Saturday, November 16, 2013

Go, go, joe...

Recently, my brother has been participating in the high school production of Joseph and the technicolor dream coat. Fun show. Great for high school kids. While enjoying it I realized that it has been a while since I read the verses from Genesis. Even has a small child this bible story was a favorite of mine. I don't even know what intrigued me so much. But while watching the show I was reminded of various lessons I've learned through the years from Joseph's journey. Lessons of faith, moral courage, forgiveness, economic planning, and preparation. But the lesson that has stood out to me the most in recent years is the lesson of timing.

God had a plan for Joseph. He needed Joseph to be at specific places, at specific times, for specific purposes. The journey to get there was not without a lot of rough patches and trials. And it took time. A lot of time. That is what really got me thinking. How much time passed from when Joseph's brothers sold him to when they met again in Egypt. 20 years? Maybe more? That is just the reminder I need when I start thinking about my own journey. Sometimes it takes time. A lot of time. And it will probably include a lot of trials and setbacks. But you never know where you will end up. It might be saving the world or at least Egypt as pharaoh's wing man.

You never know how what is happening today will fit into the big picture. Whatever it is. Whenever it is. If you are on God's side striving to be an instrument in His hands. God will use you for specific purposes. Great purposes. I love that. Wherever I end up or go in this life and however long it takes I hope God uses me along the way for His "wise purposes." I hope to serve Him by serving His children. Just like Joe.

Yeah, I really love Joseph's story. I love how I can find applications for any stage of life.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

See how they run…Temple to Temple

I like to fancy myself a runner. But I am probably closer to what you may call a pseudo-runner. I can runner. I even like it most of the time. But I do not run consistently. And I don’t particularly push myself to run certain distances in certain times. I run as far as I like and for as long as a feel like. And I had never run an actual race. I’m not a huge fan of paying to kill myself. And there is something about the word training that causes 60 mph winds and turns my perfectly flat route into 30% grade.  So a few months ago when my sister approached me about doing the Temple to Temple relay with my other siblings, I decided why not. It’s a fun little relay that goes from the Rexburg Temple to the Idaho Falls Temple. Harmless, right? However, as expected, the day I started “training” the winds kicked up and earth shifted. Argh!!! Yes, this was my regular, not-quite- everyday run.  There was one thing that got me over the training hump. One morning while running, the image of running crossing the finish line with my siblings appeared in my head. It actually kind of gave me the chills. And the winds calmed and the nonexistent hill was nonexistent. Training for this was motivating.
The big day happened the end of last month and it was fun…and cold. 
Temple 2 Temple Run

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

what I want to say today...

August has been great too. More sunshine, camping, road trips, friends, family, hiking, water parks, counting down to the kickoff for football season...

This summer has been so great and I feel like for the most part I have taken advantage of every moment. I am sad to see it ending soon but I don't have any regrets and I am looking forward to Fall. aka football, fall food, cool weather, vibrant colors...yes I am loving every moment, of everyday, of every season. Life is so good.

what I meant to say in July...

July has been so great. I am sad to see it go. Fireworks, thunderstorms, sunshine, rodeos, hiking, water parks, summer food, holidays, reading time, mountains...Life is so good.

There was a lot more I wanted to say. But now I don't remember what it was. Bad Sarah.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

feeling trunky

I've been feeling a little trunky lately. Not the homesick kind. The exact opposite. The kind of trunky that has me itching to go somewhere. Somewhere new. Somewhere I've never been. Where the people speak a language I don't understand and the culture and food can only be experienced. The trunkyness is partly due to the time of year. This is the time of year when I am supposed to have my bag packed and be heading off on an adventure to some foreign place. But I am not. And my itching feet know it. They can't help it.

Five years ago this time of year I was here:

Four years ago I was here:

Two years ago I was here:

So you can understand a little bit my need to leave, go somewhere, explore...yes it's a need.

It doesn't help that I have been working like mad to finish up a photo book from my Holy Land adventure five years ago. (almost done) Or that an MPA group left on the China trip that I went on two years ago. And here I am not going anywhere. All well. I will. I can guarantee it.

