Tuesday, December 17, 2013

remembering hilltop star

Remembering Chris today. 

Chris and I with our niece Caitlin and all her barrettes in our hair.

It's so weird to me to think that it's been 10 years since he passed. I went back and looked at some of the things I wrote over the past few years.

a memory - Recounts an experience I had the day before Chris passed. I wrote about it in third person, because it was easier for me to do so. I thought about this experience last night, and remembered that it's one of the last times in my life when I felt truly at peace. It was such a gift.

hilltop star - Here I share the meaning behind my blog's name Hilltop Star, and a song that Chris and I wrote together. 

And here's a photo of The Hilltop Star from my dear Paradise friend Lisa who shares a photo of our star with me every year. I just love that she does this for me. It brings me a little piece of home.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

putting the lack thereof in perspective

It feels important to acknowledge this place I'm at right now... This place in my life where it's really hard to see what I do have in comparison to what I don't have. And what I don't have is REALLY BIG, or at any rate it seems that way right now. Lately, I’m often feeling very alone, and very small, and unwanted, and unimportant. And lacking.

Yet, my life is full of...

~People who care about me.

~People about whom I care a great deal.

~Activities that bring me joy.

~Things that make me smile.

~Quiet and loud.

~Friends that make me giggle.

~Books, movies, music and plays. Escapes into new worlds and characters. Sparks of ideas on how I want my life to be.

~Projects that keep my hands and mind busy creating.

~Clean clothes, sheets, blankets, dishes, floors, socks, towels, water.

~Good food cooked by me and others--honestly food is one of the simple pleasures in life.

~My vacuum cleaner--I know it's funny to be thankful for a vacuum cleaner but it sure does make my life easier.

~Hot water, dishwasher, washer and dryer, ice cream maker, crock pot, stove and oven.

~Warm coats. Hats. Scarves. Gloves.

~My little brother's pack back.

~Mistakes. Repentance. Forgiveness.


~Crying tears of sadness and joy. Lots of this lately.

~A friend who says, "Hey, when the zombie apocalypse happens, you're coming over to my house. My back door is always open for you. You know that right?"

~People who enjoy Doctor Who at least as much I do, if not more, and who want to enjoy it with me.

~Nerdiness--so much nerdiness. Yes, I'm mainly talking about Star Trek fun here.

~Cookies and ice cream. Really, really good burgers and fries and milkshakes. Pho.

~Phone calls from family and friends. And the conversations with young nephews who really know how to sum up my life.

~Lots and lots of laughter.

~Opportunities to take care of others and be taken care of myself.

~People who say thank you. Who stop and listen, and make me talk in spite of myself.

~People who choose me, and let me choose them back.

~People who make really hard choices to do and be better, and inspire me to do the same.

~People who say "Man that really, really stinks." And don't try to figure it out for me. Sometimes it's important to just acknowledge the stink and let it be.

~Once a week phone calls from my dad.

~Getting right it wrong, a lot. And getting it right a lot too.

~A Father who has a plan and so much love. And right now my tiny ounce of faith in that plan and His love.

~Conversations with people who are in my boat, or who have moved onto another boat, but have been in my boat. This is so helpful.

~Saying goodbye and hello. Letting go.

~So much more than I listed here.

See, that's a long list of goodness that I have in my life! But the lack pushes its dark little self up to the top of the pile, and is the only thing that catches my attention even though it's surrounded by so much light. The lack feels and looks really big, and I'm having trouble focusing in on the light and there is a lot of light. I know that.

I guess my point in writing this today is to just say out loud that I’m struggling a bit with being single, and it’s also in the face of an upcoming milestone birthday. I honestly never imagined I would come this far as a single woman. I thought that by now I would be sharing my life with my man at my side and our family.  Sherry Dew calls it living the unexpected life, and my life is certainly unexpected too.

