Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 31

What am I optimistic for?  March being over so I don't have to be optimistic anymore!  Woohoo!

Just kidding.  It's been a fun month focusing on the good every day.  Here are the final three:

1.  Tori finished making the new covers for our throw pillows.  They look so good!  I am very grateful for all of her hard work.  Seriously, Tori, if you're reading this (which I doubt), THANK YOU!

Our new throw pillows!
2.  Brian's mom is very talented when it comes to scouting out good deals.  She is the queen of bargain shopping.  She called to let us know that Shopko had a really good deal on a Dirt Devil vacuum, so Brian and I went and got one.  Now we don't have to borrow hers anymore.  Now that I think of it, I bet that's why she went to all the trouble of finding us a cheap vacuum...

Speaking of Brian's mom, she also returned a suit she had bought Brian a while back and got store credit for it.  She gave us the gift card so we used it to buy Brian some new cookware!  He couldn't be happier.

3.  Michelle, Karrie, Anna, Brian and I went to a dance downtown sponsored by Aveda (the school Michelle goes to).  Being the last day of Earth Month, the dance was to raise money for Western Water Resources... oh, and it was fun!

Friday, March 30, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 30

1.  I love my shower!  It's super sleek and sexy with its swinging glass door and the water is always hot!  I realize that not everybody in the world gets to enjoy a hot, soothing shower... so I am very thankful for it!  I LOVE SHOWERS!

2.  At work, Jen and I decided to play a game called "Impress Brett."  It started off with me writing Jen's name in block letters and coloring it in with highlighters (because work is sometimes on the slow side) when Jen commented that Brett was starting his shift next door at Bath and Body Works soon.  I started writing Brett's name and Jen said that she could write his name prettier.  The challenge was born.  Who could impress Brett?

The awesome envelopes that housed Brett's epic poems!
We didn't stop there though.  We decided a poem battle would truly decide the true victor.  So we each wrote a poem for Brett (which were then promptly recorded in the Zales Quote Book).  When we were done, I called his store and told him he needed to come over as soon as he could because we had presents to bestow upon him.  He was very surprised and happy!  So who won?  He decided Jen won the name-drawing and I won the poetry contest.

So it was a tie.  We must now enter into Round Two:  BAKED GOODS!

3.  Rafael came over tonight to hang out with Brian and I.  We just stayed up talking (in fact, we're still talking now) about a wide array of topics and having a gay ol' time.  Literally.  I sure do love a low-key Friday night.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 29

1.  Lunch with Brian at Noodles & Company was delicious!  Days off together are few and far between so we definitely make good use of our time.

2.  We went to Ikea to buy a new bed, found the one we wanted, but soon realized that it would not fit in our car.  We'll have to go back sometime with a truck.  So instead we decided to buy stuff for our balcony!!  We bought a table, chairs and bench, then went to Lowe's to pick up some plants.  While I put together all the furniture, Brian made dinner.  We enjoyed bratwursts and sauerkraut outside and it was really nice.

3.  Michelle came over after dinner and we watched some more True Blood episodes.  We hadn't gotten together since we went to City Creek so it was good to see her.

Brian eating, our new balcony furniture, Jack eating, our pansies and our yummy meal.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 28

1.  Brian was home today so I didn't have to take the bus!  Not that taking the bus is that terrible--I mean, people are dying of hunger in some countries--but if I can sleep in longer and leave the house later for school, I am all for it!

2.  My friend and former roommate Jason (who works across the way at American Eagle) came over when his shift ended and talked to me for a bit.  It was nice.  I also had a conversation with our mutual friend Mikell late last night (which was technically this morning) via Facebook chat so it's just been really nice reconnecting with both of them.

