Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"How to Hug a Porcupine"

This may seem like an unlikely book to review, but let me just say, I am only 5 chapters into it and it has changed my life already.  No other book, aside from the scriptures, has caused more meditation and self-reflection. 

I received this book as a wedding gift actually.  I thought that was a bit of an interesting gift at the time, and it has collected dust over the last two years in Texas.  However, a couple days ago I started reading, and I cannot put it down, or get it off my mind. 

The book "How to Hug a Porcupine" talks about how to deal with toxic personalities. 

Side note: NO I am not in a toxic relationship.  NO I am not in a toxic marriage.  And NO I am not dealing with a particularly toxic person in my life as of right now.  YES I have been in these kinds of relationships before.  And YES I have dealt with these kinds of people before (everyone does in their life).

Everyone has a few (or more) toxic personality traits that they can work on.  This book identifies the different types of traits, personalities and habits that can be harmful to yourself and others.  Within the last week I have already noticed a difference in my marriage (not that it was bad).  That wasn't because Steven changed at all, but because I was able to label some of my faults and I have found the motivation and inspiration to change those faults into strengths.

For instance, I have the habit of overlooking everything that has been done and only noticing the undone.  Did you know this is a toxic personality trait?  I didn't! And instead of becoming overly stressed and taking it out on my husband, I have been able to take a deep breath and reassure myself that my life really will be ok if we wait until tomorrow to vacuum. 

There is a part of me that wishes that I could make everyone in the world read this book.  I think so many relationships would be spared pain, neglect, sorrow, loss, betrayal, ect. if they could just learn how to identify these toxicities, how to become their own best-self and then learn how to protect yourself from a harmful person or relationship. 

So there's my plug.  I highly recommend it to anyone.  And I think this may be a wedding gift I give to any new couple for the rest of my life.

Happy Reading!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lucky Duck (Part 3)

The last two weeks of July I spent with my sister-in-law and her three little boys.  It was so much fun to be with them-they are highly entertaining!

One day we went to the Natural History Museum in Gainesville and they had a butterfly aquarium.  I learned two things while I was there: 1.  It is nearly impossible to take a decent picture of my three rambunctious nephews.  2.  There are some people out there that dedicate their whole lives to only studying butterflies.  I had no idea that there was SO much more out there to learn about them ;).

 We also had an Olympic opening ceremonies party!  And by party, I mean it was just me, Stefanie and her husband Ed.  But it was great!

Bath time for Will and Jack!

Sleepy Benny.  Such a cute picture!


My last few days in Florida were spent at the happiest place on earth!  I was melting the whole time, but it was a blast! (Shout out to Becky who watched the boys in the evenings so Stef and I could go out and ride the big kid rides!)

Jack and I were naughty so we were fed to Bruce...

 Can you hear the twinkly Tinker Bell music??  I can!

It was a wonderful trip and it was great to spend some time with Steven's older sister and her family.  Now I have just one more week of summer before school starts up again!  I love school and I am super excited to start! :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Luckiness cont. (Part 2)

The first two weeks of July I spent with my family in Arizona.  At first, I didn't understand why they didn't live somewhere cooler and why we were spending money (actually they were free stand-by tickets) for me to fly from one hot place to another hot place.  I am all in favor of my family moving to Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, ect.  Those would be great places to visit during the summer.  But I guess Arizona will have to do!

It was a wonderful trip and those two weeks FLEW by.  The first week was spent up at my parents cabin in Heber, AZ so that was a welcome relief to the heat.  I love being up there.  It was nice to see my grandparents and aunt and uncle over the 4th of July too. 

The second week we were back in Glendale, and my mom got sick which was a total bummer.  She was out for a good 4-5 days there.  BUT, I spent wayyyyyy more time with my brothers on this trip that I normally do which was really good.  I had a lot of fun with them and actually gave them a run for their money while playing Mario Party.  I have some secret sweet Mario Party skills up my sleeve. 

Why I never take pictures while I'm with my family, I have no idea...maybe it's that I am having so much fun I forget ;). 

More pictures and excitement to come with Part 3!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

One Lucky Girl (Part 1)

Can I just say that I am one lucky girl!  Holy Shmoly, I have been a traveling machine this summer!  And with all the good times, I must admit, there is no place like home.  It was nice being in my comfy bed again last night (even if I did have a snoring companion by my side).

To catch up I guess I would need to back up to the last half of June! (Btw, can you believe it's August already?  I swear time just keeps going by faster and faster)  In the middle of June Steven took his Step 1 medical board exam and after that 8 hour test he had about 10 days of freedom and no obligations.  With that, we went off with his parents on a big, pretty boat for a week and had the time of our lives!  Nothing beats playing hard and relaxing hard for a whole week.  It was a BLAST!

Our first port of call was Montego Bay, Jamaica.  We went swimming with dolphins and climbed Dunn's River Falls.  I had never swam with dolphins before, and it was one of the coolest things I have ever done. 

Can I just say how much I love Steven?  He keeps me laughing all day long!

Our second port of call was Grand Caymen in the Caymen Islands.  That day we had some crappy weather, but it didn't matter to us because we went scuba diving!  We saw two sea turtles and some of the most beautiful coral reefs I have ever seen.  It was beautiful.

Our third port was Cozumel, Mexico.  That day we went spelunking down Rio Secreto.  It was by far the most amazing cave I have ever been in.  Becky and Kayle didn't go with us that day, which was a real shame because it was amazing!

It was a wonderful week!  I loved spending time with my in-laws and Steven totally deserved a much needed break after studying for so long for his board exam.  Speaking of which, he did AWESOME!  The national average for the Step 1 board exam is a 220, UTSW (his school) average is about a 230, the average score for potential orthopedic residents is 240, the average score for potential urology residents is a 239 and Steven got a 249!!!  I am so proud of him.  He is so relieved that he will be able to go into any specialty he wants to. 

Anyway, that is all for now.  Part 2 is coming soon (I hope).