Sunday, December 27, 2009

Creative Stirrings

Now that I'm well through with studying for the year, and since Tyler has finished for the semester, I decided we needed to try new things! I received two new cookbooks from friends and family for my birthday and Christmas (both of which I will post about soon, because they were fantastic!), and in talking with my sister-in-law, I'm going to cook my way through them. Wish me luck!

I wanted to share something with you : have you ever wanted to try something new, be a little more creative, and not break the bank? My dear friends, I have just the site for you. One of my best friends has this beyond spectacular blog, and I must admit, I wish I had an once of her creativity! Check it out- and subsequently, all of your dreams will come true! Enjoy!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Space Cadet

So, I've realized something over the past few weeks. I have been in such a daze that I haven't been able to form a coherent sentence. In apology, I regret that my last few posts have been uneventful, self-doubting, and frantic. I read over them and I'm sure they don't make sense.

I got a great job.
Learning the material for the job = drinking from a fire hose.
Enter "feeling inebriated."
Hence, I can't spell my name when I get home.
That makes it hard to study.
Study for : ASCP exam.
ASCP = Med Boards, Nursing Boards, etc.
= Big Deal. = Career-ending if you don't pass.
Enter "insane stress and self-doubt."
Felt hopeless.
Study so hard - feel like its not making a difference - hard to study
Enter "Today."
Shaking on my way to the exam.
Couldn't eat. Ate.
Went to the bathroom...
Enter "get fingerprinted, sign away your soul."
Log onto computer. Take exam.
Heart is RACING.
I never shake while taking exams.
shaking. the. whole. time.
So nervous.
Checked entire exam.
Changed answers. Hate that.
Prayed relentlessly.
Closed my eyes...had to pee so bad.
Clicked "End Exam"
Breath caught.....


Almost peed my pants. seriously.
Jumped for joy.
Proctor laughed for 5 mins.
Finally left, called my family/work.
Screamed for joy all the way home.
Currently babysitting the best kids in the world.
Great blessing.
Reminder of what really matters in life.
They prayed for me last night and today.
Made me a "Congratulations" banner and hung it up.
All before I got there.
Family took me out for ice-cream, to celebrate.
Best kids ever. Great family. Great examples.
Great Big Blessing.

Best Day Ever.

Thanks so much, to one and all. I couldn't have done it without you, and the blessings I received today, from our Father in Heaven.

ps: I never have to study/do homework again. HAHAHA! Unless I want to.

The End.


Hey there everyone! I just want to let you all know that I passed my certifying exam! That's what I needed from everyone! This means that I am certified to work anywhere in the US! This is the culmination of my entire life, so far.

Thanks so much!
If you can spare a moment today around 2:00 mst, a quick prayer would be much appreciated.

Thanks for being good friends.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tonight we celebrated my first REAL paycheck by promptly going out to eat, aka spend it! We went with our good friends Bethany and Tyler - and ate at Stoneground, here in SLC. The food was amazing! It was completely urban, and the best way to start the weekend! Thanks Bethany and Ty!

I wanted to post a picture of our Halloween getup - we did celebrate, just a week early!

-I stole this from Sara and Bob :) Thanks for the great celebration!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fall Specials!

Today, I bought these jeans:
-retailed at $59.99 ------------ for $6.49.

I bought the best, black staple, fancy black top:

-couldn't find a picture online..

-retailed at $39.99 ------------ for $10.99.

I bought the most flattering sunglasses:

-retailed at $12.99 ------------ for $1.00.

I love the Gap. And Fall Specials!!!!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

thought o'the day

Never preach a sermon that you are not living yourself.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Tomorrow, I go to the HR department to receive paperwork to accompany the above picture.

In other news.....


My first, real-life job! With benefits! So beyond exciting! (After I applied to 9 other positions haha)

Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I don't know why, but this song fascinates me in the saddest way possible.

Today = worst migrane I've had in a long time. I stayed up, working on a tiny project that caused my eyes to strain (I'll post about it soon!) b/c Ty wanted me to stay up while he did a take-home test. 2 am rolled around = bedtime, and also gave way to worst headache ever. Now, I get to read over his paper, edit, and advise, all with a light-sensitive migrane (oh, did I mention that his paper is on this computer?!).

If that isn't true love, I don't know what is :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

bangles, bracelets, bags: chop chop!

Me caught in the act of pondering about my haircut!
I loooooove it!
This haircut goes with every style I wear, my hair always looks fab,
and I am soooo in love with it!
Pictures really don't do it justice!
(esp b/c its from a phone haha)

yesterday i got a hair chop. i got more color and more cut off then expected, and i have to say, i'm feeling pretty great about it. usually i would spend the next 3-4 days freaking out completely, worrying if i'm still the same person: funny story - my girlfriend cuts her 4-yr old's hair and every time she does, he runs into the bathroom to check if he's still himself - and gets worked up. i take this as proof that 4-yr olds and girls can act the same! haha

and i got bangs! last night i told tyler i'd always had them before...but now that i'm thinking about it, i'm pretty sure i never had them in high school (maybe jason will remember?!) but did have them in college...but those two time periods feel the same now. i miss high school - i would go back in a heart-beat with everyone else who was there. college-i miss because of the opportunities i might have missed with studying all the time; even then, what a great time.

ok, back to the hair chop! pictures might come soon; maybe someone this weekend will snap a shot of yours truly. and, ya know what? i've decided to use my hair like an accessory. it doesn't matter the color, the length, or really the style i have now (though i really dig the current cut!): i'm going to have confidence from within to exude from every strand.

have a great conference weekend!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nuva Ring

For anyone who is on Nuva Ring Birth Control:

