Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Merry (Twisted) Christmas 2005

Merry Christmas to you and yours! We wanted to update you on our activities over the year and tell you of our adventures. You may already know about how at McClelland St we were simultaneously frozen and kept awake until all hours by our neighbors. Well, we are happy to say that the gas leak in the furnace and the house fire solved both problems quite well (Hallie will miss Mitch, though). We then moved into a new house with Vola, a wonderful lady. Hallie’s brother came to live with us while laying low after running into that fire truck (driving and pesticides don’t mix). We especially loved having immediate family so close for the first time in four years. We had many laughs with him. A “Family Guy” fan, he set up a small idol to Peter Griffin in his new place.

Speaking of mind altering experiences, Hallie, now manager at Curves (local health club), is now fully into the Curves lifestyle. She rarely leaves the house anymore without wearing some bit of Curves advertising. Mike did an ethnographic paper on the culture of Curves. The ladies all love him (and he them).

In April we visited Montreal, Canada. Mike attended an education conference, & Hallie thought it would be fun to tag along. She was right. We stayed at a B&B and got to know Montreal quite well. Unfortunately, this will be our last visit to Canada for some time (if the customs authorities have their way). Once again, Mike went into one of his political tirades with a Mounty, only this time Sgt. Preston spoke back more eloquently with his baton. Montreal reminds Mike of Buenos Aires. He could live there (assuming we cross under cover of darkness).

On May 18, Hallie turned 30. What better way to celebrate your birthday then to take a trip to Disneyland? It was great fun especially to surprise all of Hallie’s family. What a great look Hallie’s mom had on her face when she walked in to say hi to her at work. Mike will never forget how she slammed through two lines of tardy students requesting readmit slips just to get to her daughter. Reminiscent of that Schwartzeneggar classic “Total Recall;” truly touching.
September was a busy month. A new semester brought new trials, & as the end approaches we wonder what were those trials all about? Mike suspects it had something to do with his recurring dreams about a red faced man with horns, the promise of finishing his PhD, and a blood pact, but Hallie scoffs. After all, dreams are rarely based on reality. Hallie interned at Anton Boxrud B&B downtown. She has really enjoyed it and has made good friends with the owner. Now she needs to make nice with the local chamber of commerce & Vola so we can start our own at home.

November brought a first for us. M&H celebrate seven years of marriage in January, & not once had we spent a night apart. Yet on November 10, we both had to go separate ways. Mike went to Nashville for another education conference, stayed at the Opryland Hotel, & really enjoyed it. Hallie went to the Curves Convention in Las Vegas. Both have remained closed-lipped about our trips. After all, you know what they say: “What happens in Nashville. . . .”

On December 11th, we took a business trip to Waco, Texas where Hallie will learn more about what Curves expects of her. Mike will visit the freezing war protesters at Pres. Bush’s Crawford ranch. Nothing warms the blood like a good debate! At the end of December Hallie will graduate with honors from LDSBC. She is excited and has enjoyed her time at school. She made many friends and learned a lot about how to bend the honor code without breaking it. Mike is done with course work and will start writing his dissertation soon. We are excited for this transition in his program.

And our big news of the season: we have decided to start the adoption process, so hopefully by this time next year there will be another little Owens with news of his or her own to share! We hope that as we reflect on the birth of our Savior during this Christmas season, that you will feel His love in your lives. We hope for you and yours all the happiness you can reasonably bear, and you are in our thoughts and prayers!
Love, Us

