21 October 2008

Yes, Virginia, There are Miracles

Last week I learned that one of my bestest friends in the entire world, JenE, is getting married -- on December 27th--and I couldn't be more thrilled for her! Her engagement brought joy as well as hope: If JenE, a single sister over 30, could find her eternal companion, then maybe there are enough miracles left for the rest of us? (Because really, getting married at any time but especially when you are over 30 years old requires a gargantuan miracle!)

Actually, JenE's engagement miracle is not the only one I've heard of recently. First there was my wonderful colleague and friend Suzanne B (who is now Suzanne C). Then Audrey, my friend from Sharon Park days, announced her engagement. Next, the beautiful and ever hilarious Amy W8 shared her happy news: "I'm engaged to Matt!" And finally, JenE's miracle rounds out the group. Is there a quota on how many miracles Heavenly Father will perform for us single sisters? Because there are already four miracles taken (Suzanne, Audrey, Amy, and JenE). Are there any more left over for the rest of us? If so, to whom do I address my request?

Welcome, Jackson Keith!

I have a new nephew -- and he is the most adorable thing! Jackson Keith, who entered our family on September 19 (aka Talk Like a Pirate Day), is a very docile and happy baby. Judy, Amy, and I traveled to Idaho to see this new little guy over General Conference weekend. And lucky for us, we also got to see Mom and Dad as well.

I love my own family, but being adopted into Judy''s family has been such a blessing in my life -- especially when it comes to having nieces and nephews! Except for the occasional hit with a baseball right in the nose (thanks, Sammy! lol), I love being an aunt. When Jessica called me Aunt Maddy, I almost cried. It was the coolest thing. So, even after my own biological sister has children (which, let's be honest, could be looooooong before I ever have children of my own), I will still enjoy being Aunt Maddy to anyone who will let me spoil them. :)

30 September 2008

Some of My Recent Adventures

After the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference finished, my friends/co-workers Anna and Crista joined me on a few adventures around the Philly area.

Sunday morning we woke up and left the hotel in Philly at dark o'clock and drove to Long Beach Island, New Jersey to watch the sunrise. Even though I was completely exhausted and could barely keep my eyes open (and *I* was driving!), I am grateful that we did it. The end result was simply breathtaking! Watching sunrise on the beach was worth every minute of exhaustion.

A trip to Philly would not be complete without visiting the famous Rocky Steps (aka the steps of the Art Museum) and the statue of Rocky Balboa himself.

(Cue Rocky theme music)

"If I's can change, and you's can change, EVERYBODY can change!" -- Rocky Balboa

02 September 2008

70,000 Frequent Flyer Miles... and Still No Place to Rest My Head

I'm on the road...again. This time in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One would think that I'd get used to all of this traveling, but I never do. Even though I'm a more efficient packer and have my get-on-the-plane rituals (curbside check-in is a dream!), I still get anxious about leaving again and still can't sleep once I get to my (very posh) hotel room.

Case in point: It's 12:32am here in Philadelphia and I can't seem to fall asleep. I've checked my email 10 times already and could certainly keep working... but I just want to go to bed. Tomorrow will be a long day of setting up the booth at the Pennsylvania Convention Hall (thankfully the convention hall is within walking distance this time) and then the genealogy conference starts tomorrow night at 6:30pm and runs through Saturday evening. It's going to be a long week....

So, if you ever think that business trips are glamorous, think about this: My job takes me all over the country, but all I usually see are 1) the airport; 2) my hotel room for brief periods of time; 3) the convention hall; and 4) whatever restaurant we decide to eat at late at night after the exhibit hall closes for the night. Once in a while, I'll get to catch a historic monument or something like that; however, mostly I never get to actually see the city I'm in, which is kind of a shame. I really love to explore and travel; I just don't get to do that with my job. I fly in to set up, stay for the duration of the conference, and then I'm off to my next "adventure" in another city.

Maybe some day I'll be able to come back and visit all of the cities I've only seen through the windows of my hotel room / the convention center...?