3.  Alfred Hitchcock's Rope is a really great movie if you've never seen it.  It's about a gay couple who murders a man just for the fun of it and then invites all of the dead man's friends and family over for a party...  crazy.  And it's almost all one continuous shot!  So impressive!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 27

1.  Pastrami.  I don't know what it is but I freaking love it.  Love it.  Brian took me to Sensuous Sandwich in Orem today for lunch and they have some delicious sandwiches.  It's totally ghetto and scary-looking inside, but the food more than makes up for it.  I had "The Spicy Enticer" which is pastrami, pepperoni and Italian sausage.  Yum!

2.  I messed up at work (like really, really bad... like "and you're fired" bad) and my boss took mercy on my soul!  Thank you, Jen!  Thank you!

3.  I closed at work with a woman named Dana who actually works at a different Zales location.  We're a little short-handed these days so she stepped in to help out.  It was nice meeting her!  I told her my life story and she was absolutely fascinated by it.  Of course.  It is me after all.  She's also a really good saleswoman and I picked up a few things from her.  Another cool thing about work is I did the deposit by myself for the first time and I think I got it all right!  (Let's hope... who knows if Jen will continue to be merciful?)

Monday, March 26, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 26

1.  I've had my wallet for about five years now.  It was a cheap thing that I bought from a street vendor in Chile and is now looking worse for wear.  It used to snap shut but that part has torn off and the corners are all tattered.  It's pretty embarrassing to pull money out of it to make a purchase.  The cashiers all raise their eyebrows at me and make snooty faces.  So today I bought a new one!  I was wandering around J C Penney just killing some time when I spotted their wallet rack and guess what?  They were on sale!  My new wallet was only $5 and I love it.  It's much smaller than my old one, which I like.  It won't make my butt look so bulgy.

2.  Breakfast at Tiffany's.  It's my favorite Audrey Hepburn movie and the song "Moon River" is awesome.  I think my favorite part of the movie is when Holly and Paul are trying to shoplift various items in a store.  They end up walking out with animal masks on their faces!  I don't know why but that scene always makes me laugh.

3.  I did some writing tonight on my book.  Not a whole lot, but something is better than nothing.  I'm working on a bit of a backstory for Jack's mother Jean.  I'm not sure where I will put it in yet, but here's a bit of what I wrote:

“Now the 70s,” said Margery Daw, pausing only to throw back another shot of tequila.  “The 70s were the shit!”  She slammed her palm down on the liquor-soaked table.  “The shit!”

“They weren’t that great…” said Nancy.  She took the shot glass from Margery and then nudged the third friend on the arm.  “Your glass, Jean.  We’re doing another shot.”

Jean looked Nancy’s way for just one moment as she handed over her shot glass, but even before her fingers had let go she had already turned her attention to the corner of the bar.  A man had walked in mid-tequila-shot who Jean didn’t recognize and he was now seated on a red barstool talking to Bobby, the bartender.  Bobby stepped away and returned with a beer which the stranger took into his large hands, drinking greedily and wiping the foam off his mouth with the cuff of his flannel shirt.

“What do you mean they weren’t that great?” asked Margery, jaw-dropped.  “They were the absolute shit!”

Nancy shrugged and poured tequila into the three shot glasses.  “Well, I think right now is the shit.  The 80s.  Gotta love them.  Now, take your shot glass, Margery.  And Jean—”  She snapped her fingers in Jean’s face.  “You’re so distracted tonight.  Are you here to have fun or not?”

“Sorry,” said Jean.  She turned her body away from the stranger in the corner and focused on her two girlfriends in the high-backed booth.  Margery was already far gone, picking up her lime wedge and licking it.

Nancy broke into laughter.  “You’re supposed to lick your hand, dummy.  Not the lime.  You lick your hand and salt it.  Here’s the salt.”  She sprinkled some onto Margery’s now-licked hand.

“Let’s do the shot!  Tequila!  Tequila!” chanted Margery.  She giggled so hard that most of her tequila spilled out of the glass.

“Tequila!” shouted the other two.  All three women licked the salt, shot the tequila and bit into their lime wedges.  Margery put her glass down and held her arms above her head, swaying them back and forth as if she were at a rock concert.

