Monday, December 29, 2008

A Blast From the Past

This is going to be a short blog. I'll update all of Christmas later. But one big highlight from my trip home was the chance I had to see old friends, some of which I haven't seen in years. I feel like I have always been blessed with good, true friends. I can't think of a time in my life where I wasn't surrounded by them! When I was in 8th grade on, I had a big group of friends, there was 17 of us. And I could say that I had I 17 best friends at that time. Some of them I had known since elementary school, and some just joined our group that year. Those were some of the funnest times I have had. There was a party every week, usually a sleepover. Lots of good memories. Anyway, my friend Kim and I decided we wanted to plan a reunion at Christmas time when most of us would be back in Utah. There were 9 that came, due to bad weather, and other holiday arrangements, the other ones couldn't join us. It was so fun to catch up with everyone and see where they are at in life now. All but 2 of us are married (me being one of the 2 single :) ), and all but 3 of us have at least one child, or one on the way. Some have 3! It's crazy to see where we have all ended up. But I'm truly grateful for this group of friends that I had and what they each taught me at that crucial time in my life. I went home after that night, feeling so blessed for friends. I'm very grateful for all the friendships I have been able to be a part of, and look forward to new friends that I will continue to meet along the way.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ugly Sweaters=Good Times!

I went to my first ever Ugly Sweater Party, and let me tell you what, I can't wait to go to more!! When I went home to Utah last weekend, I snagged a sweater from my mom. It was given to her by my grandma, who got it from my Great Aunt Ann after she passed away. (PS, I absolutely LOVED my Aunt Ann. She had the greatest laugh I have ever heard.) It is HUGE! Well, you can see what it looks like from the pictures. There were some pretty awesome sweaters at this party. It makes you wonder who came up with the sweater designs, and why in the world some people would buy them. But you know what? It's a great thing ugly sweaters were invented, so that Ugly Sweater Parties could exist. There was some great food and great entertainment. My personal favorite, besides everyone's sweaters of course, was the Charlie Brown skit. Haven't laughed so hard in a while (wait, I laugh hard all the time. But this was harder than usual).
My BFF Jared had the awesome glasses that I am wearing. Aren't they the best? They said that I looked the best out of everyone that had tried them on. Not sure if that's a compliment or not, but I'll take it. It was fun acting like an old grandma for a night.
This picture cracks me up. I totally look like an old person, sitting back and enjoying what's going on around me.

Macquel and I. I love how she's holding her drink. Love this girl!

The Roomies! Jessica made her sweater, and Hil got hers at Christopher & Banks. I really love her turtleneck. She also has a Santa pin, and you can't see it, but she got an awesome hair bow..if you click on the picture and enlarge it you can see the sweaters better. (And an added bonus: The height difference in this picture. Hilarious!!)

Stephanie and I showing off our sweaters. I think hers is cute, opposite of ugly!

Jared showing off his sweater and glasses. They look better on me, huh?!

Model pose!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Meggan's Graduation

This blog entry is dedicated to one of my most dearest and closest of friends, Meggan. I am SO proud of her! She was able to accomplish her goal of graduating from college. I flew to Utah and surprised her for her graduation day this past weekend at Utah State. It was an honor for me to see it and spend that time with her on her big day. Meggan, I love you and respect you so much for finishing, even when times got tough. You will be an amazing teacher and I look forward to seeing where life takes you. I look up to you so much, sister, for so many reasons! And thank you Laci, for picking me up at the airport, and driving to Logan with blizzard conditions!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Before, During, and After Work Joys

I've been pondering lately some things that I get to experience on a daily basis on my way to work, during work, and on my way home from work. So I thought I would share a few with you!

Before Work:
  • I love in the mornings while I get ready, having that time to myself. I really enjoy getting ready in front of the TV. I prop my big mirror next to the TV and watch a good episode of Arthur, or the news while doing my hair and make up.
  • Traffic can get pretty bad in the morning, so I have to leave about 45 minutes before work to get there on time. But I actually don't mind the drive there, driving anywhere from 10-45 MPH (Speed Limit is 45-65, depending on what road I am on :) ). I enjoyed this when I taught in Tremonton but lived in Logan..I loved having that time to get myself mentally ready for the day, listening to music, and just again taking that time for myself.
  • The parking garage at work is about a 10 minute walk to my building. I see the same people every morning, and there's one person in particular that I look forward to seeing. The University campus is huge and spread out, so they have drivers that drive golf carts around that people can choose to ride to where they need to go. One driver is my fave. I see him every morning. We always wave to each other. One of these days I want to ride with him just to talk to him. It's weird how a complete stranger can be so fascinating. I don't even know him, and I feel like he is one of the nicest people ever.
During Work:
  • A guy that I work with says the funniest things every day! The funny part about it is that he doesn't even know that it's funny. I laugh at him all day, he cracks me up!!
  • If you know me, I used to have a HUGE fear of elevators. I still do, but I've come SO far in it. I used to never ride them unless it was like 50 floors up (like my hotel room in the New Yorker). My work is on the 4th floor so I try to take the stairs as much as I can. But a lot of times I'm delivering things, or in a hurry so I have to take the elevator. I love these elevators because they talk to you (Going up, going down) with the best accent. Also, I've talked to a lot of interesting people in the elevators. Great way to meet people, I tell you what!
  • Doing some challenging projects, feeling like I'm being of use, and needed and that I'm accomplishing something. And I love my interactions with the doctors.
  • I've had to deliver a lot of things, or pick up things for doctors and I always get to converse with a wide variety of people. Not that Utah isn't diverse, but it's diverse here!
  • I get to see the place I was born everyday, and usually go inside once a week. I love that. It makes me feel right at home there. My dad told me I was born on the 3rd floor, so one of these days I would like to go explore that floor. :) Just for kicks and giggles.
After Work:
  • I have decided that Colorado has the prettiest sunsets I have seen. I don't know if it's the cool cloud formations, or having the mountains in the far away distance or what, but they are so beautiful. And the cool part is that I leave work and drive home at the perfect time and get to see it everyday. It's one of my favorite parts of the day. Each day it's so different, I just want to take pictures of it and post it! Maybe I'll try and do it with my phone..I'll experiment :)
  • Again, traffic is really bad on the drive home. Sometimes when I'm in a hurry to get somewhere it can be frustrating, but most days I don't mind it because it helps me to wind down from the day and reflect on it, and have that me time again. I love to play music really loud and jam to it, people in cars around me probably point and laugh, but I love it. Especially this time of year to Christmas music. Nothing better!
  • Today I was walking to the parking garage and started randomly chatting with a lady who was also walking that way. We have never talked before but we had the best conversation in the short 7 minutes! It made me excited to talk to her again..I love the interactions I have had here with strangers, be it a minute or 10 minutes. There is some amazing people in this world.
  • Again, talking about traffic...but it's cool because everyday that I drive home and I'm merging on to the highway, a space is always open for me to just merge right on in. It's so cool! I know that sounds lame, but it's a little joy for me.
So there's a few things I enjoy during my working days here. Simple but true joys in my adventure!

