Just a little ray of sunshine

Just a little ray of sunshine

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Trip down memory lane...

So I just posted about Backstreet Boys, right? Well the same night that those handsome men came to my mind I went through a series of thoughts about my younger years. I seriously could not stop them, one thing led to another, and before I knew it, it was 3 am. I must admit though that I had a lot of fun thinking about old stories! Here are some tidbits from the good old days that may or may not interest you:

1. In 2001 (crazy that that was 10 years ago), my family took the most awkward family photo in all history. My mom's hair was so blonde it was almost white. My hair was slicked back in a pony tail, probably wet b/c the thought of blow drying it hadn't even crossed my mind, with awesome braces on my face. We took it against a white background. I was wearing a white skirt so it basically looked like I had no lower body. And our dog Bounder, the dog from Hades, was in the picture and he most likely had a really awkward haircut. Wish I had a copy of this gem. But to get a sense of how the awkwardness continues with our family photos, feast your eyes on this sucker:
We were supposed to color coordinate, but everyone besides myself was too lazy. Dan is in his pajama bottoms. Enough said.

2. Speaking of laziness, at one point in time my sister and I shared a room, probably when I was about 5. You're wondering how that relates to laziness... well she definitely took advantage of me and made me take off her jeans for her everyday. Back when the baggy jeans that were tight at the ankles were in style, if you remember. What a bum.

3. I remember how technology used to be. Back when we could only listen to music if we had an actual CD and used a discman (you probably forget what this is, check it here ) or a stereo. And my brother used talkboys. When we didn't have cellphones and if friends wanted to call me, they had to call the house phone. I miss those days - technology has gotten way too advanced in my opinion!

4. My family lived in Japan when I was in elementary school. We shopped at this market and they sold octupus in a container there just like you would find hamburger meat in a container. My siblings found sincere enjoyment out of coming up behind me and scaring me with this octupus. Rude. I have still not fully recovered. Along the same lines, there was the time that my dad wanted to order a full on lobster (still looked like it would from the sea) and I started crying so he couldn't. Sorry dad.

5. When I was in Kindergarten one time I was playing on the playground and I thought I saw my friend so I tapped him on the shoulder and it turned out he wasn't my friend. I remember running away scared half to death. Heaven forbid I touch a stranger!

6. My Kindergarten teacher was obsessed with Winnie the Pooh. This is pretty much all I remember about Kindergarten. Because of this, that year I became obsessed with the song "Return to Pooh Corner" and listened to it alllll the time. Fast forward to Senior year of high school when I remembered this song and I started listening to it a lot and couldn't believe my K-12 experience was over. It was a bittersweet time.

7. My family also lived in Hong Kong when I was in elementary school. I remember one day waking up in our house and saw that it was raining down the hallway. In my house. I rubbed my eyes and opened them again because I sort of thought I was dreaming. Truth be told, I wasn't. It did in fact rain through the roof into our house. That house also flooded a lot with all the typhoons. Which reminds me of the crazy weather guy that would walk out and represent the weather. When a bad typhoon was in the forecast, he would walk across the screen and blow away into the air. Literally. HA so I always thought if I went outside during a bad typhoon that I would really blow away and never come back. To this day, I still don't know that that really would have happened....

8. In fourth grade, I was walking around downtown Hong Kong one day and I saw my teacher across the street at a bar. I was so scarred to find out that my teacher actually had a life, and a bad one at that.

9. My best friends in Hong Kong happened to be my next door neighbors, Leah and Ali. I would go over to their house all the time and we would hang out up in the loft they had created in one of the bedrooms and we would make awesome dances up to Christina Aguilera and Backstreet Boys songs. They also had a maid and their maid would make us ice cream shakes all the time. Talk about awesome.

10. I used to write notes back and forth with my best friends in middle school during school. They were really ridiculous notes full of "hehehe" and "bff 4 lyfe" - good thing I grew out of talking like that.

11. In Kindergarten, I lived right across the street from the school. For some crazy reason, I took the bus almost everyday instead of just walking across the street. Probably because my mom was lazy, haha JK. But I remember there was a boy that often sat across from me on the bus and he would cough so much I seriously was afraid he was going to die. I hated that dang bus ride.

12. When I was in 3rd grade, I used to watch Saved By The Bell - the college years episodes. I remember watching one particular one that was full of romance. I went to bed one night like a giddy little school girl so excited to see my crush the next day at school. His name was Yuh Yuh and he was Asian. I love me my Asians.

13. My Grandma Bobbye was sick in the hospital a couple years ago. We visited her in the hospital a number of times and on one occasion she called me a little s***. Oh grandma!

14. Aol Instant Messenger used to be ALL the rage. When I opened an account, I wanted my screen name to be something like "cutechick" just like every other girl. My bro Josh insisted I have a cooler screen name than that. As a result of his suggestion, it ended up being "fluteplaya329". Real cool Josh. Pathetically enough, I remember days when I would sit at our desktop computer in middle school and high school for hours on AIM. I even had a secret boyfriend that I would talk to strictly on AIM. I never met him in real life, but boy did we have intense conversations on there. I was so cool.

15. We used to have a dog named Emi. My mom went out of town one time and I got home from school one day to find out that my dad let her outside and LOST HER. It was the worst thing ever. Calling my mom and telling her was horrible. Bad memory.

16. My first real boyfriend was PJ in 9th grade. I hate to admit that we would go to the mall together and mack in department stores right in front of the workers. Those poor workers. Since then I have learned to be a bit more private with my macking. ;)

17. I used to be obsessed with this song "Everyday is a Winding Road" - I can't remember who it's by. Some song from the 90s. I made a recording of me singing it once and listened to it later. Lets just say I've gotten a bit better at singing...

