Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Jalapeno Popper Casserole

Here is my Jalapeno Popper Casserole.  Just a heads up - I have tweaked this over the course of about a year to get it just right . . . FOR ME.  Which means that some of the ingredients no longer have valid measurements.  So if you are going to cook it up, you may want to do some tweaking of your own.

So here we go (insert drumroll sound here) with my version of this tasty dinner:

Makes 1 13x9 inch pan

1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese, divided
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
4-6 Jalapeno peppers (depending on the size of the peppers and how much of that flavor you want.  Just keep in mind that once the seeds are out, they aren't as hot as you might think), deseeded and diced (after I deseed the peppers I throw them in that food chopper attachment thingy that came with my blender. Also, I use latex gloves for the seeding and all touching of the peppers, because  . . . you know . . . I'll get that stuff in my eyes for sure)
1 bag of hash browns (I don't know the size of bag, enough to fill the bottom of the pan, and I use the cubed kind)
Green onions (quantity depending on your love - or not - of green onions)

Preheat the oven to 425.  Fill the baking dish with hash brown, and put them in the oven until they are warmed up.  While the hash browns are warming, cook the bacon and crumble it into small pieces.  Dice the peppers and slice the green onions.  Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, 1.5 cups of cheese, green onions and bacon (keep some bacon and green onions for sprinkling on top).  I use a hand mixer to blend it all up.  Spread that mixture on top of the hashbrowns.  Top with the rest of the cheese, bacon, and green onions.  Bake at 425 for 20 minutes.

It takes 2 of these to feed my family.  My family of 4.  2 pans.  4 people.  I'm not kidding.

Yes, one of those people is Jack, but I'm not sure that 1 pan would satisfactorily (is that a word?) take care of the family sans Jack.  We kinda like it.  It's yummy.  And warms up nicely.  Or so I've heard.  I've never actually had any to warm up for myself.  But that's the rumor.

The actual recipe that I started with uses twice as much cream cheese and tater tots instead of hash browns.  It was too much cream cheese, in my opinion, so I kept whittling it down until I got to where we are now, which is perfect.  Someone else would probably like the full cream cheese portion.  And lest you ask, you could probably use the low fat cream cheese and sour cream. I've never tried.  Why would I do such a thing?  Low fat = low flavor = sadness for everyone.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Kids These Days . . .

One of my favorite things to torment my kids with is the old parental stand-by, "When I was your age . . ."  We've got it so much better than our parents, so much more variety, and our kids are positively appalled at how things were in the "olden" days.  My goodness, we answered the phone without knowing who was calling!  We had to go to the LIBRARY to do a research paper!  We had to stand up and walk across the room to change the channel on the TV!  Gasp!  The inhumanity of it all!

But then when I stop to think of the things my kids will never experience, at least not on the scale I did, it makes me kind of sad.  My teens and pre-teen kids never hung out at the mall on Saturdays, seeing how far they could stretch $5.  My kids have never walked a mile (plus) to get a snow cone and then eat it while walking the mile (plus) back home (uphill).  And sadly, my kids have never - and probably will never - have the wonderful experience of a drive-in movie.

As a teenager, I went to the Timp Drive-in in Orem regularly during the summer.  It was just what people did then.  I usually fell asleep before the second movie began, because I'm exciting like that. 

A group of friends of mine bought an old car (I don't know what it was, but it was reeeaaalllly long), and they cut the top off it and put seats in the trunk space.  It could seat about 13 people, although if it rained it was not so cool.  We would take that thing, lovingly called "The Vert" (as in conVERTable) to the drive-in, park it sideways, and we could get 6 speakers on it that way.  Ahhh . . . good times.

The Timp Drive-in was also conveniently located next to a Winchell's Donut shop.  That was handy.    Sadly, the Winchell's Donut shop is also gone, and apartments sit in its place (also the drive-in).

I remember going with my friend Shauna to the drive-in once.  It was just the two of us, everyone else must have been on missions at that point or something.  Anyway, the double feature was Dead Poet's Society and then Beaches.  Who's idiotic idea was that?    That is surely the worst double feature ever.  We could barely see to drive home, what with the red, swollen eyes and all.  That was the worst.  Whoever dreamed up that double feature should be taken out and shot for poor decision making.

