Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Ten: It's What I Love

Here are my favorite things of the week... Enjoy. :)

1 - Filipino Traffic Cop Doing His Job Like the King! I love how much this guy gives his all to his job. I think that if we all just put our everything into our work like him and enjoyed it, we would all be predominately happier.

2 - Pinmill Earrings. I found them on Etsy and I want them... There are cheaper ones on Ebay, but they are windmills... Haha! I think these are simple, but adorable.

3 -  This quote:
You can do anything, but not everything.
I am getting SO much better at this - I use to be terribly over-involved... but not I'm only somewhat over-involved... :)

4 - I Am Legend, wait for it... DARY.  If this really were a movie, I would be all over seeing this.

5 - Carroll High School's Powder Puff Dance... I normally find these dances lame because they're really not that good, but this one is awesome!  It's funny, the choreography is creative, and the boys are actually not that bad... I think it's worth a watch!

6 - Diversity Crayons.  I don't know the actual title of this picture, but that's what I call it... I think it's powerful, and somewhat poignant - It makes you think.  I want this for my classroom.

7 - Zupa's Tomato Basil Soup.  Last night I took part in the annual, bi-ward Polar Bear Plunge.  It was literally the COLDEST experience of my life!  I jumped in and was SHOCKED (again, literally) by how cold it was, came up from the water, and could barely breathe.  Once I got actually out of the water, my body felt like it was ON FIRE, burning away.... especially my toes.  Haha!  My good friends Aura and Chelsea were nice enough to have a bowl of Zupa's Tomato Basil Soup for me once I got out of the pool.  It warmed my heart... and my body.  Haha... I don't know if it really warmed me, but it is DELICIOUS!

8 - Blake Griffin's Amazing DUNK!  I'm not a clippers fan, but this dunk was somewhat epic... feel free to put it on repeat and get an instant reply again and again...

9 - Laughs!  I love to laugh and I LOVE other people's laughs.  If you know me, you know I have seven different laughs.  My friend, Dru, counted them one summer... It's pretty crazy.  My friend, Ben, posted this video with a ton of different laughs... It made me smile. :)

10 - Jacob 4:10 -  
"... seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works."  
I was reading this morning and came across this scripture.  A reoccurring theme in the past few weeks of my life has been that FAITH is also having faith in the Lord's TIMING.  I think this is perhaps the hardest part of life for me... I often know when I do and don't want things, so learning to take counsel from the Lord and not try to counsel him in what I think I need or what I want for myself is difficult.  I love how the Bible Dictionary says it- "The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant..."  Our job is to ask for His will to come to fruition, and trust that His plan is better than our own.  SCARY?  Yes.  WORTH IT?  Definitely. 

P.S.  I also love how it says "he counseleth in GREAT MERCY..."  He only wants what's best for us and, "Mercy is the compassionate treatment of a person greater than what is deserved," made possible through the Atonement.  Ultimately, if I have faith and change my will to His, he will give me more than I could dream of... and more than I deserve. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What's In a Word?

It's time for another edition of quote magic from Linze and her many friends... Strap yourself in and get ready for some good reading!

First, a smart moment for bragging purposes only... However, it was not MY smart moment.  Eliza and I were talking about the Europeans coming to America and E asked, "European as in Europe?"  I thought that was highly sophisticated connection for a 3-year-old to make.  She's seriously one smart cookie. 

Eliza and I were making salt-dough ornaments for Christmas and we made little hearts to paint.  She broke ours, to which she said, "That's my broken heart.  I broke your heart on accident too,"  than casually started singing, "Ooooops!"

"I have to buy resses... They help him at work." - Karin, pointing to Spencer.

"I hate good-looking boys that I can't do bad things with..." - Katie (This was hilarious and pretty much made my day week...)

"Oh!  That really gave me a fright!" - Eliza about my jumping up really fast.  She also said later, "Oh, that gave me a freak out!!"  Haha...

"She's so worried about looking stupid, she's not worrying about BEING stupid!" - Kevin... Classic.

"Culture becomes curriculum!" - Linze
"WAHOO!!!" - Brinna... in the middle of class.  You had to be there, but it really was quite hilarious.

"Think if we vote for Him [Jesus] in the upcoming election that he'll come faster?" - Linze (I was only half kidding...)

