Month: October 2009

Roommate Reunion and Ingrid Michaelson

I have mentioned on this blog that my current roommate is my 30th.  Over the years I have shared apartments with 30 different women.  They have each taught me much and almost all have been positive experiences.  That said- some have risen to the top and become life-long friends while a few more have made an indelible impact on my life.  In my fantasy life I would live minutes away from all these special friends.  We would swap recipes, watch each other’s kids and be there for hugs and comfort.  Sadly most of them live away from Utah (and even the one’s that do have a life.  Afterall, we aren’t living in a Norman Rockwell painting!).  Still, my heart yearns for the friends I do not regularly see.  I miss them and wish they were here.

Lately I have felt a little lonely so you can imagine my excitement over a recent trip to California for a ROOMMATE REUNION!  One of my most prized friends/former roommates Emily Alvillar Whitman came to my sister Megan’s in Palo Alto, California and I joined her.  The three of us then had a lovely weekend of reminiscing and catching up.  It was very nice of Megan to host and allow us to sleep on her coach! The weekend was simple- nothing too flashy- but it was great to reconnect with an old friend.  Plus, I got to spend time with Megan and her family.  Seth was very nice to watch the girls so the three of us could go to San Francisco for the day. (Thanks Seth!).  We went to all the sites Golden Gate Park and Bridge, Chinatown, Piers etc.  Emily got some jewelry and we converted a magnet into a keepsake ornament to help us remember the trip.


On Sunday we enjoyed spending time with my family for my grandma Wagner’s birthday party.  She is such a wonderful woman and loving example in my life.  I will have to write an entire post about her someday.  Emily was a good sport and seemed to enjoy herself at our family party (sometimes being at someone else’s family function can be awkward.  Thanks Emily!).


On Monday it began to rain and then Tuesday it was torrential downpour.  I don’t think I have ever seen it rain so much in Northern California.   It was so bad that on Tuesday the rain made the battery short out while driving Emily to the airport (after visiting the temple).  We ended up putting Emily in a yellow cab and then Seth came to my rescue.  Hopefully the car won’t sustain any permanent damage.  If it does I will feel awful.

We made some cute crafts on Monday.  I am a volunteer for festival of trees and as such we are each responsible for creating 8 gifts that can be sold at the festival.  For my gift I am making long sleeve t-shirts with Christmas symbols on them.  I hope they turn out ok.  It’s kind of complicated how you make them but basically you cut out a stencil out of freezer paper and then you iron on the paper to the front and back of the shirt.  Then you pain the shirt with textile paint.  Once the paint has dried you set the paint with the iron.  If any of you have cute and inexpensive craft ideas for the festival let me know.  It has to be something that does not require sewing or knitting.

Anyway, it was a wonderful trip and I hope we do it again.  It is important to reconnect with friends. You never know when you will need them or they will need you.  I believe that people are put in our lives for a reason and that we will be accountable if we throw people aside as if they are worth nothing.  Relationships are worth sacrificing for and certainly worth preserving.  Why is I seem to be in the minority in this view?  It seems so logical to me!

One last comment is on Friday I went to hear Ingrid Michaelson sing at a concert in Salt Lake.  She was a great performer with a beautiful voice.  What made it more exciting is the tickets were only $15 plus fees!  Anna and I went and it made me all the more grateful that she is here.  I’m so glad that we are not only sisters but that we have so many common interests- even enjoy the same concerts.  I am sure the time will come when she is busier with friends and school but for the moment we are spending a lot of time together and I love it!  The only downside to the concert is it was standing room only. With my foot condition it is hard for me to stand for hours (I told Anna that I am not as young as I used to be! I’m too old for this stuff!).  I am not sure how I am going to get through the Regina Spektor concert at the same venue but somehow I will figure it out.  It is worth it to see such amazing talent and spend time with my sister.  I can’t wait to hear Regina sing!



Mysterious Benedict Society

Hello my name is Madeline.  I have hijacked Rachel’s blog for the evening.  I wanted to let all of you know about the book I just read.  It is full of excitement, dramatic moments, and surprises. This book made me crazy because I did not want to put it down.

Here is a small summary about the book:

Four unique children, Reynie, Kate, Constance and Sticy group together to save the universe from Mr.Curtain and the wisperer.  They keep getting messages from the whisperer at the institute.  The whole point is to become messengers to find out what the special priviliges are and to stop Mr.  Curtain and his evil plan.  It is not set in a magic world- just a regular world.  Reynie and his three friends set off on a dangerous journey through traps and narrow escapes.

