08 December 2009

There's a First Time for Everything

I fell on the ice today for the first time in four years of Idaho/Utah winters. It hurt a lot more than I expected it to. I'm going to have a killer bruise on my left hip tomorrow. Ooo...baby...

03 December 2009

Winter Semester 2010

Here is my schedule for next semester if all goes according to plan:

ASL 101 - Conversational ASL 1
DANCE 325 - Tap Dance Technique 1 (Intermediate Tap)
ELANG 350 - Basic Editing Skills
ELANG 351R- Editing Student Journals
LING 550 - Sociolinguistics
REL C 393R - LDS in Wartime

Seems crazy but I'm totally excited for next semester. I'm especially looking forward to ASL, tap, and sociolinguistics. I am taking socio with a good friend from my ward, a couple peeps from my Study Abroad and the professor for this course was my program director this summer! WE LOVE WENDY! It's gonna be good.

30 November 2009

Dear Santa

Last night I wrote up my Christmas wish-list to send to Santa via e-mail. As I was sitting on my couch, I had an awfully hard time coming up with anything to want for Christmas. I had an incredible year and feel truly blessed: I was able to study in Great Britain for six weeks! That had been a life-goal of mine (#2 to be exact) since I was 10 years old. How many people get to check off life-goal #2 before they are 21. Not many, I'm sure. It was a life-changing experience and I feel like I've been blessed with so much that I honestly don't need anything for Christmas. Knowing that this list also helps out my siblings, I thought I should come up with some "STUFF" that would make me giggle and smile.

Christmas Wish-List
  • Howl's Moving Castle -DVD
  • Glee Soundtracks Vol. 1 & 2
  • IKEA Napkins and Napkin holder
  • Waffle Iron
  • Season pass to Hale Center Theater in Orem

Santa tends to give some repeat stocking stuffers every year so I had included a B&N gift card on my list knowing I would most likely be getting one anyway. Besides, I have a whole list of books I would LOVE to add to my personal library so a gift card seemed like a more efficient way to say "For Christmas I'd like to increase my vocabulary, expand my mind, and add to my personal library by buying books." I'm a sucker for IKEA napkins. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check it out here. Aren't they amazing? I love them, a lot. For my 20th birthday, my mom gave me about a dozen packs. Best birthday gift EVER! I also have included on my list a season pass to Hale Center Theater in Orem. Their 2010 season is going to be incredible! I'm a theater nut and have been dying to see more shows lately. How could this gift be bad? It's culture! If you would like to see their 2010 season, click here. You may notice that "110 in the Shade" will be playing, starring Audra McDonald. Let me be clear: AUDRA MCDONALD IS COMING TO OREM!! She is a Broadway star and she's amazing. AMAZING!!!

So, that's what I would like for Christmas. Culture, books, and IKEA Napkins. Happy Christmas!

23 November 2009

Swing Charity Ball

This weekend was pretty fantastic. On Saturday, I went to a Swing Charity Ball up in Hyrum with Tyson, Lindsey, and Steven. Lindsey and I made the boys dinner and we took pictures at my apartment before we left. Lindsey's roomies were our photographers and the end result was some pretty High-School-esque looking photos. But I think they're great.

From Left to Right: Tyson, me, Lindsey, Steven
These pictures make me laugh everytime I look at them.
Hyrum is about 2 hours away from Provo so we had a good time singing along to my iPod, chatting, and being, overall, very silly whilst driving up to the dance. The dance itself was amazing! It was held at Elite Hall: a ballroom with a sprung floor. It was fun to watch the USU and BYU Swing teams perform and see the floor bouncing along with them. The live band was great and a lot of my swing friends from BYU were there too.
Because Hyrum is so far away, Lindsey and I stayed the night at her Grandparent's home and the boys stayed with Tyson's family. Lindsey Grandmother is a gourmet chef and invited us all to their family Thanksgiving dinner Sunday night. Holy cow. Best food I've had in a long time. The mashed potatoes were beautiful. I know that sounds like a silly thing to say but really. She took the potatoes, mashed them, and then used a cake icing funnel to put them back in their skins. End effect: beautiful mashed potatoes. Tyson had to spend some time with his family so while he was gone, Lindsey, Steven and I shared cheesecake, apple pie, black cherry pie, pumpkin upside cake, and fruit. When our fundus' were thoroughly full, Lindsey and Steven played a few rounds of checkers while I took a little nap.
It was a lot of fun to spend the weekend with such good friends. Sunday afternoon we went back to the church building to play on the piano. We found a Primary songbook and a Hymn book. Needless to say, four-part hymn and Primary song singing took place for the better part of an hour. These boys can seriously sing! Lindsey and I aren't too bad either. We all got back to Provo at about 10 pm after braving the snow in the canyon and almost dying in all the ridiculous construction in North Salt Lake. Props to Tyson for being an excellent driver, fantastic conversationalist, and getting us all home safely.