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Still Attemptin

Well I did not post last week. Mostly because I gained back all the weight that I lost. This week unfortunately does not look a whole lot better. It is 10:42 pm and way past my bed time. I could not sleep I am all worked up. I saw Cory ( the therapist) today. She was quite encouraging and it was a good hour. I also Patty (the medication lady) and we are going to try some new meds. The question is when will I have time to even fill my prescription. For the last several days I have been working on some homework for a school class. All of the work has to do with Excel right now and regarding most of it I have no idea what it is about. I think the reason I am having a hard time falling asleep is because I will be tested on it tomorrow and I don't look forward to it at all. I was laying in bed crying. Why? Probably because by the end of the day or week I feel everything catching up with me. School, work, internship, life, love, and therapy. I pray that when December 9, rolls around I will have less anxiety. I know it won't all go away, but I hope some does because I don't know if I can handle this anymore. One stress is gone a bit. At work they hired a new girl for the mornings. She will more than likely start full time next week. I am excited. One monkey off of my back for 5 minutes. If I can ever get to bed I asked Mike if we can wake up and do Walk Away The Pounds in the morning. I need to do at least 30 minutes 2 times a day with the amount of food I eat. He did say yes, but he mentioned that when we were successful 4 years ago we did it every day and some how found time when he had to commute to work. I guess just like reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and other things we do every day we need to make exercise a priority. I wish I did not feel so down and discouraged and most of all tired. I wish that when I woke up I was rested and after I exercise I feel invigorated. No such luck, but that has never been the case. Well time to weigh in is just about 48 hours away. I am glad I go with someone because I don't know if I can handle the let down. All the people I go with or who I know are going are quite successful. I really need to use them as a motivator. I stepped on the scale right before bed and it did not tell me happy news. All I can say is tomorrow is a new day and all I need to do is keep trying. It won't get better unless I make an attempt to change. Lets cross our fingers.
Good Night Everyone!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

My First Accountability

Well I went to Weight Watchers on Thursday night. I actually lost a little bit. I know I should take more credit then I want to give myself. I had been quite sick before weighing in. Throwing up several times during the week so I try to brush off the weight loss. So here it goes. On September 29 I weighed 205.6. Since starting Weight Watchers over four years ago this is just about the most I have weighed. Gaining back just a bit more than half of my weight back. On October 6 I weighed in at 202.4 with a total loss of -3.2 from last week. When I started this round of Weight Watchers back in July of this year I weighed 204.6. So from then to now I have lost -2.2 pounds. They talked about Storyboarding with us this last week. Storyboarding is a Weight Watchers Tools for Living. Mike had the opportunity to come with me this last week and we both took a sheet and wrote a small goal we wanted. Then we wrote the steps we were going to do to get there. After filling it out we posted it on a door where we can see it all the time. I have completed my first step every day this week. I am very happy about this progress. I need to have faith and hope that I will be able to continue. Not counting today just about 4 more days till I weigh again. I will be able to succeed.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I Need A New Start

I am sitting here on the couch. It is cold outside today, and I feel miserable still. As of this date, I have been sick for nearly three weeks. I finally have one day where I can sit and relax for a couple of hours. I have the movie The Hours on, but honestly I am not really watching it. I am trying to get a small paper started for my Persuasive Selling class due Friday. I am also reading a website (dwlz.com). Dotti is a woman who has struggled with her weight loss, but with creating this website she has helped hundreds--maybe even thousands--of other women with their daily battle. My battle is still here and ever present as well. After losing 40 pounds, I have gained about half of it back. The weight gain is devastating to me. While looking at Dotti's site today, I saw that she is doing weekly check-ins. I think I am going to try that. I know it should be enough to be accountable to myself, but right now I guess it is not satisfactory. So I think from now on every Thursday or Friday after I go to Weight Watchers on Thursday nights, I am going to update here on the blog. I am going to put all of the nitty gritty details. Maybe I will find support from others and hopefully even from myself. I will use tomorrow evening as my starting off point. Mike has a goal to get us to lose 20 pounds by Christmas. I know that is a reasonable goal. In all honesty, I have not found the ultimate desire/focus that I need or that I had 4 years ago. It doesn't help that being sick doesn't motivate me to do a dang thing. Sometimes it is hard to even be at Curves and teach women how to workout when I can't do it myself on a daily basis. Granted, I did move around a lot more than I have been, but I did puke at work last night. So maybe it was not a good idea. We will see. I will try it again today. Look forward to the next three months. Send me emails with your support. Love, Hallie

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

It Has Already Begun!