In spite of having the urge to leave the country. On this Independence Day I am so grateful to live here in America and in a country that we can enjoy so much. I am so grateful to live in country where women are free to get an education and as much education as they want. We are also free to work and travel and worship. God Bless America. Just some things I've been thinking about as I listen to the fireworks outside. I am so blessed to live here. And I love fireworks.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


In looking at my recent writing activity and frequency, one would assume that my life has been dull and uneventful. When in actuality the opposite is true. Life, my life, has been exciting, full, and abundant. Life has been full of: wedding (not mine), babies (not mine, but I'd claim them), birthdays (one was mine), new job (that was mine :), friends, family, summer (yay!), joy, blessings (overflowing), fun, travel (just a little bit), change, church service, happiness...Repeat.  

Life has definitely been good to me. And satisfying. At least for now. More on all that to come. Sometime. Promise. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013


I have always wanted to give Lent a try. You know, one of those culture experiences. Most years I realize a week too late that Lent has already started so I don't bother. This year, thanks to facebook, I was reminded of Lent on day one. I quickly thought of something I could give up. I know I could have put a lot more thought into  it and make it more meaningful. But I went with the first thing that came to my mind. Chocolate. Not a huge sacrifice since I don't always crave chocolate except for around certain times of the month. But it was the best I could do spur of the moment. 

Day 2: Unaware of my quest Dad gave me a big box of chocolate candy for Valentine's Day It went into hiding until after Lent.
Day 5: Dad made a huge batch of chocolate chip cookies. My #1 weakness. And there they were sitting on the counter. Fresh and warm. Let's just say this batch lasted longer then they normally do.
Day 8: Commercials for Easter candy began to air. Has it really only been a week? 
Day 10: I was offered s'more cup cakes at a job interview. I caved. I think God will understand.
Day 14: Didn't get the job. Drowned my sorrows with butterscotch chips and peanut butter. Normally I would use chocolate chips, but the butterscotch chips were an acceptable substitute and actually just as good.
Day 16: I had a dream that I ate chocolate and decided to act as if I didn't and not tell anyone.
Day 19: I might or might not have had a finger full of chocolate frosting. Ok, I did but it was my dad's birthday and the bowl of chocolate frosting was just sitting there and that is what you do when it is someone's birthday and there is chocolate frosting sitting there. I didn't even realize I had done it til 5 minutes later. I couldn't believe it. 
Day 33: Peanut butter cookies. Mmmmm!!!
Day 38: Bought a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs for the big "break the Lent" day. 
Day 42: Extended Lent a couple days for the days I fudged. (Get it?...fudged! :) 
Day 43: Ended Lent with lots of Easter candy. Actually, not lots. The Reese's eggs weren't quite as good as I remembered. I did eat a bunch of gluten free chocolate chip cookies. Mmmm. 

It is funny that people will give up a habit for Lent and then as soon as it is over they go right back to it. I know, I'm guilty. 

Resisting the urge to eat chocolate is not significant in the least, but the practice of self-control was fascinating. It felt empowering to say no and not give in to physical desire. I have control. And it felt good. I liked the control. 

Throughout this experience I found myself thinking more about the life of Christ. I know my small sacrifice is small compared to the temptations Christ endured. But I did like that every time I stopped myself from grabbing a cookie or a handful of chocolate chips I thought of Christ. It was the perfect reminder and helped me turn to Christ in other areas of my life as well. This was a good experience and I have decided Lent should be practiced year around. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

10 years ago...

I was here. A piece of my heart remains there.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


My grandma used to have a magnet with a picture of a train on her refrigerator that read, "If everything is going your way, you must be going the wrong way." Right now I am pretty sure I must be going the right way because it feels like it has been a very long time since anything has gone my way. I've bumped into roadblock after roadblock. Getting shutdown doesn't even hurt anymore. It's frustrating, but it doesn't hurt. What keeps me going? Hope.

I've thought and learned a lot about HOPE through everything. I've often wondered how do I stay so happy and optimistic. It is hope. I have hope. I always have hope. It never leaves me. I may try to not get my hopes up for anything that may or may not happen. But I am never hopeless. I believe things will eventually work out. And that hope endures always and it keeps me enduring.

