Thursday, February 23, 2012

Impromptu Date Night

Around 10:30 last night, my friend Skyler called.
Did you know science has shown that taking breaks from studies will actually make your studying more effective?
At least, that's what he told me.
And so came the impromptu double date.
Mitch invited Morgan, Skyler invited me.
We went to Sammy's, a hole-in-the-wall diner in downtown Provo.
Tuesday is two-for-one shakes.
The place is famous for their pie shakes.
Mint oreo pie shakes are actually quite delicious.
And they do have pie crust chunks in them.
We had a blast! It was a fantastic break from studying.
And we got to meet Cat, one of the employees. An interesting person, to say the least.
Back to the dorms, back to studying.
Breaks sure are fun when they last.
Particularly when ice cream is involved.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I celebrate FOUR happy heart days every year: 
three heart transplant anniversaries and one national holiday of Valentine's Day!

I'm not completely into the cupids, hearts, and actual valentines, nor do I support the idea of a Single Awareness Day. I'll be more excited about the "in love" aspect of it when I actually do have someone, but for now it's fun to write notes to friends and family and heart attack my roommate. I really love the fact that we have a day devoted to love.
Heart attacking Angela
Angela's notes for me
One of the girls in our hall made a few of these to put up in the hall.
For my birthday, my dear friend Brooke invited me to go to the Lady Antebellum concert with her!! She was a fantastic valentine :) The concert was amazing!! We missed Thompson Square opening, but got there in time to hear Darius Rucker! Brooke went to get a few t-shirts before Lady A came out. And when they did perform, they sang most of my favorite songs. It was so much fun!

Darius Rucker! 
Here they come!!! 

They brought this little girl on stage to announce "American Honey" and then danced around with her on stage.
Luckiest girl in the world. And she isn't even old enough to recognize it.  
Thompson Square, Lady Antebellum, and Darius Rucker. All together on the same stage.
Happy Brooke!! 
On the way home, Brooke introduced me to the Lauren Alaina soundtrack. Which is currently my most played music. So look forward to those songs in future posts.
Thanks to Brooke for a fantastic Valentine's day :)

Videos are to come soon...hopefully. Blogger won't let me upload them for some reason.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chivalry and Laundry

Found this draft post from the 1st of February. Enjoy.

Those who know me would know that I am a sucker for a wonderful chick flick, particularly one involving some fantasy. Namely, the chivalrous gentleman who saves the damsel in distress. 
Which is partly why I love BYU so much. Most of the guys here are raised with the expectation of chivalry and respect with us women.
I probably don't show my appreciation for it as much, but I really do love when guys hold a door open for me. Today I was lucky and got to experience a little bit more.
After breakfast, I offered a ride up to campus to some of the guys I was eating with. One of them (who shall remain nameless) decided to come with me. Walking from the Cannon to Stover, he opened every door. He attempted to open the car door for me, but because it's a manual lock had to wait for me to unlock it. The snow from the night before had created a lovely layer of ice on all the windows. So he offered to scrape the snow and ice off. Another entertaining moment as he, being from the south, had never scraped ice off a car before. 
I really appreciated it. So thanks to my nameless friend. And to all the other BYU boys - learn from this. Girls really do love a little chivalry every now and then.

There's my musings on chivalry. I could go on longer, but I'll restrain myself.

On the other hand, the remainder of my Monday was spent with my laundry. I don't terribly mind doing laundry, actually. It gives me a little while to just listen to music, think through everything going on in life, and even practice piano while my clothes wash.
The thing I need to remember, however, is that I should never put my laundry off. Then it takes far longer than laundry ever should for a single person. Which is what happened today as you can probably tell from the photo below.

me. exhausted after a day of laundry and class.
Still. It would be nice to have a knight in shining armor to do my laundry.

Also. Do enjoy this song. I think it's appropriate given the theme of this post. Plus it is possibly one of new, favorite country songs.
Chris Young - "You"

Monday, February 20, 2012

Past Two Weeks...Part Two

More pictures. More words. Longer blog post. Thanks for reading.

