Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas at the Anderson's

This year was a wonderful Christmas. Mark and I were lucky enough to spend a week at my parents house. We went to the Sweet Family Christmas party and had a great time visiting with my aunts, uncles and cousins. During the party, a group of us were sitting around the table and decided to write a letter to my cousin who is on a mission... one word at a time. As we passed the letter around, each person wrote down one word, adding to a sentence. The best sentence we came up with was: "Always remember, we always remember to remember that remembrance never forgets to remember". I hope he has fun reading that letter. Good times.

Throughout the week we mostly hung out, played video games, watched movies, and ate a lot of delicious. Christmas morning consisted of Mom, Dad, Mel, Mark and me there to open presents. Mark got an air compressor and various tools that we could use throughout our lives. I got a Bosch from my parents, a nice knife set from Mark and other various cooking items from other various relatives. I'm excited to get home and do some cooking! I think Mark is excited for me to cook too.

Today is the day after Christmas. We spent the morning sledding, and it was AWESOME! I've got some pictures to prove it. Also, none of these are photoshopped in any way.


This is me in my new snowclothes.



Mark and me on the sled.

A winter tradition in my family is called "snow kayaking". It's pretty cool. Check it out.


Mark in the kayak. Aaron on the snowboard.


Aaron in the kayak.



Aaron in the kayak, with Ginger in the background.



Mark in the kayak hitting the side of a jump
(and still getting some wicked air).



Mark, Dad, and Aaron in/on the kayak.

What are your wintertime traditions?


P.S. We sold my car. Hooray!!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Trick

The trick to feeding a man is to not ask him what he wants or tell him what's for dinner. The trick is to just make it. Set it in front of him. Let him eat. He'll enjoy it if you don't give him a choice. Mark has always told me that it would work, but he's usually around when I'm cooking (which means he will disagree with what I'm about to cook, and we end up eating mac and cheese). Last night he was around, but on the phone. So I made a dinner of potato and cheese soup (thanks to Wendy's great gift). And he liked it.

And that, my friends, is the trick.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Sigh of Relief

Well, I feel pretty good about my final. As I've talked over it with some of the other students, I've felt more and more confident. When I think about the midterm and it's results I feel even better about this exam.

The rest of this week will be filled with relaxing, cooking, laundering, cleaning, bass playing, performing, sleeping, researching, proctoring and grading. And all of these things will be done with A LOT less stress.

It's going to be a good week.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Ketchup

Since the last time I wrote, two big events have happened. First, Thanksgiving. Since Mark had gone to Bryce Canyon and Escalante with his brothers, I found a ride to Salt Lake to spend time with my sister and mom. It was great! We had fun making noodles for homemade chicken noodle soup, laughing and chatting, and making jello "shots" and trifle "shots" for the Sweet family Thanksgiving. It was awesome to have time to just chill with the fam. It was also awesome that Gramma Sweet was at my mom's house for a few hours making the noodles for Thanksgiving dinner. I haven't spent time with her in a very long time, and it's just good to be around Gramma. Just to be able to hug her when I wanted was wonderful. I love you, Gramma!!
After spending time with my family, the plan was that Mark would pick me up and we'd head back to Logan on Wednesday night. Or so everybody else thought. Mark and I had planned to stay for Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Thursday, and I decided to keep it a surprise. The look on Gramma's face was priceless when she saw me Thanksgiving morning. I hope I never forget that face. She's beautiful. Anyway, it was wonderful to spend time with the aunts, uncles and cousins who were at the dinner. I miss those folks.
We left Salt Lake on Thursday afternoon and arrived in Logan around 6 or 7. Mark and I got bored and fell asleep at 7:30. Lame, I know, but it was awesome. We woke up at 6:30 the next morning, and we didn't go shopping. Weird, right? But we didn't feel we needed anything. So we just had a nice long morning together. Later in the day on Friday, Mark's family held their Thanksgiving dinner. That was also a blast. 4 of the 6 brothers were there (one was in Ireland and the other in Georgia). It was fun to be with all of the nieces and nephews.
I love holidays!

