why i like st. patrick’s day…and green m&m’s.

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in blogging, husband, thoughts | 4 comments

(This post was originally written in March of 2008 by my husband. He wanted to share it today, and I said sure. Enjoy!)

I’m really bored at work with nothing to do (like always) so I decided rather than refreshing my email for the 15th time, I’ll pass the time by doing a bit of writing. It’s St. Patrick’s Day today and I swear I’m the only person here at work wearing green. How sad! I can’t really explain it, but I’ve always been particularly fond of St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not Irish, I’m not Catholic, and I don’t really even know much about St. Patrick’s Day. I think it appeals to me because nothing about St. Patrick’s Day really seems to have any rhyme or reason. It’s just a fun day to wear green and pinch people.

As a wee lad I often wondered how St. Patrick’s Day was created. I would picture two Irish guys named Angus and Brian having a conversation. It would go something like this:

Angus: Top O the mornin’ to ye Brian!

Brian: Erin go Braugh!

Angus: What? What does that mean?

Brian: I dunno, that’s just a phrase that Irish people use, I think.

Angus: Oh, well that’s cool. So have you ever heard of this lad named St. Patrick?

Brian: Nope.

Angus: Me neither, but I think we should have a holiday for him.

Brian: Ok, what kind of holiday?

Angus: I dunno, I just feel like having a holiday. We’ll still go to work and school, but I think we should do something to spice things up a little.

Brian: Well what do you have in mind?

Angus: I was thinking maybe we could all wear green.

Brian: Ok, but why green? Couldn’t we all wear pastels?

Angus: No, Easter already has that covered. I was thinking green because it’s a nice color. Earth tones seem to accentuate my hair and eyes.

Brian: Good thinking! I really like argyle socks and sweaters. Do you think I could wear earth tone argyle?

Angus: Well as long as there’s green in it, I don’t see a problem with that.

Brian: What will we do if somebody doesn’t wear green?

Angus: Well I haven’t thought of that! I thought everyone would love to wear green.

Brian: I think we should beat them with a shillelagh.

Angus: That could prove fatal. How about we just pinch them or something?

Brian: Oh, good point.

Angus: Ok, well that settles it! St. Patrick’s Day will be tomorrow. Wear green! Make sure to tell your neighbors. Did we forget anything?

Brian: Can we throw in some leprechauns and clovers and such? Maybe we could go to the pub and drink whiskey and beer too!

Angus: Um ok, but we go to the pub every night.

Brian: Well we could make the beer green too!


So there’s how St. Patrick’s Day was created. It’s a shame that we don’t have separate holidays for all the rest of the colors. I have to admit, I would probably still be partial to Green Day. Earth tones really do seem to accentuate my hair and eyes. Besides, we all know what the green M&M’s are famous for.

When I was in high school I was convinced that green M&M’s were magic, and that if you thought about the person you had a crush on while eating them, they would cause your crush to fall in love with you. The more green M&M’s you ate at once, the more passionately they would want you! Unfortunately, it never worked out for me, but that never stopped me from saving all the green M&M’s for last, as I pictured the cute little red haired girl.

A few of my friends knew about this strange obsession with magic green M&M’s, so they gave me a gigantic bag of M&M’s for my birthday. I was so happy! There had to be enough green candies in that bag to make EVERY red haired girl fall in love with me! This was going to be the best day of my life! I promptly opened the bag and started eating all the non-green colors. I kept eating and eating and eating. It turns out that my so called friends had carefully opened the bag, removed all the green M&M’s, and then resealed it with their mom’s fancy bag sealer. Saddest day of my life!

So if you see me saving all my green Starbursts, Skittles or any type of multi-colored candies, you’ll know what I’m up to. I still believe that the color green will help certain people become attracted to me. I can’t help it. It’s a habit. I wouldn’t recommend trying it though. If anything, it has caused certain people to NOT be attracted to me. It’s probably better if you steer clear of my quirky superstition.


P.S. St. Patrick’s Day is the only time I listen to Irish drinking songs. That’s another really good reason to love this holiday!

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chicken avocado and springtime asparagus.

Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

Yes, I know. It’s been a long while since my last post. A lot has happened, but I promise to update! You can look forward to the following posts, A Griswald Anniversary and Dr. Hulet is the Definition of Awesome. In the meantime, check out this yummy meal. The recipe for Chicken Avocado can be found at Cuisine Paradise. (Note: the red sauce I used to put on the chicken was spicy, and it made all the difference. So tasty!)

Anniversary (640x424)

As for the Springtime Asparagus? Easy-peasy, peeps! Cut up your asparagus, add a splash of olive oil, a pinch of poppy seeds, another pinch of sunflower seeds, and slices of strawberry. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 16 – 18 minutes, and you have delicious asparagus! (Note: I squeeze a couple of strawberries over the asparagus, which also makes a difference.)

