Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Time is Here

How quickly the year has come to a close! My intentions to send out cards, while well and good, just didn't happen. So this is my attempt to make up for that and hopefully spread some Christmas cheer through this e-note.

The past few years when 
Christmas has come around, I've reflected and thought to myself, "I've learned a lot. This is the most productive and enlightening year to date." And then the next year comes to a close and come to find, nope this one beat out the previous year. So again, I will let you in on the secret that I don't know much of anything, as evidence by the continuous revolving door of lifelong learning that I seem to be in. Seriously, I can truly say that his past year has been the most eventful, most fun, most physically and emotionally demanding but also the most rewarding year so far. And all this gets to happen in beautiful sunny San Diego! Highlights: Journey concert(yup, I saw them:); summer evening picnics on Coronado; Cabrillo National Monument; walking La Jolla cove and La Jolla shores; running through my own neighborhood near the temple; working in the temple; the fair where you can eat fried Kool Aid and snickers to your hearts content and see the Beach Boys live; murder mystery parties; Girls Conference weekend in Palm Springs; there was just a lot going on.

Like Rabbits
This year, I looked forward to 4 new nieces or nephews. Brigitte and Tyler started it off when their daughter Erica Allison Brown was born in February. I was able to go to Utah along with other family for her blessing and to hang out with the family there. I forgot how cold Utah is but have to say, I do miss the seasons. While I appreciate the season of winter, the snow can stay in the mountains for me to go play in when I want to.
Next up was Melissa and Kiel, who added number two to their little clan in August. Rhyan Patrice Christensen was born and offered another chance for all the family to get together this time in Southern California. All of us, all 5 of my siblings and their families were able to be there, spend a day at the beach and spend Sunday celebrating September birthdays and enjoy eachother's company.
November, when the seasons change and fall sometimes visits Southern California, brought about another addition. Jace McKay Jordan was born on early Thanksgiving morning to Shelley and Steve. Good Morning! It was pretty much planned by Shelley that Thanksgiving would be in the hospital, so they stayed out in Yucaipa, while their kids with my parents and I met up at Kiel and Melissa's house for dinner and family fun. This little guy will be blessed in January.
And we are awaiting a Christmas addition. Brittany and Gabe are expecting Sophie Keogan any day now, wrapped in a bow I'm sure. That will add 3 nieces and 1 nephew, for a total of 9!

Running Against the Wind

Around the beginning of the year, some of my girlfriends concocted the brilliant idea of all of us single gals running in the Ragnar Relay* series race. Pretty much, this sounded like the craziest thing I could do, considering I don't love running and never was very good at it. But, 11 other single ladies and I spent 2 days and 1 night running our teams distance of 200 miles, through Southern California, ending back across the San Diego bay on Coronado island. Yup, one of the most physically demanding things I've ever done. From there, we were unstoppable. The Single Ladies signed up for another one, in September, this time in the Bay Area, running from San Francisco through the Napa wine country. 190 miles total. And just in case my body didn't have enough, I did the Camp Pendleton Mud Run in June, 6 miles of military style obstacles on the Marine base and then in October, the Crafton Hills 5k, that my brother in law Steve organized to benefit the local fire and emergency responders. Why not?!

(*Don't worry, the Single Ladies will be back on the track again this April, this time under the pseudonym Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Check your local SoCal listings for when they may be running in your vicinity.)

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again....
I'm not sure it's that I didn't succeed the first time, but for the 2nd time in as many years, I was called to be the Relief Society President, but this time in my new family ward! I left the world of Young Single Adult wards in October of 2010, having served as RS pres since April of 2009. I left and a more carefree feeling replaced it, as I was able to enjoy being calling-less for a few months. I got a calling as the Relief Society Activities coordinator in January and that was just fine for me: planning uplifting girl time was fabulous. We were hitting the summer months and I was feeling fine. "When all of sudden..there arose such a clatter" my heart. I felt like things were going to change up. So when my Bishop called me in, I wondered what it was going to be for, having a tiny inkling, but no idea what direction. I was pretty shocked when he threw this one out there. I had only been in the ward for 7 months. I went home, took a little time to just sit on my bed, go for a walk, come back, stare at the floor with a dumbstruck expression I'm sure. But here we are, 6 months later, round 2. And it's been a sometimes overwhelming, yet amazing experience so far.

On the Road Again...
I pulled my traveling bags out again and took the girls with me to visit Grandma in Nashville. We got there as the tornados were going through, but fortunately for us they were not as bad through Nashville as they were through other areas in the south. We tried our hands at honkey tonking, southern bbq, Franklin street fair, southern plantation viewing Andrew Jackson style, and civil war battlefield viewing. We had a week long biscuit eating competition (we might have consumed more biscuits than should be humanly possible, no big deal). We tried to temper that with early morning runs down the parkway near grandma's house. Pretty much, Nashville in the springtime is fabulous!

Utah was another destination and while it might seem a pretty common experience to go there, I hit the beehive state 3 out of the 4 seasons. It was fun to see family and to go with all the girls to see our fabulous Rosey get married in October! I also was able to come up to Concord a couple times and enjoy being back on my home turf (running through the bay area was a new experience though, one that I can wait awhile for again:)

It's been an amazing year, experiencing life with family and having new experiences that tested, taught and refined me.  I can honestly say, that while the tests weren't fun, I've learned a lot from them.  I'm very blessed and am grateful for all of it. Life has it's ups and downs, but there can be so much good if we look for it. The most wonderful aspect is that we have a Heavenly Father and Savior who love us through everything.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A new blog to follow!

