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The Heart of Life

The Heart of Life: June 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Challenge 40

Challenge #40:  What is the story behind your name?

Ok, so I skipped a few challenge questions.  It's the end of the month, and I'm about to go on a little get-away for my first anniversary (one year, what?), so this will be the last "This is Me" question.  I thought I'd make it an interesting one.

I'm the first child in my family, and thus when my parents went to name me, they were at a loss.  They couldn't pick a name, so I was "Baby {Last Name}" for about two days.  Not that I hold that against them--naming a child seems like a HUGE decision.  Almost as big as the decision to actually have a child.  I actually talked to my mom about this last night.  She told me how it's one thing to like a name, but it's completely different when you're thinking about naming your child that name.

Anyway, after a few days of this name-less business, my grandma laid down an ultimatum.  My parents were going to a doctors appointment or something together, and they weren't to return without a name for me.  I can just imagine my parents sitting in the car outside my childhood home deciding on my name while my grandma stood poised by the door, waiting for the affirmative that the child had been named.  I'm sure that's not how it really was, but that's what I like to imagine.

Eventually my parents narrowed it down to two options:  Lindsey and Courtney.  At this point they left it up to fate.  They flipped a coin.  As my name is Lindsey, one of two things happened at this point.  It might have landed Lindsey-side up and they rejoiced and embraced their fate.  Or just maybe it landed Courtney-side up and they experienced extreme disappointment, so they decided (just between them) that they'd pretend it landed Lindsey-side up.  I'm ok with either version.

I've been Lindsey ever since!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Challenge 15

Challenge #15:  What are some of your routines?

As I mentioned in my last post, routine isn't one of my strong points at this juncture in my life.  So here's my one routine:  bedtime.

1.  Use the bathroom.
2.  Wash hands.
3.  Take out and rub contacts.
4.  Brush teeth (with hot water).
5.  Put hair in ponytail and get bangs out of the way with a headband.
6.  Wash face.
7.  Remove ponytail, headband, and any stray bobby pins.
8.  Take birth control and prenatal vitamin (contradictory, I know)
9.  Read scriptures on my own.
10.  Read scriptures with my husband.
11.  Pray with my husband.
12.  Pray on my own.
13.  Sleep.

I've been doing it this way for years, and there's a definite logical reason for this particular order.  It's the most efficient way.  The bathroom comes first since I need to wash my hands before taking out my contacts anyway.  The contacts come before teeth-brushing because I wouldn't want the residual toothpaste on my fingertips to get in my eyes.  That would sting.  And I wouldn't want to wash my hands twice.  That's just asking for dry skin.  Face-washing is after both teeth-brushing and contact removal for two reasons.  One, I would hate to accidentally get soap in my eyes with contacts still in.  Contacts make it way worse.  Two, I've got to give the water time to warm up before face-washing, and what better way than while brushing your teeth.  You can't wash your face in cold water.  A beverage is the only good excuse for cold water.

Now, I do stray from the routine occasionally.  I don't venture too far away, though.  It just works so well.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Challenge 14

Challenge #14:  What are some of your {detailed} favorites?

 I had to cheat a little and look at her examples because I was stumped.  So pardon my lack of originality.

My favorite kind of apple is Jazz.  So sweet and a good texture.

My favorite pizza is Hawaiian.  I used to think pineapple on pizza was nasty, but then I had some while I was in Bulgaria.  It changed my life.  It was amazing.  On the other hand, I'd been eating a lot of hard bread and mystery meat, so maybe it was the familiarity that made it drool-worthy.  Anyway, I like it now.

I go through phases with ice cream.  I went through a Superman ice cream phase.  Also cookies and cream.  And cookie dough.  And peanut butter.  My most recent favorite is a salted caramel.  Yuuuuum.  However, I always like some vanilla with hot fudge sauce.  Also there's something I love about Dairy Queen chocolate sauce.

I go through phases with cold cereal too.  I like Fruity Dino Bites (it's also really good on ice cream).  I like frosted flakes.  My very favorite is Berry Active Lifestyle (Kroger's version of Special K).  I like generic brands of cereal.  They taste just as good as the expensive kind.

As far as shampoo and conditioner go, I try something new every time.  I love shampoo shopping.  There's nothing more refreshing than a new smell for your hair.

