Monday, December 12, 2011

Baby Surprise

This weekend, me and Becca decided to drive up to Othello, WA to visit Cecilia.  AND... it was a surprise.  I'd have to say that I have never surprised someone into needing their inhaler!  It was awesome and just so happy.  We have known each other for over six years and supported each other through a lot of fun and trials.  Cil moved in July and besides my mission, this has been the longest we have gone without all being together.  Since Cil had twin boys ON MY BIRTHDAY and babies are a very big deal, we decided to make the trip.  I mean who doesn't need help when they now have three babies under the age of three?

These little guys are named Ezra and Elliot and they are in the little baby blankets I made them.  I have no idea which is which, but aren't they just the cutest?  They are so tiny and well behaved and quite and fun to hold.  We got to feed the babies and snuggle with them and just enjoy being together.  Life changes, but friendship never does.  Even after almost 6 months, it was comfortable and easy.

We fed and got up in the night and I even changed a few diapers.

On Saturday we went into the Tri Cities and took Cil shopping and out to the new Costa Vida!  Her mother-in-law helped us discovered our "season" and here we all are.  Dressed in our colors and looking cute.

It was a great weekend and I am grateful for friends, healthy babies, family, reliable cars, netflix, presidential debates, nail polish, muddy buddies, and books on CD.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Birthday Week

As I continue to celebrate my 25th birthday and try to be happy about what I have accomplished in the last quarter century this little quote gives me strength.

It is easy to look around and compare yourself to others and all the wonderful things they are doing and forget about all the wonderful things you get to do.  I feel like this has been true in my life.  I have spent more time than I'd like to admit worried about the future and about my progression or lack thereof.  With an increasing number of my friends getting hitched and babied, I sort of freaked out a little and lost sight of my own self worth.  Instead of looking forward to turning 25, for the first time in my life, I was dreaded my birthday.

The good news is, I'm totally over that and I'm loving where I am in life.  My birthday was awesome and 25 is going to be a GREAT year.  I get to go to grad school, intern in 4 different states, traipse around NYC, meet new people, learn new hobbies, spend time with my family, travel, and loads of other things.  What is the key to my change of heart, you might ask???  One word.


I am grateful for this awesome cake!  I got it from my friend's in-laws over Thanksgiving break.  It's not super clear so sorry about that.
I am grateful for the Keate family and for them inviting me to St. George for Thanksgiving.  It was a great weekend get away and the weather was SO BEAUTIFUL.

I am grateful for good friends, like Becca, Kyle, and RUBY!  We went out to Outback on Thursday (after all my birthday week exams) and Ruby was so cute.  She is getting more and more of a personality and it is so cute to see her light up when she sees you.

I am grateful for long distance love!  Cards, phone calls, and flowers are always welcome!

I am grateful for mission friends and all they do for me.  Cody and Brad decorated the house for my birthday and we enjoyed LOTS of good food and conversation.  This was also a good chance to remember how grateful I am for my mission and all it taught me.

Turns out, it is fun to be grateful.  I feel happier and more confident and ready to accomplish anything I put my mind to.  
Fact: "Gratitude turns what we have into enough."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NY to the Pro

I have moved around a few times in my life and I have loved everywhere I have ever lived.  Oregon, Virginia, Maryland, Brazil, Utah.  They all have amazing pros and a few cons.  In each place I have met people who have taught me wonderful things and have helped to shape me into the person I am now.  The only problem with loving each place so much is that eventually, at least for me, you have to leave.  

Long Island was no exception.  I was only there for 8 weeks, but I felt like I belonged and I loved the people and the culture.  When I went I was just planning on enjoying the city and then moving on, but it became a place I miss.  

I miss the adorable girls I lived with.

I miss my awesome mentors at work.

I miss the independence I felt and the beautiful city with all it's sights and possibilities.  I miss the accents and the bagels and the little Italian ladies.  I also miss the sail boats and water and patients that I came to love.
There are LOTS of things I love about being back in Utah.

