Monday, April 22, 2013

34 for 34

When the new year came around, I began to think of all the things I needed to get done this year and I actually put off making resolutions because there were too many and it was stressing me out.  But then it was stressing me out because I was thinking about them all the time and they became this big, jumbled mess in my brain.  I needed to sit down and really organize my goals for this year.  So I decided to make my birthday countdown my resolutions/goals for the year.  It became 34 goals for when I'm 34!

It took me a while to find my theme for the year, but I think I found it.  It is from Luke 2:52. "Increase in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and man."  I think it goes well with all I'm trying to accomplish this year.

So here is the list:

#1 - Find curtains for my living room and actually hang them up!
#2 - Paint my house (inside and out)
#3 - Refinish our kitchen table
#4 - Sew my t-shirt quilt
#5 - Travel to some place I have never been before
#6 - Lose 34 pounds
#7 - Earn my Honor Bee

#8 - Get health insurance!
#9 - Read 40 books!
#10 - Be more social by using social media more effectively. I want to write on my blog at least once a month, add friends on Goodreads, and update my Facebook status more often and not just read about everyone else!
#11 - Clean, organize and declutter our office (also known as our house dump!)

#12 - Go to California. And maybe Utah. And maybe also Boise.
#13 - Teach something in the fall. Right now I'm campaigning for early-morning seminary, but I'm also thinking of going back to school and I will probably have to TA some class for funding. If those don't pan out, then I should sub every once in a while.
#14 - Go to a wedding in London, Ohio!   
#15 - Use up my huge supply of lotions, body washes, shampoos, conditioners, soaps, floss, mouthwash, candles, shaving creams, socks, sunscreens, and lip balms so that when we move in a year and a half, I won't be carting a million bottles of stuff around with me!
#16 - More pedicures.
#17 - Go to an Illini sporting event!
#18 - Frame my map of Europe already!
#19 - Celebrate Tom's 34th birthday with a bang! 
#20 - Win something on the radio! Easy Peasy!
#21 - Demolish the eyesore planter in our front yard. Maybe ask some young men to come help out with that!
#22 - Evacuate the glorified birdhouse and make it a garage again!
#23 - Perform a musical number in sacrament meeting. Maybe a piano solo this year.

#24 - Get some family pictures taken.
#25 - Start the Pirate Rooster FB page to stay in better contact with Anderson relatives!
#26 - Go to the dentist. It has been a long time!
#27 - Go to Lake Michigan.
#28 - Put together my mission scrapbook.
#29 - Remodel the bathroom.
#30 - Do a little yard landscaping. Like some rocks in the flower bed under our front windows. Maybe some flowers around the tree. Cut back more forest from our fence. Try to keep the annoying trees from growing at all this year.
#31 - Try at least 12 new recipes this year. I think about one a month is an achievable goal for someone who really doesn't like cooking!
#32 - Send more thank you notes.

#33 - Go to the movies for free! Twice! And Shelly wants me to add some movie days at her house this year, so I think I can squeeze those in too.
#34 - Do everything in my power to get pregnant this year!
So how am I doing so far?  Well, I've read 8 books.  I went to California already and we go to the wedding in Ohio this weekend.  We have a very good start on the decluttering of the office.  We have shredded and recycled A LOT of papers we had saved since we were first married!  We are learning what is ok to throw away and what we need to keep.  I have used up some lotions, conditioners, shampoos, scrubs, hand soaps, floss, and I am tossing my socks with holes in them!  Today in my decluttering I realized just how many notebooks/pads of paper we have, so I'm adding that to my use-up list! 

I have tried one new recipe so far and that was making fried rice!  I know, I know.  Fried rice?  That is so easy!  But for me who doesn't really like cooking, it was new.  And I did a good job!  We always have leftover rice so I'm thinking this will become a new staple.  In fact I have some rice in the fridge right now.  I'm thinking this will be dinner tomorrow night!

I did send out some thank you notes after my birthday.  And we have already gone to see one movie for free.  We saw "Oz the Great and Powerful' and we liked it.  And I'm actually posting on my blog for the 2nd time this year!  

So I think I'm off to a good start.  We'll see if I can keep this up! 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Our Year in Review

Tom and I interviewed each other about our happenings of 2012!
B: What was our motto this year?
T: "Be Awesome", oh and didn't I start in January with "Look Sharp, Be Sharp"?  My motto for this year will be "No Fear" and "No Whining".  I can have two, right?

