Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A missed moment

I don't think anyone at work knows I'm a Mormon. I have been praying for missionary opportunities every day for ages and finally got one this morning. And I mostly blew it.

This is one of the pictures taped to the wall next to my desk...

For some reason, people think the DC temple looks like Cinderella's Castle at Disney World. I guess I kind of see it, but not really. Anyway, earlier today a nice lady named Wendy was sitting with me at my desk going over some project details. I had to take a phone call, and after I hung up she commented on my photos. She asked if I got married in Cinderella's Castle, and there was my moment to naturally and normally share a little bit about the temple/the Church. Instead, I shifted the conversation back to the work project with a simple, "No, it's a church out in Washington, DC. It's the same one my parents were married in, that's why it's special."

That's all.

The temple is so much more than that! Yes, it's special that where I got married kind of looks like Cinderella's Castle. Yes, it's special that I got married in the same place as my parents. Yes, it's special that most of my family was able to be there. But what's even more special is that I get to be with Daniel forever. I can go back and perform sacred ordinances for those who have passed on and can't do the work themselves. I can receive blessings from God for my service. That's why the "church out in Washington, DC" is special. And that's what I should've said.

Moral of my story: Take those precious opportunities to naturally and normally share your beliefs. Sometimes one chance is all you get.

Here's to a better outcome next time someone asks me about my wedding!


Thursday, December 6, 2012


On Monday I started my new job!

My eyes are super squinty, but my hair looks good

I work in the Department of Surgery, Division of Education (but we're all lumped under Surgery, as evidenced by my badge). I mostly assist 3 ladies with their projects - one works with M3 and M4 students doing their surgical rotations, one works with surgical residents, and one works with physicians who want CME (continuing medical education) credit. It's a lot of event planning and nagging physicians and figuring out who works where, but I love it already. The only downsides are 1) I have to park behind the Mental Health Complex (if you're familiar with the medical campus, you understand) and hike to the hospital entrance. It's a 10 minute walk on a good day. Heaven help me when it's snowy/icy, and 2) I'm really far away from MCW, so it takes awhile to meet up with people or get to the gym. My legs are getting a good workout though!

Also, I've been listening to some new tunes (new to me at least) lately and liking what I'm hearing. Here are a few of my current favorites...

Foster the People - Waste

I don't usually go for blondes, but I think FtP's drummer is very attractive

Imagine Dragons - Demons

These guys (at least the lead singer) are Mormon, so we like to listen to them on the drive to and from church

Two Door Cinema Club - Sleep Alone

This music video is weird, and I'm sorry about that. The joke is that the band is Harry, Ron, and Neville during school holidays

Looking forward to traveling and seeing my family in a few weeks! New is fun now and then, but familiarity is great!

Update: My new office does casual Fridays. Aw yeah!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Holidays and Other Happenings

So apart from emotionally intense blogging (sorry grandma!), we've been spending a lot of time celebrating the various fall holidays. Here's a recap of what we've been up to...

For a 4-person committee and very small budget, I think the ward trunk-or-treat turned out great! Temperatures were chilly and the gym was packed, but we made the most of night.

We didn't judge the chili cook-off, but we acted like it! We used cups instead of bowls to maximize tasting efficiency. The two we liked the best actually won overall, so we felt pretty legit

Daniel wanted something low-key and easy for trunk-or-treat, so we went as Sims! Daniel made our plumbobs and treated them with extra care
I think we looked pretty awesome!

Our schedules worked out so Daniel didn't have to shave for about 6 weeks. He decided to channel the most epic beard of 2012 by dressing up as Seneca Crane for the real Halloween. I went as Katniss, my friend Katie braided my hair (my hair's long enough to braid!) and my friend Emily helped take in my dress, so I owe a big THANK YOU to them!

The big 2-3
I turned 23 on November 9 and celebrated with a mocktail party! We invited our friends/neighbors over and enjoyed hanging out and eating/drinking. Sarah let me borrow her Sam's Club membership and we took advantage of the ridiculous items that this place has to offer

A shotgun full of tequila

This is the only picture I took during the party, me and my mint  mojito

Daniel and Nic did an awesome job decorating, but next time they'll need stronger tape. This is what the morning of November 10 looked like

Elder Nelson
One of Daniel's classmates has some awesome connections with the General Authorities. We were lucky enough to have Elder Nelson come visit MCW and give little fireside/devotional talk thing about the importance of preparing our lives for blessing and saving others. It was such a real treat to be in close proximity to an apostle, plus we got our picture taken with him...

So. Awesome.