“I love this song,” said Margery.  “I love it!”

“It’s from the 80s” said Nancy, speaking a little louder than she had been earlier and stressing the decade.  “Duran Duran!  Way better than anything the 70s came up with.”
Who's the stranger??  Wouldn't you like to know!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 25

1.  I'm dating my very own Peeta Mellark (from The Hunger Games).  He might not be all muscly, but Brian is sweet and loving and a baker too!  In fact, he's such a good baker that his job offered to give him a raise because they've never been so impressed with the bread coming out of their kitchen.  The raise isn't coming until June, but still, I'm pretty proud of my baker!

2.  Brian's family came over tonight for dinner.  Brian served Cornish game hens, couscous and salad.  For dessert we had a yummy strawberry tart, followed by a fun game of Harry Potter Scene It.  Not too surprisingly, Brian and I kicked everybody's butts!

3.  Peter Barry.  He's the author of my textbook Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory.  Without his clear and concise overviews of various theories I would probably be failing my class!  Thanks to him (and my professor too), I can interpret literature from the viewpoint of a feminist, structuralist or even a Marxist.  I wrote another paper tonight and I'm pretty optimistic that I knocked it out of the park (I've gotten an A on every other one so far)!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 24

1.  After a long and uneventful night at work, I made a sale right at the last second!  Just 20 minutes or so before closing a couple came in and bought a watch/necklace gift set for one of the husband's retiring employees.  It wasn't a major sale but it was enough to make my day not a total waste!

2.  I saw the movie Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf for the first time tonight.  It was very good!  If you like older movies and appreciate a well-written and well-acted drama, I recommend that you watch it.  Seriously, Elizabeth Taylor is remarkable.

3.  Apologies.  There will never be a day that I'm not thankful for the opportunity to say I'm sorry.  With apologies comes the ability to move forward and hopefully never go back.

Friday, March 23, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 23

1.  My sister Renee posted a photo of her ultrasound today.  My future niece/nephew is waving!  It makes me really excited to be an uncle.  I'm going to spoil the heck out of that baby!
Renee's baby is waving to the world!

2.  I had lunch today with my friend Sarah who I haven't seen in like three years.  We met when I first moved to Utah and was going to BYU.  We both lived in an apartment complex called The Branbury.  Over a tasty pesto chicken panini from Zupas, we caught up on each other's lives.  She's been a nanny in New York City and now she's getting ready to teach English in Korea for a year.  She sure lives a full life!

3.  In celebration of Tori's birthday, she, Michelle, baby McKenzi and I went up to Salt Lake City to check out the new City Creek Center's grand opening weekend.  We will have to go back some other time though, because it was much too busy to enjoy it.  There were mile-long lines to get into stores and a two-and-a-half hour wait to get into The Cheesecake Factory.  The craziness of the crowds aside, it looks like a pretty awesome mall!  It spans three blocks of downtown SLC and has some very nice stores (including an H&M which I am most excited to explore in the future).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 22

1.  We had our pre-owned diamond event today at work and it was a lot of fun.  First off, the guy who was running the show, Jeff, was hilarious!  He was a man in his 50s who knew a lot about diamonds, but he also knew how to make us laugh with his games and riddles.  He was so funny he even ended up in our Zales Quote Book... which is pretty prestigious.  We don't let just anybody in that thing.  And not only was it a fun day, I also had a $1700 sale!  Go me!

2.  Michelle's sister Tori asked me to photograph her daughter McKenzi at the park.  Not that I'm a photographer or anything.  She just wanted somebody to manage the camera while she tried to get McKenzi to smile.  It was fun and a lot of photos we took are crap, but there are a few gems in there.  Right at the end, when we were about to leave the park, McKenzi fed me a grape and for some reason the sight of me eating made her smile.  Luckily the camera was still held to my eye so I snapped a close-up of her adorable grin.  It was the best picture of the shoot!

