Wednesday, March 27, 2013

In honor of my favorite Canadian's birthday...

42 Things That I Love About Nathan

The hair
He's age-appropriate
Have you seen the man smile?!
His mom's name is Cookie. (I heart cookies.)
His parents are English teachers.
He grammars.
He's a geek. ("Age of the geek, babay!")
6' 1 1/2"
He's funny. I mean, sure Castle and Mal are funny... but NATHAN is funny!
His tweets.
He can laugh at himself.
He co-founded a charity to help get books into the hands of needy children.
Malcolm Reynolds.
Malcolm Reynolds. (Not a typo. I love Mal enough to list him twice.)
He asks people to donate $$ to buy water for the underprivileged - as a birthday gift - to him.
The hair.
The smile.
The one-eyebrow up look.
His laugh.
His watch. (You think I'm kidding. I. Am. Not.)
He wanted to be a high school teacher.
Nathan Fillion is his REAL name!
Captain Hammer.
He ALSO blogs. (Or did, anyway. Back in the MySpace age.)
The hair.
Dude sings along with Jason Mraz.
He feeds into the love of the fans. I've seen the man autograph a pkg of Oreos, so he could give someone his signature. (Yeah. They were HIS Oreos. ... YouTube doesn't lie.)
He did singing telegrams when he was in college. (How cute is that?!)
He has a brother named Jeff. ... I've always wanted a brother-in-law named Jeff. (Coincidence? I think not.)
He's a lover of superheros and comics.
Rick Castle.
The hair.
He has a tattoo of an Egyptian glyph on his left hip. (Thank you, Mrs. Reynolds, for that episode.)
He, too, had a pet bird that he hated when he was a kid.
He mailed me a care package once.
He has nice penmanship. (I know, because he wrote "For Laurie" on said package. I swoon.)
He looks good in a white doctor coat. (Maybe not quite as good as Dr. H does. But still. ... Good.)
He was a karaoke DJ.
His middle name is Christopher. (Not sure why I enjoy that so much, but I do.)
He's a cat person. (Be still my beating heart!)
The man read the Harry Potter books. All seven of them. ... More than once.
He is siiiiiiingle! (My hope lives on. Always.)

Happy Birthday, Nathan! ... Even if you don't know I love you, the rest of the www does!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Lord is my Shepherd

Today was an excellent church day.

I mean, excellent.

The speakers in Sacrament Meeting gave well-written and applicable talks. Sunday School was full of comments/conversation and not one single one of them was out in left field. (As I am a non-sporty girl, I'm not sure I just used that metaphor correctly, but what I'm trying to say is... sometimes Sunday School can get a little crazy with the comments from the peanut gallery. Today was not one of those days. It was awesome.) We had treats in Relief Society - and then the YW pulled Cassidy and me into the kitchen after church and we got to have treats again.

Like I said, today was an excellent church day.

And one of my favorite parts of church today was that we sang hymn #108.

Man alive, I love to sing. (I am not always awesome at it, but I do loooooove to sing.) The soprano line in The Lord is my Shepherd is a little challenging, but that's part of why it's fun. I got through the first two verses, just fine, but then I choked when I got to the third.

Some days, the words in these old, familiar, hymns hit me so hard that I am left breathless.

"In the midst of affliction, my table is spread. With blessings unmeasured, my cup runneth o'er."

I can't even type those words without tearing up.

For me, in my life, those words are literal.

In the midst of affliction, my table was spread. The blessings in my life cannot be measured. My cup runneth so far over that I don't even have words.

I have more gratitude that I can articulate - to the Lord, to anyone, for the multitude of amazing people whose lives have intersected with mine. I have always been blessed with good friends. I have always been grateful for my association with incredible people, for the awesome friends and family who are part of my life - part of me.

But on days like today, when the words of a hymn hit home and remind me how incredibly blessed my life truly is, the swell of gratitude is almost too much to bear.

Thank you. To the Lord, to the original 13 (and the 4 more who've joined the readership ranks in the last several months), to my family, to my friends, to the universe... Thank you. For everything.

"Oh, what shall I ask of thy providence more?"


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My surrogate in-laws

I may or may not have mentioned that I am single...

Not for lack of trying.