The second big event that happened was that I finished my grading of assignments and quizzes for the semester. You know what that means? This semester is just about over. Not only am I done grading, but I am done with assignments and projects for my classes. Just one final on Monday, then I'm basically done. How awesome is that?!

What's your favorite part of the holidays? Is it the sweets and treats? Is it the hot chocolate by the fireplace? Or is it just having the heat on in your house so that it's a nice cozy place to come to after playing in the (non-existent) snow?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

For the Love

Mark left tonight to go to Bryce Canyon with a couple of his brothers for a few days. I don't know what to do with myself. It's quite boring living alone, and I've only been home without him for 20 minutes. Lame. Any ideas on things I can do to keep myself entertained? Or, rather than that, how do I motivate myself to clean the house and get my homework and other things done?

On a different note (no pun intended), I played in an orchestra concert tonight. Have I ever told you what a release music is for me? Sure, the practices at night in the middle of the week are sometimes inconvenient. But when I sit on stage with the lights warming my skin, and the conductor walks on stage and everyone claps, then the house lights go dim and the conductor raises his baton... Then music. From a bunch of people using their talents and working together to provide something beautiful to a willing audience. I get chills just thinking about it. I'm so grateful that my parents instilled deep within me a great love of music. I'm grateful for such supportive parents, who drove through a snowstorm for an hour and a half (one way) so that they could listen to the orchestra play for an hour and a half. I'm grateful that they encouraged (and sometimes bribed) me to try different types of music and instruments. I declare that I have the best parents in the world. I love you Mom and Dad. Thank you for coming tonight. It meant the world to me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Guest Post

A friend of mine wrote down this story about a recent family home evening in her singles ward because she thought I would enjoy it. And I did. So I got permission to post it here. You're welcome.

"Lap Tag" or "How I Spent the Creepiest Monday Night Ever" by Jill Warnock

In lap tag, you have a group of people (>7) and it must be an odd number. Half the people sit in a circle and then the other people sit on the first groups laps. For notation purposes, the people in the first group are denoted (1), the people in the second group as (2) and the person by himself as (3). 3 is also in the circle. 3 points at two 2s, who have to crawl over to 3 and tag his foot. The 1s hold on to their 2s and don't let them get to 3. The 1 whose 2 gets to 3 first becomes the new 3 and the other 1 and 2 switch.
So then they made me play. And I get stuck sitting on the lap of some guy who came with another girl, meaning I had NEVER SEEN HIM BEFORE. When I got pointed at he wrapped both arms around my stomach and one leg around my knees and we had to wrestle. And I am done with singles wards.

Because I Said I Would

I know you have all been waiting for the pictures of me and Casey. So, here they are!


This last picture I think is best, except the lighting isn't great. But did you see in the second picture how intense our conversation was? Man, it was great. I just love that woman.

Also, do you like the blog makeover? It's kind of fall-ish.. Since it's fall now, I figured it would be appropriate..

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Awesome Week = Really Tired

Wednesday was a very good day for me. First, let me just tell you...

I got an A- on that midterm that I dreaded and complained about for over a week and that took me 16 hours! Oh, I just can't describe to you how good it felt to get it back without having a big F on it...

Ahh.. I'm glad I got that off my chest. Now, on to equally exciting and fun news!

Wednesday afternoon I headed down to the big city for a teeth cleaning and a book signing. It doesn't sound very exciting, but wait! The book signing was actually for a cookbook written by The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. Before the actual signing took place, there was a question-answer session where we could ask her anything we wanted. Naturally, I thought of my question the next morning... I want to know if she's ever had fry sauce.. It's not an extremely common condiment outside of Utah, but how could she come to Utah without even trying it?!

