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Thursday, January 31, 2008

The passing of President Hinckley

I learned of President Gordon B. Hinckley's passing on Sunday night through a text message. (For those who do not belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, bare with me.) At first, I couldn't believe it. Then I was sad at the passing of a man who has had such an influence on my life. I am still a little sad; but I have to say that the strongest emotions are ones of joy and gratitude. I am happy that he is finally with his beloved wife again. 97 years is a long time to live and he is now at peace; free from worldy cares and physical pains. I am grateful for all the talks and guidance that he gave to myself and millions of others over the years. After hearing him speak, I always wanted to be a better person. My cousin Megan has a great video on her blog that is a tribute to President Hinckley by Glen Beck. To see it on YouTube, click here. I don't know much about Glenn Beck, other than he is a conservative radio/tv host who has a program on CNN, but his tribute to President Hinckley was moving and reflected my own feelings. President Hinckley's funeral is on Saturday.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Concussion (yep, more brain damage)

Concussion: from the Latin concussus ("to shake violently") is the most common and least serious type of traumatic brain injury.

On Thursday morning I hit my head. I was leaning into my car and thought I heard Happy say my name. I stood up fast, but had not actually come out from the car. I hit the back of my head on the door frame and saw stars. I then went to work, where a headache developed. I soon developed a sensitivity to light and my pupils became different sizes. They have been different sizes in the past but they were very noticeably different on Thursday afternoon. I left work early and drove to Salt Lake to babysit Lauren. I loved it, although every squeal killed me and I was really wishing that Jen and John's house was full of dimmer lights. Driving home was painful because of the headlights coming towards me and driving behind me. The whole time I was popping Aleve and Tylenol. I went to sleep on Thursday night, and woke up groggy and with a horrible headache on Friday morning. During the day on Friday I was nauseous, light sensitive, had a slight ringing in my ears, had a horrible headache, and actually fell into a wall. I also was the butt of a few jokes by a co-worker, since I kept forgetting words. I described my computer as the "box with that typy thing." Luckily, my pupils were returning to normal (or at least my version of normal.) After much cajoling from my co-workers, I decided to visit the Instacare down the street. When I talked to the front desk guy, he almost yelled at me. He could not understand why I had not had a CAT scan or a CT within hours of hitting my head. He told me to go to the ER to get checked out.
I called Sarah to let her know what was going on and by 6:30pm I was sitting in the waiting room of the ER, trying to not look at lights or listen to the whiny woman next to me. (Apparently, she thought waiting for more than 15 minutes was the end of the world.) I got checked in and layed down on the bed with the lights off while I waited for the nurse. When I explained what had happened, the nurse asked me why I hadn't come in sooner. I gave him the excuse that I was too busy and received a mini lecture about caring for myself.
The doctor looked in my eyes for a while, had me follow his fingers, and asked me some interesting questions. He diagnosed me with a concussion, but decided not to do a CAT scan or CT since I had already slept on it for a night and managed to awaken safe and sound. Also, my head hurt less and my balance had improved. He told me to take it easy for the next few days (I guess I should only work 8 hours on Monday.) If I don't improve over the next week, I am supposed to go back or see my family doctor. On my way home, I checked out a few videos and have not had too much fun this weekend. My headache has lessened, my balance has almost come back, and am less light sensitive. My memory is still a little off, but continues to improve. According to the doctor, I now have to be more diligent about hitting my head. I am now more susceptible to having problems with head injuries. The one good thing is that I get to make brain damage jokes and I will be getting off early from work tomorrow. My biggest problem now is insurance. On the back of my insurance card it says to contact the insurance company within 48 hours of being in the ER. I called every number on the card, and the insurance broker, but no one answered. I will call first thing in the morning tomorrow.

New bathroom faucet

For the last month, the hot water handle on our bathroom faucet hasn't worked. When I woke up this morning, Aunt Diane, Uncle Larry, and Sarah were replacing the faucet. The picture on the top is the old one and the picture on the bottom is the new one. Way to go Sarah, Aunt Diane, and Uncle Larry!

