2009: The year of unstoppable me

I am a HUGE goal person, so, of course, New Years is an excellent opportunity for me to write resolutions. My friend was telling me about a lesson she taught on S.M.A.R.T goals

S: Specific
M: Measurable
A: Attainable
R: Realistic
T: Timely

It got me thinking about my goals and posting them in public forum. A goal is only a wish if it isn't written down and I thought I might take it a step further by sharing my goals with everyone (I could use all the motivation possible, even if it is harassment by my friends).

-run a marathon (either the Ogden or St. George)
-climb a mountain 5 times this summer
-weigh my ideal weight +/- 5 lbs by 6/1/09

-learn 3 new words a week
-Get a 4.0 each semester
-Read a book a month (other than school books)

-Never criticize my appearance (something I really need to work on)
-Say "I love you" every day to Geoff (this will be EASY!)
-Write in my journal each week

-Read the Book of Mormon by 6/1/09
-Pray 2x a day
-Read scriptures daily (no exceptions)
-Go to the temple twice a month

Maybe I'm being a bit ambitions, but I'd rather reach for the stars and land in the trees than reach for the trees and land in the mud.


A Cedar City Christmas

Well we had a great time down in Cedar City with Geoff's side of the family. It was always BUSY BUSY BUSY with 17 people under one roof, but we had a great time just kickin' back with the family. We took a billion pictures but here are just a few. I hope you all had a SPLENDID Christmas!! I start going to school next week full time and working full time so I may not be able to post as much.

*Side note: Many of you know how nervous I was for going down to my in-laws for the holidays cause my mother-in-law is a fantastic cook and she always has sooooo much food around. I am pleased to announce that I ran 3 of the 5 days I was down there, only taking off Christmas day & Sunday, and I actually LOST a pound! Not too shabby if you knew how much junk food was in front of me 24/7.

Anyways, I decided to try my amateur skills in Photography and took a few family photos.

The Whole Brown Gang!

This pose was Geoff's idea

The Gales: Ethan, Hillary, Allison, Aubrey, Spencer and a baby on the way.

The Costins: Cory, Mindy, Emma and Wyatt

Making cookies

I think Spencer ate the dough more than he helped. Isn't he so cute?

Geoff's dad treated us all to an SUU basketball game. The girls were louder than the cheerleaders.

Look at how spoiled I got from Geoff: I got a new brown coat, a sexy hot black dress, a new purse, a new backpack, a new straightner, cute socks, 2 seasons of friends, a movie, and the nativity set I have been wanting. Good job honey!!

The stuff Geoff got: a Dunder Mifflin Hoodie, a couple of cute shirts, sexy new jeans from Express for men, p90X workout dvds, a couple of movie, a season of arrested development, clinique happy for men cologne an electric razor (not pictured) and a best buy gift card. He got spoiled too.



My greatest gift of all

So I was reading my journal today and I came upon an entry that really made me grateful for a Loving Heavenly Father. Three years ago almost to the day, I was in Houston and single. I had recently lost a fiance' to cancer that summer so it was a very depressing Christmas for me. I wrote in this journal entry that I didn't think I would ever find anyone who would love me or that I could love in return. Two weeks later, I met my Geoff... and you all know the rest of that story.

It's pretty incredible how Heavenly Father knows what is best for us. He knows what we need to endure to be truly happy. Three years ago, I thought life was so cruel and that I would never be truly happy again. Little did I know that in just two short weeks, I would meet a man that loves me more than I deserve and takes my breath away on a daily basis. I feel so incredibly blessed.

Christmas has always been such a special time for me but until I met my Geoff, I never have loved Christmas like I do now. Christmas is about our Savior and celebrating his birth and the love of families. I just want to wish all of you a very happy, healthy and Merry Christmas.


Lights at temple square & a tour of our small love shack

So tonight Geoff and I went down to Salt Lake to have dinner at my grandparents and to also go see the lights at temple square. The whole block is seriously magical and I loved it. Definitely felt the Christmas spirit in the air. Here a couple of pics we took:

So I have been telling my mom for MONTHS that I would post some pictures of our little shack of an apartment. And by a small apartment, i mean SMALL... but it's cozy and I feel like I have made it into a nice home for us. We will only be here another year and then off to Houston to save for a house soon. Enjoy =)
Our tree.

This is our new TV and the poor man's fireplace. Ha ha.

Love seat.

Couch. Love that picture above it of the SLC temple. Geoff gave that to me for my last bday.

Our tiny bathroom.

Our shower. That's right... No tub. But at least we get clean =)

SMALLLLL kitchen. I love to cook so I can't wait for a bigger kitchen, someday.

The dresser my parents gave me for my last bday.

Our bed. i love it more than anything!

Small eating area.


Don't know how he does it!

Just wanted to announce that this past semester my husband has worked 40+ hours a week and took 15 hours of school... and he got STRAIGHT A's!!! I must say, I think I married quite the smarty pants!


