Wednesday, January 30, 2013

You ate WHAT for Breakfast?

This time of year drives me crazy for three main reasons:

1. January is the longest, coldest month of the year for me
2. Other people's driving in the snow scares the snot outta me
3. People will not shut up about what they are or are not eating

One and two explain themselves.

I do not understand the phenomenon behind people feeling the need to rationalize everything they do or do not put into their mouths to anyone who will listen.  I can't make a trip to the lunch room without hearing what all the ingredients and calorie content are in everyone's meals.  Usually, I get a smattering of what the previous meal or two contained.  I often hear a non-nutritionist, never-worked-with-a-nutritionist person spouting off unsolicited advice OR solicited advice towards a poor innocent who has no idea that the non-nutritionist is completely void of actually professional knowledge.  Then there are those in the office trying out the latest fad diet.  I've watched these folks try them over and over again, always losing weight or whatever it is they hope to accomplish, and then six months later being back in the same boat and doing them all over again.  I guess if that works for them, great, but the endless pattern and endless conversation completely surrounding all things edible is exhausting for me.

What would be better is if I heard conversations of, "Wow, you've lost weight and I've watched you get healthier and healthier for a year - do you have any tips?"  Or, "Hey, Larissa, I know you have worked with a nutritionist and have maintained healthiness for a few years - any advice?  I'm struggling."  I'll help where I can, but always refer to professionals for more know-how.  I understand people need support groups and I know several friends who have private blogs regarding nutrition or their other strugglesI support legit, knowledgeable conversation and advice, please don't think I'm directing this at you if you know what you are talking about. 

I eat junk food every day in some form or another.  Many people around me are under the impression that I never do, which has been a source of much confusion for me until I realized this one thing...I never talk about what I eat (except with my beau - sorry!).  When I eat a Snickers, I don't make a grand announcement and emit love-making noises with every bite.  I just dissect accordingly (you'd know what this meant if you ever watched me eat a Snickers) and bask in the glow of tastiness until the inevitable sugar crash comes.

Ya'all don't have to justify what you are or aren't eating to everyone around you.  I just want to make a trip to the kitchen without getting an earful of terribly misdirected, misinformed, calorie-reducing nutrition talk.  Shut up and make like Nike -  just do it.

They might be onto something though...talking has to burn a few extra calories...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Skiing for the First Time Soon

My very first skiing adventure is looming on the horizon.

Picture a young child walking slowly out onto the high-dive board - each step shaky, uncertain, petrified.  That's me.  Skiing I am fine with, but fear of injury wraps its slimy octopus tentacles around my brain thanks to the residual knee-weakness my gymnastics days left with me.  Alas, I've saved my Christmas cash and the other night my beau took me to a local outlet center to purchase snow clothes for the first time in twenty years.

You would have gone nuts if you'd have been there.  Rob kept asking me how something looked or felt and my only response was, "I don't know how it is supposed to look.  I don't know how it is supposed to feel.  You tell me."

He brought me a pair of pants he thought looked about my size and my eyes bulged out of my head when I saw the size on them, only for him to quickly tell me he'd pulled them from the kids' section.  Panic attack averted, cool white kids snow pants purchased.  

Earlier that morning, my dentist gave me a variety of toothbrushes to experiment with that may be more appropriate for my mouth-size.  Included designs? Tigger and the orange Power Ranger. 

I will take this as a sign from the universe that I am a big kid at heart and ready for my inaugural snow bunny adventure.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

5 Fun, Budget-Friendly Activities for Valentine's: Guest Post

The lovely Londonite, Louise Mitchell, with online dating site Lovestruck, contacted me awhile back with a great idea for a guest blog on Valentine's ideas for teenagers and budget-minded folks.  Enjoy her post!  

It is that time of year again when everyone’s on the look-out for love, eyes start wandering in the halls of schools and colleges all over the world looking for a special someone to call your Valentine. It might be that you are looking for a date for the evening or are already in a relationship with someone and are looking for some fun things to do. Here are 5 fun suggestions with some little tips on making them a little but special.

1: Favourite Movie Night

This is where you spend the night swapping your favourite movies, so bring your favourite ever DVD to share and an extra large bucket of popcorn and share those special moments with the one you love and maybe create some of your own.
Here’s how to make it special:
Make your own invitation with a ticket but do not give away your favourite movie as this should be a surprise on the night. Maybe include it in a romantic card and set the date, sprinkle a few rose petals in too. You might want to his or her favourite sweets or ice-creams for the date to show you already know what they like. This is perfect when the budget is tight but you still want to be sweet.

