I must be blog-happy or maybe just happy, because I just found out that I am not losing my job. I was offered a full-time position at my current place of employment today. Praised be. I will love having medical benefits again.

and...I'm moving North about 15 minutes in about 15 days.

New Pics

of my loved ones.... mikey, you are one rad mophotog!

Flight Deck

I've spent a few hours this week buying new music (thanks to Tara's great idea to hit up the HOB last weekend), organizing my iTunes and updating the iPod that stays plugged into my car.

The lephrechan recognizes 5 playlists from the iPod if they are named "MINI 1", "MINI 2" and so forth and those playlists can be operated via this beauty of a control deck. It cost me a pretty penny to add this feature... However, I get lazy and leave the pod plugged in all the time. It was getting seriously outdated and in need of some love. As I was going through my playlists, I deleted almost everything and started over--throwing almost all my music into the 5 playlists based on genre and timetable (only a blessed few would recognize whisper rock as a genre). In doing so, I ran across some old friends like this one by Lizzy McGuire and other ditties by peeps such as Hoku and Aqua. You wanna know more about the teeny pop phase I went through in 2003?

Is this bad? me trying to convince you all how funny I am?

This is going to be such a lame post and I'm totally stroking my own ego, but I can't help it. I think I'm pretty funny. I'm sure most people do not agree. I have been having some funny e-conversations lately. This one happened on Facebook and it's always fun to find that someone thinks I'm as funny as I do. It all started when a friend from way back emailed me asking about the social calendar for Labour Day weekend (yes, that's right, Labour) and he admitted that he's bringing his guitar down from UT. I imagine that this will not be as funny taken out of the context of the entire conversation, but I just could not bring myself to posting the whole thing. So, for your enjoyment (or mine), I am posting a bit of it including a psychological evaluation I created for guitar-guy syndrom. There is a reference to a comedian and if you choose to look it up on YouTube, do so at your own risk. It is not PG:

Me: if you're bringing your guitar, we might just have to pull together a beach bonfire. would you play?

NN: Um...yeah...I'll play. Actually...I love doing that kind of thing but I hate the connotation of being that dude who is always pulling out the guitar, you know? It's better when everyone sings along. I take requests...

Me: somewhere in my head i have memories of you serenading Anne* with Teitur (*name has been changed).

NN: Ah...see? That's exactly the kind of reputation that I'm trying to get away from….Have you ever heard of Mike Birbiglia? He's a comedian and he's pretty good. He does this great bit about the guitar guy at the party. You should hear it.

Me: I'll have to check out that guy and let you know if you fit.

NN: I DON'T want to be the dude that Birbiglia talks about. I think he's part of the reason that I'm self conscious about it.'s part of the reason that i like it when everyone sings along. It's more of a group activity and less like "hey everybody look at me!"

[this is the good part] i have an idea. i've created a battery of questions to determine where you lie on the "guitar guy" spectrum [GGS]. Just answer the following on a scale of 1-5, (1) never true, (2) sometimes true, (3) i don't know, (4) often true, (5) always true. If you answer any with a 3, it will be counted against you.

1. I keep my guitar in my car just in case a party gets boring.
2. My friends know me to be a "party hopper"--I gotta go where the audience appreciates me.
3. At a party, I can be found as far away from the DJ as possible. Who wants to compete with that noise?
4. If my roommates throw a party, just look for me in my room. It has the best acoustics since I hung egg crate on all four of my walls (underneath the Madonna posters).
5. I have been asked to leave a party more than once because I was distracting from the bride and groom. how was i supposed to know they were trying to show a video?
6. Number 6 has been deleted due to inappropriate content. Just trying to keep it clean.
7. I have been known to take requests for my "special version" of Somebody by Depeche Mode. What can I say? It makes the girls swoon.

I will score your answers and let you know if you need to seek professional help. It's okay, trust me. i'm a professional. i do this sort of thing all the time.

NN: All I can say is this is awesome. You have WAY too much time on your hands.

Let's see...I scored my own and I got a 35. Is that bad? ;)

In fact, I think maybe you should add bonus points for the fact that I can't even count how many times i've told a girl that her eyes look like space crystals. I guess this means we won't be having a beach bonfire after all. ;)

For the most part, he's pretty clean. Sorry about number 6.

Me: oh, i do have a lot of time on my hands when at my desk job, but that assessment only took me 5 minutes max to create. I told you I'm a pro :).

As for the scoring--if you indeed got a 35 plus bonus points for the space crystal thing then, i'm sorry to report, your diagnosis is a bonafide guitar-guy. my guess is that it's adult onset and i'm not so sure about the prognosis. it doesn't look good.

