Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mockingjay

Monday night we went to the Mockingjay opening party at Barnes & Noble. It was so much fun to be with a bunch of other Hunger Games nerds. We put our name into the reaping, got tattoos, made Mockingjay pins, and got our faces painted.
I got a bow and arrow for my face paint.
Alex got a Mockingjay
Aimee got a tree with Katniss perched among it's branches.
At the end of the night I was the only one who didn't buy the book. But luckily Aimee finished her copy overnight, so I'm now deep within it's pages and I can finally find out what happens to Katniss Everdeen. Can't wait!
And if you are reading this and have never read the Hunger Games series...please go out and buy the books. They are so good! You will never regret it. Hopefully. I haven't read the end of the last book, so maybe I should wait in my recommendations.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

PR Squared


I can't believe I failed to mention to my blogger family that I got an internship! I'm moving to Houston Texas in a few weeks to begin my internship at PR Squared, a PR agency located near Memorial Park in the beautiful city of Houston. I'm so excited to begin, yet I'm really nervous.

It's a whole new world of work and moving to Houston alone is going to be hard. Even though I know tons of people down there I still don't know where I'm living or anyone in my ward. I don't know people my age so I may be hanging out with the families I knew in 8th ward. Work on my Espanol. I am actually really excited to go visit my converts and for the opportunity to speak Spanish all the time. It has been way too long.

There are so many things I'll get to experience in Houston this time around. I can't wait until I can go to the beach and swim in the ocean. Granted the ocean in Galveston is not very pretty, but I'll be able to do it. I can also go to some of the amazing haunted houses in October, I can stay out late, travel outside the mission boundaries. I can also be one of those amazing members that goes out with the missionaries a ton. Hopefully they don't think I'm a weirdo, or that I stink at Spanish. I also can't wait to do new things there, things that I didn't even think about when I was a missionary. I don’t know what those things are, but I’m sure I’ll find some.

I’ll be there from September 13 through December 15. Colton is going to fly out probably on December 13 and stay for a bit, then we’ll drive to Oregon together and spend Christmas as a family. We may also stop by my dad’s and pick him up so he can spend Christmas with us too. It’s going to be a great year, I can tell.

Zion is Perfection

Zion: An idealized, harmonious community; utopia. Basically defines my weekend. Kami, Caitlin, Bryce, Alex and I road-tripped our way to Zion National Park in southern Utah.

Our plan: drive down to Utah Thursday night, camp in a free camp site, hike all day Friday and Saturday, go to church on Sunday and then drive home. We were so great at sticking to our plan, except for a lot of the details.

We began our trip attempting to stuff my trunk full of everyone’s stuff. We haven’t learned how to pack light, but Alex and I are really good at trunk tetris. We ventured down to Taylorsville to pick up Bryce and somehow managed to fit his stuff into my trunk as well. We then made the long trek down to Zion. Well, I didn’t get directions because I remembered that there were road signs that pointed the way, but I wanted to go to sleep, so I gave the directions to the Narrows. Should be relatively close since the Narrows are in Zion. WRONG. Our directions took us to the east side of the park. We wanted to be on the west side. Luckily as we were driving, Caitlin had an encounter with a jackrabbit and we all found her cries of “move little bunny, move!” quite amusing. Once we made it to Zion there was a man sitting outside the gate and a HUGE road block. He told us that the road was closed until 8:00 a.m. Too bad it was 3:00 a.m. and our camp site was on the opposite side of the park. So we drove down the road for a little while, pulled off to the side and slept in the car. Well, some of us slept in the car. Bryce wanted to spread out, so he pulled out his sleeping bag and slept on the side of the road. Four hours later we wake up, drive through the park and to our campsite and get things situated in our beautifully sandy abode. We ate breakfast and set out for our fist adventure of Angel’s Landing.


Angel’s Landing is a beautiful hike that spans 2.5 miles (one way) and has an elevation gain of 1,488 feet. We spent the entire afternoon climbing to the top and nearly an hour enjoying the view. I love this hike. I did it back in February and climbing in the summer is a lot easier than climbing in the heat rather than the snow.








Later that day we went and grabbed some ice cream cones and hiked the Emerald Pools. Kami, Bryce and Caitlin decided to shower in the pools when nobody was looking. Very strange.



