Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So Much to Be Thankful For!

Some days we forget To look around us
Some days we can't see The joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves We take when we should give.

So for tonight we pray for What we know can be.
And on this day we hope for What we still can't see.
It's up to us to be the change And even though we all can still do more
There's so much to be thankful for.

I really wanted to start this post off with this simple thought from my favorite Josh Groban song, Thankful. It really kind of epitomizes my thoughts and feelings as I've gone through "life as it is" the last few days. I have several close friends and family members that are going through personal trials right now that have allowed me a certain perspective in my own life and how blessed I truly am... I just seem to forget it a little too often.

Almost exactly a year ago, the bishop of my singles ward challenged each of us to keep a gratitude journal for a few weeks' time. I am usually running late on everything, so my gratitude diary didn't officially take effect until January 1st, 2009 when I reread President Henry B. Eyring's October 2007 General Conference talk, O Remember, Remember. I was really struck by the words he received through personal revelation, "I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down." I looked up thanksgiving in the Topical Guide of my scriptures and also read, "...that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you" in Alma 34:38. It became an unofficial New Years' resolution at that time to write down each day something I was grateful for, and while I will occassionally miss a day, I have gone back the next day. I have recorded something I was grateful for each day so far in 2009, and I have found this process so rewarding that I plan to continue it into the next year. I am not very good at keeping a regular journal, so my gratitude diary has become just that... at least for now.

Some days I forget to look around myself, and so when I go to bed those nights and make my daily gratitude diary entry it's challenging - but I'm getting better at noticing... and remembering. Some days the things I find cause me to laugh a few days later, and some days they make me cry. Some days I'm grateful for the people I was with, and some days I'm grateful for an experience. Some days it is something simple, and some days I am grateful for things it is hard to be grateful for. But every day, I am grateful. And it has changed my life.

I've listed below a few of the things I was grateful for this year:
  • I am grateful for the peace of the outdoors when they're covered in a quiet blanket of snow.
  • I am grateful for calculators!
  • I am grateful for the fact that rice will hold heat for a long time and keep my feet warm.
  • I am grateful for dentists - that some crazy people out there actually like looking at other peoples teeth.
  • I am grateful for sushi!
  • I am grateful for the company of great books, for the escape, adventure, and understanding they provide. I am grateful when books cause me to laugh out loud.
  • I am grateful for my "new" purple bath rug and that Rachael and I had such a good laugh about that today. How does green change to purple?!
  • I am grateful for crimping irons, blue eye shadow, and 80's music! I am grateful for the great influence music has had on my life and that there really is something for every mood!
  • I am grateful for tissues and Vic's Vapor Rub! I am grateful for my humidifier.
  • I am grateful for tampons. Not gonna lie - could NOT live with out them. Saved me today.
  • I am grateful for smiles and laughing so hard it hurts.
  • I am grateful for socks!
  • I am so grateful for the time I had to spend getting to know each of my grandparents. I really missed them today.
  • I am grateful for the temple.
  • I am grateful that I have a job and the ability to provide for my needs.
  • I am grateful for the blessings of tithing.
  • I am grateful for whoever put pineapple and coconut together - such a great combo!
  • I am grateful for honest people. My car was backed into last night and it was awesome to find a note on my car letting me know what happened and who to contact.
  • I am grateful for humility, especially that which makes us teachable and willing to accept and admit a mistake.
  • I am grateful for the blessings of the priesthood.
  • I am grateful for the gift of forgiveness.
  • I am grateful for my trials, for the things they teach me and the ways they inspire me to become more than I am.
  • I am grateful for the amazing friends I have and all that I learn from their great examples.
  • I am grateful for my family! I am grateful for Caylee's silly-silly dance. I am grateful for Cambree and the sweet little blessing she is in our family. I am grateful for how perfectly Spencer fits into our family, and that Julie was so blessed to find him. I am grateful for Mom's intuition and that she's knows just what to say. I am grateful for the time I got to spend with Dad this weekend. I am grateful for the time Julie and I got to spend talking today - I miss her a lot. I am grateful that Kimmy can make me laugh, even if I don't want to.
  • I am grateful that no matter what happens, I will always have a home to go home to.
  • I am grateful for the gospel's guiding influence in my life. I think that without it I would lose hope in the world that I now live in. With the gospel, I see so much for joy, happiness, faith, and hope.
  • I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ - that He knows me, my happiness, sorrow, pain, and laughter. I am grateful that because of Him, I never have to be alone.
I could - and have - gone on for days, months, and almost a year. I am so grateful for this wonderful season and the opportunity we each have to focus a little more on being thankful. It is my hope that each of us can find something, just one thing, each day that we can be truly be grateful for. There really is so much to be thankful for!