18. Not only was my sister Rach lazy back in the day, but she was also sorta wimpy. When we stopped sharing a room, we continued to go get in each other's beds in the middle of the night when we got scared. She may deny it, but she came and got me far more than I got her - and she was in high school. ;) But I still love her.

19. My grandparents on my mom's side live in Tennessee. We used to go visit them every few years during the summer and I used to always go outside at night and catch fireflies in a jar. Good times.

20. When I lived in Hong Kong, our house was right on the ocean. Titanic had come out right before we moved there so I was obsessed with huge boats. I would always take my telescope and use it to look out our huge windows and see if I could find ships as big as the Titanic. Sometimes they seemed almost as big! Super fun.

21. I used to email some of my cousins regularly. We would write back and forth - I did it with Thane, Jess, and Amy. All at different times. I wish I still had the emails saved, it would be a lot of fun to go back and read them. Love my cousins!

22. When I was in elementary school, I decided to join Girl Scouts just to wear the uniform because I thought it was incredibly fashionable. If you know me well, I am sure that does not surprise you at all. Some things never change. I ended up hating it and it wasn't worth the uniform. I stopped after 2 weeks I think.

23. I used to take school SOOO seriously. In third grade, I would get weekly assignments and finish them right at the beginning of the week. In fourth grade, I had to do this complicated penny project and I cried to my teacher that it was too hard and I couldn't do it well enough. Fast forward to high school when I would skip school so I didn't have to turn in homework assignments... ha.

24. When I was in 7th grade, I went to lots of school dances. I wanted to wear hoops SOO bad because I had other friends that wore big hoops. My mom thought they were too sophisticated for me at that age but I snuck out with them and wore them anyway one time. Sooo rebellious.

25. In elementary school, I accidentally spilled a whole bottle of nail polish remover all over our kitchen table. I didn't even know what to do and I remember being SCARED to death to tell my mom because I knew I ruined the table. I thought she was going to kill me. Luckily she was feeling Christian that day and spared my life. ;)

This post is already plenty long so I'll have to post again in another while to tell you about all my other crazy shenanigans. I know my three readers are probably sick of reading by now!

Stay tuned.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Backstreet's back, alright!

I happen to love music. It sort of makes me tick. I don't think I could live without it. Well I guess I could, but it would be a sad life. For the longest time, I have gone through many phases of listening to music as I fall asleep. Probably not good for me, and probably why I have crazy dreams, but what can you do. I like it too much. I tendto get stuck on certain songs and will listen to them over and over. And over. It drives some people nuts, but it never gets old for me, especially if I like the song enough. Every now and then, I switch it up, and the other night was one of those nights. I was thinking about what I wanted to fall asleep to and BAM. I had the greatest idea to listen to....


Call me crazy, but this old school band will never get old for me. It was one of my very first CDs I got. I got it for Christmas one year and I honestly may have cried when I opened it I was so excited. Every few years I always remember them and will listen to some of the classics and their slow songs again. Some personal favs include:

Spanish Eyes
Shape of My Heart
Need You Tonight
Perfect Fan

Man, these songs come on and the memories flood and it just makes me happy. Bring back fifth grade please, when I looked like this...
In case you are unaware, I am the one on the left. With my eyes closed. You might wonder why I didn't pick a better picture, possibly one with my eyes open or something, but back in that day I only kept eyes open in 20% of pictures. So this is about as good as it gets. And don't even ask me about my ninth grade school picture....

And yes, I have listened to Backstreet Boys while falling asleep in bed every night for the past few nights. Can't help it!

What's your old school favorite band that never gets old?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Quote of the day

I was asking Bennett about what happened today that was the craziest, the silliest, the funniest, etc. He kept saying "I don't know" and wouldn't really answer me so this is the resulting conversation...

Me: Are you a man of few words?
Bennett: No
Me: Then start talking to me!
Bennett: You have to be kidding me...

...man, what was I thinking that the little tyke would want to talk to his crazy aunt meg??

But he still does. And that's why I love him.

Stumped by a 4 year old and a 2 year old

I am currently spending my days in Crestwood, KY with my sister's family. Which means I have been playing a lot with a certain two nephews of mine, Bennett and Liam. They are some of the funniest little boys ever! Meet them.
They are partners in crime. Last night we were playing hide n go seek and they were being pretty loud and hiding in really obvious places - however, as the great aunt that I am, I still pretended I couldn't find them at all and they would just laugh their heads off. We tried to teach them the true ways of the game so Gram (my mom) tried to suggest to them some better places to hide.

Gram: "Bennett, come here and I'll tell you some places to hide!"
Bennett (within total hearing distance of me, the finder): "I already found one, I'm under the curtain!"

We couldn't help but laugh. I don't think he fully understood the concept of the game. :) Well then, Gram did in fact give them some pointers and I seriously searched the upstairs for them and couldn't find them! I thought I looked everywhere and they weren't making a peep. Those boys! Sad to say that I was stumped by my own nephews. Lo and behold, I found them in my sister's closet.

The past couple days have also consisted of playing Dragons. This always consists of me being a human looking for dragons (Bennett and Liam) and within moments of me finding them they breathe fire on me and kill me. And then I have to lay there. Forever. Covered in a red blanket to symbolize my blood. Awesome.
What crazy things do your nephews make you do?

Monday, December 19, 2011


This one time I may have participated in a conversation with a few good friends from my ward on facebook on the Enclave wall. And we may or may not have exchanged 130 comments. Within 30 minutes. Considering I have admitted this, statistics show that my odds of getting married in the next few years have decreased by 265%. And maybe another 78% thanks to the picture below.
Sorry Enclave for the repercussions I know you experienced because of this. Direct quote: "wow I just signed on facebook and my head almost exploded" - I only hope that the young man who spoke these words can someday forgive us. To Heather Brown, Sean Burton, and Joe Morris - I still loved every minute of it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tis the season of Christmas parties

I don't normally go to a lot of Christmas parties. I think that's why I'm hardly in the Christmas spirit once I'm actually home for Christmas and it's like a week away. Which is always a bummer. This year though has been quite out of the ordinary as I have been to 6 Christmas parties. Yeah, that's right, 6. To make things even crazier, 4 of them were back to back, one after another, each night. So you better believe I have had the chance to get in the Christmas spirit earlier this year!

