's just because life is wonderful and I've been very blessed. Whatever the reason is, I like it. A lot.