Want to save money?! Check out this website and print yourself a coupon to save $15 per refill! You can even use it your first time! (The Coupon link is located on the bottom right hand side! I was going to post this on Facebook, but then figured my male-friends probably wouldn't appreciate it haha)

I printed mine out today - however, you have to have a prescription, which means filling it at Planned Parenthood probably won't work with the deal. Hopefully I'll get health insurance here in the next month or so and then I'll be able to use it! Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

World's Best - Smoothie

today, i got the black lung. aka scratchy throat. annoying. i loathe being ill, especially when i have a lot to do this week. lame!

so, i haven't been eating well and this morning, i decided to be inventive and make a smoothie. now, i am not one of those "just throw it together people" so i did a tiny bit of research on the internet, until i realized, "hm. i'm just going to throw things together," because seriously - i was hungry! so i threw anything and everything in my freezer together, and wha-la! World's Best.

here's what i did:
1.5 cups of milk
scoop of vanilla ice cream (leftover in the carton)
frozen grapes
frozen strawberries
frozen pluots (hybrid of plum and apricot)
dash of sugar
frozen orange juice concentrate (a few scoops; i didn't use the whole container)

--you have to microwave the frozen fruits on 30% power for a minute or so if yours are as cryogenically frozen as mine were. hence, you don't want to blow out the motor on your blender, unless of course you have the Vita-Mix. I hear that thing can blend concrete without blinking.

may i just say the thing is heavenly! and, you almost got a picture to go along with the post, but all of my batteries are dead, and the camera = broken still. haha imagination is the key!

Monday, September 21, 2009

interesting to me

Comparisons. Ask yourself two questions; first: do you compare yourself, and second: what do you compare yourself to? Feel free to contemplate.

Next, think about why you compare yourself. I would hate to start this out with a feminine statement, so I'll try to generalize this. At this stage in life, many of us compare ourselves relentlessly to perhaps "fix" the things about us that we don't like, vainly struggling to find happiness outwardly. My dad remarked once after I got all dolled up to go out, "Who are you trying to impress? Girls only dress up to impress other girls, not the guys." After thinking about that while on my date, I realized that for the most part, he was completely right. Keep contemplating.

I recently finished the book entitled, "To Draw Closer to God" written by President Henry B. Eyring. He gives a talk based around the text "Gospel Ideals" written by President David O. McKay, and how those ideals formed the basis of his actions growing up; he says that he took President McKay's words as his own personal standard of goodness. President Eyring states that those beliefs were once challenged as he played a game of basketball with some returned missionaries when he was only 17. Their discussion centered around dating and obviously girls, and the points they made were very different from the ones President McKay had published. President Eyring struggled with these thoughts as he compared himself (and the ideals instilled from President McKay's book) to those RMs'.

President Eyring goes on to present this idea: " Luckily, in a few years, I learned that they were wrong and President McKay was right. Or perhaps, in fairness to those young men, I learned that the things I thought they had said were not the true standard of goodness. But, you see, that's the problem with using people as your standard or your guide - they may be wrong, or you may be unable to discern what they really think and what they really do."

True. How impossibly true. We often compare ourselves to those around us: Do I have the nicest car? Do I have the nicest home? Do I have the best of this or that? Grief - sometimes it can get exhausting, trying to live up to the things we view in others, whether its the correct perception or not. In the end, we never get a true reading of comparison - simply because we are not able to discern others in perfectness.

Instead, President Eyring suggests, we should use the Lord as our standard. "Those who can speak for him, under authority, are holding up the true standard of goodness." See 3 Ne 12: 47-48.

This thought was liberating. It didn't matter what anyone else was doing - all I had to do was answer the questions found in Alma 5 to really gain an understanding of where I needed to be in reference to where I was/am. If I can also answer those 15 critical questions, I must be doing something right.

The other day I stood talking to a friend, and though nothing profound was said, I walked in feeling uplifted - and a few minutes later, after I was combining all of my thoughts, this came to me: I can be whoever I want to be, because I am not vying for a position against anyone else. This isn't a race of who has what when, but more a path to walk in faith and humility.

I cannot even begin to tell you the joy I felt rush over me. I've never been one to step out of the "expected" box; you can ask anyone who knew me growing up. I now feel that as I keep the Lord's standard of goodness as my guide, I am more able to have confidence in who I am and really begin to develop that. It comes to me as simply as the thought, "I can decorate my home however I want, simply because I can like whatever I like and I do not have to compare myself any longer."

Have you had this experience? Tyler smiled at me when I told him this and said, "I'm glad you finally got there. Its such a nice feeling." He has been so patient while I've figured this out and luckily he laughs at the small things to bring me back to the right perspective. Its nice to have someone like that. I really find strength in him, and knowing that I have him forever negates the need to compare myself to anyone else. I must say, I wish I would have figured this out sooner : )

Ain't no rust on the Happiness Bus

Thursday, September 17, 2009



at least until I decide to go to PA school.


ONE MORE DAY....ONE DAY MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-in other news...interesting post to follow my exams tomorrow :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

update :)

a lot has been happening, but not a log of blogging to accompany it :)

random update :
1. one more week of school for me and then "official classes/rotations" will be OVER.
some of my friends have already planned a party because they're that excited that i'll be done too

2. tyler still has a million years of school left - haha
he's doing great and is ahead in every single class :) keep it up lover face!

3. i miss my family. what else is new?

4. looking forward to friday :) and fall weather, but we can skip all of the snow...well, lets just skip 4 months of it...i'll settle for 3!

5. an interesting post is about to be stay tuned :)

---in conclusion, my new fav thing is :) can't you tell?!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

some thoughts

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me... It is the most-requested column I've ever written.
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more :

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone...
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry some time.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. Its OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words' In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's,we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

A holy man was having a conversation with God one day and said, ' God , I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.' God led the holy man to two doors.. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles, that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. God said, 'You have seen Hell.' They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The holy man said, 'I don't understand.. ' It is simple,' said God . 'It requires but one skill. You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.'

