Thursday, December 09, 2010

Christmas Concert Tonight!!

The full Cache Symphony Orchestra will be playing a Christmas concert on Thursday, December 9 in the Logan Tabernacle at 7:00 p.m.  The concert is free.  Christmas favorites such as Mannheim Steamroller’s “Silent Night”, Leroy Anderson’s “Christmas Festival” and a holiday sing-a-long will  be featured.  Local favorite vocalist Randy Smith will sing, accompanied by the orchestra in an arrangement by Jay Richards.  Please join us!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Great News!

I passed my defense! Now I've got a billion corrections to make on my thesis report, but at least I know I'm bona fide.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Defense *clap* *clap*

I thought the title would be fun because the word "defense" reminds me of going to a basketball game or whatever. But, that's not what I mean this time.

I defend my thesis today!! Assuming that I pass, I will be practically done with school after today. WEIRD! It starts at 3, at which point I will give a presentation for about 20 minutes. Then people (mostly my committee) will ask questions. And then? Then my advisor and committee decide if I am a master of statistics.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cache Symphony Orchestra Concert

            The members of the Cache Symphony Orchestra would like to invite you to our Fall Concert that will be held Sunday, November 14th at 7:30 pm in the Kent Concert Hall on the Utah State University campus.  There is no charge to attend. 
            Please notice that we have changed our name.  The orchestra has grown significantly in the last few years, and the old name, Cache Chamber Orchestra, no longer seemed to fit.  The group now consists of over 60 string players, and when wind players are added for the winter and spring concerts, our numbers grow to 85 or more.  We are now known as the Cache Symphony Orchestra.
            Dr. Robert Frost will direct the strings of the orchestra in pieces by Rutter, C.P.E. Bach, Corelli and Handel.  Featured will be an arrangement of the Shostakovich string quartet number 8.  This moving piece depicts the composer’s feelings about the horrors of war and will include a slide presentation.
            Plan also to attend our holiday concert on Thursday, December 9th at the Logan Tabernacle.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I learned something during church yesterday. In fact, I learned it as I opened my mouth to give a comment in Sunday School. We were talking about how the Lord helps us through our trials. During the past several weeks, I have made comments (mostly in Relief Society) about how my big trial currently is writing my thesis. I am not a writer - that is why I am doing statistics. But, I still have to write up all of my research in order to graduate. As I was relating this to the class, I realized how the Lord had helped me through this trial in the past week.

Last week I decided to start reading my scriptures. I have not been faithful in reading in quite some time (sorry, I'm not perfect), and it's often hard for me to read without getting distracted and wanting to do something else. On Monday, I picked up my scriptures and opened them to where I believe I had last had my personal study. It was in Mosiah. I started over at the beginning of Mosiah (because who wants to read 1st Nephi a million times?) and read for a half hour. I did that again on Tuesday, and Wednesday, and made it clear through Friday! And do you know what? I noticed a huge difference in writing my thesis. These two things seem totally unrelated to me, yet I know that it's because I'm making a bigger effort to keep the Lord's commandments that I have been blessed with a greater ability to write.

I missed my Saturday study (oops) but got back on track yesterday. I read this morning. Today I wrote another (somewhat short) chapter to send to my adviser for a little revision. And I am excited to read tomorrow, because I am falling in love with the story of the Book of Mormon. The sons of Mosiah are about to go preach to the Lamanites, and Alma the younger was just put in place as chief priest. I read through their conversion story, and it only makes me want to continue converting myself and becoming a better daughter of God.

There you have it. Keep the commandments of God and He will help you in any trial.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

For the Sake of Jake

This is my cousin, Jake. I got an email from his mom (my aunt) with some information about Jake and a program in place to help him.

Jake Holladay is a 19 year old twin who has been diagnosed with stage 3 Rhabdomyosarcoma, a very rare form of cancer.  He is currently on round eleven of chemotherapy and just finished his radiation treatments.  Despite his daily struggles, Jake is a normal teenage kid.  He likes playing computer games, paintball, swimming and golfing.  He loves hanging out with his four brothers, 4-wheeling, camping and ruining his mom’s laundry baskets while making home videos.  He hopes to someday become a computer programmer.