B: right.  Now how were you "awesome" this year?
T: I got an OUTSTANDING in pathology and pharmacology.  I passed Step 1 with flying colors.  I had an awesome pediatrics rotation because I was OUTSTANDING!  I taught some awesome Sunday School lessons and I was an awesome executive secretary for Bishop Fernandez.

B: I think you are forgetting the biggest thing.
T: I was about to say, I was awesome because I balanced M2 and M3 with writing and defending my PhD dissertation!  And don't worry, when I defended my dissertation, I was awesome!

B: You were!  You had to answer more questions than I have ever seen in a dissertation defense!
     What was not so awesome this year?
T: Having 5 tests on my birthday was not awesome.  That being said, it was a pretty awesome birthday.  Other things...taking 7 months to figure out my urology and endocrinology issues.  On the bright side, I did get to see some pretty cool pictures of my brain.  My grandma's funeral.
B: but we did inherit the rooster!
T: that's true!  And some Neal A. Maxwell books.

B: What was so great about your birthday?
T: Lots of people remembered and wished me a happy birthday.  101 friends posted on my timeline!  We had a good dinner at Minneci's.  Alex took me to lunch, we went to Black Dog.  Burnt ends sandwich...
B: we did have a small Cafe Rio dinner party.

B: How did you have fun this year?
T: I had a lot of fun with my med school classmates.  We had a lot of fun with Becky in June/July going to Lake Michigan, going to Chicago, camping in Indiana
B: Yeah, I have forest people in my family!
T: you do!  We had fun in California...Disneyland, going to restaurants, going to the border, getting busted by border patrol
B: and seeing my family we haven't seen in 6 years. 
T: yeah, we had a fun Christmas dinner.

B: How has your gospel knowledge increased this last year?
T: I feel like I've learned more about sanctification while teaching Sunday School this year, especially 3 Nephi 27. 
T: What about you?
B: I feel like I have a better understanding of the Plan of Salvation.  And I've gained a better understanding of what charity really is through my study of the first half of the New Testament this last semester.

B: Ok, now it's your turn to ask me questions.

T: How were you awesome this year?
B: I took care of twin baby girls and they are still alive and happy.  I helped plan a pretty intense High Adventure with chicken butchering, crawdad fishing, regular fishing and horseback riding!  I read 36 books, I worked really hard to be a better visiting teacher and I received my Young Women Recognition after 5 years of working on it!  I helped plan and participate in some amazing Stake Youth activities!
T: and you were an awesome wife!

T: what is your motto for this coming year?
B: I need something about Improving myself
T: ummm...."Be Awesomer!"
B: I think I need to give it some thought.

T: what are your new year's resolutions?
B: Oh, there are too many.
T: my new year's resolution is to deliver a baby.
B: can it be ours? 
T: sure.  Although I don't really think you want that.  Now give me your top 5
B: Be more healthy, take better care of my feet, use up all the gross floss in the house
T: You can't say "gross floss".  Everyone will think you are finding used floss around the house.  You should say "cheap" or "poorly manufactured"
B: Well it tastes gross, but I know how much you like the good floss so I will make the sacrifice...
B: organize the office, and complete projects to get our house ready to sell.

T: what are all the ways you had fun this year?
B: I got my 1st massage, pedicure, and manicure.  I went to a Kelly Clarkson concert.  My birthday was fun because I had the birthday month countdown and I got a good chunk of what was on that list.  Our anniversary was fun camping under the meteor shower at Clinton Lake.  Going to Lake Michigan with Becky was amazing fun.  And seeing my family at Christmas was a blessing. 

T: what fun parties did you plan this year?
B: your Defense open house party, The Rebecca Anderson Week, combined birthday dinner, and let's not forget my Relief Society lesson on how to throw fun parties for adults (as opposed to adult parties!)

T: what do you love most about watching the twins?
B: oh good question.  I love when they smile in their sleep or when they smile at me!  I love when they laugh!  I love when they grab my fingers while I feed them their bottles.  I love how you race home to get to see them before they have to leave and when you play with them.

Ok, that about sums up the good stuff from the year!  We hope everyone has a fantastic new year!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tom and Becca's Best & Worst of 2011

It's the time of year when you see a lot of Best and Worst lists. So here are our two lists for 2011!

Tom & Becca's Worsts from 2011

After searching long and hard for Becca's passport at Christmas 2010, the clutter has yet to get under control!

Tom had 3 grandparents pass away this year.

Our yard is the bane of our existence!

Becca quit her job in June. She desperately misses the schedule, the intellectual stimulation, and the people!

