Saturday, November 28, 2009


My wonderful college friend Eldon lost his wife Heather this morning to breast cancer. I have no words to describe the sorrow I feel for him, and I only met her once. But she was the love of his life. She battled for a year, always full of faith and hope and perseverance.

Last Saturday, Eldon knew she needed a miracle. So he put on their website that he would fast and pray on Sunday for one; sort of a last-ditch effort for healing, then maybe on to trying to accept whatever may come. So I, and many people who love them, fasted with him for that miracle. It was a great experience, feeling close in spirit to so many for the same purpose.

Monday morning I received word that Eldon and Heather (in one of her less-frequent lucid moments) knelt in prayer together to ask for a miracle. They both felt very strongly it would come, and therefore, just asked us to pray that her healing would come quickly so she could raise her three small children. I was so happy I cried, and prayed my thanks.

All week I waited and wondered what was happening, how she was doing. There was one message this week indicating she was slipping. This afternoon I received the email-notification that a journal entry had come in. I quickly opened it to find the message that she had passed this morning. Again, I cried. I cried for my friend. I cried for his sweet children. I wish for nothing more at this moment than to fly to Colorado and just be there.

I grieve tonight for a loving wife, mother, sister, daughter. Heather is healed; she is whole. But that is small consolation to a grieving husband and children. So I will ask for another miracle- for the healing of a family.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In Homage to my Favorite New Show:

For those of you who watch "The Office:"


For those of you who don't, and even those who want to feel the joy again, please, PLEASE watch the clip in the post below. Seriously.

Hardcore Parkour!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

WARNING: Eternal Posting

This is an interpretation of what my life has been for the last 2 months.

Sorry, this will be long. In my continual habit of needing to play catch-up, I have waited too long and now have much to share. Feel free to skim.

Mostly this will just be a lot of pictures. First of all, some pics of our last days in the Las Vegas:

This was our POD- the container in which we shipped all of our stuff. It was crazy how they dropped it off. The only word I can think of for that kind of truck was, HUGE CONTRAPTION.

I love these women with all my heart (and the men they come with, but, sorry, only the girls made it to the blog). These are my cousins, Emily Montague and Brooke Duke, and my Aunt, Ruth Pooler. I think it is pretty self-explanatory why I love Emily...we tend to take pictures the same way. I miss them like crazy.
Our good friends Brandon and Kelly Albright. I went to college with Kelly, and Brandon and I were in Aida together last summer. Great people, and we miss them too. Good luck in the NYC, you guys!
This is Rochelle Hendricks, and she is one of my favorite people, and it was really hard to say goodbye to her.... and I quote from a famous film named "Legacy:" "If we ever meet again it will be Zion to me!"

The last day arrived... so weird.

We towed my car the whole way. So glad we bought that truck a year ago!

This is our home. I miss that house. Sigh.

About halfway, we stopped in the Dallas, Texas area to visit family on both sides. Cristian solidified his title to Favorite Uncle even more by playing video games and Monopoly for hours on end with my nephews Tristan, Gavin, and Caden. Awesome. Caden loved him, and in fact totally snubbed my sister Carolynn in favor of always holding Cristian's hand when we went to the Aquarium! They were buddies. We had a great time with Cristian's family too, and didn't really want to leave. But, alas, we were needed elsewhere. Like South Carolina.

We stopped in Vicksburg, MS for a night. Vicksburg is the site of a pivotal battle in the Civil War, so it had a lot of really cool history. Like the Military Park, with a full run down of the Battle of Vicksburg on a CD that we listened to as we drove through. I don't remember what states these memorials were for, but we liked them. Cristian looks pretty sweet.

We also saw the USS Cairo, and ironclad warship that sank in the Yazoo River during the battle. It was found and brought back up a few years ago (like, 10 or 20 years ago) and restored. It was cool.

