Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We snowshoe for the butt-slides!

Well, this post isn't entirely about snowshoeing. I'll get to that in a second.

On Saturday I had a soccer game at 9:20am. It was a good game, but we ended up losing by one goal. Boo. I really need to work on my free kicks though. In indoor the PK's are more like in hockey meaning you can dribble before you shoot. I'm just terrible at them and I feel like I have no way to practice! Plus, girl goals count for two which adds to the pressure, and the disappointment when I miss. Oh well.

Then at 11:00 I met Mel, Shelby and her mom Lori at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon for a snowshoe. Usually the group also includes Kate and sometimes Brittany, but Brit was out of town and Kate broke her collarbone a few weeks ago and couldn't come :( This particular trail we've hiked a few times before, but it's one of our favorite spots for butt-sliding so we keep going back.

Sample of the awesomeness below:

The snow was perfect on Saturday, we had a blast! Here are some pictures of the whole group from a couple months ago.

Kate, Mel, Brittany, Me, Shelby

Climbin' up! I remember this one was a pretty tough hike and the wind was really blowing. The hardest one though was when Shelby, Mel and I went up the 'Secret Trail' a few weeks after this. That was more like snow-CLIMBING! (Brittany, Lori, Kate, Shelby, and Mel.

Brittany, Kate, Me, Shelby, Lori
A taste of the beautiful views we get to see

After snowshoeing we met up with the rest of the Low family at TopIt for some ice cream.

I usually get just a little bit of ice cream with all of my toppings. Mmmm! And it's just down the street from my house!

After that I ran home, showered and got ready for Stake Conference. We had Elder C. Scott Grow of the 70 there. He talked a lot about marriage and preparing for marriage. It seems to really be a theme among the general authorities lately. In fact, Elder Grow told us that the first Thursday of every month the general authorities do a session in the temple and then have a testimony meeting. He said President Monson got up and said, "You want to know what I worry about most?" -- "Girls that don't date." Elder Grow said he mentioned the same thing 3 months in a row, then charged the GA's to carry the message. Wow, if that's what worries him most it must be a problem. I feel like they've really been focusing on the young single adults lately - like all the talks in Gen Conference about singles, and the realignment and reconstruction of singles stakes that's going to take place next week. The thing is, I agree with everything they're saying, and I know how important it is, it's just hard sometimes to apply it. I really don't think there is any shortage of desire to be married. What I have a hard time with is figuring out the balance between how much I should be doing to try to make it happen, and how much I should be relying on God's timing. Because I really think that as long as you're not sitting like a bump on a log at home all the time (and I've even seen some of them get hitched), and you're supposed to get married, it will happen in the Lord's time. It's not really something you can force.

Anyway, after SC I met up with Sara and Lis Thomas at the Broadway Theater downtown to see the new version of Jane Eyre.

It was great! I thought they did a good job of cramming what's normally a 4+ hour film into 2 without skipping too much. And the Mr. Rochester is...very handsome and has a very nice voice :) They only downfall of the movie was the ending. It was very abrupt and left me thinking, "that's IT?!!"

 So overall it was a very busy but awesome day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The King's Speech

Ok, I LOVE this movie! Yes, I know it has Colin Firth, but - while I do relish in being numbered among the millions who regard him as the "thinking woman's heartthrob" - that is not why I like it.
L-R: George V, Prince Edward, Prince Albert,
King Edward VII
I like it because it is a story about perseverance, strength, courage, hard work, trust, and friendship. It tells the story of King George VI (father to the present Queen Elizabeth II) and his struggle to overcome the debilitating stammer that plagued him his entire life. Born Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George (or 'Bertie' to his family), he was the second son of King George V and Mary of Teck. As a child he was teased mercilessly for his stutter. In fact once, he was asked to tell what you get when you divide a half by a half and he refused to answer because he knew he had trouble with the 'k' sound as in 'quarter'. This led to his classmates and others marking him as stupid. His father wasn't very helpful either. His best response to his son's struggle was "Get it out boy!" As he grew older and became Albert, Duke of York, he was required to make public appearances and sometimes...speeches. These he dreaded more than anything. In fact, Albert confessed in his journal that for him public speaking was 'hell'.
Queen Mary of Teck and her children, standin L-R: Henry, Mary, Edward, Albert; sitting in carriage, L-R: George and John

