Saturday, June 30, 2012


I have a new best friend... Aka: I have another best friend to add to the mix.  She's sincerely the best and SO adorable...  Her name is Olivia, and she's my new kitten.

Yep, we got a new little kitty to play with at my house.  My other cat (Frodo) passed away last Saturday, and though we were sad about it, we decided that getting a new cat right away was a good way to fight sad emotions.  So, on Monday we went out to lunch as a family and then to the Humane Society center to choose a kitten.  My mom saw Olivia and immediately fell in love.  She picked her out, and there was no chance of talking her into another option... I was drawn to a little tabby, but I'm ridiculously glad that my mother stuck to her guns and we chose little Olivia.  She is ADORABLE!  She nuzzles right into my neck and sleeps on my shoulder or next to my side... so cute.

You need proof?  Oh, here -

Yea - I have a great new bestie... :)

Song of the Day: Here is Ingrid Michaelson with"Sort Of."  BEAUTIFUL.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer List 2012

Every girl (and guy) should have their very own "summer to-do" list.  This is a fact.  I don't care how old or young you are... if you're really young, you can adopt mom &/or dad's list!  I don't care what you economical status is or how transportation-accessible your life is, you can make a good list regardless of your current situation.  In fact, your current situation(s) should lead you to planning the perfect list for YOU.  Thus, it brings me back to my point that every individual should have a "summer to-do" list... and I have one ready to go for Summer 2012!

 - Tour the State Capital
 - Go see the Up house (even if I can't go inside)
 - Eat @ Porcupine Pub & Grille
 - Go to the temple twice a month June: ☐ July: ☐ August: ☐
 - Sleepover on a trampoline
 - Bonfire Night!
 - Play Horse... and preferably win 
 - Hike Cascade Falls, Doughnut Falls, and Bell Canyon
 - Play in the Gateway Fountains (with Eliza - Amber wanted to make sure I was being socially acceptable :P)
 -  Eat watermelon!
 - Tan by the pool... a lot.
 - Harry Potter movie marathon with HP foods!
 - Read the D&C start to finish
 - Blog at least once a week
 - Go to a water park!
 - Take a lot of pictures
 - Sew a tie skirt (finally!)
 - Play volleyball!
 - Take a picture writing my name with a sparkler
 - Have a dance party!
 - Ride on a boat (IN CHICAGO)
 - Modge Podge my best Europe pictures onto canvas
 - Do the "melting crayon" art project via pinterest
 - Make homemade ice cream sandwiches!
 - See Spiderman and  Dark Knight Rises
 - Write missionaries at least every other week
 - Leave someone a love note in sidewalk chalk
 - Write music to one of my own songs on the guitar
 - Make comic shoes!
 - Take a big trip! (CHICAGO)
 - Watch as many firework shows as possible... (I love fireworks.)
 - Learn to BBQ
 - Go for a bike ride!
 - Create at least three units with lesson plans
 - Read at least 5 plays and create full-scale plans for two play productions
 - Tie-dye a shirt!
 - Go to a carnival!
 - Go star-gazing
 - Create a scavenger hunt for a friend
 - Go on a geocaching date!
 - Play laser tag
 - Go to at least 2 Twilight Concert Series concerts
 - Go to a drive-in movie
 - Go to the Farmer's Market one Saturday morning
 - Take Eliza to the Zoo
 - Land a flip on the trampoline
 - Make s'mores in the backyard!

Anything I missed?!?  I know this is a huge list, but I'm ready to tackle it this summer... It's gonna be bomb.

P.S. Things with strikes through them, I've already done!

Song of the Day:  I love this band and this song.  I saw them in concert a few months back and they were amazing live... Warning: at minute 3:51 they drop the "F" bomb.  I HATE the "f" bomb, but I think this video is really amazing (concept-wise, cinematography, fit to song, etc.) and so just mute that moment if you prefer.  Here is Fun. with "Some Nights." Enjoy!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I just need to record my feelings right now... I am so thankful for the guidance of the spirit in my life.  I have been really struggling over the past week with some decisions in my life and choices that needed to be made.  I don' feel as though be too blunt, but I have highly specific goals for myself right now in my life and things have fallen into place in many areas.  I have been beyond blessed and learned a LOT in my life about how aware Heavenly Father is of me and my personal desires.  He knows me - SO well... and he cares.

I have really learned the power of meaningful, heartfelt prayers and that they ARE heard.  I know that some things don't come to fruition for a greater purpose than the desires we might have... and what a blessing that has been in my life.  I have seen the guidance of a loving, kind Heavenly Father and felt twinges of His frustration when I KNOW something and make another choice.  He knows best - I know that. 

I also learned that I have amazing friends and family.  I have a mother and father who know just how much guidance to hand out to me... and when to hold their tongues and ideas.   I hope that doesn't sound harsh, because that's not the intent.  I just mean that they know me and know how to help me help myself... Giving me answers won't help me grow as much.  As for friends, I have supportive, true friends who am SO good at giving m support and advice, but encouraging me to turn to the right sources (prayer, scriptures, blessings, the temple, family, etc.) for true, full guidance.  They are AMAZING examples - and some of them won't even know it's them I'm typing about because of how subtly they offer their advice just by living the way they do or a fleeting comment they might make out-loud. 