Also, no northern Utah county youth at that time could grow up properly without going to the movies at the Towne Cinema "Sticky Shoe" theater in American Fork.  That was the theater I most frequented back then.  It was a first run theater once upon a time.  That's where I saw Footloose and E.T.  (I'm thinking 1982?)  The only movies I remember seeing at the fancy University Mall Theater was Star Wars (as it was known then, but now I have to specify A New Hope), but I could be wrong.  But it seems like most of the movies of my youth were at the Timp Drive-in or the Sticky Shoe.

I don't think there are any drive-ins left around here (if I'm wrong, let me know), so I don't know my kids can experience that thrill.  But the Sticky Shoe is still alive and well.  If I can drum up the nerve, I'll take my kids over there so they can fully appreciate the name.

Then in my teenage years, the video store came into it's glory days.  My kids have some memories of Blockbuster, but they will never appreciate the days of having to call ahead to Adventureland Video in downtown PG to reserve their one copy of Holy Grail for a Friday night.  Everything had only one copy.  And now thanks to instant streaming and cheap DVDs, kids today don't know the anguish of going to the video store on Friday or Saturday, and finding that everything is out except for a copy of "Thouroghly Modern Millie" which was to be avoided at all costs because it was a - GASP - musical, or maybe a movie in black and white.  And every kid of the 80s knew that if a movie was in black and white, it couldn't possibly be any good.

My kids don't know the torture of dragging a hose around the backyard during the summer months, moving it every 30 minutes, because now we all have sprinkler systems. They don't know what it's like when the President speaks on TV and he's on Every. Single. Channel.  Thanks to Spotify, they will never know about trying to record a favorite song off the radio, only to miss the beginning of the song and have to wait around for it to play again.  They don't have to worry about having a dime on hand at all times to make an emergency phone call.  Other than their parents having access to their grades at all times (thank goodness that didn't exist in my school years!), kids today have it pretty good, I guess.

But thankfully, my kids also don't know the agony of trying to choke down a lima bean dinner.  Too many lima bean dinners prepared by my mom made me swear I would never, ever, EVER serve them to anyone I loved.  Because, let's face it, that's just abuse.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I think I can . . . I think I can. . .

So I'm back to 5k training.  Sigh.  Once upon a time I could run almost the whole 3 miles and then . . . and then . . . I don't know.  I just stopped.  Periodically I would feel enough shame to take myself down to the gym and run some on the track or treadmill.  I can still run for about 2 minutes, or almost a quarter mile.  Humiliating as that is, I remember back to the first 5k training and running for 1 minute was almost impossible, so at least I'm not back at Square One.

I went down to the gym last night, and all full of motivation, I hopped on the treadmill.  I got my 5k app running, my Spotify workout playlist going, and then realized that the gym has gotten new treadmills and I didn't even know how to start the dumb thing.  Not wanting to look more stupid than I'm sure I already did (people of a certain weight and age really shouldn't wear running tights) I fumbled around for a while, trying to look like I knew what I was doing, until I accidentally started the thing up. Thankfully it starts very slowly so I didn't get sucked off the back.  That would have been terribly impressive, running tights and all.

So yesterday was to run for 1 minute and walk for 90 seconds (stop laughing at me.  I know my shame), repeated 8 times.  It went very well, I stepped off the treadmill 30 minutes later happy, proud of myself, and perhaps a little cocky.  I told Addie on the way home that training this time wouldn't be as bad as last time, and we laughed about the frozen vegetables bags on my legs back then. 

I knew that Thursday's aren't good for me gym-wise, and I had to come home from work early today because our satellite needed readjusting, so I thought, "Hey, yesterday went so well, I'll go back for Day 2 today!" despite knowing from past experience that back-to-back training days are a bad idea.  But I was confident.

Turns out 2:30 is a great time to be at the gym.  It is pretty much empty and, more importantly, I got a great parking spot.  So I got on my treadmill, started it successfully and without humiliating myself, started my app, started my Spotify, and I was off.  I did just like I did yesterday:  walk at 3.6 mph, then jog starting at 5.1 mph and increasing that jogging speed on each run to max out at 5.8 mph.  It went perfectly yesterday, so it would go perfectly today too, right?