In 1925, his father asked Albert to give the opening speech at the Empire Exhibition at Wembley. As Albert approached the microphone his voice failed him in what proved to be a painful experience for both he and the audience. In the audience that day was Lionel Logue, an Australian man known for his abilities as an elocutionist and curer of those with speech difficulties. 

Albert, Duke of York and young Princess Elizabeth
A year after the disastrous Wembley speech Albert decided he had to overcome this difficulty. He became frustrated however when therapist after therapist failed to cure him. Finally, somehow, he got in touch with Lionel Logue. As was shown in the movie, Logue required absolute equality in their sessions and emphasized hard work, muscle relaxation, and constant practice. The Duke knew curing his stammer would require a lot of hard work on his part and he was ready and determined to do it. According to Logue, Albert worked harder than anyone else he ever treated.  
Royal Family, L-R: Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Princess Margaret,
Albert, Duke of York (George VI), Princess Elizabeth
After about 1-2 years of working with Logue, Albert began to be confident in his speaking abilities and believed Logue had cured him enough to perform the taks he had as Duke of York, such as giving speeches to a few thousand or at private dinners, etc. They stopped seeing each other every day as they had at the beginning and only had contact about once a year. Then in 1936 George V died and Albert's older brother David, became King Edward VIII. However, David was in love with an American woman named Wallis Simpson who had been divorced twice. He was determined to marry her but, as head of the Church of England, Edward could not marry a twice-divorced woman and remain on the throne. So less than a year after being made king, Edward famously abdicated, thrusting Albert onto a throne that he never wanted or ever expected to have.
Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, and King George VI on coronation day, 1937
Now, as King George VI, he would have to make more speeches, to larger crowds, and often in front of a microphone which would then be broadcast. This put his speeches - and perhaps his speech difficulties - on display for the entire world to hear. He contacted Logue and again they began working tirelessly to prepare for first the King's coronation, then a Christmas message, etc. Then just two short years after becoming king, WWII began and George VI needed more than ever to be the kind of leader - and speaker - that could inspire his nation in that time of great trial.  
Logue used to laugh when he would see pictures such as this in the newspapers because he was present for most of the king's major speeches and knew he always spoke staking up with his jacket off and the window open

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Humorous (yet true) Las Vegas Driving Directions :)

First, it's pronounced Los Vay-gus, Ne-vah-da (NOT Ne-VAW-da). It doesn't matter how they say it in other places.

Some things to remember when driving in Las Vegas...

1. All directions start with, "Go down 95...' cause you DON'T want to get on 15!"

2. Las Vegas Blvd, Charleston Blvd, and Torrey Pines have no beginning and no end.

3. It's impossible to go around a block and wind up on the same street that you started on. The Chamber of Commerce calls this a "scenic drive".

4. The 8:00 am rush hour is 4:30am to 11:30am. The 5:00pm rush hour is 11:30am to 10:15pm. Friday's rush hour starts on Thursday morning and ends sometime late Sunday night.

5. Just remember that Camino Al Norte is Martin Luther King Blvd., Boulder Highway is Fremont Street, Eastern Ave is 25th Street or Civic Center Drive, Desert Inn is Lamb Blvd., Spring Mountain/Sands/Twain are all the same street. Don't try to figure it out. Just accept it. If you question the intelligence behind this naming convention, people will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you.

6. Henderson is the only place in the world where THREE "parallel" streets intersect at one traffic light. That would be the 4-way of Green Valley Parkway/Eastern Avenue/Maryland Parkway. For laughs, ask any middle school Geometry teacher to try to explain it.