"So there's a King James version and a Justin Beiber version?"  - Cami, speaking of the Bible after hearing JB's version of "Little Drummer Boy."

"Well, he's against women.  He's a real...?" - Don't recall who said this part...
"A douche?" - Linze
"A sexist." - Person I don't recall.
"Same thing." - Linze

"My mom said no booping (aka: farting) at the dinner table... sometimes my bum forgets." - Eliza

Sidenote:  I just need to let everyone know that when you are singing hymns in a cockney accent with your brother in church, the chorister (who may or may not be your mother) will probably hear you and start trying really hard not to laugh.  Derek and I sincerely thought we weren't singing that loud.

"Why doesn't air exist?  Because it's nothing!" - Finni, followed by abnormal amounts of laughter... :)

"I love the Chinese, but not those Indians." - Eliza... She was talking about Pocahontas and Mulan, but it all came out terribly wrong and was hilarious. 

"I usually start AND end with the shorts on..." - Spencer

The preface to this tale is that my best friend's husband was walking along the pier in Cali with his family the day before their wedding and a bird pooped all over this random lady's hair.  Ken's grandma walked up to the lady and very sincerely asked, "Aren't you grateful cows can't fly?"  HAHAHAHA!

"I spy something... Fusia!" - Eliza
"Fusia?  Wow... um, that's a great color choice.  Where did you learn about that color?" - Linze, thinking that's rather intelligent for a 3 year old to differentiate from pink.
"Linze.  It's just a different form of pink." - Eliza, while rolling her eyes.  Thanks, E.

"Remember the time your phone went into the sh*%er?" - Spencer

We were playing Rock Band and Ryan started singing a particularly disturbing song by Korn.  Spencer then stated without any trace of sarcasm, "I'll have to rededicate my house when we're done..."  Haha!

"Watch my new bum party dance!" - Eliza, literally backin' it up!  She did so while singing, "every day I'm shuffulin'!"  Haha...

"I thought the words were 'we found love in a homeless place.'" - Lauren 

"Sprechen sie Deutsch?!" - Spencer trying to sound German, but sounding like YODA - no joke.
"Deutsch sie sprechen?" - Linze, sounding normal...
Now imagine Spencer saying "Deutsch sie sprechen?!" in the YODA voice... :)

"They're circlin' around... They're peacockin'." - Shawn in one of my classes, demonstrating what boys do when they get in a fight in HS.  It was SO funny!

"I'm thinkin', 'OMG!'" - Tim Carr... one of my teachers.  CLASSIC.

"Thanks, Spice Girl." - Phil.

"What was I suppose to say?! ... Nice bra." - Spencer... to me.  LONG story... which I will just say it was quite hilarious! 


Song of the Day: This is an older song, but a favorite of mine!  I love Chris Brown's music and adore Keri Hilson - Here's their duet called "Superhuman."  if you've never heard of it, you should fall in love with it right... NOW. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Lion and the Lamb

Not everyone is going to agree with this, but I felt like I should write it out anyway.  I was talking to a good friend of mine recently about trust.  Trust is different to each individual - and significantly different amongst cultures.  Trust is a difficult thing to gain for some and others give it freely... Some say that trust given quickly can fade rapidly, while those who have to work for the trust will remain in that trust circle till death once there.  I say that regardless, for most people, when someone is hurt, used, mistreated, or betrayed, the trust is broken.  When trust is broken, it takes a lot of time to gain it back... and sometimes is never fully restored.  I have found this to be the case regarding many relationships around me.

Trust can be tricky.

The question that was posed was sort of related to this definition of trust, in that this individual asked if they were in the wrong after feeling somewhat betrayed in the past.  Now, some will agree with my answer and others won't... fine.  You don't have to agree, but it's what I really think.  Take it for what it's worth!

There is the matter of being like the Savior.  That is what we are all here on this earth for, and should be trying to be more like Him.  So, the obvious answer is to say, "Yes.  You should forgive, forget, and just let that person have another shot in your life."  I agree...  However, that doesn't necessarily mean you need to put full faith or trust in that person again, and you definitely don't need to be their best friend.  The truth of the matter is, the Savior has been both a "lamb" and a "lion."  He has dealt with thieves, murders, adulterers, and those who betrayed Him with love and outstretched arms.  On the other hand, he overturned tables and raised His voice at the men who were defiling the temple... He become a lion because that's what was needed at the time.