People love to tag me...

My dear friend Stephanie, here in Colorado, decided to tag me for her first tag ever, so of course I have to do it! Love your face, Stephanie!!

Five Shows I love to Watch:

Gilmore Girls

One Tree Hill

Grey's Anatomy

The Biggest Loser

Arthur (I watch it in the morning when I get ready..either that or the morning news)

Five Favorite Restaurants:

Olive Garden


Red Robin (for the fries and campfire sauce)

Bluebird in Logan, UT (for the Bluebird Chicken)

Taco Time in Tremonton, UT (It really is the best, I'll take you there sometime if you haven't been there :) )

Five Things That Happened Yesterday:
I went Christmas shopping-alone! It can be scary when I shop alone because I can talk myself into buying almost anything...

I got a chip and dip plate set at my work Christmas luncheon. I had the cutest scarf but we were playing the trade in game and someone decided they wanted it so they stole it from me! Not fair!

I got to talk to a friend that I haven't talked to for a while-Miss you, Curtis (Bob).

I read more out of the Secret Life of Bees..I absolutely LOVE to read and lose myself in the's so comforting to me for some reason.

I went to bed early! The best thing ever that I've done for myself in a while.

Five Things I Love About Winter:

Dressing up for the weather (ie: Cute sweaters and coats)

Christmas music

Christmas movies

My birthday

Spending the holidays with my family

Five Things On My Wish List:

A new iPod

Taking a trip to Maine

Seeing my cubbies play in Wrigley Field

That everyone could love and accept each other just the way they are

Owning my own house

Five Things I Look Forward To:

Spending time with my family over Christmas

playing with my nieces and nephews-the times I feel the most joy are with them!

Having my car paid off next month! Yay!!

Visiting friends in far off places...

Getting my butt in shape to run the Boulder Bolder

Five People I Tag:
Anyone that wants to do it..Kelsy, you are great at tags!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I decided over a month ago that I wanted to surprise my parents and come home for Thanksgiving. I had talked to my mom on the phone and told her I wouldn't drive home, I would stay here. But my mom knows me really well, that when I set my mind to something, I don't back down. She didn't ask me from that phone call on what I was doing for Thanksgiving, and so it had me wondering if she knew I would come home. My sister, Kala and brother in law Josh, told my mom that they were going to go to a late movie, and then they came and picked me up the night before Thanksgiving. I can't even tell you how excited I was to come home! My flight came in at 11 PM, so by the time we got to Tremonton, it was past midnight and my parents were asleep. So I decided to surprise them in the morning. I snuck in my sister Katrina's bed (she wasn't happy with me at all for waking her up, it's pretty hilarious when she gets that way.
The next morning, Katrina went out first, and then I followed her. Everyone was in the kitchen area. My mom was at the counter making something, so I just walked in and said, "Hi!" Her face was the best thing ever. I wish I could have taken a picture of it. She was like, "How did you get here?! What are you doing here?!" My dad was in the other room at the computer so I went in and he just kept hugging me. I asked my mom why she hadn't asked me about what I was doing. She said, "I knew you would either drive here and I didn't want to worry about you, or you would stay there, and I didn't want to know if you were having a miserable time alone." It was such a fun day with my family. Lots of good food, games, good laughs over home videos, and just spending time together. I love my family so much. I have thought many times in my life how I chose to be with them, and how they really are the best fit for me. I love what each of them brings to my life. And the most favorite people in my life are my nieces and nephews. Any time I get to spend with them are times that I feel the most joy and most peace with myself. They love me so purely and fully, and I love them that way. We went around the table and said what we were thankful for. The kids answers were the best. They were thankful for animals, flowers, bikes, friends and family. I said I was thankful to be alive, literally. I finally told my parents about the shooting at my apartment. If you don't know the story and want to, give me a call. I still don't feel ready to blog about it. :) What an adventure though!
I was able to go to an Aggie football game with my good friends, Meggan and Jenna. Man, I miss those football games, and miss those girls. We even won, 48-2! I said it was because I was there. It was good to catch up with my dear friends, I wish I could have seen more but hopefully at Christmas I can! I also enjoyed getting my haircut (Thanks Jenny!), eating lunch with Jackie at Firehouse Pizza (LOVE their bread), going to Twilight (I LOVE Edward), and eating Bluebird Chicken at Bluebird with the girls in my fam, and even doing the day after Thanksgiving early morning shopping craziness with my sister and brother in law.
I truly enjoy coming home to Utah now, I appreciate the people there that are so important to my life, and growing up there, what I was taught. I'm loving Colorado, it is the place I was born, but Utah is the place I call home, no matter where I end up.
Jenna, Meggan and I at the Aggie game. Go Aggies!

