Sunday, May 20, 2012

You're All I Ever Wanted...

I’ve officially decided that I must be chronically ill.  I think that every time I say that I’ll get better about updating my blog, the lapse between posts gets larger.  So for that, I apologize.  But, maybe it’s just a part of my sinister game to keep everyone hanging for a while and just when you think that I’ve deserted the land of blogging, I pop up again!  Surprise!   So, no more promises about when I’ll blog next.  Mostly because, even when I do that, it turns out that something else always comes up…like Kosovo. :)

Instead of trying to fill everyone in on the last 5 months of my life, today’s blog will be a tribute to trips down memory lane.  I would love to blog about my Kosovo adventures and all of the shenanigans that I’ve managed to get myself into since I’ve been home but it would take FOREVER.  I did write weekly emails though and I put pictures on facebook so if you want those, let me know and I’ll forward them to you! :)  Also, can I just say how grateful I am for great friends?  Especially those that you just made that you somehow feel like you’ve known forever?  Yup.  Totally awesome.  Anyway…here we go!  I wrote this on Monday of last week and am just now getting around to hitting the "post" button...yup.  Awesome. So hopefully, it makes sense. 

My Monday started out like most others today:  Running around the house trying to get everything put together for the day, realizing that I’m running late because I hit the snooze button or decided ‘I’ll just listen to one more song and then I’ll get up.’  That never turns out in my favor, by the way.  But that extra 3 ½ minutes with eyes closed and curled up with my man pillow, while Carrie is serenading, sure feels great!  Little did I know that my day was about to change, for the better, about 5 minutes later. 

I get in the car to start my super long, 15-minute commute to work (yes, I am bragging, just in case you missed that) and I put my iPod on shuffle to see what it would surprise me with.  It started out with a little BBMak and I was very pleased.  I haven’t heard them since I lived with Emily!  Well, my good ole iPod didn’t stop there!  No, sir.  It decided to bust out some Nsync.  It’s like it knew that my entire being was secretly hoping and pleading that that would be next in the shuffle.  Not only did it play Nsync, but it played ‘I Want You Back.’  I had always dreamed of them singing this song to me, and today, they did.  After a 10 year Nsync sabbatical, they came back:  “You’re all I ever wanted.  You’re all I ever needed.  So tell me what to do now, when I want you back.”  Well naturally, I set it to shuffle ‘all things Nsync’ after that and it was the best 15 minutes I’ve ever had on a Monday morning!  And don’t you worry, I still remember all of the rap words during Space Cowboy.  I tried it. :)  Seriously though, oh my word…memory lane is so fun!  It is incredibly too awesome that almost 10 years later, Nsync still knows how to speak to my soul.

Naturally, once I got to work and got through some of the important stuff, I started up my mix again.  I usually hit up Pandora, but I had to continue with the Nsync legacy.  One song after another came on, and each of them brought so many fun memories for me: 

·        Learning the dances and spending an entire summer dancing in the front room of the Budge’s house for hours because we thought we were so cool!

·        My sister breaking me out of school early when Lance Bass’s movie, On the Line, came out so that we could watch it opening day. 

·        All of my tapes that I had where I taped every time they were on TV (and yes, I did watch those over and over and over again).

·        Coming home and watching VH1 to make sure that they beat Backstreet Boys on the music video countdown and to see if my comment ever made it on the show (it didn’t by the way…I’m convinced that it was rigged.  Nobody can enter that many comments and not have it scroll during the video at least once!) .  Yes, I realize that this makes me out to be some kind of crazy, stalker fan.  And I totally was.  I admit that, wholeheartedly. 

·        The concert in Houston! 

·        And last but not least, the makeshift wall paper that I made out of magazine clippings and memorabilia.  Nsync, how I love y’all.  Lance, if you ever decide not to be gay, you know where to find me.

This little trip down memory lane also inspired me to do my next project:  I’m going to compile a bunch of my family’s favorite memories and compile them in a book for all of us.  It’s going to be legit.  We started going back and forth a little bit today with all of our favorite family memories and I found myself chuckling so hard that I was crying!  Good times.  One of my favorites was submitted by my dad.  Not because it is particularly funny, but the image that I paint in my mind is priceless:

“I can remember someone, who I'm sure will fess up, falling down Grandpa and Grandma's stairs in Yakima, with a plate of spaghetti. Quite a mess. Who was that anyway,,,,, :)” 

In a family like mine, it could have been any of us, but it definitely paints an awesome picture in my head.  We fell down those stairs all the time.  And I really do mean, ALL of the time.  But edit in a plate full of spaghetti into the mix and it all gets a lot more hilarious.  If you’ve ever seen any of us falling down the stairs, you know that we do it with style.  Go big or go home.  Flailing, hootin’ and hollerin’, rolling, a couple of back flips…the whole nine yards.  Dang, I love my family.  Memory lane, here’s to you!  Now, I need some animal crackers, so I’m signing off for now!  Until next time…

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Auntie Awards of 2011!

