Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things Unique to Texas

The following are things I love, and to me are uniquely Texas. You may be from another state in the south where these things are common, but I've only experienced them here so forever they will be Texan.
First thing is hurricane tracking. Coming from the northwest, I never even dreamed about hurricane tracking. Flooding for sure. Volcano eruptions, maybe. But never hurricanes.

Although none have come close to the gulf yet, there is still one more month of hurricane season, so I will continue to track the storms as they come. Maybe we'll get a tropical storm and I wont have to go to work for a day...maybe.

Peanut butter. Not just any peanut butter, but the kind they make in the LDS cannery here. I couldn't find a picture online and i was too lazy to walk downstairs and take a picture of the jar in the cabinet, but this stuff is amazing. All natural peanut butter and the label has the state of Texas outlined in Red. What could be better than that?
Mmmm... Blue Bell Ice Cream. This is the best ice cream ever made. I am a huge fan of the huckleberry ice cream at G's Dairy in Rexburg, but I would take Blue Bell any day over G's. It is so rich and creamy and delicious. If you're ever in the south make sure and grab a pint of this delicious treat.
Mums. Aren't these the most beautiful monstrosities? They are given for homecoming to both the boy and the girl. The bigger the better. Some of them light up, some play music. I guess the best ones are homemade, but without my moms help I doubt I could ever glue gun my way through that mess of ribbons.
Texas bumper stickers. I love seeing Texas pride. The flag waving in someone's front yard, Texas bumper stickers, pins, shirts, everything. I really want to buy a few Texas lawn chairs while I'm down here. I'll see if I have enough room on my drive home.


Kolaches are one of the greatest breakfast foods. They are pastries stuffed with meat and cheese and (my favorite) jalapenos. So amazingly good. There are even stores that only make these delightful little buggers.

Last, but certainly not least is brisket and all Texas BBQ. This stuff is sooo Texan. They love their meat and they love to cook it with gallons of homemade BBQ sauce. Brisket is not my favorite (too fatty) but I do love great Texas BBQ. Mmmm! I'm ready for some BBQ with Blue Bell for dessert. Come down to Houston and visit me and I'll be sure and fix you up some.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Favorite Text Messages

It is so funny that my face is up around The Crossroads and I'm not even on campus, but I love getting text messages like the following with the line "I miss you" underneath the picture. Good thing this nerdy picture is around campus, otherwise people might forget about me. :)
Rachel McCrackhead sent from Kallie's phone.
Miss Samantha Bryant (my running partner)

Over the Hill


This is my 50th blog post. Please just humor me as I reminisce for a minute about all that has happened since I began Una Vida Normal.

I have lived in three different apartments, and one house. I got braces. Read 6 Harry Potter books. Rode a steer in the rodeo. Modeled for a charity date auction. Traveled to Maryland, Virginia, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Idaho.
I completed my first (lazyman) ironman. Turned 24. Began an internship. Participated in 2 Get Connecteds. Took 20 classes. Traveled to southern Utah 3 times, and much much more.

Having a blog has been amazing for me. It has really helped me keep track of my life, things that are going on and my feelings. Thank you dear blog for providing me an outlet. I hope in the posts to come we will continue to have good feelings toward one another, and we can continue to experience una vida normal.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friends

I am a person who likes to be around friends. When I was young I hung out with my sister Carley or the neighbors, as I grew older it took me a while to figure out who I really wanted for my friends, and I was lucky to have an amazing group of friends in high school. I’ve always been a best friend type of person, and I like forming close relationships with my friends. After graduating from high school I went through a phase of friendlessness, but not really. I still had a ton of friends, but our group had changed, grown, and dispersed. I wasn’t constantly surrounded by the ones I loved, but I filled my time in other ways – mostly with my best friend Lacy.

Lacy and I always would watch Will & Grace and Friends. Whenever I was having a rough day or feeling sulky I would pop in a disc of Will & Grace or Friends and life would be so much better. Whenever I cleaned my room I would watch Friends (I’d rather have that on in the background then music, it made me feel as if I weren’t alone). I still sink into that same mode when I want to feel as if I am not alone, but rather than relying only on Friends or Will & Grace, I now listen to/watch Harry Potter, Glee or some other sort of “friend.” I know what you’re thinking, this is what losers do, but I really love the characters in those shows and books, and it makes me feel as if I have friends, even if they’re fictional.