We also encountered a deer in the parking lot or as Kami would put it “little beasty.” We also made a friend named Leroy. He was on a mission from God to go to Zion. So while he was there he would read his bible and watch peoples dogs for them.
Saturday morning we woke up ready to hike the Narrows. We hiked for nearly 6 hours in the Virgin River through the canyon It carved through the park. It was such a beautiful hike and it felt so great to be knee deep in water most of the hike. I think everyone fell at least a little bit while in the water, and finally by the end we were all pretty wet. Kami and Bryce even jumped off a rock and swam for a bit.






On our way home from the hike it began raining, so we hurried to our campsite only to find our tents had quite a bit of water inside. So we spent the next hour or so eating and drying out our sleeping bags. We decided after everything was dry we would go to the park and play Frisbee. The sprinklers were on so Bryce and I decide to pressure wash our hair in them and it feels so great to be semi-clean.
When we made it back to camp, our wood was wet and we could not get a fire started to save our lives. Luckily our neighbor lent us some lighter fluid and we were able to roast some hot dogs and Kami ate her body weight in marshmallows.

The next morning was church and we went to all three hours, disgusting and smelly. We hadn’t told Bryce that we were going to church, so he had no clothes to wear. I’m kind of glad he had to wear jeans because it made for a great story. An old lady in the ward came up to him and told him that she was so proud of him for coming today. Said that he was brave for coming in those clothes and maybe he would get some extra attention for dressing like a non-member. Then she said, “Remember the Lord looketh on the heart.” Did she really just quote 1 Samuel? Oh shoot. There were also only 4 guys in Elders quorum and we spent the entire time discussing how to build up their quorum. It was kind of sad because of how much they were struggling.

After church we head home. Only 8 hours to Rexburg from Zion. So why did it take us 11 hours? Maybe because we stopped in Lehi, Taylorsville, Bear River City, and Blackfoot. 11 hours in the car flew by and once I finally got home I was so excited to tell Stu about our trip that I didn’t even sleep until 1:00 or later. Needless to say I’m still recuperating.
P.S. We saw so many animals on our trip. Besides the deer and jackrabbit we saw: frogs, lizards, wild turkeys, California condor, squirrels, chipmunks, fish, ants, and so many others.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weekend with the Pigs.

Of all of the weekends I’ve spent in Idaho, this past weekend is in the top 10 for sure. We decided to head to Ricks farm down in Kimberly. I was all sorts of excited for an amazing weekend. With Rick, there is always an adventure. We went to my Heather’s (my old FHE sister) reception on our way down. It was great to see her all married and such.

We then ventured on to see Rick. We built a fire, roasted tin foil dinners, ate and lay on the grass watching the stars. Then we were attacked by the “tooth fairy” and steamrolled numerous times. We eventually decided to go inside where it was warm and enjoy a movie. I don’t think very many of us lasted very long and slowly one by one we made it to our beds.

Saturday morning brought many activities. We began by eating a delicious meal prepared by Rick’s mom. She is such the nicest lady. Then we headed out for some chores on the farm. Our first duty was to castrate some pigs. Julie and I couldn’t handle this. It was gross and painful looking. Caitlin and Kami loved it. They would hold the pigs down, Rick would chop ‘em up and cut off their tails and then put them in their pens. It seemed so horrible, yet I knew it was necessary. I just couldn’t stand the sight of it. Luckily that didn’t last all day.

We then went on a tractor ride and tilled up some dirt. Caitlin, Kami and Julie had never ridden in a tractor before, so they got a kick of it. I don’t see a big difference in tractor riding and riding in any other slow moving vehicle, so I stood on the steps of the tractor and got covered in dust instead.

Our next adventure of the day was going shotgun shooting. It was so much fun. I had never shot a shotgun before, but I was able to hit both still and moving targets. After some coaching all of the girls were quite amazing as well. They all hit the stationary target and then they each hit at least one flying clay pigeon.

After shooting, the only logical thing we could do in the heat was go swimming. So we hurried and changed and headed to the pond. Rick had built a zipline, so we were able to experience that, which actually wasn’t as excited as we anticipated. It sagged so low that you drug in the water on the way down. It was still fun nonetheless. We also had grand adventures on a tractor tube and in the dust/mud.