Enjoy :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

quick update:
-first week of school for tyler (i forgot people even started since I haven't stopped all year)
-interview with HR went great (that was to see what they have open)
-Marissa comes back into town on Sat
-This rotation is almost over! One (actually two) more tests for the week and then.....

THE WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm slightly excited :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

One Hundred Memories...

To begin, this is my 100th post! Way to go us! Never thought I would make it this far :)

In other good news, today was our 1 year anniversary! Full of exams, work and CeleBrationS! Hooray! I raced through my exams today because seriously, its Friday and I wanted to come home and play! I thought I wanted something exciting or extravagant, but when I got home, all I wanted to do was just be. Just be with Tyler.

Love this picture - The Bountiful Temple is breathtaking!

Kissing...I know...gross :)

I love this picture, because its exactly how we are - laughing when we're supposed to be serious!

Here we are..together forever!

....Funny story - today I was walking home and I had curled my hair alllllll pretty. I had dressed up a little more than usual, which is saying a lot, because I work in a lab all day - why would I dress up? So, walking home from school, I was on the phone with Ty, and all of a sudden, the clouds start to sprinkle on me...I tried to lift my backpack over my head to protect my hair (pause: Not Vain - my hair is naturally curly, and if I've spent actual time on it, you'd better believe its not getting ruined.) but it was too heavy and I felt like a drama queen.... I raced across the street, down the block and by the time I made it to the hill and trees by our house, it was getting heavier. Tyler raced to get the car, I'm 2.5 blocks away and I dash under this HUGE tree just in time to have hail and buckets of water come pouring down. I felt like a drowned cat...minus the wet part. Tyler whips around, I raced down the hill and LEPT into the passenger seat of the car, victorious! No damage had been done!

We took a trip to the Old Spaghetti Factory located in Trolley Square Mall and it was AMAZING. I was completely blown away - those restaurants are divine in decor....completely worth going to just for the experience. Food was delicious, but mostly we were together - so much fun!

We came home and randomly some crazy truck was blocking part of the drive into the parking lot - I decided we should head towards the mailbox, after we had parked, so I could see who that person was.... We get there, the guy is getting stuff out of the truck, I'm staring, and lo and behold....Andy and Serenity!!!!!! My great friends from BYU-I totally moved into our court in Salt Lake!!!!!!! I was beyond excited - nothing better could have happened! Finally, to have friends from before living so close .... its practically a miracle!

After we visited with Andy and Serenity, we came home, only to receive a phone call to head up to the hospital and give a blessing. We spent the rest of the evening there with family after the blessing, and had the most amazing experience. I truly cherish consecrated moments. Nothing today could have been better..minus taking the tests!

Tomorrow my lovely little sister comes to visit, bringing her roomie Alissa with her! Tyler and I are excited to have them both! We have surprises ready for Rissy and Alissa and I hope they love them! Cross your fingers and wish me luck!

ALSO: an important side note. After discussing issues with my photographer, he "re-edited" my photos, and upon return, DOUBLED the amount that he sent me. Seriously? How shady. I'm glad I confronted the problem. I love the new pictures I received (from a yr ago today haha) and I am ready to send them out to my lovely editing recipients! That's why I haven't mailed them yet - sorry Katy! haha

You Guys - ENJOY THE WEEKEND!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the BIG day

Today, I applied for my first real-life job. The HR department will take a month to review my application....haha...which is perfect because I finish my rotations in a month. AH! Beyond exciting.

Its not the position I've been dreaming of, but its ridiculously interesting! Its in the Molecular Oncology department! (Hence, diagnosing and monitoring cancer patients via DNA extraction, etc. - since everyone still doesn't know what I mean!)

Cross your fingers for me, ok?


ps: a little prayer goes a long way...and it never hurt either ;) we would really appreciate it!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


new love of my ears....

priscilla ahn


Friday, July 31, 2009

Family Reunions: part deux

The last week has been of a sobering nature for me. I have not been myself and instead, have ultimately changed into a new "self," or a re-discovery thereof. As I awoke this morning and completed the tasks of my day, it was barely 9 o'clock in the morning. With the whole day left and not enough strength to overcome my challenges, I decided to pick up a book and read it in its entirety. This is not unusual for members of my family - we read books like camels drink water.

Through the last week I have had certain questions in my mind. A large question that grabbed my consciousness dealt with how to spend my time effectively when I found myself alone. I am no stranger to being alone; I have always been severely independent and over the past year or so I have found myself changing. I am now more dependent in a very good way and yet am unaccustomed to the feelings that have arisen in my attempts to merge my two experiences. As of late I have been despondent. I felt hindered by my own vices of unimportance, lack of worth, and other such emotions that are fairly common to many.

After a month long struggle with illness and exhaustion, pretense and masquerades, I found myself at the brink of it all last night. However, as the sun fell and rose again, light shone once more through my window upon the wisdom I sought from President Boyd K. Packer. A dear friend gave us the book "The Holy Temple" and I have sought to finish it since last August. Today, I read it from cover to cover in a little under 3 hours, pausing to think, take notes, and make important connections as to what the Temple really entails.

Towards the end of the book, I noticed that the tone had shifted away from exactly what we do inside of the temple but rather to what our purpose is concerning temples and how we involve the Spirit of Elijah. The Spirit of Elijah - some may be wondering just what that entails - is sent to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers.
Watch here and now, for this "thread" of which President Packer speaks is so intriguing.