Party #1: Heather's home ward Christmas party.
This shindig was closer to the beginning of December. Kim and I joined Heather because we thought it would be fun to dress up and eat good food. Heather had played up her home ward Christmas parties to us because the food was to die for. So we ventured there with her and one of the first things we did was take a couple pictures at the photobooth, as you can see above. What Merry Tacular means, we still have no idea. So fill us in if you know... Anyway, after checking out the food we discovered it was not to die for this year. Have no fear, it still ended up being an awesome party because something happened that we also did not expect to happen at all. There were actually single RMs there. Shocker, I know. We spotted a few and Heather's mom somehow convinced the bishop's wife to make them come over and talk to us. We were expecting a quick hi, but thanks to the pizza Heather's parents ordered since the food was a bust, they actually hung out with us the rest of the party. They were fresh off the mish, which means they are younger than me (that is a very very strange concept I have come to accept recently) but seriously we were dying laughing the whole evening. They were hilarious and definitely good company. The next night we even had a game night with them and I won't explain the game, but lets just say the phrases "booty drop" and "I'm gay" were playing through my head that Monday at school. I promise it was an appropriate game. ;)

Party #2: Our actual ward Christmas party.
This occurred on a Monday night for FHE. They served dinner, but we combined with another ward and so it took like half a freakin hour to get food. We definitely sat at the wrong table and got served close to last. My stomach almost started eating itself. We enjoyed some great Christmas musical numbers from fellow wardies too and then made gingerbread houses. I consumed my entire body weight in candy since gingerbread houses are not my expertise. Don't judge me. As you may or may not be able to see above, we created The Burroughs from Harry Potter for our house. Yes, we are that awesome.

Party #3: Shindig that a random wardie through the last day of classes
It was at this party that I discovered the true talents of my roommate Heather Brown. This party consisted of socializing, food, mistletoe (of course), cookie decorating, and making snowflakes. First, we made snowflakes. I failed. Heather succeeded. Then, we decorated cookies. I did mine in two minutes and ate it and Heather created two masterpieces. Epic fail for me. Great success for Heather. Above we have the picture of us posing with her cookies! Perhaps one day I can learn the special ways of Heather Brown.

Party #4: Ugly Christmas sweater party thrown by another wardie on Friday night
sI don't like looking ugly so I opted out of going in an ugly sweater. Just kidding, I just couldn't find one. Sadly. But don't you worry, Sean sported a sweatshirt that could have fit my 4 year old nephew as you can see above and below we have Thongvun in a truly authentic ugly Christmas sweater that he himself created. Lovin the creativity guys. We partook of some delicious food and then watched The Polar Express after the party. I do believe that was the pivotal moment for me getting in the Christmas spirit. :)

Party #5: Awkward Christmas Party thrown by Rachelle and Brian, the lovely couple to beThis party was definitely a hit. Not only was it great to see Rachelle and Karissa and catch up with them, but there was also great food and tons of awkwardness. We did a White Elephant gift exchange and Ryan and I scored some great awkward gifts. First we opened some stool softener, to find out there were only mints in it. I would have been happier if the stool softener was still in there myself. Feeling jipped, since that was actually just an extra gift in case someone didn't bring one, I was happy to be told we could open the last gift on the table and have that instead. Inside there was a mirror, which ended up being a creepy Halloween mirror with a face that appears in it when you press a button (great Halloween decoration if you ask me). There was also a blow up Spiderman and we won't talk about the awkwardness associ
ated with that one. You can use your imagination. There was also a piece of fine jewelry and an inspirational stamp. I was quite pleased. The gift we brought was actually the first one to be opened, probably because of this:
Pink flamingos. Doesn't get much more awkward than that. At least that's what Ryan and I thought. They had an awesome blow up snowman which we all decided to take pictures with at the end as you can see. Sweet.

Party #6: Mzungu African Christmas Bash thrown by Aubs

I didn't get any pictures on my camera from this party, but it was a great final celebration after finishing finals. I love catching up with my Africans (that is, those that I went to Africa with, but who's being technical anyway?) and eating great treats. We also did a white elephant gift exchange and Jen and I totally forgot and remembered right when we got there, so blow up Spiderman and Inspirational stamp had to be regifted. Luckily they were still in my car from the week before! The best gift of the night is a toss up between the sweet reindeer hat that Jenner got that sang and moved or the giant fortune cookie that Whit got that apparently had been used back in the day to ask Aubs' sister to a dance. Blew my mind. We got to reminisce about Africa at the end of the party and it was such a fun time.

It's definitely the holidays! Hope the rest of you have been able to get into the Christmas spirit too. 5 days till Christmas! Now I am at the ultimate Christmas party of all, with none other than my family. Just waiting for the rest of em to get here through for the real partying to begin! Cheers.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Conducting mishaps and panic attacks

I have two stories for you in this blog post. Get ready to laugh. Or cry. Or maybe neither. But hopefully just laugh.

