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Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I have finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and thus have finished the entire Harry Potter series. I finished on Tuesday after work and, after having a few days to process, can write my review. For any of those who have not finished the book, I will not give major plot points away. This was the darkest book in the series but it was nice to see a one or two light points, such as the wedding. I have to admit, there was a little more camping that I would have liked but I still enjoyed the quest of Harry and his friends. The deaths of several characters that I liked was a blow but I accepted them with my usual grace; meaning I became angry, then a little sad. (I have yet to figure out why I become so attached to fictional characters.) I accepted the ending of the book in stride although the epilogue was a little much for me. (It wrapped it up in too perfect of a picture.) I heard a rumor from a coworker that J.K. Rowling is writing two new books. While it is known that they will not be sequels to Harry Potter, I am hoping for a prequel. I have always wondered how James and Lily got together, how the ministry of magic was started, and more about the founders of Hogwarts. I apologize to the readers of the blog for the lack of specifics. If you would like to discuss the book in more detail, feel free to call me.

Family Reunion

On Saturday I awoke with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step. Why, my faithful readers may ask? No, it was not the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (although I did buy a copy.) It was the knowledge that the Roberts Clan was meeting at Scera Park in Orem. I will freely admit that I love family reunions. I suppose that makes me a little strange since I am under the age of 30. My mom called in the morning to let me know that they (Mom, Dad, and Sidney) would be arriving in Orem around 12:15pm. After some confusion about where I was meeting them, I arrived at the Scera Park with a pasta salad made by Sarah and a bowel of tomatoes from my two tomato plants that are growing in pots on my patio. We met, ate, and then Sidney, Jordan, Shannon, Michael, James, Ben, John W., Katie, Jen, John S., Lauren, Jeff, Heather, Easton, and Taylor went to the nearby swimming pool to play. I followed Sidney around while John and Jen introduced Lauren at first. While hesitant at first, Lauren soon followed the example of her cousin and had a great time. After three hours of swimming, Sidney and I called it quits. Hunger and fatigue had worn us both down. We returned to the park for more food and fun with the non-swimmers. Dinner was served around 6pm. (I would like to thank my mother and aunts for providing the food and Diane for planning the reunion.) We stayed and talked until it got dark. Even then we had to pull some kids off the playground. It was a great day and I can't wait until next year. Thanks for coming!

Ward Barbecue

Last Thursday Sarah and I went to a ward barbecue in Provo Canyon. It was beautiful despite the heat. After some wonderful food that was cooked by the bishopric, we spread out over South Fork Park and played games. I went for a little walk and took some nice nature shots, then returned to the group and harassed them with my camera. I forget that not everyone grew up with a camera at every event. A couple of people asked me to make them copies of some of the pictures that I took that evening. We stayed until it got dark, then headed home. One particularly interesting moment of note was when I realized that the large rock near the parking lot contained a snake beneath it. Dustin, a member of the ward, went to retrieve his IPOD from the car and came running back as fast as his legs could carry him. He said he had seen a snake and was pretty shook up about it. I wasn't sure if he was telling the truth and offered to retrieve his IPOD. As I climbed the small hill to the parking I pasted a large rock (which was approximately four feet high and three feet wide) and heard a distinct rattling sound that I have only heard on nature shows on television. I slowly backed away from the rock and continued my trip to the car. I took the long way back to the park and warned people who were parked by the rock to do likewise. By the end of the night I had taken many pictures and made some good memories.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Harry Potter movie

Last night I went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I was off work by 6pm last night and hardly knew what to do with myself. Sarah wasn't home and I wasn't feeling really socialable, so I decided to go to the movies alone. I have never felt strange about going to the movies or to dinner alone. I went to the 7:15pm showing at the Riverwoods. It was a pretty good movie. Of course, they left a lot of details from the book out. Had they tried to include everything, the movie would have been four hours long. Overall, I thought it was well done and would give it three and a half stars. Be warned, it is darker than the fourth film. Despite the darker tone, I would still recommend it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stop the maddness....or at least slow it down.

This last week has been quite hectic. I worked 52 hours in order to get everything done. Now that the project of gigantic proportions is done, I now am trying to pick up the slack for a vacationing co-worker. She left for California on Thursday and will not return until the 24th. This meant that the running of new hire orientation yesterday was placed squarely upon my shoulders. It went as well as expected with the exception of two people showing up an hour late, three people showing up who were not on the orientation list, and the laptop computer that was showing a Powerpoint presentation dying halfway through a presentation. Oh the joy of it all! I tried to accomplish everything in a timely and professional. I arrived at work at 8am and left at 7:30pm. I had hours more work to accomplish but my brain has ceased to be effective at that point. I hope the rest of this week will be a little bit calmer than yesterday. I am looking forward to the family reunion this Saturday and hope to have some sort of fun this Friday night. When I have more time, I will write a longer and more detailed update on my life. These days I feel like I am running a sprint race that is miles long. (I actually went to bed at 10pm last night!) It should hopefully calm down after my co-worker comes back. Sadly, my boss then leaves for a week. (Maybe I should just look forward to September when everyone comes back from their vacations.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

