Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas time is here...

I've already shared this thought with many of people, but I want to send it out to the blogosphere.

This year, I was able to help (in a very small, small way) with the United Way and their Giving Tree at the University Mall. What an awesome experience. It was so great to be part of something that brings a little joy into the lives of those in need. More than that, though, it was such a wonderful thing to experience the joy of giving through others. There were many people who came to pick names off the tree, and the excitement and merriment in these people's faces was contagious! From the youngest to the oldest, these people were just so happy to be giving gifts to people less fortunate than themselves. It was beautiful to see. I wish I could put it more eloquently than that. It made my heart happy to see others so happy to give!

It was also exactly what I needed to get into the spirit of the season myself. So, thank you, United Way (mostly Marie who begged everyone she knew to volunteer) and the happy givers, for helping me feel the Spirit, for bringing joy to so many homes.


Also, a shout out to my parents for putting together Advent Books for each of their children. I'm so happy to have my own. I love reading these thoughts and scriptures everyday. They also help to keep the Spirit in my heart as we move through this season, which can sometimes be rushed and haggard. It was my secret wish to have my very own Advent Book, and I think you heard me somehow.

Merry Christmas to you all. Much love and joy I wish for you!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Stuff and Things

It's been a little while since I lasted blogged. And I don't really have much to blog about today. I guess I just wanted you all to know I'm still alive.

I've been working on the projects for Christmas, which has been keeping me happily busy. I love to crochet. I love that my hands keep busy while I do other mindless things, like watch TV shows and movies on Netflix. :)

I'm totally excited to go home for Christmas. I can't wait for time with my family and to see some friends. I wish it was time to go home already.

That's all for now. I'm alive. I promise.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ah, Christmas. And Thanksgiving. Rolled into one post.













I know, it's the day before Thanksgiving. What's with the Christmas songs already???

Well, I love Christmas songs. And I gave myself permission to listen.

And these are some favorites. Be happy. I fondly remember listening to these albums (on record, I might add) while the family decorated the house in lights and santas and nativity scenes and snowmen and ornaments and fake snow. Tree skirts and doilies and wreaths. The smell of pine needles (when we had real trees) and candles burning. Such wonderful times. I miss them.

But, since it really is Thanksgiving tomorrow:

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I'm so grateful for so many things. I should make a list. I will.

Family
Friends
Roof over my head
Clothes on my back
Food on my table
Electricity
My job

Pretty basic, but I truly am grateful for these things. I've heard some stories this year about people in need and those who've stepped up to provide comfort and care, and I am just absolutely blessed. Love you all.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happiness?

So, remember this post?

Well, now I want you to read this article.

Pretty awesome. I've decided--this was actually part of what was helping me feel better--that I'm not going to worry about "happiness" anymore. I'm just gonna live my life and hope for the best and "Come what may and love it" (thank you, Elder Wirthlin).

You know. Keep Moving Forward.

The end.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

We won!!!

Well, we won third place. Out of 14. Not bad, for our first entry. I'm proud. Here's the video. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How did it happen that I missed blog updates from some of my favorite blogs? I have no clue. But I got caught up this morning, and I just have to say that I know some pretty freakin' awesome people. Creative writers, new mommas, designers, decorators, arts & crafts aficionados... loving, caring, passionate, driven people. I'm very blessed to have these influences in my life. I love you all.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oh, the horror!!

I'm not exactly sure how this happened, but I'm currently helping to make a horror film. It's extremely low-budget (meaning those of us involved are paying for all that's involved) and it's extremely short (meaning it will probably be less than five minutes long, end credits included) and I'm not sure at all of what I'm doing (meaning I show up and do what I'm told) but it's a fun experience so far.

I get to play one of three dead girls haunting the man who killed us. Two guesses on who is playing the other two dead girls. We get to be creepy. It's gonna be hard to keep the laughter to a minimum.

We have the rest of this week to get it done (editing and all). We'll be presenting our film at the Horror Movie Festival in St. George next weekend. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Speaking of which, I need to write a news report about us missing girls...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

David Missed Me

It has been brought to my attention that my last blog post was September 22nd. Thank you, David.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to spend some time with the nephews and niece. Heather and Travis went up to Park City, and I got to stay with the kiddies. I loved being there. It was nice to have some time off of work, first of all, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with Hunter, Courtney, and Jacob. Those three kids are the greatest ever. We watched The Princess Bride (which they had never seen, but of course loved) and ate pizza and ice cream. We went for a couple of walks/scooter rides around the neighborhood. We played frisbee. It was lovely. Saturday and Sunday were spent watching Conference and enjoying the company of family. Heather and Travis were home Saturday afternoon, and Marie and Jana came over on Sunday. What a lovely weekend. Not exactly relaxing, but it was nice nonetheless. And I got a lot of crocheting done. Working on a rug. It's gonna be awesome.

The weekend before that, Lindsey and Ashley were here for a visit and we got to have dinner with them and the Doxey's. Good times. It was fun to chat and laugh together again. I miss those girls so much. All of the giggling and silliness, and all of the great conversations.

I just love spending time with people I love.


As a side note, work has finally gone back to normal--meaning we're back to a normal pace and getting all of the normal stuff done. It's nice to not have to smile begrudgingly at students all day long and get some paper work done instead. I know, boring. But I like it. Also, we're back on 4-10s and it's so nice to have an extra day off. I have Wednesday to myself this time, and I'm looking forward to a break in the middle of the week.

Another side note, my toilet doesn't run and run and run anymore. Hallelujah!

Also, who said it was OK for the weather to go from mid-80s to mid-40s overnight? Not OK. I'm all for Fall and cooler weather and sweaters and rain and hot chocolate and warm socks and snuggling up in big blankets, but overnight?! I need time to adjust! My feet are confined in real shoes today, and they don't like having that sprung on them. I had to pull out my coat! I don't think I'll get another skirt/dress day without leggings until May. I just wasn't prepared for this. On the up-side, I get to wear sweaters and beanies and scarves again.

One more side note, I went for a bike ride the other day, and my butt still hurts from the stupid seat.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Realization

I don't drink enough water. I know. It's one of those "duh" things. But seriously. The last two nights, just as I've been almost totally asleep--you know, that space between awake and asleep--I've jolted awake with my heart racing and sweat streaming from each pore. Too many carbs and not enough water. I get up and eat some cheese and down 16 ounces of cold water, sit up for about 15 minutes, and then I'm fine and can finally relax enough to sleep.

Water is a freakin' life saver.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I want Hanson for my birthday every year.

I'll let you in on a little secret. Every time I see Hanson live, I turn into my 16-year-old self who saw them live at the Hollywood Bowl thirteen years ago, back in their "MMMBop" days. I saw them two years ago at the Kern County Fair, last year at the Depot, and again on Thursday night. The last three years, it's been a birthday present to me. I think they know.

(I'm going to post some videos, but be warned--my camera doesn't record sound very well.)

They started the show with "Musical Ride," which is fitting since the tour is called the Musical Ride Tour. This song was stuck in my head all during work the next day.

They started playing "Where's the Love" and I thought, "It's in Lindsle's shoe!!" I almost texted her. Maybe I should have.

They played "Go," which, if I'm not mistaken, is Julia's favorite. I thought of her.



They played "MMMBop," and I thought of all of you lovely people who, as amazing as you are, don't know any other song by Hanson. As much as I wish people would get over it, I still found myself singing and dancing along with a grin on my face.