05 August 2008

Meeting One of My Heroes

This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I am not one to get all "groupie" about celebrities -- not even for the New Kids on the Block (and that is sayin' something 'cuz I love me my NKOTB!). But there are a few people who I deeply admire for the lives they lead, the examples of Christians that they are, and how they inspire me to lead a better, more Christ-centered life.

Bronco Mendenhall, coach of the Brigham Young University Cougars football team is one of those kind of people.

So to actually get to hear him speak and MEET him (!!!)... that was... well, there just aren't words for how wonderful that was for me. I am impressed by the way he lives his life close to the Spirit and expects his players to live great lives on and off the football field. Tradition, Spirit, and Honor are not just marketing phrases for Bronco or his players: they are standards by which to live.
Thanks, Coach Mendenhall, for being an example of a disciple of Christ and for not only raising the bar to build powerful players who courageously fight on the football field, but for raising the bar to raise righteous men who honor their priesthood powers and fight courageously for the Savior and the truth. "If all men had been, and were, and ever would be..." (see Alma 48:17).

19 July 2008

Happy Day!

Amy W8 is one of my favorite-est people in the whole world. For some reason or another though, we can't seem to get together often enough -- even though we live only blocks away from each other.

When Amy and I were able to finally connect and have lunch, it was a happy day! We had soooooo much to talk about; I don't think we stopped talking or took a breath from the time we said hello to the time we said goodbye.

Thanks for such a fun time, Amy! We need to do this again before 2009! LOL.

17 July 2008

My Love Dragon

This is Dustin, one of my favorite people in all the world. When he attended Julie's birthday party last year, he brought a "pumpkin for [his] pumpkin."

One hug from Dustin does wonders for the soul. Add to that his constant sentiments of love, such as "I SOOO love you, Nadele" or "You my love dragon"... it's enough to melt a girl's heart. I miss seeing him every day and receiving the constant boosts to my self-esteem.

Hey, Dustin -- I SOOOOOO love you!

I Am a Saint

It's true what ya'll have been thinking all of these years: I am a Saint.

Er, or, well, actually there is a saint named Adele...and she has a special saint's day on December 24. That's close enough, right?

And I also discovered that there's a place named after me (or something like that) in Canada: Sainte-Adèle.

16 July 2008

Where I Wish I Was Right Now

Speaking of Hawai'i... this is a picture I took of Sunset Beach on the island of Oah'u. It was one of the most spectacular beaches I've ever seen. Tranquil and turquoise, the blue hues seem to go on and on forever. Very picturesque. I can almost hear the soothing sound of the crashing waves on the beach and feel the warm, penetrating rays of sun on my skin.

I think I need a moment....

Loco for Moco

Being best friends with Judy has some definite perks... like going to Hawai'i twice during a six-month period. Granted, I had to pay for my own airfare and other sundries; however, the majority of expenses were paid for while she attended meetings at BYU-Hawai'i. Mahalo nui loa, Judy!
When we visited Oah'u in March, Amy traveled with us. On one of the mornings when Judy was working, Amy and I attempted to find some breakfast. We stumbled upon the Hukilau Cafe in Lai'e. There we sampled some of the finest home-cooking on the island--"ono food, yeah?" as they would say there.
We returned to the Hukilau Cafe again the next morning and were treated like locals: the waitress recognized us Haoles among the sea of brown people and even remembered the drinks we'd ordered from the day before. For the first three times we ate at the Hukilau Cafe, I ordered the famous local dish, Loco Moco, which is essentially two scoops of rice, 2-3 cooked eggs, meat (usually spam or hamburger), all covered in delicious brown gravy. It was yummy -- but soooo filling!
After the third breakfast of Loco Moco, I thought I might never be able to eat it again. But now that I'm writing about it, I'm getting a craving for some ono Loco Moco -- but I'll only eat it once, not three days in a row.

Sprechen Sie Espanol?

For several years now, it's been a goal of mine to renew my Spanish skills. I used to speak Spanish pretty well -- that is, until I learned German in college. And then German usurped my vocabulary and attention. I didn't think much of it at the time because German was so useful in my profession. I simply neatly packed the Spanish I'd aquired into a special storage compartment in my brain, where it has remained quite neglected to this day.