Once upon a time, I got called as the ward chorister in my ward. I switch off with another girl and it's pretty awesome. I only have to do something every two weeks and people know me. Case in point:

Random wardie: "Have we met? Oooh wait you lead the music don't you?"
Me: "Yeah... that's me"

So the music coordinator texts us each week before it is our turn to remind us and make sure we can do it. Since I've mastered the whole every-other-week concept, I usually anticipate her texts. Last Sunday it was supposed to be my turn and Sunday morning I realized I hadn't heard from said girl. I texted her just to make sure things were straight and asked if I was supposed to conduct. She said it was Kathryn's week - you see Kathryn did it, then we had Thanksgiving so some random person did it when the numbers were small, and then instead of me doing it, to keep the rotation the same, she said Kathryn was going to do it. I guess I lost my chance to conduct Thanksgiving week. Bummer. Ha... no I really didn't care. So there I am, sitting in sacrament meeting last Sunday and the meeting is starting and Kathryn is not up there on the stand to conduct. Bishopric member announces the first song and she is still not up there. I look behind me and make eye contact with the other pianist and through facial expressions and mouthing we communicate this to each other:

Her: "what's going on?"
Me: "Is the other girl here? It's her week"
Her: shrugs
Me: "Should I go up there?"
Her: nods

So I run up there as the intro is almost nearly complete. As I do Joe is standing up as if he's about to cover for both of us and is relieved when he sees me. I turn around - no stand. No book. I look over at him and he gives me his book. I don't know the page number. I'm flipping through right as the entrance is coming...... the pianist has to stop and wait for me. I say sorry out loud to everyone and they all start laughing. I got the page number from Bishop and turn there and we start over.... I didn't hear the end of it and kept seeing people that day who would just laugh or say how great I was up there cause apparently my face was pretty red - little do they know it was all part of the plan. ;) The best part of it all is that the other chorister was there the whole time. AND I was the one who went through the effort of checking beforehand and yet I'm still the one up there getting embarrassed making a fool out of myself. The end.

Moral of story #1: Even when you get called as the ward chorister and the music coordinator tells you it's not your turn... IT'S STILL YOUR TURN.

Fast forward one week.

Once upon a time, some mean men in my ward tried to scare me and my roommates by leaving a cardboard cut-out of Jacob from Twilight in front of our door outside our apartment. Scare us, they did. And for like a whole week straight too, even when we knew he was downstairs in our apartment. All of us would gasp everytime we saw him every. single. day. This may be sad, but it's true. Here he is pictured below.
Well after church today we saw him sitting out on the swing (well, I guess laying would be the technical term - he's pretty stiff) by the guys' apartment that gave him to us in the first place so we stole him. We put him this spot where you don't see him until you go all the way into the living room, but then you see him outta the corner of your eye RIGHT next to you. You're probably sitting here reading this thinking, what girls go out of their way to scare THEMSELVES on purpose? Well, we do... and yes we are weird. Don't ask why we decided to do this. Aaaaanyway, I am upstairs and I hear Heather screaming bloody murder downstairs. She sounded as if she was having a panic attack - I became quite concerned because the screaming was not stopping either. Like the nice roommate that I am, I went downstairs to assess the situation and she starts laughing and I'm asking what happened and she's not answering. I walk fully into the living room, see Jacob out of the corner of my eye, and hyperventilate because I think it's a real man and ... well, I peed my pants. Okay just kidding, but then it all made sense - SHE was freaking out b/c of him and decided to make ME freak out too. And it was our plan in the first place to do all of this.... and who has been scared so far because of it? Us. Not Laura or Kim. Us! The end.

Moral of story #2: We hereby call ourselves.... CRAZY!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

RIP Squirtle

A few nights ago, this little guy decided to pass on....

Kim found him stuck by the water filter - sure enough, he was dead. I yelled out, "SQUIRTLE IS DEAD!" for the other roommates to hear. The next day Heather informed me that she heard me right as she was about to fall asleep and sadly shed a few tears. It is a sad sad story. We loved our little Squirtle and he will be very missed.

I just have to say that I have bad luck with apartment pets. Junior year, my roommate Rachael got a goldfish named Oro. I wish I had a picture to show of him, but sadly I do not. He died after two weeks because we never changed his water. Whoops. Fastforward to a few weeks ago when Kim got our turtle. Squirtle died after probably about two weeks too - geez louise I have a bad track record.

RIP Squirtle

Monday, December 5, 2011

Farewell RB and Helaman practice rooms...

This is going to be the first of a few "lasts" posts, since I'm about to say see ya to BYU. With that came my last voice recital this past Friday. I had the pleasure of meeting my voice teacher Tara at the beginning of winter semester during my Sophomore year. I showed up with a sling on my arm, so I'm sure she was thinking "who is this girl!?" but it ended up being such an amazing ride. Voice lessons have been so fun for me, especially with this lovely woman! It's sad that I will never have another lesson with her, but I am just grateful for all that she taught me. I have loved to sing my entire life (ask my mom, I probably came out of the womb singing), but it is one of those things that for the longest time I only did by myself (but in hearing range of my family b/c I couldn't help it). I sang in the shower, during car road trips with that awkward middle school voice (sorry fam), and pretty much wherever else I could get away with it. But I was always terrified to sing in front of people! Heaven forbid I actually share a talent or two with anyone. Well, Tara taught me to let go of that fear and even of the fear of sounding bad. Trust me, I have a number of voice recordings on my ipod with some uuuugly sounds I made while I learned new techniques. That's okay though, because that's how you learn! I didn't know that until I met Tara. I am grateful for what she taught me that my voice was capable of - I will never forget the day I was with her when something clicked and I produced a true belt! (Not to be confused with what you wear when your jeans are too big) That's right, my little, soft voice actually got power! It was a miracle! I love how excited she got for me. She was always supportive, encouraging, and upbeat and made me look forward to each and every lesson. I'm so grateful she wasn't like those piano teachers you get sometimes where you are terrified for your life that if you play a wrong note you will get a beating and have to practice 10 extra hours the next week. I actually performed 20 times better than I ever thought possible in front of her because she gave me that extra boost. The bottom line is she has made the gift of singing become even more real to me and I'm going to miss her. I'm going to miss all the hours I spent in the RB duringlessons and practicing in the helaman halls practice rooms even though I technically wasn't supposed to I'm sure... :D It's been such a journey and I'm sad to see it end, but many good things come to an end, right?