20 November 2009

Best Day Ever

I woke up yesterday knowing that I was going to have an AMAZING day. Don't ask me why I knew, but I was certain that nothing could get me down. Work was nothing out of the ordinary. I was stressing about my tap test and I had to teach Lesson 3 from "Preach My Gospel" in Mission Prep later. My tap test went perfectly! I didn't mess up once and I even had to improv for 16 counts at the end. I'm so pleased with how it went. I attest it to the late-evening practice that happened the night before in my kitchen (See previous post). Mission prep was wonderful and Spanish wasn't too bad either. I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things and got two cards in the mail from my mom.
The rest of the day was as close to perfection as I can think. I spent the rest of the night with my friends Will, Courtney, Kelcy, and Matt who all were on my Study Abroad with me. In-N-Out opened in Orem so we HAD to eat there for dinner. We got there at about 5:30pm and here was the line.

The line moved fairly quickly and we booked it back to my place to eat up. I sent the above picture and a picture of my cheeseburger to my brother who is attending college in Hawaii. In response I received the two following messages: "You are so lucky." "I hate you." Might seem harsh, but those were the desired/sought-after responses. Love you, bud!
We then went to see BYU's production of "Children of Eden." You may not be familiar with this musical but I'm sure you already know the story line. Act 1: Creation/Fall/Cain-Abel. Know them? Genesis, anyone? Act 2: Noah's Ark. We sat on the very front row and had a blast! The music was incredible, the colors were vibrant, the dancing was fun, and the animals were friendly to say the least. And I know I probably shouldn't but I have a celebrity crush on Cain. He's on the right in the picture below. The song he sings, "Into the Wilderness," was one of my favorites. I know he's not a particularly good guy, but man, can he sing!

I also really like the second Act of the show, in general. Momma Noah (as we've come to call her) sings this incredible gospel-esque number when the dove returns with the olive branch. It was a dance party! I think my friends and I liked this particular number because it reminded us of the end of "As You Like It" that we saw at the Globe Theater in London. They also had a little dance party. I love when shows end like that! Anyways, it was great. We loved it. So we're going again.

By that time it was almost 10:40pm so I didn't go Blues dancing like I hoped, but I still got to have one dance with my friend and started to work on some homework. I am going to spend tonight getting ahead for the last few weeks of school. This will be especially important because I'm going to Logan on Saturday and won't be back to Provo until Sunday night. Post about that little trip will be forth-coming. Don't you fret.
Anyways, I don't know why, but I got home last night and could not stop SMILING. And not just a "Oh, I'm content and peaceful about how lovely this day has been." This was a full-on, giddy about life, teeth and all smile. I don't get it! It was like spending a day with my favorite people in the world had somehow made the awfulness of the past few months vanish into nothingness. And for that, I am extremely grateful.

19 November 2009

A Wink and a Smile

This semester I am taking Beginning Tap from BYU. It's fantastic! I love my class and the dances we learn are a lot of fun. Last week I was sick and had to miss my class both Tuesday and Thursday. When I got back to class this week, I found out that we would be testing our dance of "A Wink and a Smile" by Harry Connick, Jr. on Thursday. Oh, joy. So last night was spent learning the rest of the dance. I was feeling pretty FRUSTRATED with the whole business and was UPSET at myself for not remembering the sequences. My friend was over last night and allowed me to teach him my dance because the best way to learn is to teach, right? Well, by the end of the night, I had learned my dance and he had learned the last half. It was a lot of fun to teach someone else my routine and we had a blast tap dancing, in our socks, in my kitchen.

