Saturday, December 19, 2009

Oh Sweet Summer!

I know we are already in December, but since I have been horrible at keeping a journal I really want to document all of my events from the year somehow. Thus, I am starting with everything that happened this summer. Once I get this out of the way I can start keeping my blog updated with things that are currently going on in my life!

(por fin!)
  • Yes, I graduated! And it was a great feeling! I now have my degree in Music Education! Whoo hoo! (what I ended up doing with my degree though is a whole different story).
  • My parents came down to Tucson and I graduated Saturday, May 16th. Sunday, May 17th, I loaded my car with my things (well basically just my clothes and stuff) and drove to Salt Lake City to move in with my grandparents. Monday, May 18th I flew to Spain to visit my mission!

(Home Sweet Home)

  • Spain was great. I spent the first couple of days on my own just visiting various places and people from different areas.
  • Katie Whitlock, a very dear mission companion, flew over and met up with me in Madrid. We traveled and visited places such as Alcalá and Salamanca. Another companion, Estefania Torres, from Barcelona, also met up with us. It was a lot of fun.
  • On the very last day of my trip, my trainer from the mission, Randilyn Nordstrom, flew in and we were able to spend the day in downtown Madrid together.
  • During my 10 days there I got to visit with my mission president and his wife at the mission home, visit recent converts, attend church in two of my old wards, attend a special fireside celebrating the 40th year anniversary of the church being in Spain, go salsa dancing with some of my friends, and several other memorable activities. It was a great way to remember and in some ways add closure to the year and a half I spent serving in that wonderful place!

EFY (My Oh My!)

  • Saturday, May 30th, I flew back from Spain to Salt Lake. Sunday, May 31st, my EFY team came and picked me up from my grandparents' house and we all drove to Montpelier, ID.
  • I honestly had absolutely no idea who I would even be working with this summer until just one day before we started our 8 weeks together... could I ever have imagined a better team though! Heck no! Our team this summer was a total dream team... no our team was more than that... we were family! The team consisted of David Kidd (good friend from the previous summer) Staci Meacham (girl I definitley didn't know, but we shared a bed our first week together so I got to know her real quick!) Christian Hong (no one knows more about Disney than this kid) Brooke Betenson (we shared a dear mutual friend and now we're dear friends ourselves) Ryan Stewart (1. He's a Stewart 2. Is his best bud one of my favorite peeps? You betcha) Elle Bray (one of the biggest & best surprises of the summer, we worked together the summer before & she was the only person in the history of EFY who was too young to be hired as a counselor but still met the BC qualifications!) Oh how I love my team!
  • We worked a grand total of 8 weeks... one in ID, three in Sandy, three in Taylorsville, and one in Ogden. All glorious, each with it's own funny moments, random experiences, awesome youth, (a few annoying kids), interesting challenges... but overall there was nothin but good times!

Backpacking Bliss

  • Who doesn't love a few days in the mountains with just your best buds, a back-pack, millions of mesquitos (ok well that part was unfortunate), surprisingly good camping food, gorgeous mountains, beautiful lakes, and fly fishing rods! We only had one week off of EFY and boy did we use it wisely... our little camping crew consisted of Ryan, Ryan's freshly returned missionary cousin Carson (super swell kid), Staci, Elle, Chase (one of our favorite summer counselors), and me!
  • Were scary stories told, do I now believe is Sasquatch, did we see an actual UFO, did I de-hook a fish all by myself in a rescue mission, did we play in the beautiful but ice cold waterfalls?... yes to all of the above and I loved it!

California Dreamin'

  • It's our annual family vay-cay! One week + 7 Kids + Newport Beach + Marriot Resort = Endless Adventures... because let's be honest... we put the fun in dysfunctional!
  • This year there were obviously only 6 kids because my dearest sister Whitney is still enjoying an amazing time as a missionary in Southern Italy... we missed having her but are still oober proud of what she's doing.
  • This year's activities included the X Games for the boys. Wicked for the girls (plus dad). Deep Sea fishing like every year. And lots and lots of beach and pool time!
  • Did I wear sunscreen the first day like a good girl?... oh yeah sure thing! But did I forget to re-apply that sunscreen during the day like I should have?... sadly I did not :( I got so sunburned day 1 that it really made it kind of rough the rest of the week, but it's okay... I'm over it! (now that the flesh eating pain is no longer fresh in my memory) :)
  • Other than the bad sunburn (of which my brother Jon was also a victim of) everything went pretty smoothly (no lost children, no sting ray bites, etc...) Oh yeah, exept for the fact that when I plugged in Newport Beach into my GPS, and without me realizing it, it did not register as Newport California. And since I've never driven to California from Utah before it never registered in my mind that I was driving in the wrong direction. I didn't even know I was going the wrong direction till my mom called to see where I was and I told her Wendover, ID. I then spent the next few hours driving across Idaho to get me back on the correct route to our condo. I honestly have no regrets though. It was a beautiful little desolate freeway and I saw a whole lot of Idaho that I probably would have never seen (EVER!) in my entire life if it weren't for the destination GPS mess-up.