This week I had the opportunity to attend to the temple with some family names in hand - SUCH a great opportunity to connect on a deeper level to the experience.  However, that's not what I'm going to touch on in this entry.  When I was there, I went harboring specific feelings and questions.  I went with vague wisps of decisions that needed to be made... and I went with a LOT of prayer behind me.  One of my friends was texting me about his decision to change a few things in his life because he was reading his patriarchal blessing and really wanted those blessings that have been promised to him.  That simple text inspired me, and I took my own patriarchal blessing with me to the temple.

While I was sitting in the waiting are to do baptisms or confirmations, I studied my blessing and I thought about the goals I have for myself.  I prayed in my heart about my life and the choices I had before me... which direction(s) should I take?  I can tell you that I received SUCH strong promptings and answers to each of my questions, and I made solidified choices and plans.  I felt the Lord's hand guide me... and I felt a change in my direction and in myself.  I felt amazing! 

I know this perhaps seems vague, and it is a bit, but it's not about WHAT I was struggling with or thinking about.  This story is about the truth of the Lord in our lives and the overwhelming gratitude I have for him in answering my prayers in the timing that he did... He did NOT do it right away.  There has been some time of struggling with my thoughts and thinking things through for myself.  I made the decision - he sustained it.  It was just an amazing experience that I can't quite put fully into words.

I know my Father in Heaven lives and loves me.  I know that is hyper-aware of my life and my thoughts - and that he cares.  He is always there for me if I just turn to Him.  I love my Savior and all that He has done for me... and I know that gospel of The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints is true.  

I just needed to express all this because I would be truly ungrateful if I didn't take the time to write it down.

Song of the Day:  I'm in love with this song and this version... GORGEOUS.  I'm also in love with the singer... Here is Marc Broussard with "I've Been Loving You Too Long."  (Tom Jones rocks this song pretty hard too...) Amazing - Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chi-Town = CHICAGO!

Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to see one of my best friends, Chad, and the amazing city of Chicago!  It would have been fabulous to all have all of y'all with me, but since that was quite literally impossible, I took a whole heap of pictures and took notes about all the many highlights on my phone as reminders.  Haha!  So, read on and it'll be like you were right by my side for the trip... kinda.

 - Moonrise Kingdom!  If you have NOT seen the trailer for this film, have no fear... I hadn't either before going to the theater.  Haha!  Some of the people in the single's branch in Chicago threw a birthday dinner for Chad (just turned the big 2-7) at a local pizza joint (SO good!) and then we went to see this film at a cool theater where more indie-films have a chance to be seen.  We got ice cream after and just walked around his neighborhood, which was great cause we could just spend more time catching each other up on life.  This film was by far a highlight of my trip - it was fresh, funny, and unique... Check out the trailer below:

-Millennium Park: I went with Chad there on the very first day (after well needed naps and breakfast with his partner, Allen... This is also included the cashier lady at breakfast telling, "I'll show you the way!" of how to have fun in Chicago.  Haha!).  Millennium Park was awesome!  Buckingham Fountain is right outside the area, and there was a Blues Festival going on downtown outside of the park - very cool.  There's a giant concert hall that looks like a "mini-Sydney" opera house in the park, which was gorgeous... we laid down in the grass outside of it for a few moments before heading over to... The Bean.  This is currently the most photographer object in the world and you've seen it recently in numerous films - aka: Source Code with my beloved Jake Gyllenhaal or The Vow with Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams.  It's a way cool, random piece of art.  We took pictures surrounding it, laying underneath it, and just of the inside of the structure.  Right next to The Bean are some awesome picture fountains - giant computerized images appear on these three-four story blocks while water cascades down the sides and around them... Very fun!
 - Sidenote:  Allen pulling over randomly for the garage sale was pretty classic... He's a rockstar.  Love that kid. :)

- Second City:  Chad takes writing classes here and is among good company as people like Tina Fey and Steve Carrell took classes there too.  We saw a review show there where the actors were currently in the process of working out the kinks for real performance, and it was still well-done and hilarious throughout.  There was a little raunchiness and language, but it wasn't terrible.  Overall, I enjoyed it and am sad we don't have more good comedy clubs in Utah.  We have a few, but not many.

 - Rap for the White Girl:  We were walking in Chad's area on Sunday night and this group of black guys cam around us and one guy started rapping about me & outlinin' my silhouette with his hands.  Haha!  I don't really recall all he said, but I do remember he said "my face and that back" were amazing.  Haha - oh, that was an EPIC moment in Chicago for me... definitely amazing.  I wish it had happened again and I could slow down and enjoy the moment more rather than darting off, laughing hysterically.

- The Magnificent Mile:  I shopped at H&M and got some adorable new clothes, including a dress I wore this past Sunday... I've never received more compliments on how I looked and what I was wearing in my life.  Not even at proms or dances - no exaggerating either...  I also got some of the famous "Chicago Mix" popcorn from Garrett's popcorn = AMAZING.

