Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Apparently 2010 will be my year for running races. In the last week I have added two more races to my calendar! I am now signed up for ....
  • Moab 5 miler (I am going with Beckie who is doing the 1/2 marathon! I wussed out and am only doing the 5 miler.)
  • Women of Steel Tri (May)
  • Escape from Alcatraz swim (June)
  • Ragnar Relay (June)
I am sure there will be more to come ... stay tuned.

I guess I should start, I don't know, WORKING OUT! Wish me luck!
(what am I thinking?)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

19 years and counting!

Friends Christmas Party 2009
It is one of my most favorite weekends of the year! I look forward to it for weeks. You already know what a lucky girl I am to have such amazing girlfriends and how I cherish them.I am amazed that 19 years has gone by ... and while our lives have been eventful, little has changed when we all get together for annual Christmas sleepover at the cabin. We eat and laugh and share our lives with each other. There is little sleep because we don't want the night to end. We are so glad Shan waited to have her baby so she could be at the party!The best part is that Beck comes for the whole weekend! I love it! I take a day off school and we hit the ground running. As ALWAYS it went by way to fast. We crammed an amazing amount of stuff in. Every girl should be so lucky to have a BF like Beckie! LYG girls!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pie! Pie! Pie!

My favorite part of THANKSGIVING is the pie! (I don't really even like Thanksgiving dinner). It has become a tradition in my family to have "a pie per person"! We don't really ... but come pretty close.

My Dad and I start eating pie the night before ... just to test them out. This year was no exception. Dan made the most beautiful pies! We had pecan (made by me), cherry, apple, mince meat, berry, peach and Jennie's chocolate! My mom and Hun set a most lovely table ... as always! Would you expect anything less from them?
I took up knitting this Thanksgiving. I thought I would just knit out a scarf over the break ... how about a wash cloth!
Notice the dark hair with a little dash of holiday red!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy THANKSgiving!

Most importantly ... I am eternally THANKFUL for my Savior. For all that I am THANKFUL for comes from Him. I am so blessed to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I know that this is the true and living church. I am THANKFUL for my knowledge that He lives and loves me.
I pray that you will all have a wonderful THANKSGIVING!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


How THANKFUL I am for modern conveniences! Heat that just comes on when my house gets cold. Electricity when I flip a switch. Water that runs freely. All these things that we don't even think about. They are just there, that make life so much more comfortable and easy! Very THANKFUL!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So Thankful!

My Family!
I am THANKFUL for my family!
Pretty much everyone knows what a great family I have.I have an amazing extended family as well! They are only a hop, skip, and jump away. We are lucky to have each other and to be so close.
THANKFUL!I really don't know how to express my THANKS for my family. What a lucky girl I am! After all ... do you KNOW who I am? I am a CHRISTENSEN! My parents are my rock. I don't know what I would do without them. I owe all that I am to them. They are amazing people.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thankful for ...

My whole life I have been very blessed with great friends.
Friends have been such an important part of my life. I am so THANKFUL for their love and support, for their true friendship. My friends are like an extension of my family.
I love them and am so THANKFUL for them!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Giving Thanks

I am THANKFUL to be a teacher!How lucky I am to have such a great job. I truly love my job. Sure, I would love to not have to work but when it comes right down to it ... I love my job. I am THANKFUL to have the opportunity everyday to teach AND to learn. My job is not only rewarding but it is fun. It is never dull (that is an understatement!) I love my kids. I believe passionately in what I am doing. I am very THANKFUL for amazing people I work with. My job, me being a teacher, enriches my life!
I am THANKFUL to be a teacher!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful ... cont.

I am so THANKFUL for my home. I love my house. I love that my house is a home. It is a place that I want to be. I feel so blessed to have my own home.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Thanks!

I am THANKFUL for my community!