They also played "A Minute Without You," and the look on Zac's face at one point was priceless. I could almost hear the internal dialogue: "Are these people really that excited to hear this song again?! I'll throw in my 'oh! yeah!' right now... Yep, made the crowd happy... my gosh, this is stupid... and really, really fun. So glad this is my job."

They played "Something Going Round," which is one of my favorites off of the Walk.



They played "If Only," and again, I thought of my Lindsey friend. She would have loved it. All of the jumping Taylor encouraged us to do during that song has left me with stiff legs and sore knees. Yes, I'm serious. But it was fun!

And my personal favorite off the Shout It Out album, "Give a Little."



I mean, can it get any better than lyrics like, "Make her blush when you put your hand on her hips..." "When you move in close, take your time..." "Leave an empty shoulder, let her move in closer..." "She loves to keep you in suspense..." "Wrap your arms around her body, tell her all she needs to know..." Pair that with fun melodies, a good hook, and some brass, and you've got yourself a really great song. It makes me dance every time I hear it.

When they came out for the encore (By the way, what's the point in leaving the stage if you know you're gonna be back out in less than five minutes? I mean, really... the encore thing is just dumb to me), they played "Madeline" because some guy was apparently holding up a sign during the whole show that said something about it being his girlfriend's birthday, and her name is Madeline, and will you please play it. So they did. Made me think of Jana, because Jana likes playing this song, too.



Then they played "Penny and Me" and "Tearing It Down," during which I think I finally lost my hearing and my voice, because we were encouraged by the band to sing and dance it out. Zac said, "This is it, guys, so make it count!"

The audience was surprising. Fake plastic barbie dolls with too much make up and too much hair. Dude-bros. Tattooed, pierced, and drunk chicks and guys. Hipster kids (boys and girls alike) singing along to every song. And, of course, the typical "I love you Hanson," kind of girls. I probably fall in the later category. Look. Like them or hate them, I don't care. I love them and I always will.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I can't sleep...

I hate when this happens. It's annoying. I lay in bed and my mind just won't shut off. Grr...

So I was thinking about stuff, and I realized that Thursday is tomorrow. Yeah, big surprise. But what I also remembered when I realized that Thursday is tomorrow is this: Hanson's playing at the Depot in Salt Lake on Thursday. Yes, tomorrow. Guess who's going to see Hanson for the fourth time, and for the third year in a row... for her birthday? Yes. I'm excited.

They did this thing with this tour where the concert goers got to vote for the album they wanted to hear the most songs from (yes, Hanson has recorded and release more than one album). They picked three out of their five studio albums for each show and let the fans vote. I was sad to see that Salt Lake wanted to hear "The Walk" more than "Shout it Out" but I'm happy "The Walk" won over "Middle of Nowhere." I wonder what the other cities voted for. It would be interesting to know if any of the cities picked "Middle of Nowhere." I hope we've all gotten over "MMMBop" by now. But probably not.

That got me to thinking, wouldn't it be awesome if more bands reached out to their fans like this? I'm not saying Hanson's the only one that does, because I know that's not true. But it would be super cool if more of them did. I mean, I'd love to be able to vote for which Sting album I'd like to hear, beginning to end ("Ten Summoner's Tales," hands down, followed closely by "Mercury Falling").

And that made me think about how much Sting tickets cost. That man has money coming out his ears, but his concert tickets are always so freakin' expensive. Why does he have to charge so much? Why can't artists be happy just to play for their fans? I mean, I get that there are tour expenses, but keep it low budget. Yes, I want a show, but you don't have to make it all flashy. And Sting rarely makes things flashy anyway. He usually makes it all low-key and jazzy. So, he has to pay his musicians and roadies, etc. Fine. But anything over $50 for a concert ticket is just ridiculous.

And that gets me to thinking about how so many things are way overpriced, and how the price of some things rises and falls on an almost daily basis. Like a plane ticket. Are you kidding me? Pick a price and keep it there. Gas? Don't even get me started, and I don't even own a car! It's just asinine.

Yes, I'm babbling. But it's my blog and I'm allowed.

And I can't sleep.... 

Monday, September 12, 2011

I did a dumb thing.

Not a REALLY dumb thing, just a little dumb thing.

Next Sunday is my birthday. But I wore my birthday dress (the one mom and dad got me while I was at home) yesterday. Dumb.


Also, I'm excited to eat manicotti for my birthday dinner and cheesecake for my birthday dessert.

Yes, I'm 29-years-old, and yes, I still look forward to my birthday as if I were turning ten. Don't ask me why. I never know what I want to do or what I want to eat or what I want to receive, but I'm always excited for whatever happens.


YAY for birthdays!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Oh, the humanity!

Things are getting pretty crazy at work. We've had about 20-30 people waiting to speak to a counselor for the last two weeks. Some students were waiting for an hour today. I feel bad for them, but we're moving as fast as we can!

When I finally get home at the end of my work day (which seems to stretch past my regular hours... everyday... I even brought work home with me last night...) I'm so tired and grumpy that I just have to sit and do nothing. Well, I did crochet yesterday, and I read a little today, but mostly I plant myself in front of my computer and watch Mad Men (I'm on the 4th episode of season 3... I didn't think I'd get into it, but now I'm hooked.) It's a relief to just shut my mind off and zone out. I'm usually in bed and actually asleep by 9 o'clock. Talking with students all day, figuring out their accounts, doing calculations for appeals, staring at a computer screen to process paper work (which is different from watching movies/shows on a computer screen) etc etc etc... it really takes it out of me. It's kind of pathetic, but seriously.

This is my excuse for not being as connected to the world as I usually feel. I do a quick check on Facebook a couple of times a day, but I really haven't "communicated" with anyone as I usually do. And I obviously haven't touched the blog in a while. I'm almost a hermit when I'm home, because I just need to rest, my brain is so tired, so I don't go out and visit people (even my sisters who live right around the corner!) It's sad, but it's life... for a little while longer. In a few weeks, this will all be over and it'll be back to... being a hermit. haha Who am I kidding?? :)

Anyway, that's life for me right now. Not sad, not happy, just is. And that's fine.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Realization

Riding the bus home today, a thought came into my little mind.

I am happy.

And I'm guessing that my realization makes others of you happy, so I wanted to share.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, I'll give you a little bit of enlightenment. I have never been clinically diagnosed, but I struggle with depression and anxiety. It's something I've battled for a long, long time. I can look back now and guess that it started when I was in middle school.

Thanks to my family and some very good and close friends (people who may not realize how much of a help and support they've been, but who I absolutely lean on sometimes and am grateful for always), I've been able to cope. Without going into a whole lot of details about what I'm doing to fight it--and I'm doing quite a bit now, though I started out slow and taking only baby steps--I wanted to share this realization.

I really am happy. Not always, but mostly. And that's a really great feeling.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

BOOKS

I don't know if I've made this point before, but I love reading. It's so much fun to get lost in a story and come out on the other side not quite the same as I was when I started.

I recently read The Lord of the Rings again. Everytime I read those books, I get more out of them and learn more about the story and catch new things.

Today I had a little email conversation with Amilia about a handful of different books, and I don't know about her, but it just made me happy. We talked about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. We talked about Shannon Hale--or, rather, I gushed about Shannon Hale. We talked about Coraline and The Book Thief. She told me Durfey isn't a fan of reading, but is making an effort and has started with The Chronicles of Narnia. Gosh, I love those books.

Cute story, which I shared with Amilia: yesterday I was riding with the Rasmussen's up to Dallin and Bree's wedding reception--Congrats, cousins!!--and I asked Jacob if he was excited about starting kindergarten. His response: "Yeah. Mostly I'm excited to learn how to read." This made me happy. Also, I had Coraline with me and pulled it out of my bag. Courtney said, "I've read that. It was creepy." So, we talked about the book a little bit. Again, made me happy.