Now that I no longer need German for my day-to-day professional activities, I feel that it's a great time to resurrect my Spanish from that dusty storage closet. To accomplish this task, I purchased a copy of The Book of Mormon and other materials in Spanish. The plan is to study these materials every morning before work and listen to hymns in Spanish during the day; immersion into the language will hopefully increase my fluency.

I was hoping that the five years of Spanish I had prior to learning German would come back easily. It has not. In fact, I find myself conjugating Spanish verbs with German endings and mixing words from English, Spanish, and German together in a sentence. I think I'm more confused than ever before. My brain isn't certain which word to pull from which language--and when. How can I untangle the vernacular mess in my head? Wissen Sie, por favor?

15 July 2008

My New Obsession

I've never been what you might call a "fashionista" or "fashion forward" or anything of the sort. I'm mostly just a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl: comfort before fashion.

But lately I've been feeling the urgency to "pull myself together" more--to wear makeup daily (instead of just on Sundays), to dress nicely and more professionally (no flip flops at the office!), etc. I realize how much better I feel about myself when I do these things...and how different I act when I don't wear makeup and don't care about what I look like.

I like the me I am when I feel beautiful. I can even start to believe that maybe (just maybe) Heavenly Father might actually love me too.

Quite serendipitously, I stumbled upon lia sophia jewelry, a direct sales company touting the slogan "for the love of jewelry." My friend Becky invited me to her lia sophia party. I'd heard about the jewelry before, but I never gave much credence to the company because I thought, how much different can this jewelry be from others I've seen?

Well, there's a night and day difference! And after trying on jewelry for an evening, I fell in love with lia sophia jewelry. I loved the way the simplest necklace and/or earrings could help me feel so polished and "together"--and how beautiful I felt when I saw myself wearing that jewelry!

I hosted my own show recently and fell more in love with the jewelry. I'm afraid I spent too much...but I bought pieces for me and my friends and family. I want them to feel beautiful, too!

14 July 2008

Are You Ready for Some Football?!

I love football, especially BYU football. (Gooooooo, Cougars!) I love BYU football so much that when I heard about the BYU Women's Football Clinic on July 31, I registered at once--and then convinced my friends Amy, Melea, Judy, and Alicia to attend with me. We, along with the other women in attendance, will get to have a tour of the practice facilities, hear from coaches and players (in addition to the coaches attending, Max Hall, Fui Vakapuna, Harvey Unga and Austin Collie will be there as well), and participate in football drills. Talk about getting an insider's look at BYU football. I'm soooo excited!

Along that vein...my friend Jason sent this link to a YouTube video showing a referee dancing to C&C Music Factory's "Everybody Dance Now." I never knew that a referee could get his groove on!

11 July 2008

Running...And Running...And Running...

Running and me...well, let's just say that we aren't very good friends. For years running was synonymous with boredom and injuries to me: I usually got bored after running for five minutes, and I saw that my friends who ran were plagued with injuries. Running didn't seem so good to me.

However, earlier this year I got this zany idea into my head that maybe if I overcame my running aversion, I might be able to resurrect my health and return to the slimmer and trimmer version of myself that I used to like so well.

So, I registered for a running class (I thought if I learned to run properly, perhaps I would actually like it) and purchased new gear... but then I was plagued with migraines, allergies, more migraines, knee problems, and all sorts of crazy things to prevent me from running. I never even made it to my running class once!

All of those obstacles, however, haven't stopped me from continuing to try to run. I'm not very good at it--I get very winded after running for two minutes--but I'm trying to pace myself and run for a bit, walk for a bit, and repeat that until I finish the miles or time I'm trying to run. The overachiever in me thinks this is a "wussy" way of doing it (I really am "go big or go home"), but small and steady may just win the race for me. I'm hoping to participate soon in a 5k...maybe even the July 24th one happening later this month?

Adele Has a Star!

If only my surname was Jergens, this would be perfect! I always knew I deserved one of these.

For those who are curious (like I was) who Adele Jergens is, click here for more about her.