17 November 2009

Very, Very Sneaky

Tonight I planned on doing homework in the library on campus. I caught a ride to campus with a new friend and he informed me that the Chemical Engineering Computer Lab is a party and that we should go there to do homework. Walking in to the Clyde Building always freaks me out a little. Mostly because it's the Engineering building and therefore chalk full of men. In fact, it's so full of men that women's restrooms are missing on some levels. Now that's intense if you ask me. Anyway, we get to the computer lab (complete with 10-digit keypad + secret combo to get in) and get started on homework. Now, I am NOT a Chemical Engineering major. In fact, I shudder to think of anything scientific or mathematical. Ick. I felt just a touch out of place doing my Mission Prep and Old English homework in such an obviously SCIENCE-y atmosphere. In the end, I had a great time doing homework, discussing which LDS temples were cooler looking than others, trying to be quiet, and completing all my Mission Prep quizzes for the rest of the semester. Holla!

11 November 2009

Rapunzel, Rapunzel...

I am a huge fan of haircuts. I was a regular at my local Fantastic Sam's. While it may be true that healthy hair needs to be trimmed every six weeks, I have decided to let my hair grow out. It all started in May when a friend asked me to grow my hair out. Not getting haircuts was easy for a while, mostly because I was in Europe all summer, but it has definitely been a challenge sometimes. I hate the awkward middle phase of growing your hair out where your hair is just long enough to touch your collar but not long enough to go into a successful pony-tail without an excessive number of bobby-pins. So, here is a smattering of photos from this year to show my hair's progression.

This is from Christmas Eve 2008.

This one is from May 2009.

This one is from July 2009 while I was on my Study Abroad. This pic was taken in Ireland.

This photo was taken in August 2009 at the end of my Study Abroad program. Here I am sitting on the bus, listening to my iPod, being bored. This happened a lot.

This one was taken October 2009 before I went to see the King's Singers in concert. Look how long my hair is compared to the first pic! AH! I love it!
So, there you have it. A collage of increasing hair-length. I am hoping to keep growing out my hair until it is down past my shoulders. My dad told me that he likes my hair short but it's been short FOREVER! I needed a change. And a challenge. Take that hair! BAM!

09 November 2009


I was trying to upload this collage to the top of my blog but for some reason, Blogger won't let me. So, I'm posting it here instead. Info on pics from L to R:
1. Julianne, me, and Janet outside of Winston House. These two girls were definitely some of my favorites from my Study Abroad program. I love them to pieces!
2. Me in my room in London after going to Bourough Market ALONE. I felt so cool navigating the Tube all by my lonesome. Like an adult or something.
3. Estelle (as Elphaba) and me, Halloween 2008. I couldn't put up a pic from this year because she is off serving a mission in San Antonio, Texas. I miss her everyday and I am so proud of the wonderful work she is doing.

07 November 2009

Saturday is a Special Day

Schedule for Saturday, November 7, 2009:

9:00 am - Breakfast date with Erik
10:00 am - Latter-day Sounds Retreat/Practice/Lunch
12:30 pm - Tap Rehearsal
2:30 pm - Practice "Come Thou Fount" for tomorrow's Sacrament Meeting
4:00 pm - Finally get home. Check e-mail. Eat something.
5:00 pm - Errands: FIND TIGHTS. Muy importante.
7:00 pm - Tap Rehearsal Part II/Set-up for event
8:00 pm - How Can I Keep from Swingin' event for BYU Swing Kids Club
9:30 pm- PERFORM at event
10:45 pm - Clean-up event
11:30 pm - Bed. Seriously.

I have to say that this has been fabulous day. I look forward to the evening portion of this day and am so grateful that this week is OVER!! I had four exams, two performances, and two dates this week. It's been crazy but it all went well. The stresses of this week definitely took a toll on the "cleanliness" factor of our apartment and also strained the amount of patience I had. Luckily, I have three wonderful roommates who all love me enough to give me a big hug at the end of every day and help me to be a better person. I love you ladies!!

05 November 2009


Guess who got in to Ling 550? I DID! Booya, baby! Woo!

Quest for the Magic Carrot

I went on a group date tonight and we played a card-game that I had never heard of before: Killer Bunnies. I won't try to explain all the rules because it's pretty complicated. However, I will say that I have yet to play a game that I have enjoyed half as much as I enjoyed Killer Bunnies. This is a FANTASTIC group game but would also be fun to play with a few single players (as opposed to teams). It was a lot of fun to strategize with my date and figure out ways to keep our bunnies alive whilst destroying the other teams' bunnies or capturing the carrots of the opposing teams. Good clean, but perhaps a tad violent, fun.