Afterwards, Michelle and Brian joined us at Joann Fabric and Craft to pick out some fabric for some new throw pillows for our couch.  Tori is making them for us and I'm really excited about it!

Isn't McKenzi so cute?
 3.  Michelle and I went and saw 21 Jump Street and now we are about to watch the midnight showing of The Hunger Games!  I can't wait!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 21

1.  Brett was kind enough to join me for lunch today.  We originally planned to go to Red Robin but it was jam-packed with hungry hungry hippos.  So instead of waiting forever, we went across to Wingers instead.  It was pretty much a ghost town in there.  I feel kind of bad for the place.  Oh well.  Brett and I enjoyed our meal, even if he spent most of the time counting calories.

2.  Tomorrow is our pre-owned diamond event at Zales and the man running it stopped by to drop off the jewelry.  Jen and I got some cases cleared out to house the new (old) merchandise, cleaned up the store, and are now ready for tomorrow's big day.  I am optimistic that we will sell lots!

3.  Brian's started proofreading what's done of the second draft of my book Jacky Boy and he's really marking it up good!  I was a little annoyed at first, but I know he means well and his suggestions will only help to improve what I've written.  Oh, and today I've come up with a really interesting back story for one of the characters.  A lot of changes are happening plot-wise in this draft.  A LOT.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 20

1.  My friend Krystal posted a hilarious photo today on Facebook.  It's a grocery store sign written next to a card reader's touchscreen saying, "Pen is broken."  But I think I'm not the only one who reads it a little differently.... ha ha ha!  This thing is funny on multiple levels, especially when you get to the next sentence!
2.  One of my old managers from the movie theater came in today with his fiancee.  It was nice to see him again, especially since now he's in the market for an engagement ring!  We found a really beautiful 1 carat solitaire ring that she loved along with a pretty band.  I wrote down all the info on my business card for them.  Afterwards they went to look at some other jewelry stores, but I'm optimistic that they'll return to me!  Cross your fingers!

3.  I shared the first six chapters of my book Jacky Boy with my coworker Mineh today and she absolutely loved it.  Some of my friends have already read the entire first draft (like Michelle and Rebecca) and have also given me praise for it, but Mineh said something that really made my day today.  She said, "It's way better than The Hunger Games."  Yay me!

Monday, March 19, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 19

1.  My first day back to school after Spring Break was a good one.  My classes were all interesting and it was good to see my classmate Liz.  She sure makes school a lot more fun.

2.  Brian and I had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen which is one of my favorite places to eat.  I tried the Jamaican Jerk Pizza for the first time and it was pretty dang delicious--the perfect combination of spicy and sweet.

3.  Netflix!  Now that we have a TV we can stream movies from Netflix through our Wii.  And thanks to Brian's sister Jenny, we don't have to pay for it!  Brian and I spent most of the night watching movies together.  I sure enjoy a night in with my honey.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 18

1.  I had a productive morning!  Not only did I call my mom and catch up with her, but I did a ton of homework too.  I wrote a 4-page paper on gay/lesbian literary theory, did a take-home quiz on Marxism and read a chapter in my Method and Madness book on the importance of concrete details and strong imagery in storytelling.  I am ready for school to resume tomorrow!

2.  Brian and I went to his family's house today for a St. Patrick's Day-themed Sunday dinner.  The table was all decked out in green with shamrocks and leprechauns, we ate a corned beef and cabbage soup and we played games afterwards.  I was a little grumpy and sleepy during part of it, but I hope I wasn't too much of a killjoy.  I really did enjoy myself, I promise!  Oh, and I got to meet Courtney's boyfriend Kevin for the first time.  He seems like a really nice guy.