I mean, I've been hounding my friend James to introduce me to his good buddy Nathan Fillion (who, I am sure, would fall head over heels for me on first meeting - based solely on my humor... oh, and if I wore the purple dress, it probably wouldn't hurt), for years now, but it hasn't happened. (Yet.) Not to mention the "I think you should give in and marry me" persistence with my dreamy doctor. Oh, and that time I literally chased a dude out of church and told him that if he asked me out, I wouldn't say no. (I am nothing if not  bold. ...  Listen, dude was 6'4" and had incredible grammar. I was smitten.)

 It's not like I haven't been looking (and/or throwing myself at people) for years... but I have been unable, as yet, to find a mate. Or even a date. (Just kidding. I have had a date. It's just been a while.)

What I'm getting at is... I have no husband. Which means, I have no in-laws.

Not legal, actual in-laws, that is.

But I do have some SWELL surrogate in-laws, thanks to my good friend Jo's excellent taste in people.

(Seriously. Her husband's family is AMAZING. His parents, his sisters. I love them all!)

Jo texted me the other day that the Easter package had come in the mail. (Carol, her mother-in-law, is AWESOME and sends packages for all occasions. The kids always get goodie bags and fun little holiday/seasonal things from her. It's super fun!) ... Well, it seems that there was a little something in the package for ME this year. (Which got comments from both Jo and Dean. "You got something, and we didn't. What's up with that?!")

Would you take a look at that? It's my own little Easter prize!

You can tell, because it has my name on it.

And it was taped shut, so no one knew what was in it, until I went over this afternoon to pick it up. Maggie was curious to see what her grandma had sent me, so she told me to open it right away. (This may have had something to do with her having already eaten her entire stash from Grandma.)

Would you look at that?

Carol knows me so well. She's the best surrogate mother-in-law, EVER!

Cadbury eggs are pretty fantastic when I buy them for my own self, but when someone else buys them for me? ... They increase in deliciousness.

I tell you what, my surrogate in-laws are so awesome, I don't know how I'll ever be able to trade them in for the real thing. (You know, unless my future MIL is the kind of woman who will continue to ply me with quality chocolate. Then I'm pretty sure I could find a way to cope.)

Thanks, Carol! You're my favorite! Just like these eggs are my favorite. (Only, I wouldn't eat you right up. So, maybe you're not my favorite "just like" these eggs are my favorite. But still, you're my favorite. Truly!)

Happy Easter, kids! ... I love my life!

Friday, March 15, 2013

In T minus 15 minutes...

Cousin Julie's plane lands.

That's right, my Cousin (with a capital C) is coming for the weekend.

As her husband would say, "Let the weirdness commence."

*How do you like that circa 1994 picture of the two of us sharing a "fancy" drink? We're adorable, right? It's genetic. We can't help it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

5,027 points to Cousin Rachel!

Guess whose blog has a comment function?

That's right... Mine.

All  the glory goes to Cousin Rachel, who gave me text instruction, and then... when I couldn't follow the text instruction, because I am exactly that lame.. picked up the phone when I called her at 9:00 PM and hand-held me through the process of enabling comments. (Those Gardner kids are so smart!)

Halle-freakin-lujah, you people have a voice again! Feel free to thank Rachel. You know... in the comments.

In lieu of a comment section.

Ya'll have been cracking me up with the emails, texts and fb posts since I posted a pic of  my beloved Dr. H. It's breaking my heart that you can't all see what the others are saying (I swear, I don't know what's wrong with my comments set up!), so I thought I'd do a special post and share some of these with the group.


"And that picture does not do him justice!" - Jo

"I just read your blog and saw your doc. Dreamy, indeed! I love that Jo invited him to Sunday dinner on your behalf. That's very 'Downton Abbey'! I feel a Mary/Matthew romance blossoming; although your doc looks a little more like the handsome, mysterious Pamuk who dazzled Mary in season one." - Kimmie

"He's very 'Demi, Demi don't leave me!'" - Katie

"I just read your blog and laughed my way through it. You. Are. Awesome. And I love you. And I would come to your wedding for sure." - Cousin Julie

"So is it a conflict of interest for him to date a patient? If not, what exactly is the hold up?" - My Lizzie

"OMG! I think a March wedding sounds wonderful! Just don't take next Monday. That's my anniversary, and I don't like people stealing my thunder. Even you!" - Laura

"Dr. H IS dreamy and I love, love love that he is going to be reading your blog and that you don't care! I love you!" - Cousin Becca

"I just looked up the photo of DreamDoc. HO.LEE. COW!" - Judy W.