It is kind of a fascinating phenomenon. At least I think it is because I have been thinking a lot about it lately. It is amazing how hope sticks around no matter how bad things are. There is always hope that things will get better and things will work out for the best. How does it do that? Hope is a gift from God that keeps people going. It keeps me going.

"Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is confidence that if we live according to God’s laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance.
"No matter how bleak the chapter of our lives may look today, because of the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we may hope and be assured that the ending of the book of our lives will exceed our grandest expectations. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into" (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Oct. 2008)

Right now life events are setting me up for a really great and exciting path or another really hard devastating roadblock. Which way it will go is still up in the air. I am excited and scared at the same time. I am really ready to have something go my way. I am hoping now is the time. If not...I'll keep hoping.

It is funny the things that stick in your memory. That magnet was on my grandma's refrigerator when she lived in Maryland. The last time I was there was a very long time ago. And I was very young.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

the best way to spread valentine day cheer…

1. Send a singing telegram for all to hear.

Pictures of  Valentines Day Surprise, Al-Vis Singing Telegram

2. Chocolate. Lots of Chocolate. (For you and those you love.)

3. Read the corniest conversation hearts you can find. Then pass them on.

4. Send a Neal Caffrey Valentine to your BFF.  And keep one for yourself.


5. Bake 3 dozen sugar cookies. Give 2 dozen away. Frost them first.

6. Dance.

7. Eat a heart shaped pizza.

8. Get off the singles awareness day train!! And…

9. Wish everyone you see a Happy Valentines Day!!! (whether he or she is your valentine or not.)

Yes, Valentines Day is one of my 15 favorite holidays.

Monday, January 28, 2013

200 years ago...

today. (January 28, 2013) Jane Austen's 2nd novel was published. Pride and Prejudice. I was kind of surprised there wasn't something clever on Google. There is not much to say about P&P that hasn't already been said. It's an all-time favorite. It's a classic. It's familiar. It's like coming home. It's witty. It makes me happy....

It is also a bit of a soap opera...

We love it anyway.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

project product clean out

Let me tell you about my latest project. It is one I like to affectionately refer to as Project Product Clean Out. Throughout my life I have been known to be somewhat of a borderline product junkie. You know those people that need to try out the latest fab product. Someone who buys a new and different shampoo even though there are four bottles of unfinished shampoo sitting in the shower. This may also include purchasing new makeup, facial products, soaps, lotions, hair products, lotions, nail polish, health supplements, etc.  Sometimes even appliances. This condition may sometimes be confused with compulsive shopper disorder. But it is completely different. Product junkies don't buy the products because of the need to shop. They buy products because of the need to try something different. A change to mix it up. Something that will maybe bring about different results and change the redundant life. Anyway, I am in the middle of Project Product Clean Out. This endeavor means I am grounded from buying any new products until I have used up the products that are in the drawer or on the shelf. Like a diet, this project has its positive side effects. Clutter is being eliminated. Space is increasing. Money is staying in the bank. Don't worry the withdrawal symptoms are slowly lessening and I can almost walk into a store and walk down a product isle without getting the jitters.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mexican Haystacks

This is really yummy comfort food with a little kick.

8 oz cream cheese
2 C milk
1 C sour cream
2 tsp cumin
1 med sweet onion diced
1 Tbl chicken bouillon 
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Dip
2 Can diced green chilies
1 bag frozen corn
3-4 frozen chicken breasts
2 cans black beans
2 cans Rotel (I used WF Brand, tomatoes and lime.)
Garnish: Fresh cilantro, cheese, lime juice, avocado…
(This makes a large serving, 1/2 the recipe if needed)


  • Combine all ingredients but chicken, beans, corn and Rotel in a medium sized pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour into slower cook and Add remaining ingredients and let cook all day, stirring occasionally. 
  • Once chicken is cooked it can either be removed from crock pot to be diced up or the longer is simmers, the closer you'll get to it shredding on it's own :)
    Serve over a bed of tortilla chips, rice, lettuce. Garnish with cheese, fresh cilantro, lime juice, avocado, fresh tomatoes and whatever else strikes your fancy.

