Saturday, December 23, 2006

Perhaps the last post of the year

This will be another quick posting, as I only have a few minutes right now.

To the left is a picture I took on one of our visits to Jackie last summer. She lived in a beautiful area, don't you think?

Her funeral will be Wednesday. The next day Eric and I will head down to Southern Utah to spend a few days with my family. Many of my siblings haven't met Eric yet, and none of my nieces or nephews have, so it should be interesting. I'm quite looking forward to it.

Our boiler at work has gone out, so it's been pretty cold here in the building for the past few days. I have a space heater, and I'm well adept at putting on a few layers when necessary, but still, it's kind of a pain. Oh well.

And that's about it. Christmas is right around the corner. Hooray! I love Christmas, especially when I'm able to get all my shopping done relatively soon. I've been finished for a good week now (one of the benefits of not having children I suppose), and so I've been able to enjoy the hustle and bustle and the lights and the smiles, without feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Most importantly, I've only been inside Wal-Mart twice since Thanksgiving. That's got to have something to do with my good Christmas mood, right?

-c

Thursday, December 21, 2006

My friend Jackie

I received some bad news this morning.

My friend, Jackie passed away this morning after a long and arduous battle with cancer.

I met Jackie a few years ago. Our first meeting was kind of brief, I was conducting a sing-along for a ward activity, and Jackie sat on the lawn with me and about 20 other people and sang camp songs and hymns and folk songs and silly songs. After we were finished, she came up to me and we exchanged guitar stories. By that time (although I didn't know it then), Jackie had already been diagnosed and started her fight with cancer.

I didn't think too much about Jackie for quite awhile after that. She was just kind of a girl that I knew. Then about a year and a half ago, Ilsa invited me to go out to Jackie's home with some of our friends. At that time Jackie's cancer had progressed to the point that she rarely made the 30-40 minute drive from her rural area to my very metropolis-like area. So, I joined them all, and we were able to visit and laugh with Jackie and her parents for about an hour. I remember when I left, I felt lifted, and joyed, and much more at peace than I had felt when I arrived.

That was kind of the way things went from there. Every month or two after that, we would get together and go visit Jackie and her parents. I started bringing the guitar and the songbooks, and we would spend about 30 minutes visiting and laughing and about 45 minutes singing. Again, every time I left Jackie's home, I felt lifted and strengthened, and like I could take on the world.

I remember especially our visit to her last February. It was a bleak time for me, a time when a lot of things were up in the air in my life, and to be honest, a time when I wasn't positive that I ever had been happy or ever would be happy again. (You know how you get that way when things are bad? It's hard to remember that things used to be good. That's why it's a good idea to keep a journal.) We went to see Jackie, and I laughed for the first time in about two weeks, one of those good, long, tears-coming-out-of-your-eyes-'cause-you're-being-so-dang-silly laughs. And, as I was laughing, I knew that things were going to work out, and I was going to find happiness again.

That's the kind of gift that Jackie had.

I'll miss her terribly.

-c

(note to Melissa C--you are the reason I even learned to play the guitar in the first place. What a joy it has been for me to learn that, and to share it. Thank you.)

Monday, December 18, 2006

the weekend review

Not too much is going on at the moment. I had a lovely weekend though. Friday Eric was initiated into the wonderful world of making tamales. I make tamales every Christmas and take them to the people with whom I work. It works out well because people really seem to like them, AND I don't have to rack (or is it "wrack"?) my brain every year, trying to think of what little gift I should make/buy for each of them. Tamales aren't hard to make, but they are rather labor-intensive, which is why I try to make them with at least one other person helping. So, this year it was Eric's turn to help. If all goes as I plan, it will be Eric's turn pretty much every year from now on. We'll see I guess.

Saturday night Eric and I went to a concert with Tayneshia and Henrietta. Pedro (who, as you will remember is Henrietta's husband) is in an acappella singing group (you can learn more about them at http://www.voicemalemusic.com/), and we were all able to attend one of their many Christmas concerts together. It was hilarious.

And Sunday we traveled down to Utah County to attend my grandmother's 89th birthday celebration. Almost all my aunts and uncles were there, as well as more cousins than I've seen in quite a while. Nice.

And that's the weekend. So far the week looks good too.

-c

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Some good stuff and some bad stuff

This will be short, as I'm running like crazy all over the place lately.

Life is good, things are good, Christmas is coming, and that's all good.

I've been surprised at how fast good news travels. Since Eric and I announced our engagement, I've heard from three different new people, people with whom I had lost contact. All three have called/e-mailed to congratulate us, and all three had heard about us from other friends. Kind of fun, huh?