Even though I've taken a large hiatus of blogging, I had to return for the annual Auntie Awards celebration. Gotta keep the tradition going, you know? For a quick refresher, please refer back to the 2010 Auntie awards. Congrats to everyone that won last year. I know that there are still a few days left in 2011, so if something crazy happens between now and Sunday, rest assured they will be considered for next year's Auntie Awards. Or maybe I'll create a new rule for additional winners. Who knows? You never can tell! Although, I'm not really anticipating anything happening within the next few days to change any of these :) But, enough of that! I know you're not reading to hear me ramble, so without further ado, here's to 2011!

Best Music Artist: I have recently fall
en in love with Keith Urban. I know he's been around for a while, but I haven't really appreciated him for what he's worth until probably about 6 months ago. How did this happen you ask? I was house/dog sitting for my parents one week and my mom said that I could use her car. Well, I forgot to bring CDs to play in the car so I rummaged through what she had and what did I find? Good ole Keith. I popped it in and was hooked! Sing it, Mr. Urban. Sing it good!

Most Listened to Song: This one is hard again this year. But, after about 5 seconds of grueling contemplation, I have made my decision *drum roll please* Defying Gravity from the Wicked Soundtrack. I made the mistake once of youtubing Wicked karaoke. Yeah...you know I took full advantage of that! That soundtrack has to be one of the most fun CDs to sing to in the car, shower, around the house, wherever. Ask Amy. She'll tell you that I'm constantly singing songs from it wherever I go. haha. That just so happens to be one of my favorites to sing though. Followed very closely by "For Good" and "The Wizard and I." I can't wait for Wicked in February. Bring it on, Austin! :) So excited!

Best Movie Released in 2011: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. No shocker there, considering that Part 1 won last year :) I admit, I cried... a lot. But, can you blame me? My favorite HP character dies in this movie! And not to mention that Hermione and Ron FINALLY got together. It's about blasted time! I've been waiting for that since book 6. But sadly, its all over now. I'm going to have to start getting more creative with what I get Ben for Christmas now. I've made it through all of the books and movies...I guess next year will be a surprise. But seriously, this movie was fabulous. Easily the best HP movie of all 8 of them. Don't worry though, number 4 will always hold a special place in my heart since it was my favorite book before 6 or 7 came out. I also can't wait for my trip to HP world. I'm hopefully going to do that in 2012. I guess we'll see! :) *Keeping my fingers crossed*

Best New(er) TV Show: I honestly haven't watched a lot of TV lately, but I'm giving this one to Modern Family. Not a new TV show but new to me this year. It is pretty dang funny. I love Phil...so hilarious! I wonder what a TV show about my family would be like...probably comedy, lets be honest. We're a mess but in such a good way! haha There's always some kind of crazy shenanigans going on. Can't be beat! Love you guys!!!

Biggest Waste of Time: Can this go to watching the Mavs play basketball on Christmas day? hahaha jk, jk. You guys know I love you more than I love hoodies (which is a lot), but seriously? Yikes. I know we're still learning to play as a team considering that we only have about 6 of the original members of the team from last year, but still. Wow. I know what you are thinking. Dude, we only lost by 11 points? (please don't reference the game yesterday against the Nuggets...much worse). Do you want to know why we only lost by 11 when we played the Heat? They don't show up for the last quarter of the game...ever. We know this. But it would have been nice to destroy them again. Just sayin'! Either way, Dirk, I'll always love you. I have for so many years now. Something like that just doesn't go away with a really poorly played game. I've got your back, no matter what! :)

Best Place Traveled to: Well, I didn't travel anywhere new this year (lame, I know) but I did get to go back to Lake Havasu earlier this year. It was so fun to be there with Ash-face and her family. We had a great week even though Ashley was pulling for the Heat in the playoffs. *shakes her head at you* I still love you, don't worry :) I'm so glad I was able to come out for that week! Lot's of great memories. And not to mention coming up for Conference later on! We got to sing outside of the conference center by all of the protestors. That has my name written all over it! Such a fun weekend! I got to see Kami a few times too which you can't beat. I have some of the greatest friends!

Best Video on YouTube: Holy DOUBLE RAINBOW! hahahaha Oh my word. Halla showed this to JaeLyn and me on Christmas Eve. So hilarious! WHAT DOES IT MEAN?! We were laughing about this for a good while. Hats off to you, my friend. I'm glad you can find joy in something like a double rainbow. I hope I can get that excited about a naturally occurring phenomenon someday :)

Best Thing I’ve Done: Well, this could be kind of strange, but I would have to go with dating Jason. Weird, for sure, but honestly, even though I'm still struggling with it more than I would like, I learned so much from that relationship that I don't think I would have been able to learn otherwise. And I continue to learn too, even though its over, which is good. I know this is one of those blessings in my life that I don't quite see as a blessing just yet, but will later on. My relationship with my Savior has grown even more and I've been able to understand the healing power of the Atonement just a little bit better than I had before. I've also had a couple of related experiences recently that have really born witness to me that Heavenly Father does know me. He knows exactly what I need to hear to make the sting a little bit lesser and the experience just a little bit easier to bear. It's amazing to me how much the Lord plays an active role in our lives and how He allows certain things to happen to some people in order to help someone else in the future. I know none of that probably makes any sense to anyone except a few of you, but just know that I am grateful for my Father in Heaven who loves me and that while I still don't understand everything about why it had to end, I know that He knows and eventually, things will be better and I can look back at this experience with a joyful and thankful heart. Here's hoping that that day is sooner rather than later :) I'm so blessed to have had the opportunity to date someone of Jason's caliber. He's a fantastic man and he will go far with everything he does and I couldn't be more grateful to him for the time we shared together. I hope that someday, I can find someone as amazing as he is. It was definitely a fantastic experience and makes me excited for what the future holds for me.