Christmas Tag

Christmas Tag!!!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? All of my presents are wrapped in red foil paper with gold polka dots... way cute!
2. Real tree or artificial. I have an artificial tree but I think real trees are much prettier. Just a hassle and don't last as long.
3. When do you put up your tree?? Um I think the day after Thanksgiving would be good, but I will admit, I put mine up a little before Thanksgiving this year (I know, I am an impatient little kid!)
4. When do you take it down? Around new years day.
5. Do you like eggnog? sick! No way. i think its so gross.
6. Favorite gift you received as a child. a jewelry box and a diary with a lock
7. Hardest person to buy for. Geoff's parents. They are both SO different. My parents I always get them the same thing cause they love it (gift card to olive garden and a gift card to the movies)
8. Easiest person to buy for? Geoff. The kid has SO many hobbies and interests its ridiculous!
9. Do you have a nativity scene?? No, I have been looking for the perfect one and haven't found it yet.
10. Mail or email Christmas Cards? I mailed them this year.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A guy once gave me HOT PINK high heels. So not cute.
12. Favorite Christmas movie? easy! National lampoon's christmas vacation. HILARIOUS!!!
13. When do you start shopping? November-ish
14. Have you ever recycled a present? Not a christmas gift but I have with wedding gifts
15. Favorite thing to eat or drink at Christmas?? My mom makes the most incredible sugar cookies... they are so soft and yummy. I made them yesterday for a family party and they were gone in minutes.
16. Lights on the tree? Of course. Mine are "pearl" lights. They are pretty cool.
17. Favorite Christmas Song? Oh Holy Night... so pretty!
18. Travel at Christmas of stay home?? Well since being an adult I have either gone to Texas to be with my family and now we are headed down to Cedar City for this Christmas.
19. Can you name Santa's reindeer? Yes.
20. Angels on top of a tree or a star. I have a pretty gold star.
21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or on Christmas morning? we open one on christmas eve, usually pjs... and then the rest on christmas day
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? hmmm snow. I think its pretty but i hate driving in it with a PASSION!!!!
23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color? I have a texas shaped ornament my mom gave me. Makes me miss home a little but happy that I am from such a great state.
24. Favorite Christmas Dinner? My mom always makes a ham with fancy potatoes and yummy pies and of course homemade Granny Bell Rolls... mmmm... i can feel my cholesterol rising just thinking of it!
25. What do you want for Christmas? I honestly got what I wanted. Read here.


Reaching a new milestone

Many of you who knew me growing up knew I was very overweight. My weight at one point was almost 250 pounds. When I turned 20, I finally got my act together and decided to do something about it. So I lost weight the good old fashion way. Lots of working out and sweating and a totally makeover on my diet. I lost about 70 pounds in about 6 months. After that I kind of came to a screeching halt on weight loss. No matter what I did, I couldn't lose any weight. About 3 months ago, Geoff and I decided to try the "Body for life" diet which is basically just small meals throughout the day that are ultra healthy, 6 workouts a week and taking a day off to eat whatever you want and give your body a rest from exercise. And its working!! I have lost about 23 pounds and down to 160 lbs. It feels awesome. I am still not where I want to be, but its a start! And tonight, I ran 8 miles without any trouble. If you had told me 5 years ago that I could run 8 miles no problem, I would have laughed at you. It feels pretty darn wonderful to be able to reach this new milestone.

Buddah said it best : It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or demons, heaven or hell


A Christmas Miracle

A couple of weeks ago, Geoff asked me what I wanted for Christmas... after listing a few of the materialistic things I wanted, I really pondered on what would make me truly happy this Christmas and immediately I knew what it would be. I wanted to hear from my little sister. Becky and I have had a strained relationship for quite sometime now. She has had some very tragic things happen to her in her life. We live different lifestyles and its put a damper on the close bond we used to have. She hadn't spoken to me for six months. I had tried calling and texting almost daily and got no response. It has weighed very heavy on my heart. It has been the focus of my prayers. Anyone who has known me, knows that my sister is my favorite girl in the whole world.

Well, the other night, a Christmas miracle happened. After over six months of no contact, my sister finally texted me back and said "I love you Cami". It brought tears to my eyes and I know that this really was a miracle. I love Christmas. I love how it can bring the best out of people, mend hearts and bring families closer together. I am so grateful for my baby sister. My Christmas is now complete.


You have to pick your battles.

I not only strongly dislike cats, but I am also allergic to cats. Much to my dismay, Geoff has fallen in love with a stray cat. He got our recycling trash can and made a home for a stray cat right outside our door, talk about an eye sore. He is so happy about it though, so I have to just let him be happy about it for a few days. The only thing I am worried about is that this cat has tried several times to get into our house and seeing as how both Geoff & I are allergic, this could present a problem. Oh well... you just have to pick your battles. (I told him if this cat keeps trying to get in, I am going to drop it off in a box at my friend Jen's house who loves cats, ha ha).


Leaving footprints on my heart

I know I have talked about my job numerous times but sometimes I just get an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the joy & happiness it brings into my life. Many of you already know that I work at day center for adults with disabilities with soon to be 27 clients & 10 staff (we are getting new clients this next week). It's a pretty incredible place. It has its flaws & moments where I am pulling out my hair (mostly due to noise levels and being in charge of running the whole program... you think a kindergarten class is loud & noisy- you aint seen nothing yet!!) But overall, the opportunities to serve these amazing people has taught me more than ANY college class I have ever taken or will take.

Today something very touching happened. I was walking around my building making sure everything was running smoothly and one of my clients waved at me trying to get my attention and then signed that he loved me. Normally I don't condone this because we try to teach them socially acceptable things to do/say in a "normal" work setting but I couldn't help but smile and let it melt my heart. What a great example of unconditional love. I have worked at my job for almost 3 years now and I (besides my direct supervisor) have worked with these clients the longest in our portion of the company, so it's a cool feeling to know that I have not only touched these client's lives for good, but in return, they have touched mine more than they can possibly know.

When Geoff and I move in a year to Texas, I am going to cry my guts out leaving my job. And although I plan to always be in the special education field for the rest of my life, I will miss these special people dearly. It's like the saying goes: Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.



My perfect little black dress arrived in the mail today! Too bad I have to wrap it up and put it under the tree... I am still so excited though!!