The kid table at Thanksgiving, minus Libby and Abbie. That's my favorite table, I secretly wanted to have my plate there along side my favorite people in the whole world!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Don't Tell Me What I Can and Can't Do

I was told a while ago that I couldn't eat a large pizza by myself. Now, if you know me, I have a huge problem with people telling me what I can or can't do. I like to prove people wrong. That's probably not a strong point of my personality, but it is what it is. So I told this person, "I'll prove it to you that I can." This turned into a food eating contest. We found a place called CheeBurger CheeBurger that sold 20 ounce hamburgers. That's equal to 5 quarter pounders! You could get your picture taken at the restaurant if you ate the whole thing and it would be posted on a board in the restaurant. So I said, "Bring It On!" We found a few more people to join us in the contest and we were ready to go. There was 6 of us total, 5 boys and me, the solo girl. We ordered the burgers (called the Pound Burger) and waited for them to come. They came plain but I decided to put ketchup, mustard, pickles, and lettuce on mine, nothing too much. While we waited, I examined the board of all the people who had accomplished this big task. Not kidding you, there was a total of 2 females! Pretty pathetic if you ask me. That just made me want to do it all the more. When they finally came, I about died at the size!! But I dug right in, cutting the huge hamburger into pieces and shoving it in my mouth. About halfway through it, I got SO sick of chewing beef! But I wasn't going to give up! I finally finished it, beating out 3 boys who couldn't even finish theirs. The 2 other boys finished before me, one eating his so fast he could have eaten two of them! I was pretty proud of myself for doing it..and I wasn't even that full!! I decided to get a shirt that said, "I ate the pounder!" After I asked this same person if he thought I could eat a large pizza now, and he said, "Oh I know you can!" So there you have it. Don't tell me what I can't do!! :)
This is my ready face! I was so excited!!

If you click on the picture, you can see how huge the hamburgers were!

In the middle of the burger. I got so sick of chewing!!
The picture of the 3 of us that finished: Lucas, me, and Nathan. Don't you love the hamburger we got to pose with for finishing?!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

...And Tagged by Kala and Kim

Man, I swear I keep getting tagged, and I feel like I should do it when I get tagged! This is an easy one..4th picture in 4th folder.

Invesco Field, I want to go inside so bad! I love driving by and seeing it.. :)


To participate just copy and paste in your own blog, and bold all of the things you have done (I made mine purple). Happy discoveries! Thanks
Kelsy and Katie for this idea...And sorry, the brown wouldn't turn black. The brown ones are ones I haven't done.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band - trumpet

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland- yes and I LOVE it so much!

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris- I will some day!

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (I don't get it)-I'm with you Kelsy..don't get it

15. Adopted a child- My plan is, if I'm not married by 35, I will adopt. Right Jackie? :)

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty-I've walked around the outside of it, though

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France-I can't wait to see it!!

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked-terrifies me at the thought of it..

23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping - a few times :)

27. Run a Marathon- would like to someday, have ran a few 5K's though

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise- again, I will someday!

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community- LOVED it

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied -u
ntil the bills arrived

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo's David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt- secretly love it...but no one else I know really does

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris-again, can't wait!

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain-I think I would really like this though

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater - few times

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies-sure love buying them!

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp-one of my life goals

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt-kind of...

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job - eh.

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem-another life goal

84. Had your picture in the newspaper - one good thing about growing up in a little town!

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating-forced to on the pioneer trek. I guess I didn't kill the chicken but someone in my "family" did. I sobbed...

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone's life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous- a few. Good old Sundance, baby!

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby - someday!

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee-well, a wasp..