Coolest Thing I got to see: I was able to witness one of the best moments in NBA history...the Mavs winning the PLAYOFFS. Booyeah, suckers! :) Not that I had anything to do with their big win, but I'm considering it a victory of mine. 2005 playoffs hurt pretty bad, so I was extra excited about this one. We're Rowdy, Loud and Proud! I puffy heart love y'all! (Please see the previous award they won for referencing). Look at how good they look. Yeah...that's right! *teethy grin* Not to mention that Sandy took me to a regular season game earlier this year and our seats were like row 11 or something awesome like that. I may have melted from joy. Great times!

Greatest Loss: This one is easy...Reggie. I miss you! Most of you know by now, I traded good ole Reg in for my new Honda CRV. 2012 baby! I do LOVE my new car, but I admit, I cried when they drove the Reg-meister away. When I went back to pick up my new car, they told me that they had already sold my old car to someone else (not even a week later). I just looked at them in surprise and said, "Really?" Please tell me you fixed the door paneling that was being held up with push pins? haha true story. I was convinced that they gave me the trade in money based off of character and not parts. :) I still need to name my new car though. I think I've decided that it's a boy, but I can't find a name that really suits him yet. I was thinking of something like Rhett (for Rhett Butler of course) because he's so snazzy and fabulous, but that doesn't really work. I am accepting ideas so please let me know if you have any recommendations. But Reggie, please know that you will never be replaced in my heart. We had some fantastic memories! I was talking to Laura the other night and we were laughing about the blood on the passenger side seat belt from her nose haha Great memories! That car was LOVED. XOXO

Best thing crossed off my bucket list: This was a good year...I got to cross off two things but the winner this year is number 59: Be in a flash mob. (the other was save up to buy a brand new car. CHECK!) Seriously though, the Zumba flash mob was so much fun! I love Zumba so much! It has been such a great outlet! Ever since my surgery I haven't been able to dance or teach really and now that I'm back on my feet again (literally!) I couldn't make everything mesh to teach or to find classes to take again. Zumba definitely isn't challenging as far as technique and such like dancing is, but it is definitely hard if you know how to push yourself and it's so much fun. Love, love, love it! We did a Zumba flash mob in the middle of Southlake Town Square at the beginning of this month and it was actually a lot of fun. Dan and Audi came so that was fun (a little embarrassing but whatever haha). We also did a Zumba demo in the North East Mall on Christmas Eve. Good thing Josh was shopping there that day too! hhaha man...great timing y'all. And by great, I don't mean it : ) Either way, it was so much fun! Thanks Eliana for being such a great instructor and for pushing me during class to be stronger! Booyeah! (speaking of which, I have class in 45 minutes...I should get movin!)

Greatest discovery: New York and Company. Holy crap, this store is nothing but trouble for me. I love it so much! They email me 50% of entire purchase coupons...you can't beat that! Let's just say that I've done my fair share of damage in that store and I don't feel the least bit guilty about it. Turns out my friend Carolyn loves the store too...looks like we're going to do some damage together this week :) Boo freaking yeah! Brace yourself NY&C. Here we come!

Best Production Seen: Amy, Katie and I actually had season tickets to Dallas Summer Musicals this year and I must say that I was quite disappointed. I really enjoyed Guys and Dolls though. That was probably my favorite of the year. I'd never seen that one before and I had always heard how much everyone loved it. Next year will be fabulous. PETER PAN BABY! I'm still hoping to convince my Grammy to come with my sister and me to see it. So many funny memories. For those who don't know, my Grammy had the Broadway Peter Pan taped on a VHS and as a kid, whenever we'd go visit her, I would sit and watch it over and over again because I loved it so much. Which, by default, made everyone else hate it! I can still sing all of the songs and I still get pee-my-pants excited when I talk about getting to see it in July :) My sister is so good to go with me. I know the memories will all come screaming back to her. haha. Can't wait! "If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow UP! Not me!" *jumps for joy*

Best Purchase: Well, I'm not giving another award to my new car because I don't want to, so I'm going to go with Just Dance 3 for the wii. Absolutely fabulous. It may be my favorite video game as of right now. I wouldn't go so far as to say of all time because, hello...Mario All Stars and Mario Kart on Super Nintendo? Yeah, you can't beat those. But seriously, Estrella and I play quite often and I love it so much. It's so ridiculously fun! Mostly because it is, in fact, ridiculous, but that's usually a good indicator that I'll love it. :) I highly encourage all to try it. We were looking through the songs you can purchase and there is one where they do the Carleton. I can't wait to let Puden try his luck at that one. He'll probably high score it on his first try. Blow them out of the water, brother! So fabulous. If you ever have the urge to play, please call me. Even at 3 in the morning. Okay, maybe not, but most other times, I would be more than happy to drop what I'm doing to play :) I just wont sacrifice sleep. Sorry...that's a little important to me. and we know I tend to get grouchy when I'm tired :)

Best Discovery: Texas State Fairs. I'd been before but I didn't really experience the State Fair as it should have been experienced until now. How can you not love crazy rides, greasy foods and friends? Yeah, awesome! The best part is that they have pig races there too. We were going to try to milk a cow, but we missed it. Probably due to the fact that I was indulging in fried bacon or oreos or something fabulous like that. Either way, pig races just aren't the same without you Grammy. Way too many good memories!

