Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thanksgiving & Other Stories

Whew! It surprises me how much can happen in just a relatively small amount of time!! The last few weeks have been loaded with fun things, time with family and friends, and not much sleep... It's been AWESOME!!

My friend Mindy and I decided that we needed to really set up a work-out/get-up-early routine, so we started on the 22nd. She lives about an hour away, so we would wake up at 5:30am (yes, I did) and text each other to make sure we're both awake. Then we would do our own exercising routines. Mine lasts about half an hour. After that I go eat breakfast and do my morning scripture study. It's awesome! I'm on week three now!!

My Thanksgiving week really started when Mom and Dad arrived on the night of the 24th (Tuesday) after I got off work. We ran some errands really quick, and then checked into the Residence Inn where we were staying for the week (only a 10 minute drive from my apartment, but hey... not gonna pass up the opportunity to sleep in a hotel, in a king size bed, on a real mattress!

I woke up at 5:30am on Wednesday (still had to work), did my morning routine. Dad dropped me off at work, since they were borrowing my car, and then Mom and Dad went down to Provo to get Kimmy. I was picked up from work at 7pm, and we headed up to the Delta Center (Energy Solutions??) and watched honestly one of the best concerts someone could ever go and see!

I LOVE the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO)!! It's the perfect combination of hard rock and classical and Christmas music! This was my second time seeing them (Mom, Dad, and Kimmy's third time) and it's just amazing! We had great seats this time too! Here's some pictures of the lasers (a must for any rock concert)... and I've got some of their music in my playlist at the bottom of my blog:

Thursday - the day of Thanksgiving... Another perfect combination. This time, it's family and food! We spent most of the day making dinner and then eating dinner and then playing May-I (our family's favorite card game). It was such a good day! To top it all, Kimmy blessed us with her mad pie-making skills... complete with latticed top! (Needless to say, Kimmy was very pleased with her pie...)

Black Friday... words are just not enough. I did not even think about a single retail establishment the entire day! We got up in the morning and started our day at the Hogle Zoo. It was cold, but SO much fun! We are all generally fans of going to the zoo, but the number of new babies at Hogle Zoo made the trip that much better! (And Julie, my blog is dumb - or maybe my computer at work. The videos were NOT loading, so I posted them on FB. Everyone should check them out... I admit they're pretty darn fun!)

After the zoo, we went back to the hotel to eat leftovers, then headed to Jordan Commons MegaPlex to see New Moon! It was a lot better than I'd expected, and I think that in the movies I am definitely Team Jacob! HOLY COW!! We visited some of Kimmy's friends that live at the MegaPlex after the movie...

After everyone decided that we weren't hungry enough for dinner, we headed up to Salt Lake to meet up with some friends of mine, the Hale family (and no "S" means not related ;0). I used to work with Kevin a few years ago and his wife Annie and I hit it off so well that we've become great friends! I often watch their son Keenan, who has been known to refer to me as one of his "girlfriends". :0D The lights were amazing! But it was really cold, so we met up at Barnes & Noble for some Starbucks hot cocoa... and chatted until they closed. Such a great evening!!

There is nothing better than being with family for the holidays! The only thing that would have made it "best" is if the rest of our family had been there with us!! We definitely missed them! Mom and Dad flew home on Saturday afternoon, Kimmy went back to Provo, and I got to sleep in my own bed that night! :0D

Some highlights from the last week or so since then...
  • I went to see Sleeping Beauty at the Children's Theatre in Salt Lake City! Nothing is quite so fun as watching a play with all the little kids in the audience to add their two-cents!
  • I spent basically this whole last weekend with my friend Mindy:
  • We went to the Provo Temple to do sealings and had a wonderful time!
  • We visited Kimmy at the BYU Paleontology Museum where she works and got the grand tour. This is a picture from when Mom and Dad visited her, but those are toe bones from a new dinosaur she's been working on - SO COOL!!
  • We volunteered at the Festival of Trees in Sandy, a night full of all kinds of adventure... and adorable little playhouses.
  • We did a sleep over at Mindy's, complete with She's the Man and KFC Snackers.
  • We went shopping with Mindy's Mom all day on Saturday - I'm now basically done with my Christmas shopping.
  • Church was AMAZING on Sunday!
  • I went with Mindy and her family to see the 1st Presidency Christmas Devotional at the Conference Center downtown - also amazing!