I suppose I never did choose the expected route, especially as an LDS woman, so it really should be no surprise that I’m here single. Right? I just never thought of my choices as excluding the possibility of marriage and family. Maybe they have and maybe they haven’t, I'm still figuring that one out. All I know is that I try to do what I feel is right, and to be as Christ-like and loving as I can. Yes, I know in the end these two things are the most important, but at times it’s little to no comfort as I contemplate my life and what’s next for me.

All I know for sure (most days) is I’m where I felt He wants me. He said be patient a bit longer, and I’m trying--sometimes not succeeding at all. But right now it’s really hard. And that’s okay to acknowledge.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

contagiously happy

Earlier this week, some friends and I were sharing our Myers-Briggs personality type indicator results. (If you're curious about your type indicator, you can take a quick test here.) The conversation then turned to the fan-made charts of each personality type matching a character in a popular book or movie series, like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Downton Abbey. There is even an animal chart if you're not into fictional characters. Anyway, it's a fun way to explore who we are, and how we interact as human beings.

On the animal chart I'm a dolphin, and the first words of the description are "contagiously happy," which I wasn't too sure about. Then a friend said that she felt like it was totally true about me. I laughed and said that I felt like I was contagiously bitchy crabby last week. 

contagiously happy dolphin
via here

So, on Friday morning, I woke up feeling rather  bitchy... er, crabby. And I had to cover to the front office desk, which meant I needed to be pleasant and polite, or exactly opposite of how I was really feeling. As I walked from the car into the office I remembered my friend saying that she felt I really was contagiously happy, and I said to myself, "Okay, Christine, you need to own this "contagiously happy" piece in you today, because if you don't people will be hurt."

So, I owned it. And people left my desk laughing all day long, and it was fun! And I still felt crabby at times, but more often than not I was smiling, and genuinely so. It took a little while for it to feel completely genuine, but I was glad that it finally did. Friday turned out to be a pretty good day in spite of my waking on the wrong side of the bed.

My point in sharing all of this? It's always surprising to me where the reminders come from to be better than I am.

I'm grateful that a fun conversation with my friends about personalities, and fictional characters would be the inspiration for me to choose to be in a better mood, and remember to treat others how I want to be treated.

I'm grateful for the variety in my life that allows friends and moments like these to help me choose better.

Thank you.

Friday, October 4, 2013

i gave myself 15 minutes...

I gave myself 15 minutes to write today. I don't know what will come up during the next 15 minutes, but whatever it is will be posted for the world to read, so I hope it's meaningful in some way.

I'm meeting a friend for lunch at 1 pm on a Friday afternoon.  This is a complete luxury, because on any other Friday I would be at work in a windowless cubicle trying to focus on what's in front of me, instead of what's around me. Friday afternoons at work tend to drag a bit.

So, today on this Friday, I'm discovering how "I can while away the hours ago, conferring with the flowers, consulting with the rain. And my head I'd be scratching while my thoughts were busy hatching, if I only had a brain". (Name that tune and that movie, please.) The Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, sings this as he explains to Dorothy what he wants from the Wizard. It can be applied to what I'm thinking about today. How I've wished for time to work on some projects, and clean my house, and read some books, and play some music, and run some errands, and talk to people, and sleep, and cook, and...well, you get the drift. I would ask the Wizard for time, or Hermoine for her time turner. (By the way the auto-correction for Hermoine is heroine, which I find totally fitting.)

And here I am suddenly with an abundance of time on my hands, feeling the pressure to get things done, but also not wanting the success of being furloughed to be a completed to-do list; rather, I want to fell more rested and more better. I've read some fun books, cleaned some nooks and crannies that desperately needed it. Thankfully, I haven't discovered a carpet beetle infestation like some other friends did, who are now spending their furlough days doing laundry, cleaning, and running to the Goodwill or the dry cleaners. My time is my own, and it's so very nice.

I guess my point in writing this, is that I hope I use this time off wisely. Sure, I have a to-do list, and I've crossed a few things off it. But in the end, time spent on the back porch in the hammock, soaking up the last sunlight of summer, drinking cold lemonade, listening to some really good music, and reading a lovely tale is the most delicious part of this time. Who knows, maybe I'll blow off my to-do list entirely, and just give myself up to the back porch entirely?

