Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm thankful for...

"The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for,
and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy,
and light drives darkness out of his life.
Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place.
How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul,
and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life,
a thankful attitude toward God and man!"
~Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 263

the opportunity to sleep in.
hugs, snuggling, and cuddling.

the smell and sweet taste of coconut. Delightful.
the knowledge that every detail of my life matters to God.
my mom and the fact that she loves me and knows how to express it in a way that I recognize.
fresh fruit and vegetables.

the warm spot on the carpet as the sun shines through an open window.
words of affirmation spoken to me in truth.
good hair and makeup days.
leaves rustling in the wind.

long talks with my brother. I love him more than I can express.
my Dad and when he calls me "love."
my stepmom who loves me and forgave my spilled milk so many years ago.
my job and the satisfaction it brings. (Oh, and the paycheck.)
the sound of the ocean.
the Fall colors in Utah.

my sweet and loving little sister who addresses me as "sister woman." Love that.
laughing with my best friends.
kissing. (Who's not thankful for that?!)
backrubs during warmups at SLCA rehearsal.
painted toenails. I believe in them. All. The. Time.

good conversation.
modern means of communication.
warm showers.
quiet door-closing.
the internet.
times when a perfectly-suited-to-my-thoughts song comes on the radio.
the way running can transform my mood and my life.

the Wasatch Mountains in all their beauty.
clouds. Oh, clouds. I don't think I could live without you.
my car.

my friends.
my family.
the gospel.
my Father in Heaven.
my Savior.
my life.

happy thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nerd Field Trip.

"You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity,
he will continue the learning process as long as he lives."

~Clay P. Bedford

Bingham Canyon Copper Mine

So, maybe I'm a little nerdy (I like to think of it as avidly curious, always wanting to learn more), but for some time I've really wanted to go see the Bingham Canyon Copper Mine, which is owned and operated by Kennecott Copper (part of the greater RioTinto family). The mine is open to visitors from April through October. And this year, I finally did it, went on the very last weekend it was open, getting in just under the wire before they closed it to the public.

Can you see my car in the reflection with KDJ taking a picture out the window?!

After I (easily) convinced KDJ to come along for my nerd field trip (she's kind of a nerd, too), we met up at Zupas for lunch. You know, we needed sustenance for our journey out west to the mine. And Zupas is just the place to find delicious sustenance. Side note... I just love their soups and salads and somehow the thought of getting a chocolate covered strawberry with every meal makes it all the more desirable.

Anyway, back to our field trip. So fun. I have to admit, it was really beautiful out there. Being so far out west, we were able to get a view of the Wasatch Mountains that I normally don't see, from the vantage point of the Oquirrh Mountains. Utah really is a visually stunning place. I kind of felt like I was in another world.

And for some reason, I really felt like Erin Brockovich or something, not that Kennecott is knowingly polluting the area's water supply, but just the way we were driving out in the middle of what seemed like nowhere, and going to check out this mine. (And then yeah, there were some holding tanks of nasty murky looking water, which really made me want to pull out some test tubes, shimmy over on my belly and get some water samples... if you haven't seen Erin Brockovich, then this doesn't make any sense.)

KDJ was the primary photographer, you should be happy to learn, since I was the driver. I was pretty good this time and only took a couple shots while driving. :) But take a look at those clouds. Beautiful.

Kennecott was like it's own little city complete with tonka trucks driving all around and miles and miles of road. In fact, the brochure said if you stretched out all the roads within the open pit mine, you'd have enough roadway to get you from Salt Lake City to Denver (approximately 500 miles).

So apparently there is copper in nearly everything. Who knew? I mean obviously we think of pennies and copper electrical wiring. But did you know these facts:
  • The first known use of copper dates back 10,000 years.
  • To make all the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters in 1999, the U.S. Mint used about 36,000 tons of copper. That's about as much refined copper as Kennecott produces every 41 days.
  • Each American uses more than 40,000 pounds of new minerals every year.
  • It takes about 15 different minerals to make a car ... 35 different minerals to make a television ... 30 minerals to make a computer ... and as many as 42 different minerals to make a telephone.

I always find myself very curious about major operations like this that exist and daily produce things that I never think about. Does that make sense? I mean, I guess I'm just fascinated by these productive processes that I have nothing to do with and never will, but I rely on them on a daily basis.

See the standing water pit at the bottom... that's the one that made me want to be Erin Brockovich for a minute.

Have you ever wanted to have a job for a day? There are numerous things I can think of with which I'm intrigued enough to want to have the job for a day. Driving one of these trucks or operating the chomper shovel (that's my nickname for it) would be cool... for a day. I mean, just take a look at these facts about all their equipment:
  • The giant electric shovels in the mine can scoop up as much as 98 tons in a single bite -- about the weight of 50 cars.
  • The newest electric shovels each cost more than $20 million and weigh 3.2 million pounds.
  • The trucks that haul the ore are larger than many houses and weigh more than a jumbo jet. They stand over 23 feet tall and can carry from 255 to 360 tons of rock.
  • The truck driver rides about 18 feet above the ground -- nearly two stories high.
  • Each tire on these big trucks costs from $18,000 to $26,000 and lasts just 9 months.
  • The crusher in the pit takes in about 140,000 tons of ore every day and grinds it into chunks smaller than the size of a basketball.