So the end of November was full of food and family - and the beginning of December was full of fun with friends! Makes for an awesome two weeks!!

Now... I really need to spend more time with my sewing machine! :0D

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So Much to Be Thankful For!

Some days we forget To look around us
Some days we can't see The joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves We take when we should give.

So for tonight we pray for What we know can be.
And on this day we hope for What we still can't see.
It's up to us to be the change And even though we all can still do more
There's so much to be thankful for.

I really wanted to start this post off with this simple thought from my favorite Josh Groban song, Thankful. It really kind of epitomizes my thoughts and feelings as I've gone through "life as it is" the last few days. I have several close friends and family members that are going through personal trials right now that have allowed me a certain perspective in my own life and how blessed I truly am... I just seem to forget it a little too often.

Almost exactly a year ago, the bishop of my singles ward challenged each of us to keep a gratitude journal for a few weeks' time. I am usually running late on everything, so my gratitude diary didn't officially take effect until January 1st, 2009 when I reread President Henry B. Eyring's October 2007 General Conference talk, O Remember, Remember. I was really struck by the words he received through personal revelation, "I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down." I looked up thanksgiving in the Topical Guide of my scriptures and also read, "...that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you" in Alma 34:38. It became an unofficial New Years' resolution at that time to write down each day something I was grateful for, and while I will occassionally miss a day, I have gone back the next day. I have recorded something I was grateful for each day so far in 2009, and I have found this process so rewarding that I plan to continue it into the next year. I am not very good at keeping a regular journal, so my gratitude diary has become just that... at least for now.

Some days I forget to look around myself, and so when I go to bed those nights and make my daily gratitude diary entry it's challenging - but I'm getting better at noticing... and remembering. Some days the things I find cause me to laugh a few days later, and some days they make me cry. Some days I'm grateful for the people I was with, and some days I'm grateful for an experience. Some days it is something simple, and some days I am grateful for things it is hard to be grateful for. But every day, I am grateful. And it has changed my life.

I've listed below a few of the things I was grateful for this year:
  • I am grateful for the peace of the outdoors when they're covered in a quiet blanket of snow.
  • I am grateful for calculators!
  • I am grateful for the fact that rice will hold heat for a long time and keep my feet warm.
  • I am grateful for dentists - that some crazy people out there actually like looking at other peoples teeth.
  • I am grateful for sushi!
  • I am grateful for the company of great books, for the escape, adventure, and understanding they provide. I am grateful when books cause me to laugh out loud.
  • I am grateful for my "new" purple bath rug and that Rachael and I had such a good laugh about that today. How does green change to purple?!
  • I am grateful for crimping irons, blue eye shadow, and 80's music! I am grateful for the great influence music has had on my life and that there really is something for every mood!
  • I am grateful for tissues and Vic's Vapor Rub! I am grateful for my humidifier.
  • I am grateful for tampons. Not gonna lie - could NOT live with out them. Saved me today.
  • I am grateful for smiles and laughing so hard it hurts.
  • I am grateful for socks!
  • I am so grateful for the time I had to spend getting to know each of my grandparents. I really missed them today.
  • I am grateful for the temple.
  • I am grateful that I have a job and the ability to provide for my needs.
  • I am grateful for the blessings of tithing.
  • I am grateful for whoever put pineapple and coconut together - such a great combo!
  • I am grateful for honest people. My car was backed into last night and it was awesome to find a note on my car letting me know what happened and who to contact.
  • I am grateful for humility, especially that which makes us teachable and willing to accept and admit a mistake.
  • I am grateful for the blessings of the priesthood.
  • I am grateful for the gift of forgiveness.
  • I am grateful for my trials, for the things they teach me and the ways they inspire me to become more than I am.
  • I am grateful for the amazing friends I have and all that I learn from their great examples.
  • I am grateful for my family! I am grateful for Caylee's silly-silly dance. I am grateful for Cambree and the sweet little blessing she is in our family. I am grateful for how perfectly Spencer fits into our family, and that Julie was so blessed to find him. I am grateful for Mom's intuition and that she's knows just what to say. I am grateful for the time I got to spend with Dad this weekend. I am grateful for the time Julie and I got to spend talking today - I miss her a lot. I am grateful that Kimmy can make me laugh, even if I don't want to.
  • I am grateful that no matter what happens, I will always have a home to go home to.
  • I am grateful for the gospel's guiding influence in my life. I think that without it I would lose hope in the world that I now live in. With the gospel, I see so much for joy, happiness, faith, and hope.
  • I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ - that He knows me, my happiness, sorrow, pain, and laughter. I am grateful that because of Him, I never have to be alone.
I could - and have - gone on for days, months, and almost a year. I am so grateful for this wonderful season and the opportunity we each have to focus a little more on being thankful. It is my hope that each of us can find something, just one thing, each day that we can be truly be grateful for. There really is so much to be thankful for!

