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Showing posts from July, 2011

Cambodian Orphans

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If all goes well (there is still one MAJOR hurdle to overcome), I will be in Cambodia in just a few weeks. "Little" is visiting me in Virginia this week (more on how awesome that is later), and we have started to do a little research to get me ready for the trip.

If you haven't heard yet, I will be going to Cambodia for a 3 months internship, learning the more administrative, legal, and fundraising side of orphanages. I will be at 2 different orphanages during my time. (I believe one will be more rural, and the other in Phnom Penh, but I'm not positive.) One of the orphanages specifically provides care to children caught up in child trafficking.

Our research taught us the following information today-

Governmental lack of urgency condemns half a million Cambodians to life as orphans (Issues regarding the Hague Treaty ratification.)

Understanding intercountry adoption and what the Hague Treaty is all about.

258 orphanages in the country. 21 government run, 237 privatel…

Matters of the Heart

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Today was full of unexpected emotions- from the sincerely happiest of happy feelings to heartbreaking sadness.
My baby sister, Steph, got engaged today. (For all of you pretending to help me keep it a secret that we knew it was coming- yeah! We can stop that now!) I'm truly happy for her, and thrilled to gain a new brother in law. Our family has been needing some new blood for a while! Congratulations Steph and AJ!
And the sadness I felt came for a family I have never met. About six years ago I learned of the blog of a little girl fighting cancer. I followed her family's heroic efforts to battle cancer right up to the day she was declared cancer free! Not long after their family endured that, her mother was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. She fought a very valiant battle against that evil and awful disease. Last September she was placed on a ventilator, and full life support not long after that. Her mind and soul were completely intact, and sadly held captive by a fa…

Hair Questions

I love that I am getting so many questions about my hair!
Since the Brazilian Keratin Treatment  I have been crazy busy with family activities, a funeral, house hunting, and girls camp. I have to admit, that the vain side of me (who really isn't allowed to talk very much) is loving my hair. In the middle of the worst of the heat and humidity at girls camp, where my showers were short and fast, I never once thought about my hair. I could wash it quickly, and just move on. I even forgot to brush my hair one day after my shower, and just piled it up in a ponytail. 12 hours later when I found my brush and finally got around to brushing my hair (gotta love girls camp), it wasn't ratty, tangly, or even a mess. In fact, it looked kind of cute!
Today was one of the worst steam baths Virginia weather has to offer. Temperatures over 90 and massive, steamy, rainy down pours. In the past this would have meant having a frizzball on my head with curly q's for bangs. But today, thanks t…

I Survived the Girls Camp Heat Wave of 2011

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I'm back from the Great Girls Camp Heat Wave of 2011. We had a wonderful time. We saw insanely hot temperatures (105 degrees with 100% humidity anyone?!), loved our girls, stayed in tents, cooked over fires, and nearly melted, but we had a great time!

I could tell you 5,000 cute stories about how awesome our girls are, or just how hot the weather was, but I can't! I'm leaving in just a few minutes for the airport (4 hrs away) to pick up "Little!" And I am so excited I can't even sleep!! I've got a crazy fun trip planned for us, and I can't wait to grab her and hug her at the airport! It's going to be great!!

Hi and Goodbye

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My week in a blurb- work, work, work, house hunt, almost moved, lake day, wake/viewing, funeral, family, prep and pack for camp, visit with family, look for more houses, pack for camp again, dog to the emergency hospital, and some other stuff I don't remember now.
In short, it has been a week!
Tomorrow morning I load up the car with gear and girls and take off for a week to girls camp. I loved girls camp when I was a teen, and I've loved it just as much getting to go back as a "grown up" leader. The blog will be appropriately neglected while I'm off in the woods.
Now for the "deep dive" into the week-
My great-aunt passed away on Tuesday. I had been a caregiver to her several times over the last few months. It was hard to say goodbye, but a joy to see her released from the pain. Her final days and hours reminded us of how close heaven really is to us.
Her funeral was just a big, fun, loud family reunion- just the way she would have liked it. It was fun…