Best part of 2011: BABY TYSON CAME! :) Oh my word I love this kid so much. There’s nothing like some good Syd, Malla and Tyson time. He has the cutest smile and stole my heart from day one! The girls and I had a lot of fun with a sleep over the night before and then spending the day together at the hospital and swimming and all kinds of stuff. Good times with the nieces. Man, I love all of them so much! A couple of weeks ago, I went over there to spend some time with them and I walk in and Malla is laying on the couch with a blanket and a movie already in and she just looks at me and says, “Auntie…I’m ready! The big person goes in the back and then I’ll snuggle in once you are ready, okay?” hahah so cute! I don’t know what I ever did without them!

Looking forward to the most in 2012: I'm planning to go visit Laura and Alex in Chicago for St. Patrick's Day. I've always wanted to see the river dyed green for the occasion so I figure that there isn't going to be a better time to do it than now! I can't wait. We've already chatted about tentative plans and such so it should be fun. Now I just have to save up the money to do it :) So excited, LP!

2011 has been good but I couldn't be more excited for 2012 and what is in store. Should be pretty fabulous! Make it a great year or not, the choice is yours :) XOXO

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hats off to Harry Potter!

As promised, its August so here is another blog entry. :)

I've reached a certain, dreaded milestone in my life. The one where I realize that there are no more new Harry Potter movies or books to get excited for. No more midnight showings and Barnes and Noble excursions. No more taking off work and living off of Doritos so that I can finish the book in as close to 24 hours as possible, with minimal napping. No more turning off my phone and changing my answering machine to let people know that I'm reading Harry Potter and can't be bothered, so I'll call you back when I'm done. (yes, all of these things happened multiple times). No more. No more. No more. So sad. So, in order to properly say goodbye, I have found this little Harry Potter survey to say farewell to a very large part of the last 10 years of my life. hahahaha so dramatic, but I don't even care! :) So, here it goes!

#1. Who is your favorite character?
Fred and George Weasley. Hands down. I like to imagine that if I were at Hogwarts, I would have been their friend. We maybe even would've been more of a trio than just the two of them. I would definitely be okay with that. I had a dream once where we went out to lunch together. It was awesome.









#2. Who is your least favorite character?
Dolores Umbridge. Her sick little chuckle makes me irk. Plus, she likes cats. That should tell you something right there.








#3. If you were one of the Professors who would you be?
Professor McGonnagall. She freaking rocks. Definitely top 5 in favorite characters.









#4. If you were one of the students who would you be?
Easy! Hermione Granger. Please see below :)












#5. Which one is most like you- Harry, Hermione, or Ron?
Well, seeing as how Hermione is the only girl, she takes the cake on that one. Plus she's a goody goody and I usually don't like doing things that would get me in trouble. Love her.

#6. Which house would you be in?
I was put in Hufflepuff once, but I was kinda mad about that. "Hufflepuffs are particularly good finders!" haha so lame. Gryffindor all the way!












#7. What position would you play in quidditch?
Probably the seeker. I'm better off staying out of all the action and having my own job that really doesn't have to do with a bunch of other people when it comes to sports. At least if you want to win, anyway haha.

#8. Which owl would you be? Hedwig the Snowy Owl, Errol the Great Gray Owl, Pigwidgeon the Little Owl, or Percy's Screech Owl?
Probably Errol. He flies into windows and such. Yup. That sounds like me :)

#9. Which would you bring to Hogwarts- an owl, cat, or toad?
Definitely an owl. Cats suck and I would probably lose a toad.

#10. Which subject would you be best at?
Probably potions. That would be fun.

#11. Which subject would you be worst at?
Ancient Runes. I'm definitely not gifted with that sort of stuff.

#12. Which store would interest you the most in Hogsmeade?
Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. If that's where the Weasley twins are, that's where I'll be! :)

#13. Who would you want to go with to the Yule Ball?
This should be easy! Fred Weasley. He's my favorite of the two, but only by a little!











#14. Who would be your number 1 enemy?
Bellatrix Lestrange. Usually, I would say that us chicas gotta stick together, but she's ridiculous! I would like to sit down and pick her brain a little though to find out why she's so crazy!












#15. What would your patronas be?
Can a patronas be a penguin? I think mine would be. haha. Yup, pretty sure that's it.

There you go! Feel free to do it yourself. So good.