His family is handling the situation with a positive attitude.
His mom says,  “Many people have asked us why we can keep such a positive attitude about having to deal with cancer.  The facts are: there is cancer in Jake's body and we have to deal with it.  We aren't being punished for something, we don't have a lack of faith, and we are not bad people.  It's not fun, it's not easy- it is what it is.  If we get mad, sad, or angry, will that make the cancer go away?  No.  If we chose to have a positive outlook, to have hope, will that change the outcome?  No, but the journey will be much more peaceful.  It's much easier to see God's tender mercies when you’re not mad at Him.
As a mom, I want the best for my boys.  For me it's a no brainer:  I want the Being that knows how it’s all going to turn out to be in charge. He gave us friends, family and neighbors to help us bear our burdens.  He blessed us with awesome doctors and nurses who spent time learning about this cancer so that when we brought Jake to them, they would know how to treat it.  He put angels in our life to take care of our needs."

His parents have insurance, but with hospital stays every 3 weeks, weekly clinic visits, and daily radiation, their savings have been rapidly depleted.  No donation is too small; even $10 helps in a big way.  Are you one of Jake’s angels?  Reach out for the sake of Jake! 
To make a donation through paypal send it to or click the link below. 

Please, if you have a few moments, please help. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Top 10

Top 10 Reasons to be a Statistician

10. Deviation is considered normal
9. You feel complete and sufficient
8. You always wanted to learn the entire Greek alphabet anyway
7. You can legally comment on someone's posterior distribution
6. You may not be normal but you are transformable
5. You never have to say you are certain
4. You are honestly significantly different
3. You never have to be right - only close
2. Estimating parameters is easier than dealing with real life
1. Statisticians are normal, everyone else is skewed

Monday, August 16, 2010

JSM Final Update

Well, in my last post I said I would let you know how JSM is going. And then I didn't write again. I have been home from JSM (Joint Statistical Meetings) for about a week and a half, and I figure I should keep my promise.

The hostel I stayed in was quite nice. They fed us breakfast every morning (and it was pretty good too) and the rooms and "washrooms" (as they say in Canadia) were clean and orderly. It was located in a convenient part of town, near quite a few restaurants and sources of entertainment. Of course, by the time I was through with my meetings every day I just wanted to eat dinner and go to sleep. So that's what I did. The food was pretty good, not much different than what you would find in the U.S. except that the fish there was much better than in Utah.

The scenery was beautiful. And being the me that I am, I didn't take a camera. Thankfully, my good friend, James, had brought his camera and kindly took a few pictures of me. The first two were on Sunday, and it was chilly. The last picture was on my last day, the day I presented my poster.

Ephraim and me. I didn't get a picture with James (oops).

Me and the cruise ship that would've been fun to go on.
Lookin' good, no?

My poster session went well. I got a lot of questions that I was able to answer, and a few that inspired ideas for the rest of my research.

Overall, the conference was a success. I had a great time and learned quite a lot. (Also, I met Lance Waller from Emory University. He's the 3rd author on my published paper.) Definitely successful.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

JSM update

I am currently sitting in my room at the hostel. The smells of dinner on Granville street waft up and into my window. I'm hungry. This morning I went to a very spiritual sacrament meeting in an LDS ward not far away. I wish I could explain how nice it was to hear such powerful testimonies of Jesus Christ. It was wonderful.
I'm getting better at typing on the iPod but I'm glad it corrects my mistakes most of the time. JSM has been mostly interesting so far and I have gotten a few ideas to add to my research. Hopefully it stays as interesting in the next few days. I present my poster on Wednesday morning, so wish me luck with that.
I am out of time for now. It's time for dinner (finally). Hopefully I will have more to share later. For now, peace out.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I feel...

I feel so blessed at this time in my life. (That sounds like a good opening to talk about a tragic event. However, there is none to talk about at this time.)

I feel blessed to have a wonderful husband who came home and deep cleaned our house while I was teaching my night class last night.

I feel blessed to have an intelligent (and slave-driving) adviser who has published a paper on my research and encourages me to publish one of my own.

I feel blessed to have good students who work hard and also laugh at my lame jokes during class.

I feel blessed to have supportive and good-humored friends to help me through the every-day trials of life.

I feel blessed to have a supportive family who make sure that I am always taken care of.

I feel blessed to have the opportunity to travel to a statistics conference and talk with other people about my research.

I feel blessed to have such caring secretaries in the math department who answer every question and help fill my every need.

I feel blessed.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I finally have all of my tickets and reservations for my trip to Canada. My poster that I will present is ready to be printed. Now I just have to wait.. and pack. But I do have a question about the packing.

Have any of you stayed in a hostel? I'll be staying in a hostel in Canada. I know they provide lockers which you can padlock (so I'll take a padlock), but I'm not sure if they require you to bring anything like sheets or pillows or whatever. Does anyone know?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hair Triumph

I'm not usually so good with hair and fashion, but look at what I did today! I'm pretty proud of myself.