I grew up in the best neighborhood, in the greatest country in the world! I am so THANKFUL for that blessing. There is so much love and support there. I know, without a doubt, that if I ever needed anything there are numerous people that would be there for me and for my family.

Anyone who knows me very well knows that I am a pretty patriotic girl.
I am THANKFUL for my country!
I am THANKFUL for my freedom!
I am THANKFUL for the men and women fighting to protect and preserve that freedom! This freedom is the foundation for so much of what I am THANKFUL for. I have been all over the world. I have seen some beautiful, amazing places on this earth. But there is no where that compares to this country. We are truly blessed people to be citizens of the United States of America!

Thankful ... cont.

I am THANKFUL for everyday that I don't have a headache!


As I was driving to school this morning is was very cold! (in the 20's) I was thinking how THANKFUL I am that I have a garage to park my car in so that my car windows are not all frozen over and that I don't have to scrape them in the morning! Just a small thing ... but something I am (seriously) THANKFUL for!

It is a month of Thanks. It is a time of year that we reflect on all that we are THANKFUL for. My dear friend Kim has spent the month posting things she is THANKFUL for on her blog. It has been so fun to read. I have so much to be THANKFUL for. I am going to follow Kim's lead by, for the next week, posting things I am THANKFUL for ... from parking my car in the garage to ....

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I was asked, "What INSPIRES you?"
That question got me to thinking ... What does inspire me? When do I feel inspired?
Autumn is a time of year that I often feel inspired. I love the colors of Fall. There is something magical about the light this time of year. Have you ever looked at the mountains at just the right moment, when the sunlight is coming across the valley and hitting the mountains .... it sorta sucks the air right out of you (in a good way)? Suddenly your whole soul just feels inspired! The air feels different this time of year. It is still warm but has a crispness to it. Inspiring! Maybe it is knowing that winter is coming. It will soon be time to stay inside, I start to get the bug to make things, to create. I don't feel that way any other time of year. Just Autumn.
Just a thought.
I had this conversation with my student teacher. For two art teachers this is a pretty normal conversation I think. I told her how after I had been asked, "what inspires you?" I had been thinking about it all weekend and how it made me think, how many people NEVER think about this, how many people never wonder what inspires them? (do you think about it?) Does everyone feel inspired? Oh I hope so!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sparks 2009

Each of us has that right, that possibility, to invent ourselves daily. If a person does not invent herself, she will be invented. So, to be bodacious enough to invent ourselves is wise. -Maya Angelou

Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous. -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

My sister Cass was the keynote speaker at Spark. She did an amazing job! As she spoke I just kept thinking how proud I was to be her sister! She was so inspiring as she spoke about sparking your creativity.
Our fabulous friend Lala and her friend (and now our friend) Sandi came to town for this event. I can't think of more creative, fun people to Spark with!

Rekindle your creative fire by making time to play. -Mari Messer

When you come right down to it, all you have is yourself. Yourself is a sun with a thousand fires in your belly. The rest is nothing. -Pablo Picasso

The Spark girls put on a fantastic event! The decor was luscious, the classes inspiring, and so much cool free stuff!

Love life, engage in it, give it all you've got. love it with a passion, because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it. -Maya Angelou

One of the classes that we attended was a photography class. I am not really into photography so I became the 'model'. We got to try some cool new things. Very fun!

One sure-fire way to stay creative: force yourself to learn something new. -Harvey Mackay

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. -Albert Schweitzer

We finished the weekend with an all-nighter! We had the creative vibe and just had to make stuff! A fabulous weekend all around!

*** all quotes taken from Hun's presentation.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Spooky Halloween!

I wasn't really in a costume because I really AM a "MJ Super Fan"!
You can't tell in the picture but I have a tattoo of a tear with a MJ in the middle. I am even wearing white socks and black loafers.
What? You have a picture with MJ you say! Yes, Yes that's right. We are BF's!
And you can be BF's with anyone of your choosing with five minutes on Photoshop too!
Peter, Jennie, and Kids ... very scary!My Mom, Aunt, and Hun (sister)
Fabulous witches if I do say so myself!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Book Review

These Is My Words
Nancy E. Turner

I loved this book! A historical fiction diary of a girl, Sarah Prine, from the Arizona Territories. Sarah will make you laugh, she will make you cry and she will empower you all at the same time.
This is a must read!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall Break in Pennsylvania!