Sunday February 12th
Slightly embarrassing...
Angela and I slept through our own sacrament meeting. But I woke up early enough to make it to teach my lesson (which was on 2 Nephi 1-2 and I was really excited about it, but my thoughts were slightly scatterbrained so it didn't go as well as I had hoped, but I guess that's my own fault). Anyways, it was still great.
Plus, Jamie came home from the hospital the night before, so she came to church!! It was great to see her up and moving again.
Later, Angela and I went to sacrament meeting with her brother, Tom. Which was an awesome meeting, and a little different hearing from a couple of returned missionaries. The best part, though, was Sunday School after. Apparently Tom goes to marriage prep. Knowing nobody else in his ward, Angela and I also went to marriage prep.
Note to self: marriage prep is not for me right now.
So it was slightly embarrassing, but entertaining enough to make up for it.
Later that night I went over to Jeff and Carly's for dinner and to hang out with my adorable cousins, Conner, Lily, and Sammy, and their grandparents. It was a delicious home-cooked meal and a fun few hours with family.
My only half-decent picture of those two... and my only picture from the day.
No one came to visit during visiting hours (big surprise), but I did get to talk with one of my good friends who I haven't seen in a while. A great Sunday!

Monday February 13th
Classes, homework, the usual Monday routine.
For FHE we had a ward Valentine's Day party. I made a few cards, talked with some friends. Observed the quite definite division between the guys and the girls.
Guys play with balloons until they all pop.
Girls make cards.
There were a few guys mixed into the card-making, and people were taking some Valentine-themed pictures over at the "photo booth" (with a division between the guys and girls of course), but the balloon games were definitely the guys. Just entertaining. Eventually, Angela will do a blog post with the pictures our friend Andy took with her camera. Look forward to that.

Valentine's Day
{separate post coming soon}

Wednesday February 15th
Classes and homework, just as usual.
My sisters texted me to wake me up in the morning, which worked, but I neglected to text them back until later that night. I was in trouble. But I've been forgiven (Rachel...).
Visiting hours were a little sad. Jamie came back to say goodbye to everyone before heading back home. It's sad to see her go, but we'll see her in the fall! Her recovery is just incredible!
See, not every single day is a party here.
Although the mountains are awesome!
Hattie enjoying the mountains
me loving the usual
we like to play "find the Y"
Can you find it?
Thursday February 16th
I took my second spanish exam today. I felt pretty good about it actually. The written part was actually similar to a Valentine's day activity one of my old spanish teachers in high school had us do. So I rocked that portion!
Kyle spotlighting Hannah 
Haley spotlighting Angela!
Ward Prayer was entertaining as always! My friend Hannah was spotlighted, as was Angela!
After ward prayer and talking to some people, Hattie and I went to finish off the Tillamook ice cream, and Ethan came along. Eventually our friend Elise (who is also from Oregon) joined in for some as well. FUN TIMES.

Friday February 17th
7 years ago
I received my 2nd heart transplant
{separate post coming soon}

Saturday February 18th
Midterm studying.
Long nap.
Hanging out with Hattie.
Talking to family.
Brainstorming short story ideas for Megan.
To bed (relatively) early.
The end.

Sunday February 19th
Angela and I woke up on time (yes!) to three inches of SNOW!!!! YAY!!
...and went to a fantastic sacrament meeting. We had a stake leader speak to us which was awesome! Annabel (my team teacher) taught Sunday School, and Angela taught Relief Society. Both lessons on Joseph Smith. Both excellent! I love Sundays :)
I will be speaking to a group of Young Women on Wednesday the 22nd, so I worked on preparing that fireside/talk/devotional for a while before crashing for a nap. Woke up a few hours later, skyped with family, helped Megan with short story ideas, and worked on the fireside a little more.
Angela was watching a favorite movie and giggling for the entire length of the movie!
SO much funny!
And now we are caught up!! well, except for the Valentine's Day post. and the heart anniversary post. but those are coming.
As Angela would say, "For the love of the blog."

Past Two Weeks...Part One

So I'm going to make this as quick and short as possible, which means not as long sentences, but lots of pictures. And as I go through it all, hopefully you can bear with the fact that this is nine days worth of blog posts.
Here goes.
Tuesday February 7th
I went and visited Jamie again today with my friends Lexi, Kate, and Morgan. She looked a ton better from the night before. But I still think it's strange to go to the hospital without being the patient. 
Later that night I went to my cousin's basketball game. Not one of my favorite things to do, but it was fun to see him play and to visit with some family. My grandparents were in town so I got to see them one more time before they headed back to Oregon.
Christopher's number 3 on the white team...