Saying "hi" with Lauren

On Thursday I was able to go up to Salt Lake to babysit Lauren. After we (Jen, John, Mom, Dad, and I) ate an amazing dinner cooked by Jen, I got to play with Lauren. I chased her around like a puppy dog and snapped at her heels. She thought I was very funny and couldn't stop laughing. She showed me how she could use a broom and push a shopping cart. Mom introduced Lauren to the art of licking beaters. It was funny to see Lauren try to figure it out. Once she did, she kept saying "Mmmm." Luckily, John and I were on hand with cameras. One of the funniest moments of the night was when I recorded Lauren saying "hi." I had forgotten that my phone had the ability to record voice notes. Lauren was playing with my phone and got into the program. I pressed record and said "say hi." She said "hi" and I hit the end button. When I played it back, she looked shock to hear her own voice and then waved and said "hi" to the phone. I about died laughing. I then played it again and she waved and said "hi" again. I didn't get her to bed until 9pm since we were having so much fun. Despite the raging headache I had, I wouldn't have given up one second with her. It is amazing how much I love my nieces and nephews. I wish I lived closer to all of them.

Snow and cold

On my way to a work lunch this week, I walked through a park and couldn't resist taking a picture or two. When I crossed the bridge to get to the Riverwoods shopping area, I heard a swishing sound. I looked down to see a fisherman in the river. I called hello and reminded him that it was 25 degrees outside. He laughed and said that he knew he was insane. I love how pretty snow makes everything look but I hate being cold. I took a picture to show to my co-workers.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Weekend of talking

On Friday night I received a call from Sarah, asking me if I would like to join Happy and herself for a movie. I got off work early (6:30) and went over to the theater. 27 Dresses is cute, in a chick-click, formulaic kind of way. Sometimes, that's just what a girl needs; a mindless chick-flick to take your mind of reality. On Saturday I slept in, ran errands, and went to work for a little while. I missed the ward activity of sledding but met up with Sarah and the rest of the group for a birthday dinner. We nine of us went to Macaroni Grill. I bought Sarah a two year subscription to Real Simple for her birthday. After dinner, an event that lasted a while, Happy, Sarah, Aaron, and I returned to our apartment to engage in stimulating conversation. While some of you might think that I'm being sarcastic, I assure you that I am not. Our conversations with Aaron always end up in deep conversations on various topics including religion, living in foreign countries, relationships, politics, and art. We talked until 2:30 am. I was still awake so I read for an hour. After several hours of sleep, I arose to go to church. Sarah and I made it to sacrament meeting and I made it to Sunday school. By the time it ended, I was exhausted and had a headache. I went home to join my roommates for naps. I was awakened by Sarah, who announced that Aunt Renee had arrived. We talked for a while and agreed to meet later for Sarah's birthday dinner. At 5pm we went to Aunt Diane's for great food and conversation. Even though I left early, I still didn't get to bed until 12:20 because I was in the middle of a good book. All in all, I didn't get a lot of sleep this weekend but I had some great conversations.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Saturday with Isaac and Aaron (and other people who aren't as little and cute)

On Saturday, I was able to drive up to my parent's house to see Isaac and little Aaron. I managed to arrive by 10:15, after passing through many a fog bank in Utah county. Isaac was awake after spending the night with his grandparents and we played for a couple of hours. One of the funniest moments was when he discovered my boots and decided that he needed to wear them and walk around in them. He could barely lift this feet and couldn't really keep his balance without holding on to a wall or person's finger. Later that day, Mom, Dad, and I took him shopping. We took a little shopping cart from home and he pushed it all around Sam's Club, much to the amusement of all the rest of the shoppers. He and I also danced in the music aisle. He went down for a nap quickly after all the fun.
I got to see Aaron for a little while in the morning before we left to go shopping. When we took Isaac home to his parents, I was able to hold Aaron for an uninterrupted 40 minutes. I was in heaven. I can't believe how light he is. I am used to holding Tanner, who is almost a year old. There is quite a difference in length, activity level, and weight. Holding an 18 lb baby is much different from holding a 7 lb baby. Aaron slept the whole time and I had to do my best to wake him up so Alison could feed him. I then drove back to Utah County, my arms aching. I do love my current life, but there are times that I can't help but yearn for a family of my own. It will come in time, but it can be hard to be patient in the meantime.