"Cute doc!!! I'm crossing my fingers for you...selfishly, that would leave Nathan Fillion for me." - Les

"Wowzers, he IS good looking!!!" - Brea

"When you've got it, you've got it." - Mom (also, TMM)

There you have it, kids. Out of the mouths of ten or more witnesses; I have a hot doctor. I'm a lucky, lucky girl. You know... for a cancer patient. (Just cracked myself up. Eight months cancer-free and counting!)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The afterlife.

My TV came back to life!

Sort of.

I mean, I do have to turn it off and then back on three times to get the sound to work. And I did have to unplug the blu-ray at one point today and then plug it back in to jump start the dvd player.

(Guess who's watching Leverage season 2 while she suffers through a bizarro case of pinkeye? That's right. Me. Nothing soothes the troubled soul (and swollen, puffy, oozy right eye) like a solid group of con men does.)

But hey, it's working. ... Sort of.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Ding dong, my TV's dead!

Who is happy when their TV dies? ... This girl.

And now it occurs to me that maybe I should have picked those pillows off the floor and thrown them onto the chair - where throw pillows belong - or maybe put that book away, or... I don't know... put even one of those four pairs of shoes in my room before I snapped that pic. But no. I was too thrilled with the fact that I am sitting in a room with a defunct TV to even think of these details.

I've been waiting for this TV to die for years.

Seriously. I bought it for $200 in 1998. (That's right. $200. I think it might have been marked down just a little because it was the floor model at the Sears in Provo.) It was my first "big purchase" in my 20's. (I bought it the same year that I bought the green and maroon plaid loveseat, but I bought the TV first.)

I'm telling you... this TV has seen a lot of mileage. It's lived in two states, three cities and four homes with me.

This TV and I have been through a lot together. I mean, I used to watch The Pretender on this TV. And I just finished Downton Abbey season 3 on this TV. Talk about running the gamut.

This TV saw episodes of Frazier before they were were re-runs. Friends, before Rachel and Ross got together. The Profiler, when it was the scariest show on television.

Like I said, this TV is oooooold. And I've been waiting for it to die. Not so I can buy a new TV, though. Oh, no. I actually have another box TV in my bedroom that I need to switch out with this one. And then I'll start waiting for that one to die, so I can think about buying a TV with the ability to receive digital signal when my second giant, boxy, ridiculously heavy TV goes out.

Now, if I only had someone strong enough - and tech/colored-cord savvy - around here to do the literal heavy lifting and restructuring of my "entertainment system" (such as it is).

Hmmmmm... Maybe I'll call one of my multitude of brothers and barter muffins for physical labor. Wish me luck!


Here's fun fact about me: I loooooove numbers. As in, raw data.

I do. I love numbers.

It's totally nerdy, but I love to see percentages and stats. I like to know how things break down. (It's one of the things about me that makes me really good at my job: I can do interest accrual calculations all day long and never get bored - or frustrated - because I truly enjoy calculating a per diem, down to a fraction of a cent.)

What I'm saying is, no one loves a pie chart more than I do.

So, you know I'm going to be totally enamoured of the new stats tab that Blogger has tracking my online life.

Get this:

That's right. It's, like, 8:30 in the morning and I've had 32 page views. I'm not sure exactly who wakes up on a Saturday morning and decides they should go online and read about my new food rules. But thank you, whoever you are, for your time. (All 32 of you.) I appreciate your dedication to reading my weird posts more than I can say.

And speaking of how I don't know who's reading my blog first thing on a Saturday morning, please allow me to show you what countries people are reading my blog in:

How fun is that?!

I mean, I knew I had a US readership. (Most of my friends and family do live in the continental United States, so that totally tracks.) But that number is higher than I'd have thought it would be.