Of course, leave it to me to find something humorous on a landmark location....and to take a picture of it.
Sometimes I think I am Eva Peron. ("Evita" reference, for the non-theater peeps) Actually, I am just standing in the spot where Jefferson Davis (the President of the Confederacy) gave his last public address after being released from prison after the Civil War. This house is called Anchuca, and it an antebellum home built in 1830. It survived the War, and even served as a hospital at the time. It is now a lovely Bed and Breakfast, and Cristian and I stayed there.

When we got to Clinton, my brother Dave and his family came to see us for a day. Emily and Caleb helped Cristian put up our Bowflex, then felt inclined to test it out for themselves. They can pull some weight, I will tell you.

Then we went camping. In August. In South Carolina. It was hot.

In the month of August, we just gradually moved in ($$$, Holy Crap!) and got all the business that moving entails squared away, like insurance, etc. I visited Dave and Becca at their home in Charlotte, a mere two hours away. I also reunited with my friends Tiffany and Nellie Cheney, who I have not seen in years! So excited to see them more often. Cristian started work at Presbyterian College the last week in August, and after a job search of my own, I landed a position myself at PC. I started work Sept. 7. I work in Administration, and I enjoy my job. It is really nice to be employed again; although, I was really getting used to the unemployed state; it is not so bad at all. Cristian's parents stopped by for a weekend on their own move from NY down to Texas, and it was so fun to see them.

Sooo, in September, I flew to Newport Beach, CA for a Girls' Weekend! It was amazing! We all turned 30 this year, and we wanted to celebrate it, dang it!
This is some of us on Balboa Island. From left:
Me, Katie Hill, Jen Jacobsen, Kristi Christensen, and Beth Rustand. Chalyce Bohne was not there yet, and Kristin Andrus had to be at another obligation that day. We went shopping on Balboa Island. I have not laughed so hard for a really looooong time! By the way, we were cute in high school, but we are all cuter now. Love what getting into the prime of your life does for you. The only person we were missing was Nellie. Boo.

Freakin awesome. We all went to high school together, and some of us have known each other since we were 2 years old. That is friendship.

Jen is a photographer, so she was all over the photo shoots. Mostly of Beth and Katie. Kristi and I didn't make the cut. So we drowned our sorrows in candy, what else would we do?

Well, can you blame Jen? Look how cute Beth is!
What a Hot Mama.

Again, leave it to me to find the most random thing and get a picture. Don't you remember when these horse rides were in front of grocery stores? You pop in a quarter from Mom, and your day is made. They were the best! So I reverted a litte, don't judge. It was a fabulous weekend, and I love those girls to pieces, and can't wait for our next trip, whenever that may be.

The last thing I will mention happened this weekend.

Squealin in the Square.

Laurens County hosts this BBQ competition every October, and people come from far and wide to compete and enjoy. We found ourselves on Main Street in Laurens, eating a huge smoked turkey leg, french fries and funnel cake. We listened to one of those rock bands that you would never buy a CD of, but they are so fun live and in a festival atmosphere. I was dancing and loving it. It was our first real community experience here, and so fun and so tasty, as evidenced by Cristian.

So, there you go. At some point I will talk about a few things I did last summer before we moved. But not tonight.

We are really liking it here. We are grateful for our jobs, and the people who have been so kind to us. We feel really lucky to have landed at a college where it is ok to talk about and worship God, where the values are very similar to our own. It is beautiful in South Carolina, and I have found a love for this small little town of Clinton already.

Until next time I have to catch up on something. If you have made it this far, I salute you. You are a true friend. Told you it was long.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

We are Here!

And by here, I mean Clinton, South Carolina, our new home town! We arrived a week ago yesterday, safe and tired. We got the keys to our apartment and set up shop. After two really expensive trips to Walmart, our day was done. Moving is expensive, and moving IN is really expensive! All the food staples we have had to replace, and home "things" like shelving and bins for stuff that we don't have an obvious place for. We are using what we already have, and then some. I guess every place you move into you have to adjust to that space. Well, our 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apt is actually pretty spacious, but we are still needing to get creative a bit. I guess that is what happens when you leave behind a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house. Plus a large storage unit.