CUTE cousins!! Abby, Ashley, and Lily 
me, Abby, Ashley, and Jon (Aunt Shauna in the background) 
me and Conner... I couldn't get him to take a cute picture 
I couldn't find Christopher after the game, but I DID find his brother Clark!!
He was a good sport and took a picture with me - thanks Clarky :)
Wednesday February 8th
Today was craziness. But to start it all off, I went to the temple with my awesome friends Amy, Lindee, Brooke, and Derrick! Sure it was early (6:45 am...yikes) but going to the temple is such a great way to get out of bed and start the day off.
Lindee, Brooke, me, and Amy. Derrick took the picture :)
Isn't that the most beautiful view from the temple?! I LOVE the mountains!
I took a Book of Mormon midterm (90% on the multiple choice!), wrote a two page paper for Book of Mormon, and then I went and visited Jamie again - she looked even better!! I am honestly convinced that optimism is the greatest thing that can help someone heal.

Angela and I made a run to Wal-Mart for her craft supplies for her elementary ed visual arts class. Seriously. That is a class and she has the best homework assignments. She's had to make paper bag moccasins, homemade scratch art, and even a valentine for some extra credit. I'm kind of jealous. But it's fun to watch her get excited about her projects. Anyways, we got excited in the school supplies section, and then we went to Krispy Kreme for a little treat. You'll have to go here to see pictures though. And believe me, you'll want to see pictures.

Thursday February 9th
I went to go visit Jamie with Andy and Austin. I had a blast at Ward Prayer. The end.

Friday February 10th
Went to classes. I went to visit Jamie again with some friends. Studied geography. Hung out with Hattie for a while. And then I dragged her to a Cannon Center "Mix and Mingle Activity" to support our friend Sarah who was going in as "the bachelorette" for the show part of the event. So funny!!
Hattie, Brooke, Kara, and Nick supporting Sarah at the event....from the back row of course :)
Some of the girls in our hall invited me to go see The Vow, but the show was sold out. So we went and got ice cream at Farr's. yum :)

Saturday February 11th
Today was spent doing more studying, more homework, and starting to organize my thoughts for the young women's group on the 26th. I also finished up my Gospel Doctrine lesson (YAY!!!). I went with my friends, Ethan and Hattie, to go get more Tillamook ice cream!
Tillamook Mudslide = my FAVORITE ice cream ever!!
And then Hattie and I watched a movie. And then I went to bed.

All in all, a fantastic second week of February.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Have a Laugh

Did you know a good long belly laugh is as good for you as spending 10 minutes on a rowing machine? Or that laughing 18 times a day is as good as a 30 minute workout?
One of these random facts that I'm not positive is true, but it definitely makes me feel better about myself. So I'm going with it is true.

Angela and I needed a study break last night, so we looked at some funny posters. And they were hilarious. She has some posted here, but here are a few of my favorites.
For my not as technologically advanced reader:
those would be the Angry Birds...from the game Angry Birds.

No. I am not going to hit that pedestrian walking in the parking lot.
no matter how many times you tell me to, I won't do it. High scores are just not that important to me. 

One my Dad showed me a few years ago. 

Quite possible my favorite.

Great song. Great movie. Great lesson.

I do not miss being awakened by a trumpet. Literally.
This one is more for my BYU friends... courtesy of Jeff Nielson.
Never mind. This one is my favorite.
Laughter: it's a good for you and for everyone else around you.
You're welcome.
Now go be productive. Like me.

Happy Monday

HAPPY MONDAY everybody!! It's actually been a pretty fantastic day, though I did wake up late.

So I spent the first part going to classes, doing homework, being as productive as usual. You know, if you're this productive so many days in a row you would think the homework and stress levels would decrease. They don't. Not one bit.

But now I do have a little more time to study for these two midterms I have this week...
Book of Mormon on Wednesday, Geography on Saturday.
At least government isn't until next week.

