Sunday, December 29, 2013

I believe in the gospel of Christ...All of it

I believe that popular society may decide what they allow and what they punish, but only God decides moral law, which does not change with societal trends. There is absolute truth, and that ONLY comes from God. Some of us, as imperfect beings, occasionally get drawn into trying to rationalize, adjust or omit certain laws He has set forth to our own liking or to be more in line with popular thinking. I do not believe that Christ's teachings are something we get to pick and choose from.

I believe that acting out in homosexual ways is a sin in the same way that I believe fornication, adultery, stealing, murder, lying, immodesty, alcoholism, drug abuse, disrespecting parents, worshipping idols, materialism, idleness, judging, swearing, physical/emotional abuse, neglecting sacred responsibilities, coveting, using the name of God in vain, pornography, breaking the Sabbath day, withholding help for the poor/needy, being easily offended, not praying, speeding, and gluttony are all sins. Christ and his prophets have been very clear on preaching against all such things (and more) in every collection of scripture.  All His commandments are important and necessary.

Therefore, which of us is not a sinner? None of us. We all have sinned, in a variety of ways; we all have weaknesses and temptations. We all have the opportunity to partake of the gift of the atonement of Jesus Christ. We ALL need Him in order to be forgiven and saved. Sometimes it takes us a long, long time to overcome our problems, but we are promised we will if we look to Christ, repent fully and keep trying, we will conquer and become perfected in Him.

If you or I are persecuted or experience discrimination based on these beliefs, so be it. It should not come as a surprise to us. Christians have long been attacked in a multitude of ways for holding fast to the moral laws of God, when it was unpopular to do so. As our society today moves further and further away from God's laws, we become even more of a peculiar people. How unusual is it that I didn't have sexual relations of any kind until I was married at age 31 or that I have never smoked or drank or used God's name in vain? How "un-modern" it is that I don't accept homosexuality as a proper way to act. Does that mean I look down on those that do? Absolutely not!!!! I don't judge because they sin differently than I do. I have friends that drink, that have addictions, have participated in pornography, that struggle with materialism, that swear, and that are gay. I can denounce the sin; while loving the sinner. I am not so unlike any of them. I struggle with my own faults, weaknesses and sins-but that does not make them right.  I have to be accountable to all the same laws and own up to my personal shortcomings in relation to what I know is right and true.

I like to look to the example of Jesus Christ when he was presented with a woman caught in adultery. He neither denied the sin OR the law. He only remarked in mercy "let he who is without sin cast the first stone". I have compassion for all and testify to any that sin, in whatever manner, to come and be converted unto Jesus Christ and be made new through his everlasting gospel. He has dictated exactly how to do that and what His gospel entails in the scriptures and words of the prophets (in olden days as well as the those on the earth today). Read them; Search them! Allow His Spirit to work in your heart until you become contrite, teachable and willing to change. We are not fully converted until we can accept Him and ALL His teachings, however unpopular. We cannot be saved by partial obedience. But, we CAN repent and start anew to try to be better each day to get closer and closer to His perfection, while partaking in His wonderful mercy on the sinner in every one of us.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bathroom Remodel

It is finally done! Our quick 2-3 week project that started in July is finally finished. Yes, it took forever. We had more setbacks and learning experiences than we ever expected but I think the finished product looks great! The new tile is gorgeous and that shower is so waterproof, I don't think it is possible to ever leak.
Here are some important lessons we learned to do differently next time (please take these to heart if you decide to do a bathroom yourself):
1. Use cement board for water resistance instead of drywall + Schluter-kerdi sheets on the's almost impossible to put up evenly and level.
2. Putting large tiles on vertical walls is pretty but 3x the work. Believe me. Stick with smaller ones
3. when you build up a floor, remember to move other fixtures up the wall as well
4. Harbor freight tools are good for a lot of things, but splurge on some high quality equipment (like tile saws, plumbing tools, and chop saws)
5. Measure 5 times-cut once
6. Always have another person around when you turn the water on the first time

Here are some pictures of the process
down to the studs
Schluter-kerdi walls and floor finally in place

chipping off the old tile from the cement floor
Here are pictures of the new and improved bathroom! Quite the finished product!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Educator of the Year

Today I got a total surprise. My family knew, my coworkers and hospital president knew, my in-laws knew... but they kept it a good secret. I was so busy running around like a chicken with it's head cut off running the Diabetes Educator conference that I wasn't expecting to be the recipient of an award. Anyway, I sort of got a clue when I saw my parents and coworkers come and sit in the audience...and then the announcer started explaining comments from nominating educators, patients and coworkers about the recipient...