Monday, November 17, 2008

Don't tell my dad or brother Mick

I had a fun Saturday because I FINALLY got to watch a football game live. I love watching it on TV but it's different in person. I love watching football, it doesn't matter who is playing. I love the excitement in the air, I love watching the players complete plays (and secretly I love watching the football players in general), and how riled up fans can be. I can become very involved and passionate when it is a team that I love. It's my favorite thing to do on a Fall Saturday, attend or watch a football game. A few of us decided we wanted to go to the Air Force vs. BYU football game in Colorado Springs. Now, this is the dilemma. I grew up kind of despising BYU. My dad very much dislikes anything related to BYU, as well as my brother, so I kind of just adapted that same feeling. I am an Aggie, always have, always will be, and I'm very proud of that. I loved attending the Aggie vs. Cougar games, even though we would lose because I felt so much pride for my team. Hate is a very strong word, and I don't hate anyone or anything in my life (ok, maybe a few things, but that's just for me to know), so I won't go that far. But I have never cheered for BYU. In fact, when U of U played BYU, I wanted the Utes to win, another team I kind of despise!
This is where that changes a bit. My very dear friend, Jenna Glover, is a HUGE BYU football fan (She's also a huge fan of blogs, fyi). When we became close friends and I discovered this, it almost terminated our friendship. She would force me to watch games with her. I would bring along my school work and pretend to focus more on the work than the game. But if you read earlier, you know I love to watch any game, despite who's playing. So yes, I would actually watch the games. And I discovered that I really, really, really liked one of the players on the BYU team. So I slowly transitioned into not cheering for the team, but cheering for him. So since then, I have secretly wanted to see this certain player live in action. Call me crazy. I tried to make it home this year for the USU vs. BYU game but was too late. Hence the reason why I wanted to go this past Saturday. And I'm not going to lie, going to a game at Falcon Stadium would be an awesome experience, one I couldn't pass up.
I decided to show that I wasn't cheering for either side, just this certain player, by making my own shirt, as you will see in a moment. I choose not to say this player's name because I don't want to look like a crazy fan, but if you know BYU football players, you'll know who it is. Also, I decorated the back for Jenna, but for some reason it came up as a video not a picture, so I'll figure out how to load that later. It was a really fun game, with lots of entertainment. Before the game even started, there was about 5-6 parachuters that landed on the field. They also had a fly by that was so loud but so cool! BYU ended up winning 38-24, and my favorite player had a great game, I must say. Mick, I promise I'm not a Cougar fan. I added a little note about the Aggies on my t-shirt.
When Air Force scored, several of the members would run down and do push-ups of what the score was. I was like, "Keep scoring boys, keep scoring!"
My friend Sara and I at the game. I loved the people behind us, they had awesome accents! I'm really good at butting in and listening to conversations I'm not a part of...

I look pregnant here, hilarious! Just wanted you to see my shirt. In the corner it says, "I heart the Aggies though."

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Piece is Missing

My mom e-mailed me today and told me that one of my former students returned a book from my classroom library that he had found to her. This particular student was one of the highlights of my life last year when I was having a very difficult few months. One day I was teaching a lesson on fears, things that we are afraid of that can get in our way, our own personal monsters, if you will. I shared an example in my own life and then had the students think of one, and draw a picture of what it was, and then list ways they could overcome that fear. This student of mine that I absolutely adored shared a very similar fear of mine, but his way of overcoming it was to sing to himself the Bob Marley song, "Don't worry, be happy, it's all going to be all right." I remembered starting to cry when I saw it. I asked him if I could keep it, and I took it home and posted it on my fridge as a daily reminder that it was all going to work out. My students were my saving grace. And I realized tonight, that even though I very much have enjoyed my time out here, and have grown so much, a part of me is missing, I haven't been complete here. And it's because I miss my students. I miss my daily interactions with them, the pure joy they brought to my soul. They brought out the best parts of me, they loved me unconditionally, they were so forgiving, and I learned so much from them. Teaching is so much a part of me, it's hard not to have that here. I have very much appreciated the time away, and I LOVE the job I have right now. But a piece of me isn't here, it's back at classroom 23 at McKinley Elementary. My mom also told me about how one of her students that she works with had lost their hearing aid on the playground, so she had the school secretary do an all call to all the students to help search for it. She said it touched her heart how all the kids in the whole school were searching for it. That brought tears to my eyes, literally. Because I know the goodness children have. And I miss my interactions with them. I miss feeling so much love and hope that they brought to my life. I guess I miss the person I was when I was with them, and hope to someday return to that person inside of me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Art is...

I had a great day Saturday with my friends Hilary and Sara. I have a goal to eat at a unique place in the Denver area at least once a month while I'm here. So I did some research and found a place called Dozens that was right by the Denver Art Museum. So we took a nice casual stroll over to it. And it was a great place! I'm such a spaz at times though. I walked right up to the guy at the front and said, "Do you want my name?" Man I got teased for that big time. After the yummy food (which sells breakfast food all day), we headed over to the museum. There was a lot of interesting art (for example, there was a picture of an artist licking her husbands eye, literally; urinals made out of red lipstick). But I LOVED it. I love art. I like to think that I look for the deeper, more meaningful things in life. I do that with music, with books, with movies, and with art. Somehow I find something in it that applies to me. There were quite a few that I just stared at for a few minutes, thinking of what the artist maybe could have been thinking. There was one that I absolutely adored and was lucky to find a copy of in the museum shop. When I get some money, I want to buy a nice frame for it. I also had the chance to write a poem and do some of my own art in the museum. The creative side of me came out. :)
The Denver Art Museum (DAM) is across from the Denver Library and we decided to go in and take a peak. I of course headed straight for the Children's Library. So many books! I am going to go back and spend a whole Saturday afternoon reading picture books. Then we walked around that area for a bit, the view of the city was cool! I was so close to the tall buildings that I love and to the capital. There was a big chair with a random horse outside the Library that we loved.
We all were thinking, "Food, we want food!" after all that, so we cruised over to the Cherry Creek Mall and found the John Elway restaurant. It had been an adventurous day thus far so we thought, "Why not?" We walked in, took one look at the menu and about died. It was so expensive! But it was a new experience and yummy food!
I was able to cross a few things off my "Things to do in Denver" list and thought of one to add to it. I look forward to a bunch more adventures. Anyone is welcome to come visit me and join me on completing a few more!
Sara and I outside the yummy Dozens restaurant.

You were allowed to take pictures of some art, and this one was one of my favorites. I have a deep love and fascination with clouds. And this artist did an amazing job at portraying them in both frames.