2: The Walk and Picnic

If you are near any nature reserves or spots of real natural beauty then arrange a visit there with a picnic, preparation is the key here, research picnic spots and toileting facilities before you go. You might need to research the transport and costs of this as well as getting the right food and drinks too. Arrange this with your Valentine as a cryptic date and make it a surprise but let them know they won’t need a suit or high-heals, it may be this park has boats to hire or something special there so give them a cute clue! Travelling together will give you time to talk as well as letting the excitement build between you. Make sure you have some kind of blanket etc to sit and have your picnic on. Making your own tortilla wraps chicken with salad is very healthy but bring a few treats too. Try to keep the food easy to throw away so that you won’t have to carry it around if you go and explore the area and maybe ask parents of family to get you home safely.

3: Paint Balling!

I know this is not very romantic and it isn’t really meant to be, this is for the group of singles who haven’t got a date but would like to do something with a big group and maybe there’s is someone special in that group you would like to get to know better. Arranging a big group outing around Valentines’ Day is a great way to feel less blue about not having found someone special. Try go-karting, ice-skating or paint balling depending on your area and budget is a great way to get the singles mingling and might even lead to some romance along the way who knows?

4: Romantic Presents

Romance does not have to be expensive and over the top, it should be sweet.
Compliment Jar: A container filled with sweet little hand-written notes of romantic quotes and things that you love about the person to remind them when you are apart how you feel, thing like ‘your eyes
are beautiful’ or ‘when I hold your hand I get tingles in my stomach.’ You can put in lyrics from their favourite songs, poems or even little pictures that will help them think of you. You might want to add love hearts or their favourite sweets or chocolates. You could even dry press some flowers or put in synthetic rose petals to make it look pretty.

5: Ticket Available

There are so many great films to see and there is always a romantic comedy out for Valentines’ Day so never fear, there could be a band playing or a great sporting event or something fun on to do. You should certainly think about who you are inviting and tailor it to something both of you would enjoy whether it’s a monster truck derby or watching ballet, getting tickets for and event is a great way to get a date. Being sweet and sending your prospective date a sweet but simple card with a message about the date, venue and time etc. Maybe you have never spoken to this person before, leave your mobile number in the Valentines card as well as who you are, in this case it is better not to be secretive as they will not turn up and when they contact you, you can arrange to go.

Author Bio:
This is a guest post by Louise Mitchell, a relationship expert who advises couples with relationship troubles as well as helping singles on the ways to find the best partner for them. Louise is currently consulting with Lovestruck on their on-line dating site to help singles use a profiling service to help people find specific traits they are looking for whether it’s a single in Singapore or a lonely heart in London.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Side Show: Utah Repertory Theater Company

(please excuse any errors, I will make edits as the day allows - I wanted to get this quickly posted as soon as I finished) 

What do you picture when you think about a side show from days of old? 

Freaks?  Strong Men?  Contortionists?  Illusionists?  Siamese Twins?  Run-down surroundings?

You get them all at Side Show - Utah Repertory Theatre Company's premiere.

Keep in mind, when you enter any magic show or carnival attraction, part of you wants to be fooled with illusion.  We call this, suspension of disbeliefPhilosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge explained, "If a writer could infuse a "human interest and a semblance of truth" into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative."  Take that little nugget and put it in your pocket when you see Side Show, you'll need it frequently.

Also, if you have a dark sense of humor, I forewarn you about the irony of lyrics such as, "We were meant to share each moment, beside you is where I will stay.  Ever more and always, we'll be one though we're two.  I will never leave you."   

Once we entered the intimate, tiny space of the Echo Theater, some "freaks" walked us to our seats.  We were greeted with the pre-show magical talents of  Elias Caress, which immediately created the atmosphere desired for a side show - that of a group of people gathering in a dark corner, intrigued with the mystery of what lies behind the curtain.

In this case, that is the mystery of the story of Daisy (Adrien Swenson) and Violet (Angela Jeffries) Hilton, Siamese Twins of eventual Vaudeville fame.  We begin at a local side show and watch them grow through love and loss to pseudo-fame through the help of Vaudeville agent, Terry Connor (Aleksndr Arteaga), his friend, Buddy Foster (Taylor Eliason), and the twins' best friend, Jake (Cooper Howell).  And that's really all you need to know.