For my last recital, I sang "When Somebody Loved Me" from Toy Story with Summer. It wasn't the most challenging song, but I'm glad I got to sing it with her because we created some beautiful harmonies and it's such a pretty, cute song. We dressed like Jesse (thanks to her mom - she's in high school so has the privilege of getting he
r mom to make her cool costumes still) and it was so fun.

Of course I had to get a picture with Tara too, since I had never gotten one with her from past recitals. You can see her little cute boy Crew in the picture too, staring at me like who is that chick!? Ha
Thanks again Tara for all you've done for me and for being so inspiring. I'll miss you - but I promise to keep jamming on my own. :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"We don't take Canadian pennies"

This thing right here..... ruined my life the other day.

Okay so I'm being a little dramatic, but let me explain. I am trying to purchase some medicine the other day on campus because I had a headache. The total comes to 54 cents or something like that. I decide I probably have enough change so I pull out my change and hand it to the cashier. She examines it, for way too long in my book, and then says:

"Sorry, but this is actually a Canadian penny"

Excuse me? What did you say? Canadian? I started to connect the dots. Someone, like me, had been shopping in the lovely US of A and given a cashier a Canadian penny and THAT cashier, doing their job properly, didn't examine the penny for a year and a half so they accepted it. Then that same cashier had the lovely experience of ringing me up who knows how much later and gave me that sweet Canadian penny as change. Of course, I would have the experience of later getting an anal cashier that would deeee-ny me of that cursed penny.

Anyone want a Canadian penny? Don't think I'll be headed in that direction anytime soon....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Giving thanks in Rancho Santa Margarita

Thanksgiving this year was quite the eventful trip! I kinda like that every year for Thanksgiving since I came to college I have done something completely different with different people every time. This time around I went to sunny CA, specifically Rancho Santa Margarita, with Josh and Tiersha and we picked up Taylor in Vegas. It was a party to say the least! Day 1 was spent at Disneyland, courtesy of Grandma Whitmore. This place is seriously magical. Sadly Tiersh didn't go because her back was hurting her too much, so it was just me and the boys. We had a great time and oh did the memories begin.

We went on a bunch of awesome rides including Splash Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, Thunder Mountain, Star Tours, Indiana Jones (twice!), Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, and the Finding Nemo ride. I loved all of them, but Space Mountain definitely takes the cake. I just love that you are in the total dark and there are so many sharp turns and fun drops - you never know what's next! Spooky! Here is Taylor and I in front of the Haunted Mansion, and let me just add that during this ride we saw Josh pull his iphone out. He obviously has been to Disneyland wayyy too many times since he met Tiersha (like 20. For real. Spoiled and starting to take it for granted clearly!).

Taylor's favorite ride was Star Tours and since he's obsessed with Star Wars. A little too much maybe, but shhh don't tell. I won't lie, it was pretty sweet and I liked it a lot too - it was a simulation, so it felt so real like we were really in the scene and flying and stuff! Here we are with our sweet 3D glasses on. We're pretty cool, you don't have to tell us!

I have to admit that I wasn't very impressed with the castle during the daytime, but at night it was seriously magical. Probably because it looked more like it does when you see it in the previews before a movie starts! I could not stop staring at it and it was at this point that I came to believe that Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth. :) Here I am in front of the castle.

At the end of the night we saw the Fireworks show and it was so great! It was pretty short, but since I tend to get antsy I kinda liked it that way. Definitely short and sweet! The fake snow was killing me. I loved all the Christmas decor too! Here is the three of us in front of the tree, which I will say is prettier than the one in NYC (which I know is so cool b/c it's real, but still, they could decorate it better. come on now!).

Overall, Disneyland was awesome! Thank you Grandma for allowing me to go! Day 2 was Thanksgiving Day, which we spent with a bunch of Tiersh's extended family. It was a day full of great food and great company. On the way over, I started taking pictures Tiersh's little adopted siblings. They are so cute! Here are the twins, Lillee and William and they're 2.

I think it's safe to say that we are all quite obsessed with them! Then there is Gracee who is 7 and so cute and tiny. Here she is in an apron that she got as a present - I thought it was so precious so I had to take a picture!

Here are the four of us after stuffing ourselves with food. Can you tell? Lets hope not. I know I had a food baby!

