Monday, March 30, 2009

Music, Dancing, BBQ, & Holi

The combination for a perfect weekend: listening to the Orchestra on Temple Square play Shostakovich's 5th Symphony, dancing at the MAC, eating at Tucanos, and getting into a colored chalk dust fight with 10,000 people! Yup, it was a good weekend.

Last week was honestly one of the best weekends I've had in a long time! Every day I was totally jazzed to do whatever I needed to get done... even if that was laundry. It's really great to be excited about life! And the weekend was the perfect capstone! Friday night I went to see the Orchestra on Temple Square as they performed, with other pieces, my favorite classical piece of all time! It was my first time hearing it performed live, and with the other pieces performed, made for a very emotional concert. After the concert, I met up with a few old friends at the MAC for a few hours of dancing and a trip to Leatherby's. Great night!

I slept in a little on Saturday and then drove down to Provo where Kimmy treated me to Tucanos, a Churrasco-style Brazilian Barbeque - all-you-can-eat BBQ meats and pineapple, capped with a creme brule! After successfully filling ourselves, we met up with my roommate Rachael and headed to the Krishna Temple to celebrate the Hindu Holi, or Festival of Colors. It took us about 45 minutes to drive down Main Street in Spanish Fork and find parking (which is a lot less time than it would have taken us to walk it...), but we found parking at a grocery store about 1/4 mile away from the Krishna Temple. As we came to the top of the hill, we realized that the throwing of the colors had officially begun!

We were excited to dive in and join in the festivities, so we documented our before picture and walked onto the temple grounds.

The Festival of Colors is celebrated on the full moon in the month of Phalgun Purnima, which falls usually in February or March. It is known in India as Boshonto Utsav, "Spring Festival". Krishna is a deity worshiped across many traditions in Hinduism and is believed to be an avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu, the supreme god. When younger, Krishna was often found in the company of Gopis, young cow-herd girls, his favorite and later his consort being Radha. The story goes that young Krishna, traditionally depicted in paintings with blue skin, complained to his mother about the difference between his skin and Radha's fair skin. To appease young Krishna, his mother applied color to Radha's face. The Hindu people carry on this tradition with colored paints, water, and chalk riddled with incense.

I didn't actually read this story until after I'd been to the festival. I wondered what the significance was of throwing the colors. I knew it was a celebration of spring, the season of love, but I wondered if there was something else significant. I thought that it was kind of neat to have everyone painted various colors, so that you could not really tell what their "natural" colors were - hair, skin, clothing - it all became coated by the colors, allowing in many ways for everyone to appear the same. For me, the festival will be remembered both as a celebration of spring as well as a celebration of us a people, with no differences and no distinctions.

Kimmy found a bag of blue powder on the ground, so we used that to join in the celebrations. As we walked through the crowd, different people would throw different colors on us. One guy made us laugh, essentially anointing us with "YELLOW ON YOUR HEAD" as we each walked by. At one point Rachael was trying to take a picture of the three of us when this guy walked past and threw a handful of purple right into our faces. Kimmy definitely took the brunt of the blow... and I was wearing my sunglasses...
After we left the dancing and multi-colored mosh pit, we wandered the temple grounds, visiting the llamas and zebus (cebus?).
After Pictures
After we visited the grocery store near where we parked and changed into some not so colorful clothing, we used my GPS on my phone to find an Arctic Circle for some sweet potato fries... My GPS led us to the Arctic Circle location in the picture below...

Kimmy said, "HAMBURGERS!!" and then we tracked down the next closest Arctic Circle... which was legit.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Temple!!

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the Draper Temple Dedication. It is so exciting to have another temple here close. A group of my friends, Kimmy, and I had the chance to walk through during the open house a couple months ago and I'm so excited to be able go back!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bring Spring!

I've been watching my flower boxes outside for the past few weeks and was so excited yesterday to see my bluebells had bloomed! Spring is officially here! As much as I love the winter months, the beauty that comes with the first snow and the holidays celebrating gratitude and giving, I am so excited right now for spring!

I was babysitting last weekend and took my friend's son to the farm near my house. It was awesome to see all the new little lambs wobbling around! Spring is definitely a season of new beginnings and new life... and tons of flowers... all building up to Easter! My sister painted this for my birthday last week and it really emphasizes what I've been feeling recently... (Thanks Julie!!)


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Google Knows...

I found this on a friend's blog and decided to try... pretty darn funny! All these things I never knew about myself! :0)

Q1: Type in “[your name] needs” in the Google search.
Jessi needs coffee. (Hmmm...)

Q2: Type in “[your name] looks like” in Google search.
Jessi looks like Mary Poppins.

Q3: Type in “[your name] says” in Google search.
Jessi says BRUSH UR TEEF!

Q4: Type in “[your name] wants” in Google search.

Jessi wants PIZZA!!!

Q5:Type in “[your name] does” in Google search.

Jessi does some baby research...

Q6: Type in “[your name] hates” in Google search.

Jessi hates BRIAN!!
(I've noticed I do a lot of things in caps...)

Q7: Type in “[your name] asks” in Google search.

Jessi asks Sarah to wait for her and runs off.

Q8: Type in “[your name] likes ” in Google search.

Jessi likes to swallow.

Q9: Type in “[your name] eats ” in Google search.

Jessi eats rainbows.