Here is my poem, written on cloud paper. Also, my art. I love when I see trees all alone, so I decided to have that be my art by my poem. :)

This was the poem Hilary wrote for me. Funny story! She kills me...
This is the picture that was my favorite. I love how the girls are here, they look so at peace with themselves and each other, and so comfortable in their surrounding. It's like nothing else mattered at that moment but being with each other. I can't decide if they are sisters or friends but it doesn't matter. It's "Childhood Idyll" by William A. Bougureau and it was done in 1900.

Hil and I on the bridge between the two buildings that make up the Denver Art Museum.

There was so much fun stuff in the museum for us "kids". You could even dress up! I'm wearing the fat suit (this is TOTALLY what I'm going to look like when I get prego, pretty sad). Don't you love how Hil has her hand on my stomache and the awesome hat on her head?

Here's the HUGE chair and horse. I'll take you there if you come see me, hint hint!

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Life Uncommon..

My heart is so full tonight, I feel that I need to share a few thoughts. Welcome to the inside of my head and heart! It's a vulnerable place, but it's overflowing with so much emotion tonight. You know how you experience those moments that change you for the better and you are never the same? That happens to me often. I have a lot of "little" life changing moments. Like the time I hear a song that speaks to my heart, or meeting a new person who is so full of light, or someone says something that makes so much sense, or reading a book or watching a movie that just change you. That is what makes life the journey, not the destination. Tonight I had one of those life changing moments. I was able to see the movie "The Secret Life of Bees". Who knew a movie could make me think and feel so much?! I think it helped that I went into the theater with a lot already on my mind. Wow...what a powerful message that movie spoke to my soul. I came out of that theater a different person than when I entered. I love how life does that. You are constantly growing and changing and improving for the better. One of the many messages I got out of that movie is just the love the girl felt for everyone around her. She didn't care the color of your skin, what you looked like, or the choices you had made. She just loved each person and saw the good in them. I strive for that Christ-like love on a daily basis. I desire to love and accept others, no matter what they choose to do with their life. That love changes everything. I wish everyone could love others that way, our world would be so different. We waste too much time judging one another. Another message I took from it was to not be afraid of your emotions, and to live life to the fullest. It is definitely a movie everyone should see.
As I was driving home, I drove past downtown Denver. I absolutely love seeing big buildings in a big city, all lit up at night. Ever since I was a little girl, I have found great joy when I would enter a big city at night. I think the reason I love it so much is the buildings are so big, so many people are around, it just makes me feel like the world is so big, that there's more out there than I can dream of. I can't really explain it, but it is a pure joy for me, and I think it always will be. I have seen downtown Denver a few times at night, and I still feel that excitement when I see it all lit up. It's so majestic to me. And then it hit me, how there is something greater and more majestic than those tall, lit up buildings that brings me the best kind of joy there is. And that is Jesus Christ. He is the core and center of my being. He is the example for the way I want to live my life. He is so aware of me, of each of us. He loves so selflessly, with no strings attached. He brings me pure, true, peaceful joy. Because of Him, I have faith and hope. Everything and everyone that is around me is a testament that He lives, and that He is always by my side. His love enfolds me. I cherish the relationship I share with Him. When I find fulfillment in that, everything else in my life works out and I am calm and okay. What a gift that knowledge has brought to my life. The spirit speaks truth, and I have had truth confirmed to me of who He is, and what He did and continues to do. He led a life uncommon, and that is what I strive for.

Can't Think of a Creative Title For This Post...

The other night my good friend here in Colorado, Sara, invited Jessica and I over to play the Wii. Good times, my friends, good times. Growing up, my family loved Mario Kart, or anything Mario related, especially us girls. Every Thanskgiving and/or Christmas break, we would rent a few games and play until our fingers were numb. So I was so excited to know she had the MarioKart game for the Wii. It was so much fun! You have the actual steering wheel to play. Once I become rich, I would like to purchase this. (Mom and Dad, that's a hint...for family get togethers, this would be a great thing to have! Hint, Hint!) I wish I had pictures! We also tested our Wii Fitness. Apparently on the bowling one I was doing something crazy with my foot because they wouldn't stop laughing at me. Makes me think I do the same thing when I'm actually bowling because people laugh at me then as well..hmm..Anyway, I've enjoyed all the people I have met here. Colorado is full of great, fun people! I appreciate all the people I come across in life. I love how different they each are, and what they teach me.
I'm going to a museum tomorrow so I'll have pictures to post!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I was tagged by my good friend Brooke, so here's my responses (Just for you Marva ;) )

1. As most of you know, I love food, and tend to have some weird eating habits. One that I acquired my sophomore year of college is eating mashed potatoes and drinking hot chocolate, together. Whenever I have mashed potatoes, I make myself a cup of hot cocoa. Not sure why..I think at that time, I was extremely poor and that was all I had, but I LOVE it. It brings joy to my heart.

2. I believe in Big Foot. I have a desire to go Big Foot hunting someday. I would give him a huge hug and tell him not to be afraid of us... :)

3. I had a goal to be one of the top 10 students in my graduating class academically. I worked really hard for that goal, but ended up being number 12, due to the fact that the first 8 were Valedictorians with a perfect 4.0 record. I got like a 3.967 or something like that. I look back now and see that it doesn't matter, but I worked really sue me :)

4. I can do a killer worm move...and I have my own version of the bend and snap. But that's only shown to a select few.

5. When I was 5, and we lived in Ogden, my sisters Kala, Tabbi, and I were playing Barbies with the next door neighbors, the Eskelsons. For some reason I felt left out, so I decided to leave and go inside (I'm a runner, I run away from situations that make me feel uncomfortable, or alone, rather than dealing with it..that apparently started at a young age :) ) and decided to have the effect of slamming the door as I went in, to see if they would even notice me. Well, for some reason my right ring finger was in the way, and I slammed it, and seriously crushed my finger. I remember sitting on the steps sobbing, and seeing all this blood. At that time, my family only had 1 vehicle an AWESOME orange Volkswagon van, and my dad had it, he was going to Weber at the time. So somehow my mom got a hold of him, and we went to the hospital where I got stitches put in, and still have a scar to this day. The funny thing is, I was so mad at my sisters, that I blamed it on Tabbi, who was probably 3 and a half at the time? So for years, everyone in my family, including her, believed she had slammed my finger in the door. I finally admitted the truth a few years back. Pretty sad, huh?