After swimming we decided to finally get clean, but first we needed to artificially inseminate some pigs. Luckily only one was ready, so we went to the house, showered and dressed and went into Twin Falls. We went to the mall, Jamba Juice, and Target. It was a great way to wind down after a day of ultra fun adventures.

We got back to Rexburg at about 2:00 a.m. and I have to admit, I was wiped out. Today I struggled at church, but I was able to take a 2.5 hour nap this afternoon. What an amazing weekend. I love my life. Literally. I am so blessed.

P.S. More pictures will come later.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pirates of the CAR-RIB-EEE-AN

Last night we went to Island Park as a ward to see the play Pirates of the CAR-RIB-EEE-AN. It was a ridiculous play, but quite fun. It was a melodrama full of quotes/spoofs from movies, tv shows and songs. There were tons of people there too. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a play and it really made me want to watch another one. At the end of winter semester I really wanted to see Les Miserables. I love that play and I really would love to see it live. But any play would do. There is nothing quite like seeing a play live on stage that is riveting. Nothing about the play last night was riveting, only ridiculous.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

50 Books Before 30

Since I've become such an avid reader, I decided to make a list of books that I need to read before I'm 30. Some of these books I've previously read but want to reread, others are easy literature, and a few are classics. I have 6 years so I'd better get going.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
2. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
3. The Scarlet Letter – Nethaniel Hawthorne
4. The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
5. Matilda – Roald Dahl
6. Number the Stars – Lois Lowry
7. Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom
8. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
9. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
10. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
11. All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Remarque
12. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
13. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
14. The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
15. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
16. Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
17. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
18. Atonement – Ian McEwan
19. Frankenstein – Mary Shelly
20. 1984 – George Orwell
21. The War of the Worlds – HG Wells
22. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
23. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
24. Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling
25. Hatchet – Gary Paulsen
26. The Giver – Lois Lowry
27. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
28. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
29. The House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros
30. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
31. Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
32. Shattering Glass – Gail Giles
33. Life as we knew it – Susan Beth Pfeffer
34. Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
35. Before I Die – Jenny Downham
36. Beloved – Toni Morrison
37. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
38. Over and Under – Todd Tucker
39. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
40. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
41. Armor – Kim B. Clark
42. MockingJay – Suzanne Collins
43. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig
44. The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
45. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
46. The BFG – Roald Dahl
47. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey
48. All The Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy
49. Gathering Blue – Lois Lowry
50. The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd


While I'm at it, I may just make another list of other things I hope to accomplish by the time I'm 30. We'll see how much time I have.

Summer Session

I finished reading both the Hunger Games and Catching Fire. They are such great books. I seriously was addicted. I read them both in a week. I’ve become quite the reader this summer session. The Hunger Games is quite possibly one of the most addicting books I’ve ever read. There are a lot of books that I’ve read that are well written and have good messages, stories, character development etc. But I rarely find a book that is addicting. By addicting I mean I literally read at every moment possible, dreamt about it, talked about it excessively – it was really kind of sad. Luckily the third book, Mockingjay, comes out in two weeks. I think we’re going to go to the party at Barnes & Noble to buy it at midnight. I’ve never done that before, so it shows my addiction.

In other news, my summer session is going amazing. We have a dinner group that I absolutely love. We always have to most delicious food and great company. I am working 20 hours a week in the English Department, and 20 hours a week in the Get Prepared Office. It is enough to keep me fairly busy, but on top of that I’m also taking a class, Foundations Capstone, and I’m the Publicity Coordinator for the Activities Department. So altogether it’s shaping up to be a busy summer. This past weekend I was able to go to my old roommate Johnny Petersen's wedding. He is such an amazing guy, so righteous and seriously one of my favorite people. His wife is also amazing. They are the perfect couple. It was so great to see them married and happy. I can't believe that we're all growing up. I've had a lot of roommates get married. Makes me feel like somehow I didn't catch the memo. Oh well, que sera, sera.

I also haven’t found an internship yet. I am close with a couple of organizations, but I won’t know until probably the end of next week. It is stressful not knowing where I will be in a month, but it’s good for me to kind of live my life without planning every little detail. I guess eventually I will know.