Friday, September 25, 2009

Run Rudolph Run

Two years ago I decided to really lose weight. I have been on one diet or another for what seems like my whole life, but I had yo-yo'd myself to 245lbs. At 5'4" that was a lot of weight to carry around. Through a friend, I found a program that really worked for me and I lost 65lbs in little over 3 months. Suddenly I was 180lbs and had dropped from a size 22 to a 14. I was ecstatic and very motivated to keep going. I wanted to get down to 145 and I wasn't going to take no for an answer. I kept working the program and six months later...I was still at 180lbs. In fact, 18 months later I am still at 180lbs.

So it's time for a change! I am not focusing on the damn scale anymore and I'm going to conquer my exercises demons and run a 5K. Now I know to some of you that might seem like a stroll in the park but to a gal like me who can't run around the track without the assistance of an oxygen tank, it's a big challenge.

So how will I achieve this very crazy goal?

The Couch-to-5K Running Plan

I started this program yesterday and so far so good.

Today was my second workout in week 1. The program is 9 weeks long which gives me just enough time to prepare for the Run Rudolph Run 5K on Dec. 6th, 2009. That of course means absolutely NO EXCUSES and by blogging about it here I am hoping that you will all keep me accountable. I guess I'll be living proof if this program works.

So send me your good thoughts and prayers (yes prayers I'm going to need them), and keep checking up on me.

I'll be letting you all knowhow it's going.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Bag of Tools

Isn't it strange how princes and kings,
and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
and common people, like you and me,
are builders for eternity?

Each is given a list of rules;
a shapeless mass; a bag of tools.
And each must fashion, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block, or a Stepping-Stone.

by R. Lee Sharpe

I first read this poem when we liven in Provo many years ago. I found it in a binder in my Dad's office that turned out to be a school project that he had made many years before. It was a binder full of poems and the very first one was A Bag of Tools. I read it several times that day and put it back in the bookshelf. As the years passed I often thought of the poems last line and tried to think of the obstacles in my life as an opportunity to grow, a chance to climb one step closer to my end goal.

A couple of days ago I was trying to re-arrange my room (Dad's office that I am currently living in) to give myself a little more room and I came across the same binder. I opened it up to the first poem and read the words again. This morning as I got up and put yesterday behind me, because believe me it was a very bad day, I realized that the hurt and pain we feel when we loose someone or they hurt us is inevitable, but the circumstances themselves are open for interpretation. I can't control the pain I feel or the loss of the relationship but I can choose to use this experience as a stepping stone. So I got dressed, ate some cereal, made some brownies to thank someone for being so kind to me and embraced the ache in my heart a little more than yesterday.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I went on a little hike this past weekend in the Sandia Mountains to get some time away from the family and to love on myself a little. It was a beautiful New Mexico day and I felt a feeling of peace come over me as soon as I stepped out on the trail. I took a backpack filled with trail mix ,water, my journal and my favorite fountain pen that my cousin Mirjam sent me from Switzerland a while back. I had this idea of finding some secluded meadow of wild flowers and spending hours writing and lounging in the warm sun and the light breeze.

The trail was filled with families, groups of cute men who I think were gay (why are the cute ones either married or gay?), hand holding couples, dogs with long panting tongues hanging from their mouths, and me. Oh and one really good looking trail runner that inspired me to be in better shape as he ran past me. The trail is 1.5 miles across the top of the mountain to the top of the tram where High Finance Restaurant is located and then the same route back. As I made it to the tram station I noticed a sign (above) placed to warn visitors that had just taken the tram up the mountain and were stepping into the wilderness for the first time. I thought to myself that I needed a sign like that in my life, a sign to caution me when I am entering hazardous terrain. And then I realized that I already have a caution sign, the Holy Ghost! He warns me of danger and of a bumpy trail a head. He cautions me to proceed carefully and to be aware of the terrain. He isn't as obvious or as brightly colored as the sign on the trail but he is always with me. My Father in Heaven knew that my road would be rough at times, that I would be traveling through mountainous terrain, and that I would need caution and guidance.