School started for me at LDSBC on Monday. Where did all of my friends go? It seemed as if I had never been there before. I knew no one. I was happy though to see staff members that are kind, helpful, and loving. Today I saw a friend I met at school over a year ago. That was kind of good. I have been really tired the last two days, getting up early for school and then going straight to work. This may be more than I want to do right now. Be a manager, go to school full time, dealing with depression and anxiety. I sit here with heavy eyes. I just have to get through it and I will be done in 16 weeks.
Mike starts school on Wednesday. If he can make it through this semester as well he will be one step closer to finishing the Ph.D. I just hope he can continue on this course, just so he can feel this sense of accomplishment.

Friday, August 05, 2005

How I Spent My Summer

Ah, Summer! Still some time left to play before getting back to school in earnest. Mike spent the last six weeks teaching high school students in the University of Utah's Upward Bound Summer Academic Enrichment Program. I taught English composition and supervised the magazine internship. Here you see the finished product of my students' labors. When I saw the pride my students had in their job well done, I felt rewarded for my efforts. Last night we had the closing banquet, and it was like a mini United Nations in the Union Ballroom. Hallie and I sat at a table with a family from Vietnam, at the table next to us sat an extended Polynesian family, at the table in front of us sat a Mexican family, and katty corner from us sat a family from Somalia. Here were all these families from all these backgrounds, all sharing the same ambition for their children: a chance to grab the dream of a college education. Hallie and I chatted with students and their families and enjoyed the different presentations. Whenever I write in this thing, I feel as though I should have something more profound or at least witty to say. "The romance of writing a blog," I suppose. Anyway, summer was spent teaching and otherwise trying to beat the heat. Hallie has been made manager at her Curves franchise, and now she has a new set of snazzy business cards. I have yet to figure out where I want to take my dissertation. Some (most?) people seem to go into their PhD programs knowing what it is they want to study. Alls I know is that I want to learn about how to make schools places where students learn something meaningful. That's what I liked about doing UB this summer. For the most part, my students learned a little bit more about how to write and think about writing. Hopefully they will take some of that awareness back to school in the fall (in two weeks! Yikes!). Teaching is a funny thing in that we all profoundly need people who help us learn skills and dispositions, and yet the act of helping someone acquire skills can seem so pedestrian. Teaching is anything but glamorous, rarely dangerous, and certainly not held in high esteem. You want danger, look at my friend Toby. The guy's training to fight in Iraq. Do I admire him? You bet. Would I trade him places? No chance. Does that make me a coward? Probably. Ramble ramble ramble

Friday, July 01, 2005

A Bit of Reflection/Canada Day

Today I went to my visiting teacher's sister's funeral. I went because my visiting teacher has also been a good friend. Her sister was young (only 26) and has been quite ill her whole entire life. It gives you a lot to think about after hearing what a great life this young girl led. Gives you reason to change. Today is also Canada Day. We ate perogies last night to commemorate. This morning as is our monthly tradition we at a Kinder Egg, and my toy was great! The Canadian Flag is hanging in the window as well. Speaking of Canada, there is a real estate company from Nova Scotia that sends me real estate listings every week. I really look forward to it. Yesterday in the email was sent the cutest little house in Annapolis Royal for $79,900. Man, if Mike had a good steady job I think I would have bought it without asking him. We would have used it mostly as a vacation home or a rental. For my birthday we went to Disneyland and this is a picture of my sister Carly and her husband Shad and me. We had a lot of fun and were sure tired afterward. Well, at work they want me to be manager. I said yes that I was interested, but things are going forward without the owners filling me in on much. I actually was going to tell them no yesterday, but they caught me to ask me to help train someone before I could back out. Dang it! I will survive. I always have.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Goin' back to Cali

To celebrate Hallie and her sister's birthdays, we headed down to California for about a week. During that time we went to Disneyland and California Adventure, and we visited with our folks and sisters.  Posted by Hello

Friday, May 06, 2005

Lego Town

The following photo comes from Mike's Lego town. He's had boxes full of Lego bricks and finally decided that he needed to do something with them. Space for the town was limited to a tabletop, so he went with building facades along the back and side. There are a few surprises if you look closely. A couple of the buildings have have been changed since these pics were taken. The red and blue clock tower has been replaced with a building that holds a battery pack for lights for the church, so the church can light up at night and show off its stained glass.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Montreal trip