3.  My friend Wes posted a really strange but oddly hilarious video today on YouTube.  It had Brian and I laughing pretty dang hard!  If you are opposed to heavy-handed sexual innuendo, a kid eating flavored lube or putting a condom on one's head, then you might not want to watch it.  But if you are freaky like that, go ahead and amuse yourself for ten minutes!  He also sings a song from Dreamgirls and bakes some pumpkin bread, so it's not all bad.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 17

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  A guy walked into our store today wearing a full-on kilt and it was pretty dang awesome.  But not awesome enough to make the list.  Here goes:

1.  I finished The Hunger Games trilogy at like 2:00 this morning!  And as much as I've heard the ending is a disappointment, I actually liked the way it ended.  So that was good.  I'm really excited for the upcoming movie now.  It's going to be epic!

2.  My friend Wes sent me a text that had me literally laughing out loud today while I was at work.  He said, "Did you feel that?  That was the earth momentarily exiting orbit from the intensity of the rolling my eyes just did."  Ha ha ha!  I love it!  And what I had said wasn't even that eyeroll-worthy, but whatever.

3.  Michelle, Kate and Krystal came over tonight after work to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in low-key style.  We just played card games and watched Bridesmaids... which don't really have anything to do with the Irish.  Well, I'm sure they play cards there too, right?  Oh well.  At least we were wearing green.

Friday, March 16, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 16

1.  Brian called me from work this morning and asked if I would like to join him and his coworkers for lunch.  Of course I said yes!  The whole work crew and their families gathered in the Culinary Crafts kitchen to feast on buffalo wings, sandwiches, mac and cheese, fruit and lots of other goodies.  It was fun and I'm always well received when I attend his work functions.  I'm grateful Brian works with such great people who obviously respect and care for him.

2.  I found out my sister's wedding date today!  She and Jaylon are getting married on August 28th in Colorado, so I better request some time off right away.  I might actually have accrued vacation time by then so I'll still get paid.  But do you wanna hear something funny?  My sister's going to be almost 8 months pregnant on her wedding day!  She's going to be huge!

Which reminds me of this hilarious song from the movie Funny Girl.  Trust me, it gets pretty funny once Barbra Streisand shows up.

Or this classic sketch from The Muppet Show...

Oh, Renee.  I hope you laugh at these.  You know I love you!  I can't wait to attend your wedding.

3.  Some teenagers were blowing bubbles off the upper level of the mall today.  That might not sound so cool, but little kids on the main level were absolutely fascinated by the bubbles.  There were a bunch of toddler-aged kids running around catching bubbles and it was pretty dang magical.  Gotta love cute kids!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 15

1.  Our internet is up and running again!  You do not know how much I've missed it!

Tuesday night is when it stopped working and on Wednesday I called our apartment's leasing agent, Kelsey, to see if she could get it fixed.  She called her contact at Century Link and he told her to give me a number to call.  So I called the number and spoke with a Century Link representative who was unable to help me because I didn't know my account number.  You see, our internet is provided to us through our apartment building so we don't know any of that information.  We just pay for it with our rent check.  So I had to call Kelsey back, get an account number and call Century Link again.  I was put on hold for about 20 minutes before someone did some troubleshooting that didn't result in anything helpful.

Realizing that I wasn't getting anywhere "over the phone" I called Kelsey back and asked if someone could be sent out to our apartment to fix it.  Century Link said they would, but by this point it was already 4:00 in the afternoon.  I knew nobody would come that day.  So then this morning I called Kelsey again and she said somebody would definitely come today sometime.  Then I got a phone call.  It was a woman from Century Link and she had me open up Internet Explorer on my computer, type in some weird number into the address bar which brought up information on my modem, and then type in a name and password that she dictated to me over the phone.  Just like that, our internet was connecting again.

It turned out that the code our modem was sending out had gotten scrambled somehow, so Century Link wasn't recognizing it as one of their modems.  Thus, we were connected but denied internet access.  After the hours of phone calls and frustration yesterday, I was very thankful for the woman who helped me today because she pinpointed the problem quickly and helped me to fix it.