Friday, July 09, 2010

LAZY is the name of the game

Or busy. Either way, it's been a while since I've posted.

Teaching takes up most of my time this summer. My students turn in 8 assignments per week, plus we spend 7 hours in class. When I'm not teaching, I am being a wife or a student. Like I may or may not have mentioned before, I am presenting a poster at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Canada at the end of this month. Today was dedicated to creating my poster. I'm not done. But I will be.

For the 4th of July, Mark and I went camping up Logan canyon. He and our friend found the most perfect spot to camp: plenty of shade, grassy (no dust), and secluded. It was perfect. We spent 4 days relaxing in hammocks, reading books, and eating camp food. We didn't have any fireworks, nor did we go see any this year. But what are fireworks to rocks and mountains?

Despite my last post, my birthday was pretty good. We spent the next day at Lagoon with friends, which was SO fun! I am such a roller coaster lover. I wish we could go more often.

I'm out of time, but I'll promise to post a couple of pictures of camping (and maybe - eventually - i just might actually put a picture on my blog). Have a good weekend!

Friday, June 18, 2010

I Wonder Why...

I wonder why when I hear or read something mean about myself, it echoes in my mind. Yet, when I get a compliment I immediately brush it off as though I don't deserve it.

Today I read through the course evaluations from the three classes I taught last semester (done by the students). Many of them had good things to say like, "Without this class I would have failed" and "She is an excellent teacher and really knows her stuff". And that's typically how I feel about myself as a stats teacher as well. But then there were those few disgruntled students who hated coming to class and didn't like me much who said things like "SHE IS THE WORST TEACHER EVER" and "SHE HAS NO IDEA WHAT SHE'S TALKING ABOUT AND SEEMS COMPLETELY UNPREPARED". Obviously, there is no real need to take these things personally. But then I question myself and think "Are they right? Am I just a fake teacher who is only half-trying and just hoping for a paycheck?"

And again I ask myself why I can't just let the bad things go and dwell on the nice things that people say?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


This summer has been a good one so far. Frankie was the first big event of the summer, and it kind of put a bit of a damper on things. I had plans to paint the whole house before the summer semester started and all sorts of other fun plans. I did get one room painted, but haven't done any painting since.

My summer semester started on Monday. This means that the college algebra night class I have been dreading looking forward to teaching has started. My students seem like good-hearted people who want to learn, so I anticipate having a good 14 days with them. Yes, I said 14 days. We have a regular semester worth of class (about 48 days) packed into two short weeks. I feel bad for the students, but it is their choice (and I'm getting paid more than a regular semester so I certainly don't mind). Along with the college algebra class, I am hosting a recitation/help session for a stats class. I started that one today. It's voluntary for the students, but I had a good turnout. I think that one will go well also.

In other news, we had Mark's family reunion this past weekend. It was a blast! Imagine a weekend filled with Lagoon, hiking, eating, and playing games. Who could wish for more? We also had family pictures done. It's great having photographers in the family. When I get some pictures of Mark and me I'll put them up here.

Finally, it's my birthday on Friday and I'm planning to use the tickets from last weekend's Lagoon trip to bounce back with some friends. Hooray! I'm also looking forward to spending time with my parents for Father's Day this weekend.

That's all for now! Pictures to come later.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Frankie's Newest Look

He's looking good! I got the stitches out today. That's the first picture. The second picture is how we're dressing him these days.

And to think it's only been 11 days...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


It takes forever.

But I'm pretty sure I'll be satisfied with the finished product once we get the room put back together. The painting is done as of today (but only in the one room we've painted so far). We'll wait a few days, then put everything back in the room instead of the hallway.

As for Frankie? He's doing alright. Still causing a constant pain, spiced up with a few jabs of intense pain that can't really be stopped. I'm not sure what brings those on, but I sure don't appreciate them. I'm getting used to typing with only 9 fingers. It's weird and a little hard. I hope I don't get too used to it.

One last thing - the last few days I watched the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice and LOVED it!! (That would be a great birthday present for me in June. Hint hint, Mom.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Frankie's New Look

Frankie and I went to the doctor this morning to have a checkup. The doctor cleaned up some of the dried blood from when Frankie was created (aka when I got stitches) and redressed the wound. Now Frankie gets his dressing changed twice a day, morning and night. We'll return to the doctor on Friday to be checked again. Frankie still insists on hurting me, but that's what men do, right? (Is it weird that I consider my finger to be a man?) Anyway, I wouldn't mind having company, so if you don't have much going on, let me know.