Books are wonderful. Whether you read biographies, cookbooks, fantasy, or self-help, lose yourself in a good book. Give yourself the time to open your mind to new thoughts and ideas. And then talk to people about them! Books are wonderful to read on your own, but they're even better when shared!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Blessings and Broken Hearts

I'm out of the habit of posting the everyday wonders. Not that I'm out of the habit noticing them. Believe me, I'm not. For example, on Monday, a co-worker and I were walking into the administration building, where we  work, and we saw a gentleman, probably in his early fifties, strapping something around his legs. We had to stare for quite a bit before we figured out what he was doing. He was zipping and buttoning his leather chaps on his legs. I don't know if you can really picture this. They were black leather chaps with silver buttons and zips. He was strapping them on while talking to a One Stop cashier. Picture it. I had a really hard time not laughing out loud as I passed this wonderful scene.

And I finished reading a book recommended (and loaned) to me by my lovely Amilia-friend called The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It was creepy and strange and wonderful. I'm now reading another Gaiman novel, the title of which may be familiar to you all: Coraline. I think I'll read Stardust next, and perhaps American Gods. I think I may be in love with a new-to-me author.

I'm enjoying a new music experience, care of Spotify. So fun.

My mother, David-brother, and Britney-sister are here for my Dallin-cousin's wedding.

See. I'm counting my blessing, seeing the good, finding the interesting, being happy.

But there are times when I revert to brooding. It's in my nature and I just can't help it. For example, I came across a young family as I was doing verification on Monday and it just made me feel jealous and lonely and sad and broken-hearted. Why are some people blessed earlier in life with a spouse and children, and some of us just have to wait and wait and wait? It's silly, I know, to ask, "Why?" It's silly to compare myself. It's silly to wonder if there's something wrong with me, if I did something or am doing something to keep these blessing just out of my reach. It's silly to be superstitious about love, finding love, wishing for love, etc. There are no right or wrong ways to find love--real love, the kind that grows and changes and lasts forever. But I can't help it sometimes. You know, the whole, "make a wish," stuff. Or "if such and such happens, it means someone's thinking of you, or in love with you, or you'll soon be married, or blah blah blah..." Silly, right? But still...


Sunday, August 7, 2011

I have failed at posting the everyday awesomeness in my life this week. So we'll do some generals.

I was assigned to processing verification at work. This made me happy for one reason: I don't have to see students while working on this task. Hallelujah. It's not that I don't like the students. Really, for the most part, it's not so bad. But our students are coming in with the same questions over and over again now, since it's the beginning of the semester, and I get tired of repeating myself. And it makes my voice hurt. So this is a nice break. I'm sure it will be back to the regular redundancy next week, but I enjoyed the task for the last few days.

We *didn't* celebrate Tana's birthday yesterday by going up the canyon and having a campfire in which we *didn't* cook veggie hobo packs or roast marshmallows. And we *didn't* sing songs and have a grand time. Not at all. Or maybe we did in fact do these things, we just *didn't* do them for Tana's birthday. I'm still confused about what did and didn't happen. But I do know that Courtney was there. She's spending the weekend at Jana's.

And I got to have lunch with three of my favorite people. The Doxey family. Really, it was just lunch, though. It was lunch yesterday and today and also dinner later tonight. Yeah. See the following pictures for proof:

My bean and cheese burrito

Doxey's burrito supreme

Ashley's flautas. No, not chimichangas. Flautas.

Food for giants, I swear!! This was some really awesome authentic Mexican food from Maria Bonitas in Orem (on 800 N and University Parkway, across from Maceys). You gotta check it out. The salsa was so yummy!

I dyed my hair yesterday. It's maybe a little bit too dark, but it's a wash-out, so it'll be gone in about a month. No worries. I got some laundry done today and some shopping done yesterday. Much needed. I got a ride home from work twice this week. Once from Marie, who was passing by and thought to pick me up. How sweet is that? And once from Lauren. I don't know if these ladies fully understand how much I appreciate a ride home instead of having to take the bus. You're both awesome. Thank you! I also got a very thoughtful text message from my big little brother David. I just love the people in my life so so much. You're all amazing.

One last thing. Today is my parents' 30th Wedding Anniversary! (See Marie's blog about it.) I love you, Mom and Dad. Happy Anniversary! And I hope you're looking forward to your awesome gift from your loving children.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Too much to say....

So, we'll do quick versions of my week at home. Photos included.

Friday, I got a ride to the airport from my lovely Tana friend. What a sweetie to get up early in the day just for me! I pulled into Bakersfield on the afternoon airport bus. It was surprisingly cool. A mere 90+ degrees as opposed to the 100+ I was expecting. I had linner (yes, linner) with my parents at John's Burgers. Sadly, I didn't get a photo of our food, but it was delicious.

Saturday, I attended the Wasco Ward pancake breakfast in honor of Pioneer day. Yummy. And it was fun to chat with some of the old ward members, especially Sis. Crane, whom I hadn't seen or talked to in years! Later that day, I was able to visit with Robin and her family. It was so fun to see her girls! They were all so excited to show me some of their cool tricks on their tire swing and some of their fun toys! I also got to spend some time at Myteka's, chatting and catching up. I missed seeing her kids, but was excited to see that she's expecting a new little one in November! Congrats to her and her family! Mom, Dad, and I spent the rest of the day just chillin' at home watching movies.

Sunday, after a lovely morning at church, grandma and grandpa Heywood came by to visit, and we had dinner with David, Britney, Tyler, and Karina. We watched movies and just enjoyed the day together. It was nice to have some down time with my family.

Monday, I did some dusting and vacuuming (Wasco is an extremely dusty town!!!) and Tyler, Karina, Dad, and I enjoyed some Carol's sodas and fries, some Doughnuts To Go, and some Snow Shack snow cones! Yes, all in one afternoon. Really, could you ask for anything better? I think not. Again, it was kind of a lazy day, just spending time together. Later that day, I went down to Bakersfield to have dinner with Lindsey and Ashley at Jake's Tex Mex. Yum. Of course we chatted till they kicked us out (which was really early for a restaurant, but accommodating--they close at 8, and kicked us out at 8:30... haha) After we were kicked out, we spent the rest of the night talking and laughing at Alicia's apartment. Good times, let me tell you.

Tuesday was Six Flags Magic Mountain day! And it was CROWDED, unfortunately. We only rode nine rides. Given that we were in the park for about eight hours, I suppose that isn't too awful, but it was still a let-down for one reason. I wanted to go to ride all of the new rides that have been put up since I was last there eight years ago. We rode all but one. Tatsu. Sad. But we did ride the others, and we had a great time.

We rode X2 first, and it gave me a bruise you wouldn't believe. The left is what the bruise looked like later that day. The right is what it looked like three days later. Even now, as I write this, my leg is all shades of purple and yellow. Isn't it pretty?



We also rode Deja Vu, Scream, Roaring Rapids, Goliath, Viper, Colossus, Revolution, and the Green Lantern. It's completely vertical! The seats flip! So fun!! I took some photos while we waited in line. Davau doesn't think he takes a good picture because he can't naturally smile on command. He has to look at Britney to give a real smile, so sometimes when the photographer snaps a shot, neither of them are looking at the camera, but at each other. Luckily, I got him!

My voice is still recovering from the screaming. Mom and Dad chastised me for not screaming correctly, but where's the fun in that? You sound like your singing, not screaming. Although, we all agreed that it would be funny to pick a chord to "scream" as we went through the tunnel on Revolution. Next time.

