Friday, August 3, 2012

The Saturday style St. Patrick’s day of 2012

The time has come (and gone, but let’s not split hairs) to pay homage to the greatest green day of the year. Since this year St. Patrick’s day fell on a Saturday, I had an opportunity to celebrate it with Paula and gang at her house. It was AWESOME, but I’m skipping ahead.

After surveying my options, I decided to wear a toned down green get-up on Friday for my campus commitments. I don’t remember much of that day (it did feel slightly off to be making a green—albeit muted—spectacle of myself a day early) or the outfit (um, I’m sure the shirt was green?) but the socks in the picture below were definitely the highlight. Those socks represent a proud new addition to my St. Paddy’s day stash, furnished by my mom in her very thoughtful package. Thanks, Mom!

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The leprechauns definitely made their presence known in the Whitmer household in a big way. A tent set up in the living room, a monkey hanging from the ceiling fan; silly leprechauns obviously had fun!

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Paula made delicious green pancakes:

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And I found a little green enthusiast protégé in Katie! I think she had fun reaching in to my green shamrock bag filled with fun St. Patrick’s day accessories. I know I did!

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It was really quite special to share my favorite holiday with my favorite [Utah] nieces and nephew!

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Well I didn’t get to go on campus or see clients in my complete green garb but Paula and I had a little public outing. We went to Walmart and then got Shamrock Shakes on the way back! Wow were those good. Mmm, I can almost taste the memory. I think that is something that I will have to add to my yearly celebration of St. Patrick’s day. (Minus next year what with it being the Sabbath and all; we’ll just have to prepare homemade versions!)


On to a closer look at the 2012 edition of my St. Patrick’s day wardrobe! Lighting has been my great challenge these past couple of years. I don’t know what it is, I just can’t seem to capture all the vibrant greens; so I try to experiment with filters and effects on Picasa afterward with varying degrees of success.  The following represent three attempts ranging from minimal to fairly significant adjustments. But I’ve had a thought: I should try outdoors next year! Couldn’t hurt. Smile


And so concludes another day of green magic. IMG_3150

Usually I take this time to lament the long year ahead before another exciting St. Paddy’s day event. But, due to my blog neglect and procrastination, it doesn’t feel like all that long before the holiday of my heart is upon us again.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

I’m bAAAAaaaack!

Well my last post was intended to tide you over “in the meantime.” I never did specify the length of said “meantime” but I am fairly certain I meant it to be quite a bit shorter than these almost four months. I am so very sorry. Not that you probably mind or even judge me (there seems to be a  widespread shortage of new blog posts among us these days), but I was looking back over some of my “older posts” as they say (they being those mysterious unknown blogspot people who created that helpful little link to your previous posts that don’t fit on the one webpage) and found that I miss it, even if only for myself. Journaling has never been a strong point for me. Allow me to amend: it was a strong point for a year and a half of my life—bet you can’t guess when (insert sarcastic “hardy har har” here)! Needless to say (not one of my better opening phrases; I obviously feel some need to say it or else what would be the point of the rest of this sentence?), though I still would like and do aim to improve my personal journal keeping, I failed to realize that this blog has been a form of that since its inception.  I am grateful for the thoughts and memories it contains and am sorry that I have not made a more concentrated effort to record the thoughts and memories of the last few months (I have had them—thoughts and memories, that is).

Alright, enough of this “it’s been so long I don’t know where to start!” stalling subtext. Did you see that’s what I was doing? If not, yay for my subtlety (well I guess it was more of an “I apologize for not posting in so long” misdirection); if so, I know, I know…I’m doing it again! And indulge me, I’m going to go right on doing just that because this does present a quandary, a dilemma I know you can all appreciate! I just opened my Picasa and I have exactly 14 folders of photos (starting with St. Patrick’s day going through cousin Amanda’s homecoming) each of which could represent a potential blog post. So do I admit my defeat and begin with the most recent and make weak (though well-intended) promises to work my way back? Now that doesn’t seem right…who knows how long we’d have to wait for St. Patrick’s day which is WAAAAAY back there.

Never fear, I have inadvertently worked myself into a solution of sorts. I’d say all this mumbo jumbo is certainly sufficient for a post of it’s own and then to solidify my return to this triedandtrueblue audience, I will immediately return for a follow up post on the much-anticipated St. Patrick’s day 2012 (or at least I will return very shortly, after I fold a load of laundry whilst watching an episode of Dr. Who, and maybe logging some hours for work…hey “shortly” is quite relative and if I get to this promised second post of the day after such a lengthy 3.75ish month hiatus, even several hours is still “shortly” though definitely not “immediately” that was my bad. Haha, oh how I have missed you all.

