Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Count Your Blessings

I was feeling sad about a friend today. I gave Dillon a hug, and laid my head on him with a sigh. "My heart is heavy," I said.

"It's not too heavy for the two of us," he replied. I lifted up my head to see a familiar smile of his that seems to make everything feel okay.

I am so lucky to have him. Even in hard times, he buoys me up. Together, we are so much more than the sum of our parts. There is nothing I feel we can't face as long as we are united.

A bit later, I happened across an email folder I put some of his old emails to me in. There was a poem he wrote me that I had entirely forgotten about. It's so beautiful; I have to share. He won't like that I am posting this because he is so modest and private, but I just can't keep this to myself.

Dillon, I love you and thank you for loving me.

The Phoenix and the Dove

For the Dove, he burned
A flame hot and pure
Phoenix with broken wings
Any trial, eager to endure

For her future, she searched
A thirst for knowledge raged
Dove afraid to land
Wary of being caged

He'd seen merely the crescent
Always his shadowed soul
Yet in her presence
The moon revealed whole

In his steadfast eyes
She witnessed unabashed truth
In his careless smile
Remnants of his distant youth

To her, he would give his world
For her, endeavor any pursuit
With all his imperfection
This love was absolute

To him, she gave her trust
For him, she'd forsake her dread
Deeds were not required
Faith demanded time instead

Her strengths conquered any flaw
In this he found her perfection;
His confidence in her fortitude
Permitted consent to his protection

She saw a depth of passion
So often hidden by his charms;
He forgot his limitations
Enveloped in her gracious arms

The power of what could be
Touched indeed the angels above
And none could arrest their hope
For the Phoenix and the Dove

Dillon Hawkins

This was Dillon and I about the time he wrote that poem.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's All Down Hill From Here - Hopefully

I have officially reached (now passed) the halfway point of my weight loss goal. I am down about 23 or 24 pounds out of 44 and dropping. I feel so blessed to be able to lose this weight so (relatively) easily. I haven't run in a while, but have been doing well with my dieting.

I 'slipped up' for the first time since I started my weight loss this weekend. I was really bad. I ate out a lot. My mom and I went out for my birthday on Saturday and we ate breakfast at IHOP and lunch and The Cheesecake Factory - yes, I ate cheese cake too. I also ate fast food this weekend - ouch. But it's back to the grindstone again. No more slip-ups. I will hopefully start running again this week too.

Our weight loss contest at work ends on the 14th, and I couldn't be happier about what it has done for me. I needed that external motivation to get going. I am wearing pants right now that I haven't fit in (or fit well in) for years. It's a great feeling. And old pants look like clown pants.

So many people have told me that I look like I have lost a lot. Dillon hadn't said anything, so back at about 10 to 15 lbs down, I asked him if he noticed I had lost weight. He told me no. He still can't tell visually. He said it's because he's a big-picture kind of guy and he just knows that I am 'a very lovely woman.' It's hard to get worked up about him not noticing when he says things like that. He did say the other day that I felt tighter - not so squishy. So, in his own way, he's noticing too.

I feel great and hope it's downhill from here - or at least continues to be like it has been.

I found this cool website that you can create a virtual model of yourself before and after your weight loss.

~~Start ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Goal~~

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The World Just Feels a Little More Right

Yesterday we got an addition to our extended family, and I am happy that something I thought was meant to be, came to be.

Nolan has been dog-sitting Doug the Dog since Doug was a baby. He is now almost 2. They both light up in a unique way when they are together.

Doug's owners have decided to move to the Virgin Islands, and so they are entrusting him to Nolan. They love Doug very much, but know that kind of dog would not be comfortable in that hot climate.

Even though Doug won't have the people that raised him from puppy-hood, I am so happy that Doug and Nolan will have each other.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You Decide

I want to ask you about Body Worlds. For those of you who don't know, basically peoples' bodies are donated, skinned, "plastinated," formed/posed, and, some parts, cross-sectioned. Then the bodies are shown off in exhibits.


So I ask you - is this fascinating or disgusting? art or demented?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Payroll People know how to Party!

We had a payroll company party last week at Boondocks, and I can't remember the last time I had that much fun.

This is my boss, Greg, and he looks as giddy as a school-boy to get the party started.