One of those things is seeing my oldest friend's brand new baby boy, Quentin.  We took him out to his first sushi dinner and he loved it!

Another is seeing friends, especially when they dress up as Bella, Edward, and Jacob.

Or witches and kitties.

Or grapes.

I also love being back around BYU and getting to see my alma mater kick some serious tail in football.  (Even if they do play high schools as my dad would say.)

I also love the mountains as we move into winter.

Last but not least, I even love being back in class.  I am learning a lot AND my friend organized a trade off!  People pay me a dollar and I make cupcakes!  Not too shabby.

Good thing the pain of missing can be outdone by the joy of loving.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week 7: Jazz

This week I had no idea what to do on Saturday.  My list of things I want to do is getting all checked off so I went on-line to the events calendar for NYC.  It's an awesome tool if  you're not sure what to do.  You can even set it to show you events that are free or in a certain neighborhood.  WELL, I was looking around and turns out that this weekend was the 37th Americana Jazz Festival!  I've been wanting to go to a jazz club but they have expensive cover charges so I figured I'd just wait for another trip.  Luckily the city answered my call and gave me some of the best jazz I've ever heard for FREE!!!! 

I got off the train and said hello to one of my favorite views!

While I was waiting for festival to start I decided to ride the escalators to the 9th floor of Macy's.  I've been there once, but couldn't remember and I was rewarded with CHRISTMAS!!!!

I then made my way down to Swing Street!  This used to be a street of jazz clubs and now it holds the longest running street festival of the city, the Americana Jazz Fest.

I was quickly greeted by two of my favorite things in the world: amazing jazz solos and yummy street food.  Can't help but love street festivals.    

I walked around the city for a while and when I came back, there was another group from the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts there.  They were amazing and quite a crowd had gathered.  Everyone was enjoying themselves and not afraid to dance and sing along.  Duke's granddaughter runs the center now and she was the announcer.   

There was a trumpet, wind, bass, piano, drums, and violin.  They also had dancers that accompanied a few songs and a few different singers.  It was quite the show.  My favorite was a latinized version of "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"  which included this amazing growling trumpet solo.

I love this couple.  I don't know how early they got there, but they didn't budge.  They just tapped a long and sang to the music!

An amazing tap dancer.

It was a great day and definitely a good way to end this visit to the city!

Week 7: Montauk/Hamptons

This week was another great one.  Things are winding down and as of now, I only have 4 more full days left in NY.  It's crazy how time flies by.  On Tuesday this week I decided to take a drive out to Montauk Point, which is the furthest point on the southern tip of Long Island.  It is beautiful!

Montauk Point Light House

I don't know who this fisherman is, but I wish I did!

There was this fairly flat rocky trail that went all the way around the point.  It gave beautiful views of the water and the lighthouse.  

There were TONS of boats out and even more fisherman on the rocks and on the beach.  I talked to a few and it sounds like a fun life!

The most terrifying sign I have ever seen in my life.  BTW, if you want me stay away from you, put this up in your yard!

To get down to the beach, you can take a number of little paths like this.  The brambles made a perfectly smooth tunnel!

On my way back home, I stopped over in East Hampton.    It seems like any other beach town, until you notice all the "Private Drive: No Public Access" signs on every street.  It was a beautiful area with amazing homes and pretty beaches.

I'm sure this is amazing in the summer time.

I stopped in town and went to some nurseries to see their fall flowers.  

Although I was too afraid to touch anything, the shopping in the Hamptons was worthy of the A list.  What other beach town has a Tiffany's and FOUR Ralph Lauren stores on Main Street?
Yes, that's right, FOUR.  A regular RL, RL Kids, Rubgy, and RRL.  (I didn't know this existed but apparently there is a Double RL.  Same clothes, double the price.)  Someday I will dress my babies in this...