Before the question-answer thing started I was people watching (a favorite past-time of mine) when I realized that I was sitting about 7 feet from where Casey from mooshinindy.com was standing with her little moosh! I was ecstatic! I mean, not only did I get to revel in the beauty and glory of my favorite online recipe provider, but I got to see the owner of one of my favorite "real life" blogs! You can ask my mom, aunt, or sister-in-law. They'll tell you that I was excited. I couldn't stop the little squeals of delight from escaping from my heart. Just thinking about it now gives me the chills. And that was just from seeing her. Then it happened. She looked in my direction and saw me looking at her. And I mouthed (because it was loud and she wouldn't have heard me if I spoke it out loud) "Are you Casey?" She looked at me, somewhat bewildered, and responded with a nod. I motioned that I was going to come talk to her (and she didn't run away!) and away I went. It's interesting how sometimes I feel shy in leaving a comment on someone's blog, yet in real life I am as forward and outgoing as the girl next door (or something like that). Anyhow, I introduced myself and talked for a minute (and got a couple of pictures with her - to be posted later) then returned to my seat. Seriously, a highlight of my night.

After the question-answer thing we (mom, aunt, sister-in-law, me) went to Arby's. I got an order of jalapeno poppers, and the nice gent gave me a couple extra cups of Bronco Berry Sauce. I decided to ask PW if she would use them in a recipe in a future post. She said she would. So now you know my claim to fame.

More about this good week to come...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Someone Explain This..

This morning when I went outside, there was snow on the grass and not on the sidewalk. I understand that. What I don't understand is that it's been snowing all day, and the snow on the grass is melting...


?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

All Better

Life seems so much easier without having to think about that dreadful test. Now my days are a little more lazy and relaxing. Did I tell you I spent 16 hours on that blasted thing? Yeah, I did. And I'm not even very confident that I did well. Talk about having a burden lifted off of my shoulders. I care about the grade I got on the test, but I feel much better not thinking about it for now. No use in worrying over something that I won't find out for another 2 weeks, right?

Anyway, back to real life. Now I've got to bust my bottom to get a bunch of research done. My adviser is presenting this project at a conference at the beginning of November. And our model keeps changing (which is good, but also brings on a lot of work).

I love statistics. Except when there's math, too.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dread

In approximately two minutes, the hardest and most evil test will show up in my email inbox. The professor gives us 72 hours to take the exam from the time we receive it. He estimated it will take between 12-15 hours to complete, which is why he gives us 3 full days. So we can spend 4-5 hours on it each day. In my last post I mentioned the class I really don't enjoy. This test is for that class.

If I survive this, come visit me in the hospital.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Overwhelmed

I rarely have something clever or witty enough to take up a whole blog post.

I don't this time, either.

But I figured it was time that I let you guys know a little about what's going on in my life.

This semester I am taking 9 credits. For those of you who don't know, that is full time on the graduate level. Lucky for me, 3 of those credits are devoted to my research, and I don't have to go to class for them. So, basically, I'm taking 2 classes. One of them is TOTALLY FUN!! We basically analyze medical data using techniques suited for biological/medical data. The homework is more of a fun activity than a chore, and class time is always fun. My professor has a great sense of humor, but I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who thinks he's funny. But the point is, I love that class. The other class? Not so much. The professor is nice, but not very funny. The material is boring as poop. The homework is harder than wrestling a grizzly bear. And it's required for my major. Lame. Oh, did I mention the take-home midterm is estimated to take between 12 to 15 hours to complete? *Sigh* So much for my fall break. Needless to say, my classes take up a lot of my time.
Not to mention the research I'm supposed to be doing. It's a good thing I have a very motivated adviser, or I would never get a single thing done for this project. I'm having a hard time self-motivating myself to get anything done with it. I had a great time doing all of the exploratory analysis! But now that it's getting down to the nitty gritty? Yikes. Let's be honest. Who actually enjoys reading journal articles? And what about writing them? Not me. I guess it's an acquired taste. Kind of like drinking beer. At first it's gross and you want to spit it out. But as you drink more and more and taste different kinds you start to like it. Or so I hear. I've never actually tried that one. It just smells gross. Why would I want to ingest it? Just like journal papers. They just look gross and tiring. Why would I want to waste my time reading it (just so I can walk away feeling like I've been hit by a train)? There's still a few fun things to do with my research. But writing it all up into a big paper just seems so daunting. Also, this month is crunch time. My adviser is giving a presentation on my project and wants to have a paper submitted, or close to submission, before he goes to present on it. That way, people won't steal our ideas and beat us to the punch line. The stuff we're doing is pretty amazing. But sometimes I just feel like I'm in over my head with it. *Sigh* So much for October.