I've been somewhat addicted to Pinterest lately. I found a blog on one of the pins that I'm super excited to follow:

Check it out and enjoy! Totally going to do some things she does:)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Unspoken lessons

Many lessons in life don't have to be spoken. Many times, the words a teacher speaks don't go deep enough, but the actions and feelings I see expressed and feel, are what end up teaching me:

An arm extended to draw you in when you're nervous or anxious about something.

A piano arrangement that expresses your testimony maybe even more than saying it.

Watching a single sister be attentive and engaged with children that aren't her own.

Friends who go above and beyond to help a family move and clean their old house.

Watching a father cradle his newborn daughter and be totally enthralled with her, and seeing the pride of his wife as she watches.

The feelings a hug communicates when words just won't do.

A plate of "I was thinking of you" cookies.

Playing with a niece and nephew, meaning they can be crazy kids;)

Having a best friend just sit with you and watch the ocean.

Sitting alone on the beach, watching the ocean and thinking of how times of our lives flow in and out.

Feeling loved ones around when they're not physically there.

Watching a woman always be in the kitchen at an event to make sure everyone is taken care of, so others don't have to pull themselves away from the fun.

Before the RS president even knows of a need, everything was taken care of by other ward members.

Theses were just some things on my mind lately. Last week, my institute teacher asked a question of the class. We are studying the Pearl of Great Price and he asked how different would your life be if we lived like the City of Enoch? My first response was, I'd get released from my calling:) (what? no judging) Actually, I judged myself. The above list are the means lessons have been taught to me as I've served and truthfully, I really like this part of the calling. I don't think I would be as attune to see these things if I wasn't somewhat "forced" into it. And maybe that's the lesson for me about being a Zion people. Just doing the things you should do, because that's the type of person you are and have become. The people who have taught me the lessons above, are people who just ARE that way.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Challenge myself

I have been reading this blog lately. It's been intriguing and while I'm not up to par with Gabe and Brittany, I have been toying with the idea of trying to go the less processed food route. So this blog has a 10 day challenge, adapted from this families 100 day challenge of eating no processed foods. I think I'm going to to try the 10 day challenge. Here are the rules to eat by:

What brings this on you ask? Well, I've been ridiculously busy this week and last week. So much so, that I get home late, can't get up the energy to make a good meal for myself at 9:30 at night and so resort to the wonderful brownies that my roommate made along with ice cream that the other bought, topped of with whipped cream and chocolate syrup....twice. Yes, I have devolved into bad eating habits. So, I needed a wake up call and a challenge to myself to do better. This requires me to have good foods stocked up and ready to go, and not resort to late night sugar binges to satisfy my hunger and laziness. So...I have a weekend away starting Friday night. I'm going to start my 10 day challenge next week, on Tuesday. I need to go shopping Monday night for my 10 days worth of food. I'm going to take a look at the menu offered on the website and choose some things I want to make and do and hopefully see some good results, at least being able to get back on the wagon of making regular meals again!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Racing to Catch Up...

I am so behind on my blog. I apologize for all of that. I feel like I've been racing to catch up to an ever faster moving life. I'm single, really how crazy busy can it get!! Don't worry, for all of you out there who legitimately have busy family lives, I'm not taking anything away from that, but a single girl can have a busy life as well....

Since my last posting, I've been able to continue to train for another race, fly to Utah for Celia's graduation, drive up to Kiel and Melissa's for their daughter Rhyan's blessing, fly up to the Bay Area for the race and time with family, and then back. And somewhere in all that, try to be a Relief Society President to 130 women and the families of the ward, find time to fit in the many friends that I love to be around, date someone-then stop dating someone, start watching BYU football again as the season opens up, try to get back into a social scene to hopefully date another, take time to go to an All Girls Weekend before a best friend gets married, and we have now made it to the end of September. (Sorry for the laundry list, but sometimes it helps me to do that so I can see that I'm actually accomplishing some things. Looking at the blur of days tends to make one feel like you never actually get things done). And through all that, working 40 hours a week kind of gets in the way (what?).

So yes, Celia graduated from BYU!!! She has now entered that wonderful part of life called indecision and make-it-up-as-you-go. I was able to go up, see my parents who came out for it, Brigitte and Tyler and their kids and my friend Allison, her husband Kyle and their baby and right before flying out, I met up with another friend in Salt Lake and we toured the Conference Center, since I'd never been inside.

The next weekend, a couple from my former singles ward got married, so Saturday was wedding day!

The beginning of September brought about my 32nd birthday (actually, I am starting to just invert the numbers, so 23 folks!). The birthday weekend I went to Extraordinary Desserts here in San Diego with some girl friends. Love that place, everything is so prettily decorated that you almost don't want to eat it, but you know the inside is going to taste every bit as wonderful as the outside looks, so you have to! That next Sunday, I went up to my brothers house where I met, for the 2nd time, my newest niece Rhyan Patrice Christensen. She was blessed that Sunday and I got to see all my family who came into town for it. What was also great was that labor was the next day so I got to stay over night with my family all up there. We hung out, celebrated the September birthdays (there were about 9 of them), played with the nieces and nephews, went to the hotel, talked till late, got up early, breakfast-ed, talked and then headed back to San Diego. Fun times were had.

That next weekend, my friends threw me a birthday party. I wanted a crepe party, so my wonderful friends learned how to make savory and sweet crepes and any topping you could think of was there. Chicken, veggies, treats, whipped goodness and other wonderful things were there. My friends know how to do things so great!! Couldn't be happier with them!

The following weekend, September 16th and 17th, 8 girl friends and I went up to the Bay Area to run the Napa Valley Ragnar Relay. Just like my race in April that I posted about, this was a 12 team run, starting on the San Francisco Marina, over the Golden Gate Bridge, through Marin, Sausalito, San Anselmo, all those small towns and then up into the Napa wine country. We wound through vineyards, farms and beautiful valleys. It was an awesome run. We picked up 4 girls that we didn't know from up there (one was a friend of one of my friends) and we ran from there! I got to visit my parents, Brittany, Gabe and Sydney, Grandma K, Clayton Valley 1st ward and my roommate got to come with me for all of this as one of our drivers. Fun times, more bling to add to my race collection (only 3 medals now:), hurt hips, heel and possible bone spur, but super great times!