Anyway, Tuesday our POD arrived with all our belongings, and some men from our new ward (and a few sons) drove all the way out into our little town, at the edge of the ward, to help us unload. It was incredibly humbling that they would do that for us when we live a half hour away from the church, let alone their own homes, wherever they are. I guess I am just used to smaller ward boundaries so I was concerned no one would come so far. But they did, and were a huge help, even going with Cristian to the storage unit to fit everything in there. Thank you, Simpsonville 2nd Ward!

We are still in boxes for some things, and it may be a little while until things are really coming together. But the bathroom and kitchen are organized, we have our internet and TV, and all of our stuff is somewhere in the vicinity. That is all we can ask at this time. I really will post some pictures of our cross country drive, I just have been a little too busy to download everything.

We live in a little town, and it is kind of an adjustment for me being so far away from a suburb, let alone a major city. But I am getting used to it, and I like the quiet. We have been introduced to a really cute cafe called the Village Cup that I am in love with (they serve lunch) and we have been to an ice cream parlor and I went to the Farmers Market yesterday morning. Those are the things I am going to love about Clinton. I will get used to driving 30 minutes to a Target or Lowes, I promise.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

So Far, So Good

Well, we have left Las Vegas. We took off on Thursday afternoon and arrived yesterday evening for a pit stop in Dallas, TX. We are half way to our destination of Clinton, South Carolina and thought we would stop to visit family here. I have a picture of Cristian and I in front of our house right before we left, but I will post that another time.

This week was crazy. We arrived home last week from a vacation in Utah just in time for Cristian to get the stomach flu. We lost a very valuable day to sickness. Poor guy. Then, the weekend was just really busy with packing, last minute home projects, and final social engagements with friends and family. ( I know, I make us sound so popular). Monday brought drama for Cristian's truck, so it was taken into one shop in the morning, then another in the afternoon, just to have that service delayed (long story) so we ended up taking the truck back and forth to the dealer every day this week, and FINALLY getting to pick it up, job completed, on Thursday, hours before we left. Sorry for the run-on sentence. Mix all of that up with more crazy packing and an all-night adventure (literally) loading everything into our PODS container on Tuesday night so it could be picked up Sunday. 30 min. of sleep in 40 hours? Best feeling in the world.

It was an odd feeling to have the POD picked up. There was no going back. The move was very real. Cristian felt it too. Like our life is now on a path that we can't control.

I am going to miss my house. I loved my house. It was our first, certainly not our last, but we had made it our own.

I am so grateful to our friends that helped pack and load and clean. They are wonderful, and I can't say enough.

I am going to miss my friends. If I could take all my friends where ever I went, I would love it. Unfortunately, I was not able to convince anyone to move with us. But I have good friends, and am really sad to leave them. We will just have to rely on Facebook, I guess.

I am also really going to miss the family we have here. They have taken us in as their own and we felt welcome, always. We love the Pooler clan, and can't wait to see them in the future. I miss you guys already!

It was a long, hard, crazy, stressful, bittersweet week. The end of our time in Las Vegas also marked a new beginning for Cristian and I. And I am excited for that.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

To Do List

Here is my To Do List before I move on July 23rd:

1. Finish some projects at work so I can quit and not leave anyone hanging.

2. Pack my house.

3. Go through all of our belongings and figure out what to give away, throw away, or pack.

4. Paint some closet doors.

5. Pack my house.

6. Pass my certification test to certify as a voice teacher.

7. Record some songs for a cd my Relief Society presidency is making.

8. Pack my house.

9. Go to Utah for a week for a family reunion.

10. Say goodbye to friends in Utah.

11. Go through all the loose papers and clutter laying around our house and figure out what it actually is, if we need to keep it, and if so, where in heaven's name do we put it?