Went to dinner with some of the girls in the hall. Seriously, these girls are some of the most incredible, the sweetest, just fun people I have ever been around. I can't imagine not being in the same hall as them and seeing each one every single day!

One of the girls in our ward has revived the 119th ward curse of the girls ending up in the ER. Jamie was up skiing at Sundance and because it was so icy that night, couldn't stop and ended up crashing. The major problems: one of her lungs collapsed and she has a three-inch gash in her liver. She's fully coherent and conscious, but she can't move so that her liver can continue to heal on it's own. She is now in the ICU recovering, and so our FHE group went to visit her since she's one of our siblings :)
Family love :) Peter (the dad), Elise, me, Jamie, Hannah, Haley, Lacy (the mom), and Kelcie.
Just to clarify: in our ward, we are organized into Family Home Evening Groups. Peter and Lacy are our Family Home Evening Group Leaders. It's a whole lot easier to refer to them as our parents though. Hence, mom and dad. The end.
It's always an interesting experience visiting people instead of being the patient. I'm not sure if I'm a huge fan - I honestly think I'd rather be the patient. I brought what I could (my book and movie that were hospital staples for me) and asked some questions that everyone else probably thought were strange... anyways. Going to visit her again later on Tuesday to keep her company.

I came back from FHE and worked on homework (you're shocked, I know). I shared some popcorn with Hattie and Haley. I skyped with my family which is always a blast...
We're dorks. with matching PJ pants. super cute!! and I look strange because I had to take the picture which requires me to look at the keyboard. just letting you know.
And I got to skype with Newel! I miss that kid...and his humor. It was fun talking with him! Unfortunately, Angela was not present, so Newel had me dictate a sign to give to her. Hence the photo below.

After picking Angela up from her friend Will's place over in Heritage, we had a little party back at the dorm. Dance party: me playing "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips, Angela dancing/jogging/doing jumping jacks/running in place/burning excess energy/wiggling to that "work out" song. So entertaining. Still don't feel inspired to work out, though apparently she does. I'm so glad to have her to make me laugh even when I'm dead tired!!

Day 1 of the week of craziness done.
Only 5 days left.
I will survive.

Weekend Adventures

I realize I haven't posted since Thursday night which, despite being an all-nighter (which for me really isn't all night...just saying), was a very productive evening. A fantastic weekend leading up to this week of midterms and craziness... so I'm taking a few minutes to reflect on the lovely, relaxing last few days while taking a break from the crazy, hectic schedule that's already begun.

To speed through this rather lengthy post (I had an eventful weekend), the list of words by each date should give you a sense of what I did. you're welcome.

Friday February 3rd: Homework, a bonfire, Angela, Andy, Angela's brother, s'mores, group games, and the Sandlot.

Another productive day, though I was a little tired, needless to say. I finally found a motivation to work on homework: finish a subject's worth of homework and then write a letter to a missionary. It's actually been quite effective the past three days or so. Of course, I don't always work entirely through the subject and need a break halfway through the homework pile, but it helps! And I've written four letters already which is a definite bonus.

Angela invited me and our friend, Andy, up to a bonfire with her brother and some of his friends that night. It was super fun, though freezing cold, and there actually wasn't a bonfire due to snow and wind. So after a half hour or so, we declared the bonfire a failure and headed over to Tom's (Angela's brother) apartment. I thought it was pretty exciting because I actually could see a bunch of constellations I learned about in astronomy! Which never happened in the Chicago suburbs.
We're freezing. We're bundled up. We're in the wind. We look like we just woke up. But it was still fun.
FYI: Tom (Angela's brother) is third from the left, Andy and I are on the far left.
Photo courtesy of Angela.
Anyways... we made s'mores in the oven at Tom's and then played a few group games and attempted to watch The Sandlot. Apparently they only have the first half of the movie. You know, I've seen the first half of that movie dozens of times. I still don't know how it ends. But it was still a fun time...and later that night going to bed Angela was muttering Sandlot quotes.
Her favorite: "You're killin' me Smalls."
Playing group games with Andy. We're usually not this awkward...
Photo courtesy of Angela.
Saturday February 4th: Megan's 15th birthday, Regency, surprise birthday parties, and friends.