A certain feeling of intrigue, discomfort, and confusion sets over you as the characters appear on stage.  Yes, you are supposed to feel this way.   The reveal of the four-legged woman rather shocked me, as did the impressively large strong man and the man who bit off a chicken head.  Bryan Cardoz's "The Boss," introduces the show in the smarmy and slightly perverse way that a villain should, yet his singing did not convey the same message as his words...needing more of a character or speak-sing voice to make up for a weaker register.

The sets are non-existent.  The first back-drop you see is incredibly...bad.  I spent awhile analyzing whether this was on purpose or not and I finally came to the conclusion that it is an intentional off-kilter design to help facilitate the exact awkwardness I felt.  That being said, I was very impressed by the quality of the programs, the publicity posters, the t-shirts, and all electronic publicity materials. 

Upon The Boss's introduction of Daisy and Violet Hilton, my first thought was a fear for their safety - not because of their horrible boss, but because the black, wheeled box they are placed upon did not want to move as much as the actors wanted it to move.  Second, their costumes confused me.  They were a featured act but were dressed in brown, burlap-like material with brown head wraps like Cinderella's days as a maid.  As the girls grow in fame, their costumes become fancier, explaining my previous confusion.  I think sets may have helped explain the situations more, however, as the show progresses, you understand more the choices for the minimalism.

My third thought?  WOW.  Swenson and Jeffries can put any songstress to shame.  Daisy (Swenson), with her illuminating smile and bright eyes is quickly established as the out-spoken flirt, while Violet (Jeffries) holds her posture and eyes just so as the shy sister.

At this point, we also hear more singing from all three male leads.  I can't say enough.  Each of them is fantastic in their own way.  Arteaga as Terry has a voice I wish could sing me to sleep each night and will cover your ear drums in velvet melodies.  His acting is not his strongest suit just yet, but I cannot wait to see where this young man goes.  Eliason as Buddy shines with his cheerfulness and pep, always the optimist and showing great range with his character's emotions near the end of the show.  "One Plus One Equals Three" particularly showcases his abilities as a triple-threat actor and was not only one of two toe-tapping (literally) numbers in the show, winning over audience smiles, but also my favorite non-twin number.  Howell as Jake may be the one who wins over the hearts of the audience members most as the faithful friend and hopeless love.  I had seen him in Parade at the Rose Wagner theater last year and found his performance commendable, but he has improved in leaps and bounds since then- I only recognized him because of his boundless energy and stage presence.  He has a rich, booming register that will leave you wanting more....and more.

The ensemble serves their purpose, were all fully committed, and were overall stronger than most community-theater level ensembles I have seen, however were over-shadowed by the immense talent of the leads.

Utah Repertory Theatre Company has more than a glimmer of hope at becoming what they want to be in regards to a higher standard of community theater.  But this makes me wonder - what exactly is a higher standard of community theater?  Director Hebda allowed a young lady with true handicapabilities to be part of this show...but would some of the more elite theaters in Utah have allowed participation?  I don't think they would.  There is a fine line regarding what is trying to be accomplished and I look forward to seeing what the future of this company brings.

In the talk-back session at the end of the show, we learned that Side Show was meant as an operetta and a lot of the dialogue had originally been song - further explaining the lyric-like, sing-songy dialogue and the frequent exposition singing about what each character is going to do next.    

I love writing for my own blog rather than another institution because it enables me to write how I feel most appropriate instead of being given strict guidelines or needing to be strictly "professional."  This makes mingling with the cast afterward a little easier and also gives me the inside-scoop point-of-view instead of just a reviewer who saw X, Y, and Z occurring.

I am thankful for this with Side Show.  Why? The doors opened fifteen minutes late and there were sound difficulties aplenty (one loud screech right after the phrase, "Are you deaf" kinda cracked me up) throughout the show, although none at critical points.  Come to find out, the sound board went out right before show time and the whole cast/crew had to scramble to make accommodations for a scenario of which there is no way to prepare.  Therefore, I did not mention any associated difficulties as they will be fully resolved for consequent performances.  Hats off to director, Johnny Hebda, for finding a quick solution and for the cast for all being so light-spirited. 

Side Show has intrigued me for years.  As a 16-year old girl, I remember watching Broadway Divas, Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, belt out the words to power ballad, "I Will Never Leave You," during the Tony Awards.  I made my mother drive me 45-mintues to the nearest "Mommy go broke" store, aka Best Buy, to purchase the CD.   I remember dreaming, dreaming of the day I would ever see talent like theirs in person.  Through the years, I remember seeing ladies young and old alike attempt to conquer music from this show, only to fall short every time.