They announced that I was chosen to be American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) of Utah's "Educator of the Year"!   I was surprised and touched. They asked me to say a few things up at the podium and I think I just thanked the educators I've worked with and gotten to know in the AADE. Afterward, I thought I probably could have been a bit more personal. This is what I would add:

People often ask me why I chose to become a diabetes educator. Since I don't personally have one in my immediate family has diabetes, the choice seems odd I guess. I tell them, I didn't choose diabetes, it chose me. There were many things during my schooling and career as a dietitian that kept pointing me straight to it...over and over again. It just seemed to fit and I embraced the idea fully and worked hard to make it happen. It is a most fascinating field, isn't it? It can also be extremely challenging but most of all, it is rewarding. When you make a difference in the life of a patient, when you show empathy, when they finally understand something, when you can reach them in a way no one else could because of your expertise, when you can celebrate together their successes...that is what makes it all worth it. That is why I do what I do... that is why you do what you do. It is all about our patients and making their lives better. "Mankind IS our business".  I am honored to be working with so many of you in the diabetes community who feel the same way.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


I am really the type of person that loves to have vacations to look forward to. Somehow it makes the daily grind seem a lot more bearable. Ben and I couldn't agree on a destination, budget or a time when we could both get away for a long time until finally we were both so super ready for the break that we had to make it happen quickly. We were also finally able to make it work to have my parents come with us! Cruises are much more fun with more people. So, to the Bahamas we went!

We spent a few days in Orlando (spending some time with my uncle that lives there-seeing his house and taking a tour of the candy factory where he works, the Orlando temple, Moss park, and outlet shopping) and then 4 days on the cruise.

Our first stop was the cruise's private island Cococay. This was by far our favorite day! It was a beautiful, sandy beach island with all sorts of places to just lay back on a beach chair and relax. We played in the warm ocean, napped, and watched the waves.

I even convinced my dad to go parasailing with me-which is awesome. It provided a beautiful view and is wonderfully peaceful floating 400 ft. above the water.  (not scary at all-unless you are afraid of heights-I totally recommend trying it).

Next day was Nassau island. It was extremely hot and humid that day. We walked around the city a bit but weren't too interested in buying touristy trinkets or doing the excursions at the Atlantis resort (most the beaches are private and you have to pay to use them). We preferred to hang out on the less crowded ship. We spent a lot of time in the pool, reading and chilling out on the deck chairs, and eating more than we should at the buffet.

Then we had a day at sea. I tried out the rock-climbing wall on the back of the ship, played ping pong and then took advantage of reading and nap time.

We of course ate way too much, sampling all the good food choices. We also got to see the comedian, magician, bands, and several movies in the evenings. What a great trip! Things still happened while we were gone (my sister and her baby became famous on all the news shows/blogs, my friend had her baby, they called a new RS presidency so I got released but, it was good to be away from phone/email for a while).  I needed something to help me reset and come back with a clearer head to organize and rebalance my life.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Produce production

So, remember me planting a garden earlier this year? And how I was worried how much would survive?

Well, we actually got a bumper crop this year! We have had so many tomatoes, it's been awesome. Our of my 16 plants, 14 survived (4 cherry plants and 2 yellow tomato plants, and several other red and heirloom types). We haven't actually had problems eating them all (We LOVE tomatoes here and have lots of family and friends that have been happy to receive any extras) until this last week, when I got my biggest load of tomatoes.
My sweet sister-in-law helped me learn to bottle them (I love learning new skills) so we could keep some for the winter. Aren't they pretty??