Wild White Water With the Ward (if that's not alliteration I don't know what is)

  • That's right... my little Single's Ward is so cool that at the end of the summer we all went up to Jackson Hole to do some camping and white water rafting. It was great fun & made some great friends.

Well folks, that really is all I can recall from this summer. Of course I'm sure there were a ton of random, awkward, potentially funny moments that would have been great fun to blog about... but alas, since it's January 1st and I'm finally just getting around to blogging about my summer, those memories have faded like dark denim jeans in sink of bleach.

I'm back!

Ok... So it has been a really long time since I've blogged... a really long time. I am going to change that though starting today. The only really hard thing is that it's been so long I don't even know where to start. Life has changed so much since the last time I have posted (which was me packing up my things in Tucson and getting ready to graduate and move to Utah). I have now been a post grad for 8 months and life has taken me in directions that I never expected. Coming soon... My Life After College! (don't get to excited though... post graduate life isn't as exciting as one would hope!)

Friday, May 15, 2009

And the grand total is.....

Well, I am in the process of packing and moving out today so I really don't have time to elaborate, but.... this morning while organizing all of my things I pulled out my shoes to make sure I had 2 of each shoe. Yes, I have a lot of shoes but until today I didn't realize how many. I counted them and how many specifically? 105 pairs! I know that's ridiculous! I find that completely disgusting. Where did they all come from? As one disclaimer, several of them are Whit's that she left with me while she's on her mission. Some of the shoes are absolutely hideous and left over from things like my high school winter formal. All I have to say though is that I am slightly ashamed and will be cleaning out my closet today for sure (although I will not be touching my collection of All-Stars or my Pumas)! The End.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

And we lived after the manner of happiness....

One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Nephi 5:27 "And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness." Happiness has been a topic on my mind a lot recently. I am at one of those times in my life when everything is just super crazy. I am graduating from college, looking for a job, and need to basically decide where I want to go and what I want to do with my life for the next little bit. School has been stressful, life has been busy, and several other circumstances in my life that have presented a plethora of new experiences. Every week I receive a inspiring letter from my sister Whitney telling me of all her wonderful experiences as a missionary in Italy. It would be a lie to say that I am not envious of her and that I don't long to be doing what she is doing right now. I cannot express in words how much I loved my time as a missionary. It really was such an important time in my life. I did have a wonderful epiphany though last night while sitting in the adult session of Stake Conference. I realized that regardless of what's going on in our lives, we have just an endless capacity within ourselves for happiness. Regardless of all the craziness in my life, and even though I no longer have the wonderful daily joy of being a full time missionary, I realized that I am just as happy now, if not happier, than any past time in my life. There is no reason why we can't be a little happier each day than we were the day before. It is just such an amazing concept to me and I love it. I know that as long as I am doing my best from day to day I can continually increase in knowledge, understanding, and most importantly happiness! I am truly happy. There is a lot of uncertainly in my future but that's okay. I really do feel inside what this little baby is expressing on his precious face. I am living after the manner of happiness and I also know that even greater happiness is yet to come!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

So many things to look forward to....

This summer can't come soon enough! I can't wait! Here are the official countdowns!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pop Star!

So it finally happened. Some agents heard my amazing voice and my incredible singing skills and want me to sign a contract with some record company and create my own album. The exciting thing is that because of all this new praise, I will be one of the opening acts for tomorrow's big Jay-Z/Kelly Clarkson/3rd Eye Blind Concert. FALSE: If anyone has ever heard me sing, they would automatically know that everything I just said was impossible and a total lie. Everything that is except for the part about me being in an opening act for tomorrow's big concert. That's right! But I am playing my fiddle... not singing. There is actually a small ensemble of us string players who get to backup some local rappers for the new Zona Zoo theme song. It's been really fun putting the song together and I'm really excited to get up on the stage tomorrow and do our thing. Supposedly 7,000 tickets have been sold. The best part is that we get to hangout back stage during the entire concert so I really hope to meet some cool peeps (esp Kelly Clarkson! I love her!). So no. I am not a pop star, but if you start seeing me walking around campus wearing a do-rag and some gangsta bling, you now know why!