As I hiked back to the car to head home I thought about my life and all the twists and turns my road has taken the past 5 months. I thought about the unexpected place my trail had taken me and how just like my hike that day I wasn't sitting in a meadow of wild flowers but was scrambling over boulders and tree roots instead. It hasn't been an easy hike, and it's far from over, but I felt blessed that my Heavenly Father reminded me that I am not alone and that I always have His guidance and warning signs if I just pay attention.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mothers Day, Graduation and State...GO BEARS!

hApPy MoThErS dAy MoM aNd GrOsSi!!!

My Grandmother (my mothers mother) came to visit us from Australia. Having her in Albuquerque for Mother's Day was an added bonus. We all agree that she is a total blast to have around. She can make you laugh for hours!! Her heart is pure gold and we miss her already!

Christine graduated from La Cueva High School. 15 years ago I graduated from the same place. We had a wonderful time watching her and there were moments it seemed impossible that she is now 18 and a young woman.

This is often what it looks like when the four of us are together. We laugh non-stop and I can't think of a time when I have ever been happier than when I am with them.

I love this picture of Christine! I love seeing her so in love and Warrick is an incredible young man. It doesn't surprise me that her first love is such an incredible person.

State Track and Field Competition was the weekend following graduation. Christine has ran track all four years of high school and will try and run at UNM this fall. She is an incredible athlete. She had a hard time on the day of finals. It was crazy weather with wind gusts up to 40 mph. She is barely 100 lbs and running into that kind of wind was almost impossible.
Her heart was broken and she really questioned if she was any good. It was heartbreaking to see her fail at something she wanted so passionately. She wanted the state title in hurdles and on another day she might have gotten it. It was a hard lesson to learn but needed none the less. It truly is about the journey and not the destination.

She is such an inspiration to me. I strive every day to be more like her. She has a fierce determination to be the best that she can be and I want to emulate that.

Christine was the High-Point athlete for her team. She competed in 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles, triple jump. 4x100m relay, 4x400 meter relay. She has ran and jumped more events than any other girl on her team. I am so proud of her and can't wait to see what she does next.

Olivia (junior) has always been a basketball player. This year she decided to play softball and made the Varsity team. They went to State and took 3rd. We traveled to Las Cruces to see the finals and it was so great to see her play. She plays left field and couldn't possibly be any better. She made some incredible plays that went so fast I didn't even have time to watch let alone react.

She has an incredible mind for the game and I can't imagine how far she will go her senior year. She may actually get a chance to play in college.

But more than just her amazing athletic gift...she is the best person I have ever met. Her heart is un-matched. I have never heard her say a negative thing about anyone. She loves everyone she meets. She touches every person she comes in contact with. I know that she is a choice and special daughter of Heavenly Father and I know that he keeps her close to his heart. There is nothing more precious than looking at her amazing smile. I can only hope to be the amazing individual that she is. Actually, we can all only hope to be that full of love.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy 18th Birthday Christine!

18 years ago today, a little Angel came into the world!

I still remember the moment I first laid eyes on her. She was the closest thing to Heaven I had ever seen. She was brilliant, and sparkly and more beautiful than any other baby in the world. And then she opened her mouth... (j/k wee head) She had pipes to rival the ones in the tabarnacle. I can recall one time in particular where we had to pull over on the side of the road because nobody could ignore that sound. She was a pill, but she was my best friend and she changed my life. Before this angel came to earth I didn't understand what it meant to love another person with every facet of your existence. She has been an example to me for 18 years, she has always called me out when I needed it (even at age 1) and loved me unconditionally.
So today I celebrate the past 18 years and all the love, laughter and tears of sisterhood and I look forward to another 50 on this earth together and an eternity after. Happy Brithday my beautiful, strong, courageous, free-spirited, talented, exceptional, loving, supporting, laugh-out-loud funny angel sister!

Christine's 1st Birthday

Christmas 2008
Homecoming 2008

I created...then I destroyed

I started this painting with very high hopes of creating something incredible. That should have been my first clue that things weren't going to go as planned.

You might be able to tell on the right side of the painting is a can of indoor semi-gloss. I loved the consistency of the pain as it pooled onto the painting and it looked amazing...

...until it started to dry.