Well, mostly yes.  It went fine until the last run.  60 seconds has never been so long.  I kept telling myself if it didn't end soon I was going to throw up.  I wanted to turn down the speed.  But I held on to the end (the end of that WHOLE 60 seconds - stop laughing at me) and was pleased with myself.  I shared the workout to Facebook for accountability purposes, and went to get stuff to wipe down the treadmill.

I couldn't walk.  My knees almost buckled just stepping off the belt.  "Great," I thought.  "I'm going down here in a heap, and I'm still wearing these ridiculous running tights."  But somehow I hobbled over and got the machine wiped down.  Next problem:  walking down the stairs.  There's an elevator right there.  Why didn't I take it?

The silver lining was that I coincidentally had a massage scheduled for 3:00.  Thankfully, Vanessa would save me.  And she did. She always does.

And she didn't even act offended with all the sweat.

That's true friendship.

And now it's 8:00 and I'm back to feeling fabulous.

But maybe that's because of the Cadbury mini eggs I can't stop eating.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Another Jackism List

I realized that I have acquired many more Jackisms since I last made a list, so this brings us up to current.  (See original Jackism list February 22, 2013).  I really have to wonder what he says when I'm NOT around.  :)

This list also includes a Laneism and a Taylorism.


Jackism #50: Me: Jack, when you find yourself in a hole it's best to just stop digging. 
Jack: Not if you have a jetpack.

Jackism #51: I like smiling. But I don't care for the other emotions.

Jackism #52: (while watching Return of the Jedi) The stormtroopers really need to upgrade their armor. It's extremely ineffective.

Jackism #53: Dots and licorice aren't movie food. You wanna know what IS movie food? Tacos.

Jackism #54: (spelling is not Jack's super power)
Me: How do you spell "hors d'oeuvers"?
Jack: Eu . . . 
Me: Eu?
Jack: Yeah, because they are French.
Me: So what?
Jack: France is in Europe. Europe starts with "Eu." Duh.

Jackism #55: My milkshake tastes like magic and sunshine.

Jackism #56: I want bongos for Christmas.

Jackism #57: Me: You need to call Brother Merrill.
Jack: He's not home. I just saw him drive by in his car, and he was headed Orem-ly.

Jackism #58:  (Jack's Facebook account got hacked: For any one who saw the picture that was shared on my profile, i am sorry i think my facebook has been hacked because ive not been on since saturday and I didn't share that gross picture 
Ive changed my password and uped computer security sorry
so heres a picture of gandalf

Jackism #58: This song is terrible. I can feel my IQ dropping. (The song was Need a Little Love by Depeche Mode)

Jackism #59: (when we passed his history teacher riding a bike while we were out for our nightly walk) Well, that was a big bag of awkward.

Jackism #60: Jack: Oooooh! Steak!! (leftovers in the fridge)
Me: Hey! We're going to be having a big dinner in a little while, you know.
Jack: I know. That's why I'm just eating one steak.

Jackism #61: Me: What if the girl you marry isn't as nerdy as you?
Jack: Then I'll have a lot of explaining to do.

Jackism #62: Jack: Can I borrow your (portable) speaker?
Me: No. You never bring it back.
Jack: Please! Please let me borrow your speaker.
Me? Will you bring it back?
Jack: Probably not.

Jackism #63: Lane: Who ate all my Oreo's?
Jack: I ate the last 7 in the package.
Me: You ate 7 Oreo's?
Jack: No. It was actually 10.

Jackism #64: Me: I'm coming upstairs.
Jack: Don't come yet. I have something on my floor.
Me: Something? Only one thing? What is that "one" thing?
Jack: All of my clothes.

Jackism #65: (at parent teacher conference)
English Teacher: You are doing very well. Let's discuss your skill set.
Jack: I can't spell. I'll just put that out there now.

Jackism #64: (me trying to get a reluctant Jack to help me string lights on the tree)
Me: A Scout does not procrastinate.
Jack: A Scout also knows his limitations. And that is not in the oath.
Me: Ok, a Scout is helpful.
Jack: I'll be helpful tomorrow.

Jackism #65: Me: name the 7 dwarves. 
Jack: Sleepy. . . Dopey . . . Biscuit . . .

Jackism #66: What's that smell? It smells like broken dreams.

Jackism #67: Jack: when is dinner? I'm starving. 
Me: didn't you have a snack after school?
Jack: yeah, but I only had 4 eggs and 2 sandwiches.