In Jewish tradition, there remains a belief that Elijah will return (rooted in a reference in Malachi) and he is expected. "In the celebration of the Feast of the Passover, an extra place is set for Elijah. The tradition is observed even in our day." Elijah holds the priesthood keys that seal what is upon the earth to heaven. I found this account, also taken from "The Holy Temple" to be enlightening:
"The door is opened and the fourth and last cup of wine is filled. An additional cup, the Cup of Elijah the Prophet, is set on the table. The company arises as if to greet him. Elijah in Jewish tradition is the long expected messenger of the final redemption of mankind from all oppression. (Passover Haggadah, Christian Friends Bulletin of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, March 1954)."
"In modern-day Jerusalem, Temple Hill, or the Place of the Rock, is a religious shrine to Islam, to Christianity, and to Judaism. All three great religions hold tie to this place. All three, likewise, have a common thread in a tradition that Elijah the prophet would return. (The Holy Temple, Packer, B.K., p. 117)"

Elijah did return, during the week of Passover, to the Prophet Joseph Smith and to Oliver Cowdery on April 3, 1836 in the Kirtland Temple. He once again restored the keys of sealing to the Prophet Joseph. He was able to do so because Elijah is a translated being, who also gave those same keys, eighteen hundred years earlier to Peter, James, and John. This allows Latter-Day Saints to once again turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. In doing so, we 'seal' together our generations in the Holy Temple.
President Joseph Fielding Smith commented upon this incident of 1836:
"It was, I am informed, on the third day of April, 1836, that the Jews, in their homes at the Paschal feast, opened their doors for Elijah to enter. On that very day Elijah did enter - not in the home of the Jews to partake of the Passover with them - but he appeared in the house of the Lord, erected to his name and received by the Lord in Kirtland, and there bestowed his keys to bring to pass the very thing for which these Jews, assembled in their homes, were seeking. (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:101)"

Why do we hold family reunions? To gather more information, for genealogical and temple work. Its a far grander scheme then the attractions that we arrange to lure our family members there. We have a desire to search for our fathers that we may know them and in turn, link ourselves and our children to them.

- I have a testimony of the things I have written. I may not fill my blog with pictures, state original feelings in creative methods or with splashes of color, nor do I update it regularly. However, I was commanded by an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ to bear witness to the things that I know to be true in this method. Solemnly, I do so. I did not present all of the pieces of this doctrine upon my blog; I presented the piece that has been re-affirmed in my heart and soul. How much we share in common with those that are not of the Latter-Day faith! I find it fascinating and enlightening to learn and apply the lessons I have garnered from the pages of this text. I know that our Father in Heaven loves each and every one of us, regardless of our location, race, religion, or status. May we be increasingly aware of those around us who need the ministering of angles. May we be those angles, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Can Anyone Explain?

-what's the deal with Family Reunions?

-I don't get it.

-Never had one.

-Seems like an excuse to take off of work in the summer - the more of those you have, the better your summer will be....(i think haha)


-so confused.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Innate Sense of.....


i miss it.

friends who make you laugh so hard you fall off of your chair....
who accept you for you without a moment's notice....
-kate, khia, nancy-
-obviously me on the floor-

The roommate who always let you borrow her clothes and has the nicest personality ever....

High School. Seriously, I would go back in a heart beat.
These are the people that saw you through your most awkward moments
and still loved you for them.
They're the friends that would invite you out even if you haven't seen them in 5 years.
They're the friends, that if I ever needed anything, I know would have my back.
These are the friends I wish I saw more over the last 5 years...and it hurts every day.
I miss you guys.
-Dani, Ng, Rae, me, Mare-
-Jules, not pictured-
Thanks so much. You'll never even know....

The way I used to celebrate Pioneer Day :)
Utah Holidays....ever so random

These guys, plus 2
words can't even describe how lost I feel sometimes being away
thanks for accepting me, grounding me when i broke curfew by 4 hours,
and for your love and support. not only for me,
but for all of the lives that you touch and no one will ever know...
i do.
i am so blessed.
and i miss you.

thanks for that smile - you made the picture.
you understand,
without these words,
exactly how i feel
we don't even have to say anything more.
miss you
love you
wish i could have all of this back again.

For now, onto living life, one day at a time.
tears don't last forever
and the memories do.

if i had to do 10 things, these would definitely be up there. I would go back and experience all of this all over again.

the feeling of belonging is more than words can say
i miss it

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


here, have some

-no worries; totally free of charge ;)

want more?

try this

-feel free to thank them

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Don't Stop...Believin'


Fills me with glee.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Affording Grace

Lately, I've had a lot of cause to think about the concept of grace. What it means, and how its application in our lives is very much the underlying theme of it all.

However, I've also been thinking about the concept in the picture above. Holding grace in our hands.

Problem Uno: Sometimes I don't understand the choices that people make. Just don't get it. (I bet that is exactly how our Heavenly Father feels too.) Its given me a lot to think about. How quick we can be to judge those around us. How easy it is to complain that life isn't fair, especially when the choices someone else makes affects those around them. How easy it would be to act unjustifiably selfish and hurtful and the list goes on and on.

Solution: Holding grace out in our hands. Can we afford others the grace of allowing them to make their own choices? Well, we can - most of us are just out of practice. Our grace has nothing to do with salvation, forgiveness, etc - it has to do with us. Allowing ourselves to look just a few feet further into a situation and LOVE. Interesting. Especially when our love goes unrecognized.

Problem Dos: Still don't have a camera, but our 4th was the bomb! Our whole weekend was more then a prayer being answered - it was just spectacular! We hung out with great and amazing friends, chatted until our jaws hurt, made delicious Strawberry Daquiris (thanks Ashley!) and grilled to our hearts content. Loved this weekend. We should have a 4th of July every weekend!

