Sunday, August 31, 2008


I just watched the most beautiful movie, Bella. It's a love story, just not in the traditional sense. There is a boy and a girl, but the love goes beyond them to the bonds of love that hold families and even strangers together.

If you are looking for something besides the summer popcorn movies, something to increase your faith in the world, this is the movie for you.

If anyone knows where you can get the soundtrack to the movie let me know - it is amazing. I was able to find several of the songs. The first song over the credits is by one of my favorites, Rachael Yamagata, "Meet Me By The Water." The second credit song is by Jon Foreman (a new discover thanks to the film), "My Love Goes Free."

Meet Me By The Water - Rachael Yamagata

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Friday, August 29, 2008


My sis Nic tagged me and since she's my favorite I have to play along. She used lovely pictures to illustrate her post, but I've had to settle for a bit of music instead.

20 Years ago I . . .

1. Was 14 years old, just about to start high school.

2. Was flipping burgers at Johnson's Drive Inn in Salina. If you're ever in town during the summer stop in for a sherbet.

3. Wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer.

4. Loved INXS.

10 years ago I . . .

1. Graduated from BYU.

2. Moved to Dallas.

3. Lived alone for the first time of my life and discovered the joys of buying furniture.

4. Loved Sarah McLachlan

5 years ago I . . .

1. Lived in Seattle.

2. Had an amazing birthday celebration: a weekend in Vegas with the girls followed up by a solo trip down the Oregon Coast.

3. Bought my first "new" car.

4. Loved 3 Doors Down.

3 years ago I . . .

1. Started a new job in information security (it didn't last long.)

2. Went to the Nascar Race in Vegas - rednecks unite!

3. Went to Paris, Switzerland and Belgium.

4. Loved Natasha Bedingfield

1 year ago I . . .

1. Was living in paradise - Rio de Janeiro.

2. Marched in the Carnival parade with Portela.

3. Became an aunt!

4. Loved Dierks Bently.

This year I . . .

1. Started working in New Delhi India and got to visit the Taj Mahal.

2. Took the longest vacation of my life - pure heaven.

3. Ticked 9 countries of my places to visit list (India, Poland, Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Estonia, Qatar and Oman.)

4. Love Sugarland

Yesterday I . . .

1. Worked (exciting I know.)

2. Bid on Auction items for Nie Nie Day.

3. Read a chapter in "Authenticity" by David Boyle.

4. Couldn't get Amos Lee out of my head

Today I . . .

1. Worked (another exciting day)

2. Went to Connaught Place for lunch.

3. Am planning to watch "Bella"

4. Listened to a little U2

Tomorrow I . . .

1. Will spend most of the day in the office.

2. Will catch up on two weeks worth of laundry.

3. Will go grocery shopping

4. Hope I wake up to "A Clear Blue Morning"

Next year, hopefully . . .

1. I'll spend a little more time

2. I'll get my bathroom remodeled.

3. I'll learn how to cook.

4. I'll still "Sing Along" to whatever song's in my head.

I tag Emma, Mindy, Jennie and Andrea. Pin It

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nie Nie Day

My blog is a simple one, mostly created to let my family and friends know what I'm up to. But I'm also a big blog reader - I think because they give me a glimpse of life back home while I'm on the road.

Over the past several months, I've discovered the blogs of some pretty amazing women, one of them was Stephanie Nielsen. She and her husband were in a terrible plane crash recently, where one of the passengers died. Stephanie and her husband Christian survived, but are in the hospital in critical condition with burns covering much of their bodies.

The past week I've seen the power of blogs as the blogging community has come together to help raise funds for their recovery. Today there are hundreds of auctions going on in blog land. I've been bidding on some amazing items and want to give you a chance to do so as well. For details, go to DesignMom.

More than anything keep the Nielsen's and their family in your prayers and take the time to let your family know how much you love them. Pin It

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Happy Birthday Travis!

Thanks for falling in love with my sister and making her so very happy.

Thanks for giving us Miss M to brighten our lives.

Thanks for being an amazing addition to our family.

In honor of another year here's a little Travis with "Baby, One More Time." Hope it makes you smile.

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Monday, August 25, 2008


I've discovered some great new music in the last couple of weeks. These women are just what you need to help you ease your way into fall.

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Growing up I was taught not to stare, it just wasn't polite.

In Delhi, I get stared constantly. I'm sure it's because I don't look like or dress like everyone else, but it is still very disconcerting.

What I've noticed lately is that I stare right back, I hope I can break that habit next time I'm home.