Last weekend, I hosted a BYU football party at my house. It was fun, we did home made pizza. I finally caught up with my entire presidency on Saturday for a presidency meeting and planning. This coming weekend is the girls weekend out in Indio. My friend who is getting married in October in Utah, is marrying a guy who has a timeshare out there and he is being really wonderful by letting his fiance and all her friends crash the place. So fun times. On Sunday, I will head back towards the coast to meet up with my Aunt Kathy, Uncle Tim, their kids Rushell and Kris, their families, my cousin Amy and her family, Shelly and her family, Kiel and his family...oh, that's the end of the list:)

Somewhere in there, we had the great So Cal Blackout, Relief Society activities, ward temple nights, friends birthdays, bachelorette party, missionary discussions, meetings, work, emotional roller coasters, visiting teaching, emergency preparedness, etc....It's been a busy little while lately! You'd think there would be a calm time soon...but quickly we are moving into my favorite time of year, fall, then holiday's then the new year. And then we'll sit back and wonder where all the time went, but at least I can look back and measure that yes, I did get some things accomplished.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Ultimate.

After a week that was, in my book, pretty rough and long, I was ready for some fun and relax time. Luckily, to celebrate the end of a long and rough day, I got to play ultimate frisbee with a bunch of friends who play every week. I haven't been able to play until last night. And now I remember why-I hurt!! I can run for some distance, but I forgot how much starting, stopping, zigging, zagging, sprinting, slowing can hurt. My muscles are sore! But it was great to play for a couple hours and work off some energy that had been pent up.

I've had a lot to do over the last couple weeks for my church assignment and I have a lot of thoughts running through my head. When I get them sorted out, I might be able to post a few and share what was the lesson learned. But one thing that was so great was I saw super nice things done for me, when it wasn't me that was going through the rough time. I was stressed yes, emotional yes, but it wasn't my trial. But my family was nice to call and ask how I was, I even got a call from a member of the High Council who knew it was a rough week for a newly called Relief Society President and he just called to say I was doing a good job with a hard task. My friends let me know that I was doing good and that they were there when I needed to let it out. Amazing how there really are so many good people.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summertime snapshot...

1. Sunburns, the good kind that blister and peel for a couple weeks, super great :)

2. BBQ's-love the bbq smell and taste of grilled everything!

3. warm summer nights when you can just walk out your door and go for a walk.

4. late sunset-allows you time to go watch the sun set and do everything else you need to before hand.

5. fireworks over the ocean

6. so many birthdays!!

7. service by others to others-so great to watch this happen.

8. temple so close and gorgeous as the sunsets

9. family parties and nieces and nephews

10. fantastic and fabulous friends

11. so much to do and see in San Diego, my favorite right now, free concerts in the parks and at Balboa Park, one of my favorite places.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cleansing of the Pores....Mud Run style

In June, I got roped into running the Camp Pendleton Mud Run. A member of my former bishopric corralled me at a ward activity and said his team needed another 2 weeks!! Could I be ready to run 6.2 miles, marine style, through a muddy obstacle course?! big deal. So away I went, trained for 2 weeks! And we got there and ran our little hearts through the mud! It was up hill, down hill, through a chest deep river, obstacle walls with mud on each side, another hill with a river running down it and then finally, a mud crawl under wire like the Marines. Good times folks! I was nervous beforehand how it would go, since I hadn't really trained for it. But I had such a fun time with these ladies, who were running for the American Diabetes Association. They were great and just wanted to go out and have fun and finish. So that's what we did.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I did it again....

I signed up with my friends for ANOTHER Ragnar Relay. Yup, we might be crazy for doing it again, but there you have it! This time, we're running in the Bay Area. We signed up for the Napa one, which starts in San Francisco and ends up in Calistoga, in wine country. You run through all those small wine towns. It is September 16th and 17th, so time to get more training in again! I need to get at least 2 months of training in. I think I would have done better had I trained for more than a month for the last one. But now I have 2, so I need to get on the ball!!
We have most of the same team running again, with a couple exceptions. One is getting married in August, so I guess that means she can legitimately leave the team of "All the Single Ladies" but kind of a bummer to lose her. And the other great deal is since we're coming from further than 100 miles away, we don't have to provide any volunteers for the race course. Yay for us! And wonderful for all of our friends who would have been in the running for best volunteers:)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Check out this blog!

I found this blog on another friends blog. Looks fabulous! And she was in my ward at one point. Unfortunately I only remember the name, not the I'm sure wonderful person behind it:)

Seems like some good stuff if you're looking for help in the dinner column.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'll catch up, but first....Second Time around!

I will for sure post the rest of Nashville here soon...and the mud run experience... but just a few things have come up that have made life just a little more busy.