Solution: Tell your friends to take pictures....haha

Enjoy your week!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Catch Up - Just to blog about it :) Feel Free to Skip

Tuesday - June 30

Today we discussed the Chrom-Agar, which we use to plate urines on. This helps to rapidly identify or at least narrow down what the organism may potentially be. For instance, two plates usually come with a urine culture, a SB (sheep blood) and the Chrom-Agar. Because of the amount of testing that the Microbiology lab undertakes, those two plates may not make it to the Urine bench at the same time. If you have the sheep blood, you could make a quick deduction that would further lead you to understand what potential pathogen(s)/ normal flora may be present. An example lies within distinguishing between gram negative and gram positive bacteria. Gram positive colonies on a SB plate are usually small and non-mucoid, whereas the gram negative bacteria are larger, more spready or mucoid. When you look at the chom-agar, E.coli appears pink. So do a few other gram positive organisms, such as S. saprophyticus. However, having the sheep blood allows you to do a quick sweep catalase if needed, or colony morphology can be very decisive. If the SB plate does not make it with the chrom-agar, it is very easy to look at the plate and almost know, without any other reference, what is growing upon that specific plate. Gram staining is always used for clinical application, as well as simple tests such as oxidase and catalase. From there, organisms are counted for CFU/ml. If an organism has over 100 CFU/ml, we know that there is an infection, and our work up then travels to the susceptibility bench, after we have the bug isolated.

We also discussed policies and procedures as we began reviewing more CF plates as well as other samples. Pesudomonas aeruginosa, as I have reflected upon many times before, can present with so many strains that differentiating can be very difficult. We were also given the chance to observe the plates without previous deduction, and asked to identify the organisms upon sight. This proved to be unnerving. I felt uncomfortable just making a judgement without any further testing - luckily, further testing is only a drop of hydrogen peroxide away. I really appreciated the insight that our teaching instructors in the lab gave us today.

Wednesday - July 1

Today was very interesting; my teaching instructor thought I had swine flu. Thus, I don’t remember much of what happened. I distinctly remember being frustrated with the “review” that was given, but I deviate. Wednesday was fascinating when we plated in the afternoon. So many different sample types were presented to us within in the hour that I felt as though my technique greatly improved. We plated BAL samples, pleural fluid, respiratory samples searching for Legionella, wound samples searching for anaerobic organisms, sputum (most likely a CF patient), throat (I despise getting my throat swabbed, as did our instructor, so she told us to be extra sensitive - I thought that was nice), NP (nasopharyngeal) culture searching for Pertussis (as in Bordatella pertussis), and a CSF culture. I watched how much the instructor had to know immediately upon receiving the sample. Conveniently, cards with the standard procedure are provided to double check.

Again, we sat upon the bench, and this time did some gram staining. Another specialist was adamant that we compare pure isolates of certain bugs under the microscope - its easy to think that gram negative cocci, such as Moraxella catarrhalis and Strep. pneumoniae appear similar, but upon closer examination, the S. pneumoniae appears lancet shaped - often, they can also be confused with Enterococcus. We reviewed more plates from CF patients and reference samples, helping us to become increasingly more familiar with the process. We also reviewed more procedures as we did the plate exercise.

Thursday - July 2

An exam filled the first hour or so of the morning. Then, it was back to the lab to review more bench samples. A favorite part of today was when we were able to retrieve the samples that had been plated the day before and review them with the bench tech. All of a sudden, and for the first time, we were actually being instructed. It was as though a light shone down upon our little section in the lab and enlightenment came to be. We were able to look the the plates individually alongside the resident expert. This was so rewarding. I isolated this beautiful example of Beta-Strep and when the medical residents came around, they took my plate to instruct the doctors upon the appearance and clinical significance of Beta-Strep. Our resident tech was very helpful is assisting us with differentiating colonies as well as grading our isolation. I was very appreciative and felt as though microbiology was manageable after all.

down down down

I know you'll all be so disappointed, but our internet is down and I can't blog about my science days! Well, at least not until I fix the So here's a break!

Tomorrow = NO SCHOOL....

it also = GIRLS DAY!

One of my fav friends is coming up to Salt Lake, and it better stop raining, dangit! We are going to have a lovely time doing _____________.

I have no clue. I've lived here for a year and still don't know what there is to do. haha Sometimes, school is my worst enemy!

Any suggestions?! Please! Send them my way!

Love your 4th!

Monday, June 29, 2009

"Scientist Barbie"

Last summer I had a great research job and I learned so much there. One thing I learned was how to earn a nickname...all I had to do was show up to work and let the maintenance guys do the work. One day, my co-worker pulled me aside dying of laughter and said, "You'll never believe the nickname these guys have for you!" I was so afraid that it would be something awful that I wouldn't let him tell me for a week....finally he broke me down - "Scientist Barbie." Grief. I don't even look like a Barbie...

Anyway, today's post deals with another adventure with Scientist Barbie. Today we're learning about CF, or cystic fibrosis, and what their sputum looks like on agar.This is what sputum is - you're coughing up all of the gunk in your lungs, putting it in a transport tube and we get to plate it. Below is what bacteria looks like on agar. Seriously, we get all sorts of nasty, nasty, nasty crap in Microbiology.

Today I saw some nice runny, green-yellowish stool (aka poo). I told my teaching specialist I wasn't going to plate it. Ew. I let him do it.