When I'm in the nice, air conditioned car driving through Delhi and being stared at by people who live in tents and lean-to's along the side of the road I can't help but think I'm living the lyric from One Republic's "Stop and Stare"

Stop and stare
You start to wonder why you're here not there
And you'd give anything to get what's fair

Stop & Stare - One Republic
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Friday, August 22, 2008


My trip last weekend was all about getting out of the craziness of Delhi and taking a deep breath. The trip was very successful - the hotel was beautiful, so beautiful in fact that I had a very hard time convincing myself to get out and see part of the city. The bed was heavenly making getting up each morning very hard. But the delicious breakfast they served each morning motivated me to get there at least 10 minutes before they stopped serving each day.

On Friday I found a large umbrella next to a comfy lounge chair and spent the day with a good book. It was hot, probably over 100, but thanks to the kind waiters who kept coming around with lemon/mint ice water I still managed to spend the hottest part of day content on the beach. I don't remember the last time I was that relaxed. I had dinner at the beach bar and enjoyed the sunset.

Saturday I decided I had to see at least a bit of the city, so I set of for the souks to do a bit of shopping. My taxi driver told me they were closing soon and that I should go to city center first. I thought he meant the literal center of the city where I could explore the architecture and such. But I ended up at a brand new shopping mall. Since I had a few hours to kill before the souks re-opened I decided to stick around and explore. The mall had everything: Starbucks, Borders, The Gap and Banana Republic. For a few hours it almost felt like home. I spent a bunch of time people watching - it was actually quite interesting.

I finally made it to the souks and did a little shopping - bought some frankincense oil - and saw some raw, so now at least I know what to envision when I hear the Christmas story.

The only bad part of the entire trip was getting up early Sunday morning and leaving it all behind. Oman was amazing, a beautiful city with fantastic architecture, I'd love to go back and explore a bit more - next time I'll just have to stay at a different hotel - one I can bare to leave.

Since the trip was all about breathing, here's one of my favorites from Alexi Murdoch, "Breathe"

And the answer that you're seeking
For the question that you found
Drives you further to confusion
As you lose your sense of ground

So don't forget to breathe
Don't forget to breathe
Your whole life is here
No eleventh hour reprieve
So don't forget to breathe

Keep your head above water
But don't forget to breathe

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I've been meaning to post about the rest of my weekend in Muscat, but it's late and I'm too lazy to pull the photos off my camera.

Instead I'm going to share the song I've had stuck in my head - hoping that once I've shared it I'll get to start singing something new. Not that I don't love this song - I do - but after days of singing the only two lines I ever remember, it's time for something else to rattle around in my head.

Life's hard, I've always known that.
I've never been handed no welcome mat.

Heavens My Home - The Duhks

If I'm really honest I'm sure the reason these lines are stuck in my head is because I'm feeling sorry for myself because I've got two more months before I get to sleep in my own bed, hug Miss M, play with Sadie and hang out with the family.
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Thursday, August 14, 2008


When I travel to a new place, especially when I'm alone, I try to schedule an airport pick-up rather than trying to find a taxi. In some countries, you just don't know what to expect and the language can be problematic. So, when I booked my hotel in Muscat I added an airport pickup. Let's just say it was a very good decision.

Before I get to that, let's go back to the trip here. The Delhi international airport has a bad reputation - and it's well deserved. The only positive is that my flight was during the day, which is actually the slow period for the airport (they are busiest in the middle of the night, go figure.) As my plane started to board I realized I was one of about 8 women on the entire flight, the only one flying alone and the single westerner on the plane. Talk about sticking out .

When I entered the terminal, I started looking around for the desk to arrange for a visa, expecting this airport to be like all others - you go through immigration, get you bag, head through customs and then you meet your driver. Not this time.

I quickly saw a great looking guy in long brown robes holding a sign with my name on it. He led me to the line to purchase visas, but instead of waiting in line, he pushed to the front and got me straight to the desk. Next stop - immigration. Again, he pushed to the front of the line and we were out in a flash.

I was starting to feel like a VIP, no standing in line, people looking at me wondering why I got special treatment. Of course, the girl from Aurora was uncomfortable jumping the line, but I pushed her voice to the back of my head and enjoyed my rockstar moment.

Alas, even rockstars have to wait at the luggage carousel and repeat the traveler's prayer ("please let my luggage come" "please let my luggage come") After a medium sized wait my bag arrived, my guide commented on it small size (giving me pride in my careful packing job.) We were quickly off in a beautiful car, driving at the kind of speeds you only see in countries with great road systems (i.e. not Delhi.)

At the hotel, the porter directed me not to a front desk, but to this AMAZING lounge area.

While I enjoyed the beautiful setting a waiter offered me an iced towel and a glass of juice. I never had to move from the lounge, instead the desk attendants came to me. In no time at all the paperwork was finished and I was being shown to my beautiful room (more on that later.)