Tom has still not finished his PhD.

We saw a lot of friends move on this summer. We were sad to see them go and maybe a just a little sad that we were not going with them!

Becca no longer fits in her bright red dress!

Tom's Renal Physiology Exam

Becca ended the year without health insurance.

The Glorified Birdhouse (otherwise known as our garage) is still standing!

And since we would like to end on a high note:

Tom & Becca's Bests from 2011

We completed a 5K in April.

Tom and Becca both lost 20 lbs!!!

Becca quit her job! She does not desperately miss the commute, the grading, the guilt, the extreme tiredness, and the excuses!

We celebrated 5 years of marital bliss!

Seeing Niagara Falls (it was Becca's 1st time, as well as her 1st time in Canada)

Cedar Point!

Tom received his white coat.

Studying pathology together.

Tom's Cardiovascular/Pulmonary Pathology Exam.

Becca donated 14 inches of hair to Locks of Love!

Becca and Tom both had small solos in the ward Christmas program and Tom liked Becca's singing!

We were able to save over $100 on parking because of friends in the Chicago suburbs who let us park at their house for 2 weeks and who gave us Metra tickets! It was a long day of travel, but it was awesome to see them and to save so much money!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Goodbye Grandpa"

In the last two weeks we have taken two trips to Georgia. A couple weeks ago, Tom's Grandpa Anderson had a fall and went into a coma. There were signs that his grandfather would not come out of the coma and so Tom decided to skip classes so we could go down to say goodbye. The whole trip down to Georgia I was thinking how blessed I am that I am not working anymore so I could just pick up and leave with my husband.

We spent a day and a half there with family and at the hospital and it was a touching experience to see Tom say goodbye to his grandfather. It was touching also to see the care that each of Grandpa Anderson's children gave him in his last moments.

We spent this last weekend back there again for the funeral.

The whole weekend was a very touching experience for me. While it wasn't a happy reason to go and visit family, we were able to enjoy the company of almost all of Tom's siblings and families as well as all his dad's siblings and families.

The first experience I found incredibly touching was in the viewing before we went to the chapel, Tom's 3-year-old cousin was being a little noisy as they were closing the casket. Someone told him that he needed to be quieter because they were closing the casket and he said, somewhat loudly, "Goodbye Grandpa" in his adorable 3-year-old voice. It was perfect.

During the eulogy, Grandpa Anderson's brother-in-law told how the Andersons didn't know the word "in-law" and as I thought back on the few times that I had actually spent with Tom's grandparents I could see how that statement is true. From day one I have always been treated like a granddaughter, daughter, sister, cousin, niece and aunt as if I had always been part of the family. I am so grateful for this. I know many people do not have this blessing and I know how lucky I am.

Tom and I were talking with his Grandma and she was saying, (as she did many times this weekend) how she was always supposed to go first. And she was worried that Grandpa would be given some big calling in heaven and he wouldn't have time to watch over her because he would full-heartedly fulfill his calling. Tom and I thought over this and we came to the conclusion that we don't think we ever get released from the calling of husband and father (or wife and mother for the women) and that will be one of the responsibilities we will have to fulfill even though we are in heaven. It will be like being a bishop, you have stewardship over so many people, but you still can't neglect your family. I think Grandpa will definitely be taking care of his family, even though he is not with us here on earth.

Tom and I have joked a little about what would happen if one of us passes away first. I always tell him I want to live until I'm 100 and then he can come get me the next day, after my big party. I like to think that I would be this tough woman if Tom went first, but I don't know how true that statement is. As I've been reflecting on this weekend's events, I can't help but think how incredibly I would miss Tom if he were not here with me. And I like to think Tom would be incredibly lost without me, although he would probably be ok. But I don't think he could ever find another person who would get as much joy out of a 10 hour car ride full of pathology questions and reading as I do! I am so grateful for the testimony I have of eternal families. I am so grateful that I can be with Tom, joking around with him and going on road trips and talking for long periods of time with him and testing each other on science and making plans for our future, that I can do all this with him FOREVER! Wow, I LOVE THIS MAN!

So while it wasn't the best of reasons to spend with the family, I am grateful for this weekend. I am grateful for my family relationships and I am grateful for how my testimony was strengthened.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why do these silly mnemonics work?

One month into my first official year of medical school, I find myself wondering: Why do all these silly medical mnemonics work? I suppose some relate to the subject at hand:

"So long to pinky, here comes the thumb."