And in better news, look at how fabulously cute my new nephew is. Isn't this the cutest picture ever? He's such a little bundle of joy! I'm so glad he's here. It's weird to think of how things were before he got here. I can't wait for all of the fun memories I'll get to have with him too! I need to brush up on my ninja and Jedi skills :) Love you so much, Baby T! XOXO

Friday, May 13, 2011

It was 1980 somethin

I remember a while back, I decided that I would include in each post that I wrote, ways that I saw the Lord’s hand in my life. Well, we’ve all noticed that I haven’t quite kept up my end of that deal very well. So, before I start my next rampage, let me just say that I am so grateful that the Lord knows me personally; just like He knows everyone personally. He has a plan for me and more often than not, it looks nothing like my plan for me. Looking back at the last two years, I have come to know that the Lord’s plan is always better than mine. No matter how appealing the other road may look. It took me a long time to get passed the fact that I felt that I had to give up a lot of things that were important to me in order to move back home after I graduated, which is what I felt the Lord wanted me to do. Not to mention that I have also felt that I’ve had to give up some things since I’ve been home that I really wanted because I didn’t feel right about them. Some of you know that I tried just about everything to have things my way after graduation, even though I knew, months before, that I was fighting what I felt was right. It wasn’t until more recently that I looked back at those things that were so important to me then, and realized just how amazing being home has been. It doesn’t seem like such a sacrifice anymore. Sure, there have been a lot of hard times and a lot of rough spots, and I am nowhere near where I ever thought I would be at this point in my life. I have had to face certain things that I’ve never really had to deal with before and it has been a wonderful growing and learning experience. I am grateful that the Lord puts challenges, people and situations in my life that have helped me to become more like the person that my Heavenly Father wants me to be. My testimony in His gospel grows daily as does my faith in His timing. I have jumped over, what seem like, very high hurdles that I don’t know if I would have been able to clear, had I not come home when He prompted me to. Everything has a purpose and the Lord will never leave us alone without guidance and direction. Times are getting darker and the world needs that guidance more so now than ever. I am so grateful that the Lord has provided us with scripture and modern day prophets and apostles to help us go and do what He wishes for us to do and to give us hope when it seems like the world around us speaks nothing but sadness and despair.

Whew…I feel better :) Now, on to my post.

We have all heard the phrase, “April Showers bring May flowers,” right? Well, I think April got a little carried away. Not that I’m complaining at all. I absolutely LOVE the rain and sometimes it’s just fun to run outside and get drenched :) Due to the intense tornado season that we have had thus far, it has been raining quite a bit. Although, in all fairness to me, it may always be like this and my 5 years up in Utah made me forget how much it actually rains in Texas during the spring. Provo was a place where I wasn’t at all surprised should I wake up one morning in September and find that there is a new blanket of snow on the ground. Call me sarcastic when I say, “Awesome.” That was definitely not one of my favorite parts of Utah, although I have some mighty fun snow memories :) But, that’s totally irrelevant, so on to the next!

Let me set the stage for you:

Its lunchtime and I am heading out of the office to go lunching with Meredith and Mallory. I look out the window and what do I see? (popcorn popping on the apricot tree!...haha sorry, I couldn’t resist. Gotta love a good Primary song). It is DOWN POURING. Literally, it’s hard to see very far in front of me. And the wind is blowing like crazy, which helps. I was hungry so naturally, I didn’t want to put off lunching any further. So, I pull out my new umbrella that I bought a couple of months ago. (Side note to the story: I decided that it was about time to upgrade to a new umbrella after our first big rain storm because the one I have been using was probably purchased in the 80s or early 90s, judging by the pattern. Not to mention that I can remember my mom using it when she would walk with us to Elementary school. That sucker is old and I don’t quite know how I ended up with it, but needless to say, it has inspired conversation among a few people because it is THAT awesome looking :). Because of its age, I have often wondered if it would be there to get the job done when I needed it most, hence the investment in a new umbrella.) Anyway, I open my new purchase with anticipation and excitement of finally getting to see it in action, as I walk out to my car. Well, much to my dismay, a gust of wind blows and that sucker turned inside out and broke like…something that breaks pretty easily…like the class of the Lakers when they are losing real bad to the Mavs. *smiles* It didn’t even put up a good fight. I was little disappointed. I’m pretty sure the exact words that came out of my mouth were, “WHAAAAT?!” (said like the Minions on Despicable Me…great movie by the way) Needless to say, I was quite wet when I finally arrived at my car.

You may find yourself wondering why something as small and pointless as this would inspire a blog post. Well, for today’s blog post, I’m giving a shout out to things made in the 80s. That’s right: yellowed appliances, VHS tapes, ugly umbrellas and *thinks* HA! ME! I’m talkin' resilient, downright good workmanship stuff. They just don’t make things like they used to, as proven by my near drowning experience. What’s up with people trying to work the system and making things cheap? I want to know that the next time I buy an umbrella (which probably won’t be until my trusty ugly kicks the bucket), that it is going to last for another 30 years. This may be a little unreasonable, but the bar has been set, my friends. There’s no turning back. $10 bucks says that if I go over to my parent’s house right now and I plug in that nasty, old, yellow phone, it will still get the job done. If something is still being used and was once white, but now looks like egg yolk, that sucker was a dang good purchase. Really though, things are cheap these days and I don’t mean in price. Remember when gas was like $1.00 a gallon? Those were the days! Anyway, I really just want to say, thank you 80s for producing fantastically, durable things so I don’t have to keep buying new stuff. :) Granted, I only have a few VHS tapes left, but I think that’s mostly to do with the fact that my VHS player (which was purchased in 2005 by the way) is about dead. Shocker. I don’t know why I’m surprised though. The DVD portion of that bad boy pooped out a long time ago. On that note, can I just ignore anything that comes out after Blu-Ray? I don’t want to rebuild my collection again...