 - Night out with Jimmy!  I met Chad's awesome roommate, Jimmy, who was nice enough to quote-on-quote "babysit me," for a few hours when Chad had class.  Haha!  We went for a walk along lakeview's side of Chicago and saw the beaches there and city-skyline while we talked about relationships, the church, and life and just were ridiculously open with each other.  It was awesome, and just what I needed after a long day of walking around and shoppin' - just super chill.  Afterward, we stopped a gourmet grilled cheese shop for dinner called Cheesies, that was great!  I was thinking, "Why don't they have these in UT!?" and then I saw one in Cottonwood Heights area on Friday - small world!  Haha... I'll have to check it out and compare to two.

 - The Architecture Tour:  I got to hop on a boat for an hour and a half and see the entire city of Chicago from a whole new way!  I have a secret obsession with architecture and love seeing different styles of buildings, so this was perfect for me.  I loved being on a boat ("I'm on a boat!") and our "tour guide" of all the different buildings really knew his stuff!  He was incredible, as were the buildings and monuments...

 - The Cubs Game at Wrigley Field:  Funny story, I texted a friend saying, "I'm at Wrigley Stadium right now!" and he texted back, "Say those same words outloud right now, please..."  I did and people litereally corrected me - "FIELD.  It's Wrigley Field."  Haha!  I know that, but I didn't realize the big deal that it was.  Anyway, the game was great (they won!), the hotdog was legit, and we actually got last-minute steal-of-a-deal on seats that opened as I approached the window.  We got lucky, and I was SO grateful to Chad for going with me when I know how much he hated it.  Haha!

 - Taking a walk with Kylie!  I had the chance to see an old friend from college, Kylie, and have her take me around another side of the city (the Greek side) where she lives.  Right before I left for the airport, she picked me up from downtown and we went to her area to walk around.  It was nice to have her show me a new side of the city (a quainter, quieter side) and catch-up with her.  It was for sure a highlight!

 - Seeing Chad!!!  I was SO glad Chad had me come stay with him in Chicago and that us "four-day (five day-ish) friends" were able to have a good time seeing parts of the city and catching-up.  He will forever and always be one of my best friends! :)

Random Tidbits: 
 - Riding in a cab in the USA for the first time...
 - The Counter - a build your own burger joint that was really cool/good!
 - Walking in the really shady part of town at night with Chad because we didn't pay attention to where we were walking.
 - Watching Bridesmaids (edited) for the first time  -HILARIOUS!  Everyone was right.  It IS my kind of movie... I loved it. It has MANY facets to it that lend it to being the story of my life.
 - Finishing Wit and Chapter Two - two fantastic plays I've been meaning to real!  Niel Simon is just so funny...
 - Seeing the spot where part of My Best Friend's Wedding was filmed in the train station - one of my favorite films of all time! 
 - Magnolia's Bakery s'more cupcake.... fairly legit.
 - Seeing Chad's office at Leo Burnett and grabbing pizza at his classic lunch-spot with him before heading home. 
 - Navy Pier and the Ferris Wheel!  So much fun... and allowed for great photo opportunities of the city-skyline. 
 - Random act of service from a lady in the subway - she saw I was looking a bit lost one day when I was alone in the city and just walked right up and asked, "Honey, you need some help?"  It was the nicest, simplest thing she could have done and made my day.  I love service!

Till my next adventure... well, probably before that even.

Song of the Day:  I am currently in love with this song... and the video is pretty cool too.  Here is Katy Perry's song "Wide Awake."  SO good!  Enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

White Wedding!

 I love the temple.  Really - I do.  I'm excited to go through later in the year for myself for the first time.... It's exciting and just feels right.  I'm preparing to go through right now and it really has helped me revamp my thinking and focus on good goals.  This past week I had that excitement reaffirmed as I had the opportunity to be at the Winter Quarters temple for Nicole's wedding.

Now, I wasn't able to be in the sealing, but I waited with some others (and a bunch of little kids!) downstairs while that was going on, and I just felt such a spirit there - even in the waiting room.  There is such a power in the temple and in the binding of families... It's amazing. 

Aside from the temple part, it was fabulous to be there for Nicole and Al as they got married to each other.  It was awesome to reconnect with Christin (my amazing host and SO easy/fun to talk to) and Brooke (another bridesmaid I didn't know really well before, but now think the world of), Ben and Joy (their wedding is only about 5 weeks away!), Sarah, Nicole's family, and finally meet Sara Dietrich!  She was such a doll - I mean, a real rockstar.  I haven't met someone that I genuinely just liked and felt good around like that in a long time - she's amazing.

It was a good trip, and I finished out my time in Omaha by heading to... CHICAGO.  Those stories, however, are for a future entry... Coming soon.  Very soon.

Song of the Day:  I just found this girl this past week due to a free song on ITunes and then Jimmy (my new-found Chicagoan friend) showed me THIS song... Here is Emeli Sande with "Next to Me." Enjoy!