Wednesday consisted of a lunch with Grandma and Grandpa, which was lovely, outlet shopping in Tulare with Mom, Britney, and Karina, which was successful, and checking out the boys' and girls' new apartments up in Fresno. They've done a lovely job decorating and getting settled in. I'm sure they're looking forward to this new chapter of their lives. How fun to live in the same building!! Instant friends!


Thursday, Mom, Dad, and I went to the coast, where Mom got some yummy smelling soap and pretty earrings and we all picked out some delicious salt water taffy (chocolate chip cookie dough, vanilla peanut butter, and cherry coke) and Hot Lix suckers and Dad ate a chocolate and caramel covered jalapeno. And Mom and I stuck our feet in the Pacific. It was COLD! My toes went a little numb. But so great. The salty air and the sand, the waves and seaweed. Lovely. We hit the farmer's market at San Luis Obispo as well and took home some delicious strawberries, carrots, cheeses, squash, and Dad even bought fresh beets.

Friday was spent all over the place. We started in Fresno at the temple with Grandpa, Grandma, Becky, Michael, Chrystal, and Bryan. It's so nice to be there with family. Mom, Dad, and I went to lunch at a place called Huckleberry's. It was so yummy! I'm not a food critic, so I don't have the words to describe how delightful the food was. After lunch, we went to Old Navy and Mom and Dad bought me a pretty dress and two shirts for my birthday--which is still over a month away, but I'm not complaining! Then we went back to Wasco and rested before we headed into Bakersfield to meet up with David and Britney to watch Cowboys and Aliens. Oh man. It was... it was... well, it was just... amazing.

Saturday morning was spent doing laundry and getting packed. Then we went over to Grandma's for the Heywood family reunion, which for my part consisted of talking and laughing with my cousins, uncles, and aunts--oh, and a quick crochet lesson for Britney. It's so great to be around family, even when all we're doing is talking. 






They had lunch and a little program later, but I missed that since I had to be on the airport bus by one. I sat around the airport for about two hours before my flight, and then Marie picked me up in Salt Lake, and we talked and talked and talked all the way into Provo, and I fell into a lovely sleep as soon as my head hit my pillow.

Pretty much, it was one of the best weeks ever. And though I will miss my family so so much, I'm glad to be back. It's good to have a normal routine, just as much as it's good to have a break from that routine.


P.S. the dogs. Here's Sophie:
She's a sweet dog. Very calm. Runs and hides from Jacko:

I've recently watched Everything is Illuminated and how Alex describes Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. is exactly how you can describe Jacko. He chases (and catches) his tail. "He's deranged. But he's so so playful."


Sorry this one was so long!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

T-minus 13 hours and counting...

Tuesday, I borrowed Jana's car and did some shopping after work. I bought some happy pills (yes, happy pills), and some travel-size stuff for my trip home. When I dropped Jana's car off at her house, she and Tana were watching Shawn of the Dead and it was at my favorite scene (in the backyard with the records... classic). I call that exciting.

Wednesday, I did my laundry and started putting stuff together to be packed up. Again, not super thrilling, but it's making me happy. I also printed my flight itinerary. I'm smiling, in case you can't tell.

Today, I cleaned my apartment (well, I gave it a lick and a promise) and packed. I got everything I need (including my temple bag) in my carry-on suitcase and my B.A.P. (Big-Ass Purse). Yep. No backpack required. Guys, you have no idea how monumental this is. Sarah doesn't pack light. Ever. I'm taking my laptop, portable hard drive, cords, disks, and chargers. I'm taking my flat iron, hair ties, clips, make up, and jewelry. I'm taking five changes of clothes and underwear, two pairs of shoes, and sunglasses. I got all this and more into a carry-on suitcase and my purse. Impressive, no? Sad thing is, I can't take anything home from the Chinn Family Reunion/Auction. Which means no T-shirts, bag, J-O-Y, journal, movie-night-in-a-basket, salsa (though, I don't think that was gonna happen anyway) or tablecloth for my mom, dad, brothers, and sisters. Sorry guys. But Mom, David, and Britney can take them home when come out for Dallin and Bree's wedding, yes?

Another happy for today: I got to see my dear friend Heather Aleman. She came up for the Decemberists concert tonight in Salt Lake (I'm SO bummed I'm missing this right now...stinking packing and cleaning...). She, Tana, Marie, and Jana stopped by UVU this afternoon so I could see her! It was good to give her hugs and talk with her for a bit. It's been years since we've seen each other. I love you, Heather!

Well, all. I'm off in the morning. Tana is kind enough to drive me to the airport. I'll catch my flight into LAX, and then take the bus to Bakersfield where my wonderful parents will pick me up, then we'll go get Britney and head into Wasco where we'll meet up with Davau and I'll be happy--not as happy as I'd be if Tyler and Karina were going to be there, too, but happy enough, I'm sure. Besides, I'll see them soon, too, and I just can't wait!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Well, looks like I have to go back a few days...

Wednesday, umm.... there must have been something good on Wednesday..... hmm....

Thursday was great. We had a "Summer Party" at work, meaning we all brought in stuff to eat. Our director brought in Cafe Rio chicken and sweet pork (YUM) and we had taco salads and burritos. Lovely.

Marie and Tana and Brooke picked me up from work and we headed up to American Fork to stand in line and wait for the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two. We made a couple of friends while waiting, and one of them even joined in the Movie Game. Brave of her, no? I was super happy to have my Ashley friend there, too. I love that I get to still hang with her. It was a ton of fun to talk and play games with friends and family. We bought some Chocolate Frogs from the Trolley, even. So fun. The movie was just... awesome. I loved it. There were things that I didn't love, things I would have loved to see but didn't, things I would have loved to see done differently, but overall it was a really great movie. I'm pleased. And very sad that it's over. That's the end of Harry Potter. I'm sad about this. I mean, I've been constantly looking forward to something Harry Potter for about ten years straight. Other people have been doing the same for nearly 14 years. Crazy that it's all over. Well, not totally, I guess, if you plan a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and if you spend time playing around on Pottermore. But the stories are done. Finished. Over. Forever. So so sad.


Friday, I slept in till about noon. I made cookies. I packed up. And then I hit the road with Marie and Jana to go down to Maple Grove for the Chinn Family Reunion. Good times. Here are some highlights:

On Friday night, we made gourmet 'Smores. Doughies might have been the best. Wrap the mallow in a refrigerator roll (like Pillsbury ready-made rolls), and roast it over the fire. When the roll is browned, cover it in butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Soooo good. I also enjoyed the creation Marie, Jana, and I came up with: chocolate swirl mallows, raspberry fill Ghirardelli square, and pecan Sandies. Yum. On Saturday, Jacob played with a caterpillar.
We also played "Minute to Win It" games. The team captains (the youngsters in our family) played Hanky Panky. Collin won, even though Jacob and Indie started pulling out big clumps of tissues at once instead of pulling them out one at a time.

Braden and Cameron played Ready Spaghetti. This was a tough one, for sure. Carrying soda cans from one side of the table to the other using only a dried spaghetti noodle! These two didn't win, but they came darn close. Good job, boys!