Heavenly Father wants us to be loving and kind, but also smart... and sometimes, He needs or allows us to be a lion.  WE are some of the temples here on earth, and are just as important than the House of the Lord.  We need to take care of ourselves and expect others to do the same - aka: treat themselves and others with respect and extra love.  Thus, when someone has truly harmed us or our heart, we have every right to speak our mind, and then forgive.  We have every right to be cautious of future intentions of interactions and just follow what will make us happy, as well as others.  Heavenly Father wants ALL of His children to be happy - and that includes YOU.

Sometimes you need to just let things roll of your back, and be the lamb.  Other times, I fully believe that it is okay to assume the position of the lion.  I'm not saying be a complete jerk or treat others disrespectfully, but firmly standing up for yourself, others, and what you believe is completely legit.  If you listen to your intuition, your feelings, and the spirit, you'll know which role is appropriate and if you've been in the wrong.  I simply believe it's wrong to assume we always have to be lambs in each moment, when there are also needs for a lion.

Song of the Day:  It's about time we had some more of this guy... Adam Lambert's newest song, "Better Than I Know Myself," is AMAZING!  Hope your love it as much as I do!  Enjoy!
Better Than I Know Myself by adamofficial

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Tuesday Ten" - Keeps the Bored Busy!

This week there are probably going to be too many videos for some of you... Others will love that.  I simply know that some of my readers are NOT YouTube watching fans... bizarre, right?  Haha!  All the same, each video comes HIGHLY recommended.

1 - Home - Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros Acoustic Cover (Jorge & Alexa Narvaez). I am overwhelmed with cuteness after watching this!  This dad is awesome - He doesn't try to correct her movements, notes, performance, etc. in any of their videos.... SUCH a cool bond!  I wanna end up with a man who makes time for his kids like this and realizes how much it means to a child.  Favorite part is halfway through: "One day I'm gonna whistle?" Oh my word... too adorable.

2 -Every Newsie Shufflin'!  Do you love The Newsies?  Do you love "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO?  If you said yes to both (or one) of those questions, you will like love this...

3 - Messy Monday: Ten Ways To Get a Girl to Like You.  I KNOW that this guy kinda appears to be yelling at you, and is a bit young, but I kinda love this video.  He gives legit advice for the most part, and I love his candy bar analogy at #3.... and think #5 is really funny.  Just watch... Some will hate it.  Some will love it.

4 - Katy Perry's Epic Flute Fail.  I died because this is THAT funny... Okay, it is to me.

5 -Misha B - Rolling in the Deep Cover from X Factor UK 2011... I saw this a few weeks back and love EVERY part of it!  I love the remix, the outfit, the giant Great Britain flag chair, the dancers, the lighting... I love it ALL!  Is she not AMAZING?!  I'm so sad she didn't win.  You have to click on the title to watch it because it doesn't have an embedding code, but the two minutes are SO worth it! 

6 - German Man Confused by "Party Pooper!"  I thought this was hilarious... Pretty classic.  My favorite: "Jennifer poops at parties, and peoples knows this?  I poop at parties, but peoples don't know because I close the door."

7- Angry Birds in Real Life... Do you like pigeons?  What about Angry Birds?  If you said no to Angry Birds, you're crazy - even I love that game.  The 17 second video below makes me smile every time - love it...

8 - Footloose 2011: Official Dance Tutorial - Fake ID Line Dance!  I love online dance tutorials - how awesome is it that I can learn to dance from some awesome guys online?!  Love that... I also love this dance! You should learn it too... now we HAVE to go line dancing so that we can use it, right?!

9 - "Coming Soon" Movie Releases... There are quite a few films in February that I am dying to see.  Some of these are the following:  The Vow, The Woman in Black, This Means War, The Lorax, John Carter, Mirror Mirror (I think I'm excited..), and... Hunger Games! Haha... I'm also excited about Act of Valor and Safe House, but they'll have to wait for a bit until I can get a differently rated version.

10 - The Hunger Games Trailer!!! So, sue me.  I'm obsessed with the books and am already getting stoked for a movie that comes out two months from yesterday.  Haha!  If you have not yet read The Hunger Games series, they are WELL worth your attention.  Get on that... and though a very good friend of mine has reseved me a ticket for the day before the film is released, I will gladly go and see it with you again.  Haha!  No, but really...


