Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sister Camille!

It's my sister's 20th birthday today. I'm jealous of her, because I loved being twenty. Good times!

Camille sure has gone through a lot in just twenty short years. We always referred to her as the "problem child," meaning that if there were any sickness or malady to be had, she experienced it. Ear infections, hepatitis, tonsillitis, vitiligo, lawn mower accidents, and probably more that I'm forgetting. And this is all before she was ten years old. She has had more doctors and surgeries than I ever think I will have in my entire life. Plastic surgeons, an orthopedic surgeon, a dermatologist, ear doctor...am I missing any, Camille?

And yet Camille has still come out on top. She is a celebrated athlete who gives no signs of her scars standing in her way. I'm proud to tell people her story and how she comes out triumphant.
at the top of Angel's Landing

I'm five years older than Camille, so growing up we weren't super close since we were in such different stages of life. Now as that gap has been bridged as we have gotten older, we are much closer and I am so grateful for that. She is super fun to do stuff with. And while we still have our dramatic moments, Camille doesn't hold grudges for long (usually). 

So happy birthday Camille. Love ya lots! How about you write on your blog a little more, k??

Friday, January 27, 2012

On Trying to be a Better Person

Remember this resolution that I made a few weeks ago? Well I've been thinking a lot about it lately. Especially thinking about the impression that I am giving to people---more so being here in this new state, where I am meeting new people almost every day.

Just in thinking about the last few days alone, I feel like I have been failing trying to be a nicer and more outgoing person. Or so it would seem. It's always easy to be nice and outgoing when the person on the other end is making an effort too. And what if they aren't? Then what is expected of me? Am I still supposed to push them and be outgoing?

Here is my recent (and not so recent) example. My next door neighbors just moved. You know, the ones with the dogs. And I was actually really happy about it. Happy that I won't have to endure the awkwardness of me saying hello with a smile, and them looking down and muttering some kind of greeting, or just avoiding my glance all together. Thinking back on it, it really frustrates me.

What's sad about all of this is that we had lived next to each other for over six months, and I didn't even know their names. But they were a young couple with no kids, husband in the marines, and the wife who I think didn't have a job this summer either. It could have been a friendship made in heaven. And yet, I had more communication with their dogs than with them.

I realize that it's my fault that I never found out their names. But when I try to say hi over and over again and only get a cold response, what am I supposed to do? Am I really supposed to keep trying to extract some conversation out of these kind of people? I guess I'm just trying to throw this question out into the world and get some kind of advice or validation from all of you.

I think I do need to try harder. But I just don't understand people sometimes. If I can tell that someone is making an effort to talk to me, I make an effort back. I thought that's just what you do. But then those negative encounters discourage me from trying. But I know that it's no excuse. I know I need to still try. And remember that not everyone is cold and uncaring.

Man, it can be so hard sometimes to just not be a hermit!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Husband Looks Like Barack Obama

At least that's what everyone in Romania thought. I'll let you decide.

But that's besides the point.

My husband finally found out what his career in the Marine Corps is going to be. Believe it or not, this six month training program of hell is NOT what he will be doing the rest of his time in the Marines. He is going to be a Command and Control Systems Officer. Hmmm...whatever that involves. Stuff with computers and such? You'll have to talk to him about it.

Anyway, this means that he will have to do another six month school that starts the end of June here in Virginia. This means that we will be staying in this area until the end of this year. I feel pretty good about it. And I'm happy that Victor is happy that he got what he wanted.

We still have a lot of stuff that we want to see and do in this area before we leave---like Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hershey, PA, Pittsburg, Virginia Beach, etc. And then after that, hopefully we'll be off to somewhere new and exciting! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You can take the girl out of Provo, but you can't take the Provo out of the girl

Are you ever exploring new blogs and you are trying to put together pieces of the blogger's life like where they live and such through the first things you read and pictures that you see? Another one that you sometimes easily pick up on is whether or not they are Mormon. And if they are Mormon, where they are in the world. There are always the subtle hints, like references to church and modestly dressed, or the not so subtle "we believe" in the corner.

Here's a recent example.

I stumbled on a fashion blog the other day, and one of the first photos I saw was this
Here's what went through my mind: I am pretty sure I could recognize those streets anywhere. I jogged around them enough. That could be a street south of BYU campus.