I love Relief Society, and apparently, I'm supposed to really love it I because I got that RS pres my new family ward this last Sunday. Really?! Again?! I've had a week to digest, contemplate, realize I don't know any sisters names in the ward (remember, I've only been there 9 months!), and that the first big challenge is that there are 6 women pregnant and they are all expected have their babies this summer..ok so meal sign up sheet will be going around! 2 other ladies just had their babies this last week as I was hearing about needs of the sisters. So, welcome to the calling:)

It should be good and as I was told, a time for me to grow and learn (no kidding:). Luckily, my choices for counselors and secretary said yes, and they are solid ladies who I know will help wherever they can, and who were told by the outgoing president, to make sure to help me out so that I can have a social life too:) So thoughtful of her (but a concern that was weighing on my mind!) So forward we go, hopefully upward and not downward...;)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Music City!! Day 1 & 2

I arrived in Nashville on Wednesday, ready to hit the town with Grandma!! I went out a day early, before my friends all got there, to prepare the music city for all the awesome girls that were going to descend on it! And to spend time with Grandma. Lucky for me, I arrived on a pretty active day. As many remember, this particular Wednesday was very difficult for a lot of people in the South. This was the most active day for tornados in a long time. When I was flying into Nashville, it was pretty turbulent, actually more like a roller coaster. So I can only imagine what the really bad winds were like and after seeing the destruction on TV of what went on just 60 miles south of Grandma's, I am grateful that we were looked after where we were. The afternoon was spent with Grandma, watching the weather news and getting caught up on family news. Because the next day, 5 more girls were headed into town!!!

On Thursday, the rest of the girls made it to Nashville! They flew in about 1pm. Emerald and I met up with them at the airport (side note: Emerald served her mission in Nashville. She flew out on Wednesday as well to do some mission visiting). Our first stop of course needed to be some southern BBQ! We hit up downtown and Jacks BBQ.

We decided to wander downtown and check out Broadway, where all the music venues and honky tonks were located and Printers Alley. While we were there, we were introduced to boiled peanuts, sorry just couldn't get behind this southern snack. We walked the riverfront and had a great time getting ourself acquainted with area. The Country Music Hall of Fame was on the agenda as well as we strolled throughout town.

 While others were in the Hall of Fame, Emerald and I, the parentals, laid out plans for our Nashville excursions. Emerald and I, being those who had been there before, were kind of the unspoken navigators. But when it came down to it, we were daily changing it up and checking out our "GPS."
 After we got worked our way through downtown, we headed out southwest to the famous Loveless Cafe for dinner. On the way, we drove through Vanderbilt and through some beautiful neighborhoods. But we had a goal...FOOD. Yup, folks, this trip was almost all about the food. We ate our way through Nashville.
And as said before, we here's to the end of the day!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I know, Nashville will come! So here's some fun tidbits in the meantime

My nephew Bruce is having his 1st Birthday party this Saturday, so I wanted to do a little post about all my nieces and nephews. I'm the proud aunt of 6-3 nieces and 3 nephews. With three more on the way this year! wow!
Here they are:
Mariah and Jack Jordan. Mariah and her red hair, Jack and his little mischievous smiles. You think he's innocent, but then not..Pretty much they're cute. They like talking on the phone with me so that's really fun! One day they wanted to drive away with me in my trunk-while eating cake in there:)

Logan and Erica Brown. They live in Utah. Erica was just born earlier this year. Logan is 3 and is the most amazing puzzle and letter organizer. He's got that down. Pretty much I've become the jumping bag for all the kiddos and Logan likes to jump on me too.

Sydney Keogan-She lives in Concord, closer to my parents. Sydney has this little gleam in her eye that tells you she's thinking and choosing exactly what she wants to do. She loves apples and will say hi and wave at me when I talk on the phone with her. She's just started walking. Watch out!
Bruce Christensen-He lives in Redondo Beach, CA. He just turned 1 and it's his birthday party on Saturday. He likes food. He learned how to crawl up and down stairs and is pulling himself up into things. He likes to be outside with his parents, having taken some trips to the zoo and beach recently. Happy Birthday Bruce!
There they are. Soon 3 more will come along this year and it will be a longer post. Super fun kids and super great that I get to be their aunt (play with them, buy them stuff, that sort of job is great!)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Honky's a verb! And more goodies...

I will have to write all about Nashville when I have pictures to go with it. Just to give you a comparison, when I went to Europe, my friends and I took almost 2,000 photos. We were in Nashville for 5 days, with one more additional camera than in Europe, and we still managed almost 1,000 photos. A little FYI so you know why the pictures are taking a little while to get organized:)

I just needed to thank my Grandma for hosting so many girls in her house. She allowed 6 girls to take over, use her space, come home late, stay up talking probably too late and still got up early to make us breakfast. Waffles, French toast, bacon, fruit, she had the spread and it was so nice of her. We would come home at night, talk about what we'd done and seen and she listened. It was great to spend time with Grandma at her house and in the temple. It was a great trip! So more to come!

Just a few thoughts I've been having lately. As you know, I did the Ragnar Relay down here with 11 other ladies and it was so fun and uplifting. The ladies I ran with were all so positive and had a great spirit about them. Most were members, 2 were not. But it was a wonderful spirit of friendship and support. Going back to work after that event was hard, because it's a totally opposite spirit at work. I need my job and like my work, but I felt a complete downward pressure when I walked into work the Monday after, it wasn't uplifting. Unfortunately, the depressing feeling started when I met up with my carpooler, who I like as a person, but I'm realizing more that it's not that fun to be around him. It requires a lot of work to be have the spirit and be a positive person around him and many of my coworkers. I had the same experience after Nashville. I loved being with 7 (Grandma included!) wonderful ladies, who were happy, lived the gospel, we could talk about that and were overall positive and uplifiting for me. Going back to work was a struggle (not just because my car had been towed while I was gone and I had to go find it and pay to break it out of jail) but because I knew exactly what I was going to walk into, another spirit draining environment. And that's not to say that I can really help the work environment, except to be my own little island of positiveness, it's the way work environments are I think. But it really struck me how much I need friends who have the same standards and beliefs as me and be around them as much as possible. Work can be so draining with it's cattiness, politicking, back-stabbing and micromanaging. The gospel and spirit of friendliness, positiveness, happiness and concern for others is so much better. Last night, my relay team went to the Mormon Battalion Historical Site with one of the non members on my team. She is investigating the church now because of the spirit she felt with the team. She said she wanted to have the same spirit that the other girls had. It was a great experience to be with her as she felt the spirit again and is totally happy and excited about finding true happiness. It's great stuff, the gospel.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

All the Single Ladies.....RUN RAGNAR 2011!

