Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fun collage

I just realized that I never posted this. It is from when Karina and I hiked the Y

The FINALS experience

This semester I had 6 classes, which I really enjoyed overall. It wasn't a terribly difficult semester, except for those realllly late nights that I did to myself by procrastinating - but I also blame my professors for conspiring to make the due dates for big projects on the same day. They seem to do that a lot.

Thanksgiving was so great to go home and see my family and play with my niece and nephews :) I loved being warm in California and with my family! But Thanksgiving is also such a tease. Students get to go home and relax, but when they come back they have so much that is due and a lot of pressure as finals are edging dangerously close. I didn't realize just how much there was for me to do until I was back in Provo for a few days. And then it hit.

I spent a lot of time in the library and started to put a lit-tle bit more focus into my classes. My finals were mostly scheduled this semester, which was a new experience for me. This was the layout that I had for finals week:

Monday: Linguistics @ 11 am [then study study study]
Tuesday: Genealogy @ 11 am [then study work study]
Wednesday: Humanities @ 10 am [then work study study study]
Thursday: New Testament @ 7am [study] History @ 11 am

I had one final which I was able to take any time I wanted in the Testing Center, and I ended up taking it Thursday night just to get it over with and give myself Friday to do NOTHING :)

It was a pretty intense week and I ended up spending some late nights at the library. The BYU Library stays open until 2 am for finals and let me tell you, I took advantage of that more than once.

I felt pretty good about my tests once they were over, which was nice. I was so burnt out by Thursday; I was so ready for the semester to be over and to go home soon! Kelsey flew home Thursday morning, but neither Karina nor I were leaving until Saturday the 19th so we decided to celebrate the end of finals together in the best way. We built a huge fort that took over our entire living room :D We slept in it both Thursday and Friday night and enjoyed chatting and playing MASH. It was so fun to be silly and relax. It was very much needed.

Here is our handiwork:

It was so much fun and we will be sure to make another one, or two, or more next year :)

- - Now that it has been 2 weeks since the end of finals, the grades have been submitted and I am very happy with the results of my semester. It is a relief to have those classes behind me and that I can be happy with the outcome :) But soon the process starts all over again...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dress Up

This Fall Semester I feel like I dressed up a lot and I loved it :) It was fun to get together costumes and to be silly with friends

First up: Halloween

My roommate Karina thought for a long time of what our costumes should be. We decided that we wanted to do something together, so we tried to think of some ideas of corresponding costumes. We ultimately decided to be a Cowgirl and an Indian. :)

I was so excited to be a cowgirl! I kept telling Scott how he is going to become a cowboy as he serves his mission in Texas, so I felt like it was appropriate for me to be a cowgirl :) Just call me "Howdy Holly" haha

We hunted through DI and took a trip to Walmart and ended up with some sweet deals, like my boots in the kids section of Walmart [I was so surprised they fit!] Karina actually just bought fabric and a little decorative ribbon to sew her costume herself - and I think it turned out amazing!

My other roommate Kelsey got really creative and put together a costume to be a superhero with her super power being world peace. She is from Oregon and is quite the tree hugger ;) You can't see it very well in the pictures, but she made a purple peace sign that had the world behind it - very crafty!

We went to some fun parties dressed up and had a good time with friends. Pictured below is our good friend Jud that accompanied us as the purple Tellatubby Tinky-Winky, haha!!

The next week was round 2: White Trash Party

I wasn't planning on attending this party, but Jud invited my apartment and we decided to tag along at the last minute. It was pretty difficult to throw together an outfit with what we had in our apartment, mostly because we weren't exactly sure what it meant to be white trash. We tried though, and we had a lot of fun!

It was also fun to get dressed up with my roommates just for fun sometimes. A few time we would all get together and take turns rummaging through each others' closets to pick out outfits to wear the next day for church or a date or whatever the occasion was. My roommates have way more knowledge of fashion than I do so its very fun and educational for me.

Kelsey is really good with make-up and hair, and Karina has really cute clothes, so they like to play with me as their life-size barbie doll and I have no objection :) I guess some little girls never do grow out of their desire to play dress up.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Life has been crazy

Finals week. That says it all...

