Monday, April 30, 2012

April Showers

So contrary to the title this post will not be about rain (well at least not entirely). School has been out for a week and a half now, but it seems like so much longer. Life has been straight up incredible. I have done so much and laughed so much that my six pack is beginning to show.

It all started with a weekend alone with Jordan. I don't know who thought it was a good idea to leave us unsupervised... We decided we couldn't be left completely alone and formally asked one of our friends on a polygadate. Props to all of the guys out there. Planning a date is hard! That night turned out to be super fun. I got to eat legitimately trashy Mexican food and meet a real life model. Pretty awesome. However, our idea for the next night was a little more ridiculous... Hike a mountain in the middle of the night on a sudden whim without any food. Does anyone really think that sounds like a good idea?! Luckily, we have friends who were crazy enough to accompany us to the top of Squaw Peak. I may have done longer and more strenuous hikes, but this one was definitely the hardest ever. I literally thought about curling up in a ball on the side of the trail and sleeping until I turned into a popsicle (it was  really cold). However, the view from the top was incredible!!!

The brave souls who conquered Squaw Peak.

Monday brought my first full day of work, the return of Kathryn, and new roommates. I am not going to lie working carpet cleaning full time has been rough. Sometimes I just get so sick of sucking up dirt! However, it makes it possible for me to stay in Provo and for that I am grateful. Our new roommates are awesome. One of my favoritest people, Natalie, moved in and the other two are incredible as well. So far our escapades haves been the stuff of dreams. From dancing in the rain to Krafting with Kevin to painting the oar things have just been awesome.

This weekend my love for Southern Utah grew even more. Jordan and I went on a camping trip to Moab. It was stunning! Goodness gracious red rocks are gorgeous. We spent the night in what I think was a parking lot (sketch-a-sketch...). It was fuh-reezing. They aren't kidding when they say the desert gets cold at night. And to think I almost didn't bring a sleep bag... In the morning we set off to go hiking in Arches National Park. The hike was awesome, even if we did get incredibly lost.

With the beautiful oar

We're epic and we know it

I just can't get over this view!

Double-O Arch

Beautiful rocks

In summary spring term has been awesome and I am sure it will continue to be. I love how relaxed it is. I love having my guy friends a few steps closer. I love the sunny and warm weather. I love my life!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Year in Review

Well it's done! My sophomore year at BYU is finished. It has honestly been the best year of my life. Sure, there have been some really low lows, but there have also been the highest highs. It's crazy to look back to what my life was like a year ago. I had just finished my freshman year and was preparing to go back home. I was completely reliant on a boy I thought I was in love with. I had a few really close college friends, but couldn't wait to return to my friends back home. Things couldn't be more different. Now I am about to face life as a college junior. I am staying in Utah to work at least until June. I have never felt more comfortable with myself and am honestly confident on my own. I have an incredible friend group here and am dreading the social life I will return to at home (I love my friends there. It's just that things have changed so much). SO to celebrate this incredible year I thought I would give a few highlights.

Highlight #1: Roommates!!!!!!!! This is probably the biggest highlight. I lived with five wonderfully fantastic girls this year. We had the occasional argument, but for the vast majority of the time we got along so well. I think that is quite the accomplishment. I just have so much fun with these girls. Everyday in our apartment is sitcom worthy. Gah! I am going to miss those of them that are leaving a ton!

The only good picture to come out of our photoshoot...

Highlight #2: 7th and 8th roommates. I am so grateful for our two honorary roommates. These two guys are incredible and really keep our apartment (at least me) grounded. Also, if it weren't for #7 I don't think my apartment would ever have had a social life.... So thanks Chad and Connor!

Highlight #3: The Quote Wall! My apartment is pretty darn funny.

Errrr, quote door?

Highlight #4: My ward! My ward this last year has been incredible. My freshman ward at BYU was not so great. My friends and I sat in a corner and were basically invisible. This year, however, my ward was awesome. I felt so included and really care about all of the people. You all made going to church even more enjoyable.

Highlight #5: Bridal Veil Falls hike. This was the first thing we ever really did as an apartment.

Highlight #6: Football games! Go cougars!

Highlight #7: Gangsta dress-up. This is the night I knew I would fit in.

Highlight #8: Potato cannon!

Highlight #9: Peter Pan Halloween! We won best group costume!

Highlight #10: N'Sync dance! I think we make pretty convincing men....

Highlight #11: St. George. BEST weekend of the year.

Highlight #12: The Bachelor- Chad Edition. Too bad I never finished it...

Highlight #13: Star Wars Party! You know you have cool friends when they will dress up as star wars characters.

Highlight #14: Festival of Colors!

Highlight #15: First concert ever! I love Fun.

Highlight #16: FHE movies. My film debut.

Well that's all for now folks! Thanks to all of you who made this year the "highlight of my existence!"

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Evergreen State

It's that time in the semester when everyone starts getting excited to go home. Finals are here and freedom is just around the corner. I, however, am not going home. I don't want that to sound depressing. I am actually super excited about staying for another two months, but I do miss home a little bit. So I am going to dedicate this post to the beautiful state of Washington. 

I love Washington! I love the attitude. I love the people. I love the ocean. I love the mountains. I love the trees. I even love the rain. I saw a post on facebook about the ways that you know you are from Washington. They come from Jeff Foxworthy and I just though I would share/ comment on them. So here we go.

1) If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you live in Washington.

I am not sure if this is because everyone is super friendly and helpful or because we all know so much about yard work, but it's definitely true.

2) If you've worn shorts, sandals and a parka at the same time, you live in Washington.