Then follows this photo, where at first glance, it's the very dated architecture that BYU is famous for that catches my attention. Then I look closely and see "L. Tom Perry [special collections]" that confirms it. This is indeed a BYU/Provo blog. 
 After that, it's all so easy recognizing some of my favorite Provo locations.
 Judge me if you want, but these fries from Spark Lounge are so yummy that they would be hard to forget.  And of course, the photoshoots at the H-FAC, and other Provo locations.
Then I give myself a pat on the back for being so smart and observant. It's like a game or a scavenger hunt. I'm sure I'm not the only one that does this!

Anyway, that fashion blog is actually pretty good too. As in, some girls that actually have good Mormon/BYU style. Those of you that went to BYU know that sometimes this is not always the case.
The blog is Awkward Girls. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

can we just talk about politics for a second?

Ok ok, I'm not going to get into the "issues" surrounding the current Republican presidential primary. That just gets people riled up. I want to talk about what they're all trying to achieve, and that it to beat Barack Obama. Well, history has shown plenty of times what works. Tall, handsome, and well with words. Isn't that why Obama got elected to begin with? I think so. Short little white-haired McCain didn't stand a chance.

Let's look shall we.
 Newt Gingrich. Appropriately named because he looks just like one. Look at that snotty smug look. He is just plain ornery. When you look at his political resume, you can tell he is qualified and capable of running the country. But can he beat Obama? No way. He's unlikeable. And and adulterer. But some people don't care about that. I do.

Oh, Ron Paul. Never mind his border line crazy views on foreign policy. He is just a kooky senior citizen. He's too unstable. One minute I agree with him, the next I'm questioning his sanity. The democratic party is going to eat him up!

Rick Santorum is better, but he still looks and talks like a little boy. He has done a good job of holding his own at the debates, but still. He just seems so boyish. Not manly. Sorry, Rick.

MITT. He has proven himself time and time again. Like I said, let's leave the political views out of it. This guy is good-looking! And he does GREAT in the debates. I love watching the debates for this reason: who can think quickly and give a solid argument, and who just can't handle it. Rick Perry was one of those who looked good, but was terrible in the debates. I think the Democratic party knows that Romney is the only one that stands a very good chance at beating Obama, and that's why they're just waiting to pounce on him.

So yeah, that's what I have to say on all this stuff. Have you been watching the debates?? I love them: mostly because I really love a good argument. It makes me regret not doing debate in high school.

Also, I just have to share some of my favorite political satire as of lately.

This article by C. Jane in the Des News is so hilarious. Please read.

And this video is so great in calling out how Republicans (the candidates) are pretty ridiculous at times. Mostly Newt. I really don't like him.

Oh, politics. So fun.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

i miss my husband

so, even though i secretly kind of like having the bed to myself,

and although it's nice to watch chelsea lately with the volume up as loud as i want (you'd be surprised how much louder that show is than other shows on tv, and it disrupts the hubby's sleep---well, maybe it's not much a surprise: it is chelsea after all.)

and i'm not gonna lie, it's nice having a break from cooking a legit meal every night. i'm perfectly content with a sandwich for dinner, but 'tis not so for the husband.

but those things are pretty trivial, and i would still opt for my hungry and sleepy husband any day.
i really miss him. i can't even talk to him, which makes it kind of harder.

and i feel bad that i'm hogging the bed while he sleeps on the ground outside. in january.

i really love that guy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Because I was left again as a lone woman this week, I went on a little adventure yesterday to Philadelphia with my friend Alicia. It was a beautiful day, but COLD. To think that just last week, I was chilling in D.C. like this:
January and 70 degrees is wonderful
So we pretty much were total tourist nerds. We did all the stereotypical Philadelphia things. But that's what you have to do when it's your first time in a city. Next time, I'll do even more exploring. And there will be a next time in Philly, because I really liked this city.

Picture overload!
After hitting up the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written, we ventured over to South Philly to experience the joys of cheese steak sandwiches. Thanks to these guys for the recommendation to opt for Pat's over Geno's. I thought it was delish.

Rocky, anyone?? Confession: I've never actually seen these movies all the way through.  But I wasn't going to miss the chance to run up those steps! I was out of breath at the top. There was a group of missionaries there too, and they enjoyed taking nametag photos by Rocky. 

Something else that Philadelphia has to offer? Bums. Lots of bums. This was outside the house where T.J. wrote the Declaration of Independence. 

Philadelphia loves you, and I do too. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

important life updates

Victor is now hooked on juicy celebrity gossip, thanks to me. That probably isn't a good thing.

After much searching, I finally found a beautiful Fossil purse for less than one hundred dollars. Try FORTY! I was so happy, and that leather smelled so good that I wanted to cuddle with it all night.

