Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring break baby!!

I'll just preface this by saying that perhaps the best part of this post is knowing that on any other Monday, I would be sitting at work right now. is good! I guess technically I don't qualify as getting a spring break any more. I've been out of school for going on 6 years now but the great thing is that my roommate and partner in crime (and/or travel) is a teacher so we plan trips around her different breaks. And therefore I am able to enjoy spring break again.

This year we decided to head down to beautiful sunny Southern California. We opted to road trip it and bring Hurley the wonder pooch along (I think my mom would have probably disowned me if I showed up without him.) Anyway, we've been enjoying great weather so far and things are about to get into full swing as we will be seeing Wicked tomorrow night and then spending a couple of days at Disneyland. Of course somewhere in there we'll hope to get to the beach even though the water won't be very warm. At least we can feel the sand on our toes.

More to come later on our adventures. In the meantime, have a lovely spring break everyone. What's that you say? You don't get a spring break? Hahahaha...SUCKERS!!! :) Just kidding...but I had to gloat just a little!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Another anniversary...

Today is the 11 year anniversary of the death of my father. It seems hard to believe that he has been gone so long. Sadly, with each passing year my memories fade a little more. What I wouldn't give to be able to hear his voice clearly, to laugh at his goofy sense of humor, to spend time getting to know him now that I am an adult. My dad has been gone for about 1/3 of my life and the majority of my adult years. My relationship with him was not perfect, but I do miss him and I look forward to the opportunity that I will have to someday get to know him for who he truly is.

Roger B. Wilson
December 26, 1944-March 16, 1997

I drove to Payson today to leave flowers at his grave as well as those of other Wilson relatives. Being in the cemetery makes you reflect on all of the people in your life, not just the ones who have passed. Life is too short and too unpredictable to get carried up in grudges and misunderstanings. Life is too short to not forgive one another and to not let people know that you love them and take an interest in them.

That really hit home again tonight when a friend of mine came over to tell me that a close friend of ours had just lost her younger brother. My heart is filled with sorrow for her family and I can only pray that the Holy Spirit will comfort and sustain them in this hard time.

I'll keep this short because it is late and has been an emotional day. I just want to end by saying that if you are reading this, you are probably a part of my life and I want you to know that whether we talk every day or our communications are few and far between--I am grateful for you, you have touched my life and continue to in ways you may not know. I love you and wish you nothing but the best. Just thought you should know...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Your input requested...

Ok, friends. I am at a crossroads in my life. I am past the age that I should be to remain in my current singles ward. The leaders have kindly overlooked my age and have not kicked me out so far. know when you get that feeling that it's just time to move on? Well, I'm just about there. The Roosevelt Ward has been good to me. In many ways it is the best ward I have been in, but it just doesn't "fit" any more. My dilemma is to now decide where I should go. As I see it I have three options with their own pros and cons:
  1. I can choose to go to the older singles ward in hopes of still having some semblance of a social life. Then again, I have heard some horror stories about these older wards.
  2. I can choose to go the the regular family ward in my area and give up nearly all hopes of a social life. Then again, maybe there are people I need to serve or from whom I can learn.
  3. I can choose to go to a Spanish branch somewhere in the valley...again hoping for a social life and hoping to serve and learn.

I don't like change, but sometimes it is necessary. And I haven't been able to shake the feeling in terms of this current situation. Of course I plan to check each place out to see what feels most right, but I thought the input of trusted friends and family would be helpful as well. So please take time to make your vote known (it'll be good practice for November!)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Dominican Republic Santiago Mission

So this past week I hit the 9 year mark of finishing my mission in the DR. It's hard to believe that so much time has gone by but in some ways it feels like that experience happened in another lifetime. Anyway, what with the anniversary and all, I have been a bit nostalgic about the time I spent serving in the DR and wanted to share some brief thoughts as well as some pictures.

I was really excited when I got my mission call for a few reasons: 1) I wasn't going anywhere in Asia (which had been a big worry of mine); 2) I was excited to get to learn Spanish...and perhaps most importantly; 3) When I opened my call I just knew it was where I was supposed to go (even though I had never even heard of the country.)

I actually had a very hard time adjusting to living in the DR. I was blessed to pick up the language pretty quickly but couldn't help feeling as if I were trapped in a Spanish soap opera. My first 10 months on the island were spent with native companions and when all was said and done I only ended up with 2 American companions. It was often hard for me then but I am so grateful when I look back on it now.

I'm not sure exactly when I made it through my acculturation process, but by the end of my mission I considered myself more Dominican than American. I dreaded the thought of having to leave behind a people, a culture and a country I had come to love. I would often say (and sometimes still do), "Soy gringa de aprariencia pero dominicana de corazon," which loosely translated is "I may look like gringa but I'm a Dominican at heart."

As I reflect on my life, many of the biggest blessings I enjoy now are directly related to having served a mission in that place at that time. Many qualities I gained, friends I have and even my current job would not have been possible if it weren't for my time spent in the DR. Serving a mission is easily one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have been fortunate enough to go back and visit the DR 4 times over the years and someday hope to maybe even have a vacation home or condo there. I will be eternally grateful for the 16 months I spent there as a missionary and invite you to join me on a trip down memory lane:

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Yet more to learn...

I never knew I could find out so much about myself by taking little tests on the internet! I'm sure they're all completely accurate as well. Interestingly, the way this one describes me makes me think of #88 on my list of "100 things..." I wish I could figure out how to be more light hearted, confident and well-adjusted as I have been in the past. Is this merely a natural consequence of getting deeper into the stresses of adulthood or do I have hope of becoming a more carefree spirit again? Comments or suggestions anyone?

What Alyssa Means
You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.
You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.
Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.
You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.
You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.
You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.
You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Usually I try to steer clear of the newest fads in TV when they first come out. Eventually some shows break me down and I have to play catch up when they are in a second or third season. Two of my favorites have a J.J. Abrams connection....Alias and LOST. Can we just talk about how kick butt cool Jennifer Garner was in Alias? What a totally awesome show the first oh, about 2 1/2 to 3 seasons. I think Alias made a departure too early and that resulted in the last two seasons being kind of silly and hokey as they tried to tie up loose story lines.

I am currently engrossed in the return of LOST but I am hoping it doesn't meet the same fate as Alias seeing as how they announced that it will run for a few more shortened seasons. So far this season is really great...which was a nice surprise given the fact that I wasn't too happy with last season's finale. Anyway, it's been fun gathering with friends on Thursday nights to watch the latest twists, turns, flashbacks and flash forwards unfold.

p.s. Did I mention that Jack Shepard(a.k.a. Matthew Fox) is totally hot? :)

p.p.s. For a little fun, find out which character you are. I hope I don't ever become bald!