You Never Know Who's Watching.....

Yes, sometimes in the church we talk about the principle of "you never know who's watching you" in regards to setting a good righteous example etc... Tonight, I realized that this same principle can be applied when driving home and jamming out in your car.
So there I was. It was a very long day and I was finally making my way home for the 1st time since the early afternoon. The time was 9:30 pm. I climb into my car, pull out of the Institute parking lot, and turn onto Campbell. Just then the song comes on the radio from my Ipod, and for some reason this song lit a fire within me. It was Journey's "Separate Ways." The next thing I know all of my best 80's dance moves are being pulled out all at the same time. My head was banging, my arms flying, and I was singing at the top of my lungs. It was just such a wonderful emotional release after a long stressful day of school. Halfway through the song though I realize that I am sitting at a stoplight and while still dancing I glance to my left only to notice a very good looking black man sitting in the passenger seat of a slick gray convertible (which had its top down). There he was smiling... smiling and staring. The shock of seeing him there caused me to panic and freeze. I put both hands on the steering wheel, sat straight up, and stared intently at the red light. My cheeks were blushing. I glanced over again and he was still there as before with a large goofy grin on his face. Not only had he seen me, but I was positive he would have also heard me. I continue to stare at the light. It was the longest red light of my entire life. I really don't know why I cared so much about being "caught," but I really felt like I had revealed to this complete stranger my inner soul. I sat so incredibly still. Afraid to move. I kept hoping for the light to finally turn green again so I could return to my dancing. Finally, it did. I sped quickly away, started the song over again, and all was well in the world once again. Before restarting the song though, I could not help but to burst out laughing. Laughter really is the best medicine.
So there I was again. Slightly embarrassed (but not really... I was mainly just amused by the whole situation), singing along again to the wonderful sounds of Journey, and dancing like no one was watching. The End.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

One Year Mark

This entry is going to be short because it is late and tomorrow I have my Senior Recital which is kind of a big deal.... but I just wanted to say that today April 18th is exactly one year from the day that I was released as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I can't believe that it has already been a year. One full year! I still miss being a missionary and would drop everything in a heartbeat and return to Spain if I could. However, I do realize that life must go on and that there really is life after the mission. I honestly am so grateful for all the experiences I have had during this last year and I know that even more wonderful and exciting adventures still await me. Life's great! That's all.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Life is Just One Big Musical

Okay, so that's not actually true. I wish everyone randomly broke out into song and dance during the day but that's not the case. Just a little random side note about me though... even though my life isn't a musical, I still have a theme song for everything. It doesn't matter what is going on in my life, I can guarantee that I have a song in my head to match it. (There are also certain people who I also have assigned theme songs for, but that a totally different story). Sometimes I like to play such songs in my car when driving and I just sing along at the top of my lungs to really express myself and let it all out. Don't expect me to divulge what such theme songs are on this public blog, but I will give a semi-recent example. There was this one time that I was at this party, and then I saw this boy. I met this boy. I talked to this boy (according to my sister I got my flirt on with this boy). I honestly thought I could have been very interested in this boy. Just a few days later though I found out that my really good friend was actually dating that boy. So much for that one eh? Well, you better believe that week one of my theme songs was "Goodbye My Almost Lover" by a Fine Frenzy. Life might not be a musical, but you better believe there is always a musical going on in my head... and who knows, you all might be part of it. Life's just a little bit more fun that way.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ode to Pam and Jim

Okay.... So if anyone knows me at all (or at least read my "25 things"), they would know I am a hopeless romantic. I will not deny it and I am not ashamed! I am an idealists and sentimental dreamer. There is a reason why I absolutely love reading Jane Austin and all of that good stuff. No I have never actually been in love myself and can only count on one hand the people I've ever been "in like" with at all. However, there are several couples who I am in love with and at the top of that list is Jim and Pam. This blog entry is dedicated to them.