I like my toothpaste good and minty.  I'm not a huge fan of cinnamon flavored kind or anything that tastes like cough syrup (why do they even make it in that flavor?).  I'm pretty easy to please, which is good because we seem to go through toothpaste like crazy.

I like clean sheets.  I look forward to changing the sheets because they feel so nice when they're clean.

I love cute flats that work with jeans, shorts, or a skirt.  They're good in most seasons (with the exception of snowy winter) and are usually pretty comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

 My favorite pair of jeans are some DownEast skinnies I bought a few years ago.  They're the only skinnies I've ever tried that don't strangulate my well-endowed calf muscles.

I'm hugely into Criminal Minds lately.  It's on Ion Television almost every night and we watch it almost every night.  It does make me more wary of taking the garbage out by myself after dark, though.  You never know when there will be a homicidal person hiding in the shadows.

I've talked about this before, but my favorite kinds of books are the classics and social worky memoirs.  The writing has to be real or real good.

Everybody Loves Raymond is probably my favorite comedy.  It's so funny.  I just love to hate Marie.  I've also been a fan of The Middle.  And yes, the shows happen to have the same actress as the mom.  Not that I'm her number one fan--I don't even know her real name.  I just call her Deb.

I love love love So You Think You Can Dance.  I got really into it when I was in high school, but then when I went to college I never had TV channels so I never got to watch it unless I found recorded segments on Youtube.  Fox was lame back then and didn't bother putting the episodes for SYTYCD online.  However, now that we have TV channels I watch SYTYCD faithfully.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Challenge 13

Challenge #13:  What are some health challenges you've faced in your life?  What are you currently doing to be healthy?

I've been blessed to be a pretty healthy girl.  I had ear issues when I was tiny, so they put tubes in my ears.  Unfortunately they caused some damage--they left holes in my ear drums.  I guess I couldn't hear very well (but maybe it was just because I wasn't listening--haha).  Thus, the summer before second grade I had surgery on one of my ears, and then had the same surgery on my other ear a few months later.  What happened with the surgery is they made a little incision behind my ear and snipped off some of the muscle (I imagine that's why I can't wiggle my ears) and transplanted it onto my ear drum to seal up the hole.  Both surgeries went fabulously and now I can hear normally.  I haven't had too many problems since.  I think I'm a little more sensitive to loud music than most people (it gives me a bad headache), but I don't know if that's related to my childhood ear issues or not.

Because I always had tubes (or holes) in my ears, I was commanded to never ever EVER get my ears wet as a child.  So I was that awkward child at the pool with loads of wax stuffed in my ears (to keep the water out) that kept saying, "Huh?  What did you say?"  Dunking my head underwater was never very enjoyable because I could just envision buckets of water leaking into my ears.  Floating on my back was a joke.  It created a unique kind of pressure on my ears that freaked me out and sent my arms and legs flailing.  I never did pass level 4 in swimming.

I am wanting to be more healthy lately.  For a long time I had a job where I was constantly speed walking around and lifting things, but my job for the past year has been slightly more sedentary.  Well, a lot more sedentary.  There's more treats, too.  Plus, Pinterest happened in my life, so now I eat really well (although not always very healthy).  Thus, I'm trying to work out some kind of workout routine in my life... but currently the only routine thing about my life is how I get ready for bed.  I'll keep you posted on that one.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Challenge 12

Challenge #12:  Find your favorite “somethings” (old, new, borrowed, blue) and record a little bit about them!

 We bought an old candy machine while we were in St. George a few weeks ago and it is so awesome.  This candy machine isn't exactly like ours, but you get the idea.  I'd take a picture of ours, but we don't have any candy in it right now so it looks kind of lame.  I'll post a picture one day.

I've been desiring some sandals that weren't cheap Old Navy flip flops, and I found these at Kohls the other day for a mere $9.99!  Now, they aren't the cutest sandals I've ever seen in my life, but I think they're $10 worth of cute.  They'll go with everything and I'm pretty satisfied with the comfort level.  I wore them pretty much all day after right after I got them and didn't get any blisters.  Win!

Since we are renting, technically our front porch is borrowed.  I love sitting out there.

There's nothing like a bunch of blue bachelor's buttons growing in the wild.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Challenge 11

Challenge #11:  What are 5 things you have (or almost have) perfected? What are 5 things you are far from perfect in?