Lastly, please take a minute - you won't regret it - to watch this video, In the Spirit of Thanksgiving.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, wherever you are!

And in case you were wondering, I am thankful for YOU!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BYU vs. Airforce = WIN! | Kimmy vs. Po = Uh...

No fall would ever be complete without a good football game, especially a BYU football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium! Some friends and I got tickets for the BYU vs. Airforce game and I went down early to meet up with Kimmy. Then we went and spent the game sitting with my friends. It was the first time Kimmy and I were able to go to a BYU game together! So fun! It was SUCH a perfect day - albeit a little cold.

Our football buddies (left to right): Adrienne, me, Kimmy, Rachael, Gretchen, Karen! We look so cold!

I just love this picture!

I think the Airforce band was playing some patriotic tribute... Made for a cool picture of the football teams, anyway.

After the game, Kimmy and I were walking back to her apartment and passed the Victory Bell with perfect timing! Cosmo had just arrived and they were begining the Victory Bell "ceremony".

BYU 38 vs. Airforce 21 = WIN!

Whilst continuing our walk back to Kimmy's apartment, we took a detour through the Talmage Building on campus... and were met but the last individual we would have ever expected - especially in the math building! The One, the ONLY, Po AKA Kung Fu Panda (I officially feel very sorry for anyone who has NOT seen this movie!) We, of course, could not pass up the perfect photo opportunity. The following pictures are Kimmy and I trying to practice our Kung Fu-ness:



Kimmy vs. Po = Well, I'll let you decide...

Needless to say, it was an amazingly fun and highly memorable day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

All for the Love of Burger

So, I'm officially more than just a little bit excited that they finally managed to get In-n-Out in Utah. I would probably rate up on the "obsessed" scale... The first two locations north of St. George (Orem and Draper) opened at 9:30am Thursday, November 19th, 2009. So, I of course spent my lunch to see what the line was like... These are all pictures I took with my camera phone and uploaded to Facebook. I've included my original comments:

Yah, buddy!

So, the drive thru line was at least 30 cars long... and the walk in line probably as many people... So... maybe for dinner! At like 11 or 12 tonight...

How long will YOU wait for the best hamburger? Yes. I'm doing it. Listening to "Simply Irresistable" on Jack FM. Seems fitting. :o)

This from the In-n-Out worker that told me the estimated wait is 90-105 minutes. Done. I didn't even wait that long for Harry Potter VII...

These are the cones and cops directing traffic... The car in front of me has California plates and a border that says "Simply Satisfied". The car in front of them... yah, they're watching a movie - looks like An American Tale. I just got handed a slip of paper that has my order on it... :o)

Almost 2 hours later... and I'm finally entering the *real* drive thru. And yes, I brought a book.


Yes. Yes I did.

Just a little over 2 hours... and worth every minute!

So, yes. I am irrevocably and *almost* uncontrollably addicted to a hamburger and fries... of a certain variety.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Little Sommin' Sommin' About Me...

I will run to the grocery store, in the middle of a blizzard...
in a t-shirt and jeans.

(I did forgo the flip-flops.)

Bells on Temple Square

Contrary to the dedication of my last three posts, I do actually DO things aside from browse Facebook. One of the many things I will miss about Utah when I eventually move away is the number of free concerts I can attend, especially those offered downtown on Temple Square. This last Friday I went with my friend Mindy and her parents to see a bell concert... I think I've seen bell performers before, but only in a significantly smaller setting.

I have always been obsessed with the tabernacle back lighting for the organ pipes! I'm not sure how they always make it look so amazing... but they do.

In addition to a number of classical pieces and Christmas arrangements, my favorite bell piece was probably an arrangement of Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys. All the bell "ringers" donned shades. Props! (uh... both meanings...)

It took me the whole concert to get a decent picture of these bells. Most of the bells (ranging in size from maybe an inch in diameter to six-or-so inches) were "played" by petitish women. Note the bells on the second table back, all the way to the right. Um, yes. Those are bells. And yes, they had handles and were rang (How else would you say that?!) by hand. They were played by some gentlemen that would put the BYU football team's linemen to shame. Not joking.

So, I love this picture and that harp sitting out front there by itself... Interspersed with the "bells" arrangements were various ensemble and solo numbers - the organ, some flutes, a mini wind ensemble. My very favorite piece was an arrangement of the Star Wars Cantina (I've included a link here to refresh your memory as to what piece I'm referring to.)

This piece was performed by a harpist. Just a harpist. And she rocked it! I literally was laughing into my hand throughout this whole piece!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Disable Saga, Part "It's Over!"