The highlight of the evening was getting to see my cousin Amy, now Sister Christensen, who is serving in Tiersh's ward right now. We went over to Tiersh's cousin's house to visit with her and her companion and it was seriously so great to see her again! I am so happy that she is serving there so that it was possible! She seemed great and pretty much freaked out with excitement when she saw me. :) It was a lot of fun to catch up and the ward seems to love her and think she is a great missionary. So proud of her! Here are the four of us and then just Sister Christensen and I.
Day 2 and Day 3 kinda blend together because of the chaos of the event I will call Black Friday. Oh man, where do begin. I can't believe I participated in it to the extent I did this year! I think only twice have I even went shopping at all on this famous day, but I went during normal hours of the day. This time things got waaay crazier! Josh, Tiersh, Annie (Tiersh's sister), and I started by going to Target at midnight. K so I've never really gone to a store on Black Friday right when it opens, but I've definitely envisioned it in my head. I know there are crazy people in this world who camp out, line up, and there's huge hoopla. However, I just pictured that once the clock strikes midnight the store opens and everyone just rushes in - maybe a few people die in the process, but then come 12:02 no one is outside. So when we left at midnight I figured that we would just be able to walk right in. Ohhhh was I sooo wrong! We got there and the line was SO long, my jaw dropped. I couldn't believe my eyes. I instantly got a pit in my stomach and thought how have I become a psychotic person to do anything to get a good deal on Black Friday. I thought for sure there would be no way we'd get into the store like another hour and I felt sick thinking about sitting and waiting, when I really just wanted to sleep. Well, we drove around for a few minutes and when we went back around we actually noticed that the line was way shorter! So we made an executive decision to go ahead and just get in line and wait to get in. I then thought that was also stupid because I figured if we wanted to buy anything we'd have to wait in line for 4690809456 hours and I did NOT feel like doing that. Again, I was SO wrong! We were in and out in less than 20 minutes and we all bought stuff. I was stunned! I got catch phrase for half off since I left my old one in Africa and also got the Blindside for 4 bucks. What a steal! I started to feel rejuvenated and that I could survive Black Friday after all, which I know Tiersh is very happy about because I could tell she was getting scared I would back out in the morning. And by morning I mean 2 and a half hours later. That's right, we went back to her house and slept for 2 and a half hours and then went to the mall at 4am. Are we crazy? Probably, but it was sooo worth it. We even paid a few bucks so that we could get valet parking and walk right into the mall. Holla! I was tired for the first few minutes, but once I started trying on clothes I was perfectly fine. I may have went a little crazy and spent nearly all of my Christmas money in 7 hours (yeah, we were there for 7 hours, that is not a typo), but it was so worth it! I rarely shop for new clothes while I'm in school, so I feel that for Christmas and my birthday I deserve to go all out and update my wardrobe a bit. The best part was that everything at The Loft was 50% off and they have nice clothes so I was able to get some timeless, classy, nice items there! I also got stuff at Forever 21 and Old Navy that I was super happy about and then got my new niece who is coming any day the CUTEST outfit from Baby Gap! Seriously can't WAIT to see her in it. Yay for sales! I am now a huge fan of Black Friday and will definitely participate every year from now on. Tiersh's mom joined us for the last bit of shopping and she bought some clothes for the little kids. Here is Lillee in one of her new outfits from Baby Gap! I was dying over how cute it was.

After stopping at Burlington Coat Factory, we went home and showered and ate a little bit (we were famished... well at least I was) and were feeling great! Then we went back out with the boys and went BACK to the mall (I like to think that it was for them, but it was really for us again...ha) and then to Nordstrom Rack and Best Buy. What a crazy day of shopping! I was pooped by the end of it. That night Taylor and I took it easy with Annie and the little kids while Tiersh and Josh went with Tiersh's parents to an anniversary party for her aunt and uncle. It was nice to relax, although we also played Just Dance which was a work out but I can never say no to that game! So fun. Then I did a little photoshoot with Gracee and Gregory and here is one of the gems.
It took Gregory a LOT to kiss me on the cheek and after he did he was freaking out. It was hilarious! The last day, Day 4, we woke up early and all went to the Swap meet. They had everything you could ever think of! Since I depleted my funds, I only bought a present for my sister for Christmas, which was an accomplishment. It's a surprise so I'm sure the suspense is killing her right now. We let the twins out of the stroller for the last little bit and after holding our hands for a while they both ended up on the boys' shoulders so I had to take a pic! Too cute!

That afternoon I took a nap to make up for lost sleep from Black Friday and then woke up to Gracee telling me she was bored. What do I do when I little kid tells me they are bored? Why give them a make over and a crazy hairdo of course! It is the best because it keeps them entertained and it is fun for me without having to exert too much energy. She was dying after I finished and couldn't stop laughing at all the make up and her crazy hair! See for yourself. I basically did a ton of little braids and then put a bunch of random hair bows all over the place. A great look if you ask me!

We showed her family and I think they all thought I was crazy after that. I guess it's true though, so what can you do. Then Gracee wanted to have a photo shoot and she was doing all these crazy poses, it was killing me!

Meanwhile, the twins and Josh were going crazy in this little car or whatever it is. Lillee kept making the funniest facial expressions!

That night to end the break with a bang the four of us went to Laguna Beach and ate at BJ's. We had some pizza that was delish and I got a pazookie too... it was heavenly. Here we are outside of BJ's - this picture is courtesy of some crazy drunk man who also took a picture of himself that I am sparing you of. You can thank me for that!

It was pretty cold so we only walked onto the beach for a sec, basically long enough to take this picture. It was so dark so you couldn't see the water very well on camera (although the waves were huge!) so I just took this picture by the lighthouse or whatever it is.

As you can see, it was an eventful break full of many adventures. To end the trip on a high note, during the long car ride home I called my dad and he told me to get the iPhone. I never thought I would ever hear such words out of his mouth. It was a true Christmas miracle!

What I hate to say is that I found out tonight I can't get it for free anymore because I've had my new phone longer than 30 days.... but we won't dwell on that.

Thanksgiving was perfect! There is so much to be grateful for. Hope I haven't bored you to tears. :) Until next time.

Quote of the day

I hate to say it, but I tend to shake my legs a lot when I'm sitting. I blame it on being an antsy person. Most people hate this. It was the worst when I was doing it in my Mediation class this semester and my teacher asked me, "are you nodding your head or are you just bouncy?" - embarrassing. Well, I was studying today in the library with my good friend Jarom and he leans over and says...