I know a couple in Russia (Tom Wing!) on a mission for my church, but I have no idea who the other 12 are. I have a cousin in England, so that's one of the UK kids, but I don't know who the rest of you are. I have a friend from home whose husband is stationed in Germany, but that's only one person. South Korea?! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! I didn't know that South Korea knew I existed! Mexico is my aunt and uncle (again, on a mission for our church). I didn't know that I had one single fan in the Ukraine. ... It turns out that I do.

I feel so glamorous, what with all of these people all over the world reading my blog. (Maybe it's to make fun of me and how I had to make a rule to eat fruit every day. I don't even care.) Over the summer, I had some readers in Australia and Canada who seem to have disappeared. ... Or maybe they moved to South Korea and Germany. And multiplied.

I'm just so glad that you all have taken an interest in my life.

Speaking of which...

Do you see the sudden spike in page views between 2/28 and 3/2?

Heh heh heh.

That would be March 1st. Also known as The Big Reveal.

It made me laugh out loud when I saw the jump on the day that I showed the world what my dreamy doctor looks like. (Also, I did report a clean scan that day. I'd like to think that one or two of those readers came to check on my current cancer status. But hey, I get that most of you wanted to know what Dr. H looks like. I just wish I could figure out how to turn the comments back on so we could talk about it amongst ourselves.)

Raw data. Stats. Numbers. Percentages. Fractions.

I love all of these things. ... Also, I love you. All of you. Whoever you are, wherever you are. Thank you for making time for me (and my craziness) in your life.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Food Rules

So, remember how I made some food rules in January? Here's how that went:

* I am not allowed to buy candy. (Caveat: I am allowed to eat candy that is already in my house, or anything that people bring in to work.)

-- I actually did this. Shocking, right? Not even when I was on a roadtrip, did I buy candy at the gas station. (Twice, in February.) Impressive, right?

But here's what I learned: It was a HUGE mistake to ban buying candy. It pretty much put me into starvation mode (which I know is ridiculous, but it's true). Like, since I couldn't buy any new candy, I felt compelled to eat my entire stash. Including the mint Kit-Kats that had been in my freezer since July 2010. (That's right. Almost three years. It's okay. "Candy never goes bad", so they were still good.) I'm telling you... I. Ate. It. All.

So, I'll never make that rule again. It's better for me to have candy on hand. I don't eat nearly as much chocolate when I can freely contribute to the stockpile as I do when I think maybe that 2 lb bag of plain M&M's may be the last candy that I ever see, so I'd better get it while the getting's good...

* I must eat two servings of fruits/vegetables a day.

-- I actually did this, too. And you know what? I found out that I liked this rule. Sort of a lot. So, I'm keeping it.

And yeah, I know it's ridiculous that I had to have a rule to MAKE myself eat God-given food. As you may or may not know, my three favorite food groups are: cereal (I could live on Shredded Wheat, I really could), granola bars (who loves Fiber One products more than me?) and microwave popcorn. It was kind of a stretch in the beginning, but I've really enjoyed having an excuse to eat strawberries, oranges and/or avocados every day of my life.

* I am only allowed to eat out for two meals a week.

This rule... didn't really fly. And not because I was a nachos-and-burrito-eating maniac. (I only had Taco Bell once in those two months, actually. Would you take a look at that self-control? Amazing, right?!) More, it didn't work because I am a sucker for going to dinner (or lunch or breakfast or ice cream or whatever) with my girlfriends, and I couldn't cap that at only twice a week. I did enact a rule mid-January that I was only allowed to eat out on my own once, but when I had a friend in emotional distress and there was a need to talk it out over Chinese (or Cafe Rio or CPK... you get the idea), then I could bend the rules and go to lunch.

* No fried chicken.

Okay, fine. I ate fried chicken. ... But it was only ONE time, and I had Jo's kids with me at Chick-Fil-A and there's nothing else to eat there. (You know, besides the fries and the cookies and cream shakes.)

So, the food rules were mostly a win. (Other than the INSANE amount of candy I consumed because I wasn't allowed to buy any new candy. ... Oh, and that I totally re-wrote the eating out rule. But other than that, mostly a win.)

Here are the updated rules, through Memorial Day:

* I can have Paradise Bakery's orange scones once a month.

Sad that I have to make this rule, but listen... they're delicious. And there's a Paradise on my way to work. And I stopped twice last week (two days in a row, actually). Maybe eating buttery and delicious orangey scones every day isn't such a swell idea. ... But I can totally do it once a month.