2.  Leftovers.  Sounds kind of weird to say that leftovers make me happy, but they do.  We all know I'm not the greatest cook in the world and I'm trying not to spend so much money on food during the days, so leftovers are the best thing ever!  Brian brings home leftover food from work all the time and then I put it into a smaller container and take it to work with me.  It's pretty much the greatest thing ever.  What's even better?  Remembering that I have leftovers waiting for me in the work fridge as well!

3.  True Blood.  I'm just starting to get into the super sexy vampire show from HBO.  Michelle borrowed season one from a friend and we watched a bunch of episodes tonight after work.  It's a pretty addicting show!  Michelle's already seen it though, so it's really hard for her not to give away any spoilers.  Like who the stinking murderer is.  If anyone reading this knows, do not tell me!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 14

1.  No work!  Well, technically I didn't have work yesterday either, but today I'm especially grateful for it because I was able to be at home all day and get things done!  I did laundry, organized our closet, read some of Mockingjay, and wrote some on my book.  After working eight consecutive days, yesterday and today were like a blessing from God!

2.  Brian and I decided to have a date night and it was very nice.  We had dinner at Chili's, bought some really cheap movies at F.Y.E. since they are going out of business, and then came home to watch one of those movies on our brand new TV.  We watched Silence of the Lambs which, believe it or not, I had never seen before.  It was a very good movie!  But mostly I'm just happy to have spent the night with Brian.

3.  I did take a small break in my date to talk to my father on the phone.  It was nice hearing from him.  We mostly talked politics, but it was still a good conversation.  I love him and miss seeing him on a regular basis.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 13

1.  "Jack and Michelle's Day of Fun!"  Today Michelle and I hung out all day watching movies (The Covenant, Easy A, Anonymous and Young Adult), eating pizza and basically just lounging around soaking in our own awesomeness.  It was a very fun and relaxing way to spend one of my two days off this Spring Break.

2.  Michelle and I have sort of adopted our friend Trevor so while he's on his mission we like to send him care packages.  We got one mailed off today full of fun St. Patrick's Day goodies--including an awesome shamrock tie!  He's gonna look awesome on Saturday!  We also mailed a card to our friend Wes up in Logan.

3.  Since we know my tax return is on the way, Brian and I decided we might as well purchase a new TV now.  Why wait?  So we ran off to Best Buy (after the Day of Fun, of course) and bought a 40" Sony flatscreen.  It sure beats watching movies off our laptop screen!

Our entertainment center is finally complete!

Monday, March 12, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 12

1.  Michelle and I had lunch at Molly's today, which was very delicious.  For those who don't know it, it's this little place behind the D.I. in Provo that's only open from 11 AM to 2 PM on weekdays.  They are run by Marvellous Catering and the restaurant serves up homestyle favorites like pot roast and mashed potatoes.  Yum!  And their lemonade is to die for!

2.  I had my first-ever migraine today which was horrible!  My head hurt, I was dizzy, white patches of light impaired my vision, I felt nauseous...  I pretty much felt like I was dying.  Luckily I have awesome coworkers, like Kate, who are willing to come in and close for me so I could go home.  She even lent me the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy!  Isn't she awesome?

3.  Brian took it upon himself to register me to vote in the state of Utah.  He's so nice.  We finished our political night by watching The Rachel Maddow Show after I took a long, long nap!  (I'm happy to say that I feel better now by the way.)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 11

1.  Spring forward!  Daylight Savings Time came and although I was gypped an hour of sleep, it's a sign that spring is upon us.  We get more hours of sunlight now, and on that same vein, the forecast this week is a great one with temperatures in the 70s.

2.  Brian stopped by to visit me at work, Nichole bought Mineh and I sodas, and Brett was nice enough to get me lunch from the food court because I couldn't leave the store.  I'm very thankful for the people who love and take care of me!