"You're measuring a 6.5 on the Richter scale"

HA I guess I was shaking the table a lot. I can't help that my legs are so restless.... :/

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I am pleased to announce that we now have a new member of our apartment. That's right, Heather had a baby. And we don't know the father.... but hope that it's Brenton. ;) No no no, I'm kidding. Kim went and bought a turtle! The best part is how I first learned of this cute little turtle. I am sitting in class last Thursday night and get a text from Laura asking me when I will be home. I tell her and then ask why she wants to know and she replies "Think of a quarter. A baby quarter... aka baby turtle. We wanna go get him, but it's fine, no worries!" I read this and start to wonder if she sent the text to the wrong person. I was perplexed. I texted her back and said "Wait, what? I am so confused" and then she felt like an idiot because she thought I already knew, but I indeed did not. She proceeded to tell me that Kim had decided to buy a baby turtle, just barely bigger than the size of a quarter, and his name would be Squirtle! I almost started laughing! We love this new little guy. He's such a cutie and only a month old. I will not mention how many times I have dropped him on his back since he has joined our apartment. Shhh. Meet Squirtle!

Look at that little face! Thank you Macro for taking such nice detailed photos up close. Visitors are welcome anytime to come see him - you just can't drop him on his back like I do. ;)

Blame it on the fruity pebbles

This past Sunday was quite the Sunday. As I mentioned in my previous post, there are 15 or so of us from my ward that are in a dinner group today. The mastermind of it all, my rad roommate Heather, decided it might be fun to have dinner group at her house on a Sunday since her family lives in Provo. We all were quite fond of the idea since it is always nice to get away from Provo - oh wait, I guess we didn't - but at least be in a nicer house. Out of the college scene if you know what I mean. Heather INSISTED that Laura, Kim, and I go slave away with her after church to get the meal ready in time - she is sooo lazy, sheesh! Okay I'm kidding, I'm kidding, we of course offered to help and were very happy to. So after church we took the long 10 minute trip to her house (we even brought Squirtle! After all he is basically another roommate - can't leave him out) and had fun cooking together. We sort of made it Thanksgiving-esque with Thanksgiving around the corner so there was Turkey, mashed potatoes, cooked carrots, Brown bread (get it? Heather BROWN ... haha .. ha), and some salad. So Kim and I tag teamed peeling the potatoes, while Heather and Laura set the table and then Laura and I cut up all the carrots after they were peeled (I hate to admit that I was having a lot of trouble peeling the carrots - come to find out I was using the wrong side of the peeler. Don't judge me, it was my first time peeling carrots - We didn't normally buy big carrots at my house growing up, we were more of a baby carrots family. Probably because we are all short - don't judge us). Anyway, here is Laura and I cutting the carrots.

After the Brown bread was finished I had the honors of also learning how to use an electric knife to cut it! Has anyone else never seen an electric knife before? I was in shock, but it was quite the experience. I may have ruined the first few pieces, but I got the hang of it quickly thereafter thankfully. I am so domestic! Here you can see me cutting the bread.

Noe, another member of dinner group, came a bit early too and ended up helping with the final preparations. He was cutting up the red pepper for the salad and as he cut it open he found a tiny green pepper inside of it! Imagine that! A true Thanksgiving miracle. Check it out.

6:00 rolled around and everyone started showing up. We enjoyed quite the feast together around a set table big enough for all of us to fit around it! Well I guess we put two tables together, but still - in our apartments at the Enclave we are never lucky enough to all eat around a table. It was quite the luxury! It was a delicious meal and we are grateful for the Browns for welcoming us into their home for the evening. Here is the group!

These kids are awesome. The Enclave is where it's at people! Be jealous you aren't a part of our dinner group. After we cleaned up a bit, we all headed back home and us roommates had boy talk. It got a little crazy, and I will not mention some of the things that were uttered out of H. Brown's -- no, no, that's too obvious -- Heather B.'s mouth. Considering my mom reads this, it is better to leave some things unsaid. Don't have a heart attack though mom, I am exaggerating, we are good girls and things didn't get too crazy. ;) We made it down to ward prayer to find out that not only are we doing P3 dates (Planned, Paired off, Paid for) within our ward, but we now have another ward's directory to feast upon and set up each other with. It is like facebook stalking, but worse. What is the world coming to? A few of us may or may not have found the hotties in this other ward and set each other up on dates. Who knows what will happen people, who knows. After ward prayer, the men of 219 invited some of us over to the apartment to play games. It was a party to say the least. We played some pool table game, I forget the name, and then we played Scum. Lets just say because I was wearing sunglasses the whole time, I took the spot of Queen in the game for a few rounds. Unfortunately, Jeff offered me fruity pebbles during one of the rounds and I clearly was too focused on those and went down to scum. We are blaming it on the fruity pebbles, and I don't wanna talk about it anymore than that.

When all is said and done, it was a pretty legit Sunday. Hallelujah for good friends and good food ... well maybe not fruity pebbles.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Meet my roommates

I figured it is time to introduce you to my three lovely roommates. They are all probably going to kill me for the pictures I chose of them, but they were the only single pictures I had of each of them...

Meet Heather.

She is 20 years old and from Provo. She is one of the nicest and strongest girls I know! She started dinner group with some others in the ward including myself and I will forever be grateful for that because I have never had so many good meals in a row since I lived at home 5 years ago. She has a missionary in Brazil (go figure - probably why we're roommates) that she worships, and hopes to marry him someday and have gorgeous babies, which is likely since he's gorgeous and so is she! If you ever want to text som
eone that will text you back right away, this is your girl. :)

Meet Laura.

She just turned 23 and is from New York (shout out to the east coast!). She doesn't normally look like a lionness like she does in this picture, but she has the best cheek bone structure I have ever seen. She is super bubbly and talkative and we have had many a fun chats! We are hoping that she doesn't have appendicitis, but with CT scans these days, you never know. She is currently on fast from boys and loving it, so check back a little later. I love her dearly so if you ever mess with her I will have to mess with you. ;)

Meet Kim.