How I wish this was my back porch...
via here

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013

boxing up

Today I helped a woman pack up her life. She has cancer and will soon go home. 

I went through her papers and photos. I decided what should be shredded and what should be kept. It was sobering. I found myself holding back the tears as I sat on the floor catching just a glimpse of her adventures and her life. It was so hard, realizing that we were helping her put her life in order. 

She has so much she still wants to do. She's worried about hurting feelings and treating the people around her with love as she deals with being very, very sick and leaving behind the life she loves here. Her body is starting to have to work much, much harder to do even the simple things like lift her hand to her mouth. Her attitude is the best, she's still laughing and enjoying the life she has. I hope I can be more like her in living and appreciating the life I have no matter what.

All week I've been thinking about her, praying for her, hoping for a last minute miracle. I have also done a lot of thinking. How life is so short, too short, too often. There's so much I want to do. That God has a plan for each of us. That it's the plan even when it seems like the plan has been abandoned and thrown to the wind. That I'd like to know more of the plan up front sometimes. And that life really is good even when it's not, and I would not trade this life for anything.

Above all I was thinking that I know she's in good hands. We all are. 

And I kept thinking about this quote:

God’s light is real. It is available to all! It gives life to all things. It has the power to soften the sting of the deepest wound. It can be a healing balm for the loneliness and sickness of our souls. In the furrows of despair, it can plant the seeds of a brighter hope. It can enlighten the deepest valleys of sorrow. It can illuminate the path before us and lead us through the darkest night into the promise of a new dawn.
 - Elder Uchtdorff, General Conference, April 2o13

Thursday, June 6, 2013

thoughtful thursday: make these days memorable

i love this quote!

Do not let us speak of darker days;
Let us speak rather of sterner days.
These are not dark days; there are great days--
The greatest days our country has ever lived;
And we must all thank God that we have been allowed...
To play a part in making these days memorable
In the history of our race.
--Winston Churchill

Monday, June 3, 2013

i create

"Creativity is not something you wait for. It is something that waits for you. You must decide to be creative, not wait to be. You must challenge yourself. Pick up the brush. Grab hold of the camera. Start cooking the meal. Get to the workplace early. Propose the solution. Advance the idea. Become the answer."

I don't know who the author is of these thought provoking sentences.  It's stuck with me ever since a colleague, who sends daily emails with inspirational quotes, sent it to me. I copied and pasted it into a Word document, played around with the font and color, printed it, and stuck it up in my cubicle with my magnet that says, "Keep Calm and Boldly Go". I needed those words that day.

I've been feeling stuck in a funk lately, and very bored with work. Those words helped me start to look at what I create when I'm at work. They were the kick in the pants I needed.

I read somewhere else lately, that waiting around makes a person a consumer, who takes what they can get, instead of being a creator, who makes their own reality. I don't want to be a consumer. I want to contribute and create.

via here

I started a mental list of all the things I create in my life, and then started writing them down so I could remember them.

I create...

Beauty in my garden by taking care of the plants I put there and removing the weeds.

Smiles from people walk by looking at my garden. It's fun to sit and watch people coming and going.

Order at work by keeping on top of y projects and filing completed projects. (I really dislike filing, so this one is really hard for me to keep up on.)

Music when I sing and play the piano.

Warmth by crocheting hats and blankets.

Cleanliness when I clean up after myself and keep my house neat.

Friendships with people at work, in the neighborhood, at church, in line at CVS.

Love through service.

Laughter when listening to people share their funny stories or when I share my own.

Food. I enjoy cooking and making good things to eat and share with people.

Ideas by thinking about stuff and writing.

What do you create?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

thoughtful thursday: be patient, dream and pray

"Too often we pray to have patience but we want it right now."
"Sincere prayer is answered sometime, somewhere."
"He that watches over us shall neither slumber nor sleep."