Original recipe is found here, but I made some alterations.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

new boots

I love how they look. But I really, really love that my feet are warm as I am running to church cold Sunday mornings. Good investment.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Butter Chicken

So I decided to try my hand at Indian food. Something I have been wanting to do for a while but there often many spices that don’t usually exist in the everyday spice cabinet. However, I did find one recipe that I had all the ingredients except one. Butter chicken. The meal pick for the individual who is adventurous enough to try Indian food but doesn’t like too spicy. I have never actually tried this at a restaurant except for a bite of my dad’s when I dragged him to an Indian restaurant for my birthday (If it weren’t for me he wouldn’t naturally be this adventurous.) So I don’t really know how it compares to one you may order, but the fam liked it. I had to fight my 13 yo sister for the left-overs.


  • 1 ounce butter
  • 1 onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 large boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (didn’t double)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh cream
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (This is the one spice we didn’t have. And I had a little trouble finding it. Fortunately I had a neighbor with some and now I know where to find it. I would recommend getting it if you want to experiment with Indian. Watkins was the brand my neighbor had.)


  1. Sauté onion and garlic in butter.
  2. Slice chicken breasts into bite sized pieces.
  3. Combine spices and salt and toss chicken pieces until well coated.
  4. Sauté the chicken each side until golden brown.
  5. Stir in the cream and tomato paste.
  6. Cover pan and simmer for about 10 minutes until cooked through.
  7. Sprinkle with garam masala.
  8. Serve over rice. Good with a fresh salad and naan.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Game Plan

I love the beginning of the New Year. I love the excitement and wonderment of all the things that could change and happen this year. In spite of what did or didn’t happen the pass year. It’s something I love every year, but I seem to be more aware of it this year. It is also fun to set new goals and checklists of all the things I want to accomplish this year. And I do love my checklists.

2013’s resolutions have been inspired by this article in the Happy Living section (a favorite viral read) of I have adopted the five resolutions mentioned and added a few of my own. I have also added action items that I want to complete. Not all of them are mentioned here. (I might change my mind. I reserve the right to do that.)

From Five New Year’s Resolutions you’ll want to keep

Number 1: Read. Always a good idea. I like 30 books in a year. It was a good number for me. Challenging, not overwhelming. But since it is 2013 I will set the goal at 31 books. 13 of which will be nonfiction. 

Number 2: Write. I always want to  improve my writing and write more. Conveniently, I just filled a journal and have a new one with crisp white pages ready for 2013. Maybe I’ll have a goal of filling one entire journal in 2013. That didn’t sound very resolute. The only other time I filled a journal in one year was on my mission….Ok I’m determined I will do this one.

Number  3: Laugh. Always a good idea. I am going to continue thinking about this one and what I can do with it.

Number 4: Travel. No duh, this is going to be included. I don’t know how, where, or when. But I accept the challenge of finding 13 new places to travel to with my limited funds.

Bonus goal: Travel the state and visit all national and state parks this year.

Number 5: Love. Every year I have a goal of sending birthday and thank you cards in the mail. So this year I going to fit this in here. As well as service.

My own additions:

Number 6: Learn. Learn something new each day record it. Read at least 4 books specifically about different things I want to learn.

Number 7: Create. I am still thinking about how to quantify this. I just know I need to have it for my sanity sake. Maybe I’ll finish some projects.

Number 8: Cook. 13 new recipes. I know easy peasy. But I needed to have one easily attainable goal. My challenge will be to give baking a try. I am not a fan of baking unless it smells like meat or cookies. Breads and cakes, ugh.

Number 9: Get my body back. I usually don’t have many goals that are associated with the words exercise and diet. But I am tired of feeling limited because my back is in pain. So I am determined to do what it takes, within my financial restraints, to get over it. I am working on a action plan and my goal is to get back to running and run a half marathon this year. 13.1 miles for 2013. Sounds appropriate. Heaven help me.

Number 10: Get out of Debt. This will be a goal until it happens. Of course I have other goals to accomplish to make this one happen.

Number 11: Do something crazy. Still thinking about what this could be. If you have an idea send it my way.

Number 12: 13 new experiences. I’ll let you know when I have them.

Number 13: Progress. My life goal is to continually progress. Progress spiritually, intellectually, socially, physically. etc.

I think I am going to like 2013. Maybe it will even be a lucky year for me with lots of things happening and going my way. Who knows. We’ll see. Either way I’ll make it fun.