Almost perfected:
1. Mac and cheese from scratch.  It's the only way to go.  The box kind is yuuuuuuck.  I love this recipe from Pioneer Woman.
2. The bed-time routine.  I'm awesome at getting ready for bed.  I never forget to brush my teeth or take out my contacts.
3. Mopping the floor.  My house is almost all hardwood floors, so I go with the Swiffer Wetjet along with all the Swiffer hacks I've learned from Pinterest.  I refill the spray bottle with self-mixed cleaner and use dollar store washable "microfiber" cloths.  It's so fast, so easy, and so tight-budget-sustainable.  I rock at mopping.
4. Mock-braided bangs.  The last time I got my hair cut, the stylist cut my bangs a little too long, so they got to the awkward phase pretty quickly.  Thus, I've gotten fairly good at the two-strand twist.  It looks a lot like a French braid, which is awesome because I can't get the actual French braid thing down.
5. Walking.  Taking into consideration that my left leg is 5/8 inch shorter than the right one, I feel pretty good about having a fairly straight gait.

Far from perfection:
1. Project clutter.  If I start a project, but don't quite finish that day, I like to leave it out in sight so I am reminded to finish it.  Thus, I have random visible project clutter throughout the house.  I'm working towards finishing projects asap so the project clutter doesn't have to sit out for weeks and weeks and weeeeeeeeeks.
2. Frisbee throwing.  Sometimes I can throw it nice and straight with the appropriate distance and direction.  But only sometimes.  I'm slightly better at catching a Frisbee, but only slightly.
3. Dishes.  It's my least favorite house chore, and thus I avoid it like crazy.  It's pretty miraculous that I have a husband who is willing to do my dishes for me.  He's great.
4. Drawing.  I'm reminded daily of this as I play Draw Something.  I'll pick a word that I feel is totally do-able, but mid-drawing I realize that I was wrong.  Soooo wrong.
5. Interviewing.  I haven't done a ton of interviewing for jobs, but I tend to get all quiet and awkward.  It's like 5th grade Lindsey steps into the interview rather than a confident 23 year old with a college degree.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Challenge 10

Challenge #10:  How are things different now from when you were a kid?

This is a hard question, because "when I was a kid" was approximately 5 years ago.  Literally.  So it's kind of hard to come up with a really good.  It's mostly just the obvious changes that come with growing up. 

I cook now. 
I clean more (and more willingly). 
I do more laundry. 
I'm married. 
I'm more willing to try new food. 
I can stay out as late as I want.
That being said, I prefer to go to bed before midnight.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Challenge 9

Challenge #9:  Make a timeline of your life!

1988: I was born.
1990: My brother was born.
1994: I started preschool.
1995: My other brother was born.
1996: My family moved, I started piano lessons, & I had surgery on both ears.
1997: My sister was born.
1999: I started violin lessons.
2000: I started jr. high band.
2003: I learned to drive.
2006: I went to Bulgaria.
2007: I graduated from high school.
2008: I went to Poland.
2011: I graduated from college, went to England, & then got married.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Challenge 8

Challenge #8:  What are some addictions that you have?

 I am addicted to naps.  I'm better than I used to be--I used to require one every day.  Now it's just a special treat if I had to stay up late or get up early.

 I don't know that I'm addicted to Coke, but I sure do like it.  Especially Vanilla Coke from Sonic. 

 Oh how I love cookies.  Hot out of the oven and gooey.

 Dr. Mario is one of the few video games I'm kind of addicted to.  I do ok until I start playing, and then I can't stop.

 Last, but not least, I adore hot chocolate.  I drink it in all seasons.  It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Challenge 7

Challenge #7:  What numbers best represent you?  

Back in 8th grade basketball I was number 35.  One day in 8th grade math my friends and I were working on an assignment together in class.  There was one problem in particular that we couldn't figure out--a dreaded story problem, no doubt.  Thus, each of us decided to put our basketball numbers in as the answer.  I put x=35.  At the end of class we corrected the assignment.  You'll never guess what the answer was.


I was thrilled. All the practice I'd put into making the basketball team had culminated to this magical moment when I got a question right because I had made the team.  Unfortunately, the assignment was a practice test that wasn't being recorded in the grade book.  But this meant something.  I finally had a lucky number.