But i kept going hoping it would trun out okay. This was the final and it was still a little wet. So after it dried and I had crater-sized cracks in my flowers, and the black paint had run I decided to remove the black pain and see if I couldn't re-touch the white with acrylic instead.
Once I took the black off it left a very cool design. I was excited again for just a moment as I pondered ways to fix the cracks. I tried the acrylic but it just couldn't cover the damage. In one last ditch attempt I took the power sander to the painting in hopes of sanding off the excess paint and thereby eliminating my crack problem (I had a crack problem. =0)).
Sadly I have to report that the painting is now displayed at the local land-fill because no matter the effort I couldn't save my masterpiece.
Such is life... on to the next one I guess.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Finished a painting

I started this painting about a month ago and I think it's finally finished. I have very mixed feelings about it. Some days I love it, other times not so much.
Christine thinks it's great so I might just have a graduation present for her after all.
For now the painting resides over the fireplace although it is really out of place there.

This is the new painting I started. =0) Hopefully it will turn into something amazing. But even if not, I get such stress relief and pleasure from painting that the rewards to me are so worth it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why can't I get my head around this...

So Kasie showed me this video the other night and I found myself in tears by the end. I know that most of you reading this have a completely different opinion than I do about this subject but I urge you to watch this and keep an open heart. I can not, for the life of me, get my head around the hate that people have for the decision of others to simply love each other.

When I think of the mired of couples I have met in my life and the % of those couples that have endured infidelity, betrayal and even divorce, I question why it is that we as a society want to tear apart a couple that simply wants the right to be faithful, loving and committed.

I wonder if some of my friends that have cheated would take their vows so lightly if they had to fight for the right to say them in the first place.

I know that opposition to this issue is deeply rooted in the gospel. And I pray that someday Heavenly Father will help me come to terms with the church's stance on gay marriage because as my "interim" bishop pointed out the other day, there is no grey - Only black and white.
To which I explained that this was very white and black to me.

I will say that I hope and pray to the same Father that these sweet families and loving couples can have the same rights that the rest of us enjoy. May their children be protected by the same laws that protect ours and may they be entitled to the same benefits as you and I enjoy.

Anyhow...I warned you that we probably don't see eye to eye on this issue. But hopefully you will take a moment to watch anyway. And feel free to share your thoughts. I believe in the freedom of expression, even when I disagree.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Nothing but love, love, love...

On Friday some of the girls from work got together to make some yummy little Candy Heart Cakes. I was inspired once again by Martha Stewart and spent all morning baking red velvet cake. It was more work than I had anticipated and next year I am buying a box cake mix. =0)

We had a great time putting the cakes together and decorating them for our special someone.

Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday and I can never get enough of all that pink and red. I had an incredible day including dinner at an unbelievable Indian Restaurant with my special love.

Stacy's niece...I think her name is Ella. She is so adorable. I wanted to play with her the whole time but was busy making frosting and directing cake decorations. Hope to play with her again soon.

Kaylen and her daughter Ali
Ashley and I and Stacy's niece


Ashely showing her domestic skills
Kristen and Michelle working on the frosting

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Vegetarian Spaetzle or Spaetzli as I call them

Last night I cooked dinner for some friends and I wanted to make them something authentic Swiss and delicious. Since they were not vegetarians I made them spaetzli and cream sauce with chicken. They loved it and it was a real hit.
But I also made a vegetarian spaetzli bake for Kasie and I and it was so great I thought I would share.

I started by making spaetzli (see below if you want to see how).
I layered the spaetzli in a casserole dish and topped with steamed broccoli, sliced tomatoes, caramelized onions and topped with Gruyere cheese.

Then I baked it at 400 for 20 minutes and voila...delicious!

How to make Spaetzle

Here is the recipe for Spaetzle that I use. It is from my good friend Sarah Frischknecht and it works every time.

Start by combining
2 eggs
2 cups of flouer
a sprinkle or two of nutmeg
a tsp of salt
3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup water

I just combine everything in my kitchen aid and let it do the job for me.