Jackism #68: Me: Here, Jack. Try my new [ball] massager.
Jack:  But balls don't feel good . . . I should have worded that better.

Jackism #69: Lane: Pour out this lemonade and fill the glass with milk.
Jack: Ewww NO!! You can't cross-cup!

Jackism #70: Apricots are just disappointing peaches.

Jackism #71: I hate this song, but I can't turn it off. It's like the train wreck of songs.

Jackism #72: Lane: Jack, don't eat it all. I want to have a piece later.

Jackism #73: look at this action figure. I can make him twerk.

Jackism #74: Me: You just cut off that car!
Jack: I'm sorry! That's what happens when I'm driving while hungry!

Jackism #75: Chubby's is not centrally located. It's left-eastern.

Taylorism: Me: what operating system is on your laptop?
Taylor: Toshiba.

Laneism: Addie: what city is Jane (from Tarzan) from?
Lane: Pittsburgh

Jackism #76: I asked Jack to make new folders on the computer for music I just downloaded. He made 2 folders and named them Gumflangle and Shibbityboo.

Jackism #77: I need a drink. And by drink, I mean a banana.

Jackism #78: Did they just kill Henry Blake? That really sucks.

Jackism #79: Addie: (looking at a baby picture of Jack) what happened to that birthmark on your head?
Jack: it's on my leg now.

Jackism #80: I always do better at this game (trivia crack) when I'm on the toilet.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Cruise 2015

So . . . I'm way behind on the blogging.  You know how it is, kids activities, church callings, family stuff.  Plus I'm lazy.  Yeah, it's mostly the lazy thing.  So now if I hurry and do this I can finally cross it off my to-do list instead of just moving it from day to day . . . to day.

And if it looks like we mostly just sat around taking selfies, that's probably because we just sat around taking selfies.  We're just exciting like that.

 Apparently he's going for the Jaba the Hut thing.  And for the record, he worked really hard to get that much chin.  He's kind of a dork.

I've waited so long to blog about this, I don't even know what's in the background. Somewhere in Mexico. That's all I've got.

3 stops in Mexico and we took 1 shore excursion.  We had planned on going whale watching, but it got cancelled.  So we took a little ride around the water at Mazatlan.  It was ok, I guess.  It was short, the guide was entertaining, but we've been spoiled by the other Mexican coast.

So lest you mock us for doing nothing, that's what we like about cruises.  All the doing of nothing.  Plus, when everyone is off the ship, that's the best time to hang out at the pool.  (Which we did, but there is no photographic evidence of it for good reason.  You may thank me later.)

  I have no recollection of the beads.  There must be a reason?

Looking back at Mazatlan . . . 

 I found it terribly amusing that at our final stop in Mexico, what's the first thing people see?  A Sam's Club and a Walmart.   Meh.

And the US Coast Guard.

This was a longer cruise - 7 days - so it included 2 formal nights.  This is the second one.  We didn't do any pictures at the first one.  We're lame, what can I say?  But at least I got 2 pictures of him not pulling a face!

Final review of the cruise:  Ship was great (Carnival Miracle).  I would sail on it again.  It was a weird layout from Carnival's other ships - all the main public areas (except the pools) were down low (decks 2-4) instead of where we are used to (decks 7-9).  It was not as Las Vegas-y as other ships, which was a nice change.  Our room steward was the best we've ever had, but our dining room wait staff was only so-so.    I wouldn't do this itinerary again, mostly because we've been spoiled by the lush, jungle-y Cozumel side of Mexico and the west coast is not so much.  Frankly, the only reason we took this one was because air fare to Florida was crazy high, and air fare to California is much cheaper, but the cruises are more expensive.  So we got the 7 day cruise (suite included) for the same price overall as a 5 day cruise from Florida.  But I probably won't do it again.  At least not any time soon.  One last thing:  I remember why we go in September.  Spring is too cold.  Ok, so it's not super cold, but when I'm on a cruise, I want it to be hot.  And this wasn't.  And that's also why you won't find me on an Alaskan cruise.  I'll stick to the warmer, beachier ports.  And I'll go back to September cruises.  No more of this spring stuff. But this spring cruise did coincide with our 23rd anniversary, so that was cool.