12. Pack my house.

13. Pick up Cristian in Utah since he will coming back from NY, where he is now, fulfilling his calling as a director for the Hill Cumorah Pageant.

14. Eat all the food in my cupboard and fridge and freezer, by myself, as said husband is out of town, as mentioned above.

15. Garner and organize help loading the POD here and unloading the POD in South Carolina.

16. Pack my house.

17. E-file my taxes. (Yes, we had an extension, before anyone freaks out. We are fine.)

18. Clean my house so it isn't disgusting.

19. Clean my house again after everything is out of it.

20. Did I mention Pack my house?

21. Keep my sanity. Somehow.

I will breath when I get there.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My own little vacation

Last month I also took a vacation, all by myself, and went to Oregon to visit my sister Cyndi. It was so fun and relaxing, I didn't want to come home except Cristian was there. Cyndi took such good care of me, and it was so fun to see her family, my cute nephews, and my newest nephew Johnathan! It was really good to spend some quality time with my sister. She is so great. And can we talk about how much I love Oregon? We went into California to the Redwoods, and to the coast, and it made me homesick for my childhood. We used to go to the coast and the Redwoods all the time.
She was a total soldier and took that baby everywhere in the pack, even hiking. It was awesome. Her 5-year old son Adam also provided great company. He was also pretty funny. Example: Cyndi was asking him if he wanted to go to Ashland with us, or play with a few friends the next day. "What friends, Mom?" She named a couple of boys. "I think I will go with you and Aunt Nicole. I am not really into them right now." I'm sorry, what? You are not "into" them? I was laughing so hard. He continued throughout the week to talk about stuff he was "into" or "not into."

Josh, Ethan, and Seth were in school, but I loved talking to them after school and learning what they are "into" these days. Cyndi and Steve are doing such a great job with them, and they are a fabulous family, and I love them to pieces!


So, true to form, I have put off posting until, like, a month later. Yes, well....

First of all, Cristian graduated! He now holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Technical Direction from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was done on May 13-ish. It has been a hard road for him and I am such the proud wife! (Don't take my lateness at posting this as any indication. I really am so proud of him I could sing it from the roof tops.) This is a picture of him with his presentation of work for the year. These are pages from his portfolio, which is very impressive, by the way, and helped to land him a great job at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. So in a few weeks, we will be packin up and headin out!
We are really grateful for Cristian's education. We are also really grateful he is done!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Character Defined.

I meant to do this post a few days ago, and just got busy, so I have run out of steam just a little bit. But I watched the Today show this past Tuesday, and Matt Laur was interviewing Miss California USA (Hereafter known as Miss C., since I don't remember her name) about her controversial answer to Perez Hilton's question about her thoughts on gay marriage. She stated that, in her family, she was raised with the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, and, basically, that is what she still believes. Well, she got First Runner-Up in the Miss USA pageant, and many people, including Perez Hilton and Donald Trump, speculated that the answer she gave cost her the crown. That very well may be true, we will never know for sure.

I did not see the actual pageant, just the interview two days later. First, Matt Laur interviewed Hilton by Skipe in LA and got his thoughts. He said Miss C. gave the completely wrong answer and made people feel unwelcome at the pageant, and she shouldn't have brought her politics and religion onto the stage. He said a lot of other things as well.

To him I say: YOU are the one who brought YOUR politics into the pageant by asking the question in the first place! You would have loved her and said she did the right thing if she had answered the way YOU wanted her to. She didn't bring her religion into the discussion. Nothing was said about church, God, or Christ in any way. Miss C. only stated what she believed, which she has a right to, and should not be persecuted and slandered for it. (He was shown on his video blog calling her a "dumb *&^$#." Really mature. Awesome.)

To Miss C. I say: GOOD FOR YOU! You stood your ground even when asked if you would answer differently given a second chance. You showed me there is still integrity and character in the world. I do not live in California anymore, but you made me proud of how the location of my childhood represented.