Tonight we're meeting up at Camilla's house for a little "French Night". I'm bringing my Paris photos, and we're going to eat crepes and look at pictures. It should be fun.

Work has been a little bit hard lately. The leadership of my company recently determined to outsource all our ticketing operations as of January 1. The main difference that will make for me is that within a few weeks, the employees who were formerly in our ticket office will no longer be there. One of those people in particular has been a very good friend to me for several years now, and I am going to miss her terribly. Rough rough stuff.

And that's my life in a nutshell today.

-c

Monday, December 11, 2006

The BIG BIG news!! (and of course, pictures)

So, I had an AWESOME weekend. On Friday night Eric (who was formerly known here as Elijah, but will now be known by the name his parents gave him) asked me to marry him.

Any guesses as to what my answer was?

We're getting married on April 14. I adore his family, and my family adores him. More importantly, I adore him, and he seems to be quite taken with me as well. Isn't it nice when it turns out that way?

I'll post a few pictures, since as they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words".

The one above was taken last night. I have a weird expression on my face, probably because I was about to laugh or something.

This is my birthday party last March. Eric and I didn't start dating until June, but he came to my party and gave me a gift. I don't know exactly what I'm doing in this photo, but as far as I can remember this is the first photo taken of Eric and I together. That makes it rather historic, don't you think?

This is Eric and I on our third date. We went hiking.

This (below) is the ROCK! Eric picked it out all by himself! A man with taste! I'm marrying a man with taste! How cool is that?
And finally, this is me, blissfully happy (and perhaps a bit cheesey) on Friday night.






And I think that wraps it up for this entry. Stay tuned for frustrations and surprises as we plan our wedding. Surely there will be more quirkiness to be found.
-c






Wednesday, December 06, 2006

They used to call me Hermana


Well, it's another regular day in the life of Charlotte. Tonight Elijah and I will play racquetball, and then I'll attend a basketball game with some friends. Tomorrow I'm going to an Enrichment meeting for my ward. Yesterday I was able to meet up with Henrietta (who is in town for most of the month) and another friend for dinner and a little "girl talk". That was a nice treat.


Two nights ago I had a nightmare in which I was once again a Mormon Missionary. I actually was a Mormon Missionary in real life back in 1993 and 1994. In real life I was sent to Northern California, and assigned to learn Spanish. It was a great time, with a lot of great experiences and a lot of hard experiences. I've always been grateful that I was able to have the opportunity to serve a mission. However, being grateful that I've had the experience doesn't mean that I've been anxious or eager to embark on a similar experience again.


So, anyway, in the 12 years since I've been home, I find that I have a dream every once in a while in which I'm back on my mission, or (as is the case this time) on another mission. It's always a relief to wake up and find that I'm still in my own bed, here in Utah, not a missionary. Two nights ago was no exception. In the dream I was stationed in Michigan. I have nothing against Michigan mind you, but I'm glad to be here, where I am, doing what I'm doing.


So there.


-c
ps-You might be wondering what the deal is with the picture. The only explanation I have is that I wanted to put a picture on this posting, and as I looked through those that I currently have loaded on my computer, this was the one that I liked best. It's from a trip that my mom and I took to Thailand about 2 years ago.
(Yup, more random-ness. What can I say?)



Friday, December 01, 2006

Just checking in

Well, things are going really great. Wednesday night Elijah and I played racquetball together for the first time. We didn't keep score, probably because I don't like to be bothered with having to remember to count points, and Elijah didn't care too much either way. I think we were pretty evenly matched, which is to say that we are both pretty bad. But, we got plenty of laughs, and a fair amount of exercise as well. So, I'm not going to complain. We're heading back to the Rec. Center tomorrow to check out some of the equipment there, and possibly to have a racquetball re-match. Wish me luck :)

Things at work are going pretty well. Every year we have an accounting firm come in and audit our company, so that we can submit an audited report with all our grant requests. It's kind of a stressful time of year for me, because really what it boils down to is that for a while I have experts coming in, looking at all that I've done over the year, and eventually telling the board of trustees whether or not I should be allowed to keep my job. So, not my favorite time of year.

So anyway, the audit is going on right now, and I'm pleased to report that it's going quite well this year, and the field work portion (which is my least favorite part) is nearly over. Whew!

And that pretty much sums up the goings-on as of late. We had some snow and frigid temperatures earlier in the week, but today the sun is out, and it's starting to melt some of that snow. Nice.

hasta,
-c
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