But others have nothing to do with the subject, and you'd think it would take just as much effort to remember what it's supposed to be helping you remember:

"Never let my empire burn"
"Suzy Taylor loves sex and pot"
"Cadavers are dead people"
"Randy Travis drinks cold beer"

And yet, I doubt I'll ever forget what these stupid little phrases helped me remember.

If you can think of any more to add, post them in a comment - I am on the lookout for the most ridiculous mnemonic ever (bonus points if you know what any of mine mean without using Google, and double bonus points if you caught and laughed at my stupid pun. I'm not sure what bonus points from me are worth - probably less than a Schrute buck).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Overheard in the Ward

You may be familiar with the blog "Overheard in the Ward." Here's the Anderson version. The following conversation occurred during our service today:

Becca: I'm cold.
Tom (putting his arm around Becca): Wow, you are cold. You're stealing all my heat! You're a joule thief!!
[uncontrollable laughter]

We really should set a better example for the kids...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

30 Presents for my 30th Birthday!

My 30th birthday began with Becca getting up very early on a Saturday morning. I could tell she was cooking something while I slept in, but the real surprise was that she had invited tons of friends over for a birthday breakfast buffet! How exciting! We were able to pack ~30 people into our little house for the brithday breakfast bash. The twist was that people had to deliver a singing telegram for their breakfast.

The awards for the singing telegrams are:

1st Place: Tanner and Carli Warnick. Title: "Tom, Tom you are the bomb!" Tune: "Praise to the Man" I wish I could remember all the words, but the best part was the chorus, where they alternated saying my name over and over for the ENTIRE CHORUS!! I laughed. A lot. I particulalry liked this one because my students at BYU used to call me "Tom the Bomb." :)

2nd Place. The Nyes. I will give this one in its entirety. "Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, you look like Napoleon Dynamite, and you act like him too."1

3rd Place. The Hills. This one was to the tune of "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree." And it was awesome. I would love to have the words (hint, hint). On a different note, I found this awesome video while searchign youtube. Mormons are so silly sometimes....

Thanks to everyone who came and sang and ate. I thoroughly enjoyed all the singing telegrams. Starting the day with good friends and good food was the perfect way to start the day! I missed all who couldn't make it. You're welcome at our house for breakfast anytime, though, so come on over, and I won't even make you sing!

As many of you know, Becca also planned 30 presents for my 30th birthday. And here is the full list:

1. Big homemade breakfast
2. Birthday breakfast buffet bash
3. Raspberry Almond M&M's. Yum.
4. Toenail clippers (don't ask, it's a "long" story)
5. Eclipse gum
6. Reese's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (AMAZING!)
7. A pint of Ben and Jerry's "Half Baked." Best. Ice cream. EVER.
8. Two Pilot G2 05 pens (my favorite!)
9. BYU Choirs Eric Whitacre CD
10. Rachmaninov's Complete Preludes (Alexis Weissenberg)
11. Reeses' no bake dessert bar mix
12. "SparkCharts" Anatomy Review Sheet
13. Swedish Fish
14. Florida St. Univ. fitted cap! Don't worry, I got a BYU hoodie and cap for Christmas.
15. Rick Steve's Germany travel guide (we're hoping to celebrate Christmas in Germany with my brother's family)
16. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
17. Symphony bar with toffee and almonds
18. Twix
19. Bath sheet
20. Oven mitt
21. A button down shirt
22. A long sleeved maroon shirt
23. Chocolate Marshmallow Mateys
24. Cinnamon Squares (similar to Cinnamon Toast Crunch!)
25. Reese's chapstick
26. A coupon for cessation of a particular annoying habit that shall remain unamed...
27. Shaved legs (hers, not mine)
28. Dinner at Bayern Stube german restaurant in Gibson City. Sooooo good!
29. A forthcoming trip to see "Beauty and the Beast" the broadway musical
30. A night to remember ;)

It was pretty much the best birthday ever! I wish I had some videos of the awesome singing telegrams, but people wouldn't let us record them! I must say that I'm impressed with Becca's list of presents. I quite enjoyed all of them, and I'm particularly impressed by #26, which I am pleased to report has been quite a successful endeavor on Becca's part. I know all you curious minds out there want to know about this mysterious habit, but, seriously, do you really want that much insight into our relationship? Instead, it will be much more fun if you all guess what it is in the comments. Go.