Hi Jessi,

Thank you for providing this information. Facebook has limits in place to prevent users from running programs that automatically scan the site for certain content. Although this was not the case in your situation, viewing or refreshing pages at a rapid rate may cause your account to be disabled. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide more information about this system.

However, after reviewing your situation, your account has been reactivated. Please significantly slow down the rate at which you browse Facebook and refrain from violating any section of Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. You should also avoid using systems or products that automatically refresh Facebook pages. Further misuse of the site may result in your account being disabled again. We appreciate your cooperation going forward.

Thanks for your understanding,

User Operations


So basically, the only thing I can determine - beside the fact that I apparently use Facebook too much, is that my internet/computer at home is a little slower than at work (not complaining, just the facts) and so it gives me grief occasionally when I load some of the things I look at on Facebook... like pictures. So occasionally to speed up this process (or get it to go to the picture at all) I have to hit refresh.

Moral #1: Refreshing is a bad thing. One should never be inclined to use the refresh button while using social-networking sites like Facebook.

Moral #2 (?): Jessi will still use Facebook, regardless of all the stress and complaining from this last week. It is what it is. (Is that a moral?)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The "Disabled" Saga - Note

You never knew, did you? Me either...

The "Disabled" Saga, Part One

Warning: This post is rather long and slightly venting. It won't hurt my feelings if you don't read it all... I am, however, trying to find ways of laughing through this...

After posting a few comments about how much I love Stephen's hot chocolate around 2pm on Saturday, November 7th, I laid down for a nap hoping that when I woke up I would feel less exhausted than I had all week. At around 4:30pm I received the following text from my friend Mindy:

You disappeared off facebook :(
At first I thought that she was referring to the fact that I'd been logged out of Facebook chat, so I ignored it until right around 5pm, when I woke up and went to my computer. Sure enough, my Facebook had been logged out, so I tried to log in and see if Mindy was still available to chat. When I tried to log in, I was sent to the following screen:

I figured I must have typed in my password in the wrong way a few too many times... So I clicked the little red "here" to view this FAQ page:

Right about now the panic started setting in. I started asking myself questions like, "Oh crap, who did I piss off... and how?" or "I wonder if this is some kind of glitch..." and then "Did someone hack into my account??" I read through the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and could think of no way that I could - or would - have breached this agreement. I wondered why this is happened, but their FAQ "Can I see the content that got me disabled?" states "Unfortunately, for technical and security reasons, Facebook cannot provide you with a description or copy of the removed content." Really? So my account's disabled, but I can't know why... Okay, this must be a mistake. Perfect, there's instructions for "I think my account was disabled by mistake."

I sent the following appeal to
My name is... My birthdate is... My login email address is... To my knowledge I have not done anything that was not in compliance with Facebook's Statement
of Rights and Responsibilities. I am very concerned as to why this happened, especially being as the only way I was notified is that one of my best friends was not able to find me on Facebook. Can you please explain to my why my account has been disabled? I have never had any complaints with Facebook, but now am quite concerned.

To which I received the following autoresponder:

The Facebook Team has received your inquiry. We should get back to you soon. In the meantime, we encourage you to review our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities ( for more information.

Thanks for contacting Facebook,

The Facebook Team
Done and done. So, my appeal sent, I thought for sure that after a few hours, maybe even a day, my Facebook account would be up and running again. I went to a party with a few friends that night, made jokes about my being "diabled" and therefore unwanted/unloved, but was not particularly surprised when I didn't hear anything on Saturday night or Sunday. I came in to work yesterday morning and - amidst texts from other friends and family wondering where my Facebook had gone - I had still not received any futher information from Facebook.

I would like to take a minute to hear a message from our sponsor, Facebook, and why I use it. First, Facebook is an amazing way to stay in contact with people I would not for other reasons be in contact with. People move, change contact information, but Facebook is still there... In fact, I keep in contact with most of my friends of years past through Facebook. I don't really have any other contact info for them! Second, due to the economic down turn, how it has effected the company I work for, and all that jazz, I've been working in a call center since September... and Facebook has in many ways been my sourse of sanity. I can play games, catch up with old friends, and lots of other things while I sit staring at my computer waiting for my phone to ring. On the weekend and on vacation I can go for days without looking at it... but at work, I go stir-crazy!