Yes, I realize these aren't real people, but it doesn't mean that their situation can be real for the rest of us. I mean, in my opinion their situation is perfect (obviously minus the whole fact Pam was engaged to someone else for a while, and Jim was with Karen and all, but that just made for good TV). The thing about Jim and Pam is that they were friends first... but not just normal lame friends.... they were the type of friends that could just completely be themselves around each other at all times. They had fun just by being goofy, pulling harmless pranks, and entertaining each other with just pure randomness. I love it! Sitting on the roof in lawn chairs, eating yogurt, while watching cheap fireworks.... I don't think it gets much cuter than that. They just like every little quirky thing about each other. For instance, Jim thinks its way cute how Pam is a dorky dancer. They just have so much in common and like all the same things.

I know some people see love as this big passionate fall for each other at first sight kind of experience, but I don't really see it that way. I see it as having this amazing friend who you can tell anything and be yourself around. Someone who you can have fun with under any circumstance. Someone who just thinks your the greatest person ever despite your little oddities. Someone who just wants to be near you just because. In my opinion Jim and Pam = true love! Even after they start dating they still just love doing cute random things for each other. They are always so supportive of each other too. Man, I really could just go on forever : )but I won't.

In conclusion, one day I hope to have what Jim and Pam have. I would love to meet someone who likes me despite my dorkiness and embraces my more quirky qualities. I just want to meet my best friend and then let it progress from there. I don't need some drop dead gorgeous vampire who lights a fire of passion within me. I just want to meet someone who likes what I like and shares my same goals. Wow, this is a way sappier entry than I originally planned. So sorry to whoever is actually reading this.... I did include a video though to share a little bit of the Jim and Pam spirit. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Little Random Things....

I just love the little random things that happen on a day to day basis which are totally unexpected but humorous in their own quirky way. It's like how a few days ago while sitting in one of the computer labs on campus, I couldn't but help notice the boy in front of me laughing out loud hysterically. The room dead silent and the only noise that good be heard was this kid's out of control laugh. You would of thought he was watching the funniest thing in the whole wide world. Finally my interest was peaked enough to lean forward and take a glance at his computer screen. I almost burst out laughing myself when I realized that the source and cause of his laughter was because of funny images of cats on one of those weird cat people's websites (they were like the kinds of images you would imagine Angela from the Office being entertained by). I seriously loved the fact that this was what was driving this 22 year old boy into such a fit of laughter. One of the images he kept getting a kick out of was of a cat dressed like a pirate steering a home made cardboard ship that was sitting in the middle of the floor in someones living room. This wonderful experience of seeing the fanatical cat man in the library totally and completely made my day!
Today's random event was extremely unique and left me smiling for hours. Here in Tucson we have this giant park that is surrounded by a 3 mile walking loop. I love to go there to run and rollerblade. There are always such interesting people out and about whether it is the group of young mothers with their jogging strollers or the old men in their shiny jump suits. Today I chose to rollerblade the loop twice for a grand total of 6 miles. I love when I rollerblade because I really do feel like I am super fast or something since continually pass all of the walkers and joggers who are in front of me. I feel powerful. Today however something completely unexpected occured... while finishing up my 2nd time around the loop I saw this extremely buff Hispanic man jogging in front of me. I pass him with ease and start to continue on my way. The next thing I know and this same man has run up beside me and is keeping pace with me. We stayed there locked side by side for what seemed like a pretty long minute before I decided to go ahead and push forward. As I sped up, I noticed he sped up as well. I tried going faster. He ran faster. It then dawned on me.... we were in a race! I must admit I was amazed at how fast this man was running considering I was on rollarblades and keeping a pretty decent pace myself. I definitely never made it to top speed, mainly because I was smiling and about to burst out laughing because of the extreme randomness of the situation. We stayed locked side by side for what seemed like at least 200 meters or more, neither one of us being able to break ahead of the other. I must admit it was pretty intense : ) Seriously though. A race? Finally the man's endurance gave out and I continued the rest of the way to may car. I was just smiling though because of the complete randomness of the whole thing. I just love stuff like that! I just can't wait to see what little random things will happen to me each day. It just makes life that much more exciting!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dumpster Diving