3.  I filed my taxes!  Normally I'm done with taxes in the early weeks of February, but I had a hard time getting W-2s from some of my past employers.  I also had to file both California and Utah taxes along with Federal, which was a pain.  But my taxes are finally complete and I will be getting a sizable amount back which makes me really happy!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 10

1.  Michelle and Brett came over to play games after work.  We played Rummikub and then Uno.  Michelle is the best at Rummikub and Brett won Uno.  Wow, we sure know how to have a wild Saturday night!

2.  To accompany our raucous game-playing, Brian popped some of his delicious popcorn!  He butters, salts and... wait for it... peppers it.  "It's orgasmic!  I could swim naked in this," says Michelle. Yeah, it's that good.

3.  The night ended with Michelle and I watching music videos on YouTube.  We listened to a wide array... from Ludacris to Barry Manilow.  It was pretty epic.

Friday, March 9, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 9

1.  My professors were in really good spirits this morning and were pretty much hysterical, especially Professor Albrecht-Crane.  You should have heard her joke about being afraid of the LDS Institute of Religion building on campus ("There's some serious stuff in there... and ovens!").  She even poked fun at our American obsession with not only pizza but cold pizza the next day.  But do you know what the best part of school was?  Today was the last day before SPRING BREAK!  I can sure use a week off!

Aren't these new pants freaking sweet?
2.  I bought some new pants today from the Gap!  (Shh... don't tell Brian.)  They are "crystal blue" denim-washed khakis.  I love them!

3.  Tonight at work I practically doubled my month again.  Oh, and watches seemed to be in fashion.  I sold TWO watches to one guy and Kate sold a watch as well.  I almost bought myself a watch tonight (because there is one that I absolutely fell in love with) but even after taking out all the links we could, it was still too big for my tiny wrists!  As devastated as I am to know that I can never wear that watch as long as I live, I'm counting the whole experience off as a positive because it stopped me from a very expensive impulse buy on my Zales credit card.  I didn't need it... so thank you, tiny wrists, for keeping me in line!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 8

1.  As far as my sales goal at work is concerned, March hasn't been a very good month for me so far.  But today I literally doubled my sales for the month!  Woohoo!  (Sure, it's easy to double a really small number... but hey, we're shooting for OPTIMISM here, people!)

2.  My friend Wes got a job today!  Now I don't have to worry about him starving to death up in Logan.  He had a really good interview for a call center and he starts orientation next week.  I knew things would work out for him in the end.

3.  Brian and I had a relaxing evening catching up on Modern Family episodes and watching the 1967 movie musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  I'd never seen it before, and it's really pretty funny.  Robert Morse is fantastic in the lead role... really I could watch him all day.

Brian's so cute I could just kiss him!  Oh... I did.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 7

1.  My friend Michelle took me out to lunch today at Pizza Pie Cafe.  I of course enjoyed the food, but I also enjoyed the company.  We had some important things to discuss, but it was still a fun lunch.  (Holds out a glass) "To friendship!"

2.  My friend and cousin-in-law Brett popped by our store today to visit.  He used to visit us fairly frequently since he works next door at Bath and Body Works, but the last month or so his store has been undergoing a remodel so he hasn't had work.  I know my boss was super happy to see him (since everyone at Zales loves him to pieces).  And speaking of work, I also did a really good job talking about low monthly payments and showing off our Celebration Diamond which were both big takeaways from our recent store meeting.

3.  I got mail!  One of the happiest things in life is opening your mailbox and finding handwritten letters instead of junk!  One letter was from my 9-year-old cousin Ellie (thanking us for the birthday card we sent) and the other letter came from my friend Trevor who is off serving a mission in Mississippi.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 6

I saw The Lorax tonight with Brian and Michelle and I was really optimistic that it would make me very happy... unfortunately that was not the case.  It really sucked.  However, other things did make me happy and here they are:

Chocolate Cherry Coke... yum.
1.  My very awesome coworker Kate gave me a ride to work today and even bought me a breakfast burrito from Sonic on the way.  The best part?  A Route 44 Chocolate Cherry Coke to wash it down with!  If you've never added chocolate and cherry flavoring to your Coca-Cola, you are missing out on one of the finer things in life.