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Tuesday Ten" - Here We Go Again!

Here comes another "Tuesday Ten," and let me tell you... there are some pretty hilarious clips included below.

1 - 6 yr. old Solar System Expert: Brandt Bickford.  Doesn't that name just sound smart?  I know.  I am in love with this little boy, who I would love to see now that he's 9 years old!  He is HILARIOUSLY adorable and so stinkin' funny.  He reminds me SO much of the boy I use to shadow a few years ago, Ez - I miss that boy immensely.  Watch this interview Brandt did with Ellen (whom I also adore!):

2- Liquid Eyeliner.  I'm obsessed.  I have been for some time now... I have used it on the top lid for a few months and now I use it on the bottom a lot too... It stays all day, doesn't smudge or run and looks fabulous!

3 - Film Directors.  The films specifically and the actors tend to get all the credit and attention, but in reality, a film SUCKS without a good director.  A script needs someone with vision and an innovative approach to really transcend what's already been seen on the screen in the past.  There are bad actors and then there are bad directors... Half the time when you walk away thinking, "The acting was just so terrible," it's really because the directing wasn't that strong.  The actor(s) still might suck, but the direction of a piece or specific shot/line has a LOT to do with it.  Thus, here are my faves: J.J. Abrams, Guy Ritchie, David Lynch, Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Baz Luhrmann, Ron Howard, and though I'll catch some flack for this, M. Night Shyamalan.  These are my favorite film directors as of late!

4 -Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies!  I tried these tonight and they were quite literally the best cookies I have ever eaten.  Ever. (Click on the cookie name for the recipe!)

5 -  Gold's Gym Express.  I have even written them a letter to express my gratitude...
Dear Gold's Express - 
For the past few weeks we have been having a really hot love affair.  I realize that we've grown closer and I feel stronger when I'm around you...  You make me happy.  I need to let you know that I'm really committing to this relationship. 
Sincerely - Thick, Beautiful, and Slowly Tonin'

6 - Paradise (Peponi) - Coldplay cover by The Piano Guys ft. Alex Boy - This piece is beautiful and the visuals are breathtaking.  I love the piano and have a soft spot for Jon Schmidt - he just arranges things beautifully.  I'm a HUGE fan of these guys and ALL their stuff - check out their latest, "Paradise (Peponi)" below:

7 - Tim Tebow.  Yep - I'm on that bandwagon.  I am not ashamed.  NOW, that does not mean that I am now a Broncos fan or that I will ever be.  I will never cheer for the Broncos against a team I like more because I like Tebow.  Nope - I'm an Eagles and Chargers girl till the day that I die.  I have the T-shirts to prove it!  Haha... I really actually dislike the Broncos quite a bit.  I just think that Tim Tebow is a legit man.  He has a good heart and as I said before, the world could use a few more of him around - even if they are Broncos.  Plus, if I could convert him, I'd be all over that!  Haha... no, but really.  (Click on his name for a link to an AMAZING story about him!)

8 -Kelly Clarkson's newest album, Stronger!  It's an amazing work-out CD and I LOVE her most recent single off the album - However, the entire album is gold.  Here is her song/music video "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)."  Enjoy!

9 - Mom, I'm Dating a Mormon  Reality Web-series.  I saw the sneak preivew for this today and I think it looks like it could be worth watching.  We'll see, but it looks fun!  I like the guy.  I like the girl.  It looks legit.  I'm excited for the premier of the first episode on January 30th!!! The preview is below and the website is accessible by clicking on the title of the web-show above):

10 - Sh*z Mormons Say, by Stephen Jones!  The video speaks for itself.

Sidenote: I say "Son of a Biscuit" and "Holy Hannah" ALL the time...


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Travel Bug

I have the travel bug.

I have the travel bug BIG TIME.

No, the travel bug is not some gross insect you get while traveling... That should be obvious, but you never know.  I just really have the desire to hope on a plane and see a few new countries.  I've been thinking a lot about teaching abroad for a few year after I graduate, but I still have a great deal of time before that will happen... so, we'll see.  It'll depend on what's going on in my life come that time.  However, I loved living in a new and different place... I DID hate being far from family though.  That's one thing that makes Utah so appealing to me.  My family is right here and I love that.  I wish Derek, Cami, and Zoey were closer, as well as other siblings, but what can you do?  Once I get marrieds, I do hope our two little families live nearby each other so we can hang out.  Eh - we'll see!