So, I think that's about it.
Important stuff, people.

some other fun stuff that i forgot to talk about

When we told people here that we were in Utah for Christmas, most asked if we did anything fun like skiing or snowboarding. And the answer is no. No, because we're poor, and no, because the snow in Utah wasn't very good anyway. But I was ok with that. We went to Utah to chill with friends and family, and it was awesome to just spend time with our favorite people.

One night, we went to do karaoke with some friends, and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. It was so much fun. This was my set list:
solo: Fernando by Abba, one of my favorites for karaoke because it's silly. 
trio with Tawnya and Kimmy: Leader of the Pack.
duet with my husband: Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better, from Annie Get Your Gun. This was probably my favorite one of the night. I love being competitive with the husband.
duet with Tawnya: Total Eclipse of the Heart: a karaoke must. 

And the highlight of the night was my husband's surprise solo for me of "Some Enchanted Evening." Remember this scene from "My Best Friend's Wedding"? It was kind of like that. It was adorable and I was smitten with it.
it looks like they're singing to each other. ha.

We also got to see Jarrick and Michelle at The Pie Pizzeria. I loved seeing them. 
 My cute sister and her cute friends came with us too.

 And not pictured is when we made din din with Kelsy and her husband and played games. That was super fun. But I got a picture with her later.

I need to be better about pictures, because I also saw my besties from high school and also Victor's bestie and his wife, but alas, no photos. Don't be crushed. 

What a great vacation it was. I miss it. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

little pick-me-ups: d.c. edition

Today one of the security guards at the National Archives totally made my day.

He said to me, "whenever you come here, this place is a nicer and happier place."

When I said, "thank you so much,  have a good day!," he said back, "well you have a better one."

How incredibly nice!!!

Honestly, I go through most days not really thinking of the strangers around me. When I get around crowds, I usually resort to assuming that people have no common sense. And a lot of times, I'm right, but I should still be nice, like my security guard friend.

So add that to my resolutions list: make a greater effort to be more friendly and outgoing to strangers. Try to be their little pick-me-up.

d.c. from my phone

I've been spending a lot more time in the archives lately doing research for ancestry.com. It's been fun exploring the city a bit by myself. And I also enjoy making new friends, like the security guards at the archives. They recognize me now. That makes me feel special. 

These are a lot of other pics I've taken with my phone. That one at the bottom? Yeah, that's a guy's bum. 

 I really am liking this place. It would be nice to live in D.C. proper, instead of the janky place we are at now. But surprisingly, this town is growing on me too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

i'm the pathetic friday featured bride

so THIS is how i will be remembered by the bridal shop i bought my wedding dress from. so be it.

and for the record, i still would have ordered my dress from china (maybe just not the company that i did)...i know plenty of people who it worked out for: my sister being the main one. i knew it was a risk--luckily it only set me my dad back a couple hundred dollars.

i still plan on selling that fated dress on ksl or something. OR, it could be my most dramatic re-fashion yet!!

hmm....stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

happy birthday to my mom

she's the best mom ever, seriously. i'm so lucky to have a mom who is smart, witty, wise, level-headed, adventurous, loving, and cool. basically, all my life i've basically tried to copy all she's done.

i'm still not even close catching up to how many countries she has been to.

i trust her to pick out my clothes for me, which shows how stylish and with it she is.

her opinion is the one i ask for first, and the one that i actually listen to (she might not agree, but it's true)

she was the one to introduce me to most of my favorite things, like the movie Sabrina, Dillards, and lots of good books.

basically, i'm really happy she's my mom. i hope she has a great birthday

Monday, January 9, 2012

good news bad news

the good news is that the snow is falling, and it looks lovely from my warm apartment.
the bad news is that my husband is working all night long, so i'm watching the snow fall by myself.

the good news is there is finally something better to replace the kardashians on sunday nights.
the bad news is i have to wait six more days until it's on again. i really wish i had something of quality to watch tonight while my husband is gone...i might end up being a sucker and watching the bachelor. why??

the good news is i have something to cheer me up tonight, and it even comes with a plastic spoon to support my laziness.
the bad news is there are A LOT of calories in these three ounces of happiness. why??

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Land That I Love

In order to save $500 on flights, we flew in and out of Las Vegas for Christmas break. We drove up with my sister Camille and then flew back down at the end of our vakay. I loved the short flight that basically followed the I-15 from SLC into Las Vegas. The views were awesome. I usually don't take airplane window photos, but I couldn't resist. I just love this area of the country so much.