I have been crazy busy lately studying, working, and taking my finals. As of right now I have 2 done. One more tomorrow at 10, 2 scheduled for Thursday at 7 am and 11 am, then another at anytime on Friday. Then I'll be home free!!

I have had some fun adventures lately, but the time to share those will come later. I simply cannot take the time now, which is sad. But what I can do is share this story. I have heard about her before and have been told bits and pieces, but tonight I read the full story about Stephanie Nielson - and I cried my eyes out.

I am so glad that I finally read this story and I really recommend you read it too. It makes me appreciate my life and all that I am blessed with. I will not take my life for granted and I will look forward to the future with happiness and gratitude.

Read the full story HERE.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tales of Hoffman Opera

For my Humanities 101 class this semester I was required to attend 3 specific performances and to write up mini reviews about my experience. That class is really interesting and it is cool to be exposed to new forms of art and music that I probably would not have chosen to attend otherwise.

The first was World of Dance, which I also attended last year to fulfill an assignment for my Social Dance Beginning Ballroom class. I enjoyed going to that performance again and seeing many different dances in different styles.

The second one was an Opera put on by BYU called the Tales of Hoffman. This is a French Opera that has English supertitles along the sides of the stage so that the audience can understand what is going on without being fluent. This was a really great performance! Karina came with me and we made a fancy night out of the occasion :)

*Side Note* I donated blood this day! I donated twice in high school and passed out both times... so I was a lit-tle bit scared to try again, but also really excited to see if I could handle it and do my little part to serve. My roommate Kelsey came with me to be my nurse and ride home just in case anything happened, but thankfully that was unnecessary. I did fine and did not pass out this time! VICTORY! I guess the third time is the charm :)

Ok, back to our Opera Fancy Night-
We got dressed up nicely and enjoyed a delicious meal at one of our favorite restaurants Zupas. Then we enjoyed the play and had some fun taking silly pictures afterwards as is our custom.

yummmmy food

waiting for the show to start

all dressed up

its so fun to wear heels sometimes :)

some of many silly faces

Good times :)

Hike the Y

Utah weather reminds me a little bit of Palmdale occasionally. The weather can't really seem to make up its mind and likes to alternate between hot and cold for a while. Knowing this, my roommate Karina and I decided to take advantage of a warm saturday [not knowing if it would be out last or not] and to hike up Y Mountain.

We had excellent timing as we got to the Y just a little before sunset and were able to cool down as we watched the shadow cross the valley and the sun disappear. It is such an incredible view from up there! It was my third time hiking up there and I love it every time!

Before this hike, the last time I had gone up there was with Scott in the end of February. We hiked up and had a picnic as we watched the sunset, which was an AMAZING day! So it was fun to be up there again about the same time and to remember those good times :)

Here are some of the pictures we took of our excursion:

The Y viewed from our living room

Heading up the trail

Karina and I before getting red-faced

Huge rock on the side of the trail about halfway up

start of the sunset

We made it!

Our "epic" photo :)

Fun with Wheat Thins!

Look at that sky and that view!

A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I got a letter from Scott today and in it he told me about this video they watched during the 3rd hour of church and how much he loved it. He told me to look it up on youtube and that I "NEED" to watch it.

I searched it easily and really enjoyed it, so I want to share it with all of you :)

You may not feel that you NEED to watch it, but you will not regret it - it is so inspiring and beautiful. I hope you enjoy it :)

Advice from Elder Busche

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Plethora

A little bit ago I was surprised that it was already October, and now we are already half way through the month! CRAZY! Time sure flies... I've been pretty busy lately with classes, midterms, papers, and working.

Catering is going great. I don't get too many hours, but that has been kind of nice actually because it allows me to focus on all my school work and then still have a social life of sorts. My groundskeeper job for my apartment complex is going well too. Cleaning the BBQs isn't the most entertaining of jobs and isn't good when it is raining, but its working out well. As a college student, I'll take money however I can :)

Here are some random adventures/fun times that I have enjoyed in the past several weeks:

-True Blue-
Every year BYU has a "True Blue Football" event where there are games and slides of blue foam. Lots and lots of blue foam :) I didn't go last year but I saw many people covered in blue dye, so it looked way fun. This year I went with Kelsey and we met up with a bunch of her friends from back home in Oregon.