Are they smart enough to find out how and what to do to shut Mr.  Curtain down?  To find out read this book! It is by Trenton Lee Stuart. Oops, Rachel’s back.  Better go!


General Conference and Family

This weekend has been a delight.  On Friday my family (minus Ben and Megan’s families) came into town.  They are here to visit us (Anna and I) and to attend General Conference for our church.  General Conference is a massive meeting where we get to hear from our prophet, apostles and other leaders. I look forward to Conference every 6 months.  It builds me up and inspires. Sometimes I just watch it on TV but with my family in town we made the effort to get tickets.  My family went to Sunday morning, and I went with them to Sunday afternoon.  All of the talks were excellent and encouraged me to be a better person.  One of my favorites was Elder Holland this afternoon.  It was a stirring testimony of the Book of Mormon.  I wish I could show it to all of my investigators/converts on my  mission.  I will post some videos once they are available.  Here is the audio of the talk:

A big theme from the conference I noticed was preaching about the love of God.  With all of the challenges in the economy and around the world it was comforting to hear the prophet and apostles teach about God’s plan for us and His love for us. The music was also wonderful- with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing some of my favorite songs.  Everyone should hear them sing at least once in person.  It is great.

Meanwhile, I have been enjoying the time with my family.  We have all been up at our home, the Anna.  It has been fun to go hot tubing, play games like psychiatrist (we can play that for hours), talking and eating together and just having a nice time.  My only regret is that Megan and Ben aren’t here.  That would make it perfect.  At least I get to see Megan next week.  I haven’t been able to work much this week but its ok.  I am doing alright.  We had a fun surprise work-wise on Saturday.  A woman who has stayed at our homes 3 times called and said she needed a place that same hour. Luckily, the Alpine house was available and we got her checked in.  That was $477 we wouldn’t have earned otherwise.  Not too shabby!  I felt like it was a little blessing allowing me to have fun and put work on the back burner just a little bit.  Believe me- it is impossible for me to completely turn off work but I did pretty good this weekend.  It was great!

Here is President Monson’s main address.  I loved the part about his birthday and all the service which had been done.  I wish I had known about it and we could have done something for enrichment.  Oh well!  Next time.

How to Make Friends and Influence People

This post is more of a question than anything else.  How do you effectively make friends as a mature adult?  Lately I have been a little discouraged over my friend situation.  I’ve mentioned it before but three of my best friends have moved in the last few months and a ton have gotten married, engaged or are dating somebody.  One of the hardest things about being single is the constantly changing peer group.  If you watched shows like Friends, Seinfeld and Sex and the City you would think that all singles have a set group of friends throughout their mature lives.  It’s a nice fantasy but in reality singles are constantly reinventing their social circle.  I wish I had a group of girlfriends that I could call on a Friday night and always have something to do, but I don’t know anyone who actually has that. Most of my friends are from different parts of my life (different wards, from school, work etc).  When I lived in American Fork my roommates and I had a little bit of that group feel with our friends but now Camille is in Blanding and I hardly see Megan.  This year we may not even have our traditional Halloween party 😦

Perhaps some of my single readers can comment on their ability to make friends.  One of the problems I have run into lately is that I am using work to fill the void of my missing friends.  I know I should be out there making new friends but I don’ t know how.  I have tried throwing parties, dinner groups and meeting people at church but so far it isn’t working.  My book clubs are dying which makes me sad and I can not get anyone to come to enrichment of any kind.  Some may say I should go dancing, but I hate dancing.  I’m terrible at it and have no rhythm.  Perhaps I should start up a new book club, but I am losing confidence that anyone will come.  It has been a lot of fun having my sister Anna in town.  My sisters are my best friends.

I don’t mean  to engender pity. I am grateful for my amazing friends, but I am feeling a little lonely.  It’s just hard to get up the energy to start over again, making new friends, forging new relationships.  Especially when it seems like my gift of entertaining has fizzled.  (Maybe it was actually Camille that was the gatherer and I just hung on to her coattails for two years- very possible).  I miss Camille, Miriam, Stef, Melissa, Emily, Raelene, Julia, and more.  I wish they all lived in Utah but alas they do not and I just don’t know what to do.  Friendships have to arise organically.  They cannot be forced.  I have to wait and try my best and whatever happens, happens.

Sorry this is such a random post.  I think this is a sign I need to get back to Hawaii.  Anyone want to go?  At least next week I am going to California for a little roommate reunion with my sister Megan and friend Emily.  I am so excited about getting some time off.  I need it!

us four in hawaii