We lined up for the go-carts first.

This is Clark strapping in for go-carting good times.

This is Emilee waiting to go. She is one of the most quiet, timid people until you get her in a go-cart. She is just ruthless on the track.

This is my supervisor, Lynne, ready for speed. She is a bunch of fun.After racing once, we went and ate pizza.
From left: Lynne, Renae, Mark, Ese, Salote, Chris, Carole, Lori, Cerra
From left: Clark, Mindy, Emilee, Lourine, Greg, Laura, Debra

I tried to show the camera the pizza in my mouth, but Lynne called me on it and I ended up looking like a retard - er...more of a retard.
Something caught my eye...

...and I tried to show everyone what I was looking at. No, not really. I have no idea what I was doing here, but thought I looked funny in these pics. I am just glad nobody follows me around with a camera consistently.

After mangia most of us did laser tag. We look lethal, huh?

Others played in the arcade area. Salote is making a cute pose for the camera, but I don't think she realizes that a glowing round object is directly over her head. I would think it means she's an angel, but it's red. I am going to assume it means she's a devil's angel! :-)

Then it was off to the bumper boats. Each is equipped with a water gun with a range of probably 20 feet - a perfect recipe for FUN.

I don't think I am alone when I say it was my favorite part.

Everyone sure thinks this is a funny picture of me. It looks like Renae is squirting me in the mouth, but, in fact, that terrible face and gesture I am making is because of the sinister looking dude behind me.

Ese and Lote duked it out.

It was pretty much a soaking free for all. I laughed so hard I felt like I was going to pee and puke at the same time. I loved every minute of it.

Ese was the last one in the water and had fun squirting people on land one last time.

We were a wet, happy mess.

Well, Debra didn't look so happy... just wet.

Mark stayed on land and took pictures for us. We couldn't resist getting him a little wet though.
Then it was time for some putt-putt. Here's Debra and Laura on the green.

Mindy illustrated her hole-in-one skills.

Emilee did too.

Lynne, Lou Lou and I had a little bit of a different approach.



If you made it in the shoot at the last, the lizard blew fire. If not, you got made fun of. He just talked smack to me. He's lucky he was high on that rock...
After that, we did go-carts and laser tag again with our numbers dwindling with each.

Lynne, Emilee and I were die-hards and stayed until 8pm. It was a treat to go play with the people I usually only work with. And thus concluded our super fun afternoon at Boondocks.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

You're it MOFO!

I have never done a tag before but this one looked like a good one. If you read THIS you are officially tagged.... sucker. I think this could be fun to make a story out of too. Post where yours can be found in the comments when you are done...

I am: Cerra Ann Craven Hawkins
I have: a lot - I am very blessed
I had no idea: when I will have children
I Am: loud
I Think: the truth is beautiful, regardless of what it is
I Know: Dillon and I will be together forever
I Want: to be a mom
I Have: a great husband
I Dislike: drama
I Miss: my nursey-mommy
I Fear: failure
I Feel: strongly about a lot of things
I Smell: things others don't
I Crave: chocolate
I Cry: to decompress
I Usually: am late
I Search: for answers
I Wonder: when we'll buy a house
I Regret: ever denying my faith
I Love: Dillon and the rest of my family
I Care: too much
I Always: get distracted
I Worry: about things I want never happening
I Am Not: okay with incompetence
I Remember: things like a movie in my head
I Believe: a stereotype with one exception is worth avoiding the mindset
I Dance: like a epileptic seizes, but love to do it in the presence of only my laughing husband
I Sing: constantly
I Don't Always: curb my temper
I Argue: a lot
I Write: poetry, thoughts, journal entries and blog posts
I Win: sometimes
I Lose: sometimes
I Wish: innocent people didn't have to suffer
I Listen: to rap, R&B, and hip-hop
I Don't Understand: why some people insist on being unhappy
I Can Usually Be Found: at a computer
I Am Scared: of birds in my face and bugs
I Need: a baby
I Forget: what time it is
I Am: going to bed

I tag: YOU!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Favorite Day

Cerra is twenty six years old today. Every September 20th, I'm reminded that I've been given the best gift of all. I think I may be more excited than Cerra when her day comes around every year. Cerra, sweetheart, I love you. Happy birthday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sweet Dillon