To all of you I say: To me, this is not necessarily about gay marriage, and whether I agree with Miss C.'s opinion on gay marriage. ( I do agree, but that is beside the point for the purpose of this post). It is all about someone taking a stand, in the national spotlight, for what they believe, knowing it would not be a popular one. She stated that as soon as she said her answer, she knew she would not win. Yet she did not back down. She didn't even stay neutral in order to increase her chances of winning by giving what would have been a popular answer, and what Hilton was obviously looking for. She was clear in her beliefs, not derogatory in any way toward homosexuals, she just stated her opinion about it and was done. After working so hard to get as far as she did, that would have been a very hard thing to do, and I can't even imagine that kind of pressure.

In hearing the comments from both Hilton and other judges about "staying neutral if you want to win" and other such things, I thought about how we are a generation, and raising a generation, of people who are not encouraged to stand up for their beliefs. It is really sad how we are encouraged and counseled to seem lukewarm and nuetral on issues so that no one is "offended," and we can gain an advantage by saying what people want to hear. So there doesn't really seem to be any accountability. Guess what. There are ways to disagree with others with respect for their different beliefs. Not everyone has to be unified in everything, we just need to respect our differences, and not judge. Unfortunately, Perez Hilton never got that memo.

I admire Miss C.'s courage, and I hope to have a fraction of that courage if/when I am ever put to the test like that.

Not that I have plans to enter the pageant circuit. You all would love that, wouldn't you? I can see you laughing.

But I think you all know what I mean.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Valentine's Day and my Birthday

Ok, I realize it is now April and I am just getting around to posting about things that happened weeks ago. Don't judge me.

Just a short note about V-day: We had dinner with our friends Scott and Shalisse Jenkins, and went and saw "He's Just Not That Into You." Papa Johns Pizza ran a deal for heart-shaped pizzas, and we had to partake. We laughed so hard about the pizzas, and had a great time. The boys didn't like the movie so much, as was evidenced by Cristian's bouncing his knee for the whole two hours. Oh well, they were good sports about it.

For my birthday on the 20th of March, Cristian was out of town doing a myriad of job interviews. While he was off slaying dragons, I had a great day by myself, got a facial, went shopping, then went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner with a bunch of my girlfriends. It was so fun!
Pictured: Tate Hulet, Shalisse Jenkins, me, Erin Dudley, Sheri Mohlman, Nicole Boyd, Rochelle Hendericks, and Marlaina Harris. We had so much fun, and dang, that food is good. Love my girls.
We finished out the weekend the next day when some of the above girls and I gathered at my house to watch "Twilight." What a weekend.

The next weekend Cristian was home and we gathered with my family across town for a barbecue. Can I just say, I adore them all? We will sure miss them when we move.
Personally, I think Bennie is just sad that it wasn't his birthday.

Isn't he cute? Anyway, we had my favorite pie (I am not a cake person) Marie Callender's razzleberry pie and ice cream. I was so sick to my stomach from eating so much, but so happy. And it was a gorgeous day.

I am now 30 years old. Does that bother me? Did I freak out? No. But I hear that the thirties are way better than the twenties, so I am ready to be impressed.

Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

So Confused

So, I was driving home from work a few days ago and caught this bumper sticker on a nice, pretty new-looking BMW:

"Don't be Fooled by my Car.
My Treasure Lies in Heaven."

What? Is this like those "Don't hate me because I am beautiful" ads from the 80's? I was really confused about the idea the sticker was supposed to convey. First of all, bumper stickers are tacky, in my opinion. To have a bumper sticker on a nice, really expensive looking car, is extra tacky. And, of course it also had one of those "fish" icons, you all know the ones I am talking about, the loaves and fishes icons that people put on their cars.

So, tackiness aside, my confusion lies in what it is saying. It seemed to me that the sticker was saying "don't judge me that I clearly have a lot of money, and am showing it by my nice ride. I am still really righteous and will be going to heaven, because that is where my priorities lie." I thought, really? Because I am looking at the sign on your car ADVERTISING your righteousness, which in my opinion, is not very Christian at all.