Right now, if I had the money I would hop a flight to Budapest to visit some friends, swing over to Greece, Croatia, Turkey, and then travel all the way up to Poland to finally see Auschwitz - might be weird, but it's a life-long dream.  I wouldn't mind seeing Finland and Sweden... and I'd LOVE to go over to Australia or New Zealand.... I just am SO game to travel right now.  If only I had the money and time to do so... someday! :)

I do have to goal to do a big trip this year, but it'll probably be state-side.  The plan is Chicago and MAYBE Flordia (never been to there) to see Disneyworld and Harry Potter Land (AMAZING!), but again - we'll see.  I hate that... waiting around to see what will actually happen and can  actually happen.

I have the travel bug.

Anyone else with me?

Song of the Day:  Okay, so I heard this on the radio a few times last week and just loved it.  I'm not angry or vindictive towards anyone or anything... I just like the song.  Haha!  HOWEVER, the video makes homegirl look like a bit of a creeper/stalker.  I mean, I'd be upset if my boy was cheatin' (he's be OUT), but I'm thinking this video went for funny with a girl who lacks the ability to act or connect.  It's flat out one of the WORST acting jobs in a music video EVER, but the song is cool and I like her voice... Here's Cady Groves with "The Little Girl." Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Tuesday Ten" - A New Installment

 Here's this week installment of the "Tuesday Ten," which are things I am currently lovin' on!

1. I am in love with this idea... I'm not opposed to actually trying this.

2. One of my best friends, Chad, wrote this Samsung commercial -"Fashion Advice." Every time I see it I feel a little twinge of pride for him -  he's pretty talented.

3.  I love quotes.  I love quotes about priorities and making an effort in relationships. I LOVE this quote.

4. I adore these Live the Language commercials!  My favorite one is the Paris one below, even if it wasn't my favorite place to visit.  I'd watch them all.... I'm awaiting the Germany one soon to be released!

5. Orbit Spearmint Gum!  Yes, please.

6.  George Albert Smith created his 11 Ideals to live by and I really like them.  The one that stuck out to me the most is below :
"I would not seek to force people to live up to my ideals but rather love them into doing the thing that is right."
If we all thought that way and tried to just love others, we would have a much better world and all be significantly happier.  The only way a person will really change is if they make the change themselves - just love them, and hopefully others seeing you be Christ-like will make them want to be Christ-like.  You can't ask someone to live up to YOUR ideals, when you're not perfect so YOU can't even live up to each one of your own ideals.

7. This is What Happens When You Give Thousands of Stickers to Thousands of Kids...

8. BBC Sherlock!  Season 2, Episode 1 was just released and I watched it last night... My love for the show, and BBC in general, was reinvigorated.

9. Theater Methods - MAT 625.  Yes, I just listed a class as a favorite thing!  I had my first Theater Methods class last night and I just adore my teacher and the class in general.  I am SO stoked about this semester!

10. The Not Acceptable R-word PSA Commercail. I am rather passionate about the entire "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign. We talked a lot about it in one of my classes last semester and it's just not okay to use the word "retarded" when someone does something foolish or dumb. It's tacky and a turn-off... and it's just not okay.


Sunday, January 8, 2012



Today at church there was a bit of talk about people's New Year's resolutions.  Some had vague ones, others very specific ones... I, on the other hand, realized that I had forgotten the tradition all together.  Perhaps it was because I was slowly dying on New Year's Eve, or that I've been kinda "run-run-running" since Christmas Day and never really thought about it at all, but I think it was merely because I forgot.  I know it's not vital to come up with NY Resolutions, but I really like to do it each year... Thus, here's a go at a few basic things I'd like to be better at in the upcoming year.

1 - Go to the temple once a month.  I use to say once a week, or twice a month, but I need to make these realistic.  Some months I'll get there three or four times, but if I get there at least once a month then that's pretty good and I'll have reached my goal.

2 - Stick to a monthly budget.  I even downloaded a program on-line that allows me to keep track of my budget and as I make little changes here and there, it adjusts my total numbers in each area.  I'm not bad with money, but I could be better so that I can put more into my car savings account each month.

