Thursday, February 26, 2009


The candles formed the numbers 2 and 7. It's still crazy to say I'm 27. I don't think
I'll get used to that!

I woke up on my birthday to this sign: "Fact: Tawna It is your Birthday." Dwight Shrute. From the Office :) Thanks Hil!

A friend in my ward here is going to school at the place I work. He stopped by and gave me "Scabies" for my birth. A stuffed animal scabies. How hilarious is that?!

Since the day I moved here, the shower curtain rings I purchased drove me crazy..They wouldn't stay up! So my roommates purchased new ones for me that I LOVE! They also took me out to eat to my favorite restaurant that night, Olive Garden. I love my roomies!

Making my wish and then blowing out the candles. Hmm..can you
take a guess at what I wished for?

Monday, February 23, 2009

This One's for Jenna

I have made a new tradition for myself, that every year during President's Day weekend, I am going to go on a trip to celebrate my birthday. I started it out last year with going to Washington, D.C. This year I decided to fly to Knoxville, Tennessee as a gift to myself. One of my most dear, wonderful, amazing, best friends, Jenna Ann Glover, currently lives there while she completes her internship at the University of Tennessee. She will be graduating with her Doctorate degree in Psychology in May. Yes, She will be Jenna Glover, Ph.D. Not many can say that! I met Jenna over 2 and a 1/2 years ago. We were in the same ward in Logan, and ended up serving in the Relief Society Presidency together. We became instant friends and it just grew from there!

I absolutely LOVED everything about Tennessee, from all the trees, to the accents, to the Smoky mountains, to the big beautiful houses. I felt like a part of my soul came alive on that trip. My trip started out early, with a flight to Chicago. First of all, can I just say how much I thoroughly enjoyed my flight from Denver to Chicago?! I have never been on a plane so huge! When I got to my seat, there was a pillow, blanket and free headphones waiting for me. I was in love from that point on. One of my favorite books to read aloud to my students every year was "City of Ember." I have wanted to see the movie since it came out. And guess what? It was showing, for FREE (well, besides the fact that I paid for the plane ticket, but still) on the plane ride. I will say I love the book much better. When I got to the Chicago O'Hare airport, I had a slight panic attack because I have never been in an airport so big. It took me a good 5 minutes to calm down and figure out where I was going (Thanks Megg, for helping me through that!). After a 2 hour layover, I was headed to Knoxville on a tiny plane. The Knoxville airport was so tiny compared to Chicago, but I loved it! There were rocking chairs everywhere, including the bathroom! Jenna picked me up, man I was so excited to see that girl! She showed me around her house, we went for a little walk on the cutest path ever and then went to her soccer game. I tell you what, from the first time I heard an accent, I was hooked. All I wanted to do was listen to everyone around me talk! After we got food at Buddy's Bbq and I ate hush puppies for the first time. I am craving them right now, they were that good!

I gave Jenna Dr. Mario/Tetris for the Super Nintendo for Christmas, and every night we stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to have challenges. Friday she had to work, so I got to sleep in because the two hour time change was not something my old body was used to. I was able to have lunch with her and the other interns, and that was a lot of fun to meet the people that have become a part of her life there, and to put a face to a name. Again, loved the accents! She went back to work, and I went for a walk to the local WalMart. That night, we went to dinner on the river at Calhouns. Yummy! And the river was so beautiful, I LOVED the bridges all lit up. She then took me around the University of Tennessee, showed me her cute office, and downtown Knoxville.

Saturday, we didn't leave the apartment until 5 PM. But it was the greatest day! We spent a few hours having deep, spiritual conversations, leading me to tears more than once. We also spent a few hours having the Dr. Mario/Tetris battles. Then we decided we wanted to drive to the Smokies. It was so beautiful, all the fog in the mountains. It really did look like smoke was everywhere. This just so happened to be Valentine's Day, so as we were coming out of the Smokies, we approached a cute tourist town that was PACKED. So we headed for Pigeon Forge, another cute tourist down. It was super crazy as well, but we decided to have some fun and went to Wonder Works. People, I can't even begin to tell you how awesome this place was. First of all, the building is shaped like an upside down house. That instantly caught my attention. There are over 120 (According to Jenna 125 but I believe I'm right) exhibits and we said we were going to hit them all! They have everything from a fake earthquake ride, pitching games, rock wall climbing, pretending to be in a space ship, to a virtual roller coaster. We were pooped after 4 hours of fun with Nail Nancy, out of control teenagers, and hitting a majority of the exhibits. We decided we needed to make a trip just for Pigeon Forge, there is so much to do there!

Sunday, I really wanted to attend a Baptist church because there are churches literally on every corner and I loved all of them! But we stayed up too late doing the challenge, so we just watched a service on TV. This time, we didn't leave until 3 PM, we had too much fun dinkin around, but hey that beat 5! Secretly, I've always wanted to eat at the Perkins Family Restaurant. That dream finally came true for me! It wasn't the best food, but it was the experience that counted. We then went for a Sunday drive. She loves to ride her motorcycle and has discovered a lot of awesome paths and roads there that she willingly shared with me. I could have spent days traveling those roads and been content. It ended with the most beautiful Sunset. She then took me to McKay's, a HUGE used book store. Again, I could have spent days in that one store. I was pleased with what I was able to get for so cheap.