Elder Hales,

"God expects you to have enough faith
and determination
and enough trust in Him to keep moving,
keep living,
keep rejoicing.
In fact,
He expects you not simply to face the future...
He expects you to embrace and shape the future—
to love it
and rejoice in it
and delight in your opportunities.

God is anxiously waiting
for the chance to answer your prayers
and fulfill your dreams,
just as He always has.

But He can't if you don't pray,
and He can't if you don't dream.
In short,
He can't if you don't believe."

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
"Terror, Triumph, and a Wedding Feast", CES Fireside, Sept. 2004

Sunday, May 19, 2013

this city

I am sitting in a restaurant with friends one evening eating some really good pizza, some really, really good pizza. I face the open door watching the comings and goings of everyone on the street. I watch the sky changing colors above the rooftops as the sunset comes and goes. The cars honking and rushing past. The couple next to us signing their lively conversation. The cyclist leaning her bike against the wide open door and looking for acknowledgement that someone will help her keep an eye on it. I'm paying attention to the dinner conversation but am so very aware of life moving all around me at top speed. I take a bite of perfectly crunchy crust with spicy tomato sauce and other assorted toppings, and it hits me. I am just a girl from Paradise, Utah who lives here in this city.

It hits me quite frequently that I live in this city. I often miss the mountains. I see photos on Instagram and Facebook from people who live in my hometown and there is a tugging of my heartstrings to go back. Sometimes this city begs the question: How does anyone leave Paradise to live here in this city? 

But there is a lot to love here, and it feels like home now. Sure, I could do all these things I do here someplace else where the view out my bedroom windows didn't overlook someone else's backyard, but I would miss out on some pretty great (and not so great) experiences. And, oh, this city... 

This city where all in one day I see the Capitol dome or the Basilica at Catholic University rising in the distance. I spend an afternoon basking in the beauty and history of a museum or two. I find a garden sanctuary and soak in the greenness. I meet up with friends for dinner. I attend a musical or theatrical event. 

This city where my country girl roots seek refuge in the garden plots filled with flowers and plants that are just one form of cheap but effective therapy. 

This city where I forget sometimes to look at the sky because of all the trees, and thankfully its skyline is short and majestic without the skyscrapers of other urban centers. 

This city where, amazingly, sometimes on a weekend in the early morning light, the only sounds are my feet hitting the pavement and my breathing. 

This city where my breath is sometimes grabbed away from me by the smells of humanity and oppressive hot, moist air of summer. 

This city that has treated me kindly and not so kindly. 

This city where only going the speed limit means you get cussed out and honked at. Where every intersection is an often unwanted concert of different music pouring out of open windows. 

This city where I can find a beautiful oasis of peace in a garden, museum, or concert hall. Where sometimes when I'm walking somewhere I hear the most beautiful music pouring out of someone's home as they play a musical instrument or sing.

This city that I have fallen in love with, albeit begrudgingly at times.

This city with some really kind people...

The neighbor across the alley who was on her back porch noticed me coming down the back steps. She called across to wish me a good morning and then asked where our dog was, as she missed seeing him out back. When I told her that he died a few weeks ago, she stopped moving and put her hands on her heart and said how sorry she was. She said meet me in the alley, 'cause I'm coming to give you a hug. I had never spoken with her before, but here she came to give me a hug and look me directly in the eyes to tell me how sorry she was about the loss of Josiah. 

The next door neighbor who hosts dinner parties on her back patio and spontaneously invites me to join her group when I'm in the backyard. I often do and have a wonderful time.

There is a group of us on our block who garden together. We compare notes and plants, and share our love and knowledge of all things green. 

The dogs that come up to say hello to me when I’m in my garden. They know who I am and are genuinely pleased to see me; at least that's what their wagging tails tell me. I think I might know more dog names, than people names.

When I’m out for a run and see someone I know who is out for a run too. They often don't mind if I join them for a few blocks. 

The young man who sees me struggling up the sidewalk with my arms full and offers to help before I lose everything.