As I was driving, I really was trying to find a meaning in this that didn't make the driver out to be an arrogant jerk. But any way I look at it, the saying is offensive because I think that people who are truly laying up their treasures in heaven don't have to talk about it, especially by posting a tacky bumper sticker on a really expensive car. It seemed so ironic to me.

Is that too harsh? Obviously, I do not know the driver. He/She may be a wonderful person. The sticker was just so arrogant that I wondered if it was a joke.

Anyway, that is my thought for the day. I am really not trying to be cynical, people can put whatever they want on their cars, even the fish don't really bother me, even though I would never do it myself. But this in particular bothered me because it seemed very hypocritical. Almost like the Pharisees in the Bible who talked about the Law and how good they all were. I will stop now.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Anniversary and Other Happenings.

I have been meaning to do this post for two weeks, since my anniversary. Four years! Crazy how time flies.

Cristian planned the celebration this year. He took me to the Bellagio Hotel, to a VERY nice restaurant named Jasmine. It was Asian Cuisine. (Did I just say "Cuisine" in a post? Yes I did. It was that fancy.) Beforehand, we walked around the hotel and walked through the conservatory, which was decked out for Chinese New Year.

The pictures are a little dark, but it was very beautiful, complete with a spread-eagle panda bush. Edward Scissorhands must have been busy.

Of course, the night is not complete without some dumb pictures that make us look like ten-year-olds.

Don't, worry, I realize this money under the gargantuan Samurai Soldier is fake. No one be alarmed. But I was trying to steal it anyway.

Anyway, it was fabulous. The food was soooo good! And the ambience was really romantical. (I have to say it like that because I feel dumb saying "romantic." But it was.) The whole back wall of Jasmine was floor to ceiling windows, facing out to the famous Bellagion Fountains. They knew it was our anniversary, and so gave us a table with a perfect view. It was awesome. Every 15 minutes a different song would come on (very softly inside, so as not to be disruptive) and the fountains would go. We had a great time. We laughed about where we might be for our anniversary next year (no idea). There may be a small college town in our future where the "fancy place" is Applebee's.

During the evening, a woman came and asked to take our picture. I very seriously thought about saying, "no, but you can take one of us with my camera." But I decided NOT to be tacky. Of course, later, another woman came and offered us the pic in a super-fancy frame (not really, just a folded one with "Bellagio" on the front) for only $45! I almost choked. But Cristian just laid down his card and bought it anyway, being our anniversary and all. It was a good picture, and cute of him to want it.

We finished off the night with stopping on the way home at the Sonic drive-thru and getting ice cream. Super Sweet.

The said $45 picture. I like us. Happy Anniversary, Baby. I love you.

Other than that, not a lot going on besides continuing to apply for jobs after graduation. We have had a few schools express interest, so that is very encouraging. We have heard from places in Illinois, South Carolina, Iowa, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania so far, no offers yet, but interviews. It is a pretty long process. Who knows where we will be? It is fun and scary all at the same time.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Just a little catch up, Christmas was great, Cristian got me an MP3 player so I can actually stop exercising in public with a cd player hanging from my waist. I'm a little behind, alright? I got him a really nice camping sleeping pad, which he was excited about. Nothing really to top the XBox 360 of last year, but that is ok. We relaxed at home in the morning, then went to my cousin Emily's house and relaxed some more, watching Ironman for the 2 time that day. (Santa brought it for Cristian. He was a good boy this year.) So fun. Loved it. As evidenced by the below image of C and Wyatt.

2009 is looking like a big year for us. Cristian graduates with his MFA, and (hopefully) he will be getting some great job somewhere, which will also mean a move, most likely across the country, based on the openings we have found. I feel like we are about to start life for real. No more school. It is very exciting and a little scary. But we are looking forward to starting the next chapter or our life. Cross your fingers for us.

Happy New Year Everybody!