Friday, November 7, 2008

Long Time, No Writing

I know, I know. I haven't written or updated my blog recently. It's not from a lack of ideas or thoughts to write down and share with world. It's complete and total laziness on my part. I kept thinking to myself, 'Self, put up a new post tomorrow'. Which of course never happened. So I figured I'd just make a big long post about the things that I have been up to in the past 3 weeks.

Run for the Wolves 5k
This is as good of a place to start off as any. I decided to run this 5k race because I wasn't very happy with the time that I got for the Homecoming 5k. Although my time for the Homecoming 5k was an improvement on my previous race time, it still wasn't under 30 minutes. I was sure that I could run 5k at a faster pace. So I signed up for Run for the Wolves 5k.

A couple of my friends said that they would sign up for the race too, and we could run it together. As the race got closer though, I found I was the only one that had actually signed up for the race. I talked to my friends and all of them had some reason or excuse not to run the race with me. I on the other hand was committed. I'd like to say I was committed because I'm a dedicated running person, but mostly it's because I had already paid the sign up fee and there were no refunds. So I went to the race by myself.

This race was much smaller than the other two races I ran in. There were only about 300 people compared to the 600 in my first race and the nearly 1,700 people in the homecoming race. I arrived at the starting location and this race had a completely different feel to it. There were people and dogs dressed up in costumes. I saw a small dog dressed like a hot dog and a guy wearing faerie wings. This race seemed more relaxed and laid back than the others.

As the race got started I was feeling pretty good. I began the race at the front to the pack and I was feeling pretty good about being ahead of everyone. That feeling didn't last very long though, as people passed me on regular basis. Still I kept my pace and kept moving along. I would like to say that this was the easiest race of the three that I have ran. I would be lying if I said that. In fact running in this race was down right hard. I kept thinking to myself that I was going to have to stop running and walk. I began picking points ahead of me and thought to myself when I reached that point I would walk. I would reach that particular point and realize that I could go a little further. So I would pick another point ahead of me and tell myself the same thing. I kept doing that until I finally got to the point where I was going to walk. I had made up my mind and I needed a rest. That is when I looked up and saw the finish line. I couldn't start walking so close to the end, so I kept running. I finished with a time of 27:36. What a pleasant surprise. I finally ran a race in fewer in 30 minutes. In fact, that is 3 minutes faster than my previous race time. Now the trick is to keep on running, so when I run a race again next year I can do even better.

Meetings with Elder Bednar
David A Bednar is an Apostle for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, of which I am a member. Apostles routinely travel the world visiting the members of the church in different areas. Because I live in a place that is so close to Utah, where the church is based, it's rare for an Apostle to come to visit. In fact I think it has been something like 22 years since the last Apostle came to visit this area. It was announced a few weeks ago that Elder Bednar would be coming to this area to have meetings with the members of the church in Northern Colorado. Part of those meetings was a special meeting with the young single adult members of the church.

The experience was unlike any other church meeting that I have ever been to. To start off, we arrived at the church building a few hours early in order to have good seats. My friends and I knew there were going to be a lot of people there, so we made sure to arrive early in order to get seats right up front. When Elder Bednar came in, we all stood to show respect for a servant of the Lord. He began the meeting and explained to us that our meeting would be a bit different than other meetings. He said our meeting was going to be a question/answer meeting. Can you believe it? We got to ask our questions to an Apostle of Jesus Christ. What an experience.

He made sure that we understood what kind of questions we should ask. He said that although all questions are good, some questions are better than others. He then gave two example of questions. He said that although questions like "Where is the Sword of Laban?" are interesting, they really have nothing to do with our eternal salvation. He said a better question would be something like, "What have you learned about prayer since you have been praying with prophets for the past 4 years?". Then he let us ask our questions. Some really good questions were asked, and a lot of questions hadn't even crossed my mind until they were asked. Elder Bednar took his time and made sure to answer the questions fully and to the best of his ability. I learned so much and I am grateful for the experience that I had to be there.