A majority of today dealt with looking at the plates of agar a few days after they'd been growing and deciding upon what the colonies looked like.
You can identify bacteria sometimes by their hemolysis - the bacteria lyses or busts apart the sheep blood agar (heme = blood, lyse = burst); there are three kinds. Beta (the B up there on the plate shows a clear zone around the bacteria - sometimes you can see all the way through the plate), Alpha (the green-bruised color; its harder to see), and gamma which means there really isn't any. These hemolytic characteristics are really important to notice as a technologist - this helps you figure out what the patient is colonized with.
This is Streptococcus penumoniae, and if you enlarge the picture, you can view the beta hemolysis around the tanish-mucoid colonies. Some of these bugs have distincitive smells/odors also - Pseudomonas aeurginosa smells like grape kool-aid or tortilla chips :D Its easy to distinguish from CF patients, because its all mucoid and it has a metallic sheen on the colonies, appearing like an oil slick. This is a pretty exaggerated picture, but you can see the sheen across the top of the colonies. If the bug on the plate has the metallic sheen, characteristic odor, and zone of hemolysis, then the technologist can go ahead and report out that we have P. aeruginosa. This helps the physician - imagine having that slimey stuff in your lungs....not fun.

So, that's what we did today :) looked at lots of plates, decided what the bugs were, did some biochemical tests, and wha-la, the day is over!

Time to go running! See ya tomorrow!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wrap Up

Hello again :D

The past few days have been amazingly bonkers, which is the way my life usually goes, so yah!

I can't remember what I blogged about last, so I'll give a quick rundown on Thurs and Fri :)
Thursday was a pretty short day also. We reviewed for our final exam most of the afternoon and did "baby diffs." Differentials are the exercise where we count all of the cells on a blood smear (you push a drop of blood across a glass slide and then stain it) and classify them. The most interesting part about this is the end result. We have normal ranges for adults, etc, and you should see 70% PMNs, 10% lymphs, 10% monos, etc. But with a child, its an inverse differential. You should see a lot of lymphs (like 70%) and everything looks a little skewed.This is a picture of lymphs in different species (the last two are unsusal kinds in humans). So, there we went again, counting 100 cells, matching to the expected results - hopefully! It was really fun. The sad part was on my 2nd slide. This baby boy didn't have an inverse diff - it was exactly like an adults. Apparently, this slide had been from a patient at Primary Childrens Medical Center - we then realized that the poor thing probaby had a leukemia, cancer, etc. Its so sombering.

Friday, we took our exams and exit interviews. Our instructor BILL, was amazing - he was funny and shared funny stories, invested in our futures, and explained things until he was suffering from dry-mouth...ew. Thanks Bill! He pulled us out 1 by 1 to give us our grades and reviews (like an exit interview) and I was slightly nervous. You never know what type of impression you make on someone, even if they tell you in front of lots of people. Saving face is hard to do in the end. Either way, he said I didn't have any weaknesses (he obviously hasn't known me very long...only a month haha) and would make an excellent co-worker. The head-honcho even remembers who I am and asks Bill about what my plans are, etc, so they're pushing to hire :) If only I could be so lucky! So, he hands me this little list of my grades.....and.......I GOT AN "A"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whew. I just wanted to pass, but this will definitely do! He mentioned that he hadn't filled out my review on paper because he had written a letter of recommendation / letter of reference on an official letterhead and would attach it. I signed off on the final document, and relished the thought of a looooooong weekend.


So, when I invited people to this BBQ, we asked that they bring a side to share and their own meat. HOLY HEAVENS. We had soooooooooooooo much extra food, and people were so generous. I love when people go above and beyond to make your event a success :) we had some issues with troll neighbors at the beginning, which resulted in me speaking my mind, them apologizing and Tyler smoothing things over! Typical pattern. I couldn't help it that they were out of line and I was right....seriously lol

After we grilled, the boys set up a floor in the basketball court and we ran an extension cord through someone's front window and the dancing was on!
This is Jeremy doing hand-hops....I think. haha He's so good at this move!
This is Hugh, who most recently finally came back to the US of A after serving 2 years in the Korean military. He's sooooooo happy to be back and we're stoked to have him. We've missed him! Welcome home Hugh!
This is Ty, doing Russians, or something else super cool. I've tried this and landed 3 feet away from where I started....obviously, I was doing something completely wrong...haha Way to go Ty! You were amazing! I loved the tribute to MJ at the end....we had such a great time! Thanks to all who came out and a shout-out to the bboy crew for being amazing as well as for helping clean up. Hooray!

Thanks to Bethany for these pictures - I stole them off of her blog because my camera is still -sigh- broken. haha So the weekend was wonderful - chuch was fun as always, and we're looking forward to another long week filled with activity, school (Micro this month), and love. Enjoy!

-New music for the month : Greg Laswell - almost like Coldplay, and Matt Nathanson - let me know what you think! Its so chill :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

another quick entry....just for just because

hello again :D

you'll really like today's entry:

We ran more samples on the analyzer. Looked at crazy bacteria, searched more urine for STDs (but they have to be motile for positive identification that way), and FINALLY got a body fluid, other than urine, to run.
We spun down a peritoneal fluid this morning and looked on the slide for all sorts of stuff. 80-90% of the slide should be represented by monocytes, which look like this:
I found some cellular material, which isn't unusual, but isn't common either. We learned how to diff these types of slides and when to pass them on to the pathologist for review.
Then, after working all morning, we took a hot chocolate break, and wha-la. Review time. That = end of the day! Hooray!
All in all, the work flow of a hospital varies because the patient volume varies. Its been really fascinating to get back into that environment and feel like you're really doing something - tracking your patients, making sure their results are correct, and then learning to differentiate and combine results to make sense of them. For instance, if you have bilirubin and tyrosine crystals together in your urine, you probably have a hepatic (liver) problem. We have to be able to critically think and put 2+2 together to = a diagnosis consistent with our findings. Awesome.