But my life is amazing, and I don’t mind having fictional characters as friends. Ron, Harry and Hermione keep me company in the car, and the others (and maybe some Christmas music) keeps me company once I finish my homework. Things are going exceptional. Now I just need to find someone to accompany me on a single adult date night activity we’re having in a few weeks. Shouldn’t be that difficult right? We’ll see…

Maybe I won’t tell them about my HP obsession.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Animal Cruelty


I have always been one who never understood animal cruelty and abuse. How could someone hurt an animal? Don’t those people normally buy the animals and then abuse them? Well… I can now understand why they would want to beat the crud out of their animals. (Just because I understand why does not mean I am endorsing or condoning that type of behavior)

Where I work my boss brings her dog in. A little bulldog named Duke. I hate dogs, always have. I think he knows this. He comes and sits on my feet, puts his head on my lap, and pesters me all day long. Even when I pull him out from under my desk or push him with my foot, he comes right back and on purpose, sits on my feet and begins scratching or licking himself. When I move my feet, he continues to rub up against me. All my pants are covered in dog hair and drool. I loathe this creature more than anything.

My supervisor Katie also finds the pooch rather annoying, but she is lucky that he doesn’t insist on sitting on her feet all day long. Just every once in a while he will venture into her office, but as soon as she kicks him out, he’s back under my desk.

I don’t know why I felt so inclined to write about this today, just a frustrating aspect of my work. Everything else is going amazing though. My internship is great – just need to figure out what I want to learn here so I can tell my boss.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Where I'm Supposed To Be

If we remember the last time I blogged (Sunday) I was all sorts of missing Rexburg. Now I've completely forgotten about that town! Actually, not completely, but I'm feeling a lot more adjusted now. I was able to go and visit some of my converts from Barrio 8. It made for the best night! I am so excited to hang out with them again, and glad that I am here for more than a visit. I think they're happy too.
Here are a few pictures of the people I love (they're old, but still good).
I am also going to the Houston Temple this week with my ward, and next week Juanita is going to help me complete the ordinances for my grandma. Finally I can get my grandparents sealed! I am really looking forward to that.
So basically, to sum it all up, Houston is the best place to be right now. I know I'm supposed to be here, and there are things to learn, experience and gain from.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rexburg, oh how I miss thee…

I am so lucky to be where I am. I live in the 4th largest city in the world, I have a great internship, I’m able to visit my mission and the people I love there, I have a great elderly couple that I live with that give me good Texas BBQ for dinner. So why am I missing Rexburg so much?


Is this what happens when people graduate? I don’t really understand. It’s like I’m going through withdrawals. The classes, professors, students, friends, wards, bishoprics, cruddy apartments, best roommates in the worlds. There is so much to love in Rexburg, and I’m missing it.


It doesn’t help that it is Fall Semester either. Fall is one of the greatest times to be in Rexburg. Yesterday they had the Temple to Temple Relay, and my heart was there with the runners. I’m also going to be spending Halloween, Thanksgiving and the beginning of Christmas season without my friends (who have become my family).


I can honestly say that I’m enjoying my time here. Actually, I love it. I just wish I had one Rexburg friend here with me to share my experience with. That would make all the difference in the world. My life is so different now. Yesterday I spent nearly 12 hours doing homework, and until I got a phone call around 6:00, I hadn’t spoken a word to a single person all day. That isn’t me. I need a social life. I need friends.


Luckily I think I made a few friends at church today. One of them got my number and called me right away. We’re thinking about going backpacking together. He’s awesome. His roommate is my EQP. So things are going to get better. I just need a good roommate that I can spend my time with. Rick! Stu! Johnny! Bryce! et al. I miss you guys.


I’ve also come to learn a lot about love. All types of love. There is a poem I found online, and one stanza really stuck out to me. Anna would love this too ‘cause I said I hate poetry, but this poem was different.


I miss you more than ever now.
I miss you because I really need you somehow.
I miss you and your touch.
I miss you for to me, you mean so much.