The Run has come and gone, All the Single Ladies ran the 200 mile course from Huntington Beach all the way to Silver Strand State Beach on Coronado. Yes, we ran and danced our way down. The best/worst event of my life started with a sleepover at the Hannon Court girls house. Thursday night we painted our fingernails black and gold, got our stuff ready to pack into our 2 vehicles and then turned in for the precious 4 hours of sleep that would last us through the next 2 days. 3:30am came, and we awoke. It's amazing what adrenaline and excitement will push you through. 3:30am is ridiculously early! We got ready, packed our vans and were headed out to the starting point, Huntington Beach, about a 1.5 hour drive north of us. We parked our vehicles, of course had to draw our names all over them, get out the cameras to take our pre-race "pretty" photos, get the race CD mixes passed out and our them song Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies" blasting to get us ready. We had our safety training, signed our lives away, picked up some free stuff and then headed to the starting line to cheer our first runner, Rosey, on. Somewhere in the process, our faithful promoter and van driver Emerald, somehow got us a spot on the 7am news. ABC 7 news in LA was doing a piece about the race, and we were one of four teams who were interviewed!! And come to find out, Elex our cute reporter, is single:) One of the girls has jumped on that and become his facebook friend, no worries! Rosey took off and started us off on this epic journey through the OC and San Diego counties.

Van 1, which had the first six runners in it, took off to follow their runners and we were to meet them at checkpoint 6 to pass the baton off from runner 6 to runner 7. Runners seven through twelve were in Van 2, I was number 10 so we had a few hours before our van would start running. We hit up Mimi's for breakfast of eggs, juice and muffins, good protein boosting foods right! We chatted and felt good about this exciting adventure. About noon, our van was at checkpoint 6, with Van 1 waiting for Veda, runner #6 to come on in and get runners 7-12 started. This checkpoint was out near Corona and we were just realizing that this particular Friday was becoming the hottest day of the year so far. Brooke led our van off as runner #7 and away we went, running 34 miles through Corona and Lake Elsinore. Just to let you in on the conditions, it was about 92-95 degrees out that day. No Big Deal! (I'm still getting over the sun burn, next time buy waterproof/sweatproof sunscreen and REAPPLY). Even the most intense runners were struggling to get up their hills and stay hydrated through their run. My van would leapfrog our runners and meet up with them while they were running to get them water and ice and see that they were doing ok.

Van 2 made it, our last runner, Mollie, took us into checkpoint 12 to meet up with Van 1 and pass the baton back to them for the 2nd round of running. My van cooled down and then went to Costco for a pizza. While there, we were alerted to our now-famous status. We had people coming up to us in line, letting us know they'd seen us on TV that morning and to keep up the running! And pretty much, we had to blast our music wherever we went, so we kept up our Single Ladies theme throughout the run. One of the most fun parts of the race was driving by our runner and other  runners cheering them on. We'd honk, play our music loud, drop off water to other runners and just be good sports about the whole thing. It was a ton of fun to cheer runners up hills and see them get through it. After eating, our van took off to Checkpoint 18 where we were to meet up with Van 1. We also tried to get a little sleep before our night runs, but you can only get so comfortable in a van. We could have gone to lay out in the alfalfa field they set aside for runners to sleep in, but something about the bugs, dampness and all around lack of tarps to put under us, kept us from that option. After about 1.5 hours of us trying to sleep, we headed out to meet up with Van 1 and get our van running again. Midnight came and soon after, we saw Veda coming in and Brooke getting ready to go. Incidentally, Brooke's dad was super great and came out to Fallbrook to meet us and bring us hot chocolate/apple cider. Super nice and so great for Brooke to have her dad cheering her on for her run. Brooke started us off on our night runs. We followed her from Fallbrook to Escondido, after which Becky started her run. (Brooke and Becky had some crazy hills, but we all loved the 40 degree cooldown from our earlier day run!) Mel picked Becky up at the edge of San Marcos, I picked up from Mel in San Marcos, Ashleigh took us through San Marcos and Mollie helped our van finish in Carlsbad. It took us about 5 hours to get our legs done and so around 4am, we met up with Van 1 in Carlsbad to get them going on the 3rd and final round of running!

At Carlsbad, we looked at where our next meeting with Van 1 would be and decided that we could take a couple hours to stop at the Bishop's house to sleep. So away we went to sleep for a couple hours from about 5-7am. (That is all the sleep we got and I'm going to admit, it wasn't super restful, but so great to lie down instead of fold into a van seat!) We got up, made some breakfast and then headed up to the La Jolla Gliderport launch to meet up with Van1 and transfer the baton to our van for the final leg of running! We transferred the baton at about 10:30am. Van 1 had some crazy hills to run up and over on their last legs, they were so great! And we were finally back to running along the coast after spending a lot of time inland! Our views to our right were of the ocean and made it a lot nicer view at least! We picked up at the gliderport, just west of UCSD campus and Brooke ran through La Jolla, past the cove, through Wind and Sea down into Pacific Beach and her next checkpoint, which happened to be the church building! We called folks from the ward to come watch and cheer us on! Van 1 followed this leg a little bit and we met up with a huge dance party in the parking lot. Van 2 had to continue on to get to the next checkpoint. Becky was heading down the coast, along the Mission Bay Beach boardwalk and we met up with her just south in Point Loma. Mel took it away from there, running across the bridge from Mission Beach toward downtown, past the aiport and to Seaport Village in downtown. I picked up the race there, running a beautiful 2 miles behind the San Diego Convention Center, Petco park and underneath Coronado Bridge. Our route took us down the bayfront and up the little strip of land that connects Coronado island to the mainland, not over the bridge. So the last 4.5 miles of my run were along the Navy docks, not the most beautiful of runs:) But I put my music on, almost cried once, said a prayer to get me to keep going and kept a lookout for my teammates and water. They never let me down, they were there when I needed them to be. And this is where cheering on other teams comes in. Other vans would stop and cheer their runner on, but would stay and cheer on me too. It really helped.

