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....


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.

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

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


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


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.