* I can drive through or pick up takeout once a week. No exceptions.

(Except for a friend in emotional distress who may need some support in grabbing a spicy chicken sandwich at Wendy's. Friends always trump food rules. The End.)

* No more buying Oreos.

I keep buying them to use as an ingredient. (First in a peanut butter/chocolate cake trifle, and then in a frosting recipe that my beloved cousin Becca says is the best thing ever.) But then I just eat them. (It's the double-stuff. I can't help it.)

The caveats are: All bets are off when I'm on vacation, or someone who's on vacation is with me. When it's play time, none of the rules apply. (Which translates directly into: "Julie, you MUST try these orange scones. We'll get them for breakfast one of the days (or maybe three of the days) you're here next week. You'll think you died and went to Baked Goods Heaven!" and "Dad, we're definitely going to need some double-stuffed Oreos when I come home Easter weekend!")

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I. Heart. Shoes.

It's true.

I do.

I love them.

So, I used to have these brown heeled sandals that I looooved. ... But they started to break - oh, over two years ago - and I monkey glued them back together one too many times. (Notice that I did not super glue them. Some lessons may take me a while to learn, but eventually, I do learn them.)

The last time I monkey glued the sandals, I glued one of the straps in the wrong place. The glue set. The straps were uneven. My right shoe didn't fit my foot right. ... Oh, and the cover on the heels was buckling and the leather flower trim was starting to fray. ... Anyway, I retired the brown sandals. Right into the trash. After, like, six years.

It was a tragedy. I am telling you that I have felt a personal loss.

And now that it's springtime, I have been particularly missing them. (Which translates into: I am feeling the need for some new brown sandals.) So, I hit the shoe store on my way home from work tonight.

Please note that there's not a brown sandal amongst the bunch:

Sadly, there weren't any brown sandals for me to buy. (But there were some chocolate brown, croc-pattern patent heels. I'll take them!)

There, were, however, other springy sandals to be found. And purchased. (Aren't those little yellow wedges about the cutest thing you've ever seen?!)

To quote a line from one of my all-time favorite movies, when it comes to shoes: "I. Can't. Help. Myself."

What this means is that I will have to continue my search for the brown heeled sandal. The fact that I have brown canvas wedges, brown tweed slingbacks, brown Mary Janes, brown flats and nude peep-toes in my arsenal mean nothing to me. I need a brown heeled sandal. (And whatever I happen to run across between now and finding them, too, is my guess.)

I may need a support group. ... On the other hand, if buying shoes is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I love this boy.

When my nephews were smaller (and when I was strong enough to pick them up and/or hold them down) we used to play The Kissey Game. (Yup, that was the name of the game. We Evans kids are HUGE on creativity.)

This is how the game was played:

1. One of the boys would bring me my purse.
2. I would take out my darkest lipstick and gloss up.
3. The little boy would run. ... Usually right into a corner. (They all knew that I wasn't fast. Also, they were pretty determined to get caught.)
4. I would smother said boy with kisses, marking his face up with lipstick marks.

Pretty fun game, right?

I know, it sounds pretty lame. (And who wants their aunt to make kissey marks all over their face?! ... But the boys loved the game. Those were good times.)

They're all big now. Too fast for me to have any chance of catching them, and too strong for me to even try to pick up.

But then, them being big comes with it own set of rewards.

I was talking to my sister-in-law tonight, and she told me a story.

It seems that my nephew, Connor, was asked to say a family prayer this afternoon. It's the first Sunday of the month, and they had fasted as a family. Con was asked to say the prayer to close their fast. He wasn't sure what to say, as this wasn't the typical blessing-on-the-food or family-prayer prayer, so his dad talked to him about the purpose of fasting, and asked him what he had fasted for today, thinking that would help give Connor some direction in what to say in his prayer. Con's answer was short and simple. He had fasted because he was thankful that Aunt Laurie doesn't have cancer. ... With a little direction from his father (and my guess is, more than a little bit of emotion... we are a cry-y group), Con said a prayer, and as the voice for his family, thanked Heavenly Father that I'm not sick anymore.

The boy is eight years old, and he went entirely without food/drink for two meals to thank the Lord that I don't have cancer. He did that on his own. Without instruction from his parents. Because he wanted to.