Also, the photography website will be up soon, which is very exciting for me. Starting our own business has been an adventure, and we’re learning a lot about an LLC and what it takes to be successful. I’m so grateful to have a husband who believes in me enough to see this dream through. He is my biggest advocate, and I love him forever!

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Posted by on Feb 11, 2014 in adventure, happiness, health, husband, life, people, personal, philosophy, photography, ramble, random, relationships, sickness, thoughts, Uncategorized | 2 comments


Support is a curious thing when it comes to one’s health: you have it or you don’t.

Let me break it down.

  • There are those who genuinely care, and they’re always ready and willing to give you a hug and reassurance that things will (eventually) get better. Despite all of the craziness, they never give up, (maybe because they know you’d never give up on them if positions were reversed). Even if you’re sick again (and again) they are there to say, “I’m sorry you’re sick again (and again), but don’t give up.”
  • There are people who care out of obligation.
  • There are people who pretend to care.
  • There are people who want to care but (for many reasons) don’t.
  • There are people who you think will care -  who will be there to help you, but they simply aren’t. This one is particularly difficult when it turns out to be someone you love and cherish who turns their back on you. It happens. And when you face a chronic illness, it seems to be unavoidable. People hurt you. Maybe not on purpose. But they do.

I told Tyson about this last night, sighing, “Sometimes, it’s just lonely.”

He squeezed my hand in the darkness, and I knew that he understood. I imagine these same things apply to him, though in a slightly different way. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not easy to be married to someone with health issues, and he needs just as much love and support as I do – sometimes more.

Still, we have each other. Believe me, there is not a thing I wouldn’t do for my best friend, my sweetheart, to see him smile or happy. He is one of the main reasons I’ve pushed myself, willed myself to keep climbing the metaphorical mountain of getting better. I’m bruised and scraped and bleeding; my thighs ache, my arms are jelly, and my eyes burn – but here I am, my heart beating fast and strong and hopeful. “Are you glad you got the surgery?” he asked, carefully pulling me close to him.


“Are you glad it’s over, and we have answers and can move forward?”

More than yeah!”

He kissed my cheek, “I love you, babygirl.”

They say that the first year of marriage is the hardest. I don’t know if this is true. I do know Tyson and I’ve had more than our fair share of troubles in the last 365 days. Just this morning, he called to tell me that on his way to work, our only working car went kaput. Luckily, he was able to drift into the automotive station. “Oh, hon…” I laughed, because laughing seems like the only logical thing to do these days.

I don’t think anybody likes tribulation, but it’s something no one can escape. Big and small, far and wide, all of us will face problems. All of us will have to climb a mountain. Sometimes we’ll feel like we’re climbing alone, but most of the time – that is, if you take a moment to look around – one will find they are surrounded by people willing to help. And as you climb the mountain, you will also find yourself growing stronger and learning new things. You will see the world more clearly, and sure, some of it will be a disappointment, but a great deal of it won’t be.

Whatever the case, whatever the problem, I’ve learned from climbing my own mountain? Compassion, patience, and love go a long, long way. And I hope I can support the people around me when they need that support, because when I get to the top of the mountain, I want to share the beautiful view.

- -

P.S. Still a bit drugged, and certain this post hardly makes sense. I will read it in a couple of days and then apologize for dug-posting.






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trudge on.

Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in happiness, health, humor, life, lupus, personal, ramble, random, sickness, thoughts | 4 comments

Okay, men, I’m gonna forewarn you.

This post? Is about girl stuff. This post? Is about periods.

Consider yourself forewarned.


I think it’s safe to say that women generally don’t enjoy that so-called “special” time of the month. (Unless, of course, you’re one of those women who uses the so-called “special” time to paint large canvas works with bodily fluid as some sort of feminist manifesto, but that is an entirely different subject – one I won’t even touch with sterilized gloves and a ten-foot pole.)  Commercials might have you believe we celebrate every time Aunt Flo comes for a visit: we put on white pants, do all sorts of athletic moves, and smile smile smile. But if you live with one of us? You know this isn’t the truth.

The truth? We turn into crazies.

At least I do.  I can be semi-soothed with a large Diet Pepsi and piece of chocolate, but there are no guarantees. Once a month, my hormones get so out of whack, Tyson really starts to wonder about the whole redheads-don’t-have-souls thing. I mean, I laugh…I cry…I laugh some more…I cry even harder, and on occasion my head starts to spin, and I’m all, “What do you think of your darling wife now,  husband? Bwahahahahahahahaha!!!!!


On a serious note, I’ve always had pretty rough periods, which might explain my internal need to pull a Linda Blair every month. I mean, the cramps…OH. THE. CRAMPS. 