Courtney won the first round of Baby Rattle. She got all of the gum balls from one two liter to the other faster than everyone else. You should have seen this. She was the only girl on her team. The guys were all cheering her on. This was one of the cutest things I've ever seen in my life.
Later, Marie, Jana, Hunter, and I hiked. This was a pretty crazy hike. It was a steady climb up in places. We were slipping and sliding up the side of the hill. We climbed for about 45 minutes before we decided to go back. On the way down, Jana fell once, Marie fell twice, Hunter slipped I don't know how many times, and at one point I had to sort of slide down in a crouched position using my shoes as skis and my hands to guide me. Believe it or not, it was fun!
There was a deer that came down almost right into our group area (where we gathered to cook, eat, play, and just hang out). We had dumped some barbeque sauce in that bush. The deer must have been really hungry to dare to come down that far, and that close to not only a bunch of humans, but dogs as well. One of the bigger dogs started to go after the deer, and it finally ran away. But it kept coming back all day long. Crazy.


And on Sunday, we had our Family Auction. Every year, we donate goods and services to the auction. The money goes to pay for Family Reunion and Christmas parties, as well as other gatherings and family needs (such as flying Mom out to Utah when Grandpa was in the hospital for emergency surgery a couple of years ago). This year, the hot item was a football signed by all team members and coaches of the University of Utah football team. It went for $310 to... Grandma. Yep. But I promised photos of the items I put up for bid. First, the bag I crocheted (which went to Britney). And second, the "U" bikini. That's right. Kayti won this one, but she promises she's not going to wear it in public. She's gonna put it in a shadow box and hang it in her room. (By the way, there's a "U" on the butt, too.)

I absolutely adore my family. They're all some of the best people on the planet. It's always fun to be with them, talk with them, and get to know them better. It was really hard to go back to work today. It's always hard to go back to work after having such a great time with my family, getting away from everything else.

I'm really looking forward to going home in a few days. I fly home Friday and I get to stay for an entire week! I can't wait to spend time with my parents and brothers and sisters. And (bonus!) it coincides with the Heywood Family Reunion! It'll be the first time I get to do BOTH reunions in one year! I'm super happy about this.

As for my happy thought for today, I got to be of a little service on my bus ride home today. The driver had only driven this particular route one time before. She was a little nervous and wasn't sure where she was going, so I kinda helped guide her along the route. And she was really nice. Just a little thing, but it was good to be of some use. Also, I got to help my Lauren friend laugh at something that was really bothering her. We made it into a joke, and she felt a little bit better. So, only small things, but I hope they made a difference. I know they made me feel useful.

And now we're caught up! Except I still can't remember anything about last Wednesday....

Poem

I will play catch up later today. But first, I have a poem that was shared with me that I would like to share with you.

Oranges
By Gary Soto

The first time I walked
With a girl, I was twelve,
Cold, and weighted down
With two oranges in my jacket.
December. Frost cracking
Beneath my steps, my breath
Before me, then gone,
As I walked toward
Her house, the one whose
Porch light burned yellow
Night and day, in any weather.
A dog barked at me, until
She came out pulling
At her gloves, face bright
With rouge. I smiled,
Touched her shoulder, and led
Her down the street, across
A used car lot and a line
Of newly planted trees,
Until we were breathing
Before a drugstore. We
Entered, the tiny bell
Bringing a saleslady
Down a narrow aisle of goods.
I turned to the candies
Tiered like bleachers,
And asked what she wanted—
Light in her eyes, a smile
Starting at the corners
Of her mouth. I fingered
A nickle in my pocket,
And when she lifted a chocolate
That cost a dime,
I didn’t say anything.
I took the nickle from
My pocket, then an orange,
And set them quietly on
The counter. When I looked up,
The lady’s eyes met mine,
And held them, knowing
Very well what it was all
About.

          Outside,
A few cars hissing past,
Fog hanging like old
Coats between the trees.
I took my girl’s hand
In mine for two blocks,
Then released it to let
Her unwrap the chocolate.
I peeled my orange
That was so bright against
The gray of December
That, from some distance,
Someone might have thought
I was making a fire in my hands.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I stayed home from work on Monday because I wasn't feeling well (tummy issues... gross). I felt much better by mid-afternoon, so I spent the rest of the day crocheting. I made a bag, which I will put up for auction at the Chinn Family Reunion. The other item I crocheted is a secret, and though I'm sure there aren't any Chinn family members who read this blog, I don't want to let anyone in on the surprise till this weekend and the auction. My sisters and my mother know, but that's it--unless they've told other people, in which case, SHAME ON YOU. I can't wait to see the reaction to this surprise. It's awesome. I'll take photos and post them after the item has been sold. I hope you all love it as much as I do. I'll also post a photo of the bag, which I personally love to pieces and kinda want to keep for myself. Maybe I'll bid on it.

At work today, my lovely Lauren friend gave me a "High Five," which is not a physical slapping of hands. It's a little sheet of paper which tells me that I "Look good," "Got away with it (playing games)," "Showered," "Are employed," "Got out of bed," "Survived (work so far)," and "Drink Dr. Pepper," "Oh Yeah, And: You are still awesome!! I am so glad you help me out with so many different things (esp. @ work)," "Way to go," and "Keep it up." Cute stationary, and a sweet note from my friend. I love Lauren. She keeps me entertained, she lets me bounce ideas and thoughts off of her, she gives me her insight and input, and I'm just so glad she's my friend.


Now I get to go home, relax, and then go snack shopping with my sisters after we eat some Two Jacks pizza. Life is good.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday late morning, early afternoon was spent with cousin and aunts and a new cousin-to-be at a bridal shower. I'm not much for showers, bridal or baby. Not that I don't love the people they're given for, because I do I do I do. I shouldn't even blog about this, mostly because I'm afraid I'll hurt someone's feelings and offend. I don't mean any offense. I just don't like them. The games, the awkwardness... just isn't my thing. But I go and I give gifts and I get thanked and it's all for the best. I really shouldn't complain, because if the day every comes that I'm a bride-to-be, I sure will appreciate showers and gifts and love from the people I love. So I'll shut up now and say that Toni and Ashley threw a really cute shower for Bree, that Bree is a sweet girl and I'm glad she's joining our family, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to see family and spend some time with them. Not gonna lie, it was nice to be able to raid Toni's books as well. I took home four.

Today was lovely, mostly because I spent some time crocheting and reading and sleeping. I also got a text from Marie: "I'll tell you your talents/gifts if you tell me mine." So I texted back that she's friendly, outgoing, observant, charitable, faithful and that those aren't blanket statements; she really is all of these things. She said I'm a "good listener, someone everyone goes to. you are caring and smiley and children love you which is a talent! You are willing to serve and to give when others are in need." I love my sister. I love that she really is observant and friendly and outgoing. I love her for who she is and I'm glad she's that person 100%. I love that she was willing to list some things about me that I don't really see in myself. I hope that I really am these things, and that I can be really good at them. It's so great to be part of a family that's so close and so loving. I feel very blessed.




PS To Britney: you'll see me in a couple of weeks. This excuses the "no photo" thing. Besides that, it's really not much different, just shorter.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday

Got my hairs cut. At last. The stylist was like, "If this was your teeth and I was your dentist, you'd be getting a pretty nasty lecture right now." Yeah, that's how long it had been since my hair was trimmed--about eight months. It was nasty. Now it's not. It's shorter and softer. When the stylist finished, she said, "You're hair is so much happier now!" And it's true. I feel cute.

Also, I was craving pizza. So I ordered some. And it made me happy.

OH! And one of the books I ordered from Amazon arrived today. I've already read said book, but I loved it so much I had to own a copy. It's called the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Love it. I will now read it again.

Happy hair. Happy tummy. Happy Sarah.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

hmm...funny?

