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Challenge #23: Photo Safari

Challenge #23: Take a picture of the most childlike spot in town.

I purposely waited until I was “out” of town to do this one. Yes, Salt Lake City has its childlike spots, but I knew I was on my way to a town that houses one of THE most childlike spots in the world.

Over Labor Day weekend my family and I vacationed to Anaheim, California. It was a trip that we had been planning for almost a year. The reason for going was so that I could run the Happiest Race on Earth – Disneyland Half Marathon – which I did, and beat my time from my last half marathon. And, of course, while we were there we got ourselves 3 day park hopper passes to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. And, let’s face it, Disneyland is definitely childlike! What better way to bring out the kid in you!

All right, all right, so Disneyland is expensive. And many childlike wonders are absolutely free. (In fact, my original thought for this challenge was to take a picture of the Olympic fountain at Gateway.) But I know that for me as an adult, Disneyland brings back childhood memories that no other place can. Even if you’ve never been there before, being there reminds you of your favorite Disney movies, shows, characters, and songs, and before you know it you’re skipping down Main Street USA to the tune of “Flitterin'” or “Let’s Have a Drink On It.” (And if any of you can tell me which Disney movies those songs are from I will crown you the Awesomest of all Awesomeness!) Seriously, I would pay for a full price ticket just to sit on Main Street and listen to the ragtime music and people-watch. It’s THAT amazing!

My sisters’ kids of course had a swell time. But all of us adults made new childlike memories, too:

My mom ventured to try California Screamin’, a roller coaster that even I won’t go on!

6 adults entered a log on Splash Mountain and got the most drenched ever (amazing how much more water comes in the boat when you don’t have a couple of children to round out the weight…)

I ate a corn dog… and thought it was mighty tasty!

I got my picture taken with Boba Fett. How many people can say THAT?!

Many of us found silly ways to pose for the pictures taken on rides such as Space Mountain and Splash Mountain.

I went on Jumpin’ Jellyfish, and got made fun of by my 15 year old nephew.

My mom tricked me into believing that her chocolate covered pomegranates were confiscated at the front gate. I was almost in tears over the whole thing! She’s so tricksy!

My brother in law, who is also a marine, kept playing with the “explosive” TNT outside of Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin.

And many other misadventures! This was probably one of my most favorite family vacations to Disneyland (even though we missed one sister and her family who couldn’t make it). The music, the laughter, the happy screams, the junk food, the “kid” rides, the costumed characters, the bright colors, the families who wear matching outfits, ah yes, all these and more bring a smile to my face just thinking about it! My camera broke, so I really don’t have any more photos right now. And for some reason Facebook won’t let me download pictures, even if I’m tagged in them. So I will have my sisters email me more pictures so I can post them to show more good times! I hope you get a chance to visit the Happiest Place on Earth some time soon!

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Challenge #22: This Little Light of Mine

Challenge #22: Do Something to Make the world a better place.

What?! Are Kim & Jason serious? Well, not always. In fact, they’re often downright silly! But what I mean is, what could I possibly do to make the world a better place? And I thought Challenge #19 was going to be the hardest…

Well, I’ve been thinking about this challenge all week and by last night I still had no ideas. But then a good friend of mine called me. Her name is Karla and I met her a year ago when I was an advisor for the Child Development Associate Credential. I coached her through the process of earning her CDA and we decided we liked each other too much to not develop a friendship as well as a business relationship. Anyway, when she called last night she started out by saying, “I’ve got something to say to you and you better listen.” Whoa. Scary. Then she proceeded to tell me how grateful she was that I was her advisor for her CDA and how grateful she is for my friendship. (I’m paraphrasing – she really went on and on about how wonderful I am, which kind of made me want to hide my face in embarrassment, and totally made me cry.) Well, I’m pretty sure her words of praise and love didn’t exactly make THE world a better place, but by golly they certainly made MY world a better place!

So that’s when I began to think of ways I can make the world’s of those around me a little bit better. Below is a list of things I did today to hopefully do just that. Some of these things (like #3) I do often, some not so much (like #6). But I’m going to try to do these little things as much as possible in the hopes that other people will then pay it forward in their own way. I can’t affect the entire world at once, but I can affect one person’s world at a time.

1. I wrote “Boungiorno Principessa” on Stacey’s bathroom mirror this morning. (If you don’t know what that means, ask an Italian, or just watch “Life is Beautiful.” Or both.)

2. I shared half my blueberry bagel with strawberry shmear (Such a fun word to say, shmear!) with a coworker.

3. Each time I used the restroom at work I made sure the paper towel was dispensed for the next person so they wouldn’t have to turn the disease-riddled wheel.