NN: i had to look up the word prognosis. I knew it had to do with predicting an outcome but I was hoping that there would be prescription drugs in it for me.
Not only are you a pro...but you're wickedly witty. That's a compliment. It was super funny. I laughed. Out loud.

ah...I find such satisfaction in getting people to laugh out loud, especially at work when no one else around has any clue regarding the reason for the giggling. He told me later that he read it out loud at work. Apparently, "it was that good."


Happy B-Day, BeBe!!! I love you so much and am so excited for you now that you're 18 and can date all the same boys that I date. Move down here right now!!

flashback - the glory days

remember when we used to pick a theme for all the events at BYU and all dress the same? how cute were we when we all wore baseball shirts? oh man, we were so cool.

Fall Fling 1999

i ♥ my family!

the last few weekends have been filled with family fun!

weekend one: i got to spend some time with these cuties while their parents were apartment hunting a couple thousand miles away.

Me: What are you making Brin?
Brin: I mating a mowndain (translation: "I'm making a mountain")
ah...I watched this creation come to be before my very eyes as Adam scrolled back and forth through different hair colors/styles, nose, skin tones, and finally the addition of the name "Adam" and age "5". Cracked me up to see his perception of himself.

it's a Brinly turtle. Ever heard of it? Pretty sure it's extinct. Yes. I let her have her "pa-pa" (aka: pacifier) probably a lot more than her parents do. I'm a softy.

Stamp Power!
Adam reading to us about Pachylorsaurus. Adam, how do you spell that again?

Waking up to these kiddos was so fun.
Church: I don't know how you mommies do it. I only had two well behaved kiddos to worry about. I gave Adam my phone to look at pictures and the next thing I know, the flash is going off. He figured out how to get to the camera and snapped a couple of me in sacrament meeting. I tried not to laugh. Adam gave a talk in primary. We wrote it the night before. Well, he told me what to write and I wrote it and then he read/paraphrased the next day. The whole room was just in awe when he read the scripture he chose to go with missionary work and sharing testimony, Alma 26:28. No big deal, just a barely 5-year-old reading Alma. Because Alma was a missionary and his talk was about missionaries.

We got to see Avery & Q for Sunday dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's. Brinly loved on Baby Quincey. It was reported that before the family vacay at the beach and their move to the midwest, Brinly and Avery were wrestling/hugging and Brin pulled back and said, "I'm going to miss you Avery". Ah...
Making spaghetti and meatballs and snakes.

I had planned on blogging a bunch of our cute conversations and funny moments--since I don't have my own kids to blog about. I took too much time off. Blasted memory. How about this one. After we picked Chad and Keira up at the airport, they took me to Carl's Junior for some quick dinner before my flight left and Brin was super upset. I figured it was because, though I tried, she didn't go down for a nap that day. Chad took her outside to talk to her and came back in. She wasn't crying anymore and even started to eat her chicken nuggets. He said that she told him that she was sad cause I was leaving. Break my heart! I lost it right there. Overcome with the emotion of them moving so far away and missing them already. Then Brin sat on my lap and ate the rest of her food while I told her she could call me on the phone anytime. Love you and miss you guys!

Weekend Two: Rowley family reunion. common dolphin watching, which was just as great as they put on quite a show for us!

Little Cousins!
It was fun to hear Grandpa Al talk about his parents and their parents and to meet his cousin and family.

Weekend Three & Four: Family Vacation in Newport. Beaching. Shopping. Eating. Playing games.

Collin & Liz and kids had their photo shoot w/ a friend of mine. Col keeping Avery entertained before the magic started.

I stole some photos...
This was the order of the day, chasing Avie as she fearlessly ran into the waves, rolled in the sand and literally feasted on the elements.

...and talking about Breaking much that Dad picked up Twilight at Costco to find out what all the hullabaloo is about. Apparently Edward & Bella didn't hold his interest as well as they did his daughters'.

Fun times, Fam!! Love you Forever!

magnanimous (a long word for a long entry)

is the word that came to mind the other night as I was driving home from my last day as an MFT Trainee. Magnanimous describes the God that I love and call my Father ( well as the father I was given for the period of my mortal existence--that is a story for another post--this song is for you dad).

It's been an interesting week, to say the least, but saying good-bye to people--colleagues & clients that I have spent the greater part of 2007 and 2008 getting attached to was so bitter-sweet. I was filled with so much gratitude and I will tell you why. Obviously, because of client confidentiality there will be no identifying information here.