My good friend Jeanette (one of my former administrators at school) and her husband John (he is one of the key people in leading me to getting my heart fixed!) are living in Pennsylvania while John is in grad school. Debbie (a teacher friend) and I decided that it would be a perfect destination trip for our Fall break!

It was SUCH a fun trip! The scenery was beautiful. One of us was saying, "oh my gosh look how pretty!" every three or four minutes.

We took a road trip (via the scenic route) to Gettysburg and Amish country.
Our drive dipped us down into Maryland for a bit.
Along the way we saw signs for Cunningham Falls and decided to stop. It was a 1/2 mile walk up to this beautiful little spot. What a gem of a find!
Not to far from the falls is Thurmont MD. We decided this was a good place to stop for lunch. Not having much luck finding anywhere to eat we decided to stop and ask a man walking down the street (we had passed him twice and Debbie told us to not judge a book by its cover and just stop and ask!). He turned out to be a very nice young man (with not very many teeth). Yes ma'am, he could recommend a place to eat, a nice buffet (if we had only known the foresight this was giving us). Well we followed his directions to a better part of town and found Rocky's where we each got a HUGE calzone! Rocky did make my calzone special just for me with the "must have" ingredients for a perfect calzone.

We stopped by the Gettysburg visitors center to set up a guide for the next day only to find out we were "between a pig and poke" according to the gentleman helping us and would not be able to get a guide. What the heck does that mean? A pig and a poke?

We ended up getting an audio tour of Gettysburg. This was a truly humbling experience that made me feel patriotic to the bone!
Off to Amish country where we were to spend the night. Before our road trip I done a little research to learn more about the Amish people and decided that the simple life style sounded very appealing and that I might like to join them. Jeanette asked a very thought provoking question, "how does one become Amish? Do you just show up one day in the outfit and say,'Hi, I'm new!'"
We had a most delightful day driving around Intercourse PA. and the surrounding areas just exploring. We stopped at some fun shops and admired their quilts and furniture. I looked for a husband but found out that they start courting at 16 and marry by 20. I am an Old Maid in Amish land .. ok in most lands. We also discovered that the Amish really like buffets! Trying to find some place to eat that just had a regular menu proved to be very difficult. We finally ended up at Jennie's Diner where the pancakes were bigger than your head! The people in this part of the country sure eat large food. I really am contemplating adopting some of the Amish lifestyle ... just on a more modern level. ;)
A day in the city. Who knew that Pittsburgh was such a pretty city!
The Steelers were playing right across the river from where we were eating lunch. You could hear the roar of the crowd. It was super cool.
Our last day was spent visiting a couple more sights. Our first stop was the Flight 93 crash sight from 9/11. Another humbling and very emotional sight. True heroes!
We then drove through the country to Frank Lloyd Wright's house "Fallingwater". Being an are history teacher this was one of the trip highlights for me!
I am pretty sure our tour guide is in love with the late "Mr. Wright".
It came in very handy that we kept running into professional photographers along the way that could take pictures of the three of us.
One last stop before heading home ... Ohiopyle State Park. This is really a summer destination so most of it was closed down. But beautiful all the same.

it turns out that I pose for pictures a lot .. huh ... who would have thought!

Jeanette and John are some of the most fun people to visit and spend time with. Debbie and I had a fabulous trip and came home with great stories and memories. Thanks for inviting us to come and we hope to see you again really soon! (we will totally let you win at cards next time! ha)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

3 month check up ... follow up!