Ladies and gentlemen, Adrien (Daisy) and Angela (Violet), ever-so-humble, would fight me tooth and nail on this statement, but, off Broadway, you are not going to find a higher caliber than this effortlessly talented duo.  The trip to Provo was entirely worth it for these two alone.  Throw Aleksndr (Terry), Taylor (Buddy), and Cooper (Jake) into the mix, and I consider my time well-spent.

Yes, the show has weak points.  Yes, the show has some amazingly strong points.  No, the show is not the best quality I've seen in Utah.  No, it is by far not the worst I've seen.  Part of me longed for glitz and glamour, but the other part of me was fascinated by the bare-bones surroundings and this claustrophobic, semi-awkward setting because I imagine that atmosphere elicits the same feelings as a true side show.

If you are at all intrigued by the concept of the show and are not a self-proclaimed "theater snob," by all means, head to Provo and check out Side Show. 

Performances at 7:30pm on January 21, 24, 25, 26, 28, 31; February 1, 2.  Matinee at 2:00pm on February 2.
  • $12 Adults, $10 Students/Seniors/Children, $8 for groups of 10 or more, $35 Family Pass (purchase at the door; limited availability)
  • Do keep in mind extra time for Provo parking restrictions (there is a free parking garage across the street just east of University Avenue on 100 North) and take note there is only one restroom in the facility. 
Buy Tickets here with credit card or at the door with cash.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Life Without Television or Internet

I live in a condo with no television reception and no internet. 

Last week I turned on my TV for the first time in about a month only to find I have absolutely zero reception.

After a few emails and phone calls with my landlord and on his part (he's the best!), we found out that I have been receiving my basic network channels through cable, not an antennae, for the past five years and they have recently discovered their faux pas and turned off access.  Five years.  I don't feel guilty because it was basic network television.  Unfortunately, the antennae in my condo building are so defunct, I can't pick up channels at all now.

Five years ago, when I moved to Salt Lake, I did not get internet for my condo because a) I have my phone and b) I didn't know how long I was staying.  As time progressed, my choice was more budgetary.  I can pick up on a rogue connection in certain corners of my room to write posts and schedule them to publish or make note of things I need to look at in my break time at work.

I don't really miss the media while home.  I have access to internet and television when I need it and I really can't justify paying an extra sum per month for access that I'd only use for a few hours.  There are easily a hundred other things I could be doing aside from sitting at home in front of the working out in front of the television at Gold's. 

The only downside is that I have zero ideas on how to use DVR's and the like.

How about you?  Could you live without television or internet in your home?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Expiration Nation

Do you eat expired food?

For how long after the expiration date do you find consumption acceptable? 

Are men or women more accepting of old food?  Or is it a personality differential more so than gender?

I've always had a weak stomach.  I can't handle suspicious meat or things like chicken on the bone.  I particularly can't get over my mental block when I see an expiration date on a food item.

Last night, I poured myself a bowl of cereal at my beau's house.  I sat down next to him and, after my first bite, exclaimed, "Is your milk expired?  It tastes funny."   He assured me it was not and I kept on eating, all the while thinking, "Man, it must be this cereal that is bad - this tastes weird."  He asked me how it was afterwards and I said that I certainly wouldn't be buying it again. 

Flash forward to this afternoon.  My beau has picked up on my lack of ability to take lunch breaks lately (the past three months), so invited me over for a delicious black bean burger.  How could I refuse? 

I pull out the ketchup and mustard.  None of us like mustard or ketchup pee, so I shook the bottles...and something wasn't quite right...I could just tell the liquid inside wasn't shaking correctly at the consistency of which I'd experienced in the past.  One look at the expiration date and the mystery was solved - the mustard was more than two years past the date.  The ketchup?  More than three years past the date. 

Now, you may be thinking the same thing I was..."Oh no...the milk."  Sure enough, a week past the expiration date.  I knew it didn't taste right! 

Yes, I am still alive.  Did it hurt me?  No, but it certainly grossed me out and certainly prompted him to tell me I'm too picky.  I admit, I'm a picky eater in regards to what I eat.  Do I care if he eats expired food?  Nope, not at all - kudos to anyone who has a stronger stomach than I.  

I digress back to my original question - do you eat expired food?  How expired is too expired?

Monday, January 14, 2013

To Keep or Not to Keep - The Sabbath Day Holy: Part 2

I did not keep the Sabbath day holy 8-10 Sundays per year as a youth.