It was such a strange sensation to be walking around in blue foam that reached up to my knees! We had a great time and turned pretttty blue, so it was interesting to get back home and showered without leaving a blue trail behind us the whole way. The dye was nothing a little rinse and repeat couldn't handle, so luckily we were not permanent smurfs :)

Me, Kelsey, and Vanessa before

Our whole smurf group

as you can see, I was covered... and pretty cold

-Photo Shoot-
My roommates and I had meant to do a photo shoot for a while, and then we finally decided to just go for it one night. Abbey was kind enough to be our photographer, so we took some fun pictures around our apartment complex. Here are some of the results:

-Dragon sound?-
One morning I woke up early before class so that I could cram in a little bit more studying before a history essay exam. Here is the scene: I was sitting at my desk by my window reading notes with the blinds closed. I am tired because it is early [for me at least] and as I sit there I keep hearing this weird noise at random times. For some reason this was my thought, "where is that dragon sound coming from?" haha, clearly I was tired :)

After I heard it several more times I opened up my blinds and this is what I see-

A Hot Air Balloon right outside my bedroom window! How random!! And that is why I kept hearing the "dragon sounds" haha

That woke me right up and I watched them for a little bit before going back to my reading. They started floating away shortly after that and I snapped a picture of them rising by the Y.
I love the view right outside my window - even when there is not a large balloon floating outside it :)

Here is a view one rainy/cloudy day from my window:

-Reppin' from afar-
As I was walking home after class one day I passes a garbage dumpster that had this on the side. I thought it was cool to see one of these all the way here in Provo and it made me think of my brother, so I thought I'd share :)

[My brother Nathan works at a skate shop called Pharmacy Boardshop, and this is one of their stickers. The company started in Victoville, CA]

-My own personal Sun-
I worked an event for BYU Catering last night where they had really cool hot air balloon decorations. They were huge balloons that were filled with helium and tied to little baskets using a special netting so they floated above the ground like mini Hot Air Balloons- very cute! There were 10 of the huge balloons in total and all night me and my co-workers were looking at them and wanting to take them home. So when we were cleaning up we each claimed one and got to take it home when we got off work :)

I got a yellow one [my favorite color!] and had a lot of fun taking it home. Many different people talk to you if you are carrying a 3 foot yellow balloon. One lady even asked me if she could take a picure of it, haha. I had fun talking to them and explaining why I had it [a common question I received]. I told the lady that took the picture that it felt like my own personal sun :) it was a lot of fun and I am enjoying it floating above me at this very moment as it is tied to my desk.
So not only do I get yummy food from working at catering, but also fun left-over balloons! Score! :)

tied to my desk corner :)

I LOVE this balloon! :)

So now let's see what other adventures lay ahead, and how fast the rest of the month flies by! :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday Devotional

I love attending BYU and the amazing opportunities that come with it!

Every Tuesday we have a Devotional or a Forum, and a few weeks ago we were privileged to have the Prophet come to speak! President Monson gave a great talk about the Prophets of the church that he had experienced during his lifetime and he gave little recaps of their examples and teachings. He provided personal experiences that he had with each of them and filled it with lots of comedy. It was such an incredible experience, and I am so grateful that I was able to attend, along with thousands of my fellow students!

the VERY crowded Marriott Center

Pres. Monson and many BYU Stake Presidents on the stand

I had a great seat, thanks to Abbey

the swarms of students leaving the Marriott Center
[I miss living right by the Bell Tower]

Girl's Night

After moving into our new apartment, my roommates and I decided to have a girls night in order to show people our new home and have fun by taking advantage of the living room and tv. We invited over a bunch of friends and asked them to bring desserts to share while we watched a chick flick. We had a pretty good turnout and enjoyed lots of yummy snacks. My personal favorite was a cream cheese lemon bar magnificence. I need to remember to get that recipe from her...

