Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Genealogy, I am doing it

A secret little interest of mine is family history research. It appeals to two of my great loves - family and research. I honestly haven't done just about anything with it in recent years, but it does fascinate me. When I was working as a family history consultant (and a web salesperson, but I tend to repress that part) at Myfamily.com/Ancestry.com, I loved the certification process and learning how to better approach the research. At some point, the dozen or so family history reference books I have on my shelves as a result will come in handy again.

Because of my love for family history, I am totally geeked about the 2010 census. I haven't filled mine out yet, but I'm going to, joyfully. You should too. Immediately, it will help the government to be more aware of who all of us are so that we can get accurate representation. In 72 years, the general public will have access to it for personal and family research (1940 is released in 2 years!). You can read more about it here. Please fill it out and send it back! It was a thrill to find my paternal grandfather's name in the 1930 Census, just to see he was there.

Another thing I'm geeked about right now is the series "Who Do You Think You Are?" Sponsored by Ancestry.com, they're profiling the family history discoveries of various celebrities. You can watch it here. I'm all in favor of people learning more about their families, and for getting more people excited about it. (Ancestry.com insiders report ten times the amount of hits during the first episode.) Continuing my geekiness, I found David Tennant's (of Doctor Who and Harry Potter fame) episode from the British version of the show.

Family history. It rocks.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Johnny Be Good

I love Family Home Evening. I can't say that I've loved every single FHE I've ever been part of, but I definitely have a testimony of it's importance in strengthening family relationships. My parents made it a priority in our home, and I'm grateful for that. When I spent a month with my grandparents, I orchestrated FHEs with the three of us, which they admitted they hadn't done for awhile. The format changed over the years, naturally, and it wasn't always on Monday, the traditional FHE night, but we always had it.

I've continued to make it a priority even out of my parent's home. I only have vague memories of attending in my BYU wards, both freshman year and the year after I graduated, but I know I attended when I could. I've made more of an effort here in DC, attending as often as I can, fully participating, and actually getting to know the members of my group. I don't attend every week, sometimes because there is a conflict and sometimes because I just don't feel like it (one of the perks of it not being a real family just yet), but I generally enjoy it when I do.

Socially, it's just my speed. A small group (instead of large), a lesson, and an activity, usually with treats. Being an FHE co-chair was a fun calling, even if surprisingly stressful sometimes. And post-FHE activities were good times - going out to dinner, playing video games, or watching "Heroes" (and, for awhile, watching "Heroes" whilst surreptitiously holding hands with a guy from my group who then wouldn't call me again until 7:17 on Friday night to get together to watch a movie, and since being low on someone else's priority list really isn't my style, this only lasted about a month).

Unfortunately, I've had a hard time wanting to attend lately. We don't have the most well-organized group, which doesn't seem to be planned very far in advance, and if I don't know what it is I'm driving upwards of 30 minutes to do after a long day, I'm not always keen to go.

I'm glad I went tonight though. The boundaries for my FHE group are on the far west side of the ward, but we were meeting at the bishop's home, on the far east end. It was a bit of a drive, but I was looking forward to it.

Apparently, I was the only one. Somehow, it was just me, the bishop, and his wife. And, it was lovely. They offered me dinner, which I happily accepted, having not been home yet, and we sat around the kitchen table chatting as I munched on a chicken sandwich, chips, and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Bishop did make sure I had a lesson - "Be good."

I think I can handle that.

The rest of my group really missed out on getting to know this lovely couple better.

What about you? If you have Family Home Evening, what do you do to make it an enjoyable part of your week?

I'm cleanin' out my closet

What my office used to look like:

What it looks like now:


-Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Well, alright, okay, you win

Today's wins:

Hello, it's Friday.

Being offered a spot on a Career Advisory Service for a national professional organization (once it's official, I'll tell you which one)

Winning a ticket to tomorrow's Georgetown Hoyas game

Helping Fran with a job application

Adding more music to my library's new collection

Dinner tonight is with the "nephew" and parents

I'm wearing my favorite flip-flops even though it's still a little cold because my toes just wanted to be free. I'll real shoes again tomorrow.

Today's not so much wins:

Still job hunting for myself

It's just one ticket to the game, and before I found that out, I offered the extra ticket to someone who was very excited to go. I'll probably just let him take the one, since he'd have a better time overall than I would (though I would have fun). Alas.

Overall? Not bad. Not bad at all.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Blogstalking. Blogsurfing. We all do it. Following the links on a blog's sidebar, whether or not we like the person. Sometimes we even discover a new blog to follow, whether or not we know the blogger. I know I have a few readers I don't actually know (hi guys!), but we read each other's blogs and feel like we know each other, and relatively well at that.

Fortunately, it's totally acceptable! Even welcome! Some bloggers even feel like they've made it when someone comes up to them in public and says "Hey! I know you from your blog!"

Well, folks, I am one step closer to that.

One of the blogs I follow but don't actually know the writer is Cicada Song. I knew her parents live in the area, and I actually saw them once at a fireside Mormon Choir was singing for. I even talked to her dad that night, because he was part of Brotherface's mission presidency, and he had just gone home. I don't think I mentioned that I read his daughter's blog, but I was definitely thinking it.

Last night, I was with Bluebell and her family at their ward sock hop (which was quite fun, I might add), and who should walk in but Cicada's parents? I told Bluebell how I "know" them and she introduced me to Cicada's mom. We talked for a few minutes and remarked that Cicada loves it when her readers talk to her, and I asked her to tell her that Amanda Stretch says hi.

"Oh! AmandaStretch! I recognize you from your comments! Whenever I read a comment that's particularly interesting or funny, I'll follow their links and check out their blog! I DO know you are!"