We decided to stay in Milwaukee this year and celebrate Thanksgiving with some dear friends. On Wednesday night, we participated in the Harper tradition of pie night! This has been a part of Janey's Thanksgiving routine for years and we were very lucky to be included on the guest list! Daniel made his delicious chocolate mousse pie and there were plenty of other yummies too!

Yummy pie and yummy man!

 Instead of a traditional turkey, we had prime rib and salmon on Thursday! We had the rest of the Thanksgiving must-haves though, like mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, sweet potatoes, and stuffing. We watched some football before/afterwards, and then had some more pie!

Daniel and the 6 pound prime rib

The smoke alarm kept going off, so we kept all the windows open while the prime rib cooked. It was windy, but really warm for this time of year!

This didn't go the way I thought it would, but I'm glad so many people are thankful for Daniel!

Daniel preparing the feast

We went Black Friday shopping on Thursday night. We went to Wal-Mart and stocked up on DVDs and couldn't understand why this game exists...

We waited in line for about 30 minutes at Target, this is what the line looked like when we got there

After sleeping in today, we decorated for Christmas! This is the first thing I did...

If anyone is wondering what to get me for Christmas (or pretty much whenever), this is it

Our cute little tree!

Red and white lights in the windows

Leftovers and Last Night on Earth with good friends

We know we have been given so much and are trying to be more mindful of our blessings. We feel so lucky to know so many wonderful people and enjoy the great freedoms we have. We hope the holidays treat you well and this holiday season finds you happy and healthy!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Not giving up, just getting real

Intense and emotional post ahead, you've been warned...

I recently found out that one of my few baby-less friends is pregnant (sort of by accident actually, I ran into her while she was on the phone with a nurse). I am truly overjoyed for her, because she and her husband were struggling for a long time, but at the same time I so wish it was me. I love my friend and I'm going to love her little one to pieces, but I also feel like I've been punched in the face (or maybe uterus, that might be more appropriate). Daniel and I have been waiting for so long and we want it so bad, I just wish I knew how to cope better. To "lose" one of my friends to motherhood is really hard for me (I'm aware of how selfish that sounds). I'm on round 7 of Clomid and if it doesn't work this time, it's off to the Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). I was offended when the pharmacy gave me all three 100mg packs at the same time, like my doctor didn't think it would work with just one or two. Now I'm glad I didn't have to walk past the pregnancy tests and baby food two more times than I needed to.

I think the most frustrating thing of this process is that we have no idea what's going on. Daniel and I are both young and in good health and the tests don't show anything to be concerned about. I honestly think I would feel better if I was able to pinpoint a problem and work to correct it instead of doctors throwing drugs at me until something works. I've been taking a prenatal vitamin and folic acid supplement for ages, I ovulate, nothing's blocked or twisted, an ultrasound tech once told me I could be an uterus model, and I don't show any signs of PCOS or endometriosis. Daniel's tests look good and his body works the way it should. We're eating better and exercising more. I know Heavenly Father won't give me anything I can't handle, but sometimes I wonder where my limit is. To have this righteous desire without any success is almost more than I can take sometimes. To feel so broken and incomplete, to not be able to do the one thing that my body was made for, to be so helpless, it pains my soul.

I've started a new scripture study and personal prayer regimen that I'm hoping will continue to build my faith. I've started looking at the pros and cons of different fertility treatments because I'm starting to realize it just may not happen without invasive medical procedures. Daniel and I are getting honest and frank in our discussions about the future. It hurts him just as much as me that we are struggling so much, I can't imagine a better man being a father to our children. To see him denied that privilege over and over again cuts me to my center.

Through all of this, please don't think that I hate you or your kids. I love you and your kids, and I know they are yours and they were sent to you for a specific reason at this specific time. I'm jealous that your bodies work they way God intended them to, that's all.

I'm not giving up, I'm just getting real.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My invited what?

As a grammar Nazi with an English degree working at an academic institution, I don't run across many instances of poor grammar, diction, word choice, etc. However, if there's one thing that burns me up, it's when people wrongly use your and you're. I found this in my inbox today...

The rest of the message was about an open house for the Graduate School's Master Degrees and Graduate Certificate Programs, but I was so turned off after the first line that I deleted it right away (I went back later for the screenshot and info). This is one of the most avoidable grammar mistakes ever, so it irritates me to no end when someone is so careless.

If you are older than 9, there is no reason for you to confuse your and you're

Rant over.


Friday, September 28, 2012

(Future) Dr. Lindsay, radiation oncology master?

I try not to get too emotionally invested in Daniel's choice of specialty, especially since I know it can (and has) changed in the last 6 months, but this melted my heart today...