Some women out there are probably rolling their eyes. Some women out there are doing the whole McJudgy Judgerson thing, Like, I get cramps, too, but you don’t see me spitting pea soup! Well, these ain’t your run-of-the-mill cramps, sweetheart. They get so bad, I crawl into a fetal position on the bathroom floor (ew…) and just lay there, because if I move – even just a tiny bit – I’ll throw up, (not an exaggeration).

Now that I’m 30 years of age, I realize this is probably not typical. And after a few other issues, Tyson and I went to see the doctor, who said, Well, let’s cut you open!

Okay, those weren’t his exact words.

But close.


After discussion, Tyson and I consented to a laparoscopy. As I’ve mentioned before, we want to start a family, and we want to do everything we can to make it happen. The doctor we went to yesterday is concerned about endometriosis, (which my husband refers to as “gross spidery thingies with bumps” because he looked photos up on the internet), and this is the one way to know for certain what we’re dealing with. What with my autoimmune disease, I guess it’s raises the likely hood, which really gets my goat…

And brings me to the point of this post.

A lot of you are wondering why I’m sharing something so personal. Well, get out your tissues and cue the 1990′s TV sitcom emotional score.

The last couple of years have been difficult.

You’ve heard that a lot from me, so let me add onto that sentence.

The last couple of years have been difficult, but with each difficulty there has been a resolution. I wish I could tell you and anyone going through hard times that resolutions come quickly, they happen right when and how you need them to.

But I can’t.

Often, the most difficult problems – health, relationships, jobs, money – don’t have an easy fix-it answer. It takes time, effort, and sometimes the counsel of another person to see you through. If I’ve learned anything as I’ve shuffled through medical bills, doctors, hospitals, and all the hullabaloo? The moment you start to give in, the moment you think there is no way out, that you are completely deserted and alone? That is the moment you have a choice to get back up on your feet and keep on trudging, or let yourself be swallowed by defeat.

I’ve suffered defeat before, my friends, and it’s not fun.

On Monday morning I will have surgery. I don’t know what the outcome will be, just that there will be one.

And no matter what, I will trudge on.

 - -

(Gifs from Reaction Gifs.)



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wrestling photos.

Posted by on Feb 3, 2014 in life, photography, photos, sports | 0 comments

My sister asked me to take some photos of my nephews wrestling. Sports photography is fairly new to me, but I enjoy it all the same. I thought I’d share some of the photos, which I tried to translate that gritty, sweaty, dirty feeling that comes with sports. I hope you enjoy it! (If you’re interested in sports photos for your child, you can contact me at unabridgedgirl (at) gmail (dot) com.)

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that sort of love.

Posted by on Feb 3, 2014 in happiness, husband, life, love, marriage, memories, personal, photos | 8 comments

Our wedding rings, captured by Jacki Miller Photo + Design.

Our wedding rings, captured by Jacki Miller Photo + Design.

On this coming Sunday, Tyson and I will have been married for one year. It hardly feels possible! The days and months passed so quickly, even with all the craziness (due to my health), which I suppose is a good thing. What’s that old saying? Time flies when you’re having fun! And it has been fun. Despite the hiccups and learning moments (we both married at 30 and are both very set in our ways), he makes me smile every single day; he is my best friend, and there is no better person to have fun with than the one who stole your heart.

Thanksgiving Day 2013, after he proposed.

Thanksgiving Day 2013, after he proposed.

Up until I met Tyson, I don’t think I  knew what love felt like.

Mind you, I’m not talking about the sort of love  for family and friends. I’m talking about the sort of love that sinks deep into one’s soul, the sort of love that allows you to free-fall into life feeling light and carefree, the sort of love that randomly makes you smile because, gosh, that person sitting across from you is wonderful in every way; I’m talking about the sort of love that humbles you, instills you with confidence, and the desire to do all you can to see that other person happy, because you want happiness for them – always.

I thought I knew this sort of love a few years before Tyson. But I fooled myself into believing I felt those things, when I really only liked the idea.

At the movies.

At the movies.

The day and moment I felt that sort of love for Tyson? It was startling (in a good way), and my world changed forever.

This doesn’t mean it’s been all daisies and roses. Love that is worth anything takes hard work and constant care. But that is what makes this sort of love so amazing! You know that things aren’t going to be perfect. In fact, there will times when things are downright awful and you’re simply hanging on by a thread. But you love that other person so much and so fully, you’re willing to step into the fray – you’re willing to get a little dirty, because in those moments? You lay it out bare, all the uglies…

And you find you still have that sort of love!

In fact, your love deepens, because if you make it through the storm, you can make it through anything.

Photo by Jacki Miller Photo + Design.

Photos by Jacki Miller Photo + Design.

(More photos from our wedding day below.)


We were sealed for Time & Eternity at 11:23 A.M. in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.

We were sealed for Time & Eternity at 11:23 A.M. in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.

It was an insanely cold, snowy morning!