The whole process seemed pretty labor intensive to me but very efficiently executed...

Very interesting, indeed. I suppose, in a way, visiting the mine made me really happy to have my desk job. Being outside all the time for work wouldn't be bad, but driving around in a truck round and round for days and weeks and years on end would get old for me. But I'm happy that there are people who work there and love their jobs enough to be committed to them because apparently I, along with every other American, cannot live a day without copper and all the other minerals they mine.

Love my nerdy partner in crime.
Just in case you were really wondering how big the tires are...

And to extend our nerd field trip, we drove by and toured the UP Home in Herriman, Utah. Now let me just say that I've driven out to Herriman before, but not for a long time. It is out there. Just out there. It's amazing that I live in the city, but so close to "out there" where there are random horses, trailers, fields, and water tanks next to people's homes.

Anyway, the UP Home is in a much more populated, residential area and doesn't feel "in the sticks" at all. It is a authentic replica of the home from the Disney•Pixar movie "UP." I'm not the biggest fan of animated movies, never have been I guess, but I still like them every once in awhile. And UP was one of those that I liked.

I see me.

Love the turquoise appliances, giving the kitchen its retro look.

Love the subway tiling and the black polka dot backdrop.

I love how true to the movie and the era they were when decorating the inside of the home. I've always loved walking through homes for sale or model homes since I was young. My mom and I used to taking Sunday afternoon walks around our neighborhood looking at homes. Examining the wood floors, the colors of the decor, the arrangement of the furniture. There is always something to observe and learn and then maybe implement in your own home one day. This home was no different for me.

I liked the curve of this sofa.

Do you see the double shower heads? :)
This hidden reading room or play room behind the built-in swinging bookshelves was really fun!

 Very fun. I don't think I would want to live in such a brightly colored home, but it might be fun and the inside decor could be entirely yours. I wonder if it will ever have a buyer or if it will always be a PR draw as a model home for the company. Disney•Pixar gave express permission to Bangerter Homes to construct this replica. Pretty smart of Bangerter Homes, I'd say, seeing as their new tag line is, "If you can Dream it 'UP' we can build it."

Overall, a very fun day and a successful nerd field trip with KDJ. We all need friends with whom we can just be ourselves, our nerdy, goofy, silly, wonderful selves.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Random Video: Lightning Strikes.

"Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work."
~Mark Twain in a letter, 8/28/1908

Several months ago, on my flight home from New York City after a wonderful trip to visit my sister and also to visit KDJ in DC, I witnessed a spectacular show courtesy of dear Mother Nature. I could not resist taking a video, even though I'm certain it does not do the light show justice. But here it is anyway, for your viewing pleasure. Imagine 30 minutes of this. This was a HUGE storm, and I was rather mesmerized.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Random Photos: Purple Mountain Majesties.

"Truly it may be said that the outside of a mountain is good for the inside of a man."
~George Wherry, Alpine Notes and the Climbing Foot, 1896

I don't have to look very far to remember why I live where I do.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Prayer Changes Things.

"Prayer has the power to elevate us from our worldly cares,
to lift us up through clouds of despair and darkness into a bright and clear horizon."

~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

image found here.

Sometimes it takes a little while, but prayer changes things. It brightens. It clarifies. It soothes. It heals. It gives hope. It changes things.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Note to Self.

"Don't worry 'bout a thing. 'Cause everything little thing is gonna be alright."
~Bob Marley

Photo found here.

Friday, November 11, 2011


"Hope is patience with the lamp lit."

Today is 11/11/11.
I took a picture of the clock on my phone at work at 11:11 on 11/11/11.
Oh, and I made a major wish.
I've been wishing all day, let's be honest.
Just me, alone with my thoughts.
So, it's winter.
And I'm all about wearing my scarves, but I have had a hard time with transitioning to socks with shoes.
I just love wearing my flats with no socks.
Went to the temple tonight.
Lots of people.
Lots of couples.
LOTS of couples.
Got asked if my husband was coming.
Hmmm... I have the same question.
Poor lady was confused when I shook my head and muttered,
"I'm still wondering that myself."
I miss Fall weather today.
But I sure do like to see all the leaves on the ground and crunch my way through.
It's almost 11:11 again on 11/11/11.
I'm going to be making another minute's worth of wishes.
Today's Veteran's Day.
Thinking about those who step into harm's way so I can live the privileged life I do is almost more than I can take sometimes.
Well, goodnight all!
May all your wishes come true.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Baggage. What-ifs. And a little bit of Random.

"Thinking will not overcome fear but action will."
~W. Clement Stone

This week, I learned that I have baggage. By merely having life experience, I've accumulated baggage. I make decisions and act according to the experience (or baggage) I have. Experience is a good thing, I think, in most situations, but I suppose experience can also jade me. It tends to color my reactions, my thoughts, my impressions, my expectations, and my sense of reality.