Anyway, that’s my shout out, my tribute, whatever you want to call it. 80s…I’m thankful for ya. Plus, I was born in the 80s, so you know it has to be good *teethy grin*. If you see me when I’m super old and probably look a little worn out and yellowed, just know that I stayed true to the expectation and hopefully, worked my butt off to get that way! Life wouldn’t be worth living without a little adventure and hardship and a LOT of hard work and fun. Live it up, man! And word of the wise: If you aren’t a Mavs fan yet; now would be a great time to convert. Just sayin’ :) Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours and go out and have an adventure today! XOXO

Saturday, February 26, 2011

JAMODI!

Basketball: a game of agility, strength and really tall people. Yes, this commonly known sport is one of my favorites. Definitely not to play...just to watch. The thought of me being any sort of usefulness on the Baskeball court is absurd, but I have been known to win a Blackout round or two in my prime. : ) I have been fortunate that this last little bit has been filled with fantastic basketball. And it’s almost March which means the start of March Madness and the NBA playoffs! YESSSS! This is also when I suddenly become very unavailable to do anything besides watch basketball. I remember the last couple of years (sadly) whenever the Mavs were out of the playoffs, I felt like they broke up with me or something. I felt sad, lonely and suddenly my schedule was a lot more flexible. Maybe not so much on the lonely side, but you get my drift. :) Don’t get me wrong. I still watched the interesting games but having less games to watch per week frees up more time than you’d think. Either way, I’m quite excited for March to be here. I don’t know how far BYU will make it in the bracket, but I feel good about them getting further along than they have in the past. Of course, I’ll still probably have them winning the whole thing like I usually do. I feel like I should have Duke in the finals as well. I don’t really have many allegiances to them at all aside from the fact that Amy is a crazy Duke fan and last year, they helped me win second place in the ward bracket (Amy got first…take that Elder’s Quorum!) haha. I do feel like I owe it to them, in a way. Good times. If that's what it takes to win, then sign me up! :)

But, before I talk more about that, I'm going to do a short recap of our recent Houston trip :).

The trip itself was really good. We all had so much fun! Although, I will say this: never book a hotel using priceline, hotwire or anything like that. Absolutely ridiculous! They didn’t end up having the type of rooms in our reservation. It still worked out fine, but the hotel was super ghetto compared to what they were rating it as. It was SO dirty, but we had a great laugh about it. There's nothing like a group of chill friends in a lame situation. Definitely something to look back at and laugh about. I wish I had pictures, but I’m still trying to get the images out of my head. For example: The bathroom door was warped so that when I was occupying the facility, I look at the door and I could see out into the rest of the bathroom area. And yes, the door was closed. :) Good thing everyone else was hooked on the Food Network! Haha. When we walked into the room, my first thought was, oh no…is this one of those places where you have to pay extra for clean sheets? Siiiiick, but so funny. I’m so glad I had the thought to grab a blanket for each of us before we left. They didn’t have those either. Just a little ‘table runner’ thing going across the bed. And yes, that was nasty too. Oh man, good times. We did get to go to the Houston temple which was awesome (despite the fact that I only got about 45 minutes to an hour of sleep…I was SO tired). I loved it! It was definitely a lot smaller than it looks on the outside, but still amazingly breathtaking on the inside. That reminds me…I need to add Houston to my temple scrapbook :) I’m determined to fill that thing up!

After the temple, we met up with Renee’s brother and sister-in-law for lunch and then high tailed it downtown to see what Houston had to offer, aside from ghetto hotels and Red Robin. They had this fantastical community park thing that we walked around in and then just sat and people watched for a while. It doesn’t get much better than that. Plus we were all so tired from the severe lack of sleep that I think to just sit and zone out was kind of a welcomed activity. Jen and Derrick came down to visit as well! It was so awesome to see y’all! I can’t believe how big Caleb and Zach are getting. They are the cutest! I sure miss getting to hang out with y’all more often. Thank you so much for venturing downtown to see me for a bit. It meant a lot!

[Insert Mavs vs Rockets game here] Booyeah!!!

We were on the VERY LAST ROW, but it was still great. This does mean, however, that we were definitely closer to the nachos than I've ever been before, which made it hard to resist. You know I was all over that business. I still submit that I do not like the Rockets very much. Especially since our tickets cost almost $40 for last row seats. I’m pretty sure that’s due to the fact that they were playing the Mavs tho. :) LOVE THEM

My other new love from this trip is Buc-ees. We decided to stop there to fill up with gas, both ways, and it was actually quite a fun environment. The bathrooms were insane! It was the best, darn truck stop I’ve ever been in. Hats off to you, Buc-ee.
But, enough of that. Let’s get back to basketball!