Q10: Type in “[your name] wears ” in Google search.

Jessi wears the biggest smile.

Q11: Type in “[your name] was arrested for” in Google Search.

Jessi was arrested for taking a picture of a cop.

Q12: Type in “[your name] loves” in Google Search.
Jessi loves the water.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ode to Peppermint Oil

Ode - [ohd] - noun

1. a lyric poem typically elaborate or irregular metrical form and expressive of exalted or enthusiastic emotion.

Okay, so maybe subtract the "lyric" part and the "poem" part... but "elaborate", "irregular" and "expressive of exalted or enthusiastic emotion" definitely apply!

Our story begins with the fact that I don't like peppermint. I never really have and I blame it on my dad because he doesn't really like peppermint either. Some other mints are fine, but NOT peppermint (candy canes and peppermint discs are totally out - unless they're the cherry kind of candy canes... those are pretty tasty...)

I digress.

I used to work for a company where I could get bottles of essential oils at a discounted price. I am a believer in the benefits of aromatherapy (to a degree) and generally like to have my house smell good. So I tried one of everything, including two different types of peppermint oil; one was to be used primarily for aromatherapy, but the other was ingestible. Why not, I thought.

When I got my box full of essential oils, my first thought was to smell them all. (This turned out to be a mistake because I'm pretty sure I killed my nose and couldn't smell anything for a few weeks.) Due to the outcome of my "smell-them-all" adventure, I postponed tasting the few ingestible oils I got for a few days.

When I got my nerve up, again, I decided to try the flax seed oil. (This was also a mistake; flax seed oil may have its benefits, but I'm reasonably certain that people have to be very sick in order to ingest it... or else it will make them very sick, and you have to keep it down for it to do you any good.)

After I got my nerve up again - sincerely hoping that the next ingestible oil would not require a bucket and a lot of toothpaste to get over - I went straight to the peppermint oil... I figured, "I know I won't like it, I'm not a fan of peppermint-anything." Why this logic encouraging me to try something I was destined to not like worked is beyond me, but it did... otherwise you wouldn't have this incredible (ahem) story to read.

I opened the little one-ounce bottle and dabbed a little onto my pointer finger, opened my mouth, and sucked off the little dollop of oil. "Not bad," was my initial reaction. A few seconds later my eyes began to water, along with my nose, and I'm pretty sure that steam or smoke began coming out of my ears. It only took once - I was addicted. (To more fully understand my affinity to things that clean out my sinuses with flames, please site my addictions eucalyptus oil, wasabi, horseradish, hot peppers, and Chinese mustard.)

I ordered more of the little one-ounce bottles of peppermint oil and hid them everywhere. I kept one in my purse, one in my desk at work, one on my dresser, one in my car... It was the ultimate breath-freshener without the negative side effects of gum (sore jaw, necessity of locating a garbage), toothpaste (rather bulky, necessity of locating a sink), and Binaca (totally sends the wrong message).

I began using peppermint oil all the time; after work lunches, after dinner dates (?), before work meetings, before dates (?), during church, and whenever I needed clear sinuses... Due to my regular use of peppermint oil, I began to notice certain unexpected benefits. Not only would peppermint oil clear my sinuses and overpower any undesirable smells, but it also settled my upset stomach, lessened headache pain, treated external pain, quieted coughing fits, got rid of my hiccups, calmed my senses, relieved stress-related tension, relaxed my muscles, and made all the guys I work with wonder what smelled so good. Amazing! I decided that peppermint oil had become my own personal universal cure for everything.

It was, of course, after my individual empirical studies into the health benefits of peppermint oil that I decided to look up the certified health benefits of peppermint oil. All of my new discoveries have, naturally, been documented for years. It even is being studied as a help for treating tuberculosis and cancer. (So much for my break-through into the "scientific discoveries" world.) I would like to say that it's not so cool now that I know that people have known these things for years... but that would be lying.

It's still pretty freaking amazing!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

2 New "Jobs"!!

The last few weeks have been a nice roller-coaster ride of stress and emotions. The company that I was working for was going through some major rearrangement in the upper levels of management and - long story short - I was essentially unemployed for the most of February, along with about 35+ of my coworkers. Given the state of the economy and unemployment right now, it would be an understatement to call these last few weeks daunting. While most of us were looking for new jobs on our own, a few of our top leaders were also looking to find one company for us all to move to. I admit that a feat like that was a pretty optimistic goal, but I was reminded this last week that it's still okay to believe in miracles.
Monday was my first day at a company called LifeVantage. Myself and most of the 35+ of us who left our former company were hired by the company a little over a week ago. The company is based in San Diego, has another office just outside Colorado Springs, and just opened a new office in Sandy (a little closer than where I was commuting to before). I'll have basically the same position that I had previously, as a Marketing Events Specialist, and will still report to the same person and work with the same people on my team. I am so excited at the prospect of getting back to work, and working with the same people I was working with before only adds to that excitement. We have a ton of stuff to plan and get ready, as the company is basically a start-up, but the things we're planning have already got me excited about what I do! I'll still be traveling a fair amount, so who knows what kinds of fun opportunities will reveal themselves!

The other bit of "update" is that I was called last week to serve in the new Relief Society presidency in my ward. While I'm a little overwhelmed, I am also very excited. I have so much to learn and am anxious to get busy.

Life is amazing! There really isn't much more to it than that.