When I watch TV, my entertainment usually comes from one of two channels. I watch a lot of ESPN and a lot of the Food Network. There are some pretty entertaining shows on the Food Network like Good Eats, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Iron Chef America, and Ace of Cakes. Not only are these shows entertaining, but they get me excited to try making the food myself.

A couple of friends and I decided that we would get together on Tuesday nights and have home cooked meals as a nice break from the single persons diet of ramen noodles, mac-n-cheese, pizza, and other various fast food meals. I have to say it's been a good experience. We usually meet at the store ahead of time to purchase the food items for our next meal and then we head to my house to prepare everything. I have been very pleased with the way our meals have turned out. We started off with simple things like chicken enchiladas, waffles, and pot roast and worked our way up to chicken cordon bleu and chicken fried steak. I know these meals aren't super hard to make, but they have been tasty. Next week, I'm hoping to do stuffed pork chops.

I really don't know why I enjoy cooking so much, other than it feels like I'm creating something and I hope other people will enjoy the food. I never thought that I would enjoy cooking so much considering that when I was younger and I had the responsibility to be in charge of dinner, I would usually just order pizza. Cooking for myself tastes so much better.

Trip to Utah
A few months ago, my friend Elisa made the decision to move to Utah. After putting it off for a while, she made the effort to start the process to move. She applied for and got a job working for the University of Utah and found a place to live. She set her date to make the move and started preparing the arrangements to move out there. While she was making her preparations, the person that was her first choice to drive the moving truck out to Salt Lake fell through. So I got the honor to drive the truck. Probably because of my box truck driving experience from my days as a Sears delivery guy and a Fed Ex driver.

Turns out that driving a moving truck across a couple of states isn't nearly as much fun as being a delivery driver. As a delivery driver you stop every couple of minutes to make your deliveries. Driving in the moving truck, we were stuck in the cab of the truck for a good seven to eight hours. Not fun at all. To make matters worse, those delivery trucks don't even go the speed limit on the freeway. I blame the car that we were towing behind us. It felt like we were going so slow and like all of the other cars on the freeway were passing us. I'm glad that Elisa was in the truck with me though. Good company can make a long trip a lot more bearable.

When we got to her new apartment I was not impressed. It looked pretty run down on the outside. The building was built in like the 1920's and it was all gray brick. The steps were crooked and there wasn't much of a yard. But we went inside and it was a nice place. The interior of the building had been remodeled with new drywall, flooring, and cabinets. I'm glad that she ended up in a nice place.

After unloading Elisa's things my brother came to pick me up so I could stay with he and his wife in Orem. It was nice to see them. We spent the first night playing video games and just hanging out. It was a pretty good time.

On Sunday I met up with my friend Michelle in Salt Lake and I went to the singles ward with her. I'm realized that I don't really like going to church in Utah. There are too many people and I feel like I'm lost in the shuffle every time I go. I definitely prefer attending church here in Fort Collins.

After church I went back to my brother's house for dinner. My sister and her family came as well. We enjoyed a meal of beans, potatoes, red chili, and home made tortillas. It's a meal that we often had growing up and I rarely, if ever, eat anymore. The food was so good and we had an enjoyable time spending time with each other. I miss having family around to hang out with. Hopefully someday, we'll all live closer to each other.

Eating Sugar Again
On the way out to Utah, we stopped at a Little America travel station in Wyoming. For those of you that don't know, Little America has 50 cent ice cream cones. It's a tradition of Elisa's family to stop there on road trips to use the restroom and get ice cream before hitting the road again. So we stopped and Elisa talked me into getting some ice cream. I hadn't eaten any refined sugar in 8 months as part of my diet and weight loss plan, so I was a little anxious about eating sugar again. I was worried that it might make me sick or even worse that I might not like sugar anymore. Turns out I still like sugar. I put the ice cream cone in my mouth and it was super sweet. Almost too sweet. Yet it was so good. Now I know Little America ice cream isn't gourmet ice cream. I mean come on, they sell it for 50 cents a cone. But it is worth the 50 cents.