So in short, I miss someone a lot. If only they were here to share this experience with me. Life would be a million times better. I’ll see them again in December luckily. Less than 3 months. I can make it 3 months. I’ve done it before.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Texas Pride & All That Jazz

Yes, I am in Texas. It has been one week since my arrival, and things are going amazing! I have been so super busy with my internship at PR Squared and homework (taking 14 credits online) that I haven't even been able to breathe. I am really loving it. I've been running in the humidity, which sometimes feels like swimming, I went and visited my mission last week, going again on Monday. I attended the singles ward, still haven't made any friends, but we'll get there. My internship is great. We're working with a lot of companies and doing all sorts of different work. No day is the same. I do hate my office though. Only because it is FULL of windows and I stare out at the beautiful weather all day wishing I could be outside. One day I'll get to work outside among people, but for not it's a desk job with a lot of clients.

Really though, I love it. I'm enjoying my commute to and from work too. It's kind of a far drive, but I have been able to finish Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Now I'm on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Such the great time. I'm hoping to be better on top of my homework next weekend so I can spend some time down in Pearland, my old stomping grounds. Or even Sharpstown. That would be a dream come true. But we'll see.

Monday I'm going to 8th Ward and visiting some converts. I'm surprising them all with my visit. I've arranged things with Juanita (one convert) and she's inviting the others for a Noche de Hogar in her home. I'm just going to be a surprise guest at the door. I can't wait! Anyway, I'm sure I'll have tons more to blog about later. For now, here's our logo. :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Banned Poster

Have you ever heard of people who have had their artwork banned? I'm sure it has happened to Van Gough, Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo. Now I can add my name to that list.

I created a poster for Classic Movie Night during the 7 week break. Everything was going well, until the last week. The movie was Bathing Beauty. A scantly clad woman was on the front of the movie poster, but I figured it was alright to put on the poster since they would be showing the actual film. Even University Communication approved the poster. But somebody complained, so we were asked to remove all posters from campus, and the web advertisements were also taken down. Now I can officially say that something I made was banned from the BYU-Idaho campus.

Life's Like a Jump Rope

This Get Connected may have been my last, but it was not one that will soon be forgotten. Little Miss Rachel McCraken had the most brilliant idea to show an ultra cool dance to all the volunteers at the Spirit Conference talent show. Just our luck, the talent show was filled. So they said we could teach all the volunteers over breakfast.

Perfect.

We were so thrilled. We spent more than an hour practicing some sweet moves, like awkward knees, superman, Napoleon, and a duck-mating dance. We were super pumped. The next morning our dance went over surprisingly well. We were then asked (or maybe we asked, I wasn’t part of this communication) to teach the dance to all the new students at orientation. Here are some pictures of our amazing dancing, as well as a shot or two of the audience getting their groove on.







By the way, the song is by Blue October, called Jump Rope.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Last Weekend

This is my last weekend in Rexburg until January. I would say that I'm sad, but that's not true. I'm weirded out, but in no way am I sad to be leaving. I am also participating in what could be my last Get Connected. Get Connected is the first organization I joined when I came to campus, and it has been 6 great (most of the time) semesters of fun. But I feel a bit old for the program, and I don't know if I'll have any time for it in the winter. It was great while it lasted though.

Currently I'm visiting my dad, and he is napping on the couch. It has been strange being here. I came Saturday night and was in bed by 9:30. I didn't wake up this morning until 8:30. Then I haven't done anything all day. This never happens to me. I'm actually going crazy. My dad even pointed that out. I've been getting up and walking around the room just to keep myself from falling asleep. Looks like I need my day to be full to keep me from sleeping my life away.

I don't really know the purpose of this post. Just bored I guess.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Temple


Life goals are always something in the back of my mind. Caitlin and I made it a goal to accomplish a life goal before school starts. Mine was to do the temple work for my grandparents. I was so nervous about beginning family history work and getting everything ready. Luckily I found out that I have a VERY distant relative that has been working on our family line. My grandpa has already been baptized and confirmed, but I was able to do that this week for my grandma. I can’t wait to go to the temple and have them sealed together. I hope to accomplish it soon, although it may have to wait until I’m down in Houston. These past few weeks, especially this one, have been crazy. I can’t wait until I leave and have 4 days of nothing but driving.

Habitat For Humanity

This past Saturday we spent the day working for Habitat for Humanity. This is the second time I've been able to do this, and I love it! It was a life goal of mine to help build a home for the needy, and now I've succeeded it twice. Here are a few pics of what we worked on.
Also, this house is right across the street from the other house we helped build. The couple we helped last time came out of their house and mowed their lawn while we were building. So great to see that they are doing well.