In good health

I am happy to report that I have passed my physical. I decided to have a physical after going three years without one. I went and got a blood test on Thursday morning. They had to draw from two different veins because the phlebotomist started wiggling the needle around and lost the vein after the first vial. I left work for my physical yesterday morning. It went well and I was back at work by 1pm. My new doctor is very nice and seems competent. (It's nice to know I'm not in too bad of shape; although I couldstand to drop a few pounds and exercise more :)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Stadium of Fire and other fun

Wednesday was the 4th of July. I began the day by sleeping in until 10 am. It was lovely. I then got up and went into work for two hours; which was necessary but not lovely. Afterwards, I returned home and really got ready for the day. Sarah had gotten tickets to The Stadium of Fire for herself, Happy, and I. (Happy is Sarah's best friend.) To prevent not being able to find a place to park, Sarah took her car down to the stadium early and got a great parking place. I then drove us to a barbecue put on by Heather's parents. I left my car there to be picked up later. Uncle Larry then dropped the three of us off at the stadium. We met up with a bunch of people from the ward and had a great time. Brooks and Dunn, the country duo, were the performers. Corbon Bleu, from High School Musical, was also there. They had a couple of skydivers, a flyby by jets, dancers, cheerleaders, and moving tributes to the troops. The fireworks were amazing. It went well into the night and we were all tired and covered by ash by the end of the night. We separated from the group and were walking to the car when Sarah realized that she hadn't brought her keys. We immediately called another member of the ward for a ride. Cassie had already gotten to her car but said she would come pick us up if we could get to a certain intersection. We arrived at the intersection and stayed there on the grass nearby for an hour. We talked, laughed, and waited. Finally we met up with Cassie and were taken to my car. Sarah and I then went home, got her keys, and drove back for her car. When we returned home I took a shower because I was still covered in ash and smelled a little like smoke. At 2:30am I went to bed, then got up at 6:45am to go to a doctor's office. I had to get some blood drawn for a physical that I will be taking on Monday. I then worked almost 10 hours. To say I was tired on Thursday is an understatement. But, overall, it was a fun 4th of July. It was strange to not be up in Kaysville with the folks and the Allred family.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The parade

On Friday night I went up to Mom and Dad's house to spend the night. Sidney was staying over and I haven't slept at my parent's house in months. I stayed up way too late and was awakened early the next morning by a happy little girl who was excited to be in a parade. We went down to Woods Cross and found Dad next to the fire/foam truck. For those who don't know, my dad drives a truck in the parade for Woods Cross every year. For the past five or six years, I have ridden with him. For the last two or three years, Sid has come along. It was hot but fun. Afterwards Sidney and I threw ice and water at each other while we tried not to get Mom, Jen, Lauren, Jeremy, or Wyatt wet. Afterwards we returned to Kaysville where Sid, Wyatt, and Lauren played in the water. I stayed until late afternoon and then returned to Orem to meet up with an old friend, Jen. We got together later than expected because she was late coming back from a hike. I have always loved talking to Jen. She and I can not talk for months, then immediately pick up where we left off. (I wish she didn't live in Idaho.) Anyway, it was a fun weekend capped off by church and break the fast with the ward.

A book meme

Name a book that changed your life: This is a hard question. I would say either The Bible or The Book of Mormon for religious reasons. I was also changed by Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. It, along with The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, taught me how to forgive and gave me two amazing people to admire.
Name a book that you have read more than once: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I believe I have read it eight times all the way through, and have read the more interesting parts ten or eleven times. I can also almost recite The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton word for word.
Name a book that you would take on a deserted island: Besides the obvious answer of some sort of survival guide, I think I would take The Complete Works of Shakespeare (with footnotes). When not reading it, I could use it to squash small animals.
Name a book that you wish you had written: Any of the Harry Potter books. They show an amazing imagination and planning, have gotten kids to read more, and have made lots of money.
Name a book that you wish had never been written: Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. Enough said.
Name a book you have been meaning to read: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. (Please don't yell at me, I'm afraid if I start reading I will not put it down. I just don't have the time right now. Give me a couple weeks.)
Name a book that you are currently reading: The Watson go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. I am reading it for my book group.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Color Me Mine

On Thursday night, the Relief Society members of my new ward went to a business named Color Me Mine. It is a place where you can go and paint pottery. They then fire it. We had such fun. For my first time, I did alright. Next time, and there will be a next time, I will change some things. Here are some before and after pictures of a plate I made. For my first time, it went pretty well. I think I will do a geometric design and more coats of paint for my next plate. I invite you all to come and try it.

An official employee

On the 20th of June I became an official employee of Prosper, a financial coaching company. I am an HR Assistant. I help with new hire orientation, maintain the employee databases, maintain the employee files, and help with special projects. After being a temp for two months, it is nice to finally be an official employee. My job has so many interesting aspects to it. Right now is a crazy time, especially since the director of HR just had emergency surgery. The HR department, which includes Erin, Joee, Susan, Travis, and Jeff. Jeff is the director, Joee is the recruiter, Susan deals with compensation and benefits, Erin is the communications specialist and Travis is an HR intern. They are a diverse bunch and interesting to work with. Because I am in the middle of a big project, I have been working about 45 hours a week for the last month. This week should be very busy but I think I am up to the task.