Until next time.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Gym is a Dangerous Place

Yesterday I was at the gym working out. I had been using a 75 pound dumbell for squats. I had a couple of sets of arm weights left to do, but was done with squats so I attempted to put the 75 pounder back on the rack. I hoisted it up and dropped it into place. It bounced, caught my finger underneath, and slammed back down onto the rack. I grabbed my hurt finger with the other hand, thinking that it really hurt, but I could finish my workout in a few minutes when it stopped throbbing. I opened my hand to take a look at my finger and was a little frightened to see a hand full of blood. I looked around me for help, and saw a man who looked like he worked for the university and asked him for help. He later recalled that I walked up to him looking at him funny. I felt like I had been yelling for help, but I guess not. Anyway, to make a long story short, I got some help and Mark (who was at the gym at the same time but working out with a friend) drove me to the student center to get me fixed up. Frankie (short for Frankenstein) is the result.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I am addicted. If I had the energy (and money) to go everyday, I totally would.

Reasons why I love zumba:
  1. It's an excuse to hang out with awesome girls.
  2. Booty shakin'.
  3. One hour of intense exercise.
  4. One hour of blasting super fun music.
  5. It ends at 9:30 pm, so I'm totally ready for bed when it's over.
  6. Tanktops and booty shakin'.
  7. Latin dancing.
  8. Did I mention booty shakin'?
Time for bed :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Good Day

Today was a great day. Mark and I helped clean the church this morning, which is always a good way to bond with other members of our ward. Afterward, I worked out, ate lunch, and almost took a nap but was interrupted by a phone call from the Sunday School president. (Funny insert: he didn't know I had been officially released from my Sunday school calling, and that was why he was calling - to see if I had been released.) He also needed my manual to give to the new guy. During the conversation he asked me who is supposed to teach tomorrow. Me. In other words, the new guy. But the new guy didn't know it (and they couldn't get ahold of him), so I offered to teach. I like teaching. Quite a lot. But not quite as much as directing the choir, which is my current calling. Anyway, I had already given my manual to the Bishop so I needed one from one of the other teachers. (Thank you, Gentri!) I went to pick it up from Gentri and we decided that we should make freezer jam together.

For those of you who don't know me well, I should tell you that I am not much of a homemaker, except I do dishes when they are there. So, making jam was a big step for me. It was SUPER EASY! And it tastes SOOO good!!! If only I weren't on a low carb diet. I would have eaten so much bread and rolls today just so I could eat the jam.Yum.

That's basically all I've done today. But I learned something new, with a new friend, and it feels good.

Happy Sunday tomorrow. It's gonna be a good one. I can tell.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Finals Week

I was having this internal debate about whether to end my break now or in a few days. On the one hand, classes are out for the semester which means school is over. On the other hand, it's finals week which means school is not over. After spending a little time catching up on blogs, I decided it was time to catch up on my own. I have a presentation and a paper due in an hour, and a test tomorrow morning. Today's schooling doesn't worry me too much, but tomorrow's test I am a little stressed about. But I actually studied for it this time... And studying for a master's level math class isn't easy because all you can really do is read through theorems and work old homework problems. Not fun. But I did it, so I'm hoping that helps me on tomorrow. Also, your prayers in my behalf would be appreciated.

This semester was as busy as I had thought it might be. I spent a lot of time grading a lot of quizzes and tests for my classes. Mark spent a lot (and I mean A LOT) of time working on homework and trying to get enough hours in at work. Most nights he would come home around 10 pm. It sucked. But that small phase is over, and a new one is beginning.
Mark is graduating on Saturday with his bachelor's and master's degrees in computer engineering. I'm proud of him and his accomplishments. He is starting the MBA program here at USU this summer, and will be in school through next summer, so we're not done here yet. I'm thinking we should just become professional students and get a million degrees. We would be really smart.

Although the semester was busy and hard, we had some fun times. We were able to take time off for spring break and head out to Virginia to spend some time with Mark's dad. I had never been to Virginia before, so we spent a couple of days in Washington D.C. and a couple of days in Williamsburg/Jamestown areas. It was quite a fun trip, and we got to spend time with some old friends who have moved out of Logan. I may post pictures sometime of that trip, but we'll have to see about that.

I don't really remember much else that happened during this semester, except that it keeps snowing when I don't think it should. Like right now. It's May, for goodness sake. Snow should not be allowed in May. Or June. I really hope it doesn't snow in June. But apparently, the weather doesn't care about what month it is. Lame.