Here are some pictures I snapped because I knew that my sister would be expecting the full story :)

Kelsey, me, and Karina - the hostesses

part of the crowd as we picked a movie

the other half and the table of goodies

The night was a lot of fun and it was awesome to hang out with all these girls and enjoy one of my personal favorite Chick Flicks - Never Been Kissed :)

Before all of that fun though, we had a little unexpected adventure. On our way back from Walmart we looked to the side of the road and saw this scene:

So naturally we pulled over to park and dug for the camera. Thanks to the little boy who was just walking away after giving Mario and Luigi high-fives, we got this memorable shot with the famous Italian brothers

A Friday night well spent!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

An Unexpected Week

Classes started last Monday and they all went really well. I have some cool teachers and interesting classes. I think its gonna be a great semester. Monday and Wednesday are my really busy days- I have class @ 9 [History], 10 [Intro to English Language (Linguistics)], 11 [Humanities], 12 [Genealogy], and 2 [Physical Science Lab]. Its not too hard to just go straight from one to the other because I am enjoying the classes and it is nice to not have to sit around killing time for a while. Last year I would just go back to my dorm between classes, but that isn't so easy when I live off campus.

Tuesday and Thursday I don't have class until 12 [New Testament], and then I have one more at 2 [Physical Science], so that is a nice break after my busy days.

Friday I have classes @ 9 [History], 10 [Linguistics], and 11 [Humanities] - and then it is the weekend :)

So besides going to my classes last week I also looked for a job and got hired by the BYU Catering as a Waitstaff! I am excited for this because it will work around my schedule and I have heard great things about people who have worked for them before. I will start working there sometime this upcoming week.

But the REAL interesting and unexpected adventures came later in the week... through talking to some old friends who happen to work in Off-Campus Housing this year, my roommates and I found out some interesting information about our apartment. It is a pretty long story, but the readers digest version goes something like this: there was illegal activity going on as some unapproved construction was being done (which we had been lied to about), our apartment was constantly at 80 degrees, there were holes in the walls which showed crumbling foundation or which were just covered with ply wood, it was in poor condition, and we were told that we needed to get out of there as soon as we could.

We knew that our apartment was ghetto, but we were trying to make it work. After we learned more information and talked to BYU employees who knew more about what we should have been receiving as tenants, we began to search for a new apartment. This was on Thursday. We ended up searching and calling around that day for a new place to live. Friday we spoke with our landlord and were released from our contracts quite easily. Basically our landlord didn't want to deal with us and our situation and told us that "it would be best to just have a clean start. You should probably just start looking for another place to live." Yeah - it was too easy to get out of our housing contract... another sign of the sketchiness of the apartment complex and the people running it.

Friday evening I ended up signing a contract at a new very nice apartment complex with my roommate Kelsey while Dani and Karina were looking into other housing options. Saturday morning I got my full refund of all that I had payed to Crown Apartments and after a little battle with the landlord and his manager/lawyer from New Zealand, whose only argument was to threaten to take back our checks and tell us we were rude [when they were the shady characters], we were told to be out of the apartment that day. Kelsey and I packed up everything and prepared to move to Alpine Village as our other roommates went to look at other complexes and houses which had available contracts.

In the end Karina decided to come to Alpine with Kelsey and I, while Dani chose to sign with another apartment complex near where we were living in Crown. We were sad to not all be together, but at the same time Kelsey, Karina, and I were SO excited because where we were moving is an extremely nice place. It is more like a hotel than a college apartment. We had tons of help thanks to Kelsey's brother being in town for the weekend and there were several cars and guys to help move all of our belongings to our new home in a matter of a few hours.

It was a CRAZY few days, but we are so grateful for all that has happened. So many things lined up perfectly for us to get out of that awful situation. We were extremely fortunate and feel very blessed to be able to live here now. The weekend was spent thanking those that helped us move, and in getting our new apartment all set up. It was not how we expected to be spending our first weekend of the semester, but it has all worked out pretty well :)

Here is where I lived before [Crown Apartments]
**these pictures make it look much nicer than it actually was**

my side of the bedroom

our bathroom and vanity that us 4 girls shared

our tiny kitchen

our living room which we tried to decorate

more of the living room

Here is where I live now [Alpine Village]

Our living room with the mounted flat screen tv that came with it

Kitchen viewed from the living room

hallway to bedrooms and our own washer & dryer

our vanity area and one of the bathrooms

my bedroom shelf/closet

my bedroom desk/bulletin board

my bed and picture collage

I LOVE my new apartment!