3 - Straight A's in Grad School... This goal started  back in September and I'm pleased to say that my first semester of Grad School I left with a 4.0!  Now, I just gotta keep it up!

4 - Do at least one thing on my bucket list each month...

5 - Take at least one big trip this year!  I'm planning a trip to Chicago in May/June (pending on when I can get a cheaper ticket!) to visit my friend, Chad, and see the city.  I'd LOVE to got stay with some friends in Budapest, but I think that will have to wait until NEXT summer... Plus, by then, who knows where I'll be living!

6 - Read my scriptures every single day.  Now, the underlying goal is to really study them every single day, but I know that some days I'll forget, I'll miss my alarm, or something will happen and I'll get home later then expected... So, I just wanna make sure I read a little bit at least each day. 

There you have it... I'll keep y'all updated!

Song of the Day: I was a HUGE fan of The Format back in their day!  I love all their old albums, and was semi-crushed when the band broke-up... NOT COOL.  However, here we are a few years later and we have Fun., with the lead singer of The Format as the lead singer!  So, this NEEDS to be shared!  Here is Fun. with their recent single "We Are Young."  LOVE IT!  Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Tuesday Ten"... Or Eleven!

The year of 2011 was a completely fabulous one for me.  I don't think that I realized how fabulous it really was until I took the time yesterday and today to look back and ponder on the experiences I had, life changes I took, and friends that I made.  I am one blessed woman, and I need to show my thanks a great deal more!  Haha... No, but really - I am a lucky girl.

Just to give y'all a taste of my life this past year, here are the top ten eleven highlights of this past year for today's "Tuesday Ten... Eleven."  Here goes:

1 - My trip to Seattle!  The first thing that I did when I came back from Germany was fly up to Seattle to visit my brother (Derek) and sister-in-law.  Derek has been one of my best friends for 26 years and counting, and Cami has joined the ranks fairly quickly.  I know that once I got back I would want to see them right away, and even better, I was going to get to see a brand new city and state!  They took me all around Seattle and just spent time visiting with me - I could not ask for better siblings/through-marriage-siblings...?  Haha!  They are amazing and we always spend the majority of our time laughing and having a good time.  Love it!

2 - Working the Sundance Film Festival!  Not only was this a down-right awesome experience for the resume, but I also got to see a ton of inspiring, inventive, and even bizarre films that I might not have seen otherwise.  Plus, I got to work the event and stay with one of my best friends, Chad, and make a new friend at the same time, Emily.  I also ran into my friend, Jessica, from Paris while I was there!  Small world... Even though I was a bit sick through part of it, I had a great time, learned a lot about the indie film industry, and formed some stronger friendships.  I hope to do it again later this month, but I'm thinking time with work and Grad School are not going to allow it.  We'll see!

3 - Finally attending Festival of Colors!  I know this seems a minimal and weird highlight, but I've always wanted to go and so finally going was a highlight from this past year.  It also was a kick-off to tackling a few things on my bucket list and that has been a whole other set of adventures...

4 - Becoming a Nanny for Eliza!  I become a nanny for a second time in May and it has been one of the biggest blessings in my life.  Not only has the job aspect fit perfectly into my life and school schedule, but I also found a fantastic family to be a part of each week.  I work the perfect amount of time and spend my days with the best little girl ever!  She is well-behaved, kind, intelligent, hilariously adorable, and has amazing parents that I really gel with in all aspects.  I can talk to the family about anything job-wise or in my personal life and I truly feel as though I have made friends in this family.  I am SO blessed and grateful that I will continue to have this job through at least this next year.  Love it!

5 - Stadium of Fire 2011!  This year I was again given the opportunity to be a part of Stadium of Fire as an Assisstant Stage Manager, and took on some extra responsibility as the Special Talent Coordinator.  It was a good chance to do some additional networking, learn more about SoF and the event process, and allowed me to meet some new people/form stronger bonds with some old acquaintances.  Plus, Brad Paisley and David Archuleta were the entrainment, which was awesome!  I'm not a huge Paisley fan, but we all know my love for little Archuleta...(Sidenote:  He announced he's going on a mission!  AH!  So stoked.) 