Hey you,

The VA basement has no cell phone service, but I just want you to know I'm still alive and I love you.  I'll be here all day, but maybe at lunch I'll be able to call.  This is awesome and it makes me want to do rad onc even more.

Much love



Remind me to check back in March and see if Daniel still feels this way...


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dear Future Jenn

Dear Future Jenn,

You needed this today more than you know...

Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days.
-Doctrine and Covenants 24:8

Present Jenn

Monday, September 10, 2012

Windy City Fun

Daniel has been wanting to visit Chicago since we moved to Milwaukee. Since we live fairly close, I figured we could go down sometime after we had kids when we couldn't jet set as easily. After shooting down my ideas for Labor Day weekend (DC, FL, NC, etc.), Daniel won and we spent the holiday in the Windy City. Nic and Janey also joined us and we had a blast with them! I'm glad we were able to do the city as a couple, we definitely would not have been able to do as much with little ones. I'm looking forward to bringing our kiddos there one day though, there's so much to explore! I started reading Kelle Hampton's blog recently and got especially excited by this post. Chicago definitely did not disappoint!

We left around 9:15am and (miraculously) didn't hit any major traffic delays. The boys talked about med school and Janey and I tried to change the subject anytime there was a lull in the conversation.

We got to our hotel before check-in time and asked if we could still use the free airport shuttle (a major reason why we picked the hotel). The front desk manager looked up our reservation (two rooms with king beds) to make sure we were legit (this will be important later), then gave us the all clear. I think the longest line of the whole weekend was the line to buy our CTA passes. There was only one functioning credit card machine and it was made in the 80s so it took awhile to move through. Our first stop was Giordano's...

We trekked around the Magnificent Mile for most of the afternoon, Daniel bought a new suit and some dress socks. Pretty exciting stuff. We walked along the river and ran into Ty and Kelsi, friends from the ward who also decided to spend the weekend in Chicago!

After we were all shopped out, we headed to Navy Pier...

Of course we rode the Ferris wheel...

With Ty and Kelsi!

After our ride, the 6 of us walked out to the end of the pier, found some benches, ate leftover Giordano's and just talked. My feet were very grateful!

(We also went to Cirque Shanghai, I didn't take pictures because you weren't really supposed to, but suffice it to say that is was awesome!)

When we eventually got back to our hotel, it was probably around 11pm. After we brought all our stuff in, the night desk employee informed us that we had one king room and one single room. Apparently making an online reservation doesn't guarantee a room (which kind of defeats the whole purpose of a reservation, right?), so we started calling other hotels in the area to see if they had any availability. Unfortunately, everything was booked, so we decided to take the single room (it was actually more like a double, which is doable). The night desk employee somehow managed to find us a magic king room that previously wasn't available (um, what?), so we ended up with two king rooms! Janey texted me after we got settled in to tell me that her room didn't have running water. Nic went down and explained what was happening, so they comped the room and everyone used the sink/shower in our room.

Not the best quality, but you get the idea

We think that this is a room being renovated, which is why it's usually not rented out. As you can see, this room used to be a two queen one and was in the process of becoming a king room.

We cycled 4 people through one shower in about 45 minutes and there was still enough hot water for the last person! We went to church to find Ty and Kelsi already there (of course), we all sat together during Sunday School and listened to the same lesson we'd had last week (oops!). We left after second hour to have a picnic at the temple

But the gates were locked! So we just kind of chilled on the sidewalk by the street. Hopefully no one called the cops on us...

We went back to the hotel to change so we could spend some more time downtown. We met Daniel's aunt and uncle, Rose and Ed, at the Lincoln Park Zoo!

Rose has lived in Chicago for ages and had never been to this zoo before. She definitely enjoyed it! After we said goodbye to them, it was time for Millennium Park...

Since we got there around sunset, we weren't able to fully explore everywhere we wanted, but the park was still crowded so it didn't feel sketchy walking around.

After the park, we realized it was like 9pm and we were hungry! We'd heard about the joy of Chicago style Italian beef, so we trekked to Portillo's to indulge...

On Monday we loaded up the car and took the train back downtown. All weekend long Nic talked about pink donuts from Dunkin's Donuts, and it just so happened our stop put us right by one...

Conveniently, DD was right next door to Garrett popcorn, another foodie favorite we wanted to try

Obviously it was delicious

Then we found the Shedd!

We made our way back to the Magnificent Mile-ish for a taste of the West

And then a taste of home (for me at least. It was Nic and Janey's first Chick-fil-A experience; they're now converted to the ways of deliciousness)

Reality hit nice and early on Tuesday morning, but I wouldn't trade our weekend for anything. We had a great time with great friends and we're are looking forward to visiting Chi-town again soon!