There is no question that I've left Delhi behind and, so far at least, I've done so in rockstar fashion. Hope this one makes you smile - I can't watch it without grinning (don't worry it's the radio friendly version.)

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I'm off to Muscat in Oman tomorrow for a long weekend. I've booked myself into a beautiful hotel on the beach and plan to do nothing but unwind - doesn't it look heavenly?

I discovered this song a couple of years ago, just before I decided to move to Rio and fell in love with the melody. When I'd have doubts about that decision I'd play the song to help me remember to appreciate the experiences I was having and the sheer joy that came from living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Today I can't stop singing it because I know I'll soon be on the beach looking out at the water - which brings me a sense of peace I've been missing since I've been back in Delhi.

Well I know I've got this mission
Things to do and things to say, every day
And if you give your heart permission
I know you'd feel the same old way
The same same way

I think I'll go down to the ocean
I think I'll go down and lie by the sea
Sit alone and watch the sun set
I don't think I'm ever going to leave
to leave, to leave, to leave, to leave
She'll be waiting by the shore
And I will be, I don't wanna be alone anymore

I think I'll go down to the Ocean

Ocean - Hanna-McEuen
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Happy First Birthday Miss M!!!

Sorry I'm not there to shower you with all kinds of presents and love.

Here's a beautiful rendition of two of my favorite songs - I'll bet you can get your mom to sign them to you too.

Love Auntie J

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I finally remember to take a camera with me on a walk to the local market just so I could share a picture of this sign with you.

The first time I saw the sign I laughed because I couldn’t believe something like that was necessary. Now that I’ve been here a while I laugh because I can’t believe that signs like this do no good. Every where I go I’m guaranteed to see at least one guy stop what he was doing, turn his back and let loose.

Ironically, my friend Leo took this photo directly across the street from the sign.

The men seem to feel free to treat the city as their personal toilet. I try not to think about it as I walk down the sidewalks.

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Monday, August 11, 2008


I love the way those little unexpected surprises can make your entire day. Saturday I was at my favorite shopping mecca in Delhi - Khan Market. I stopped in for lunch and ducked into a deli on my way out, continuing my search for decent cheese that doesn't cost more than a good pair of shoes. No fairly priced cheese, but I did notice a lovely little surprise in their soda cooler in the back.

It's not difficult to find Diet Coke or Pepsi here - but those are the only diet sodas to be found, and Diet Coke gets BORING after a few months. So I grabbed that single, cold can of DDP and rushed home. I waited until Sunday, just to savor the fact that I would have a nice treat with my lunch and I enjoyed ever sip of that delicious little surprise.

Delicious Surprise
Now I do believe...

Heaven's inside inside inside
I knew it all the time

Beth Hart - "Delicious Surprise"
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Friday, August 8, 2008


I’ve been working on a project for several months which will tell you just how anal I can be. I have nearly 10,000 songs in the iTunes library I travel with and it drives me nuts that most of them are lacking ratings. For the last several months, while I’m at work, I’ve been trying to listen to the songs and add ratings. It’s been slow going, and to make it interesting I try to sort it in different ways so I can hear a variety of songs and not just listen to stuff all by the same artist. I’ve tried alphabetically by song title, by date added, by date of last play, etc. It seems to be a never ending project.

Today was another rainy day in Delhi, so much so that I took a few pictures from the office to share. I noticed that everyone wasted a bunch of time staring out the window just watching it rain.
My time spent staring out the window inspired me to search the library for songs about rain. 123 songs came up, but after I threw out the duplicates and the ones that were really about trains or brains or just had rain in the title of the album I was left with 62 - that’s a lot of songs about rain. All the songs about rain are now rated and I’ve decided to start looking for other themes to accompany my rating project – any suggestions? Leave them in comments (and get more creative than “love” I’d never finish that list.)

Picking the song to feature in this post wasn’t easy, there are a lot of great ones – but in the end there seemed to be a clear winner, Gary Allan’s “Songs about Rain” which seemed to be a perfect summary of my experiment, I love that I had every one of the named checked songs in my list.

It sure ain't helping this mood that I'm in
If they're gonna keep on playin’ these songs like...

"Rainy Night In Georgia" and "Kentucky Rain"
"Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again",
"Blue Eyes Cryin" in the "Early Morning Rain"
They go on and on, and there's no two the same
Oh how I wish I could blame all these
Songs about rain

Warning - this is a is a twangy type of country song, so for you haters, listen at your own risk.

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Sunday, August 3, 2008


Mission: Relaxing Weekend. My goals: Brunch, shopping, mani, pedi, movie, NO work.

It's been a while since I had a weekend without work and even longer since I felt like a girl rather than one of the guys, so I started the weekend with a mission and a series of goals. The weekend didn't go exactly as planned, but the overall mission was accomplished.