Arriving home late one afternoon, after a very long long and stressful weekend of reserve duty, I parked down the street from my house. As I very tiredly walked home wearing my working uniform, a few of the older gentleman came down from their porches to thank me for serving and talk with me about their own service. They even knew which house was mine--the one with the flag and the flowers. "Oh, we've noticed you," they said. Another gentleman on a bicycle sat straight up and saluted as he passed me by. 

This city I with which I have, begrudgingly at times, fallen in love. And the life that I have right here, right now in this city.

Monday, April 1, 2013

things that made me smile...

* the temple with LLM. it was soooo nice to spend time there with a lovely friend and do some work for her family.

* a man and his son walking home from their neighborhood bakery with a plate full of goodies from the bakery. he takes his own plate to the bakery and loads it up, so he doesn't have to waste all the packing materials. he also gave us the most lovely compliment about our spring outfits. i now have something new to which i aspire: taking my own plate to the neighborhood bakery.

* fish fingers and custard and Doctor Who and fellow Whovians.

* homemade custard. strawberries. cod with orange sauce. lemon cake in all its forms. tuna melt with crispy bacon.

* doctor appointments all in one day.

* instagram photos.

* conference talks again and again. i'm excited for new ones in a few days.

* the women in my book group who choose such interesting books and inspire such great discussions.

* thank you notes received in the mail.

* trees in bloom.

* Easter Sunday. reflections on Jesus Christ and his crucifixion and resurrection. the Spirit bringing peace and hope.

* visiting ward members and getting to know them better.

* josiah is home. yay!

* a run/walk around the National Mall, leftovers for dinner and good conversation.

* mani-pedi after a day of doctor appointments.

* sleep. my favorite nightgown. leaving a window open cracked open just a bit at night. cleaning. organizing.

* pondering the big questions: what should i be doing with my life right now? what can i do to be happier? how can i help and serve others?

* choosing to have fun and smile.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

things that made me smile this week

* some of my colleagues at work made over 60 hats for the Hat Project. such awesome people i work with.

* a run to congressional cemetery to see the cherry blossoms blooming in front of the chapel as the sun is setting. hurting like he** for two days afterwards not so much. i guess i should listen to my doctor...

* we learned a group of mice is called a mischief of mice. although, at this point i think they're well beyond mischief... seriously.

* paying  bills. okay, i didn't smile so much while paying them, but i am sure glad i have the means to pay them.

* a new church calling to assist in organizing and facilitating activities for the relief society aka women's ministry. i get to work with three women, whom i love and admire. yay!

* my yns who make sure i laugh in the mornings. 'cause i'm not a morning person, especially last friday.

* car repairs that are free. the place i go didn't charge me for fixing the back lights. hill auto repair definitely has my business.

* this lovely collection of images from inspiration lane. gorgeousness abounds. oh, and cute overload too, no explanation necessary the name says it all.

* making a conscious effort to remember daily the things which make me smile and feel grateful to god for my blessings really helps me appreciate what i have in my life. it helps me feel better too.

* anticipation.

* compliments on an outfit... from men. granted they were old enough to be my grandpa, but they were so complimentary. the brothers at the temple are so darn cute.

* have you ever tried pho? if not then you must. it is life changing. it's a vietnamese soup of the richest, yummiest broth with meat, rice noodles, scallions and you add fresh lime, jalapenos and bean sprouts as desired. there are a few variations and i can't wait to explore them. it's the best thing i have eaten in a long time. thanks to PA for introducing me to it.

* clean laundry. scrubbing floors. socks. toe nail clippers. colored pens. good stationery. soft yarn. organizing my sock drawer. texts. instagram photos of nephews. earrings. reading quietly. warm sunshine. the first day of spring. watching my favorite tree get ready to bloom. washing dishes (don't faint mom and dad). fun notebooks. little books. the scriptures. cooking. letting go.

* the sound of my nephews arguing over who is next to talk to me on the phone. big, big smile!