While doing that heat a large pot of salted water to a slow boil. Then get your spaetzle maker (this is the one that I have) and place it over the boiling pot. Take a cup full of batter and place it inside the square and move it back and forth over the pot. Repeat this a couple of times and then remove the spaetzle from the pot.
They take very little time and as soon as they float to the top they are done. I like to transfer them with a slotted spoon to a colander and let the excess water drain while I take the next batch of batter and repeat the process. They take very little time and as soon as they float to the top they are done. I like to transfer them with a slotted spoon to a colander and let the excess water drain while I take the next batch of batter and repeat the process.

This is what they look like when they are done. Try them out...they are so delicious.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Delicious and Nutritious

So some of you might know that I became a vegetarian last year. In fact it's been almost 9 months now and I can honestly say that I feel better than I have ever felt. I have also just recently learned that I am allergic to soy so it has been an adventure to cook vegetarian without the aid of soy "fake" meat or products.

Last week I attempted a Vegan Lentil "meat"loaf. If it sounds disgusting...well it was! I didn't take any pictures but I should have. I did, however, help to make some incredible enchiladas (my own creation) that I would love to share with all of you.

If you are counting your calories this is a great Mexican dish you can enjoy plenty of.

Vegetable Enchiladas

1/2 sweet potato
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1 bag frozen corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans or black beans drained and rinsed
chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
whole wheat tortillas
1 can enchilada sauce (try Trader Joe''s sooo good)
1 can chopped green chili (or the real thing if you are in NM)

Saute the onion, garlic and sweet potato (all three cut very small)in medium sauce pan
add diced tomatoes, beans and corn to pan. Simmer on medium heat and add chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until a thick consistency and most of the tomato juice has cooked out.

In a casserole dish prepare enchiladas with the filling. Once all the tortillas are filled top with enchilada sauce and can of green chili.

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes

Serve with fresh salsa and enjoy!

The best don't need cheese or sour cream and you'll get plenty of healthy yummy veggies.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What number are you?

Thanks to Julie for having this on her blog. I can't believe how accurate this is.

You Are 4: The Individualist

You are sensitive and intuitive, with others and yourself.

You are creative and dreamy... plus dramatic and unpredictable.

You're emotionally honest, real, and easily hurt.

Totally expressive, others always know exactly how you feel.

At Your Best: You are inspired, artistic, and introspective. You know what you're thinking, and you can communicate it well.

At Your Worst: You are melancholy, alienated, and withdrawn.

Your Fixation: Envy

Your Primary Fear: To have no identity

Your Primary Desire: To find yourself

Other Number 4's: Alanis Morisette, Johnny Depp, J.D. Salinger, Jim Morrison, and Anne Rice.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Country 'Tis of Thee

I have been rooted deeply in thought the last few days. I am in awe of the history that has un-folded before my eyes. I am inspired to thank the lord and to work harder yet to better this life for myself and all men alike.

I want to tie my thoughts together for you but also for myself, as a recording of a moment I will never forget!

Monday we celebrated the birthday of one of my heroes.
A man that transformed the landscape of this nation! “Through words he gave voice to the voiceless. Through deeds he gave courage to the faint of heart. By dint of vision, and determination, and most of all faith in the redeeming power of love, he endured the humiliation of arrest, the loneliness of a prison cell, the constant threats to his life, until he finally inspired a nation to transform itself, and begin to live up to the meaning of its creed.

Like Moses before him, he would never live to see the Promised Land. But from the mountain top, he pointed the way for us - a land no longer torn asunder with racial hatred and ethnic strife, a land that measured itself by how it treats the least of these, a land in which strength is defined not simply by the capacity to wage war but by the determination to forge peace - a land in which all of God's children might come together in a spirit of brotherhood”.

Yesterday was the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. I watched in silence and shed a few tears as the profound meaning started to set in. For so many, myself included, this event is the end of an era of intolerance and hate, the culmination of a movement to change the world and free a people. Many found themselves walking the same steps that Dr. King walked 40+ years ago. They found themselves gathered in the shadow of the great emancipator Abraham Lincoln and realized that their ancestors blood was not shed in vain.

On the steps of that memorial Dr. King spoke these words: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal… I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character… This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning 'My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father's died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!”

Just minutes after his swearing in took place our new President spoke these words:
“On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
The time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness”.