She is 22 and from Idaho. Some of the funniest things I have ever heard have come from this girl's mouth. Thanks to her, as you can see, we had the lovely girl's night that these pictures came from last Saturday night. She works for Nu Skin in the middle of the night (which we don't particularly like because she sleeps while we have the most energy), and got all these awesome kinds of masks for us to use. Holla! She is dating a man with some pretty great muscles, so sorry boys, she is not for the taking. She's pretty great so be sad she isn't one of your roommates!

Now for a better picture of all of us, so you can see what we really look like...

We don't really take smiling pictures, so that's the best you're gonna get. I am so happy that I got such great roommates out of going random! Last night Laura, Heather, and I went to Cocoa Bean to get free pumpkin hot chocolate and share a cupcake (Kim was with her man... she likes him more than us apparently). It was a lovely time and we discussed other fun things we will be doing in the near future including these two things:

1. Game night on Sunday night with some prime men we will be inviting
2. Going to Salt Lake a couple weekends from now to go shopping, see the lights, see Savior of the World and have a sleepover at Heather's Grandma's house

I am so excited for these fun times to come! And for other epic things we will do over the next months too. HOLLA.

Peace and blessings. Love you ladies of 216.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Life lessons

Well, I caved. I decided to join the blogging world for real. I know that I had a blog in Africa, but obviously sort of thought that only a cool experience like that was worth blogging about. I got to thinking though--I am horrible at journaling, and wish I was better, but the fact of the matter is I don't think I ever will be. However, I love being on the internet, and blogging has to do with the internet--so surely I can make myself do something like this. Not to mention, if I blog, I will make sure that my life is exciting/worthwhile enough, so that I have good things to write about. Hence, the caving.

Anyway, this first post I sort of have to dedicate to my cousin Thane's wife Shelby. She is quite the woman, and I just love her! She was reading the book "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin and decided to do a happiness project herself. I was actually having a rough night one night when I read her first post about this book. I instantly realized that I needed to get my hands on that book. I tend to think too much sometimes (okay, all the time) and this puts me into a bind often as I dwell on mistakes I've made and such too much or people that used to be in my life that aren't anymore - it always makes me sad even if I know it is for the better. Well, I commented on Shelby's post and said something to the effect of "this book is for me and I need to read it too" - and I figured that would be it. Maybe I would think about getting the book, but with my busy life probably not. A good idea - but would it really happen? Doubtful. Well, without even asking her to, Shelby decided to bring the book along with her one time her and Thane came to Provo and she gave it to me so that I could read it. I was so surprised, but really happy! Well I have started to read it, and let's just say it is already changing my life.

Let me just share a few passages from this book that have really struck me thus far.

"Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing or that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing. Contemporary researchers make the same argument: that it isn't goal attainment but the process of striving after goals--that is, growth--that brings happiness."

"When I thought about why I was sometimes reluctant to push myself, I realized that it was because I was afraid of failure--but in order to have more successes I needed to be willing to accept more failure.


To counteract this fear, I told myself, 'I enjoy the fun of failure.' It's fun to fail, I kept repeating. It's part of being ambitious; it's part of being creative. If something is worth doing, it's worth doing badly."

All of these quotes hit me pretty hard.

The first one seems so simple, yet after I read it I realized "ah ha! that's why I'm not happy sometimes when I can't put my finger on it--I'm just going through the motions, chugging along, without really trying to become better or reach new heights" ... it seems so easy, but yet I find myself just going along doing the same things I've always done in life lately. After I read this, I decided it is time to push myself to do more. Study my scriptures more. Clean my room more. Help people more. Step out of my comfort zone and meet more people. The list goes on. I even went as far as making a sign above my bed that says "HAPPINESS IS ABOUT GROWTH" so that I see if everyday and remember to act on it.

I actually read the second and third quotes tonight. I am about to graduate and I am going to be very honest for a minute. It is terrifying for me. My future is looming over my head, like a dark cloud. Day after day, I think about how I have to get a job. And how I sort of don't want to. I sort of don't want to do the work that is required to get a job. Time and time again I have not gotten job offers. Silly jobs too. So how on earth am I supposed to get a legitimate job after I graduate? The thought has terrified me for the past year and because I am afraid of it, I have ignored it. I don't want to fail. I figure I can't fail if I don't try. So.... I haven't tried for a while. This past week it has really been looming over my head and I decided it really was time to do something about it even if I didn't want to at all. Thankfully, Josh and Tiersha helped me edit my resume and I got it all fixed up and Tiersha has been kind enough to help in finding jobs that I can apply to. This one particular one sounded very interesting to me because it's a counseling job, which completely relates to my psychology degree. Well, yesterday I applied. Tomorrow I will call them and ask for an interview. It is scary, but I am glad that I am at least taking steps toward making a job happen after I graduate. Anyways, so I read the page that those quotes were found on tonight and I basically realized that is me. I completely relate to Gretchen. I have many a time not pushed myself because I am afraid of failure. But as she so clearly points out, in order to have more successes you need to be willing to accept some failure. Let's be real, I have already experienced failure. Instead of it making me word harder though, it often puts me in a rut and I sort of give up. After reading that statement though, I realized that is the dumbest thing I could do. In order to consider myself ambitious, I have to keep trying and trying and put on a face that I am okay with failure, because soon enough a success will come out of it. Like perhaps maybe getting a good job someday soon. Or maybe getting married. Maybe throw a couple kids in the mix. Eventually. I need to accept that most everybody does some things badly before they can do them well. It is life! SO here is to telling myself for the next few months that failure is fun. And applying to jobs - maybe not getting some of them, but that is okay. It will all work out if I just try. I have to try and work towards making progress so that I actually can and as a bonus point maybe get a good job eventually and be a lot happier!

You are probably bored to tears now. Most people probably don't write such long first blog posts. Let's be real though: I'm different. And I happen to like it. :)

Well friends, stick around and you just may see some more exciting blog posts from me. You just may.