So, this morning in our appeals committee meeting, we had a couple of appeals that gave us the giggles. Last semester, a student went through a change in medication which caused a relapse with depression. The only class the student passed last semester: Positive Psychology. The other one that had us laughing was for a student who had "circumstance beyond my control," such as playing video games, staying up too late, not studying for classes, not getting up in time for classes, etc...

Also, I read an article that a friend posted on Facebook about the Oxford Comma, which was cleaver and very funny, but maybe only to us English majors. Here is the link. Enjoy. (Confession: I read it yesterday, but I still found it funny today...does that count?)

And I found a fool proof way of learning to master "who versus whom": ask the same question using "he versus him"! Genius! Why has no one taught me this before? I'll alway know which word to use now. (By the way, I love Grammar Girl. Check out her article on "effect versus affect.")

One more. My friend Stephanie posted an MLIA on her Facebook wall today that made me LQTM: "Today in health class, we discovered that 'Another One Bites the Dust' by Queen has the perfect rhythm for doing CPR. Oh the irony. MLIA" (For those who don't know--like Mom and Dad--MLIA stands for "My Life Is Average," which is a place on the web where people post funny, ironic, moronic, and average things that happen in their lives.)

Basically, this post is dedicated to the nerd in all of us. People like my siblings who find the bump sticker "I'm a fermata, hold me" to be funny.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sleep! And Flying!

(No, sadly, I haven't had any flying dreams...)

It's amazing how much more clearly I can think and act and work when I've had enough sleep. Yesterday was a difficult day. We seemed to have a lot of strange situations which required thinking outside of normalcy, a difficult task when running on less than adequate sleep.

But today! Today was wonderful! I was able to do my job without hurting my brain or losing concentration. It's so much easier to function when your head isn't swimming in sleep-deprived waters.

Also, I booked my flight home! I'm so excited to be able to spend an entire week with my family! And it happens to coincide with the Heywood Family Reunion! I'll not only see my parents and my brothers and my sisters, but I'll get to hang with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I'm pretty happy about this. PLUS, I'm super excited about seeing my friends. Oh, gosh, I can't wait!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Well, I was a bit distracted from my blog this weekend. But I kept tabs. Mostly the exciting and interesting things of the weekend have to do with fireworks, friends, family, and the Fourth of July.  (This is Harriet the Hummingbird. As you can see, she's built a nest on top of a Christmas light on Jana's front porch. She has two tiny eggs in her nest. Have you ever seen a hummingbird sit still? Now you have.)


Friday was great for a number of reasons. I got to hang out with Ashley and Teagan for a little while in the early afternoon. The best part was the jelly shoes Ashley bought for Teagan. SO cute! Later that day was a BBQ at Jana's with lots of fun people and great food. We played cards and listened to music and danced and talked and ate and set off fireworks. Wonderful.

Saturday morning I slept in late. Heaven. Then I met up with Jana and Tana and Monica at the Freedom Festival. We walked around and looked at the vendors' stuff. Bought and ate some cotton candy. Laughed at the tattoos. Then we went and got fancy ice. And I bought some fireworks. Marie, Jana, Tana and I saw a 30-minute play that Marie's roommate helped orchestrate with some other theater/film majors at UVU, based on the Hans Christian Anderson story of "What the Moon Saw." The group is going to Scotland to participate in some kind of theater thing (yeah, a theater thing) where they'll perform their children's play. Pretty cool. Then we went and bought stuff to grill and had another BBQ and watched the Stadium of Fire fireworks show from the comfort of the street in front of Jana's house.

Sunday was lovely and lazy. I slept in again. And I went to church. And I was gifted with a locket-watch on a long necklace, beautiful earrings, and lovely scarf by my wonderful Tana friend--she brought them back from Europe for me; how sweet is that?? I went home and finished reading Julia's manuscript (which was a pleasure) and spent the rest of the night watching movies on Netflix.

Monday, I woke up to a phone call from Heather ("are you coming to the parade? can we park in your parking lot? will we get towed?") at 7:30. I showered and dressed and packed a cooler and headed down to await the start of the Freedom Festival Grand Parade! We clapped and saluted and cheered! Then Marie and I muscled our way through the crowds to walk down to the remade pizza store on Center Street. (It's now Two Jacks; they painted over the stripes in the windows... and of course over the sign on the wall... and I cried a little on the inside.) We bought shaved ice from the Fabric Mill ladies and walked back to my apartment. We picked up Jana and Tana and headed to the Rasmussen's for more BBQ and to rest up for the night. Enjoying playing and talking (and not enjoying the fighting between the boys...) we spent the afternoon just chilling. And looking up our Chinese and Astrological signs. (I was born in the year of the Dog; I'm loyal and want to be loved.) We then headed over to Thanksgiving Point for the Lehi City fireworks display. We had a great spot. I felt like we got the best of the "booms" and the lights were right above our heads! And then we set off our own aerials back at the house, and played with sparklers.

I feel like I definitely got in a good amount of fireworks this year. I really enjoyed all of the time I got to spend with my family and friends. I loved eating grilled meat and veggies, enjoying the music, playing games, and everything else. It was a wonderful weekend!




And for today: I got to talk with both of my parents over the phone today. It's so great to hear their voices. Things everyone loves to hear: their own name, the words "I love you," "Hello," and "Goodbye." I got to hear all of these things from two of my favorite voices in the world. Couldn't ask for more.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday's the new Friday

For me, anyway. My department is trying out working 4-10s (four days a week, ten hours a day). I was a lucky winner and got Fridays off for June and July. Woo hoo! (If we do this again, we'll rotate, so I won't always get Friday, but I'm enjoying it while I've got it.) I'm grateful it's Thursday and my last day of work for the week. And I'm grateful I get Monday off. Hooray for the four-day weekend!!

Plus, I saw Julia at lunch today and we chatted for a bit. Yay!

PLUS, two interesting things happened with my supervisor today. First, I figured out how to do something that was puzzling her (not gonna lie, I love it that I figured it out). Second, she was listening to Damien Rice and Vampire Weekend. Color me pleasantly surprised.

PLUS, I have left over Little Caesars, which I will now eat for dinner.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Listening to the thunder...

...and I'm happy.

Jana

Jana's awesome, for so many reasons. This is Jana on her cider block stage, playing her guitar and singing some super song, which is pretty great. But today, she's awesome because she picked me up from work. How sweet is that? And we went to Sunflower to do some shopping for her BBQ on Friday. And then we stopped by Little Caesars for some pizza pizza. I love my Jana.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Are you ready for a boyfriend?

This is the question an ad on Facebook asked me. Then it informed me that 1 in 5 relationships starts online, and encouraged me to join Match.com.

Young Paul?

I was listening to Pandora's 80's Summer Playlist at work again today. The song "Every Time You Go Away" by Paul Young started playing. The album cover that popped up for this song was just... amazing. I wanted to blog about the awesomeness of the cover, so I did a Bing image search for "Paul Young" This is what I found:





Am I the only one who finds this funny?




For your entertainment, here's the album cover. Check out that hair.




Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy Things

In the attempt to find something interesting and/or exciting to blog about, I’ve kept my eyes and ears open the past two days. It’s funny how easily you can see the cool things in your life when you decide to look for them.