Ty and I are still getting ready for the big party. In honor of that, we headed down to the Treehouse, where Nate (our unofficial crew leader) teaches dance classes. Apparently the lady who choreographs all of the HSM movies runs/teaches/etc there and these guys have been jammin there for a long time too. So, tonight, I did homework in the dance room, while Ty and Nate busted out some sick routines. I wish our stage this weekend was going to be that big - I would love to film that! haha

Anyway, final on Friday, test Thurs-Sun, and homework galore until then. I would love to have a job. And no homework. One day....ONE DAY MORE! haha


Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Sometimes, I want to drop my head, and instead of screaming, just weep. Sometimes, I've had enough. Enough of being kind, of overlooking others' lack of consideration, overlooking their flaws, and enough of swallowing all of mine to try and keep peace. I know. I've been trying to change for such a long time. I've been trying so hard. Hard to be the better person, to look past the inconsideration, to look past it all. Gall. Is it too much to ask for common courtesy?! Today was the ultimate, the ultimate blow. I know we're all tired and exhausted, so get over it. Be nice, dangit! haha

Today at school = another loooooooooooong day. Took my hematology final :) went great! Thanks for all of you that kept me in mind! Afterwards, we had a break; then, more urinalysis! haha Remember those old slide projectors you used to use in elementary school? Well, we used one older than that - it looked like an R2D2 model. Random! It burned itself out in five minutes, and we tried to jimmy-rig it; then, we found the slide projector and slid in some slides! haha So ghetto - we projected it up against the wall (our room is like 15' long by 5' wide) and tried to guess what was in people's urine!These are really cool crystals that form in your urine - called, calcium oxalate :) You can see these things in your urine when your body is having trouble absorbing calcium. We take a drop of urine, place it on a glass slide, coverslip it, and then examine these under the microscope. We can see a lot of junk, so you learn to classify (again) all of the little crystals, casts, red blood cells, STDs, etc. So fun! If you don't believe me, rent a microscope, get some slides and put a drop of your urine and look at it under 20 or 40x. You'll be able to look at it for hours! haha This was one of my favorite labs in college - I know it sounds gross, but seriously? Its fascinating what your body produces to combat what we eat, don't absorb, and hence - pass on!

This is gross though. Mucus. Oh, and the worst thing I've seen : a SCAB. I don't even know how you would pee one out in your urine...ugh...Puke now - ugh.

Today was a short day...enjoy!

Monday, June 22, 2009

quickly quigly!

Hey there all! Today's post will be short!

We spent 3 hours this morning taking our practical and our teaching specialist was nice enough to move our other final to tomorrow morning, hence why this will be so short! More studying for moi!

We ran more urine samples today on the Iris and learned how to differentiate between clean catch samples and not-so-clean samples. Its really interesting to see how much information the clinician gets from a little bit of pee :)

Also, today when reviewing a pleural fluid (that's the fluid from around your lungs) we ran into a really interesting cell - mesothelial cell, I think. Its on its way to maturation yet it looked so different in the patient then it does in a text = how interesting it is to be the interpreter of what people have inside of them. We also learned about Granulocytic Satellitism, which is something none of us had heard of before - its a funny condition where people's granulocytes will form aggregates of 4-5 around the blood smear. Weird.

Anyway, today Ty and I went running! It was awesome, for the parts that I could breathe, anyway! haha I've re-discovered a truth = when you work out, you're motivated to eat healthier! So, I made this amazing grilled chicken salad (even with tomatoes - people who know me will know what an accomplishment that is!!! But, if you eat a lot of red fruits/veggies, and greens you are really doing your part in preventing cancer!) with parmasean steak rolls, corn, watermelon, etc! Yummy! I think I might be getting the hang of being domestic! Hooray for Tyler!!!

This weekend our BBQ is coming up and I'm so so so so nervous. I'm a geek. Love it! Anyone and Everyone is welcome to come! Let me know what your plans are for Saturday! Ciao for now!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away :/

To be very honest, I do not really remember what happened yesterday at school. I got there early, as usual, and we went into the lab to process samples. The techs in the lab have gotten used to us hanging around and are always pulling samples aside for us to look at! They pulled a urine sample aside and waited for us to make a wet prep out of it. What was inside?! A little creature, swimming along while waiving back at us - they're so fun to see in the urine...well, fun for us.This is Mr. Trichomonas.... aka STD. Both men and women can be infected, and its not too much fun. Well, what STD really is? They're super cute to watch under the microscope until you realize what it means to the patient when you report it out.... The whispy flagella are their motor system, and they move across your microscope slide :) You get to follow them around and see where they go. Ah, the joys of being a nerd.

Our practical went really well. I think I finally understand how to function in a clinical hematology laboratory! After our practical, we took a little break and headed back to the lab. We started working on what's called the Iris IQ.This is the Iris. You put samples on the right side, and the machine measures color, turbidity, clarity, specific gravity, as well as a whole slew of chemistry tests, such as glucose, ketones, pH, etc. This helps us know what's wrong if anything. There are quite a few methods that are applied within the testing for urine samples. Lets say that you have a positive protein result on your urinalysis - you don't just report it out; you get to do the SSA confirmatory test. So, its not as easy as just pushing "GO" but almost :)

The techs yesterday also pulled aside a urine sample for us to observe - a waxy cast was found on the urine wet prep. A waxy cast... to explain! Waxy casts are indicative of renal failure, renal meaning kidney. We don't like to see these:

The IRIS is a really cool instrument. It takes 500 pictures per minute, classifies the elements in the urine, and then shoots those pictures over to the analyzer. I never really understood how you could automate urinalysis, but I guess this is how. The analyzer measures and inspects the contents of the elements as it photographs them - then you review the pictues to make sure it called bacteria bacteria and not mucus strands. Because of this set-up, we can attach pictures to our report, giving the physician a clear picture of what contents are really in the urine!!

So, now onto real life :) I took a beautiful 2 hour nap yesterday after leaving school! Wonderful! I woke up, took a shower, and Ty finally came home from work. We decided to hit up Rumbi's - which I definitely recommend - for dinner! Then, we went to a concert in Brigham Young Park, just east of Temple Square - for FREE!