And that's just the classes I'm taking. Then there's the easy part of school: teaching. I teach two help labs for two classes. They are both very easy to teach and talk about since they are statistics classes, and I have been doing this stuff for 5 years. HOWEVER, along with teaching comes grading. And that can take forever. With two quizzes a week and a homework every other week for one class, and a homework every two or three weeks in the other class, I end up with a lot of grading to do. And not only do I have to do it, but it's boring. I used to help my friend, Laura, with grading her 5th graders homework. That was fun because they say funny things. But grading stat homework (as much as I love statistics) is not fun.
Then there's the other job. You would think that working one or two nights a week wouldn't be so bad, right? Well, that's wrong. It's so hard to be working at Domino's, driving around thinking "I could be doing my homework or research or grading right now" and then not be able to do any of it. Even when it's a slow night, I have to just stand inside and do nothing. HOW COMPLETELY UNPRODUCTIVE IS THAT?!! *Sigh* So much for date nights.

Despite how this post sounds, I am actually doing well. I was sick for a couple of weeks (which only stressed me out more) but I'm over that now. I don't cook. The house doesn't get cleaned very often. Sleep is often neglected. But we are alive and getting through school. And ONE DAY, we will have degrees to prove it. Which will lead to careers that we like, instead of delivering pizza.

Until next time, my friends.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Weird, Wild Stuff

I was going to the bathroom and I undid my pants and started to pull them down when something caught my eye.. It was a praying mantis.. On my zipper.. Totally freaked me out! How I wish I had a picture of my face at that moment.. Because seriously, how weird is it to find a praying mantis hanging out by your zipper on your jeans.. How did it get there? I have no idea. How long was it there? I have no idea. Why did it feel the need to travel on my pants? Maybe it was part of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for Praying Mantis's. Who knows? Just to clarify, I didn't kill the thing. After I (very quietly) freaked out (because I didn't think it was appropriate to shout in the bathroom) and brushed it onto the floor using my cell phone (which is smaller than my hand and was actually quite difficult to use but I was being a scaredy-pants and didn't want to touch the bug.. plus, I was sick, and disoriented by the near disaster), I used the toilet then washed my hands and used the drying towels to pick up the bug (insect?) and gently put it out the window. Tragedy averted.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Beautiful

I'm wanting to sell my car for $2000. Any takers?






1997 Chevy Cavalier. 151,000 miles. Manual. New clutch system. In town 25 mpg, Freeway 30 mpg or more.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dear Nathan

This post is for you, since you are the only one who cared enough to leave me a little luck comment. Thank you.

The first 3 days of school were great. I taught my first class yesterday and it went better than I could have hoped. The "kids" in my class are awesome; they all seem to want to learn and understand statistics. I was really fearing having someone in my class who was going to be a jerk and disrupt the whole class all the time. Lucky me! I didn't get one of those (as far as I know).

Also, I have recently been informed that I will get to teach another recitation section for a different class. The math department is creating it because I would like to teach it and they think it will be beneficial to the students in that class. The way awesome thing about this new class is that it's a recitation for a 5000 level statistics class. It's pretty cool when I'm teaching students who are just about on my level.

Anyway, I have class in a couple minutes, so I've got to get outta here. Thanks again, Nathan.

-Jess

P.S. We really miss having you guys around to play games with us all the time. It's just not the same without you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A New Semester

Monday fast approaches.
Class at 9:30. Title of the class? Mathematical Statistics I - STAT 6710. Sound overwhelming? It is.
Tuesday comes next.
Class at 9:00. Title of the class? Biostatistical Information - STAT 5810. Also another overwhelming class.
Then there's Wednesday.
My first day of teaching a recitation section. Wish me luck.
Thursday and Friday will be nothing completely new.