* an evening at the temple filled with good conversation.

* a night out with good friends to celebrate and life and accomplishments.

* sunday afternoon naps.

* snow. :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

so much made me smile....

* my birthday was a fun day.

* my mom sent me the classic blue and gold plate to commemorate the Relief Society. she bought it for me almost twenty years ago when we visited nauvoo as a family. she said she waited this long because i am now finally old enough for it. she packed the plate in hats for the hat project that she and a friend had made. i love my mom!

* brother R1's family sing-yelling-screaming happy birthday on my voice mail. seriously, you haven't experienced this song properly until you hear their family do it. i look forward to this every year. it's my favorite each time.

* karaoke night with some wonderful women from over at FIVE. it was so much fun and a great way to spend my birthday.

* dinner with LLR at Bistro Cacoa. seriously, good food and the best conversation with this lovely lady. thank you.

* doctor who socks for my birthday make me happy.

* my roommate is pretty darn cute. her fried chicken is the best and made my lunches so yummy.

* my sister's boys singing to me over the phone. those two boys are fun!

* lots and lots of sleep, and quiet time helped me to feel more rested this weekend. i needed it so.

* hosting a dinner party for our senior missionary couple and their daughter, a returning missionary from France, who joined them for the last two weeks of her mission--so cool! this family is amazing and so full of love and light. it was lovely to have them and other close friends from church join us. the whole night was really special.

* making a successful meal. i'm so glad the meatloaf turned out well.

* phone conversations with good friends. i need to do this more often.

* meeting the Lovely Ladies for dinner early one evening. it was so great having the three of us in one place.

* writing a story with a friend because i'm bored. genius and fun idea on his part.

* supporting a good friend by attending his father's funeral. i learned so much more about my friend and who he is. prayers and love for him and his family.

* mom and dad calling to wish me happy birthday.

* time at the temple.

* following a prompting, and feeling peace.

* watching this conversation. lots to think about.

* meat loaf. macaroni and cheese. water. ice cream--haagen dazs limited edition salted caramel truffle is truly a revelation in perfect flavors. pistachio crusted sea bass with mango champagne sauce is another revelation in texture and flavors. homemade sauteed spinach in spicy honey mustard. san pellegrino sparkling water.

* snow that doesn't stick around. (okay, i prefer the snow that does stick, but apparently that's not gonna happen here in dc. so i'll take what i can get.)

* blooming daffs, crocuses and snow drops. oh, and some early blossoming cherry trees are showing up around the city.

* the people i work with are good, hard working people. i'm so grateful for them.

* Come Thou Fount sung in French. beautiful!

* a perfect dress for a wedding, on sale and available in my size. (let me clarify, i am attending a wedding, not getting married myself.)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

musings on adventure

I hear frequently from friends who say they like hearing about my adventures. I tell them I want to hear about their adventures and they always say, "Okay, I will when I have one."

I do not think my life is all that adventurous. I just do my thing and share things on Facebook or here on my blog so that members of my family can see what I'm up to. I have fun in my life, but day-to-day is pretty mundane.

I am, however, of the belief that life is an adventure. Sometimes  it is a grand, romantic adventure where exciting things happen and I get to do some really cool things. Other times it's a quiet, uneventful adventure in simple and unassuming ways. Either way, for me the adventure is for the taking.

I think that if you are in school working on degree towards doing something that you love and believe in, then that is an adventure. The experiences are meaningful to you and shape your view of life, people and the world.

Family can be quite the adventure. I know my own family is an adventure. We have a lot of fun together and have gone through some really hard stuff together. I love hearing about my siblings' lives as they are having experiences and adventures as parents and spouses that are fulfilling and amazing, if not more than a little mundane at times. I mean the piles of laundry that a family of 4 produces does not sound fun at all, but all the trappings that goes with that laundry, well they sound like a lot of fun to me.