6 - Summer 2011.  I realize how broad that is, but this past summer was simply one of the best I have ever had!  In March, I become part of a new YSA ward and just grew to quickly love so many different individuals.  Over the summer I spent time with many of them going to drive-ins, rodeos, Bees and Real games, swimming pools, pudding slip-n-slids, concerts, favorite restaurants, movies, Brighton sleepovers, etc.  I had a LOT of fun!  There are a few pictures below to help re-capture the memories... I don't think I've ever had a better summer.  For real.

7 - Harry Potter 7: Part II -- A piece of childhood ended!  Speaking of summer, this July brought the conclusion to an epic fantasy for many young adults my age that grew up reading the Harry Potter series.  We were thrilled to follow Ron. Hermione, and Harry on one last adventure to defeat Lord Voldemort, destroy the horcruxes, and see kids turn into adults.  Haha!  That was dramatic in description, but truth be told, I'm dramatic - surprise.  Haha!  I love Harry Potter and everything the series teaches readers and viewers - the "ending to the era," though hard to face, was a complete highlight for my summer.

8 - CONCERTS!!!  Another highlight of my summer (and fall) was the amount of amazing and/or just downright fun concerts I was able to attend.  I saw Parachute (aka: Sparky's Flaw) live for the first time in years, Vocal Point (Okay, that was in March, but still...), Andrew Allen, He Is We, Jon Schmidt (again), Brad Paisley, David Archuleta (again - haha!), Explosion in the Sky, Lupe Fiasco, Sara Bareilles (FINALLY!), Sugarland, Cameron Rafati, Jason Derulo, and HANSON (Be Still My Heart - ABOUT TIME!).  Hanson alone might have been the highlight to my year - amazing.  It was a good year in music for me...

9 - Starting Grad School at Westminster!  I made the random choice to start applying to Grad Schools with a focus in Education after subbing for the first few months back and finding no luck in the job world.  I think if I was suppose to be just working right now one of the MANY jobs I applied for would have panned out nicely, but instead I was constantly forced back into the classroom so I could get a pay-check and make ends meet.  I then realized how much I loved teaching and kids and could still follow other dreams and passions at the same time as teaching.  However, a teaching degree would allow me a more solidified path.  I checked out numerous schools, but I randomly emailed Westminster on a whim suggestion from my mother and it CLICKED.  I sent an email for more info and an hour later received a phone call asking to set up a time for me to come look at campus.

I was skeptical - REALLY skeptical - but it was just RIGHT from the first meeting and on.  I started the application process in the office that day, finished within the week, and was accepted the following week.  It all fell into place and I knew it was were I needed to be and, for now, was what I needed to be doing in my life.  I have GREAT teachers, the BEST co-hort ever, and really love studying education.  I'm excited to be a teacher and I already see where change is needed... and am debating getting a PhD so I can go into Educational Policy and Reform.  Me.  A PhD.  Maybe not, but before... I would never even have considered the notion.  

10 - The birth of little Zoey Capri! On October 31st, my beautiful niece came into this world.  I was ecstatic.  Then, on December 20th I finally got to meet her and hold her in my arms for the first time... She is AMAZING.  She is my favorite little girl in the entire universe and I can not wait until she's old enough to call her "crazy aunt Linze" for school or boy advice...  I can not wait to see her again and I only wished she were closer by me (her and her parents, actually!).  I love her so much and her birth was a huge highlight in my year and my life.

11 - Weddings!  I had a few of my really good friends get married (and one getting married this Friday that we've been planning for this past year) this past year and it was SO neat to either be at their weddings, bridal events, or just visit with them about the whole thing.  I am SO happy for all of them - Brandon, Jeannette, Sarah, Sam, and Kay.  I'm glad I could in some way or another be a part of your lives and this special event for you!  (More pictures of some of these are to come!!!)

Year of 2011, you were great to me!  Now, I can hardly wait to see what 2012 has in store for me... Only time will tell! :)

Sidenote:  I had terrible stomach flu on New Year's Eve and was OUT!  I didn't hear fireworks, yelling, or banging on pots and pans... nada.  It was a pretty nasty two days of vacay.  So, I also failed to recall what the first song of the year I heard was - a usual tradition...  oh well!  Next year?  Haha...

Song of the Day:  I'm gonna go with a little blast from the past... well, two years ago in the past.  Haha!  Here is a constant favorite, always-feels-good-to-hear-you song from Iyaz - "Replay."  Enjoy and reply it... get it?!  Haha... okay, just enjoy.