6. I get scared very easily, by anything. I hate scary movies, I hate scary stories, I hate haunted houses and corn mazes. I become a very different person when put in those situations. I have been known to yell at the people who are trying to scare me in those places. I was afraid of the dark growing up, and had to constantly sleep with a night light. I had a fear that when I would turn off the light at night and walk back to my bed, that I wouldn't make it to my bed before someone or something would harm me. I've gotten better at that as I've gotten older, but I still get scared in the dark a lot.

7. This is a good one...for some reason, my family loved to watch Unsolved Mysteries. Referring to number 6, I get scared easy. I had this fear that while we were watching the show, the person who was missing that they were trying to find due to various crimes (Murder, rape, theft, all that good stuff) would be outside my house, watching through the window, as we watched about them on the show. It would terrify me.

8. Just for fun, I'm doing one more. I was jealous in school when kids had middle names. I always wanted one (my full name is Quintana, and my mom thought having a middle name, plus when I got married, adding on my married name, would make it too long). Finally in second grade, I decided that I was going to make my own middle name. I started writing Tawna Wana on all my papers. My teacher finally had a talk with me, and told me not to do that anymore because it wasn't my name. I think that always kind of bothered me that she did that, so when I became a teacher and some of my students would write down their nicknames or such rather than their first name, I let them.

I tag: Nicole, Katrina, Amanda, AnnMarie, Kristy, Kim, and Monica

Monday, October 27, 2008

Twilight or Bust

Yes, I am one of those people that love the Twilight series. I got addicted immediately. That's easy for me to do with books! I was excited that I was Esme. She was always one of my favorite characters. I love her quiet strength and kind heart that she portrays in the books. Great way to live your life!

I'm a Esme! I found out through Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
You are thoughtful and care very deeply for your family. A loving home is of great
importance to you and you always try to make people feel welcome. Although you have a great capacity to love, you also have a great capacity to hurt, so at times you can be
sensitive. You're firm when you need to be, but people trust your judgment and
appreciate the kind way you always handle things.

Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My birthplace

I get to work SO close to the place where I was born almost 27 years ago. The other day I was actually able to go inside it because it's now just used for offices for the University of Colorado Denver Medical campus. It wasn't knocked down for historical reasons. It's the Fitzsimons Army Hospital. Kind of old and creepy, but cool at the same time! It was so good for me to be able to go into the place that I was born, and also where I stayed for 5 days when I was 2 years old, with Severe croupe with strider. The University Campus itself is quite new, it's all built around the hospital, which is in the center of campus.I'm enjoying my job. I like that it brings different challenges, and I really like the people I work with. They are all very friendly and helpful and fun. Not everyone in Colorado is mean! ;) It will take some time to learn everything, but I look forward to the challenge. It's amazing how much I have already learned, medical wise. I have a medical dictionary at my desk, and I can look up any word I'm not sure of when I come across it. I've already learned several! I think it's truly amazing what doctors do, and how much school they have been to. I work in the OB-GYN department, and there are 12 doctors who have specialized in something different, so that means 14 years of school. 8 of them are women, and 7 of them are married with a few children. How do they balance it all?! But it makes me very appreciative that people have a desire to become doctors and give up a lot of their time to help others. I was putting together some binders today, and I noticed how many patients commented on these particular doctors that I work for, how good they are. So far, they have been very kind to me!
So I moved to Colorado for an adventure, and I definitely had an adventurous event happen the other night. I can't post it on my blog for a few reasons, but if you are curious, give me a call and I'll fill you in! Definitely something I never thought I would experience!

The former Fitzsimons Army Hospital

John Kerry was also born in the Fitzsimons Army Hospital, just a cool fact I thought I would share with you. I got to see him in person in February when I was in DC and we went to the Capitol building. We got to see where all the Senators meet, and he was there, along with Ted Kennedy. I thought that was pretty awesome!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Embarrassing Moment..

My friend Hilary, who was my roommate my freshman year at USU, has moved to the Denver area as well, and we met up today and had lunch. It's been years since I've seen her! We got talking about people that lived by us, and memories we had. That was a great year living at Pine View apartments! I was reminded of a pretty embarrassing moment that I suffered through that year. We were in our spring semester, and I was in an English Literature class with Hilary, our roommate Hannah, and friends Jackie and Amanda. We despised this class, our teacher was psycho! We also had in our class a guy we liked to call the fireman, who always sat by us in class. Funny kid. Anywho, one particular day, our professor was in the front of the class (mind you, there were probably just about 30 of us, small class), reading something. I had dropped my pencil. So I decided I needed to pick it up. But the problem was, in this classroom, the seats were the ones like in high school that had the bar on the right connecting to the small desktop. My pencil had fallen to the right of the desk. So I thought, "I'll just reach over this bar, and pick it up." As you all know, I'm a short girl, so that means not only do I have short legs, my arms also aren't that long. So I reach over the bar and down to pick up my pencil. I had to reach so far that my desk tipped over. But the thing is, I didn't tip all the way over to the floor, I got jammed into the next desk over, belonging to the fireman! My legs are flailing, and I'm pleading for someone to help me. My roommates and friends were laughing too hard to do anything, as well as the fireman. So I'm left dangling for a bit. The best part is that the professor didn't stop the lecture, she just kept right on reading as if nothing was going on!! Finally, fireman pushed my desk back to normal and picked up my pencil. My friends and I couldn't stop laughing the rest of class and to this day if it's brought up, lots of laughs are shared. My friends that weren't in that class know it enough that they share it with others. So I thought I would share that pretty embarrassing moment with you all, great image huh?! Maybe next time I'll share my "coat getting stuck in the door" embarrassing moment. :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Road Trip to Utah!