This is me pretty much every time I go to the beach...

3) If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone... who dialed the wrong number, you live in Washington.


4) If you measure distance in hours, you live in Washington.

Seattle is 1.5 hours away from my house. I have no idea how many miles!

5) If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you live in Washington.

Bahahahhahaha. YES! The Lola aka the hooker mobile....

6) If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' and back again in the same day, you live in Washington.

Springs are so bipolar. Sunny one hour, pouring rain the next.

7) If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Central, Southern, or Eastern Washington.

I am not from any of those places.

8) If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over 2 layers of clothes or under a raincoat, you live in Washington.

I had so many beautiful costume that couldn't be seen because they had to be covered by a coat. Then I discovered the magics of a cloak...

9) If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow and ice, you live in Washington.

Maybe in Eastern Washington?

10) If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, you live in Washington.

I actually disagree with this one. I think the seasons are rain, rain, rain, and slightly sunny. Summer really is not that rainy in Washington. Also, the road construction in Utah is infinitely worse.

11) If you feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash, you live in Washington.

This is so true! At my house our recycling bin is bigger than our garbage can, but the recycling in my apartment sucks. At first I tried to separate everything, but it was too much of a hassle.

12) If you know more than 10 ways to order coffee, you live in Washington.

I don't even drink coffee and I can think of at least 12.

13) If you know more people who own boats than air conditioners, you live in Washington.

Very, very true. I remember when we bought a small swamp cooler for my house. It's only turned on for two weeks of the year.

14) If you stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the "Walk" signal, you live in Washington.

I never realized how polite pedestrians in Washington are until I moved to Utah. Here when I cross the street and wave to the drive people look at me funny.

15) If you consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it is not a real mountain, you live in Washington.

YES! These mountains in Utah are like foothills. There little and they don't always have snow. I guess I have just been spoiled by Mt. Rainier.

16) If you can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best, and Tullys, you live in Washington.

Maybe I can't taste the difference, but I think I can smell it.

17) If you know the difference between Chinook, Coho and Sockeye salmon, you live in Washington.

I am pretty sure that every science class I had in elementary school had a section just on salmon. 

18) If you know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Issaquah, Snoqualmie, Wenatchee, Spokane, Umpqua, Yakima, and Willamette, you live in Washington.

Are the really that hard? I would also add Chehalis and Enumclaw to the list.

19) If you consider swimming an indoor sport, you live in Washington.

Why would anyone want an outdoor pool they can only use for about a month.

20) If you can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food, you live in Washington.

Once again, very true.

21) If you never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho, you live in Washington.

I am pretty sure that our camping backpacks have a never ending supply of these.

22) If you have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain, you live in Washington.

I don't like biking, but this is true for the rest of my family.

23) If you think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists, you live in Washington.

Agreed. People with umbrellas should just suck it up unless they are going to be outside for an extended period of time.

24) If you buy new sunglasses every year because you cannot find the old ones after such a long time, you live in Washington.

I didn't even have sun glasses for the longest time.

Well I just love Washington and all it's quirks. It is just so awesome and unique.

The beautiful capitol city I call home.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Life Goes On

Well I figure it's about time for a life update. I haven't had a serious post in a while and SO much has happened. So here we go.

Food: I haven't been cooking new stuff quite as much recently, but I still have some things I am proud of.

My first attempt at making my grandma's famous cinnamon rolls.

Parmesan and pepper asparagus. Yum!

Apparently people think I make good sandwiches...

English muffin pizzas.

A totally experimental pizza burger. Actually decent.

Color Me Mine: For Ellyn's birthday my roommates and I went and painted ceramics. It was super fun and I love my plate.

Jordan and I with our creations!

The Festival of Colors: During the first weekend of spring the Hare Krishna temple throws this giant festival. Everyone goes and throws colored corn starch at each other. It's supposed to be a religious hindu event, but it being in Utah it ends up being all Mormons. I hate the feeling of breathing in the colors, but it is ever so fun. 

Chad and I before the throwing.

After the throwing.

I love this one.

The whole crew.

Love these two.

The colors make me a little strange...

The Hunger Games: Gah! I love those books and I love the movie. Peeta is wonderful. Enough said.

General Conference: I have never been so reliant on the Lord in my life. Everyday I feel so overwhelmed, confused, and stressed. And everyday I just fall to my knees and pray. Going into conference feeling this weak really made me see it completely differently. I got so much out of the messages. I feel like so much of it was just for me. I am so grateful to have living prophets to listen to. I am so grateful for this opportunity to grow closer to my Savior. And I am so thankful for the optimism I received from general conference. Here's a few of my favorite lines:

"You have not traveled beyond the divine reach of God." - Elder Holland

"Stop it!" - President Uchtdorf

"Let us run with patience the race that is set before us." - President Monson

City Creek / Temple Square: While the guys went to priesthood session the girls went shopping at the beautiful new City Creek Mall. It was hands down the nicest mall I have ever been to. Getting there was a little sketchy. The guys dropped us off in an abandoned parking lot where were chastened by a security guard... We also spent a little time at temple square. I love that place. It is always so beautiful and the spirit there is incredible.

I love this building!

Check out our awesome outfits.

Fun. concert: I got to go to my first concert ever! We went to see Fun. Most of you probably know their song "We Are Young." They were incredible live. I am obsessed. Also, shout out to the guys who gave me piggy back rides so I could actually see.

Rockin' our colored pants before the concert.

Obviously the stage.

Looking a little scary during the concert.

Well that's all for now... Only two and a half more weeks until the end of the semester and then I am free!