7. Rainbow Blvd. has THREE exits from the 95, this just makes giving driving directions to newbies more entertaining. There is also a Lake Mead "Drive" and a Lake Mead "Boulevard" and both run east/west but are 30 miles apart. You have to be specific when you say "the corner of Lake Mead and..." Again this is just another way to harass the 5000 newcomers who move into our valley every month.

8. The 215 beltway intersects on the north and the south with many of the same streets, such as Jones/215, Decatur/215 and Rainbow/215. You must be specific in your directions or the repairman will end up 25 miles from your house. Ditto for newcomers.

9. Many major roads just end abruptly in somebody's garage, a Home Depot, a Casino or McCarran International Airport Runway and start again after the interruption. That was done to encourage you to "see the sights" and meet new people. For fun, just try to take Harmon Avenue from Rainbow to Nellis.

10. Do not attempt to access any road after an apocalyptic event like snow, blowing dust, or a 3-day weekend.

11. For God's sake, as well as Channel 13's, 3's, and 8's, DO NOT try to drive your car through a street-turned-river. Even though it only rains less than an inch a year, SOMEHOW, 6 feet of water ends up on the east side of Bonanza, and a woman has to get helicopter-lifted off the top of her car

12. Once a year, when it rains, the Las Vegas Wash and the City of Las Vegas are one.

13. Construction on I-15 and US 95 is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment. I-215 will never be completed. Get used to it!

14. Stay away from the corner of Nellis and Las Vegas Blvd. if you don’t like the thought of being in a remake of the movie "Top Gun."

You know you're from Las Vegas if...

(I thought these were funny and oh, so true!)

You know you’re from Las Vegas if…

1. You know which one is Siegfried and which one is Roy

2. You know how to get to any casino on the strip without taking Las Vegas Blvd

3. You can now predict where construction signs will be misleadingly placed

4. You accept the fact that stop signs and red lights mean very little to tourists

5. You have no idea how a lottery works

6. Limos are an everyday sighting

7. You've attended a drive through wedding

8. You've been to a museum... at a casino

9. Your house is made of stucco and has a red clay tile roof

10. The water from the cold water tap is the same temperature as the hot one

11. It's noon in July, kids are on summer vacation, and not one person is moving on the streets

12. You actually burn your hand opening the car door

13. The water in your pool has been too hot to swim in and you don’t even have a heater

14. You have visited the Statue of Liberty, Venice, the Eiffel Tower, and the Pyramids without having to leave town

15. The song “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” has no meaning to you

16. You’ve golfed in December in a short sleeved shirt

17. You’ve tried to work on your car in the summer and burned your hand picking up a wrench that was left in the sun less than two minutes before

18. You have never had a car battery last longer than three years

19. You have seen more Elvis impersonators than policemen

20. You only go to the Strip when you have people visiting from out of town

21. You have gone grocery shopping at 3:00 am

22. You've never seen a closed gas station

23. You are still asked "smoking or non?" when you go to out to eat

24. You remember the ugly lion

25. You can wear pants in the summer and shorts in the winter

26. You don't pay a State Tax, thanks for coming J

27. You know that prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas

28. You are in a town with 24/7 entertainment but you can’t find anything to do

29. The grass isn't greener on the other side, it's just less brown

30. You know your mayor used to work for the mob and still hangs out with show girls

31. Growing up realize it's actually a "small city"

32. You learned how to use crayon's by playing KENO at restaurants when you were a kid

33. ...WET and WILD!!!!