It was an insanely cold, snowy morning!

My feet were so frozen that my shoes kept slipping off, and Tyson had to keep putting them back on my feet.

My feet were so frozen that my shoes kept slipping off, and Tyson had to keep putting them back on my feet.

At one point, Tyson gave up and just carried me to the next photo spot. Hahaha. Poor guy! (Photo by my father-in-law.)

At one point, Tyson gave up and just carried me to the next photo spot. Hahaha. Poor guy! (Photo by my father-in-law.)

We wanted a small, simple wedding, which meant we got married and had a luncheon. It was perfect for us!

We wanted a small, simple wedding, which meant we got married and had a luncheon. It was perfect for us!

At one point, Tyson accidentally stepped on the back of my dress and ripped it! Haha. Oh, well. (Taken by my father-in-law.)

At one point, Tyson accidentally stepped on the back of my dress and ripped it! Haha. Oh, well. (Taken by my father-in-law.)

And when we cut our cake, the knife broke in our hands - part of it stuck in the cake. Bahah!

And when we cut our cake, the knife broke in our hands – part of it stuck in the cake. Bahah!

But I felt like a beautiful bride, despite my weight gain from medications and my lazy-eye!

But I felt like a beautiful bride, despite my weight gain from medications and my lazy-eye!

But how could I *not* feel beautiful? It was such a great day, because I got to marry my favorite person in the wide world!

But how could I *not* feel beautiful? It was such a great day, because I got to marry my favorite person in the wide world!











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good advice is not always the right advice.

Posted by on Jan 25, 2014 in health, healthy, humor, life, lupus, personal, sickness, thoughts | 6 comments

akdjf huaeh faowhefawe fal’sdfh


Deep breath. Deep breath.

Okay. By the end of this post I’m probably going to sound like a witch. I apologize. Sort of.

Listen. If you have not spent 9+ years in university studying the human body, worked thankless hours on end at hospitals, clinics, and labs (so much so that you hardly see your family and friends) to finally obtain a paper with the letters MD, FNP, DO somewhere on it? Do not tell me you can cure lupus. If you have not gone on to work at a hospital, clinic, or lab and spent years studying, testing, and investigating the way our bodies work, as well as the medicines and methods that enable us to overcome sickness? Do not tell me you can cure lupus. Or any other disease. Just don’t.


If I had a dollar for every time someone tells me that essential oils can cure lupus (or cancer, etc.), I’d be on my own island, drinking a virgin strawberry daiquiri and painting my nails a very shocking shade of pink, because there is a crazy trend in Utah (or maybe it’s everywhere, and I’ve just been blind for several years) where every other woman I know buys or sells the stuff. Not too long ago, someone said to me, “Oh, I hear you have lupus.”


“I bet that’s hard.”

“It’s a challenge, but I’m learning.”

“Well, I don’t know if you know this, but DoTerra – it’s an essential oil product – has been proven to cure lupus,” here they pat my shoulder, “If you used it, you would be normal.”

How silly of me! I’ve spent all of this time and money in doctor offices, emergency rooms, and hospital stays, when all I needed was a couple of drops of essential oils to cure a disease that attacks the blood, kidneys, heart, brain, and immune system. Hot damn! How do the hundreds of thousands of other people with this disease not know this? Let me guess. The doctors and pharmaceutical companies are all in conspiracy to keep us sick.

Yes, I’m a little cranky. But it’s a little insulting when someone assumes that I haven’t tried everything to get better, including alternative medicine. WHAT?!? YOU HAVE?!

Also, before you get all up in arms and start crying or something, let me say – I don’t have anything against people who use essential oils. I’m even aware that hospitals are starting to incorporate them, but they use them for things like nausea, or to help with the side effects of stronger medications, not to cure extreme sickness/disease. My brother (as well as several other family members) works in the medical field. He has never been paid to or told to keep something from the public that could potentially help them.

I’m sure essential oils can work for small things. But when people start claiming they cure lupus or cancer, I take a big issue. Big. I knew a lady - wonderful, beautiful lady – who was diagnosed with cancer. Someone told her about this miracle cure, so she decided to try the “natural” route and forgo chemo. Several months later, when the cancer was so bad that she couldn’t breathe without crying? She begged the doctors for treatment. Sadly, it was too late. Chemo was no longer an option.

It is not my place to tell you to steer clear of essential oils, the same way it is not your place to tell me to use them. I appreciate the concern. I really, really do! But consider this: good advice is not always the right advice. What works for you and yours does not work for everyone else. And forgive me if I’m not inclined to listen to someone without a medical background. Like I said, I accept that people don’t believe the way that I do. I’m okay with people who use alternative medicine. But I’m not okay with being scorned for believing in science, especially when science has saved my life.

Rant over.

(Gifs from Reaction Gifs. Check ‘em out!)

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