Snow in Utah

You never know, from one winter to another, how much it is going to snow in Utah. Some winters, it seems like we get one or two inches every couple of weeks, but never much more. Other winters, like this one, we seems to get 7 inches every other week. I love the fact that we are receiving moisture for the summer, but I hate the fact that I have to dig out my car. I park in front of my house, which isn't covered parking. This week, I opened the door to find a rather large amount of snow on my car. This is what it looked like after I cleaned off everything but the top. I had to shovel my way to the car, and then clean it off. I have to admit that I miss the days when my dad would clean off my car before he left for work. When I left for school, I would only have to scrap for a minute or two. Now it is a ten minute process before I can think of leaving for work. (Sometimes being an adult isn't any fun.) I have also found that Orem isn't as diligent in clearing residential streets of snow as Kaysville and Farmington are. Oh well, such is life.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Aaron Wyler

I would like to announce the birth on my newest nephew. Aaron Wyler was born on January 4th, at app. 12:12pm. He weighed 7 lb 2 oz and 20.5 inches long. He is in excellent health, according to his parents. (see their blog entry at I haven't seen him yet but am very excited to this weekend. Yea!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

New Years Eve

On New Year's Eve I had to go to work from 9-10:30am. I then headed off the my parents house, where I had fun with my mom cleaning the house. Jordan and Alison came over with Isaac and we got ready for the annual celebration of the life of Caleb Johnsen. Mom, Dad, Josh, Brooke, Tanner, Alison, Jordan, Isaac, Emily, Aaron, Pat, Steve, Jeremy and myself ate and played games until midnight. Jordan, Alison, and I ended up staying up past 1am. On New Years Day, the three of us went to IHOP. It was a lot of fun. Later on, I went over to Ryan's house to exchange Christmas gifts and catch up. When I got home, it was funny to see Dad and Isaac playing around. Dad read a book to Isaac, who then slide down Dad's legs. Dad then lifted Isaac upside down. It was so cute. Once it was dark I headed home to Orem. As much as I love family, I wish they were closer. The drive up and down is annoying. Lucky, the roads were clear and the sailing smooth. Happy New Years!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Christmas #2

After our Johnsen family Christmas party, the real Christmas came speeding towards me. On Christmas Eve I had to work until 2pm. I originally thought I would have to stay later, but luck was with me. I drove up to my parent's house. Halfway there it started to snow and, by the time I arrived in Kaysville, a blizzard had descended. Since Mom was in Idaho taking care of Grandma and Grandpa Roberts, Dad and I made chicken crescent rolls and watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on DVD. On Christmas morning, Dad let me sleep in late and then made me pull-a-parts. We then went to visit Jeremy, Britnie, Sidney, and Wyatt to see what the kids had received. Sid and I played with superhero dolls and she showed me her new dollhouse. Wyatt talked on the phone to Mom, who was having a hard time with Grandma in the hospital and Grandpa struggling at home. Our next journey took us to Grandma Johnsen's house, where we talked for over an hour. On the way out, I took a picture of the icicles hanging from her roof. I stayed until 5:30pm, and then went home to Provo so that I could be ahead of the next storm. Dad went over to Jeremy and Britnie's house for dinner. I took a picture of the tree that Sarah had put up in our apartment and went to bed early. Although I love all of my gifts, I have to say that my favorite presents this year were the following: a desk calendar with pictures of my nieces and nephews, a gift certificate to Hale Center Theater, and the electronic Sudoku game. Merry Christmas!