I wish my words could be as profoundly moving and inspiring as those of both these great men, these Heroes of mine. But simply put I am grateful to be part of this time, I am grateful to see us all usher in a new era of change and most of all to see a world that has finally crested the mountain of racial intolerance and hate. What a blessing it is to be alive to see this, what a blessing for my little sisters who have the world laid out at their feet and now see that Yes they can be anything they desire to be and that the color of their skin will no longer limit their opportunities.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Full Circle

I have debated with myself whether to write about this or not, but as it turns out I blog more for myself and this is big in Pam's world.
My freshman year of college, 1994, I left home for the first time and headed to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. For those of you who didn't know me back then (this includes me because I just recently learned who I am) I was painfully shy in most situations, had no self confidence and was certain that I would die on the spot if anyone paid any attention to me at all. The first day of classes was torture because as is common for most new situations I was asked to introduce myself to the teacher and to the class. And of course this happened in EVERY class. My heart would race, my palms would sweat and I was 100% certain that I would disintegrate into a pile of ashes the moment my name was called and all eyes shifted in my direction. I survived, obviously, but only because fate wanted to torture me another day. Well that's how I saw things back then. I made friends quickly. Although shy I was a very sweet girl that had a knack for making others feel good about themselves. And as the days and weeks went on I started to feel a little bit more at home. As the first semester gave way to a new year I found myself happy and actually dating a handsome man. I thought that I was standing at the threshold of a new life with new confidence and I was certain that I was finding myself.
What happened next took me on a completely different journey than the one I had bought a ticket for. It is still hard for me to say the word and it will be 14 years this spring. Rape - it is such a violent word and for so many years it had this cloud of shame floating all around it. In my head anyway it did. I spent years ignoring what happened because I had forgiven my rapists. I believed that if I forgave I would forget. But the truth is that I never forgave myself. In fact until recently I still believed it was my fault and so to forgive them was easy, to forgive myself took many years.
I used to be so proud of the fact that my rape didn't define me. I was proud that I had put it out of my mind as if it never happened and I was not one bit scarred by the incident. I would hear of other survivors who were never the same and who spoke of life as before and after as if two different experiences and two separate sets of rules applied. I didn't identify with that. I just thought I was over it. Even though I blamed myself I thought I was over it. But my life "after" continued on a downward spiral, I could never allow myself to succeed at anything. I was always the quickest to sabotage my own happiness. I made choices that I still don't understand and I hated myself for many years.
But now there is a new before and after. Now there is after I forgave myself. Now there is peace and hope and love.
As I get ready to head back to the place I was 14 years ago I am excited to stand at a new threshold. I look forward to walking the same sidewalks I did those few days after my rape when I carried a knife in my back pocket and was scared of my own shadow. I am finally come full circle. I have worked through the un-speak able hell that is rape and have come out the other side filled with love and forgiveness for myself!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Goodbye House...Hello Adventure

I bought my house almost two years ago. It was such a great experience to find a place, to pick the lot and to watch it being built. It was brand new and smelled so great and I loved my house so very much. Times change, lives change and now I am moving on. I have applied to the MBA program at NAU in Flagstaff, Az. I will start a 10 month full time program in June (assuming I'll get in). So I had to pack up my house and move my belonging into storage. My best friend, coincidentally, put an offer on a house today and will be the new owner of my fridge and washer and dryer and couches. I am so happy for her and I know she will have as great of an experience with her first home as I did with mine.

All though it is a sad feeling to say goodbye to my sweet little home, there is an excitement to the adventures that are yet to come...

Impromptu Garage Sale

As I started looking around at all the furniture I realized that I had no room for it all in storage and that come June (if I get in) I would no longer want to pay for storage at all. I realized what I needed was an impromptu garage sale. Now I don't know how silly I must have looked turning a red couch end over end out the front door and to the drive-way, but most likely just as crazy as I did dragging the desk (that thing was heavy) and the twin bed and mattress and TV out. I have never felt so empowered - women rock! I am now certain that we need no man to get the job done (except for the two day laborers I hired to load and un-load the truck).

I made a total of $45.00 and ended up giving away the couch, the desk, the baker shelf and three scooters that I had been saving for my future step children. But marriage not step kids...right? (wow that sounds much more bitter than I really am)