And upon a re-inspection of the aforementioned 14 folders, one folder is probably not post-worthy on it’s own so I leave you with some pictures: of the beautiful countryside (I’m really not being sarcastic, I think it can be quite awe-inspiring) betwixt Utah and Colorado. These photos come from our well traversed drive through Wyoming that I most recently accomplished while accompanying Michael back in April.

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Until later then!

Monday, April 9, 2012

In the meantime…

So I realize I owe you all a St. Patrick’s day post and I will get to it for sure. But since I’m kind of swamped or “slammed” in slang lingo, here is something to tide you over. I threw this together for a little presentation I gave in my religious and spiritual issues in psychotherapy class today.


I love these kids. I may be a little partial, but I think they’re just swell.

Friday, March 9, 2012

From my iPod to you.

I was just going through some pictures on my iPod and thought, “It’s a shame that no one is enjoying these but me!” So, here I am to rectify the situation! Without any further ado, I give you some of my favorite iPod “Kodak” moments (which may be redundant, but that’s okay).

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photo (9)     photo (13)                     

photo (14)     photo (11)

For those who don’t know, that cutie in the brown and blue stripes is Traci’s boy, Boden! I’ve had the pleasure of babysitting him and his brother, Payton the past few weeks and have loved it!

And now that I have figured out how to upload to YouTube—I’m a bit of a latecomer onto that scene, I must admit—here are a few fun videos as well! (Also compliments of my iPod).

Katie is funny!
I had just been showing Becca some pictures of Christopher on my iPod (this was the day he was born). She got so smiley and laughed a lot that I just had to try to capture a video of it!
Finally a more [semi]-recent one! I love Katie’s dance. It has evolved over the years. :)

Well now wasn’t that fun? This is also my first time using Live Writer. I really like it so far!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

2 weeks! (and 2 days)

Three posts in one week and two in one day? Is that even allowed?

Um, if this little St. Patrick's day fanatic has anything to say about it, sure! Why not? It's March 1st, and you know what that means! I've given Valentine's day and Presidents day their due respect and it's time to turn our attention to my next holiday, the ever-lovely and graciously returning St. Patrick's day!

That's right, folks. Just two weeks (and two days) to go until the big day. What a perfect time for a little test run. :)

Of course we have some important birthdays coming up first and we won't overlook those. However, I can say that I don't feel too torn up inside about glossing over National Pig Day (today), If Pets had Thumbs Day (March 3rd), or Panic Day (March 9th, what? Who comes up with these?!). If you're going to go obscure holiday, I'd claim Peanut Butter Lovers' Day (today), Middle Name Pride Day (March 10), and National Potato Chip Day (March 14), myself. Pi day is probably worth celebrating too I suppose, as long as it's more about pie than pi.

I'll just say happy March, and leave it at that. :)

Michael's mission call

Hello all,

I figured some of you might be interested in re-living the opening of Michael's mission call. :)

If it will even work...we'll see!

We're so proud of Michael and happy for him!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wait up, 2012! I'm coming!

I probably should have guessed. We are nearing the end of February and I still haven't posted about the New Year. And now that I finally get to it, I have forgotten most of what I was so excited to write about. Figures. Ah well. Let us turn to the present; I think it's relevant and will actually probably serve as a summary/review of my thoughts and feelings about it being the "start" of a new year.

Okay, I guess I do need to back up a little. But allow me to simplify by making a list of some major realizations I've had/am in the midst of having.

#1 - My program is occupying a fairly large chunk of my life (my time and energy and focus and so on and so forth).
#2 - My program is not everything I want out of life, it's not even what I want most out of life.
#3 - My program is not very fun a lot of the time.
#4 - Oh dang, my motivation for my program is gone. It's not what I want + it's not fun = diminished (obliterated?) desire
#5 - Hey, my program is just ONE part of my life!
#6 - Wait a minute, the rest of my life is quite good and could get better if I devoted some of my time/energy/focus to it!
#7 - Sigh of relief --> Perspective --> Some fear and uncertainty --> Remembering --> Oh yes, my realizations! Life is still good.

Seven ought to do it; it's the number that symbolizes wholeness or being complete, isn't it? Coincidence? I think n....well yeah, it probably is.