Final thought - I think I'm back for good now. Hooray.

Monday, February 08, 2010


I'm writing this post to let everyone know that I am officially taking a break from blogging - in all aspects. I have had far too hard a time focusing on my schoolwork and blogs are such a fun, easy way to procrastinate. In order to stop myself from overdoing the blog thing (mostly reading them) I have decided to stop for the semester. I will continue to be on facebook, and I always have my cell phone (and I love talking to people) so feel free to get in contact with me there. I anticipate that my life will slow down a bit after this semester, at which point I will probably come back. See ya on the flip side.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Time is creeping up on me today. I have an appointment with a surgeon at 3:30 to talk about how we're going to get rid of my pilonidal cyst. My guess: surgery. Ha. I'm funny. But I don't know much about different types of surgery and all that. So that's really what this appointment is all about.
I'm nervous right now. I have so many questions, and I haven't been writing them down so I don't know what they all are. I Google'd "pilonidal cyst" and read about it. There was a picture on the Wikipedia page. Don't look at that one. It's not pretty. Instead, I read on some health website all about it. If you're really interested, you can go read about it, but I wouldn't suggest eating your lunch at the same time.
Mark gave me a Priesthood blessing this morning, which gives me comfort. But I am still nervous. Wish me luck.

I'm back from the doctor. No surgery in the foreseeable future. I've just got to continue taking the antibiotics I've been taking and hope that it just goes away. If not, well, that's another story. My prayers are for the first case. Thanks for your prayers and support.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Few Randoms

Ok, so that last post was a little nerdy. But I've just got to tell ya that I improved on that little beauty. It now gives me a lot more information, and the code is in the form of a function instead of a script. That's not what I came here to talk about though...

Today marks the start of the 41st month of the courtship of Mark and me. Isn't that precious? We celebrated by continuing our monthly tradition of going to Panda Express. And it was gooood this time. Sometimes it's just ok (and even bad on occasion) but not today, pal! It was dee-licious! That's not really what I came here to talk about either...

Since I didn't do a real lovey-dovey post earlier this month (for our 3-yr anniversary) I want to write a few things now. Mark is...
1. Amazing
2. Intelligent
3. Funny
4. Sweet
5. Sexy
6. Fun
7. Practical
8. Tasteful
9. Romantic
10. Mine

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Success

I wrote a program to make pretty graphs, similar to this one.
My life rocks!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Back to Real Life

As you may have read in the past few posts, Mark and I had a very fun and eventful winter break. But now we're back to real life. Right this second, I am on a computer in a classroom where I teach two classes in a row. I teach another class after this one in a room across campus. I'm taking 3 hard classes along with the 3 I teach. It should be fun.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Do you believe in good luck and bad luck? I do. And when traveling, Mark and I have bad luck. For example:

We are currently in Georgia. We were looking forward to a break from cold, snowy Logan. However, I look out the window and what do I see? Snow is falling on the Georgia trees. Figures. The forecast is cold, rainy/snowy weather until we leave.
On our way here, we packed so that we wouldn't have to check any bags. As we were boarding our second flight yesterday, an airline worker said, "There's not enough room on the plane, I'm going to have to check this bag for you." There ended up being enough room. Also, that was broken by the people who forced us to check it. Thank you, American Airlines. Thanks for taking our stuff and breaking it.

And that is just the first part of this trip. Now, lets take a look at past vacations.

Portland, December 2008.
Snow. Lots of snow. In a city where it never snows. It melted not too long after we left. Everything we wanted to do was closed or unaccessible. Figures.

Argentina, March 2008
Our flight to Argentina was cancelled; we left a day later than we wanted. They had sent our luggage on before our flight was cancelled and it got lost. We didn't have our luggage with us for a day. Yellow fever broke out at one of the tourist attractions we wanted to go to. The coins required to ride the bus were worth less than the metal to make them, and thus were in small supply, making it hard to get around. On the way back to the U.S. we got to Texas and the weather went crazy. We had to stay in a hotel overnight because of flooding and tornado warnings. Figures.

England, June/July 2005
The day I flew into Enland, terrorists bombed busses in London. London locked down it's city. Nobody in, nobody out. We (the touring music group) had to skip the London part of the trip. Figures.

Lake Powell, August 2004
Big speeding ticket (my fault). Huge lake storm - both ski boats sunk and the houseboat we were on got washed up onto the shore. Rolled the car on the way home. Figures.

The list can go on. Can you say "bad luck"?

Monday, January 04, 2010