They had chairs set up and everything - so we pickniced in the park with our yummy dinners! The show lasted almost an hour and a half and it was so fun! The weather was spectacular! The performers were from a barbershop-chorus, and featured a female quartet that took 8th in their novice division after having only been together for 9 weeks :) Im not necessarily biased, but I perfer men over women's barbershop any day, even though both groups performed so well!
Our favorite part was the tribute to the armed forces : they brought out the flags for the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines, and Air Force (in that order) and placed the American flag in the middle. They started with a medly of "America the Beautiful" and then branched out, singing one anthem at a time - when they sang the Army anthem, all of those in the audience that had served were to stand up! Did I mention that we were the youngest couple in the park by nearly 40-50 years? As each song was sung, everyone would turn around and look at who had served - the Air Force swept the audience with those who stood! It was so emotional, I had to try the entire time not to tear up. I had just been thinking about how our generation knows nothing of the sacrifice of an entire World War. Sure, we know all about the war in Iraq - I sent a marine to that fight in 2003 - trust me. But we don't know war in our own country, on our own people - 9/11 was the first taste our genereation had. Today, we feel like we deserve something for sacrificing. Those men and women who served during the World Wars came home and simply said that they sacrificed because it was their duty and their honor. I feel honored to have those gentlemen in my own family. It was a wonderful experience.

The concerts are every Friday and Tuesday in the park - everyone is welcome :) Check out the schedule - this Tuesday, Broadway tunes will be the theme!

Tyler and I were going to go running today (trying to fit into my wedding dress = needed exercise) but its pouring....rain, rain - go away! haha

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tomorrow we have a practical exam on this analyzer - Its called an Advia Centuar. We process all of the incoming hematology samples according to what the doctor orders. Its a really interesting instrument - ours looks a little different. Its a bench-top analyzer and has a series of almost blue-LED looking lights and a series of clear "veins" that you can watch your sample get processed through, etc. It lines up the sample with reagent and then pipes the cells from your blood through a very fine laser - this allows the cells to by analyzed one by one, giving an increadibly accurate reading/composition. The granulocytes, or white blood cells, get stained. Why? Well, inside their cytoplasm are certain granules that tell you a lot about the stage of a cell (dealing with maturation) which can give you a clue as to a disease state or even if the cell itself is infected due to a serious viral infection, etc. These granules have a distinct composition, so the machine dyes them, for lack of a better term, and then when they react, the machine knows what they are. There are some cells that the analyzer doesn't pick up; it has a hard time differentiating the different stages of neutrophilic maturation, so that's where we come in. Remember how I have to classify all of those cells? That's why. It helps the physician make a diagnosis - also, the resident pathologist gets called in on the really weird stuff.... This is the most artistic part of our trade. Its making a definite decision - and its never definite because no two people are the same. That's why we sit at microscopes for hours :) I love it!

What I do not love, however, is this picture above. I have a love-hate relationship with my hemocytometer. You use what's called the Unopette system. In essence, you add a specific amount of blood from an EDTA tube to a unopette - it contains a solution (ammonium oxalate) which lyses, or "kills" the red blood cells in the sample. In turn, it leaves the WBC (white blood cells) and the platelets. You perform a series of incubation steps and the horrid "charging" step, which is where you load your sample onto a hemocytometer. That's the hemocytometer down below. You count that square thing (picture above) and you load your sample through a very small tube, capillary tube, into those triangle thingies.
Its such a small area! We count the WBCs and platelets; WBCs we count all of the squares, while with the platelets we count the middle square, which contains 25 smaller squares. They are extremely tiny and they're refractile, meaning they refract light; and they wiggle. That's how you know they're platelets.

This is a picture of what it looks like - all of those circles are WBCs - and that would be an extremely elevated count! I've never seen that many in one field. When you finish counting them, you perform calculations and get a result - you compare it to the analyzer's printout of the sample to see if that's really what's going on :) Its fun....but today.....

Today, I got so car sick. You are looking for tiny platelets, which look like specs of dirt, quickly. You move so fast and try and focus up and down, your eyes are focusing, straining, etc. I was going to lose the lunch I hadn't even eaten at that point. Luckily, you don't have to do this all day everyday in hematology, so that's wonderful news!

Having an elevated WBC count can mean infection, etc; having a decreasd platelet count can infer that you may be clotting somewhere and we need to find out why in both cases. Its extremely useful information - especially if you're experiencing a decrease in RBC, WBC, platelets, etc - that could be an indicaiton of a leukemia or bone-marrow anemia, etc.

In fun news, today we took a tour of the Huntsman Cancer Institute. To the left is the patient care center - where all of the patient rooms are. Its a magnificent facility with marble floors, glass everything - its like staing in the Hilton in NYC. Grand. Anyway, to the right is the research center and The Point. The research center is where we all hang out: the lab geeks (haha), drs, pathologists, and fellows. Its really neat. On the very, very tippy top to the right, where that big point is = The Point. Its a fancy-schmancy resturant and our teaching specialist treated us to a drink and we sat right out there on the top floor and looked over the valley. Grand indeed. I love the Huntsman. This week at church we met a really amazing patient who is currently in the Huntsman with a terminal illness. So sad. And the patient has an amazing attitude; so humble. It really puts life in perspective. Every day that I go to school, I try to think of those patients and what I can do to make a difference. Not many people know what our profession does - if they did, I think a lot more respect would come our way. How can people give respect if they never see the faces behind their diagnosis? Well, luckily we don't do it for the respect. We do it for the love of the game. Its freakin rad.

I have an exam tomorrow and 2 finals on Monday - keep your fingers crossed for me!!!!