Since then I have fallen off the wagon a little bit. I had some candy while I was staying with my brother and I may have had a few cookies here and there. But I'm determined to keep my sugar intake limited. I've lost nearly 40 pounds and I'm in no hurry to put it back on. I'm not saying that eating sweets will make me fat, but I want to make sure that I monitor the things I eat and the amount I indulge in.

Getting In Contact With Old Ricks College Friends
A couple of months ago I received a random email from Facebook. The subject said "Is this Mo?" and the message said "From Ricks College?" It was from a girl name Melodee I went to school with my freshman year of college. Talk about out of the blue. I haven't talked to or spoken to her in over 10 years. My friend Jacob and I had gotten pretty close to Melodee and her roommates while we were at Ricks. We even made road trips to see our friends in Utah the summer after my freshman year. But as happens so often, Jacob and I left on missions and the girls moved on with their lives and we lost contact with each other.

Thanks to the Internet invention of Facebook though, she was able to find my profile and send me a message. It was cool to write back and fill each other in on what's been going on in our lives. At first I was a little shy to share what I've been up to, since I don't feel like I've accomplished much since my mission. So I didn't write back immediately. Melodee stayed persistent and sent me another email about what she has been up too and I made sure to write back. She also put me back in contact again with some of her roommates and filled me in on what they are doing. It's been pretty cool to hear from these people that I haven't talked to in such a long time. In fact they have a special place in my heart because they helped me to see the importance of gaining a testimony about the gospel and serving a mission. I am so glad we have gotten back in touch with each other and I hope we can continue our friendships.

Other Random Things That Have Happened Or That I've Thought About
I love sports. I love playing watching them, whether it's on TV or in person, it doesn't matter. I even watch Sportscenter to see the highlights of the games I just watched. I dedicate a decent amount of time to reading about sports on the Internet too. But I just can't seem to like basketball. I would go so far as to say that I hate basketball. I recognize the athletic ability that is required to play, but it is a sport that I have no interest in. Recently though, I have thought about starting to play basketball. A group of guys from my ward get together Monday nights after FHE to play a few games. I have been giving some serious consideration to going and playing with them. Not because I want to feel included or because I have a new found love for basketball, but because I need something to do for exercise. I haven't gone running since I ran the Run for the Wolves race and I'm starting to feel a bit lazy. I know that I could get a good sweat going if I were to start playing on Monday nights. I guess my dilemma in making my decision is do I hate basketball more than I want to exercise? I guess I'll just have to play a game to find out.

On a completely different subject, I miss my friend Elisa. She is one of my closest and best friends. Now that she has moved to Utah I feel a little bit lonely. I have a lot of friends and I enjoy hanging out with them, but I still miss her. We had stake conference at church last week and I felt a little lost because I would always talk to her after the meeting. I don't like it.

Here is something random. I'm not ready for Christmas. Christmas is my favorite time of year, but I'm a things-need-to-be-done-in-order kind of guy. I hate that there are Christmas decorations and music playing before Thanksgiving. I even saw some Christmas stuff up before Halloween. Pretty soon there will be Christmas stuff on sale right after the Fourth of July. It's not that I don't like the Christmas, I love it. It's just that I would like to enjoy Thanksgiving first before I focus on Christmas. That's just my feeling on the subject.


Sandy said...

Nice to hear from you again! I echo the sentiments about Christmas. It drives me a little crazy, all the decorations and the pressure to feel like I must go shopping or time will run out. I have plenty of time people!

Andrea said...

Just wanted to say that reading your latest blog made me smile. It shows that you're enjoying life and I'm happy for you. You're cooking adventures, I can totally see you loving that. Basketball...that one threw me for a loop, but now I understand. Hope all continues to go well.