Your faith in me is
Unwarranted
Yet it makes me
Great
Your protection of me is
Unnecessary
Yet it makes me feel
Safe
How my life could be was
Unimaginable
Yet you have made dreams
Reality
For you ~ all that I am and have ~ I’d
Forsake
Yet because of you I have it
All

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My blog, my show

US politics simply frustrate me. I don't claim a party, but am by no means a fence-sitter. I refrain from talking about my views to most people because I hate others' soapboxes made of nothing but bubbles - you like that metaphor, eh? Dillon won't get it... I am not sure if it's my perspective or the fact of the matter, but it seems that even the politically apathetic are reforming and spouting off about this presidential race like they've been in it since Nixon. Politics have always felt like the pushing for the lesser of evils which, regarding the greatest nation on Earth, makes me feel hollow and helpless. Good people don't run for office. If they somehow end up there, they either don't stay good or don't win. I would rather live no place else and consider myself more than fortunate to live in this great nation, but the quality of man is not up to my expectations. My heart aches just thinking about the state of the nation and world. My only solace lies in my faith that God ultimately runs this country. I made a choice a long time ago to laugh instead of cry.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Yup...

this pretty much sums up my political views.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Utah State Fair

I liked the Davis County Fair so much that we went to the Utah State Fair too. We had a great time, and my new camera did not disappoint!

Dillon had me take lots of tractor pics for his mom.

Dillon says that these two red ones are just like 'Grandpa Bub's.' I don't know... It was all beaten up and rusted at Bubs, so it's hard for me to say.

The first animals we saw were the pigeons. I took so many pictures of these for my dad. He loves these strange birds.

These two reminded me of the ones from Animaniacs.


I didn't know they made pigeons with feathers on their feet...

let alone fan tails!


These also thrusted their chests in the air and tucked their heads down between their tail and chest... too strange.


This one had some really brilliant forest green plumage around its neck.

These liked to pop their collars.


These would puff up their chests and then try to bump each other with them -like jocks or gorillas...
Did you know they also make pigeons with no beaks? Disturbing... My dad says that they cannot parent their own young due to this fact, so humans have to stick their eggs under normal pigeons to raise them. I don't understand why some things are selected to reproduce in breeding - be it pigeons, dogs or otherwise.

And last but not least, the uglies! Again, I just don't understand it...

On our way to the bunnies, we saw the ponies. This one liked to nibble on things. I was really sad when they wouldn't let me ride them. I should sue... That's beefy discrimination.

Dillon loves bunnies!
This one barely fit in the cage.

Then it was off to the goats.
These following goat pictures are Alpine wether goats used for packing. Dillon's mom is very interested in pack goats and alpine goats, so I am sure she would have loved talking to the owner of these two goats. He was very nice and told me that he would teach Kathleen everything she needed to know about packing goats for no charge. I thought that was really sweet. This little guy below comes in at an impressive 200lbs. They can pack 1/4 their body weight.

We had a special opportunity at the fair this year. The Marcan Tiger Preserve brought seven or eight tigers to SLC and put on a show three times a day at the fair. It was super crowded, and we had to gather 1/2 hour before the show started to get the spots that we did. They weren't ideal, but it was great to see what we could.

This is a picture I took of a picture they had for sale. It has all the color variations of Bengal tigers there are, but only the standard color is still found in the wild. Color variations from left to right: Golden Tabbie, Pure or Snow White, Standard, White.



Once they let them out, they showed off how comfortable they were with the tigers.

The tigers were more interested in napping than anything else.

The handler tickled this guy's toes to try to get him to do something interesting.

They sprayed them with water to cool them off and try to get them to do something exciting.


I think the second favorite thing was marking their territory. I swear all of them had a round with the ball.
This one finally ended up 'claiming' the ball. They told us that this was his favorite position - his bum on the platform and his front on the ball.
They stretched out for us a bit.


Then they did some cool tricks.






I like to think this one posed for me.

After the tigers, I was pooped. Dillon wanted to go see more, but we went home instead. We were going to go back later in the week because we only saw two arts and crafts buildings and missed the cows and sheep, but we both came down with awful colds that we are still fighting... :-( Poo.