4. I said “please”, “thank you,” and “you’re welcome” as often as it was appropriate to do so.

5. I let my staff know how awesome I think they all are.

6. I didn’t get mad at anyone in traffic and calmly got out of the way of people who wanted to go faster than me. (This is a big deal for me, peeps!)

7. I allowed the lady at the box office for Centerpointe Legacy Theater to pick my seats for me since I had to change my tickets for “Anything Goes.” She seemed so excited to give me third row seats. I prefer to sit in the balcony so I can look down on the whole stage. But I couldn’t burst that excited little bubble of hers. I just couldn’t.

Anyway, nothing I did was earth-shattering. Not by a long shot. All I know is how much I appreciate the little things others do and say for me. And that’s all I hope I did: little things.

“…by small and simple things are great things brought to pass…” – Alma 37:6 (The Book of Mormon)

Challenge #21: Thanku Haiku

I was going to apologize for taking so long to post this blog… then I realized that I do that quite a lot lately. So instead of saying sorry I’m simply going to say here it is! What you’ve been anxiously awaiting!

Challenge #21: Write a haiku about the things you are thankful for and put it somewhere to serve as a reminder.

God and Christ, music,

Dawn Stockdale, fantasy books,

Family, dark chocolate,

Disneyland, children,

Laughing so hard that I snort,

Movies and t.v.,

Running outside, FOOD,

Sunny days and starry nights,

Hugs, smiles, friends, love.

Of course I couldn’t write just one stanza. I’m a bit of an overachiever like that 😉

Anyway, having completed Challenge #21, I am officially halfway through Kim & Jason’s Escape Plan. (There are 40 challenges, but remember how I skipped #16? Yeah, so that makes this the halfway point. I know, I know, I’ll get back to it. It’s a toughy for me, okay? GOSH!)

Though completing these challenges has not given me more time, spared me from struggles, or made me any money, they have given me a different perspective, spared me from boredom, and made me more  childlike – and childlike is a synonym for happy 🙂

Challenge #20: Instant Karma

Challenge #20: Right an old wrong.

This week for the Kim & Jason Escape Plan Challenge, I’m to right an old wrong. Well, the fact that I’m blogging is almost like righting an old wrong. I used to be so on top of this, but since I made the switch from working part time to working full time… I feel like I’m never home. A few years back I was working full time, going to school part time, and occasionally teaching night and/or weekend classes. I remember being able to balance my life just fine back then. But now I’ve got to get back into the swing of things. Still seeking out  my sea legs. I’ll get there, one day at a time.

So really for this challenge I was a little stumped. Many of my “old” wrongs are so old I don’t remember them anymore. I’m sure there are quite a few. If anyone out there has been a victim to an old wrong of mine, please let me know and I’ll do my best to right it. I’m going to try to right wrongs along the way from now on. But that still doesn’t quite complete this challenge, does it?

"Nothing tastes as good as thin feels."

So instead, I’m taking a leaf out of Kim’s book. She righted an old wrong to herself and her husband that had to do with her health. I’m doing the same thing – minus the husband. Last year I got down to my lowest weight ever. I wasn’t even that thin in high school! I was elated that I finally broke through a weight loss plateau that had plagued me for many many years. I was almost at a size 8, but very happy and comfortable in my size 10. I vowed I would never go back to size 12 or higher.

A few months back I let my emotions take charge of my eating. I still exercised – I LOVE to run – but my food intake was terrible. I’ve stopped overeating, but still only lost about 8lbs of the 20 I had put back on. Now I’m working on getting rid of the rest of it. I can’t really right this wrong today, but I can start righting it. Again, I work out all the time. I’m in training for a half marathon. But now I have to figure out where I’m going wrong food-wise. As of yet, I can’t tell if I’m eating too much or too little. I will be experimenting with this and start weighing myself bi-monthly again. (I can’t do it weekly, it depresses me.) I’m also going to pay attention to how my clothes fit. It’s difficult being a woman. We fluctuate so much. I was feeling mighty slim on Monday, and today I feel bloated and gross. Blah. But oh well. I must move forward and conquer those 12lbs… and perhaps a few more…

Challenge #19: Future Forecast

Challenge #19: Spend 10 minutes visioning yourself 10 years from now as having accomplished one of your biggest dreams. Be as detailed as possible; imagine in all five senses.