I was number 35 for such a short period of time, and yet it somehow ended up being the number I chose to use in countless usernames and passwords for years afterwards.  (I don't use it much anymore, so it won't be of much help to you if you're interested in hacking into any of my accounts.)  So I don't know if the number 35 represents me, but it does remind me of a time when I cashed out with a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Peanut Butter Brownie Bites

The first thing my husband said when he tasted these was, "So, are you going to blog about these?"  You bet.

These were slightly experimental, but they turned out really good.  Think Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but brownie-style.  Yum.  And it's really pretty easy.

First of all, mix up a regular 1 lb. batch of box brownies normally.  You know the drill:  water, oil, and eggs.  After you've got your batter good and mixed up, set it aside.

Now for the peanut butter filling.  I got the idea for peanut butter filling from this fabulous cupcake recipe.  However, the cupcakes require mixing and measuring so many different things.  Batter, filling, and frosting?  Oh dear.  Anyway, it's going to be a special occasion dessert.  These brownies bites, on the other hand, are much less work.

Back to the filling.  Combine the following:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter
2  Tbs. butter at room temperature
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Now pull out your cupcake pans.  This recipe will make about 24 brownie bites, so two pans should do the trick.  Unless you're like me and only have one cupcake pan.  I'm sure it's even faster to make this with two pans, but I don't feel like having two at this juncture in my life.

Now, the roads can diverge here.  You can either use cupcake liners or vegetable spray the crap out of the pans so the brownies don't stick.  Your call.  I used cupcake liners.  Get out a regular table spoon (like the kind you eat with) and drop one spoonful of brownie batter into each cupcake nook.  I don't know what they're really called, but I'm going to call them nooks.

Now the filling.  Form some 1-inch balls with the filling.  Before placing a ball in each nook, squish it slightly to make a thick disk shape.  I feel like this distributes the peanut butter a little more evenly.  When you've got filling in each nook, top the nooks off with another (smaller) spoonful of batter on top.  You don't need much--mostly just cover the filling.

Now bake them at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.  It's a little tricky to test if they're done with the filling, but if you poke a toothpick or knife most of the way in and it comes out clean, it's probably done.  When in doubt, put it in for a minute or two longer.

There you go.  Peanut butter brownie bites.  Delish.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Challenge 6

Challenge #6:  If you could write a letter and send it to yourself when you were younger, what would you say?

Younger Lindsey,

In all honesty, I don't have much advice for you.  You're making good decisions.  Keep it up.

A few things to remember:
  • You do like lettuce and tomatoes eventually.  But not onions.  Onions are still gross.
  • You will get tired of peanut butter sandwiches.
  • You will have a country music phase.  It won't last long, though.
  • It's ok that you aren't good at volleyball.  Don't sweat it when you don't make the team in jr. high.  You are good at other things.
Much Love,

Older Lindsey


Monday, June 11, 2012

Challenge 5

Challenge #5:  What is something that describes you from each letter of the alphabet?
A:  Agreeable
B:  Blind (not legally)
C:  Christian
D:  Danish (partially)
E:  Earthling
F:  Fiddler
G:  Grass-loving
H:  History
I:  Indexing
J:  Jigsaw Puzzle
K:  Kelly Green
L:  Law-abiding
M:  Married
N:  Night Owl
O:  Objective (mostly)
P:  Pasta
Q:  Quesadilla
R:  Resourceful
S:  Sample Tasting
T:  Tallish
U:  Underwear-wearing
V:  Violin
W:  Waffles
X:  X marks the spot
Y:  Yard
Z:  Zodiac is Libra


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Challenge 4

Challenge #4:  When you have a few minutes or a few days, what do you like to do in your “play” time?

I like to read.  I read both books and blogs.  I like to write.  This blog is my major playtime activity.  I like to browse on Pinterest.  I like to start projects I find on Pinterest.  I like to bake.  Oh dear, how I like to bake.  I bake way too often.  Lately I've been on a cleaning kick.  We might be moving soon, so it's my own little way of coping with potential change.  I like to go on walks.  I like to play board and card games.  I like to take naps.   


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Challenge 3

Challenge #3--A fill in the blank challenge: Whenever I ________, I ________.

Whenever I brush my teeth, I use hot water.  I never realized this was weird until I got married--my husband uses cold water.  It had never crossed my mind to use cold water.  He asked why I use hot water, and after a bit of soul searching I realized why.  Growing up, I usually brushed my teeth in the basement bathroom of our house.  It took a looooooong time for the hot water to get to the faucet.  Thus, at some point I'd made the subconscious decision to turn the water to hot while brushing my teeth so that the water would be warm by the time I washed my face.