I ran into the National City Marina, trading off with Ashleigh who ran us down to Chula Vista, 5.5 miles past my end point. Again, the view was a little lacking and we cheered her on along with water as well. Mollie picked up from Ashleigh and ran 6.1 miles up the strip of land into Silver Strand State Beach. We drove ahead of her to meet up with Van 1 at the finish line, awaiting Mollie and our chance to run over the finish line with her. She came around the corner and we ran in with her, as the DJ blared Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies" for us. Another dance party was totally appropriate at this point and pretty much we made it a party! Such a crazy run, so hard to get myself going on that lest leg, But one of the best experiences. I didn't know I could do that to myself. I found that I could push myself and accomplish something so crazy and be with some of the most amazing women. They were all so positive, so uplifting. It was so hard to go back to work on Monday where there was such a different spirit. There's something to be said for women who live such good lives and the feeling you have with them. These are truly some amazing women. Along the run, there were some spontaneous proposals, photo opps with other single guys and the funny part was, when folks found out most of us were LDS, the mormon single guys started coming out and finding us. Or at least their running friends would ask us to come over and take pictures with their teams one single guy:) Oh if only it was that easy! We ended the race after running for about 33 1/2 hours!

It was an event of a lifetime, one of the best moments in my life so far. Pictures will come, I just need to get them downloaded, as well as some video.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Funny family ward Sunday

This past week, the youth from my stake went on a handcart pioneer trek for 4 days. It was apparently the experience of a lifetime, as many bore their testimonies about the trip. And I love that they were so excited after the trek, to have had the experience of hiking through the rain, hail, sleet and then snow. The testimonies started off with their experience with the forces of nature and all the wonderful mud and fun that comes with that. It was when the kids started bearing testimony of how the trek was true, that trekking was so awesome and that when things were hard they prayed. My favorite was "the trek was true." totally great. My other favorite was one young man who closed the meeting by letting us know that while all these other testimonies were good, no one had mentioned how irreverent and rude the boys were at night in their tents. Or how it was almost a stampede when they found out they were going to sleep in the A-frames for the last night. He thought he was going to trampled to death. And when he was done with that, he started to close his testimony, but then thought better of it and added that the experience strengthened his testimony, bearing a real one. That ended the slide on a little up tick :). Another girl who hadn't gone "trekking" (the new verb that is derived from the noun trek. I'm sure the pioneers would appreciate us taking there very difficult experience and turning it into a more fun sounding verb) All in all, a great sharing of spirit, entertainment and the development of new words.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

So here we are, 2 days to go till what is quickly becoming a bucket list item. I'm trying to master the anxiety that is building up. I'm just nervous about running that far, will my legs be able to recuperate quickly enough to run, 8 hours after the first run, running at night, knowing where I'm going, will my team finish at a decent time and not in the dark when no one is at the finish line anymore, will my body collapse the day after and lay me flat for days, will my hip that has been twinging a little bit lock up or be just fine...blah, blah. Just little things like that. I know, it will be fine and when it comes down to it, if I need to walk a little, I will walk. No shame in that, but just the nerves are getting to me a little bit. So with that said, if all keeps on pace, as of right now, I should be running my first leg around 5pm on Friday, my 2nd leg around 4-5am Saturday and then my last one around 3-4pm Saturday afternoon. and then done!!! I've felt good through all this training, have found some good running routes and plan to keep up that running. But will take a little break next week:)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Well, I'm invested.

You'd think after my previous posts about running this *ridiculous* race that I had been invested in running for a while. Really, what normal, non invested person signs up to run this *hard, worst/best, killer* race without some emotional and financial investment? Well, I have crossed over. I went to the big deal running store here in town yesterday. This store measures your foot length and width, has you run on a treadmill to take a video of how your feet plant when you run, they take a scan of your arches and mold a pair of insoles to fit your feet perfectly. One of the questions they ask is do you have pain when you run? Duh, yes I do. Lower back, hips, knees, ankles and heels. I think that list shows something was wrong. Turns out, there was:

*I have a high arch, so I need to have stability support in my shoes so my feet land properly.
*I land too hard on my heels
*When I stand upright, like normal, my ankles/knees rotate inward, so my knees, shins and ankles are not aligned straight.
*When I run, my right foot turns out a little bit
*When I run, my arches sink down in instead of flexing to keep the arch up, my foot flattens-hence the knee, ankle and hip pain.

So, I came out with a pair of Asics that were for stability and high arches and a pair of insoles that are so sturdy, that when I run, my arch can sink down, but will be popped right back up. I wore them and it's like working out muscles I hadn't worked before. The outside areas of my feet hadn't felt that motion for a long time. I've always been a little knock kneed and this helps explain why and how to fix it. So when the guy who was doing all these scans asked me about my pain and injuries, I could roll out lower back pain/lock ups, ankle sprains and knee issues and pretty much, while he said this wouldn't be a cure all, having the right pair of shoes that align your body the correct way, can help with so many things.

So after having spent a little $$$, I have learned how to possibly fix these physical ailments that started before kindergarten (I had "magic" and "special" shoes in kindergarten to help move my feet from going in to going out, to keep my knees from sinking in and knocking). Good investment?...we'll see.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mile Marker!!!