34. You use to have to run across the street in your bare feet in the Summer to prevent second degree burns

35. You go to other cities and see these “stars” that you learned about in school.

36. You have never bought a nightlight for your children. You just open the blinds to their window

37. Before people come to visit from out of town they can’t get the concept that you don’t live in a casino

38. You think it was better when the Mob ran the town

39. The best parking spaces are always determined by shade rather than distance

40. You no longer associate bridges (or rivers) with water

41. You have no idea what a scarf does but think it looks good

42. You don't own an umbrella

43. When you go to different cities, you're amazed things aren't open after 9 pm

44. You know the spaghetti bowl has nothing to do with food and you want nothing to do with it

45. Snowfall is something that only happens on TV

46. You think someone driving wearing oven mitts is clever

47. You discover, in July, it only takes two fingers to drive your car

48. You've had a second degree burn from your seatbelt

49. You leave a bottle of water in your car for only 30 minutes, and it's boiling hot

50. You’ve had at least 10 Chapsticks melt in your car

51. When buying a car, the most important thing you consider is how cold the a/c can get

52. You have never seen a snow shovel and don’t know anyone who owns one

53. You wouldn’t know what to do with it if you did!

54. You have discovered that you can get a sunburn through your car window

55. Half of the people you know work in a casino

56. You realize that asphalt has a liquid state

57. Kids will ask, "What's a mosquito?"

58. You notice your car overheating before you drive it

59. It doesn't faze you to see slot machines in grocery stores

60. The only volcano you've seen is in front of the Mirage

61. Half of your neighbors are from California and the other half are from New York

62. They all moved to Nevada to avoid oppressive taxes, but now demand the same services that they had at home

63. You think a well-organized pile of rocks can be a nice lawn

64. You can say 115 degrees without fainting. (But it's a dry heat!!!)

65. You can be in the snow, then drive for an hour and it will be over l00 degrees. (Thank God for Mount Charleston!)

66. Vehicles with open windows have the right-of-way in the summer

67. The term Lake Las Vegas doesn't seem problematic in the slightest

68. You have to walk through a casino to see a movie

69. Sixty degrees is cold enough to wear a jacket

70. You can wear shorts in the winter

71. You get bored in the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’

72. You are outraged to pay more than 9.99 for prime rib and a lobster tail

73. What the heck is a last call?

74. You know the seasons: Really hot, 2 weeks of nice, not so hot, 2 weeks of nice

75. You know never to merge right when driving north on I-15; it'll just end anyway

76. You've never had to pay for parking

77. And no, we do not live in Los Angeles and commute every day! People actually live in Las Vegas!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ice Breaker Women's Hockey Tournament

This weekend my hockey team, the Salt Lake Black Diamonds, had a hockey tournament in Ogden. We played the Boise Wildfire first on Friday night and tied 3-3. I scored a goal too! Well, technically it was an own goal by the other team because it hit her skate and went in, but hey, it counts. Brittany, Sue, Paul (aka PTM), and my friend Dave from softball came to watch the game which was so much fun. Then B, S, PTM and I went to dinner at TGIF's. It's kind of become a tradition to go there with Paul after Ogden games and I love it!

We beat the Park City Predators 5-2 in the second game. And the third game...well that was an exciting one. We were winning 2-1 against the U-18 Lady Grizzlies. Then they scored 2 more, making the score 3-2 them. The second period went by with no goals. The clock kept ticking in the third period and still no goals. We had to win this game if we wanted any chance of being in the championship. Then, with just over 4 mninutes to play we started going crazy. We scored 3 goals in .50 seconds!! A fourth goal made the final score 6-3. So exciting! Luckily we won by so many goals because we found out later that we had to have won by 2 in order to be in the championship game.

Sunday we lost pretty bad to the Ketchum 5-Stars. They were actually a really good team, but on top of that the officiating was absolutely horrendous! We had someone in the box for most of the game, and the other team? Nothing. Maybe a couple of times. Oh well, now we have a lot of things to work on for next season.


On the bench waiting for our shift (My line for this game, Shelby (18), me (20), and Dawn Z. (2)

Pep talk from the coaches between periods

Goal!! That's Lori on the left, and me skating behind the Wildfire girl

Some girl hit me and apparently Lori didn't think that was very nice and let her know it...


2nd Place!!

Back, L-R: Coach Mike Hintze, Jenn, Janelle, Deb, Laura, Shawn, Sara, Lori, Shelby, Jacks, Coach Tony Tyler; Front, L-R: Lori, Dawn T., Jo-Anne, Sami, Lindsay, Meghan, Susan.