Brazilian Blowout Before and After

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Here goes nothing!
The truth about my hair!
The truth is I have very wavy, almost curly, thick, and hard to manage hair. I have to spend way more time than is reasonable on my hair to only manage to make it look like I don't spend much time on my hair. It takes me a good  thirty minutes to blow dry my hair, using "silky serum," a round brush, and a paddle brush to make it almost, nearly lay down flat.
Leave it naturally curly you say?
I wish! Sadly it turns out more like a fluffyfrizzbobob, which is totally a real word.
Here's the proof-

Not so pretty.
But sometimes, maybe, after hours of scrunching, product, gently combing, and then more scrunching and product, I can get a few minutes of nice curls out of it.
What's worse, is what it looks like if I try to blow dry it without all the tools of the trade-
Have I mentioned I have more hair than a woolly mammoth? It's true, I do.

So when I started hearing about the virtues of a "brazilian blowout" or …

I'm not childless, I'm childfull. I'm not a mother, but I am maternal.

To all my single girlfriends, who know the pain of wanting to be a wife and mother, but life has not brought that path, I share with you this beautifully written article-
"The Truth About Childless Women" by Melanie Notkin on HuffingtonPost.com.
She puts into words feelings I often wish I could share!

Dog Days of Summer

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I have been replaced as my dog's best friend by a monkey. She found the stuffed toy a few weeks ago and hasn't left it alone since. Including carrying it to my bed and getting caught snuggling with it (more than once).

In other news...
I had a great time at the singles conference in DC this weekend. Somehow I managed to only take one picture the whole weekend-

Can you read what the woman wrote on her fan? It says, "No Photo Authorizations Ever!" She had it written on 2 fans and kept them on either side of her face the whole time. I found this bizarre for a while, and then her identical twin sister came in, dressed exactly the same, sat next to her, and held her own warning signs up as well. I just regret not taking a picture of both of them together.

But back to the conference.
It was a lot of fun and very well-planned. There were around 5 or 6 girls for every guy. Great odds for the guys, not so much for the girls. But the singles program in the LDS Church is much …

Up, up and away!

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It all starts tomorrow.
I'm headed up to DC for a singles conference, that is coming at just the right time.
My social life in Roanoke is killing me. Or should I say the lack of a social life is killing me?
I am really looking forward to this weekend.
I'm really starting to realize now how singles in bigger cities with all of the nice amenities and services (like functioning singles programs, restaurants, and just other singles really) just don't know how great they have it, and why they don't take better advantage of things like conferences. (I really do get it- I used to be one of them.)
For me this is a big deal. It is my first time since February or March to get to hang out with other singles. You can't begin to imagine how excited I am to just be around other singles for a few hours, let alone two whole days.
It breaks my heart a little bit that 4 of the 6 friends in DC I contacted to see if they would be there all said no, they were going out of town. But I …

Happy Fourth!

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I hope you had a happy and safe Fourth!

Breast Cancer Awareness

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Lately I have become increasingly interested in learning more about breast cancer prevention and awareness. My interest in learning more about breast cancer prevention came from a big scare back in January and February. I was in the midst of getting my PC physical, which included a breast exam, when the doctor became concerned about a lump, and ordered more tests. The lump turned out to be nothing more than simple cysts on each side, and nothing to worry about. But the doctor did take the opportunity to give me some scary facts. Because of family history and genes, my biological sister and I have an 85% higher chance of getting breast cancer. (Which is NOT the same as saying we have an 85% chance of getting it.)
The National Cancer Institute estimates that 13.4 percent of women born today (1 in 7) will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time in their lives. An estimated risk represents the average risk for all women in the United States as a group. This estimate does not ind…

Making a few changes

The big Peace Corps delay has given me the freedom to make a few changes in my day to day life that I wouldn't have made if I was leaving the country for 2 years in September. Conveniently the big delay also coincided with making some extra money. As a result I've found myself buying new clothes (which I hadn't done in about 18 months), getting new contacts (the PC encourages volunteers to wear glasses instead), investing in a new diet program (not really PC related, but more because I spent all of May in bed with pneumonia and gained a few pounds), and just spending money without worrying as much as before.
I'm still completely disappointed about the PC delay, but I did get news yesterday that my medical file is being reviewed finally! This was a huge surprise since the letter regarding the delay made it clear I wasn't going to get reviewed for several more months (putting me at risk of my medical file expiring, and having to do it all over again). Hopefully this…