So in training for this relay race of mine, I ran the farthest I've ever run this last weekend.....

7 miles!!!!

(I'm kind of proud of myself)

and this is what i ran, Mission Beach boardwalk, 4 miles of the boardwalk along the beach and then 3 miles from and back to my friends house. Didn't seem as hard when you've got a great view (pretty sure I'm going to be missing this view when I'm running through Corona and San Marcos, but then I run the SD downtown harbor and hello waterfront!! for 6 miles!)

Friday, March 18, 2011

I'm crazy, for those of you that know me, this is crazy of me.

I am running in the So Cal Ragnar Relay. Don't as me why, I haven't yet figured it out. It's a team relay run from Huntington Beach over to the I-15 freeway, down through Temecula, into Escondido, back west to the ocean and then all the way down through San Diego, Imperial Beach and back up the small strand that becomes Coronado Island. I will be running in the #10 out of 12 runners slot. Every runner runs three times. We start Friday morning, April 15th and finish somewhere on Saturday afternoon. My relay team is made up of a bunch of single girl friends of mine. Some have run this before, others like me haven't. The longest distance I have to run is 6.4 miles on my last leg. My legs are first through Corona, second in San Marcos and then third, from the downtown San Diego Harbor all the way to Imperial Beach in National City, south of San Diego.

I am trying to train for this by running 4 times a week, at least 3 miles each time. Last Saturday I did almost 4 with my friend, Tuesday did a little over 3 on the trails below my house, today have plans to run almost 4 and then will run tomorrow morning before heading up to Orange County for the day.

As Jenna and Rosey said, "this will be the best/worst day of your life." Why?!?!?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Proud to be a BYU alum

I went to BYU. Loved the school, loved the experience. I never thought of applying anywhere else. I applied only there and luckily, I got in. This season, I have LOVED the success BYU has had on the basketball court. They're looking good and it's been great to have conversations at work with people about the church, because they first asked about the BYU basketball team. I feel bad for Brandon Davies and all the negative attention he is currently receiving for violating the schools honor code. BYU bumped up in the rankings to be #3 in the country and so it was big news when Davies was kicked off the basketball team the very next day for violating the honor code. It's sad that this year had to end that way for him and a very inopportune time for the team, right before the conference tournament and NCAA tournament. BYU did lose the next day to New Mexico, never getting themselves going or finding a rotation that worked. I feel bad and have been impressed with the BYU athletes who said they would stick by him, no matter how the team does in their future games. His misdeeds are out there in the public, not because the school said specifically what he did, but other news outlets did. But I've now spent the last couple days defending the Honor Code to a lot of people at work and member friends of mine who didn't go to BYU and just have a problem with the church outlining rules for the students. I don't remember thinking specifically that I wanted to go to BYU because of the Honor Code. Looking back now, that's what it was. I wanted to be at a school where I was surrounded by members. My pre college school days weren't filled with LDS members all around me. I went to school with a lot of people who didn't believe the same as I did or do the same things I did or said no to the same things I did. I wanted to be somewhere that had a lot of people with the same values as me. BYU was it. And I found that. The Honor Code was not hard to live if you were living the principles of the gospel and following the For Strength of Youth Pamphlet. It was a great thing for me to be with girls that had the same standards, have good clean fun with so many friends that I made there and have my testimony strengthened by living a clean life surrounded by clean, honest and good people. No one is perfect, mistakes are made and can be repented over. But for the most part, people did the best they could to live the rules and they lived them gladly.

So, the rules were never restricting to one who wanted to live that way. And you only went there if you wanted to live that way. Thank you BYU for staying true to the honor code and not treating an athlete any differently. Thank you to BYU for teaching us, that even when there are mistakes, kindness and love are shown to help uplift the one who fell, that they can be lifted back up. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Career Development....for others

Lately, my job has taken center stage....literally. On Saturday, February 5th, I participated in a San Diego Paralegal Association panel that featured 3 paralegals. Our courts community outreach coordinator, when asked for a participant from the court, suggested me. I got to give a 30 minute presentation on my journey to becoming a paralegal, my current responsibilities and employment and finally 5 tips for paralegals just entering the field or wanting to move to a different area within the paralegal field. I thought 30 minutes would be hard to do, but I ended up talking for 25 minutes (with a power point slideshow as well) and then a 5-10 minute Q&A period. I got good feedback, so hopefully it was helpful to the participating paralegals. From there though, I got requests to write for the SDPA newsletter and then this next week, I get to participate in a high school career fair. It's getting kind of ridiculous. But I've been thinking. I just got called to my stakes Public Affairs committee and right after, I get to participate in all these community events. And my assignment on the Public Affairs committee is to create and manage opt in email lists for the community things the stake presidency wants the stake to know about. So, I get to hear about all the city council initiatives that they'll be voting on and what's of concern to the stake leaders about our community. First on our list...stores selling marijuana illegally. There's 180 in San Diego that are selling illegally, with a good half of them in the neighborhood of Pacific Beach, in my stake. Kind of crazy. So that's the first list to create. At our last meeting, I had a little bit of a run in with an older sister on the committee who started harping at me like I was the sole representative of all Young Single Adults in the stake. Pretty much telling me that she could never get the singles out to help or do what she needed them to do. I spent the next 30 minutes educating her how to talk to the singles. FINALLY, there was a breakthrough and she recognized what she'd been doing wrong all these years of talking to the single adults like they were children! (I remember her emails to my ward, they were very much, You're going to do this, you must come to help cause you're young and strong and can clean up after all of us older folks do the event..blah, blah). And the stake presidency member pretty much sat back and nodded to everything I said, and then after the meeting was over and we walked out, he said "And you were wondering why you're in this calling? That was one of the reasons Sister Christensen." Great. Calling fulfilled...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Just feeling good!