Sunday I was (finally) called in to meet with a member of my bishopric. (OK, in all fairness, I got a text last weekend to meet with the bishop, but it was Father’s Day and my father was here in Utah, so I got to go to church with him and spend the day with the family and I pushed the appointment back.) We all know what that means, right? I’ve been called (and sustained and set apart, all in one Sunday, thanks to the efficiency of a YSA ward that has learned to move fast) as…. a greeter. Yup, folks. That’s right. I’ve been called to stand at the entrance to the chapel (aka a lecture hall in the JFSB) and welcome my fellow ward members to Sacrament Meeting. Talk about easy. Not gonna lie: I’m happy about this for two reasons: one, I’m lazy; and two, I’ll be forced out of my comfort zone and into actually meeting people in my ward, if only for a few seconds every Sunday. Since this is a pretty low-key calling, the bishopric has asked me to be open to receiving another calling. At the same time, our ward boundaries were expanded this week, meaning we’re getting about forty more members, so I may not HAVE to have another calling, which would be super sweet. (Hey, I’m lazy, remember??) I did put my foot in it, though, and owned up to being able to play the piano. The First Counselor’s eyes and mouth crinkled into a smile with a hint of “hee hee hee hee hee… we’ve got you now!” I could see his hands rubbing together, his shoulders hunched, as he leaned down over me, cackling. But hey, it’s my fault for even saying anything, right? At the same time, he did mention something about a new committee (something about provident living, food storage, employment services??), and he asked if I’d be interested in teaching, so I guess we’ll see.

Today was pretty great. I was happy to be at work. (I know! Me! Happy to be at work!) It didn’t start out that way. When I got there, I was anything but happy and all I could think about was going home. But then it got better. I’ll tell you why. First, I just felt like I was dressed in “office appropriate” clothing today. Not that I usually dress like a hobo or anything, but today I pulled out my cute grey pencil skirt that I rarely wear and found a nice dress-casual top to wear with it, and I just felt like I was decently dressed for the office. Second, I have a task this week and next that’s new to me and it’s not super complicated, but it does take some time which means I’m not totally bored out of my mind during our extra two hours when no one else is here. Third, it was pretty busy from about 10:30 till 3:30, and stayed pretty steady till we stopped seeing student at five. This means the day went by pretty fast, and I felt like I got a lot done—as opposed to going home thinking, “Did I even do anything important today?” Fourth, Marie and Jacob came to visit me today! And they had perfect timing: they came as soon as it slowed down, so I was able to take a break to walk and talk with them. It was really the best part of my day, especially since Marie shared her baked cookies with me and Jacob gave me a kiss, not to mention providing good laughs—Jacob kept referring to his Sobe as “Sophie,” which confused me at first, thinking he was talking about Mom and Dad’s dog, until I figured out he was talking about his pina colada drink stored in Marie’s fridge. And fifth, I’m listening to the 80’s Summer Playlist on Pandora. It’s just happy. They’re playing a good mix: some of my favorites, some I’ve never heard before, some pop, some hip-hop, some rock… it’s great!

I think this was a good experiment for me. It’s that whole “count your blessings” thing. It really does work to (at the very least) help you put things in perspective, and (at the greatest) help you see good and happiness in the small things.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Life

It has been brought to my attention that I have not been giving this blog enough attention.

The problem is coming up with something to blog about. My life is kinda boring. I spent this weekend cleaning and crocheting and watching movies. Exciting, huh?

Well, I did go to a BBQ with Dave and Kelsie and Kellen and Allison and Marie and Jana. We ate yummy food and talked and listened to some great summer tunes. It was wonderful.

But really, my life is kinda boring. I need to look for the exciting parts of life, yeah?

So, I pledge to look for interesting and exciting things in my life to blog about.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Heavenly Weekend

Guess what I did this weekend.

NOTHING.

OK, not nothing, but stuff that wasn't too productive. And it was nice. I spent Saturday and most of Sunday in bed, reading, watching movies/TV shows, crocheting, and doing what beds were made for... sleeping. I slept. And slept. And slept. I feel SOOO great today because I got the exact right amount of sleep my body needed every night this weekend. I must have needed to catch up, too, because Friday night, I slept close to twelve hours, but it tapered off from there. About ten Saturday night, nine Sunday, and eight last night. And I feel GOOD!

Monday was different from Saturday and Sunday, though, in that I didn't spend it in bed. I spent the afternoon and early evening in Park City with Marie, Jana, Kellen, Kelsie, and Dave. It was lovely! I bought some shirts at Gap and Old Navy, and even though I still had a huge amount of body lotion and body wash left from the sale last year, I bought more body lotion and body wash from Bath and Body Works. (They have a new fragrance called Country Chic and I think I'm in love.)

We ate pizza at the Hut, walked up and down Main Street, saw a lot of different art and such, and looked in a few boutiques. We went into a wonderful little book store with lots of stuff about auras and tarot and dreams and stuff. I was highly tempted to buy a book about lucid dreaming, but I figured I could look up the same kind of techniques online and get the same information on how to do it. (I wanna fly--I've never flown in my dreams!) We saw Banksy's mark on the Java Cow building. (Featured Picture) Pretty cool. And we went home.

Jana, Marie, and I went back to my apartment--stopping at Harmon's first to buy to stuff we needed to make fudge--and made fudge, hemmed Marie's dress to a short dress/blouse thingy, cut off Jana's old jeans into shorts, and watched The Red Balloon and some scenes from Paris Je T'aime, and Marie stole some of my music. It was a good day. A very good day.

Even though it was cold and snowy/rainy in Park City, and even though I spent more money than I should have, I was happy to be out and about with some of my favorite people.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Movie and Food and Books, Oh My!

(a photo Marie posted on my Facebook wall. I think it's my next crochet project) If it's not apparent by my previous blogs, my favorite things to do are watch movies, read books, crochet, and eat good food. It's best to do two of these things with people I love (I'll let you figure out which two.)

After getting pedicures with Jana and Ashley (Happy Birthday, girls--thanks for the fun morning!) I went home and did a bit of crocheting (I have a blanket to finish this weekend... almost done!) and then went with my sisters and some friends to see Jane Eyre. It was my second time watching it, and I wasn't at all sad about spending the money or time to see it again. Love that film! It's beautiful and tragic and tragically beautiful. (Only thing for me to do now is read the book, which I will do very soon.) After the movie, my wonderful, funny, and beautiful sisters and I went to India Palace for some delicious curry. I'd say this was one of the best days ever.

Last week, I was able to go with the Rasmussen family to "tiptoe through the tulips" at Thanksgiving Point for a mere ten dollars! I know, sounds like a butt-load of cash just to look at flowers, but let me tell you: totally worth it. We enjoyed the sun, the food, the company, and (of course) the flowers. Everything was just gorgeous. I'll be going again later in this season to see the Secret Garden and the Roman Garden again--the honeysuckle and roses weren't in bloom yet, and I just have to see and smell them both!

A few weeks ago (OK, really, a month ago) I was at home for Tyler and Karina's wedding, which was simply wonderful. It was not only great to be home, but the weather was perfect, the wedding was perfect, and our Easter celebration was... almost perfect. Poor Momma was sick, and so we didn't really get to do a regular Easter dinner (since she's the real cook--no offense to anyone else--and the rest of us were too lazy to do it--though we should have, since Mom was sick...shame on us!) Other than that, it was a wonderful Easter, spent at home with the family, including the Chinns, and it was so great to see the Heywoods at the wedding/reception. I just love my family so, so much, and it's such a blessing to be able to see them all and give them all hugs and kisses, even if it's for a short visit.

(Another photo Marie posted on my wall, which is pretty much true for me. haha) I've been reading a series I own and read about two years ago by Libby Bray, The Gemma Doyle Trilogy, and I'm loving it. I forgot most of the intricate parts of the story, so it's been fun to read and experience it all over again. As soon as I'm done with this, it's on to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, and then I think I'll read Tolkein's the Lord of the Rings again. It's been a while and I just love those books so much. Maybe I'll just read all of the books on my shelf again. I've been missing Lewis's the Chronicles of Narnia.