It’s the 4th of July, 2021. Everyone around me says it’s hotter than hell, but I think it feels perfect in my flow-y knee length skirt  and short-sleeved blouse. But my body temperature is always lower than normal peoples’, so perhaps they’re right. I thought having kids would change that, but alas it did not. I still get goosebumps in 80° weather.

I’m standing in Spring Mobile Ballpark in Salt Lake City, Ut: home of the Bees minor league baseball team. I look up in the stands to see my husband and three children waving their hot dogs at me. Though the dust kicked up by the ball players tickles my nose, I can almost smell the hot dogs from here and it makes me smile. Not because I like hot dogs – I hate them – but because my kids love them.

All around I hear music and laughter. The sights and sounds of the crowd do nothing to ease my nerves. No matter how much water I drink my mouth still feels dry – and that has nothing to do with the weather.

They tell me it’s time. I’m handed a microphone and grow nauseous. I look to my husband for support. He smiles that smile that made me fall in love with him, gives me the thumbs up, and mouths “I love you.” I immediately feel stronger. As the announcer instructs the crowd to stand for the National Anthem, I say a quick prayer.

The music begins. My voice sounds as it never has before – so clear and powerful. My heart is racing – not from anxiety, but from excitement. I feel as though the whole world has stopped just to hear me sing. As I hit the last high note (and hold it for an insane amount of time) the crowd cheers louder than I’m sure they will during the game. The song ends. Immediately my eyes find my family again. My children are screaming and clapping enthusiastically. Holding up our 3 year old, my husband smiles and wipes a tear from his cheek. Now I begin crying, too.

I feel a push. As I realize they’re trying to get me off the field, I race for the stands to sit with my family. I’m so happy, I even eat a hot dog!

Celebrating Me: Days 29-30

LDS Temple in Salt Lake City, UT

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Today after work I went to the Salt Lake City Temple. I love going there, and I used to go every week. This month I’ve rededicated myself to doing that. Going today was a gift to myself and others, and it’s a gift I’m privileged to give and receive as often as I wish. I’m excited to make the temple a natural part of my week again! Then I went home and Stacey and I watched “Big Bang Theory” while scarfing Red Vines. What bliss!

NYPD Pizzeria in West Valley, UT

Thursday, June 30, 2011

This evening after one job, before another, I met up with one of my most favorite old roommates – Darci. We went to NYPD Pizzeria. I’ve been dying to try it! According to their website, “NYPD Pizza was established in 1996 out of necessity when native New Yorker Paul Russo was unable to find authentic New York style pizza after moving to Orlando, Florida. ” I went to New York 2 years ago with my BFF Dawn and our other great friend Cindy to celebrate our 30th birthdays. We tried New York style pizza at 3 different restaurants. (I mean, of course we did!) We loved it! And I have to say that NYPD does an excellent job of fooling you into thinking you really are eating pizza from New York! I say “fooling” because unless they import New York’s tap water – which is actually awesome and the reason baked goods in New York are so awesome – then it’s not truly authentic. But I appreciate their effort, and I really loved it a lot and will go again!

Alas, June only has 30 days: “Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November.” So I’m done celebrating my birthday, but that doesn’t mean I’m done treating myself like the completely wonderful person that I am 😉

I’m back to completing the Escape Plan Challenge and doing little Small Rebellions along the way. I especially want to know what you do to rebel against Adultitis on a daily (or whatever-ly) basis, so please post them here.

Thanks for helping me celebrate 32 amazing years and I hope you’ll continue with me on my journey to escape adulthood. I hope you’ll start your own journey as well!

Celebrating Me: Days 26-28

Lady Liberty

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Today I completed my second 3-D puzzle – Lady Liberty – that Dawn got me for my birthday. Then later as I pondered how it’s finally feeling like Summer… I had a nice big mug of hot chocolate!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tonight I went to a silent auction for church. The money goes to the family we’ll be sponsoring this Christmas for Sub for Santa. So I brought $20 to donate. Whether or not I won anything I was still going to donate my money, but in order to celebrate myself I was determined to win something. So for my twenty bucks I got tennis lessons provided by a super athletic guy who I’ve only exchanged pleasantries with once. I really like tennis so I’m really excited for this. I’m hoping I can learn to serve overhand… you know… the way you’re supposed to serve… never been able to do that…

Earrings by Crystal Moosman

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tonight I received 3 beautiful pairs of earrings a friend of mine made for me. She makes and sells jewelry on the side and she knows my absolute love for earrings. She’s hoping to get a webpage up soon so she can advertise, and when she does I will let the world know!

Only two more days to celebrate, then I’m back to annihilating Adultitis!