So I had an interesting morning... Megan called me to wake me (and Angela) up so we could head over to Regency for the apartment lottery! But she called me around 7:30 in the morning my time, which means I wasn't fully comprehending anything she said... but since it was 8:30 in the morning Chicago time and my family tends to awaken early they had already been up for a while. Or at least long enough for Megan to open a birthday present. Which she proceeded to tell me that she is coming to Utah. Which I did not believe.

Anyways, Angela and I got up and went to Regency for the lottery. Probably one of the most stressful two hours of my life, which says a lot. But exciting news:
Our names were picked about halfway through, and Angela and I signed contracts for spring/summer and fall/winter at Regency! I'm so excited!!!! She's super excited especially since our balcony looks directly across the street at her brother's place.
2.5 more months until I can live in that place...with my own kitchen...with home-cooked food every now and then...with a living room...paying 7.5 times less than we are now...I'm excited!
It really is a lottery in choosing who of the 100+ girls there get first pick at rooms.
Waiting...and waiting...and waiting...
OUR NEW APARTMENT!! beginning April 23, 2012...
While waiting for apartments, I texted various family members to find out if Megan was indeed coming to Utah and she wasn't just trying to get me out of bed. Guess what?
I cannot wait!! I honestly think I'm more excited than she is! It will be so much fun to see her! And she may come to some of my classes... although in her mind the only really important thing we will be doing is going to Legends Grille to stalk the athletes who come in to eat and then work out.

So those were pretty much the two major highlights of my day. But then it got even better!!! After doing homework and dropping Angela off at her friend's, I went to our basement to help set up for this girl's surprise birthday party!! Since she was coming from the men's volleyball game, the party didn't happen until later than was scheduled, so a bunch of us just sat around and talked and took awkward pictures for a while, which was still fun. 

Chloe, Harrison, and Kara. Some of my favorite people ever :) 
Brooke...and the boys.
me and Brooke!!! and creepers...
Brooke is one of my favorite people ever - she always inspires me to be better, more diligent, and is just an amazing example to me of living a Christ-like life. She is adorable and fashionable, a super fun person to be around, and can be very entertaining. And we will be going to Lady Antebellum on Valentine's Day!!! Woo hoo!! Needless to say, we are both super excited. Love you Brooke and Happy Birthday!!!

Sunday February 5th: Sleeping in, Stake Conference, piano music, cinnamon rolls, lunch with friends, letters, Ryan's 3rd birthday, and time with family in Sandy.

It was wonderful. We got to sleep in, I got to shower before church because I didn't wake up too late, and Stake Conference was just amazing. It was an amazing meeting focused around the blessings of the Book of Mormon, but our Stake President ended the meeting by talking about forgiveness. I love my Stake President, though I've never personally met him, and I'm grateful for the counsel each speaker gave on Sunday. I left inspired to be better.

We drove back from Stake Conference and headed straight to the Cannon for a meal (or in my case, a snack of salad to tide me over). I love going to the Cannon with friends, especially the people from our ward! We just sit and talk and we would be there for hours if there was no homework to do... but there is, so we don't. But it's nice to think about what we would do...

Some of the girls in our hall made delicious cinnamon rolls and shared with everyone!! So yummy...

I drove up to Sandy to have dinner with some family and celebrate my cousin, Ryan's 3rd birthday!! He is adorable! And it was nice to just take a few hours to relax, talk to family, and just play with some little kids again. My grandparents from Oregon were there, so it was fun to see them again (they came to dinner at the Cannon on Thursday night so we talked for a while then too).
Two cuties reading a book. Lincoln and Abby 
My grandparents :)

Ryan... with his new farm, his Cars slippers, and eating some M&Ms. 
So stinking cute! Happy 3rd birthday Ryan!!

The cousins: Lincoln, Jon, Emily, Hannah, me, Ryan, Abby, and baby Jackson.

me and Jackson. I think I have 8 pictures and this is the best one without him looking like he's about to scream.
me and the birthday boy!
why are my glasses crooked in every single picture?
A fantastic weekend...
It's a wonderful life.

Note: Please check Angela's blog for more pictures of our adventures together. She is far better at getting pictures of people than I am. Just sayin'.