The next game on the itinerary is the Mavs vs Kings game. Sandy took me as a belated birthday gift. I will love her always for that! :) Our institute teacher has season tickets and couldn’t go to the game so he handed them off. ELEVENTH ROW BABY! I’ve never been that close to Dirk before in my life. It was the absolute best thing ever. I had SO much fun! The game is much more exciting when you can see the sweat on their faces! Look at this! Granted, Sandy was using her zoom, but I don’t care. That’s so awesome. Thank you for having such an awesome camera, Sandy. And thank you for taking me! Someday, I’ll have season tickets like this. *hopes really hard*

Last but not least; the BYU vs TCU game. HA! What a joke. TCU held their own for about the first 5 minutes haha jk jk. They put up a good fight, but we still won by 20 points or something like that. Jimmer Fredette is the MAN. I can’t believe how well he is doing this year. It’s absolutely amazing. People start chanting “SHOOT IT!” right when he walks across the half court line. Mostly because he has before and he’s made it a lot of the time! so insane and I love it! Oh how I love basketball and yes, I have been Jimmer'd :) Have you?

On a side note, I have successfully decorated my abode for St. Patrick's Day. So happy and so excited for one of the best holidays ever!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bon Appetit!

As I was contemplating what I should write my next blog post about, my honorary muse inspired me with the idea of sharing all of my cooking mishaps that have gone down in the past. Naturally, there are far too many for me to be able to write about, but I figured I’d pick some of my favorites and pay tribute to the good times and fantastic memories. Naturally, none of these include those less than tasty dishes that just didn’t make the cut. I really need to learn more about cooking. It’s not my strong point, for sure. Laura said that once work calms down for both of us, she wants to have me over once a week and we can cook something together so I can learn all of her snazzy culinary tricks. I’m excited! The couple of times I've been to her place for dinner, it has been absolutely delicious! Now, I ask you to have an open mind as I tell you these stories. Many of them may not be too funny to you if you weren’t there, but just know that those that were involved had a great time laughing with me about it. So, if you don't find this quite as entertaining as you were hoping for, my deepest apologies are sent your way :)

The most recent mishap made me realize that I was not wired correctly to flip pancakes. It’s a sad truth, but one that I am coming to terms with. Bethers sent me some of the COOLEST Star Wars stuff for my birthday, including, but not limited to Pancake molds and a Darth Vader spatula. Boo yeah. That’s all I have to say. Naturally, I tried my luck at making Amy and I some Dark Side of the Force pancakes. Let’s just say it’s going to take some practice. :) It wasn’t even the fact that they were shapes that caused the problems. Whenever I slid the spatula underneath the pancake to flip it, the pancake actually slid right off the griddle about half way. Maybe I’m just really strong. I don’t know. But needless to say, they lost their shape, broke a few places and were all around ghetto, fabulous. But, not to worry, I’ll keep trying. I’m now a pro at cleaning up pancake batter from all surfaces, because you know I got that stuff everywhere! At least they still tasted like pancakes :) I'm chalking that one up for a partial success, at least.

This makes me remember about how the traditional conference pancake got started. It really all goes back to flipping. (this is a constant problem, much like my inability to wink, in case you haven’t noticed yet). This may also be the reason for why I have subconsciously chosen to make waffles every Sunday for my lunch instead of pancakes haha. Anyway, I was trying to flip the pancake onto the stack of pancakes to bring to the table and I completely missed the plate. Not even hit it and it just fell off. Oh no…I completely air balled it. It fell on the floor and there it remained until the end of conference. Kind of gross since it’s two days long, but it became known as the traditional conference pancake and we had one the year after that in honor of my lack of aim. I’m sure my reaction probably made it a little more funny than it sounds, but either way, that’s one of those moments that I’d like to replay when I get to heaven and we can watch each other’s ‘movies’ of their lives. That’s probably not quite how it’s going to work, but I’m sticking with the idea that it’ll be possible. John Bytheway had the right idea when he said that every now and again he’ll randomly wave at the “camera” just for fun. Hahaha. Good times.

My next notable mishap was while I was actually visiting Bethers for a little gal pal time, in Arizona. Beth makes some of the most delicious healthy food and she was making some of her healthy cookies. Not quite sure what all is in them, but they were so yummy! Anyway, she had her hands full and the timer dinged so she asked me to go rotate the cookies (maybe she said flip…I don’t quite remember but that point is irrelevant). In my head I was thinking that I needed to actually FLIP the cookies over and not just turn them around in the oven. So, I grabbed a spatula and tried to flip them like pancakes (again…I’m starting to notice a pattern in all of my cooking tragedies. Maybe I should stop using spatulas haha). Naturally, they weren’t done cooking yet so the flipping didn’t work so well. Finally, Beth was like, ‘what’s taking so long?’ hahahha I went on to explain how I had been flipping each individual cookie and it wasn’t working so well so sorry for messing them up. That’s when the crazy laughter started and her explaining that she just wanted me to turn the pan around so the opposite side was facing the back of the oven hahahah. Oh good grief, Charlie Brown. I think that using my brain while on vacation is not something that I’m keen on doing :) So hilarious to me!

This next one has nothing to do with flipping anything so that’s comforting, I guess. I had just gotten back to Provo after Christmas break and Joyce came over to keep me company. Well, I decided that I was going to make some muffins because I randomly had muffin mix but no other food and it was too late for me to go grocery shopping. I get the pan all loaded and I was so excited and then what happened? I open the oven to put them in and apparently forgot that I have to wait until I set the pan on the rack before I let go. That’s right, ladies and gentleman. I dropped the pan into the oven. Needless to say I didn’t have muffins for breakfast the next morning, but we definitely had a great laugh out of it.