I work with the nicest and funnest people! So I had starting thinking a week ago that I would make a quick trip to Utah to see family and friends, maybe go to the BYU vs. USU football game. But because I had to buy a new battery for my car, gas money was gone. I went into the temp. work Thursday and told them about what happened and how I wanted to go to Utah, and they told me they were going for the weekend and I could ride with them. So I decided to do it! We left Friday morning and got to Utah around 7. I went to dinner with Laci at Chipotle, a place I've wanted to eat since I moved to Colorado, funny that I had it in Utah! (I loved it by the way). Then Laci and I went to Melinda's and played some rock band. Good times, I love that game! I stayed with Melinda that night, and then rode to Tremonton with her in the morning. I squealed with delight when I saw the Tremonton sign. You would have thought it had been years since I had been there, not 2 months! It was so good to be home. I treasured every minute. Hugging my sister, Katrina, I felt like I didn't want to let go, I was SO excited to see her! Jen brought my nieces over for a few hours, and I was so happy to be with them. I can't believe how much my niece Abbie has grown. She will be a year old next month. My brother Mick was working in Tremonton so he was able to come visit for a bit. We watched General Conference, and ate some good old Tremonton Taco Time, it's the best! Then I rode with Meggan back to Salt Lake that night and had dinner with my girls, and finally got to meet ShaLynn's boyfriend! Laci's roommate also dyed and cut my hair, something that was badly needed. I stayed with Laci that night, and watched the morning session of conference, and then headed back to Colorado. I had mixed feelings heading back, I was sad to leave my family but was also excited to return to Colorado at the same time. It's good for me to be here. I definitely miss Utah, but I definitely love Colorado!

Laci and I taking a break during Rock Band. I love this girl so much!
Melinda and I rocking out. I always have so much fun when I'm with her.
My niece Abbie. She has the prettiest big blue eyes I've ever seen. Click on this picture to make it bigger, and you will see what I mean!
Posing with my nieces. Libby isn't a fan of pictures, as you can tell :)I love these girls SO much. I was most excited to see them this weekend.
Dinner with my girls: Laci, Gail, Shay, and Megg. These girls have been a big part of my life, they are like sisters to me. It was so good to be with all of them. I love that Laci is cutting me off with her gorgeous hair!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What A Day!

I had a second interview today with the OB/GYN at the University of Colorado Denver. On my way out to the parking lot, I ran into a boy, probably around the age of 16 who was frantic. The place to pay for parking was jammed with a dollar bill, and he couldn't pay. I went to my car to get some quarters to give him, and saw on my parking stub that I had paid for two hours and had only used one of them, so I just gave him the stub. He told me his mom had just been transferred there from another hospital, and he wanted to see her. He was so grateful for the stub, he almost cried. I couldn't help but think on my drive home about the movie Pay It Forward, and thought about how good it really feels to help someone in need. I love to serve! I felt like what occurred the rest of the day was a Pay It Backwards experience! I decided to get my oil changed, so went to the local Midas. then I felt like my car needed a good washing, so I treated it to the Express Car wash. Can I just say as a side note that it was the COOLEST car wash I've ever been in? I wish I had a video camera with me. I pulled in, a nice boy washed my windshield then instructed me to get on the track and put my car in neutral, and don't touch the steering wheel or brakes. What a cool ride! Anyway, so after I was vacuuming my car, so obviously I turned off my car. Well, when I was done, I tried to start my car and it wouldn't start. I started to panic because I'm extremely poor right now, and knew I couldn't afford a massive surgery to my car. I instantly thought it was due to the oil change I just had. I didn't know what to do, who to call. The usual males I call (My brother Mick, and my dad) were over 500 miles away in Utah. So I called Brady, who gave me Midas's number and told me what to tell them (Thanks Brady!) because my mind was gone. The guy said he was going to send someone to look at it. Well, I'm standing outside my car, waiting, and a nice guy at the car wash asked if I was okay. I explained my situation, and he said he would take a look. He noticed my battery was looking bad, and decided to try to jump my battery. It worked! He then gave me directions to the nearest Honda dealership. He definitely served me today! There is some great people here in Colorado, who definitely overshadow the not so nice people. So I get to the dealership, have my battery tested, which of course failed, and went in the waiting room. I proceeded to call my mom, and as always, I walk around when I talk. It's hard for me to hold still when I talk on the phone! I walked down the hall and passed a room, which just so happened to be occupied by a cute girl from my ward. I knew she worked at a car dealership but didn't know it was that particular one. So I chatted with her for 30 minutes, and she gave me a 15% discount, and invited Jessica and I to her house Sunday to eat breakfast and watch Conference. Another great act of service given to me! After getting home, I was able to talk to two of my really good friends (at different times) and have an uplifting conversation with both of them where I was reminded of the great things in life. Two more acts of service given! what a great day of reflection for me. I was able to give service to someone in need this morning, and was blessed 100 fold. It's true that we receive answers to prayers, and can be an answer to someones prayers through the ways that we serve. That's how God reaches us.
I'm really liking Colorado. It's starting to feel like my home. I'm so grateful for the experiences I am having here and the people I continue to meet and become friends with. I was reminded today to think about what I'm grateful for. Here's a list of a few:

I'm Grateful for:
-my parents who raised me by example to serve
-my brothers and sisters that love me unconditionally. I feel like since I have moved here, I have gained stronger relationships with them, and have come to really appreciate who they are and what they mean to me. I miss you guys!
-As always, my nieces and nephews. I couldn't ask for better ones. I'm grateful to Aspen and Libby for sending me the cutest letter that sent me to tears of gratitude because it came on a day I needed it most.
-True, supportive friends that remind me of what is good about me
-having a temp job that paid my rent.
-A kind word spoken
-my laptop to help me communicate
-fall-the smell of it, the colors of it
-the ability to hope
-ice cream
-my institute teacher (He's AMAZING and has already taught me so much)
-people who are so willing to help a stranger in need
-answered prayers
-my car (Love you Cord!)
-Colorado mountains
-having a mattress to sleep on
-Brady, Kristy, Hudson & Tate, the best neighbors ever.
-the temple
-good books to get lost in
-the Chicago Cubs making the playoffs
-a shared laugh
-the chance I have to be here to learn and grow
-the Savior's example for me on how to love others unconditionally (Thank you Jenna for that reminder. I'm grateful for you :) )
-the ability to change

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm an Official Coloradoan..

I've done a few fun and different things since moving to Colorado. Here is my update on them! I was able to do a session at the Denver temple a few weeks ago. Beautiful, very peaceful, as the temple always is. I've always been blessed to live so close to the temple, and I'm very grateful I have it here in Colorado.
This was a picture I took at the temple. I loved these flowers for some reason!

I've been doing some temporary work and there is a cool place across the street called Tony's. It's a market that sells yummy food. I could spend hours in there browsing and tasting. We ate lunch there the other day, and it sure was yummy!
My cousin Jared was in town last weekend for his work, and we were able to meet up, have some dinner, and chat. It was great to see him for a few hours, it had been a while since we had! We ate at Old Chicago, a yummy pizza place that has the best chicken cordon bleu stromboli I have ever had!

My old roommate and close friend Meggan was in town a month ago, staying with Brady and Kristy. We went to a beautiful place called Garden of the Gods. It is a bunch of red rock formations. I loved it! Here's a few photos from it:
I LOVE when I see trees standing alone. This one is a great example of that. For some reason, I always feel like I am like those trees at times.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go on a Colorado adventure with some people in my ward, so I took it! After all, I'm here for an adventure, right?! We went camping at Broken Bear, a campsite about 2 hours outside of Denver, and got up at 5:30 AM (SICK) for a day of hiking. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I mean, I like to hike, I've hiked a few places, growing up with my dad who loves to hike, and a few on my own living in Logan. But I had never experienced a hike like this. It was Mt. Bierstadt, named after a 19th century photographer. It's known as a 14er, meaning a mountain that is 14,000 feet above sea level. It started out not too bad, with BEAUTIFUL scenery. There was quite a bit of people out hiking. I have never seen more dogs hiking a mountain than I had this one. People in Colorado love their pets! I guess it's the closest 14er to Denver, and an easier one compared to the other 14ers. It started to get really tough at the uphill parts, and the last mile or so was pure rocks. I literally was crawling up the mountain at the end, bouldering rocks that were a lot bigger than I was. I just wanted to get to the top. There were a few times when I just wanted to stop, give up. But I knew that I would be so proud of myself if I could make it to the top. I finally did! It was an amazing view, I can't even describe how cool a feeling it was. There was paper at the top for you to sign your name and where you were from. There were people from all over! There was even a guy from Colombia that we talked to for a second. The weather was starting to look like a storm was coming in, so we headed down. That was probably the hardest for me. Once again, I was literally crawling down the rocks. It banged up my knees, my whole body basically. I was so thankful to get back to the car. But it was such a cool experience to look back and see the mountain I had just hiked. I couldn't walk the rest of the night and I am very sore today, but I'm glad I did it. I was talking to a girl here about it, and she told me that because I did a 14er, I am now an official Coloradoan. I like that!
I decided this past week to make a list of the ten top things I want to do while I'm in Colorado and do 1 or 2 a month. There's so much to do and see here! One more cool thing that has happened here that I have never experienced: We were at church today, and I was up on the stand, fulfilling my calling as ward organist, playing some prelude music, when the bishop announced over the pulpit that there was a gas leak in the primary room and church was canceled for the day and we needed to leave immediately. We were all like, "What the heck?" we stood around chatting for a few minutes until a guy literally had to herd us out of the chapel. Crazy huh?!
the top of the summit. I forgot to mention we did hike through snow, and it snowed for a little bit on the hike. It was slippery at a few spots!

the rocks I had to climb to get to the top. Can you see the person in the lower left? Yeah, the rocks were HUGE!
Jessica looking out over the top of the summit. It was so beautiful, and so cool to be on top of this mountain, surrounded by more mountains and nature.

Jessica and Nathan, prehike. It was so cold!
Jessica and I at the top. Cool view, huh?!
Hanging out at the top.