Monday we ate breakfast at Chick Fil A (who knew they served breakfast?) And then went to the Cupcakery, a cute cupcake shop. When I first walked in the door, I thought I was seeing double. Miley Cirus, AKA Hannah Montana was working there. Not really, but Sara Cirus as I like to refer to her was her identical twin. I couldn't stop staring! And it was the yummiest cupcake my teeth have ever sunk into. We then headed for Nashville, a 2 and a 1/2 hour drive away from Knoxville because I was flying out from there. What a great car ride we had, again with me in tears. Don't worry, Jenna can make me cry but in a good way. We were able to drive around the Grand Ole Opry, with my personal favorite sight being the Speed Limit 24 sign.

It was a wonderful trip overall. I don't think I've laughed or cried so much with someone in a really long time! I left Tennessee feeling rejuvenated and more at peace with myself. Thank you Jenna for letting me come and taking time out to spend with me, and for the great conversations and laughs we shared. It was perfect. I chuckin love you, and so do the geese! Can't wait for Pigeon Forge!!

On the river, with the beautiful bridge behind me.

OH MY GOSH! So I have believed myself to be 5 feet 0 inches. But while at Wonder Works, I learned that I am 5 ft. 1 inch! I can't tell you how excited that made me. I'll take that inch and run with it! I also learned that I can beat Jenna at a mind game. Who would guess?!

Love the Smokies!

Waiting in line to pitch a baseball game..there were so many people there!

On the drive to Nashville. This is our good friend Chuckles.

Enough said :)

My favorite! I laughed so hard over this one!

This one's for you Jenna the Lover, the Dr. Mario champion, and me,Quin the Giver, the Tetris champion.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

when Jackie comes to Town...

One of my favorite people on Earth, and one of my favorite people to work with from McKinley Eementary, Jackie, came to Denver to have a weekend visit with me. The thing I loved about her visiting was that she was the one that came out with me when I first drove here to find a place to live. What a great friend! We had loads of fun eating, going to Red Rock Ampitheater (BEAUTIFUL!), taking a tour of Unsinkable Molly Brown's House, eating, shopping at the outlets in Castle Rock, and at the 16th Street Mall, eating, watching the Broadway show Chicago, and of course eating! Thanks Jackie for coming to visit me and catching me up on my favorite school and teachers. Can't wait to see you again!

The outside of Molly Brown's house-I love old houses!

If you know me, two of my favorite things in nature are clouds, and when trees are standing alone..perfect that I could get both in one photo. This is at Red Rock.

Isn't Jackie so cute?! Sorry boys, she's taken. Us on Molly Brown's porch.

At Red Rock-we found this quiet little area, loved the wall! You can't see of course, but on the other side of the wall and down, a girl was getting her bridal pictures taken. We watched that for awhile. Beautiful!

I have wanted to eat at the Paramount Cafe on the 16th Street Mall since moving to Denver because one night I was looking up the top 10 places to eat in Denver, and this was on there. It was great food!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

This is going to be a quick post, but I just wanted to thank everyone who was so thoughtful of me on my birthday yesterday. Yes, the big 2-7. This is going to be my year, I feel it! Thanks for the phone calls, messages on Facebook, text messages, and people stopping by. Thanks to my roomies for taking me out to my favorite place to eat on Earth, Olive Garden; Jessica for baking spice cake (love it!); Hil for the happy sign I woke up to, and for the birthday bread we got to eat together for breakfast; Sara, this was an AWESOME gift, a 24 pack of Diet Coke, something I deny being addicted to, but really I do love it; Stephanie, for the yummy banana muffins and for gracing me with your presence; Michelle, for the pudding. I LOVE pudding more than just about anything! And thank you Brett, for giving me "scabies" on my birth (notice the stuffed animal scabies on top of the Diet Coke-funny story). It's comforting to know that people love me, no matter how old I get. I am grateful for each of you in my life, and even though I am distant from a lot of you, I feel your love and presence in my life and that carries me through.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Iron Chef Competition

First of all, I just want you all to know how much I love my new Mac Book Aluminum laptop. It was one of the best purchases that I have made for myself, besides my car, Cord and my queen size bed. So fast, so fun!!

This entry is a month late, but hey, it's here at least. And even better, it's done from my new computer! So last month my ward did an Iron Chef competition, where we split up into small groups, were given a $15 dollar Kings Sooper grocery card, and one hour to choose a food item to make, and make it! We would be graded on the taste of the food and/or presentation. A guy in my group had the BRILLIANT idea of making won tons. We split up in the store, bought the food and were on our way. Now, the thing was, there were 7 in our group, compared to only 5 in the other groups. Which you are probably thinking that's a good thing right? Well, not for me. I was at a loss for what to do. My hair was out of control that day, I needed, not kidding you, just 1 minute to pull it up. I come out of the bathroom and they each are on their way to making the yummy food, me left with not much to do but pretend to help, so I decided to be the photographer. We came up with one intelligent idea after another for presentation, and totally won in that area! (Secretly, I think we won on taste as well). It was a fun night with good food, good friends, and I even snuck in some rock band playing on the wii while everyone else worked :)

Everyone working hard, I snuck in for a photo, pretending I'm helping :)

Putting the won tons together

Look at our awesome presentation! Hey, I made the flags and thought to bring the chopsticks. I personally believe we wouldn't have won without those nice touches!

Stephanie with the chopsticks in the hair.

Our group proudly showing off our trophies with the judges.

Jessica and I were so excited we had to pose with the awards!

After, we decided to go to Red Robin. I was craving a serious hamburger. I wanted to show off our award, but our waiter wasn't too impressed with it. Rude!!

Just wanted to prove to people that don't believe the fact that I absolutely love and adore lemon rinds. Davey's face in the background is an added hysterical part to this photo...

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Death of my Laptop

I haven't been able to update my blog with pictures because my poor laptop is no longer working. I'm hoping to purchase a new one tonight, so hopefully a new blog post will be up in the next few days!