In addition to our tomato excitement, we also got bunches of swiss chard, 3 peppers from our pepper plant and several butternut squashes growing on the a vine. It makes me soooo happy!

It inspired me to teach my next cooking class this Saturday at Kitchen Kneads (in Logan) about "Using Garden Goods".


For my surprise sister-birthday party this year, I got quite the adventure. They took me up to park city for a fun lunch and then  REAL bobsled ride at olympic park (where you actually do the entire course). Vee and Kimi helped boost my courage to do it by riding with me. It was scarier than I expected but I'm glad I did it once in my life. I am not one to swear but it honestly took restraint to hold back a swear word as we got going really fast, I was using all my strength just to hold my position so I wouldn't get jostled all around. Imagine hurling down a windy canyon road in a go-kart at freeway speeds...

After it was all over and the adrenaline calmed down, we were excited that we survived the 2nd fastest time of all the bobsled runs that day.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lake Powell

Ben's sister and family were generous enough to invite us down to Lake Powell to stay on their new house boat over the 4th of July. It was just the getaway I needed and oddly enough, my first time at Lake Powell.
I got to soak up some sun, relax and read my book, climb red rocks (my favorite), learn to drive a wave runner, see American Indian ruins, get up on waterskis for the first time EVER, and hang out with some really cool people. I also learned a lot about boats and what can go wrong... Many fun experiences and stories to share. It was very fun. SO much fun, in fact, I took very few pictures. Turns out it is hard to keep a camera with you when you are always in or around the water, so most were taken on our hike.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


I got to do a quick work trip to Chicago to the American Diabetes Association scientific sessions conference. Our diabetes center did a study about continuous glucose monitoring devices and was chosen to present a poster on our findings at the meeting. There was some good interest in our study and we got to meet people from all over the world. They wouldn't let us take pictures in the poster hall but here is what it looked like.

I stayed a couple days to attend some of the sessions and learned a lot of interesting things about better diabetes treatment and upcoming research. (No we really are not that close to a's way more complicated than you think).

I took a few hrs to do a little sightseeing: shopping on the Magnificent Mile, a riverboat tour about the interesting architecture but it's really not as fun when you travel by yourself. I got a good feel for all the crazy traffic there riding shuttles to/from airport and to/from the conference each day-I soon learned to bury myself in my book rather than watch out the window...that is, unless you had to sit in the front seat with a very talkative shuttle driver that wouldn't let you. It is fun city right downtown and the building are very interesting.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Madame Curry

My trusty companion, Madame Curry, crossed the threshhold of 100,000 miles today. That's a lot of time spent together over the last 7 yrs.  Although she is starting to show some of her age and has needed some surgeries and extra attention lately, she has been pretty good to me and still gets great gas mileage.
When I knew it was time to say goodbye to my last car, Ljubicica the purple wonder, I looked specifically for cars that I knew would last a long time and settled on buying a Honda civic. I haven't been disappointed. We are going to treat her well and hopefully she'll stick around for another 1-200,000 more.

If you haven't heard how my car earned her is the story:

One week after I bought the car, my roommate got married. My assignment was to pick up food from a few Cambodian establishments to deliver to her reception. I filled my trunk with large trays of vegetables, rice, noodles and such. Lastly, I went to pick up the curry, which would have to fit in my backseat. These Cambodians were not used to catering because they put all the curry into one VERY large metal pot with an ill-fitting lid, weighing about 100 lbs. The 4 Cambodian men looked very perplexed at my car and decided they better tape on the lid with packing tape and put cardboard box under it. I had brought towels to keep things from sliding around and packed them around it. Off I went, with a friend in the back to hold it upright. It smelled wonderful. I must mention at this point that I had never seen or tasted Cambodian curry before and figured it must be very similar to other curries I was familiar Indian curry or Japanese curry...which usually involve large chunks of meat and vegetables with a very thick, spicy sauce. I learned very quickly this was not the case. As I slowly drove down the ever-busy 405 interstate, I heard a sound that I did NOT like. My friend gasped as a stream of red oily liquid poured out of the pot as we turned... She tried with all her might to hold the bent, dented lid down to stop the flow, but really, there was nothing we could do. It gushed out every movement the car made and the towels quickly saturated. When we finally got to the church, we called for help to get the heavy leaking pot out of the car. Several people ran to our rescue, the liquid sloshing out and burning our hands as we pulled it out of my new car. I was finally left to survey the damage: red oil stained my backseat and floor. I laughed in disbelief and got to work cleaning it up best I could. I took it to 2 different auto cleaning places to see what they could do. All I got were stupified looks and broken English offers to vacuum it out. A weekend of shopvac, steam-cleaning tools, carpet cleaner, wipes and scrubbing and I finally got most of it out and looking presentable again. I spent the next few months (summer in Southern California) driving with all the windows down and a bottle of Febreeze to spray every time I got in. Curry residue does NOT smell good days later after being baked in a parking lot all day. The car was officially dubbed Madame Curry in honor of her faint curry aroma she held for the first year.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


I doing a garden this year! A REAL garden. Well, I hope it turns into a garden. Right now it is a plot of dirt, but that's more than I  have ever had. No, my backyard hasn't grown, it is still a  2 ft. square of artificial grass. But there is a community garden area down the street that just had a plot become available!

I know what some of you are thinking...the girl who can even kill plastic plants is going to grow a garden? I LOVE home-grown produce and flowers, so I am determined to get a green thumb someday and won't give up. I have had some small successes lately that helped me get the courage to take this on: my annual amaryllis grew beautifully 2 yrs. in a row, my 3 potted tomato plants last year yielded exactly 5 small tomatoes and I got some herbs to grow for about a month before they went moldy. Like I said, small successes. Be Nice!

The great thing about this garden plot? It is outside in a sunny area and has a drip line for watering.  I can't remember ever getting past the obstacles of consistent water and sun before... I guess that means I will have to worry about the more complicated issues of adequate mulch, compost, spacing, companion planting and weeding. Eek! Hopefully, mother nature will help me out a bit even if I get those things wrong.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I had an article published in the AADE (American Association of Diabetes Educators) quarterly newsletter!  They sent out a request for articles on the subject and I thought... hey, I could write on that!  I sent in my draft and they called me saying they got a lot of submissions for that topic but they liked mine the best!  It may not make sense to anyone not a diabetes educator but I thought it might be cool for you to see it in print. Now I have to come up with more content because I have been asked to speak on this subject at the annual Utah Diabetes Educator conference.  Anyway, this is just the beginning of seeing my name in print... just wait until my awesome news later this summer!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

no more ice cream

Our house has been over 6 months without ice cream. I never thought I would say that, it used to be our favorite dessert and my emotional escape when I was upset.  I stopped missing it around month 4. My husband decided to do it for health reasons and I wanted to support him on that. I feel proud of us. We might still eat it at other houses but it just doesn't live at our house. Hooray for more healthy lifestyle at the Gilgen's!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Denim quilt

I finally finished my denim quilt project after about 4 yrs. I started keeping old jeans really because i was attached to a certain pair that i couldnt bear to throw away. I had some other great donations from family and friends to make more squares than i actually ended up using, in fact. It became my "something-very-productive-to-do" when Ben was away for long periods of time for work trips.
It ended up being more work than I thought but I like the finished product well enough to use for a great picnic blanket.

I wanted the design to be a little less traditional so I decided to do the squares at an angle, used no batting (just a flannel back), machine-tied it with just brown tacking stitch, and did a zig-zag edge of denim triangles. My favorite parts are probably the few pocket details I kept and incorporated as squares.

I really hadn't sewn much since I got married. I'm still trying to find the perfect sewing/craft table so without it, projects like this can be a bit more difficult on a makeshift card table but it worked alright!

My husband loves it for how heavy/warm it is. Perfect for our cold basement room right now.