I learn so much from other people's experiences. I am so grateful when they choose to share their stories and insights. They provide a different perspective for me to look at life with. I learn so much about what life has to offer and what other people need and want. Hearing other people's experiences has helped me to be more open to the opportunities that I have in my life and move forward with faith even when I am scared. It helps me to know that I am not alone in my struggles.

I think about this quote when I get discouraged or bored with life:

   Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. . . .
   Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride. - Jenkin Lloyd Jones

Yep, life is really difficult and sad, boring and dusty sometimes, interspersed with moments wonder and adventure. I think they happen more often than we think. Sometimes we are not accustomed to recognizing the the beauty, because we are so bogged down in the mud we forget to look around us. For me sharing the beauty in my life through social media helps me to focus on the beauty. I have plenty of crappy, unhappy things and really hard struggles that I could be sharing, but they are only a small part in the overall scheme of my life.

Beauty is everywhere; it just needs recognition, and therein lies my adventures.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

photo recap of week 1

teenage mutant ninja turtles 

crocuses greeting me in the front garden

snow falling in the backyard during 'noquester storm of 2013

a fish hat... it's a little disconcerting to think you put your head in its mouth

the day after the snowstorm, look at that sky!

a red, white and blue sunset

a beautiful rug shop near Eastern Market, DC

a random list from my notebook

a Capitol sunset
i'm on instagram @cmboyerdc.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

sci-fi weekend

Why do I go to science fiction conventions? The people are interesting and fun. I learn something new while attending the science panels; and seriously, scientists are the coolest nerds ever. 

I attended Farpoint a couple of weeks ago, and I got to see and do stuff like this...

These boys won a prize in the masquerade for their depiction of
Minecraft Style ala Gangnam Style.

You never know when you're going to meet the Geico Gorn.
Their masquerade skit was pretty funny. 
Oh, and the woman in the Gorn costume is blind, which ups the coolness levels.

Darth Vader and his wife are trying something sweet to lure unsuspecting persons to the Dark Side. Plus, they have the best aprons ever.

If you need help finding a woman, you might try this bookI don't think it will really be all that helpful as we don't have any alien women on this planet... yet.

These two are the funniest couple I've ever seen on stage. I laughed sooo hard.

Klingons learning how to dance Thriller.

Felicia Day is adorable, witty and smart, and definitely a much bigger nerd than me.
I only wish I was as cool... but I'm not a gamer, nor will I ever be.

I found the TARDIS!!

I loved this kid. He was so cute and funny!

The Klingon Empire and The Empire have an exchange program.
Who knew?

This girl's Iron Man costume was absolutely the best. 
Very well done.

I love Captain America... 
Now in my dreams he looked a bit younger.

And I get to meet really cool people like this guy...
Marc Okrand, creator of the Klingon language.
And sadly no I do not speak Klingon.

A very satisfying weekend of nerdiness and geekiness. You can read my friend T's recap and see more photos here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

things that made me smile...

* i love getting my haircut. unfortunately, my hair guy is on an extended leave of absence, so i had to submit my hair to a new guy. here's hoping it looks as good curly as it does straight.

* i finally finished the first round personnel evaluations... thank heavens.

* i miss josiah. he's staying with my roommate's family this week. i never expected to miss a dog so much.

* i decided to take a photo a day for the next month. only three days in and it's been fun already. i'll post a weekly recap.

* 821 hats for children's hospital and the hats are still coming in...

* ironing can be fun... sometimes.

* lemon cake. lime bars. berry tart. a dessert potluck with fabulous women.

* a friend went out of his way to say thank you. it meant a lot.

* affogatto--italian drinking cioccolato with gelato di crema. to quote a friend, "angels were singing in my mouth."

* i was privileged to sing the national anthem for a friend's retirement from the navy reserve. i was humbled to be a part of his celebration.

* a friend who gives me straight talk and sound advice. thank you.

* a saturday where i spent the bulk of the day at home in my pjs. even though i was doing work, i still felt like i got some relaxing in.

* my mom and dad are great!

* asking the question: what should i be doing with my life? and laying in the groundwork for some answers.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

things that make me smile...