So back to the present. Today was a really good Sabbath for me. I returned to an old habit that I have strayed from (probably out of laziness). I posed some questions in my mind this morning and then at church was scribbling in my notebook some interesting thoughts and insights that I think could really help me if I do the next step of integration/application. Alright so it wasn't so much scribbling as writing; I guess I was just remembering my "scribbles" from last week with Katie:

The gist of my "new year" thoughts and recent feelings is this: I want to do/be better. ["Saygobedo!" (Pronounced "say-Go-be-do" with the emphasis on go; it's a term coined by a woman I met on my mission who said that there was no good word to refer to the act of responding to a spiritual prompting)]. Paradoxically though, I am also quite content with where I am at. I feel good about what I have and am working to accomplish and feel even better about my testimony and spiritual progress. This is said not to boast or speak of myself. In fact, those who know me well will know (because I have shared with you) that I have some significant growing to do in gospel study habits, temple attendance, service, VTing...I could go on. But I'm learning that my *new*found sense of confidence and security and hope (feelings that are my almost-constant companions in and since serving a mission--directly tied to my experiences developing a testimony of the Atonement of Christ) are quite pleasant and wonderful and not entirely conditional upon my present performance. That is to say, they are powerful enough to transcend time in a significant way, allowing me to remember.

I hope this is making some sense. I think it's clearer in my mind than I'm conveying on this virtual paper. I waver between these two positions of feeling good right where I am and wanting desperately to improve/change/progress. Both come at a price. Both places have potential to be safe/secure ways of thinking or dangerous cognitive distortions. Where is the line between confidence and complacency? Between adequate allowance for mistakes and problem areas and condoning of sin? It's probably not so much a line as a balance. So this is the balancing act I'm working on. And I started the year with (as I often do) all the things I wanted to change/do better; then I began to appreciate and realize that where I am at is okay I'm back to attending to and re-framing some of those original goals, with hopefully added perspective.

Lots of words. Just like in my little, sky blue BYU notebook. I haven't been writing as much lately as I used to do in the past. But I'm going to try to change that, because I think it's helpful. But so is this next step. The step of doing.

The main question I posed this morning had to do with figuring out some starting points. I've got some great big goals and plans and ambitions (for a lot of things, gospel study being one), but I wasn't interested in those today. I just wanted some simple starting points. And I got 'em! Now I turn my attention to the task of implementation (which can be kind of challenging, sure, but let's face it, it is often the most fun--e.g., which was more fun, Paula? Finding those recipes on Pinterest and learning about how to make them or actually making and eating them last week? Why the latter of course! Mmm...if you want to be tantalized go here and here for our most recent Pinterest successes). Long parenthetical, I apologize.

In a nutshell, I'm grateful for the new year. For new opportunities for growth and development and for failures and falls along the way. Hey that's not a bad toast! To 2012! Cheers, everybody!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

"Ohhhh, I'm the happiest Christmas tree!"

Ho-ho-ho, hee-hee-hee!

Another Christmas has come and gone. This year was a special one, to be sure. It's not often that our entire family is gathered in one place and especially rare (particularly in the near to distant future) for us all to be home in Colorado at the same time. As an added bonus, everyone (for the most part) remained healthy! That was quite a victory, let me tell you.

So let's see if I can be succinct, I'll make my best attempt but can't guarantee success.

As you can see by my fancy symbolic representation of the passage of time, I got distracted. AND, I keep wanting to write about the new year but feel obligated to catch up by covering Christmas first. Ergo, I'm going to resort to a pictorial (totally thought it was pictoral, but Google tells me it has an i) recap. If I'm feeling ambitious you may get a few more words for clarity's sake, but don't hold your breath (not sure why you would in this instance, but it seemed the thing to say). I know, I'll do some headings.

We'll start with "Reenactment of 1999 Family Photo Shoot, in which the famous dogpile pose was replicated"

Eating Cereal
(Don't worry, they get better)
With my Oregon niece and nephew

And all we had to say to entice James to turn around was "Katie is doing it!"

"The Guys"
Supermom. Seriously.

Some Christopher-directed love
(Can you see it? Cause I totally can)

The Blizzard


Three words: "Just keep [scrolling]."

Watching Meet Me in St. Louis
(Natalie caught me)
Our Cute Tree.
The Perfect Petersons
(Sorry, it's either that or perennial, for some reason that's all I got right now)

The Wonderful Whitmers
The Book

A Michael Ciaglo Original

The superheroes.

Natalie's awesome DVD grab bag present
(My finger was supposed to be aimed at the DVD, not bad)

Our oh so indescribably delicious Christmas feast.

A stocking stuffer mastered.
(Those five tops are spinning in a tower!)

The man of our Christmas Eve pajama hour
"Peak the Strategy!" (i.e., the name of Michael's band)

(Wearing all my scarves at the same time before packing them up)