Here we are in front of Montreal's Notre Dame Basilica. Mike presented a paper at the American Educational Research Association's annual meeting, and Hallie came to cheer him on. We stayed at a B&B close to the Latin Quarter and took in all the fun sights and sounds of the city. Mike really enjoyed the feel of Montreal. It reminded him of Buenos Aires. We stayed for a week and toured around Old Montreal, took a bus tour, visited the botanical garden and Olympic Park, and ate way too much good food (poutin, smoked meat sandwiches, shwarama, fine fare, working folks' fare, etc.). We also did a lot of (Hallie thinks too much) walking to work it all off. Alas, or trip ended too quickly, and it was back to the old grind with renewed energy. Mike benefitted from listening to so many researchers that jazzed up his interest in the work of educational leadership, and for that we are grateful. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Butterflies go free

This is a picture from the Montreal Botanical Garden. They are running an event called "Butterflies Go Free" where one of the greenhouses is dedicated to emrging butterflies from all over the world. You walk in and you see Owl, Monarch, and several other types float through the air, eat using their long straw mouths, rest, and otherwise just be. Pretty fascinating. Posted by Hello

Montreal Olympic Park

another experiment Posted by Hello

We trekked up to the Olympic Park and took in the sights and the Botanical Garden.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

A Bit of New News

As of March 1, we will be living in some new digs. It is only about 1/2 block South of where we are now, but it will be a lot warmer for us. Our landlord is in our ward and we are quite excited about the prospects. She has a huge garden in the back and seems very excited to have us. Her name is Vola and she has a dog and a cat that seem friendly enough for Hallie to play with. Vola told us that we are awesome today. That makes ya feel good.
Today was busy as most Saturdays are. We left for Weight Watchers at about 7:30 am, then went grocery shopping at SuperTarget in Centerville, drive to Village Inn in Sandy for breakfast, went to Maxine's to do her monthly shopping, and finally got home about 3:30 or so. We turned around and did two loads to the new apartment stopped by B&D burgers for dinner and arrived home close to 6:00. Hallie read a bit in her textbook and then we have spent lots of time looking at maps that came in the mail of Montreal. Yes, for those of you that don't know we are going to Montreal in April for 8 days. Mike is attending a confrence with the University of Utah and they are paying for him to go. Hallie is tagging along as that is what she does best. Mike already wants to learn French. We are both very excited really to go. If you know us well enough you know that we will be of course staying in a bed and breakfast. Hallie spent about 5 hours last Saturday checking out all of the b & b's in Montreal. We finally found the one we think we will like and is a good price. A friend from the U will be staying there with us.
Hallie's brother Riley will be moving in with us on February 18th and we are looking forward to it. The two of us are happy to have an immediate member of the family so close to us. Hmmmm, maybe Hallie will have to have Sunday dinner ready for the three of us. Could turn into be a great tradition. If you call eating on the couch Sunday dinner, then there we go. Well that is really all the excitement from the twins here in Salt Lake City. Bye for now.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Just Plain Ill

I am sitting here watching the Bush Parade and I am coughing my head off. I have been sick since last Friday. The doctor on Tuesday said I have an ear infection and an upper respitory infection. The medicines that the dr. gave me definitely helped me sleep through the night. I went back to school today after missing two days and it was a lot of work. I will be home for a few days until I have to go to work. I am not looking forward to it in the slightest oh well. Last week at Weight Watchers I lost enough weight to put me back where I was this past June. Cross your fingers everyone that it keeps going down. Especially since the goal is Hawaii in October.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

It Is A New Year

Well we stayed up and watched a bit of Rockin Eve with Regis. It was O.K. Then hit the hay till it was time for the Rose Parade to start at 9am. Pretty good parade this year. Sat around most of the day, and tried to start a puzzle. Mike did most of it. Yesterday I actually helped with a funeral in our ward. On Tuesday I help with our Primary Pianist funeral. So we will be busy once the week starts again. We are counting the minutes away until the Fiesta Bowl starts and we can cheer the Utes to victory. Everyone here is so excited about them getting to a bowl game. It is time for the decorations to come down soon. Not excited to realize school starts on the 10th. Oh well hopefully I can make it on the Deans List next semester also. Hope you have fun reading our blogs.