So, yesterday I took over 80 phone calls in a 10.5 hour period. That's almost 8 phone calls an hour - average - but in reality that last hour or two I probably only had a handful of calls. So in this call center, that's REALLY busy! But even on a crazy-busy day like yesterday, as with all call centers, that also means I had a lot of dead time. By late morning, I was starting to stress that Facebook wasn't working on my appeal, so I followed up with a second email:

My account has been disabled for almost 2 days now. It is becoming increasingly concerning to me that the only notification I have received is an automated response stating you received my appeal. I would like to have confirmation that someone is looking into this. I've been an active Facebook member for several years now and I have never, to my knowledge, breached compliance with the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, especially not to the degree that would have terminated my membership without warning. I have read and reread the Statement and can find no clause that I have ever broken. The only thing I can now think of is the possibility that my account was compromised in some way and some other entity or individual was able to hack into it. As you can imagine, this is even more concerning to me. Please contact me as soon as possible to let me know what is being done to resolve this matter. I find it particularly distressing that other people I know can use vulgarities and post offensive and occassionally even nude pictures, or obtain accounts that are clearly not personal accounts, which are all violations of the Statement, when I have never done anything in breach of this Statement and yet it is my account that is disabled. It is also particularly frustrating that you can not inform me as to why or how I am not in compliance with or have violated this Statement.

Please contact me as soon as possible to inform me what measures are being taken to resolve this issue and ensure it will not happen again in the future.
This email did not even elicit the same autoresponce email I received on Saturday after I sent in my original appeal. Nothing but digital-crickets. I satisfied my sanity by watching episodes of The Office seasons 1 and 2 during my downtime.

Last night Kimmy created a Facebook page - oh, the irony! - called Jessi Hales wants her Facebook account back, including a brief explanation as to what's been happening:
I don't know how many of you noticed, but Jessi's Facebook profile was disabled sometime last week for an unknown reason. The Facebook team is being difficult and will not respond to her emails answering her question of "Why?". Please join this group if you miss having Jessi on Facebook and let's show the Facebook team that she didn't deserve to be disabled. I know this is a little on the cliche side but it's worth a try....and invite all your friends/people that know Jessi. THANKS!!
Feel free to join this group if you haven't been disabled!

I called my mom and filled her in on what I'd been going through on my way home last night as well... She suggested that I try to find a phone number to call in and expedite the process. First this this morning, I tracked down Facebook's contact information (gotta love

Facebook Inc.
1601 S. California Avenue

Palo Alto, CA 94304
P: 650.853.1300 | F: 650.543.4801

I attempted to contact them via phone this morning:
"Thank you for calling Facebook... If you are a user looking for Customer Care, please press one. Otherwise press zero for an Operator or wait for the beep to leave a message." If you press one, "We're sorry, but Customer Care is not available by phone at this time. Please email us at..." If you press zero, the operator will send you to 'Customer Care' the first time, but recognize your phone number the second time you call, and let you roll over to voicemail.

We'll see how my fax turns out:

Appeals Department Manager,

On Saturday, November 7th, 2009, at 4:32 pm MT, I received a message from a friend of mine wondering why I had “disappeared off Facebook”. You can imagine my surprise when I attempted to log in to my Facebook account and found that my account was disabled. I followed the link to find out more information, read through the FAQs posted and the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, and then proceeded to send an email to according to the posted appeal process – since “I think my account was disabled by mistake.” That email was sent on the same date at 5:10pm MT, to which I received the following automated response from the Facebook Team: “The Facebook Team has received your inquiry. We should get back to you soon. In the meantime, we encourage you to review our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities ( for more information.”

It has been almost three days since I submitted the initial email requesting more information, and I have not received any further information or response. I have tried the phone number, including the step that leads to “customer care” which apparently doesn’t exist.

As mentioned in my phone message as well as both emails I’ve submitted, I do not believe I have breached the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. You can look through past posts and any information I have posted to my account and you will find that I am conservative and will refrain from posting anything that might offend any of my friends and associates. I am simply requesting the reinstatement of my account as it existed at the time it was disabled on Saturday.

Please contact me to validate any information, or – even better – to let me know this issue has been resolved and will not happen again. I also expect a detailed explanation of why this even happened.

I'll update my blog as the saga continues.

The best part is, if they ever reactivate my account... I'll probably still love Facbook and use it every day. Ergo, they win. As the saying goes: The person [or entity] with the least emotional involvement in any relationship has the most control.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why Are Classics Classics?

Because they have something to share with generation after generation! I'm reading Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" - a remarkable read that I'm finding more enjoyable and easier to read than I originally expected. It's always fun for me to come across little gems in whatever I'm reading... especially when they have such a profound affect on my current state of mind and spirit. This is something I came across yesterday:

"Desire nothing for thyself, be not covetous, anxious, envious. The future of men and thy destiny too must be unknown for thee; but live that thou mayest be ready for all. If it shall be God's will to prove thee... be ready to obey His will."

I found that this little nugget of wisdom - as well as many others - was surprisingly applicable not only to me but to the general state of the world right now... surprising I guess because they are words that came from a novel published over 140 years ago.

And it kinda sounds like a scripture...