Whenever I stop at a stoplight, I try to be the first one out of the intersection when the light turns green again.  I drive a stick shift, and when I first started to learn stick I struggled.  I killed the car all the time.  Thus, I became very self-conscious of the time it took for me to get from stop to go.  So I went into drag racing mode and have been there ever since.

Whenever I go for walks, I inwardly test myself on the names of almost every plant I see.  After years of working in garden retail, I can't help myself.  When I see a plant I like that I've never seen before, I have half a mind to go knock on the door to ask what it is.  I don't though.

Whenever I think about hot chocolate, I want some.  It doesn't matter what the temperature is outside.  I love it always.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Challenge 2

Challenge #2:  What are some choices in your life that affected where you are now?

I think I always knew where I was going to attend college, so when the time came to head in that direction, the biggest decision was where I was going to live while I attended school.  I picked one based mostly on the fact that my mom lived there while she was going to school.

 Many of my friends were staying in the same complex for the next year, so I decided to stay for another year too.  I had new roommates and became really good friends with one roommate.

The next year my roommate and I were looking to try out someplace new.  We had some friends from our freshman year who had moved to a different complex and liked it, so we decided to try that our for our junior year.

When it came time to find housing for senior year, my roommate found a house of girls to live in and decided that's what she'd do.  I, on the other hand, didn't feel like that's what I should do.  So I procrastinated.  I told this part of the story more in depth in a previous post.

Finally I ganged up with a fellow social worker I knew from my ward and found someplace to live.  It was while I was living here that I met my husband. 

If I had decided to live somewhere different my freshman year, I would have met different people and may not have ended up in the same place.  It's kind of a sobering to think that if I had made a different decision anywhere along the line, I may not have met my husband.

Then again, one of the places I considered living my freshman year just happened to be the same complex my husband was living at the time.  Maybe we would have met and married earlier had I chosen to live there instead.

Good decisions can lead to all sorts of good ends.  I really like where my choices have led me


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Challenge 1

For this month, I've decided to do a little bit of personal history.  It sounds dorky, but I promise it's not.  I found a website via Pinterest called the "This Is Me Challenge" and she gives a great list of challenge questions that help you dive into recording interesting and unique things about yourself for all your posterity.  It seems like personal history is something old people do after they've had all their best and craziest experiences.  But why wait?  I've got 23.77 years of awesomeness under my belt.  Might as well record it!

If you were forced to go back in time to the olden days, but were allowed to take 10 modern conveniences with you, what would you take?

Modern plumbing.  I can't imagine having to haul all your water into the house from a well outside.

Dishwasher.  This is a modern convenience I don't have right now.  It would be even more nice to have one in the "olden days."

Toothpaste.  I'm not sure how far back "olden days" goes, but they used to use some pretty nasty things as toothpaste.  I do love that minty fresh feeling you get from modern toothpaste.

Pillow.  Ok, so maybe some old-fashioned pillows are good, but I don't want to take any chances.  I like sleep too much.

Refrigerator.  I can't fathom how people manged to keep food good before fridges.

Pandora Radio.  Now, if nobody else had internet, I would have no need for internet either.  However, I would miss that magical music station. (and other equivalents).  This is my main source of book purchasing.  It's so great to find cheap books so easily.

Ovens.  I love a good campfire, but it seems so unpredictable when it comes to cooking.  Plus a lot of houses (and people) caught on fire back then.  Ovens are so much more safe.

Electricity.  I've mentioned several things that require electricity, but they wouldn't be much good without being able to turn on.  That being said, I'm going to slip lights into this category, as it seems to be electricity in its simplest form.  But I'm no electrical engineer, so I could be wrong.  Electricity is nice when you want to turn on the bathroom light in the middle of the night.

Cars.  I like being in places I've never been, but I don't really like the traveling part.  I don't like being in transit.  Thus, I like to get wherever I'm going as quickly as possible.  I'm adamant about driving the speed limit, but I'm definitely not a dawdler.  I like how much faster cars make travel.

I can't decide whether my list makes me feel embarassingly spoiled or ridiculously blessed.  I live a very privileged life.