Do you ever have those days when you feel like you could walk down the street, whistling, that a cartoon bird would fly above you and whistle a tune as well? Maybe I just watched 500 days of Summer (edited) the other day, but I feel like that could happen this week. Family is good. Work has been good this week, busy but good, I'm moving forward with some projects I get to start after going to training for them. BYU beat SDSU in the Mountain West Conference showdown of the century (we're only 11 years into this century, so really, how momentous can it be, but up till now, it's was the most awesome!!), my niece was born on the same day as the blessed athletic event, making the day quadruple better. My 2 nephews celebrate their birthdays this week as well and I get to attend a birthday party for one of them Saturday. I get to speak in church (if anything could keep the cartoon bird out of the picture, this would be it), but give it 10 minutes and that will be done!! And I have some of the best friends ever. Some of us are headed to Nashville in April, so we had a planning party for it and we are so excited to stay at Grandma C.'s house. She's got to be out of her mind to let 7 girls stay there:) Pretty much, life can't get better. And I live in San Diego. I'm sorry to any east coasters out there, but it has been a beautiful, dry week with temps in the 70s. Yes, last week I got my first sunburn of the year. It's kind of ridiculous!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Beautiful new niece Erica

I am aunt for the 6th time. Brigitte, Tyler and Logan (sister,  brother in law and newphew) welcomed their second child, a baby girl, Wednesday. She was 7lbs, 14oz and 19 inches long. She's pretty:)

I'm super happy for Brigitte, Tyler and Logan. She looks like a cutie and I can't wait to meet her. She of course was born on what became a perfect day. She was born and BYU beat SDSU in basketball, the perfect day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2010 holiday's

I'm finally posting the long awaited photos from the 2010 year end festivities. You'd think I could get a handle on this part of my life, just post the pics Lisa!!! So here they are, and pretty much they're so cool cause they're of my family:) I one day will do a post dedicated solely to my family members, outlining each one. Maybe each week, one post should just be about a family member, and through that, I can get to know them better.

 don't worry, jack's pants never fit:)

Thanksgiving this year was at my sister Shelley's house. She lives about 2 hours northeast of San Diego, so not a hard drive at all for me. I got up there early on Thanksgiving morning and hung out till Friday night. I had to be back to work in the temple on Saturday morning. All my family members, sadly except Tyler, Brigitte's husband who had to work, came down. All under one roof. Super fun!! And the nieces and nephews were super fun too! Mariah is a talker and lets us all know what to do, she's the little mom over all of them. Logan, just younger than Mariah, seemed to take her pretty well. He likes to play and had a good time with Jack. Jack is the little cheese for the camera. He would smile and not shy away from it when it was pulled out. He and Logan liked to laugh with eachother. Sydney was cute, rolling everywhere and being vocal about what she wanted:) Bruce took everyone in and seemed to watch to see what everyone was going to do. He and Sydney are cute together. Logan and Jack seemed to like him too. Baby Bruce and Baby Sydney were very patient in allowing the older kids to play with them and with their stuff.

The adults got all the food they wanted, needed and more. I got to put my hand inside the turkey this year and between the meet and skin, so not my favorite part but someone had to do it I guess. There were all the wonderful thanksgiving goodness and then more, including a delectable chocolate dessert that Melissa brought and rolls from Brittany. It was all so good.
And the family photo. We went up to Oak Glen, a town past Shelley and Steve's, to take a family photo with Britt's camera. Sometimes I sit back and can't believe my family that used to be just 2 parents and 6 kids now include 4 spouses and 5 (soon to be 6 tomorrow!!) grandkids. With the 7th coming this summer, yay Mel and Kiel! Crazy!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Relief Society Non Sunday Meeting:)

One of my new callings in my new ward is the Relief Society Non Sunday Meeting Coordinator (mouthful isn't it, and I can't figure out a good acronym). We had our first one of the year last night. This year in Relief Society, the presidency decided on the theme "Following in His Footsteps." We are going to focus on becoming like and following the Savior. So our first activity focused on missionary work. We had the sister missionaries do a presentation on Preach My Gospel and how it can be used by every day member missionaries and their families. It was a good discussion. We then hooked up a computer to a projector and did a presentation on the new and We went through how to set up a profile, so others who are interested in the church and want to read testimonies by real members, can read what you have to say. It's a very less intimidating way of sharing your testimony then face to face. We then had refreshments of fruit with a whipped topping. All in all, a good start to the year, with hopefully more non sunday meetings being attended by more of the sisters in the ward.

It's different being back in a family ward. I've now been in this ward, out of the singles ward, for 3 months. I have to admit, it hasn't been the easiest transition for me. I loved my time in the La Jolla YSA ward. I'd been there 5 1/2 years and have a lot of great friends there. While we're still friends, your social life shrinks some when you don't see everyone each Sunday to hear what is going on. I think it's strange for ME to say this, because I did not enjoy my singles ward experience in Walnut Creek. I very reluctantly moved from the family ward I grew up in and was in after college, to a ward with all these young single adults who were younger than my 24 years (really, i had a complex about that. Kind of dumb in hindsight). But my ward in San Diego, was big, had a lot of other singles that were students or working professionals. The average age is probably 26, so it was perfect for me for the whole time I was there. And then you turn 31 and out you go. Back into a family ward where you have to make new Sunday friends and try to relate with folks with families. Home teaching is a totally different thing, the high priests home teach the singles! It's just a little different. My roommates are in the family ward with me too, so that's good and it's not like the ward is devoid of other singles. It's just not quite the same as a really great singles ward. Ok, enough pity party about that.

Check out the new site. It's a great tool to use with friends who are investigating or for yourself to share the gospel.