Throughout my traineeship I have had to learn how to hold my tongue, but I have also prayed that I'd be given ways to share the gospel through example and that the people who consult me will feel the love of the Lord through our work. So many times I have thought, if only this person had the gospel in their life to live by, they wouldn't be dealing with these issues, or at least they could find some comfort... well in my final sessions with nearly all of my clients, I was given the gift of opportunity to bear testimony in obscure ways.

Example 1 - 18 yr old female. Mind you this is our last session and we've been working together for about 10 months and have built a pretty great therapeutic alliance at this point.

client: (out of the blue) Where are you from?
me: (trying to avoid the question) I grew up in Arizona.
client: oh really? but where did you move here from?
[This particular client guessed which car in the parking lot was mine based on her idea that she thinks I'm cool and she liked the mini cooper out there, so she HOPED that it was my looked like a car I would drive. BUT, I always park with my front facing out so that my Utah plates are somewhat hidden. My guess is that she peaked at my plates and had been planning this conversation.]
me: Utah
client: Are you Mormon??
me: Yes, but this isn't about me, we're here for you (smiling)
client: (laughing hysterically)
me: this is funny, huh?
She proceeded to tell me about some Mormon neighbors they used to have who were "crazy fun" and I explained that they were not exactly living in accordance to what the church teaches.
client: what do Mormons believe anyway? I've always wanted to know
me: um, ya, I'm not really supposed to talk about this, this is your time. but... (wrote out on a piece of paper) this site can answer your questions.

I said a quick prayer that she would be blessed with curiosity. Keep searching!

Example 2 - Single mom & son. Came in to work on son's anger. (one of those, frazzled mom "will you fix my kid?" stories.

me: (after watching them sit on opposite ends of the couch not talking to each other and hearing them both say that nothing has changed over the last year of counseling. No improvement. My heart is aching and they don't want to transfer to another therapist) Are you sure you're not interested in staying? My recommendation is that you both continue, but with your own individual counselors. Maybe you'll find a better fit and be able to see more progress if you give it another chance.
mom: I guess we could try it, but we cannot do this together anymore (meaning family counseling sessions)
me: (speaking to son) What do you think? Could you give counseling another try, but with your own counselor?
son: (looking down with one earbud in) There's nothing wrong with me. I'm not the problem.
me: I hear you. You're not the problem, but this (meaning the conflict between mother and son) is something that affects you and your life and I think it would be good for you to have someone to talk to.

After they agree to keep coming--thank goodness--we get to the good stuff. I know, right? Why couldn't this conversation have happened 6 months ago? Turns out that mom has been blaming herself for the anger. You know how they say that emotions are transferred from mother to baby during pregnancy? Well, her husband left her for another woman while she was pregnant with this one and raising a toddler--lots of anger and resentment toward the dad throughout her pregnancy. Oh, seeing the pain on her face just killed me.
me: Are you saying that you've been blaming yourself this whole time? That you believe that it's your fault for the anger? (to son) Were you aware of this; did you know that your mom blames herself?
son: (looking up at me for the first time during the session--shakes his head no)
mom: (tears streaming down her face, eyes looking as if she just wanted to die) sobs
me: I know about the studies, the research that has shown that emotion is passed from mother to baby. But I haven't read anything that says it's permanent! or that changes the child's personality or temperament. (not that I've really looked into it to know)
At that point I looked back at her son, checking in with how he was responding to all of this. he's biting his lip.
me: (very hesitantly, but I knew that I had to go there) I know you're Catholic and I don't know everything about what you believe, but tell me this, do you believe in the Atonement?
mom: (looks at me with a furrowed brow, questioning)
me: I mean, that Jesus died for you?
mom: (nodding through her tears)
me: Then if you believe that, He did it! He took care of this for you. You don't have to carry this.

Oh, man. The conversation kept going as I expressed encouragement and hope for them as they continue to work together as a family and on their own individual stuff. I was also very grateful for the chance to tell her son one-on-one that he's a good kid and to not let anyone try to tell him otherwise. It was like my last ditch effort to make up for any slacking on my part.

There were others, but this is obviously long enough. I hope I didn't cross too many boundaries in my last week, but if I did, I think they were meant to be crossed. I am just amazed at the magnanimousness of our Heavenly Father, that He would allow me to be a witness. I mean, not only to bear witness but to physically witness and feel His love for His children everywhere--no matter their circumstances. No, especially in their circumstances.

Thank you, Friend-Who-Cares!

The flowers who showed up at my house today are beautiful!