1 A week later Julie Nye wrote the following on my facebook: "Today Zach told me that I shouldn't call you a Lamanite. After some questioning I figured out that he was talking about the Napolean Dynamite song. He said, "Yeah, he's not a dynamite either." He also said that you're not an old man (apparently someone at your party said that-one of my mom friends he said) because old men don't have very much hair."

Zach even sang his own song to me. Apparently I look like a cat and I act like one too. But I like cats, so it's all good. Zach, you are one of the funniest kids I have ever met!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My 31st Birthday!

Tom planned my birthday this year! What a treat that was. No coming up with a theme, or sending out invitations, or wondering if I have enough friends who will actually show up to my party! No, it was all on Tom. And I think it was a relief. I have been taking on way too much lately and I got to tell everyone that I couldn't do stuff that weekend because of Tom! I think that was the best present of all.

But there were other presents that would rank almost as high as that! Tom planned a surprise weekend trip to Chicago. He didn't have his usual Friday night group meeting and so we left Friday night and stayed at a motel close to the temple. And then we got to sleep in before we went to the temple. After the temple we checked out of our motel and then drove downtown to the Omni All-Suite Hotel on Michigan Ave. Yes, a four star hotel! I've never stayed in such a fancy place. So fancy the gum in the mini bar cost $1.50, even though right on the package it says to charge $0.35. And then we went to lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe. And then we went window shopping because we are too poor to buy anything on Michigan Ave ($200 for a necktie?). After that we got dressed up and went to the Chicago Symphony. Quite Enjoyable! It was fun to walk down Michigan Ave looking as fancy as I could come up with! After the symphony we stopped in the Ghirardelli Chocolate store and ice cream shop. I had a fantastic dark chocolate sundae for my birthday. Then we stopped at a drugstore and bought a big bag of chips that was the same price as the small bag of chips in the mini-bar so I could have something from the mini bar, but not for the price. And then we fell asleep in the wonderful pillows that I loved sinking my head into! We then got to sleep in again. Once we got ready for the day we drove to Ed Debevics and had a good burger that I had been craving all week. They are supposed to be rude, but I didn't let them be that way. It was my birthday gosh darnit! Then we ended up at the Art Institute of Chicago which was having Free February. I'm not that big of a fan of Art Museums, but I did get to see that big painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, which I do like. After the art museum we went to Gino's East and had deep dish pizza which I like much better than thin crust! And then we had an enjoyable drive home, stopping to get blizzards for my birthday treat. Tom almost took me to Fogo de Chao, because I love meat so much! But we were not wanting to spend so much on a meal we were really too full to eat. So we will save that for another time. When Tom told me how much that restaurant costs I actually gasped! I was quite flattered though that Tom would want to spend so much on me!

So for presents this year I got Taylor Swift's new Platinum Album, "Fearless", The Office-season five, my favorite Silk 'n Shine Blistex lip balm, Till we have Faces by C.S. Lewis, and an old map of Europe. I love that one! We are going to frame it and put it in a framed collage with my other pictures from Europe.

Tom knows me so well. I had such a wonderful, relaxing time and it was really hard to come back to my real life.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Circle of Life...Interrupted

Recently I've been keeping track of our own little "Joanny Saggy" hanging outside our window. Today it came out of its chrysalis and was a beautiful monarch butterfly. Yesterday I noticed there was a praying mantis also and I thought, "How wonderful, I don't see those very often." But then it went away. Today I saw it again hanging around the butterfly and I started to wonder if it was planning on eating my butterfly that I've been waiting to see. So I did some research and sure enough, praying mantises eat butterflies! I made Tom get a cup and take away the praying mantis! I know you are not supposed to help a butterfly out of its chrysalis because that is how it gets strength and if you help it, then it will die because it will not be strong enough to fight off predators or fly away. I hope I didn't make it weaker by taking away its first predator! But I just couldn't see all my hard work waiting around for it being wasted on that praying mantis!
The praying mantis "preying" on my wonderful butterfly!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

It had to happen "Sooner" or later...

The first big upset of the season: No. 20 BYU over No. 3 Oklahoma. Need I say more?

Just in case you missed it, check out the highlights here. And for all you Cougar fans out there, I embedded the Cougar Fight Song below, so you can rise and shout one more time and salute the Cougars for the amazing game they played tonight!

Helmet stickers go to Max Hall for playing like the veteran quarterback he is, the young offensive line for handling a fierce OU D-line, and the BYU defense for their aggressive play against a brutal running game and a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, keeping both in check most of the night.

BYU is ranked number 9 in the week 1 AP rankings and number 12 in the USA Today rankings!!