Lastly, please take a minute - you won't regret it - to watch this video, In the Spirit of Thanksgiving.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, wherever you are!

And in case you were wondering, I am thankful for YOU!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BYU vs. Airforce = WIN! | Kimmy vs. Po = Uh...

No fall would ever be complete without a good football game, especially a BYU football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium! Some friends and I got tickets for the BYU vs. Airforce game and I went down early to meet up with Kimmy. Then we went and spent the game sitting with my friends. It was the first time Kimmy and I were able to go to a BYU game together! So fun! It was SUCH a perfect day - albeit a little cold.

Our football buddies (left to right): Adrienne, me, Kimmy, Rachael, Gretchen, Karen! We look so cold!

I just love this picture!

I think the Airforce band was playing some patriotic tribute... Made for a cool picture of the football teams, anyway.

After the game, Kimmy and I were walking back to her apartment and passed the Victory Bell with perfect timing! Cosmo had just arrived and they were begining the Victory Bell "ceremony".

BYU 38 vs. Airforce 21 = WIN!

Whilst continuing our walk back to Kimmy's apartment, we took a detour through the Talmage Building on campus... and were met but the last individual we would have ever expected - especially in the math building! The One, the ONLY, Po AKA Kung Fu Panda (I officially feel very sorry for anyone who has NOT seen this movie!) We, of course, could not pass up the perfect photo opportunity. The following pictures are Kimmy and I trying to practice our Kung Fu-ness:



Kimmy vs. Po = Well, I'll let you decide...

Needless to say, it was an amazingly fun and highly memorable day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

All for the Love of Burger

So, I'm officially more than just a little bit excited that they finally managed to get In-n-Out in Utah. I would probably rate up on the "obsessed" scale... The first two locations north of St. George (Orem and Draper) opened at 9:30am Thursday, November 19th, 2009. So, I of course spent my lunch to see what the line was like... These are all pictures I took with my camera phone and uploaded to Facebook. I've included my original comments:

Yah, buddy!

So, the drive thru line was at least 30 cars long... and the walk in line probably as many people... So... maybe for dinner! At like 11 or 12 tonight...

How long will YOU wait for the best hamburger? Yes. I'm doing it. Listening to "Simply Irresistable" on Jack FM. Seems fitting. :o)

This from the In-n-Out worker that told me the estimated wait is 90-105 minutes. Done. I didn't even wait that long for Harry Potter VII...

These are the cones and cops directing traffic... The car in front of me has California plates and a border that says "Simply Satisfied". The car in front of them... yah, they're watching a movie - looks like An American Tale. I just got handed a slip of paper that has my order on it... :o)

Almost 2 hours later... and I'm finally entering the *real* drive thru. And yes, I brought a book.


Yes. Yes I did.

Just a little over 2 hours... and worth every minute!

So, yes. I am irrevocably and *almost* uncontrollably addicted to a hamburger and fries... of a certain variety.