I started the weekend at one of my favorite markets (Kahn) with the idea of going to my favorite coffee shop for an American-style brunch. I had a good book in my bag and planned to sit there for an hour and just savor the experience. Unfortunately I mentioned my plan to a couple of the guys and next thing I knew listening to them talk Rugby and Cricket over brunch. Still the food was great and I had time for a little shopping in before we headed back home (this was all pre-rain, see my previous post.)

This afternoon, I escaped for a mani/pedi, it's amazing what the difference a little girly pampering can make in your overall outlook on life. I even made up for my lack of book time during brunch on Saturday by stopping in at my favorite restaurant for lunch and a bit of reading and not a bit of conversation about sport of any sort.

I ended the evening with a movie, so I'm declaring this mission accomplished. I'm more relaxed and I feel almost like a girl again, today calls for some girl power music, Amy Studt's "Just a Little Girl"

But there’s nothing in this world, nothing in this world
That could hold me down, can’t you hear me?
Don’t you understand
That I wanna be myself, wanna be the girl,
Wanna be the one that you can rely on
How I wish that you could see all there is of me
How I long to hear that you take me
For who I am

‘Cause I’m just a little girl you see
But there’s a hell of a lot more to me
Don’t ever underestimate what I can do
Don’t ever tell me how I’m meant to be

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Saturday, August 2, 2008


I keep forgetting it is Monsoon season here in Delhi - but not this weekend.

On Friday I went to a meeting at a local market, once the meeting was over I decided to stay and see if I could find a new AC adapter for my computer since my fix - match sticks, tape and binder clip - was failing to keep the power flowing. Just as I was walking down the aisle of stores a light rain started - no worries I figured, I'll just walk along the edges under the awnings. I soon found a store which could order an adapter for me and headed back to the center of the market to find a tuk tuk to get me home. It started pouring, so I ducked into a bookshop thinking I'd browse for a few minutes, and wait for the rain to slow. After 20 minutes the rain was coming down even harder. I decided I would run for a nearby restaurant and eat lunch while I waited. I dashed to the door and started up the stairs only to discover the restaurant was partially flooded - the roof was leaking everywhere. Luckily there was a dry table just waiting for me. The rain had finally stopped by the time I finished eating. Rain seems like a pretty good excuse for missing most of a mornings worth of work, doesn't it?

Today I decided to go for a walk. I had just started down the block when I heard the thunder, so I changed directions and decided to just go grab a loaf of bread at the mini-mart a couple of blocks away, figuring I had time to get there and back before the rain started. I was wrong. Just as I was checking out, the monsoon started, stil I decided to brave the rain, figuring it was just a short walk. By the time I'd walked the 2 blocks home I was a sodden mess, water dripping from my hair, eye lashes and jeans. Worse, I'm convinced the rain was full of nastiness since it was burning my eyes.

On my way to the mini-mart, I stopped to take a couple of photos of the "road construction" going on. For several weeks the street has been replaced by a giant hole, dug completely by hand. The dirt is moved by women carrying baskets on their heads, while their kids play in the dirt nearby. The picture is hazy due to the moisture in the air. The second picture is where they have refilled the hole and put new blacktop down. Unfortunately they didn't wait for the dirt to settle and the blacktop has now collapsed so it is about 8" lower than it should be and there are giant potholes opening up. Guess we'll avoid this road for a while.

It seems there are hundreds of songs about rain that would work for today. I've decided to go with a great one from Kasey Chambers, "The Rain" because I love her and the song has an amazing message:

I will try to break
Every habit that holds me
I will try to make everyone happy again
I will try to take anything you can throw at me
I will let the rain come in
I will try to face everything that scares me
I will try to trace
Everywhere that I've been
I will try to wait for all of the hearts to be mended
I will let the rain come in

And if I try too hard
Or maybe not hard enough
I'll be the one who says
Its all gonna be OK
And if it all falls down well its never gonna really matter
Because the rain washes everything away

I will try to breathe
Deeper than all of the oceans
I will try to see
The battle instead of the win
I will try to leave
All that I've wasted behind me
I will let the rain come in

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Friday, August 1, 2008


Thanks to Jen, Katie and Mary I spent an embarrassing amount of my Friday thinking about this list:

  1. Hugh Jackman
  2. Gerald Butler (don’t judge him from that cheesy “PS I Love You” check out “Dear Frankie”)
  3. Clive Owen
  4. Matthew Macfadyen
  5. Naveen Andrews

Since I've twice this week mentioned how much I miss hearing another American accent, I’m surprised that the common link on the list seems to be a foreign accent.

The Killers have a great song called “The List” that seems to fit.

“You should have known by now you were on my list”

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