Not really sure what was the point of this blog, but it's done now, so whatever. I guess to just kinda give an overview of the last little while. I'm still alive, and I'm actually enjoying some parts... the parts when I get to spend time with amazing people, see and smell and taste beauty in the world, do something productive with my hands, and improve my mind through extensive reading. (Oh, Mr. Darcy...)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"At noon..."

I just finished reading Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 for the second time. The first time I read it, I was a senior in high school (about eleven years ago) and I remembered liking it. It's one of the first books I read on my own that I remember enjoying. Sure, Mom and Dad had read to us kids, stories about hobbits and lions and greedy men at Christmas time and little girls growing up on a prairie. I loved those stories because Mom and Dad were reading them to us, because we got to stay up a little bit longer, because we were all crowded on Mom and Dad's bed or on a little foam mattress, spending time together, wrapped up in beautiful words. But this was the one of the first books I enjoyed reading on my own.

Why did I pick it up again, after such a long time? I recently finished reading The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, and was reminded of Fahrenheit 451. Not that the stories really have anything to do with one another, other than the idea of social upheaval, government control, cover-ups, "the last days," and the like. OK. So maybe they do have a lot in common. And that's why I itched to read it again.

I'm glad to say I still like it. It's a lot different reading it now, with eleven more years and a college education under my belt (in Literature, for that matter). But it's still a great story of censorship, of change, of fighting in a small way that will (hopefully) help in a big way. A story about words and thoughts and feelings. A story meant to inspire words and thoughts and feelings. Great literature. I'm glad I picked it back up. And I'm glad it sits on my shelf.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

California, Here We Come

I'm going home in three days. I cannot wait to get the H*** outta dodge and get home to mi familia.

And fresh strawberries.

And the smell and sound of the Pacific Ocean.

Maybe I'll just stay there.

(Or maybe not... sorry to get your hopes up, Britney)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ice Cream Changes

I sat in my little cubicle and giggled my way through this video. I'm liking Hank a little more now. Not that I didn't like him before...


Also, I finally saw The Fighter and was seriously happy that this is the role for which Christian Bale got his Oscar. Very well deserved. What a sad story! Although it does end on a happy note, it's such a hard thing to watch. All of the actors did an amazing job. The cinematography was equally amazing. Just a really well-made film.

Another also, I caved in a read The Hunger Games series last week. Just as everyone has said, the first book was the best one of the bunch. However, unlike what everyone said, I really enjoyed the whole series. I like how it ended, though it was pretty rushed (I always wonder if authors just get tired of writing, so they put on a band aid kind of ending and leave it at that). Though the series was depressing and the situation was just awful, the story was great and enthralling. I couldn't put it down, though I was glad to get to the end.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not Too Bad

We've been in Spring Training for work this week. All full-time and regular part-time staff meet in a conference room where we receive training on some old stuff that we've been neglecting and new stuff that we'll have to implement. It's not as boring as it sounds, and it's exactly as boring as it sounds. I haven't been hating it, actually, which surprises me. Some of the information is too familiar to be interesting, whereas the new stuff gets all of our attention and we're all asking questions and getting involved. And, of course, it's all helpful information to give us the tools we need in order to assist our students and help them be successful.

There are some new things we're gonna be putting into practice that will totally help students (though some of these things are not very fair and will make our jobs a little more... interesting--thank you, Congress). And a few things that will make our jobs easier (yay for automated systems). But there was one thing in particular we learned about and will be implementing coming this Summer semester that will not make our students happy. To be honest, I think it's an extremely fair way of doing the Pell Grants for the Summer, but I know there will be students who will think it's extremely unfair and we'll hear about it, I'm sure. Thank you, Congress, for making our jobs enjoyable.

One plus of Spring Training: a break from the everyday, answering the same questions all day long. Another plus: lunch is provided. Big plus: earning prizes, such as "1/2 Hour Off" coupons, candy, and Food Service Meal Vouchers. Biggest plus: we've been finishing our sessions about an hour and a half early, and so we've been allowed to leave an hour and a half early. (Today, we were off by 11:45!!) Best news from Spring Training: we're gonna try out 10-4's in June and July. Woo Hoo! An extra day a week off. Of course that means working from 7 to 6 four days a week, and coordinating with the other counselors, so possibly not being able to pick which day I get, but I'm OK with that if it means I get an entire day off. Hallelujah.

So, I know this post is boring and I'm sure no one will read it, but now it's done, so deal with it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

90's Music is Cool

Jana made a new CD mix called "Belt it Out" or something along those lines... Basically it's a mix of songs you can't help but sing along to at the top of your lungs. It was fun to listen (and sing) to this mix on our grocery shopping trip/car cleaning outing today.

It inspired me to make a mix of the songs I loved in high school. Yeah. The rough part was picking just one song by the artists/bands I loved in the days of my youth. Here's a taste:

  • "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette
  • "The New Pollution" by Beck
  • "Brick" by Ben Folds Five
  • "All The Small Things" by Blink 182
  • "Oops! I Did It Again" by Britney Spears
  • "Lovefool" by The Cardigans
  • "Tub Thumping" by Chumbawamba
  • "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child
  • "Save Tonight" by Eagle Eye Cherry
  • "Inside Out" by Eve 6
  • "The Way" by Fastball
  • "The Rockafeller Skank" by Fatboy Slim
  • "Killing Me Softly" by The Fugees
  • "Slide" by Goo Goo Dolls
  • "If Only" by Hanson
  • "Pardon Me" by Incubus
  • "Virtual Insanity" by Jamiroquai
  • "You Were Meant For Me" by Jewel
  • "Nookie" by Limp Bizkit
  • "Ray Of Light" by Madonna
  • "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia
  • "Sunday Morning" by No Doubt
  • "Hypnotize" by Notorious BIG
  • "Pretty Fly" by Offspring
  • "Blurry" by Puddle of Mudd
  • "Livin' La Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin
  • "I Want You" by Savage Garden
  • "Walking on the Sun" by Smash Mouth
  • "Say You'll Be There" by Spice Girls
  • "Fly " by Sugar Ray
  • "Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind
  • "No Scrubs" by TLC
  • "One Headlight" by The Wallflowers
  • "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" by Will Smith
  • "All Mixed Up" by 311
I limited myself to picking songs that were released during the years I was in high school (1996-2000). Believe it or not, this really is just a taste. My list is almost 8 hours long. I'm pretty excited about this. Some of these songs I haven't listened to in years, some of them are still favorites I listen to over and over again. Music makes me happy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

QPR

Life is strangely coincidental at times, is it not?

I just finished reading a book by John Green called Looking For Alaska.

Yesterday, I had a one-on-one session on the Keys to Happiness.

Today, I attended a presentation on suicide prevention.

Hmm... Maybe the universe is telling me something?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My lovely friend Julia is writing a book. I'm super proud of her. Most people only talk about wanting to write a book. A lot of those people only think about it. Some of them put pen to paper (so to speak) but only write for a little while before putting the notebook back on the shelf (so to speak). A very few actually finish writing the book, and one of those few is my Julia friend. She's finished it and is in the re-writing, editing, rearranging process right now! Yay for Julia and her awesome progress!

To get the word out to people that she's accomplishing this amazing goal, she started a Writing Blog a little while ago. On this writing blog of hers, Julia is having a bookshelf photo contest. Check out her blog by following this link to the contest. And, if you feel so inclined, participate!