That choice ranks up there as one of the best decisions I ever made.

For various reasons, including potential hip surgery for my sister, coordination, and combining the elements of dance, baton, and gymnastics in one great session, my mother enrolled us in baton twirling classes with the Julie-ettes baton studio at a very young age.  I didn't love it for the first six years because I never felt pushed or challenged and the girls were often cruel - especially the class I had when I was 11 and chunked up to a larger size than I am at 32.   So I quit for a year.  When I returned, under the promise things would be better, they weren't.  My mother and I were out one day when she decided to stop by the studio to sign up my older sister for the next year.  The teacher tried to convince me to come back, but upon inspecting the names of the girls in the two classes she was considering me for, I cried and said no way.  Then, she pointed to a class and said, "This may be too advanced for you and you may feel overwhelmed, but what about this one?"  I looked.  I knew no one.  The chance at a challenge and a fresh start won me over.

Long story short, by the end of that year, I was in love with baton and skilled enough to make the second most advanced competition team.  But that's a story for another time.  For eight childhood years, I had watched the competition teams in awe, only dreaming that one day I would be anywhere near as talented as those girls.  Just imagine my excitement when the teacher let me know that not only was I good enough, but she wanted me on her team.

But there was a problem.

I had already begged and pleaded with my parents to let me participate in a competitive gymnastics team earlier that year when the coaches advanced me to team status.  Gymnastics team had about ten competitions throughout the state each year.

But there was a bigger problem.

Baton competitions were about eight times a year...on Sundays.  I'd grown up hearing stories of children who would not play a championship whatever-sport-you-choose game because it was on a Sunday, listening to the woes of those whose circumstances forced them to work on Sundays, experiencing the joys that Sundays were the Lord's time for families, knowing my family never shopped or spent money on Sundays....the list goes on.

Yet I could not shake the dream of a baton competition team.  I approached my parents with knots in my stomach about the money, the commitment, the breaking of a commandment...

And here is one of many experiences when I learned, with no uncertainty, the unconditional love of my parents - the love I much imagine our Heavenly Parents feel for us.  I'm not sure what went on behind closed doors, but I do know my parents let me know this was ultimately my decision and they would do all they could to support me. 

Of course I prayed about it - that's what Christian children do.  I could not shake the feeling, as a twelve year old, that the Lord would not only understand, but encourage and support me in this dream.

I had worked so incredibly hard that my first year of competing, I earned a place in the most advanced level for my remaining four years until graduation.  There are many reasons one can see for this advancement - hard work, determination, challenge - but I see blessings.  Many of them.  And support.  And love.  Going from a beginning-level class, to the most advanced in two years' time is no coincidence in my book.

Ultimately, I competed several Sundays a year for five years.

I also missed church for one other reason throughout the year:
My grandparents and aunt/uncle/cousins lived in northern Ohio and we would sometimes visit them for the weekends, going to church with them.

Any particular Sunday, I'd get a teasing comment from some adult like, "Oh good, you are here!  We were worried you you were going inactive."  Now, sit back and imagine to yourselves how this makes an impressionable adolescent feel.

I was in seminary every single morning at 6am.  I was often in church in Lorain, Ohio instead of Piqua, Ohio.  In fact, between baton, gymnastics, show choir, twirling for the band, and being in all AP classes, my seminary teacher would notice my extreme exhaustion on occasion and tell me she'd fail me if I didn't stay home that week.  I love her.

In spite of all of the signs that I was an active kid with my head on my shoulders correctly and very active-in-the-church parents, I was ridiculed by adults.  Similar behaviors to this chased my older and my younger sister's away, but more on that in my upcoming posts on modesty.

The thing is, I feel that the observance of the Sabbath is a personal decision between you and the Lord.  As a youth, that decision was between me, the Lord, and my parents.  Maybe your decisions will never be those that anyone else understands.  But if you truly, truly feel the Lord supports you and you are working as a team on your path, then more power to you!

Some of my greatest memories with my mother are from our trips to competitions staying in cheap motels, seeing a movie the night before, her always trying to calm my nerves, her treating me to one of my favorite restaurants, her supporting me and loving me enough to be there, the list goes on.

My little sister followed in my footsteps - competing herself for about ten years.  Because of baton team, my family was able to take many vacations together - Florida, California, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, and more.  Our first trips to Disneyland, Disney World, Universal Studios, a Mexican Cruise - all because of baton team. 