2.  My cousin Aimon messaged me on Facebook out of the blue and we've been having an ongoing conversation throughout the day.  It's been nice to hear from him.  He just told me he got promoted in the ROTC and his drill team is going to Nationals.  Sounds like his life is pretty happy.

3.  Speaking of cousins, I found out that my cousin Nathan is getting married in the fall.  Congratulations!

Monday, March 5, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 5

1.  Brian and I had a very nice heart-to-heart tonight and we feel closer to each other than we have in a while.  I love him so much!

2.  Today was such a beautiful day!  The sun was shining and it made me think for a moment that Spring might be just around the corner.  It's all in my head of course... winter is still here... but today was so gorgeous!

3.  I sold something at work.  It was tiny and Riley sold way more than me, but hey, it could have been a zero day.  Yay for selling some gold-plated hoop earrings!

The mountain view from our balcony.  Isn't it so pretty?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 4

1.  Family dinner at the Kesler house was definitely a highlight of my day today.  As much as I love our new apartment, I do miss Brian's family from time to time.  That house really feels like "home" to me, so I love whenever we can go back there to visit.  Michelle and Wes came to dinner as well, and it was a lot of fun.

Patrick's sexy face?
2.  All of our house guests went home today... which is a bummer, actually...  but on the positive side our lives can go back to normal now!  Of course we'll see Wes and Brett again soon, but Patrick is leaving for Europe in a week and will be off back-packing and working in organic farms for the rest of the year.  It will be rough to go so long without seeing him, but I know that this will be an awesome thing for Patrick and I couldn't be happier about his grand adventure.

3.  I had some fun text messaged conversations with both my brother and my sister tonight.  Getting Renee's "I love you" texts always bring a smile to my face!  I sure do love my family, even if I rarely see them.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 3

1.  I had a store meeting this morning and I actually feel pretty optimistic about things.  A lot of changes need to be made, but I know we all can do it!  It seems weird that a meeting made me happy today... but in my defense, there were cinnamon-sugar bagels present.  There is nothing a good bagel can't fix.

Brett, Wes and Brian making dinner in the kitchen.
2.  Continuing with the food theme, Brian made us all some yummy penne vodka tonight and it was very nice to sit around a table of friends and family.  Brian's food always brings a smile to my face--and good company just makes it all the better.

3.  Since we have a house full of people staying with us all weekend, we thought we might as well invite a few more to party it up!  We had so much fun!!  Thanks everyone for coming!

Friday, March 2, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 2

In keeping with the March Optimism Challenge that I started yesterday, here are three things that made me happy today: 
1.  I was productive today!  I cleaned the bathroom, vacuumed, hung up some photos and even made our bed.  That never happens. 
2.  Brett, Patrick and Wes came over today and will be staying with us all weekend long!  Brett was even nice enough to take us out to dinner at Goodwood.
3.  Wes and I got to hang out with our friend Michelle and do an early mini-celebration of his birthday.
Look at my wall photos!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Optimism Challenge: Day 1

My friend Wes sent me a text today telling me that he is taking the March Optimism Challenge.

"What's that?" I asked.

"At the end of each day," he said, "you write down three things that make you happy."

He then went on to explain how our brains work better when we are happier and blah blah blah but really I just thought it sounded like a good idea to help me get out of this negative funk I'm in.  So here goes:

1.  Today Brian and I bought a dining set for our apartment.  I'm excited to actually have a place to eat meals and to do homework!

2.  I worked with my boss, Jen, today who is a blast to work with.  The highlight of our shift together would have to have been when she opened her fortune cookie and I reminded her to add "in bed" to the end of it... which caused her to burst out in uncontrollable laughter.  It read: "Social activities will be fun... in bed!"  Or something like that.  It was funny.  Maybe you had to be there.

3.  My cousin Martin said "hi" to me in Facebook chat.  It was very brief, but it was good to hear from someone in the family.


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