The best thing was that about 2 weeks prior to sailing Carnival called me to say the ship wasn't full and would I like to upgrade to a suite?  It cost a little more, but less than half what it should have so I took it.  The room was about twice as bit (cruise ship rooms are tiny, so twice as big is still tiny), but the bathroom had a double vanity and a bathtub.  There was also a separate dressing room.  So yeah, a suite is pretty sweet.  Would I pay full price for it?  Probably not.  But it was fun to try out once.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Snow College Class of 1990 - Can you believe its been 25 years?!?

Once upon a time, a long, LONG time ago I set my heart on going to Snow College.  This came after going to a Youth Conference there between my Junior and Senior years of high school.  I had never been to Snow College prior to then, and as soon as I set my foot on campus that first day of Youth Conference, I knew that was the place for me.  I'm not sure why, but it just sort of . . . fit.

When I told friends at school where I had decided to go, I got one of two responses:  "Where?"  and, more commonly, "Why?"  I understood the Where, but the Why hurt.  Not everyone was destined for BYU, or even the school of the day, UVCC (which of course later became UVSC, then UVSU, and currently UVU, although it could easily be called BYU West).

So off I went in September of 1988.  I knew 3 of my roommates from high school, but the other 2 were unknown.  I can still remember how nervous I was for the whole college experience, but how excited at the same time.  Living away from home and all that.  Having friends to live with helped that transition immensely.

So we all got settled in to Pinetree #15: Me, Heather, KyLee, Toni (who later became Crissy, who later became Tricia), Lori and Becky.

I really lucked out, roommate wise.  We got along really well and had a blast living together.  I think I've mentioned before that we get together for lunch once a year or so, but I think I've dropped the ball on that.  I think its been 2 years since we last got together.  I better get on that.

It was so much fun, my Freshman year.  Honestly, I can't think of a more fun school year in my life than my Freshman year at Snow College.

Sure, we had some "moments."  Cleaning out the fridge was always a horror.  Why was there always so much tuna fish?  I refuse to eat expired dairy, so my milk etc was up for grabs as soon as the expiration date rolled around (apparently that's a weird thing).  And lest we forget, my absolute refusal to play intramural softball.  Once I was needed to avoid a forfeit, so I angrily stood in right field, refusing to move AT ALL.  If a ball was hit my direction (and a few were), I just stood there and let someone else get it.  But we did avoid the forfeit.  And in case you are wondering, it was Becky's fault.  She was late to the game.  Stupid boyfriend.  Whom she later married.

But the best thing to come out of Freshman year was a sweet guy named Lane.  Funny thing is I remember seeing him all the time, all over campus. But we never spoke.  Then when Tricia moved in in January, guess who came to visit her? That guy I saw all over the place.  Turns out he was a friend of hers from West Jordan High.  So that's how we met. 

I wasn't looking for anyone at the time, I dated a little, but only a little. I was waiting for a missionary at the time.  But they say when you aren't looking, look out.

So we met not long before my birthday, and after that when he would see me on campus he would say "Happy Birthday Larry."  He knew my name wasn't Larry, but he did know it agitated me.  

And here we are, 23 years later.  And he's still agitating me.

Funny thing: of the 6 of us in the apartment that year, 5 of us married our missionaries.  Ok, KyLee's missionary was from high school, but the rest of us met our guys at Snow College during that year and married them.  And are still married to them.  :)

Halloween 1988

Innagural Ball, 1989

Lane had annoyed us somehow, so we convinced him and his roommate Mark to come stand under my apartment window so I could take their picture.  Stupid boys - they came and stood under the window while my roommates dumped water on them from our 2nd floor apartment.

So off Lane went on his mission (so I followed up my waiting for a missionary with waiting for another missionary), and back I went to Snow College for Sophomore year.  I lived again in Pinetree #15, but only Lori and Heather returned.  New roommates were RuthAnn (replaced by another Heather), Jennie Lin, and Wendi.

Again, we had a great time.  But I was missing Lane and preparing for a transfer to BYU so I was a little more accademically inclined that year and didn't spend so much time goofing off.