...or some things for which i'm grateful.

it's been a rough couple of weeks. i'm muddling through and pulling myself together. there is a light at the end of the tunnel, thankfully. i have noticed over the years that when i'm sorting through things and having a rough time that i tend to withdraw. i recently noticed that by not taking time to truly appreciate the beauty in my life and focus on being grateful that my mood worsens and it's hard for me see all the good i have in my life. i enjoy seeing all the good that's going on in my life and there is definitely difference in me when i do.

* i attended my good friend's church last saturday for her son's dedication (blessing). the pastor invited my friend and her husband to come forward and present their son. he also invited all the guests who were there to support my friend's family to come forward and surround them as they presented their little boy for his blessing. it was such a beautiful experience to stand in the circle of love, and support completely focused on my friend's family. i'm so grateful that i could be a part of their special day.

* i'm really grateful for my car pool partner who really is a funny gal. i really appreciate her company in the mornings. possible alien invasions, new music and griping about maryland drivers make for some really fun conversation.

* i'm grateful for telephone conversations with members of my family. it helps me feel like i'm not so far away.

* the bulbs i planted are coming up in full force. i enjoy seeing the green buds and stems coming up from the cold, muddy ground. i know in a few weeks there will be an explosion of color in my front garden.

* i work with really great people. i've been blessed to have a group of colleagues who are making hats for our hat project for children's hospital. it's so fun to spend time with these people. i enjoy teaching people how to use the knitting looms and to crochet. it's fun!

* a post valentine's day get together with some of my favorite women around a fireplace. we wrote down things that we wanted to let go off and sent them up in flames while making s'mores and chatting away. exactly what i needed that day.

* sometimes i need to be told, "suck it up, pansi" when i complain about stuff and i have a friend who does just that. thanks!

* 13 dead mice in 10 days. seriously, where do these things come from?

* i'm starting to get excited about the spring session of general conference. yay!

* baked oatmeal. spaghetti squash--which i don't enjoy all that much, but i really liked it this time around. cleaning out my veggie drawer to make some yummy soup. nutella and saltines. celestial seasonings tension tamer tea--i so enjoy this drink before heading to bed, and it's almost become a routine. clean sheets. socks. turtleneck shirts are my go-to shirt in the winter. chocolate. chocolate. chocolate.

* my roommate was out of town for a few days, and josiah was really missing her one evening. in the middle of working on my computer, i was interrupted when out of nowhere he just climbed right up on the couch and into my lap. needless to say i put my computer aside and gave the poor, neglected dog some loves. he settled right down afterwards and went to sleep. i think dogs are like people and need cuddles too.

* my mom calling me in the middle of the oscars, so we could watch them together. it was fun to have someone to talk with about the show. i stayed up way too late just talk with her.

* shopping at costco is ridiculous to me, because there is nothing small about that place or its wares. i rarely shop there, but it was fun to run into one of my favorite people there with all her kids as she finished shopping for her family. it made being there worth it.

* i'm so thankful for my brothers and sisters who are chief petty officers with me. i learn so much from them. i recently was able to spend some time in conversation with a close friend who is getting ready to move onto a new challenge and leadership opportunity. i learn so much from this man every time i talk with him. thanks for making time for me in your schedule. the meeting maker made me laugh!

* sore muscles from physical therapy. i know i'm alive and getting stronger.

* i seriously enjoy attending  sci-fi conventions, and attended one a couple of weeks ago. this deserves it own blog post, but it was really fun. i learned so much about people and science, and laughed like i hadn't in a really long time.

* i enjoy days at work when i'm able to really focus and concentrate on getting things done. it helps me feel good at the end of the day.

* i'm so thankful for daily reminders that i do have a choice in how i feel about the experiences in my life.

* there is peace and strength that comes from reading the scriptures and spending time in prayer. even just a few minutes makes a very noticeable difference. thank you.

* i feel much better now that i have typed this up. acknowledging my gratitude and the good in my life really does help me feel happier.