I think this is where I’m going to stop before I talk my way into the lonely, dark corner of shame, but I do have one more funny moment that actually wasn’t me, but I was there for it and it still brings a smile to my little face. Jen was making something…no idea what, but it sure smelled good. Anyway, she had to drain the grease from the pan but we didn’t have anything to put it into. Well, she looked around and grabbed a Styrofoam cup thinking that that should serve it’s purpose well. As I watched her pour it into the cup, the cup began to melt and soon, there was grease all over the kitchen counter. SO FUNNY. Again, I think her reaction was better than the actual grease problem, but it was so classic. If you choose to share a cooking mishap that you have had, there is plenty of room in the corner of shame. I don’t mind scooting over a bit :)

On a completely different note, I finally bucked up and wrestled Amy after much poking and proding and I actually held my own quite well. I attribute some of that to the fact that I was wearing slippery pants so I could slide around easier and she had just wrestled two other people before that, but I totally pinned her down. Boom baby! We’re now tied. Naturally, she wanted another go because losing isn’t her style, and she got me the second time around. I decided it’s better to quit before I’m behind :) Either way, I was quite proud. She said I did real good haha With that, I'm signing out. Please share your stories should you feel so compelled :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

If Cars Could Talk

I've had a few realizations and 'I wonder' moments in the past few weeks. I'm not sure what I can attribute this to, but it's been kind of funny, so I'll take it! One of my favorites hit me the other day. I come home from work and what's the first thing I do? Change into jeans or sweat pants and put on my slippers. It never fails. A couple of days ago was no different from any other day, except, as I was in mid slipper-fying myself, I paused. Lightning had just struck my brain: I was just like Mr. Rogers! Minus the whole make believe puppet world and a snazzy mail man that delivers my mail right to my door (we're lucky these days if our mail man even picks up/drops off our mail at all, let alone to our front door). Either way, Mr. Rogers is the man. Now, every time I come home and start my daily ritual, I cant help but sing to myself, "Wont you please, wont you please, please wont you be my neighbor!" Love it. Love him. Love Mr. McFeely's Speedy Delivery.

The best 'I wonder' moment came the other day whilst Heather and I were heading over to Olive Garden for lunch. I don't quite remember how we got on the topic, but I started thinking, huh...I wonder what Reggie (my car) would say to me if she could talk. It was a perplexing question and as I thought about it, I came up with some pretty good answers. Seeing as how good ol' Reg and I are like this *intertwines her fingers* I think I have a pretty acurate idea. In my mind, Reggie is a spunky/chill sort of car whose favorite music artists probably consist of Journey, Frank Sinatra and the ocassional Michael Jackson song. Lucky for me, she also digs country music. With that being said, I'm sure she hates it when I bust out my musical soundtracks or am feeling old school and whip out my Nsync CDs. I'm sure she would grumble under her breath and mock me for my song choices. That would probably explain why she tends to run a little better when I'm playing Cartel or something of that nature. :) I also think it would be funny to hear about all the crap that happens to her from her point of view. Exhibit A: all of the weather stripping has been successfully melted or broken off through the years. I'm sure every time it happens, she would pull a, "Really?" in one of those snooty, annoyed voices. I know I would. It probably doesn't feel good. I can also feel an, "OHHH YEAH!" coming on when a good rap song hits the stereo too. I'm sure no one enjoys a nice sunny, warm day with the windows rolled down and some awesome music to drive with more than Reggie. I would love to hear what would come out of her mouth when someone cuts me off or we're stuck in traffic. Nothing annoys both of us more than crappy drivers. I also like to think that Reggie makes friends with all the other cars in the parking lots. Especially Heather and Amy's cars since we park close together so often. I'm sure they are friends. Otherwise, these 10 hour shifts I've been pulling would be quite boring indeed. Now, I realize that this makes me a complete crazy person, but it's what happens when I go from having to think about a million things at once to not really having to think about anything at all. My brain forces itself to think about something and this is what happens haha.

I've also realized that the new song of choice when nothing is going on in my head is Piano Man. Billy Joel soothes the soul, my friends, and you can't beat that. Although, I should probably learn the words to the verses if I'm going to be singing it as often as I have been lately. Maybe that will be a project for my 'snowed in' day today. Yuck. What the Texas weather is going on? It was like 70 degrees this weekend and now it feels like negative 1 outside, and that isn't even an overreaction! I am deeply anguished and full of cabin fever.

Also, operation temples has commenced. A small group of us at church decided that we wanted to go to as many temples within reasonable driving distance this year as we could. We're planning on hitting up Houston next weekend, then depending on the Mavs schedule, we may hit up San Antonio at some point when they are playing down there. Naturally, it makes sense to go where the Mavs are playing so we can go to a game as well haha. We're also planning on going to Lubbock and Oklahoma City and then decide how we want to go from there. It should be lots of fun. It'll get more pictures in my Temple journal, that's for sure. I was quite disappointed in myself: I only had two new ones in 2010. I had 8 in 2009, although, I lived in Utah for part of it and that definitely creates a large advantage haha. Either way, I'm excited. I'm sure I'll update y'all about that when it happens. Until then, I'm peacing out. Maybe I"ll go learn that song now... *sings* "Sing us a song, you're the piano man..." Tootles! XOXO