That year I cut Heather's leg badly (or was that Freshman year?) and had endless frustrations with Lori who wouldn't write her term papers in a timely enough manner for me.  Seriously, that was the worst stress I ever experienced in 2 years down there: knowing she had a term paper due that she hadn't even started yet.  You see, I was the sort of student who started on a paper the day it was assigned. I still can't do things last minute, and I need those around me to not do things last minute either.  I think Lori would intentionally push me to the edge just to see if I would actually write the paper for her, just to get it done.  (Just kidding Lori. You know I love you.)

But I made some great friends that 2nd year at Snow.  We lived across the hall from a bunch of guys on the baseball team, and they were so much fun. I actually went to baseball games that year, getting sunburned on more than one occasion, and learned a few things about the game, which prepared me for living with my baseball-loving husband  (I might understand the game a little bit more, but I still don't like it,  Its so slow!)  Lori and I even drove to Helper to watch them play once.  I'm not sure why.  Helper?  Really?

Also that second year at Snow, I drove from Ephraim to Nephi for salt and vinegar chips because there weren't any in Manti, Ephraim, Moroni, or Mount Pleasant.  Sometimes you just gotta have some chips.

Halloween, 1989

Tricia and KyLee came for a visit and we apparently decided to spend some time being disrespectful at the Manti Temple

Graduation day
June 2, 1990

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dear Old Friends . . .

Sometimes on a lazy Sunday morning, like today, when I am wide awake not inclined to get out of bed, my mind wanders.  Today my wandering mind took me to old friends.

Some of my old friends I have kept up with through the years.  I bump into them occasionally around town, or I get a Christmas card with a long letter (some people hate those letters, I LOVE them!) telling all about their families.

My college roommates, particularly those from Freshman year, I have kept up with.  We get together now and then for a lengthy lunch at a restaurant and catch up on all the happenings in our lives.

My besties from my childhood I keep up with.  I know what Laura is up to, although she has moved from PG, Nichole lives close by and I see her regularly.  Jennifer is now working with me so I get to chat with her daily over lunch.  Heather also falls into the college roommate category, and is a frequent Facebook poster.

But what about those friends who are only in our lives for a short time?  They still have an impact, at least they have in my life and I think about them from time to time.

There was a girl in elementary school.  She was tall, like I was.  Not as tall as me, but she was probably the closest to my height.  I was/am a slow runner, and I thought that meant that tall people couldn't run fast, because all the fast runners I knew were short.  I remember watching her run the 50 yard dash for that Presidential Physical Fitness thing they used to do, and she was super fast.  There went my theory.   I found out I was slow just because I was slow.  No excuses.  What a let down.  We were pretty good friends in elementary school, and drifted some in junior high and even more in high school.  In fact, I'm not sure I remember her in high school at all.  I'll have to consult the yearbook on that one.  Her mom drove a Volvo and always wore her hair in a bun.  She was the only mom I knew who wore her hair that way back then.  But as for Elizabeth, she was a good friend and I miss her.

I had a lot of good friends during my 2 years at Snow College.  I remember after leaving Snow, some of us got together for some reason.  One guy in the group was my ride home, and as we drove home he made some sort of not-thinking, off-the-cuff comment that hurt my feelings badly.  Luckily it was late at night and dark, and I spent the rest of the ride home quietly crying in the passenger seat.   He never knew I was crying.  He just kept jabbering away.  And knowing this person, I'm absolutely sure, then and now, that he never intended in any way to hurt me. But he did.  And although that was extremely painful, that moment was a life altering one for me, for the better, and I still consider him a dear friend, even though I haven't seen or talked to him in years, and only follow him through his occasional posts on Facebook.

There are others, friends who drift in and out of our lives, leaving marks (hopefully for good) upon our hearts. Even though Facebook has made the world smaller, it would still be a wonderful thing to be able to track down these good people and have a long talk with them.  A frank and honest talk. One in which I could have the courage to say to my friends that even though they have been gone from my life for a long time, they have impacted my life in ways that still matter to me today.  A talk when I could ask them, and they could be honest with me: Has life been good to you?  Are you happy? What has happened to you in the intervening years that have made you stronger? What is the most important to you?

To my readers: please know that each of you has impacted my life for good. I am grateful for you.  And even though I don't keep in touch like I should, I still think of you.

I hope life has been good to you.  I hope you are happy.  I hope the years since I have seen you have brought you experiences that have made you stronger.  And I hope that the things that are important to you are the things that bring you the most happiness.