A couple of you have asked how my 3 month check up went ... well it went GREAT! I am officially off the Plavix (hooray!). They did a bubble test to see how well the device is working and it is totally healed and has completely closed the hole in my heart! Everyone was very surprised that for how big of a device they had to use that it was so healed at 3 months. There is something to be said for being young (relatively speaking) and healthy (not over weight, don't smoke, etc). It looked so good that they canceled my 6 and 9 month check up and I don't have to go back until my year mark! I continue to take an aspirin and no dental work for 3 more months ... other than that I have no restriction. I can even scuba dive!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

3 Months!

Three months ago today I had my heart fixed!
This is only a big deal because I get to go off the Plavix! I have my three month check up with the cardiologist on Friday and will get to take a look at my heart (which I love, it is just so cool to see). They will just be checking to make sure everything is healing right.
I still am amazed and often say little prayers of thanks that I was able to have this done. I am getting headaches once in a while but NOTHING compared to what I had been living with. I have not forgotten what it was like and am feeling SO lucky to not be that person anymore!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Spending Fall Break in Pennsylvania with Debbie and Jeanette!
Oh what a trip it has been. Lots of stories and pictures to come.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Plavix Plavix Give Me A Break!

After my heart procedure I was put on Plavix, a blood thinner and a full Aspirin a day.
The nurse warned me that I would bruise easily and if cut it would bleed a lot. All TRUE! Look at my poor legs (and these are not even the worst of them). Apparently I bump into a lot of things. Now, every time I bump my arm, hand, or leg on anything my first thought is, "dang! that is going to be a bruise!" I am looking forward to being done with the Plavix! I have my three month check up at the end of the month where my doctor will decide if I can go off the Plavix. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Secret Garden

I mentioned in my end of summer post how much I love my little patio. Living in a townhouse I have just a little backyard patio that is about 10' x 20' It just keeps getting prettier as the cooler weather has brought out the mums. It is one of my favorite places to sit and read, eat breakfast, talk on the phone, just have a little peace and quiet. It is my own little secret garden. Does winter really have to come?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Before you toss your stuff into the trash or give it to D.I. think of your local school or favorite teacher. You would be surprised what they can use.

For example ...
*Cookie cutters and rolling pins -- ceramics teacher ;)

*File folders

*Old books -- check with the library first. It is also a very popular project in art classes to make altered books. Students take old books and paint, draw, college etc in them creating a personal portfolio.

*containers -- anything from yogurt containers to storage boxes. Any teacher can use these.


*Soda cans -- don't just toss them ... let a teacher or club take them in and recycle them for $$

*Magazines -- great for colleges and scrap

*Old ... out of date digital camera

One mans junk is another mans treasure! Or teachers and schools are poor so anything they can get donated is gold!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

To do before I die ....

.... hike Timp ... check!

I have lived in Utah my entire life and I have never hiked Timp. It is something that has been on my "To Do Before I Die List" (you all have a to do before you die list ...right?) for years. My Dad agreed to hike to the summit with me one last time. So we picked the perfect date ...

Today is my Dad's 67th birthday!

He is pretty impressive don't you think.

I was extra determined to do this hike this year. Because of my heart procedure I had to drop out of the Alcatraz race and out of doing a triathlon. I just wanted to do one "event" ... to accomplish something. So five days after my two month mark I did a 14 mile hike to over 11,100 feet!

Our good friend Mark did the hike with us. Mark has known me since I was 3 years old and has done this hike with my Dad a couple of times. I will always remember Mark calling me
Sari-Maria. Mark made me do it!
From start to finish the hike was so beautiful. The leaves are just starting to change which made the scenery breathtaking. The view from the saddle and from the summit was amazing. I couldn't believe I was actually up there! I had made it. I could officially cross 'hiking Timp' off my list. It was a great day!

Thanks Dad for taking me up! by the way.... my new and improved heart did great! I love the thing!

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