Experience isn't a bad thing unless I allow it (the baggage) to color my mind so much that I begin truly entertaining the what-ifs. When I was about twenty-one, a good friend of my told me that I'm a what-iffy person. You know the kind who just thinks of all the what-ifs, if not out of fear and anxiety, then out of curiosity. Hmmm. Certainly, this practice can be amusing, but I'm not so sure it's a good thing when I begin stringing a little obsessive anxiety along with it.

I learned a little bit about avoiding the what-ifs when Amber was in the hospital. Remember, when she was dying and in a medically induced coma for what seemed like forever? Yeah. Well, I had deep impressions from the Spirit about what faith is. About how entertaining the what-ifs can easily turn into full-blown fearful living and anxiety ridden thoughts... which lack the true essence and power of faith. And that my friends, is no way to be.

Often, in Mormondom, we hear people speak of "taking steps into the dark before one sees the light" or "taking a leap of faith into the unknown before the path becomes clear." I know these things. I've experienced them. There are times in my life when I have prayed harder and more sincerely and openly than I ever thought possible. Lately, those times have been more common. The act of prayer like that opens me up to learning and understanding and a sense of peace unmatched. But why do I find it so hard to get there sometimes.

The past few days, I've felt a little melancholy. I don't know why. Oh, who am I kidding. I know exactly why. But really what I don't know is why I allow certain things or people to affect me in such a way as to cause me to feel melancholy. My attitude is a choice, right? So why can't I choose to not let sad things make me sad? Why can't I choose to fall into the realm of vulnerability which is bound to bring melancholic events now and then? Are they really melancholic events or is it my interpretation of said events that I need to work on. Always working...

"Feelings are like waves. We can't stop them from coming, but we can choose which ones to surf." Just read that on Pinterest. Timely.

I need to go running. So freaking cold it is, though. {sigh} Need to run. Need to feed my body endorphins.

What exactly am I so afraid of?

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9

Tomorrow is 11/11/11. Finally a whole day to make all the wishes I could possibly dream of. You better believe I already have a list. :)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Falling Back and Humble Pie.

"The way we communicate with others and with ourselves
ultimately determines the quality of our lives."

~Tony Robbins

Fall Leaves. October 2011.

Oh, how I'm looking forward to falling back tonight! I have been increasingly more excited for the end of Daylight Savings Time in the past two weeks because it has been so incredibly dark in the mornings. I can hardly wait.

This morning it snowed. Gosh, it's freezing. I'm just not quite ready for it yet this year. I don't know why. I shouldn't be surprised it snowed since it's November, but I am still in the wearing shoes with no socks mode. I still haven't posted any fall color pictures and now I've already taken some snow pictures. I guess I'll just have to fit them in.

So in case anyone is waiting for an update from this post, I've gone out with the man without an appropriately anonymous/ambiguous blog nickname several times now. Four times, to be exact, over the past five weeks. It's good. I'm cautious. But, I'm honest too... and I like him. I'm enjoying spending time with him and getting to know him and that's about all I'm going to say right now. For heaven's sake, I'm pretty sure he's found my blog at some point, though he's never said anything about it. He's a smart cookie though. So for now, I'm just zipping my lips a little. Surprised? Go ahead, start making bets about how long I can hold it in...

With the help of a few people in my life (including above-mentioned-man), I've come to the conclusion (again) that I'm a decidedly extroverted person, an outward thinker, a talker. When I'm asked a question or attempting to make a decision, my thought process is out loud. Sometimes I feel like that's wonderful, open, and refreshing, and an opportunity to be heard and understood. Other times I feel like it's dangerous, intense, and overwhelming, and an opportunity to be way too vulnerable. Man without a nickname claims he likes my extroverted nature, so that's a plus.

But about a week or two ago, I ran across a pin on Pinterest, which simply said:

Have you PRAYED about it as much as you've TALKED about it?

Wow. That was a dose of humble pie, if I've ever had one. Kick in the pants, I tell you.

I've been talking a lot about man without a nickname. (BTW, this will NOT be his nickname. It's still too soon to have one, I think. Plus all the ones people have come up with are too revealing of his true identity.) I've been talking a lot because I'm thinking a lot. Too much, I'm told. I think, therefore I speak. When I am dating someone or figuring out a relationship, I tend to think about all the what-ifs and entertain countless scenarios, countless possible reasons for certain words or actions, countless possibilities, when really I should just be. Just live. Just enjoy. Just love. Just be me. After all, man without a nickname decided to ask me out when I was just me, when I didn't even know he was looking.

Just be me and give up all those unproductive tendencies to over-analyze, question, and self-sabotage to God. He guides my path. And if I'm really honest with myself (with a healthy dose of hindsight), my path is really wonderful. It's just what I need for me to grow and learn and enjoy and simply have fun. It's mine and I love it.

Oh and since it actually did snow today, here's a shot for you. :)

Happy Novwinter!