So every Wednesday on campus all of the food vendors offer a special $3.00 student lunch. I must admit it is one my favorite days of the week. Lately my campus restaurant of choice is this salad place called Core. It has every healthy and delectable salad topping you could ever imagine (from fresh strawberries to artichoke hearts... it's just amazing!) So for the last several weeks my Wednesday tradition has been to buy one of these delicious salads, eat some of it during my big geography lecture, put the leftovers in the Institute fridge, and then eat the rest of it for dinner as soon as I finish teaching. This weekly ritual was really working well for me and there has never been a single problem with it before. However, today when putting my leftovers in the fridge for later, I missed the note taped to the door warning people about the "spring fridge clean out" that would be taking place this afternoon.
While sitting in orchestra later this afternoon I couldn't stop thinking about the beautiful salad that was waiting for me. As soon as I finished teaching violin, I raced across campus, trotted through the Institute doors, and v-lined it for the kitchen. I enthusiastically swung open the shiny white door only to be greeted by barren and empty shelves staring mockingly back at me. What!?! Where is my salad? I then talked to the missionary couple and much to my dismay I discovered that the fridge had been cleaned out just 15 minutes prior to my arrival. I left the institute building in total dismay. There was nothing I wanted more in that moment then my luscious, flavorful salad While walking through the parking lot to my car, I walked directly past the dumpster. It sat there smiling at me. I don't know why, but it lured me closer and closer. The next thing I knew, I was hanging over the side of the dumpster reaching for the black plastic garbage bag sitting on the top of the heap. (don't worry... I checked the parking lot first to make sure no one was watching because that would have been embarrassing). I rip open the shiny black bag to see my beautiful salad container sitting there right on top. I grab it. It is still cold. I climb down from the dumpster and start walking again towards my car. I just couldn't stop smiling. I was so proud of myself! You better believe I went straight to my car where I sat there gloating and eating my $3.00 salad. Did I dig through the dumpster today to find food for dinner? Sure did! And it was worth every bite!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

World's Worst Blogger!

I am such a horrible blogger and it makes me sad! I don't know why it is so hard for me to do. I can keep my statuses on Facebook updated like my life depended on it, but blogging... well, I'm working on it. It has been forever since I've written and so much has changed and happened... here's a list of just a few things.

  • Whitney got her mission call to Italy, has left me on my lonesome, and is now in the MTC. I miss her like a child misses their blanky, but I am also so excited and happy for her!
  • Since Whitney is going to Italy I started studying Italian and it's been fun. The Spanish background has done miracles with my new forming Italian skills. It's been fun!
  • Christmas break was a blast and a half! I just love my family, our crazy traditions, our matching pj's, snowboarding, and all that good stuff.
  • Running has become a new hobby of mine... not really by choice. I got talked into doing this relay with some friends and I'm so glad I did! I must say though... if I didn't have the Hairspray, Enchanted, or High School Musical soundtracks on my ipod it probably wouldn't be quite as enjoyable.
  • I have never ran that far in my life! The Ragnar Relay... 204 miles, 12 people, 2 vans... I contributed a total of 13 miles during the relay and I didn't die! One of the greatest miracles of my life! Plus I made some great new friends and talk about good bonding time while spending 30 hours in a van together.
  • Too much school! Can I just say I am glad that I won't have to sit through anymore classes after graduation in May for a little while? Why am I so crazy by taking 22 credit hours every semester?
  • Procrastination is never good... I really should have started practicing more consistently for my senior recital a little sooner. Don't get me wrong I've done an hour or two everyday but now this is where I double it. I am starting to crack down hard core. I'm just not going to let myself have anymore fun till after April 19th! If anyone want's to know where I am they can check the dungeon-like gray practice rooms in the basement of the music building.
  • Am I going to Spain after graduation? HECK YES I AM! I cannot wait! Two weeks of just seeing all my favorite people and the gorgeous country that I love! Then I'm off to Salt Lake for another fabulous summer of EFY!
  • Do I love game nights? Sure Do! Tonight we tried to step it out by having a crepe bar and I think it is safe to say it was a total success! It sure was tasty! Does our cute little house fit 50 people all at once. Sure Does! That's how many people showed up tonight and it really was just a good way to hang with all my friends here in T-ville (and I'm not even mad that some of my buddies poked fun at my love of High School Musical... I do not deny it and have nothing to hide!).
Well, I am going to try and get better at this whole blogging thing. I must say Bethany is one of my blogging heroes. She always just has something short and snazzy to say. Bethany, you are my blogging idol (and I say that in a non-creeper, non-stalker way). Keep up the good work girl you inspire us all!