Through my Ox-in-the-mire decision to break the Sabbath, I was able to learn life lessons that I honestly do not feel as if I would have learned elsewhere.  I 1,000% feel as if I did learn the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy through my choices.  And another great principle called agency.   And another miraculous principle called unconditional love.  Too many people function out of fear when it comes to God, but God is all-loving and all-knowing.  He will support you. 

What did I learn and gain?

The value of team work
The importance of pulling your weight on the team - your personal decisions can make or break the entire team
Personal dedication
Work Ethic
Anger Management - trust me, when someone else's baton flies into your face and bloodies your lip whilst chipping your tooth, you have to learn to keep your cool and realize it was not intentional
Working through pain
The joy of winning
The pain of losing
Knowing that doing the very best you can is always most important, but does not always mean you will win
Respecting competition
Realizing sometimes life isn't fair
Realizing the Lord will support you in unconventional decisions and is proud of us executing our agency
Exemplification that hard work can help you accomplish your dreams
Talents should be shared

I wish more people could see our Heavenly Father for who He truly is.  I also wish you all could see how amused people get, almost like watching a freak show, when they ask me to twirl for them and I comply.

Read Part 1

Friday, January 11, 2013

To Keep or Not to Keep - The Sabbath Day Holy: Part 1

Exodus 20:8
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

What exactly is our expectation of keeping the Sabbath day holy?  What does that even mean?  Are there exceptions? 

I've often asked myself these questions as a Christian and as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I also often think of the Ox and the Mire, where Christ is teaching the principle of keeping the Sabbath day holy, but that there are times when one must make exceptions. 

Luke 1:5
And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the Sabbath day?

One of the best articles I found on this topic "Will the Real Ox in the Mire Please Stand Up," by Franklyn W. Dunford and Phillip R Kunz, read, "Some have understood this to mean that under certain circumstances it is permissible to violate covenants we have made with the Lord, the justification being that we are getting our oxen out of the mire....However, evidence suggests that many of us misinterpret and misuse the intent of this principle."

The article goes on to provide some rather amusing survey statistics (the article was written in 1972) about the reasons people give for disobeying the commandment - being asked on a date, being hungry after church, no bread for sacrament, etc.  We read, "A good example of this misuse emerges from a study we recently conducted that focused upon the Sunday shopping activity of active Latter-day Saint Church members. We surveyed two ward memberships.  78 percent reported that they shop on Sundays. This is surprising when we consider that 99.6 percent of this group reported that they understand the Church’s position to be, in principle, against Sunday shopping; when 89 percent reported both that they personally feel that the principle against Sunday shopping is important and that in principle Sunday shopping is wrong."

They continue, "At this point one may wonder just what the Savior meant... One may feel that he needs to examine his judgments on issues such as what he should and should not do on the Sabbath, what constitutes and does not constitute a modest dress standard, what distinguishes honest business dealings from shrewd dealings, what is and what is not gossip, and so forth.

With the Law of Moses, A higher law was initiated that was founded on the fullness of the gospel. Agency came to play an increasingly significant role as man was given principles by which he could work out his own salvation. Central to this plan is the need for him to seriously commit himself to the covenants he makes with the Lord.

This commitment removes the obligation from the law and places it on the individual. Under these circumstances it is imperative that we deal honestly with ourselves.   We must very carefully differentiate between deceitful rationalization and honest justification of our actions."

Knowing that we are held accountable and trusted to know the difference between rationalization and honest exceptions, what are your feelings on keeping the Sabbath day holy?

What do you feel are appropriate exceptions?

Should children be denied growth opportunities in activities on Sundays, or does abstaining provide growth opportunities?

Because I've got a story.  All about me.  And all about how my regular violation of keeping the Sabbath day holy as a youth was one of the greatest and most formative blessings in my life. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Money Mayhem

Does it drive anyone else as batty as it does me when your money is haphazardly slapped together?

I received a wad of cash at the store the other day and quickly folded it into my change purse because I also have this phobia of taking too long at the register and ticking off the people behind me.  I know, I know, I shouldn't worry, but it is so awkward to stand there packing things away as the clerk stares at you and the person behind you flat tires you with their cart.

Friday, I opened my change purse (anyone else say "change purse" instead of "wallet?") to find this horror pictured below.

Please tell me I'm not alone - does this bother you?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Life of the Party Bar Mitzvah

Have you ever been to a Bar or Bat Mitzvah?

I had no idea what I was missing out on!  Check out this video and you'll also get a sneak peak at what my beau does for a living.