Oh my goodness gracious... I love this boy.

I. Am. Challenged.

Those of you who've frequenting my little corner of crazy for a while were probably aware of this...

But seriously. ... Chall-enged.

Especially when it comes to technology.

Kip, I am not. (And I'm not just saying that because I have yet to meet my eternal flame in a chat room.)

I do not love techology. Technology and I are friends OFF.

Remember how I said I was going to enable comment functionality, because my beloved Dr. H wanted to know if he was going to be able make comments on my blog?

Yeah, well...

I. Am. Challenged.

I flipped the switch on Friday. Or so I thought. ... And nothing happened.

I thought maybe it was because I had an older blogger template, so this afternoon, I updated my template. (Did you notice those new sidebars? That's right, "She likes red!")

Again, I checked the settings. Comments are set up as a go. ... And yet, the option isn't showing up inside the posts.

I have no idea what could be wrong.

My sister-in-law is thinking that maybe once I do another post, the option will show up. Like, maybe, since I didn't reactivate the comment functionality until AFTER I did the post on Friday, it won't show up until there's a new post for people to comment on.

*Fingers crossed.*

Because if that's not it... I don't know how I'm gonna be able to give you all a voice again.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Big Reveal


Dr. H.

It's a bit of a bummer that he isn't smiling. (Dude has a wicked smile.) But at least this gives you all an idea of what I'm talking about.

His hair's a little longer than this now, and it's sort of wavy. When he gets surprised (say, when a patient tells him that she's been blogging for years - and specifically, writing about how dreamy her single oncologist is for the last several  months - and then asks if she can put his picture on her blog so her followers can see what he looks like), his eyes get wide and his eyebrows go up. And then he laughs and says "Sure, you can put my picture online." Its pretty adorable.

His condition was that I link it to his profile.

I'm sorry, but... WHAT does that man think he needs Match for?! Hello. No, that's not happening. And I told him so, in a rather screechy voice. (I've been told men love to be screeched at, so I'm sure that was enjoyable for him.)

In semi-related news, he did not say no to Sunday dinner. He didn't say yes, either, but he didn't say no. (Does anybody else see a pattern here?)

Jo had sent a formal invite by way of a text to my phone that I handed to him and made him read.

Dr. H,

I hope that you will give us the pleasure of your company by accepting our invitation to Sunday dinner. We would love to have you.


Jo and family

He took my phone number, and is going to look at his schedule and let me know what Sunday will work for him. That's right, he had me write my phone number down for him.

Also, he had me write......

The blog address.

So he can read  my blog. 

A normal person would be mortified right now. I, of course, am not. In fact, I think it's kind of hilarious that he wants to read what I've written about him. (And you can be darn sure I told him to look up June 16, 2012. That is, after all, the post that went viral and let 2,500 people know that I had a crush on my oncologist. It seemed fitting. ... Plus, it's pretty much the best thing I've ever written.) I figure how much harm can it do for him to read the silliness about him that gets chronicled here, when he knows darn good and well that I think he's dreamy and have designs on his future? In fact, we got into what could lightly be called an argument today over whether or not he could afford to marry me and pay for my life. Effective Tuesday. ... He's willing to cover my scans. I say his insurance would cover my scans, and he can cover everything else. ... Don't worry, kids, we'll work that out. Probably not before Tuesday, though, so don't hold your breath.)

Speaking of Dr. H reading my blog, he asked if he would be able to comment. My gut is that he's gong to want to refute whatever it is that I say, but on the off chance that he wants to write something about how funny I am, what a great writer I am, how much he enjoys my visits, or that he's thought about it, and maybe he can fit me (and my bills) into the rest of his life, I am going to open comment functionality back up.

That's right, people. You will be allowed to comment once again.

And before you give me any crap about making special conditions for one person, let me just say... I would have done it for Nathan Fillion, if he'd asked. So there.

(Besides, this gives you all an open forum to discuss how dreamy he is. Oh, and did you know the man cures cancer? ... Ups the ante a bit, doesn't it?)

Also, my scan was clean. The Tootsie Roll looks very much the same, only more like scar tissue. Whatever that means. ... I'll take it!

This day gets gold stars, all the way around!