I'm looking forward to the schedule I will have every day. I even created my Google Calendar so that I can schedule appointments and whatever else. Ha. "Schedule appointments." I make myself sound so important. The recitation that I'm teaching is like a lab for a statistics class. It's going to be a lot like teaching Gospel Doctrine. I have a basic teaching guideline, and I use it to get my class involved in learning the material. It should be fun... As long as the people in my class are friendly and talkative.

I'll let you know how it goes.

My Take on College

Bleh.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Forboding

The daytime sky like the night.
The sun red as blood moving in the sky.
The wind blows past me, thrashing, pushing me toward darkness.
I close my eyes and wish the grave feelings gone.
A moment of happiness.
Then black.
I search.
I scramble.
I grope for something familiar.
Blind and desperate I find nothing.
Then, a light.
Dim, and unmoving.
Peace swarms my soul,
And I surrender to the night.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Grocery Shopping

I am not a fan.

I would rather send someone else to do it for me, as long as they know to buy good quality at a good price. Today I was going through the mail looking at the ads for Smith's, Albertson's, and Maceys. They all seemed to have some good deals, so I split up my grocery list.

First, there's Albertson's. They advertised 20 yogurts for $10. The picture was of Yoplait yogurt (which I love). When I got there, it was store brand. Not cool. Thanks for getting my hopes up, then smashing them to smithereens! Thanks a lot, Albertson's.

Next up, Smith's. I went there for some advertised produce and some other things. The peaches I picked up had a sign above them saying they were the ones advertised for cheap. HOWEVER, Smith's doesn't believe in paying people to be cashiers. Instead, they make their customers use the self checkout. How the heck are we supposed to make sure we have the right price when we have no stinkin' privileges?! Thanks, Smith's, for supplying ONE GUY to service ALL FOUR self-checkout stands! That's TWO people helping ALL of the customers who are checking out. Nice.

Finally, there's ♥ Maceys ♥. I walk in. Plenty of employees walking around helping people and smiling. The produce was cheaper than at Smith's, but their ad didn't say so. Multiple checkout stands open, PLUS self checkout. So what if the milk is 15 cents more? I should've gone with my age old strategy of just shopping at one place, instead of trying to get the best deals everywhere.

Lesson learned.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sweet Family Campout

A day and a half after we got home from Portland (see below for details on that trip) we left for Zion National Park for the annual Sweet Family Reunion. Again, we had a great time. The Sweets are so fun to be around! Most of what we did consisted of hiking, eating, and visiting. Since Mark is from St. George, he knew of a hike that is really cool that isn't well known. We attempted that one on Thursday with a large group of hikers. However, we turned in to the parking lot just before the one we wanted and ended up doing a much harder, less pleasant hike... with a bunch of young children who kept falling into cacti. At the bottom of the hike we came to a small river where we played in the water and caught frogs. It ended up being a good experience and the kids got to build some character.
Friday Mark, Tyson (my cousin) and I went back to do the real thing. We got some pretty awesome pictures there, and had a good time.











Portland Vacation 2009

Our trip to Portland was SO FUN! We had a blast. The drive should have seemed quite long but time passed quickly both on the way there and on the way back, probably because I took naps while Mark drove. When I wasn't napping, I was reading aloud a book called The Elfstones of Shannara. It's a pretty good book. I would suggest it to anyone who likes things like The Lord of the Rings.

On this trip we
  • did a lot of hikes
  • played a lot of games
  • watched a couple of movies
  • ate a lot of good food
  • went to the Portland zoo
  • played at OMSI
  • hiked to some waterfalls
  • visited the aquarium at Newport
  • saw the Oregon coast
  • visited with Mark's brother and family
  • went to the rose gardens
  • went hiking
  • visited old friends in La Grande

Portland Zoo





Newport Coast and Aquarium














OMSI









Multnomah Falls




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