29 October 2009

Contemplations driven by "The Mermaid Chair"

After reading "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd and loving it, I thought I would give another novel of Kidd's a try. Now, I will NOT recommend this book because, honestly, it's a little bit scandalous. However, I think the issues Kidd addresses in this story are important. Basically, Jessie (the main character) goes to tend to her mother who lives on an island off the coast of South Carolina and ends up falling in love with Brother Thomas aka Whit (a monk). Now, okay, that's a little strange but the main problem is that Jessie is married. Surprised? I wasn't. Of course she's married! Nobody writes a novel of secret forbidden love if one person of the pair is unmarried. Not like Whit's being a monk wasn't interesting enough.
Anyways, after reading this novel, I have come to the conclusion that people like Jessie are selfish. Jessie was looking to "find herself" and, I suppose, found her missing self while sneaking about with a monk. While I was contemplating the ridiculousness of such a notion (finding one's self) I was reminded of a scripture from the New Testament. "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." (Matthew 16:25) Moral of the story: if you find yourself feeling unhappy with your situation, self, spouse, co-workers, classes, ward, professors, roommates, family...SERVE SOMEBODY! If you happen to be feeling adverse to a particular someone, then serve them. Another scripture from Matthew proves the point: "But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Matthew 5:44).
I was having a discussion last night with Brother Welch, the 2nd counselor in my BYU ward's bishopric, on gratitude. He told me of a study that was performed on two groups of men over the course of twenty years. The first group was instructed to write down, everyday, three things they wished to improve upon. The second group was directed to write down three things they were grateful for everyday. At the end of the study, it was noted that of the first group, 40% of the men sought outside counseling. However, of the second group, not one person sought additional help. As the Holiday season and New Year approach, I am going to put this challenge to the test: to write down three things I am grateful for everyday in the hopes that it will open my eyes to the wonderful blessings I have been given and help me be more willing to serve others.

27 October 2009

Halloween Costume Edition 2009

This year, I got a bit of a head-start on my Halloween costume. My friend Garrett, from my Study Abroad, threw a costume party a few weeks back. A lot of thought went into this year's costume. As most of you well know, I am a part of the BYU Swing Kid's Club. Well, on November 7 we are having a huge mid-semester vintage dance. Because I am performing that night in a tap number, I am absolutely required to dress-up. I decided to use the same outfit for both Halloween and the vintage dance. Hence: A flapper. I am not a super creative person and my artistic ability is limited to stick-figures and the occasional flower or heart. (Note: My sibling's got all the artistic talent). This presented me a challenge: 20's make-up. How on earth was I going to pull that one off? YouTube! I looked up some different videos and websites and finally just went for it.
Here's the finished look. Not too bad, right? Well, there's more to come. Mommy Kay and Grandpa Norm had taken me out to lunch at Magleby's to celebrate my birthday. I know we're a few weeks late but we're busy people! Anyway, I was telling them about this party and vintage dance and Mommy Kay then informs me that she has the PERFECT hat for me. I already had in my possession a hat I thought would work alright but I had to try both on, take pics, post pics on Facebook, have my friends vote on their favorite, and then make my own choice anyway.
The red hat is Mommy Kay's. Isn't it fabulous? I love it! And, the best thing, is that it is LEGIT. From back in the day! I love this hat.
This white hat is mine. I love it. A lot. I wish I had a trench-coat to go with it and then I could be Carmen Sandiego.
Like I said, I posted these two pics on Facebook and asked for opinions. The red hat won. And I'm glad I went with it.
Here is the final product! The party was super fun and I can't wait for the vintage dance. Of course, I will be in MUCH different shoes for that event but everything else will be the same. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because I love an excuse to dress-up and do something crazy with my make-up. And buying a new dress wasn't too bad either.

21 October 2009

Autumn Time

Walking home from class today gave me the opportunity to sojourn along the brick-walkway that hugs the south hill of BYU campus. I had just come from my Marriage Preparation class and found myself deep in personal reflection. The past few months have given me much to think about and I am grateful that I had the time today to ponder about what we had been discussing in class. The past two weeks have been a time of great change in my life: two new infirmities to discover, a new skill to learn (Hurray for finally swallowing pills!), talents to put on hold, old friends to comfort, new friendships to cultivate, family to be worried about (Stop getting sick and breaking your bones and tendons!), and classwork to focus on. Through the stresses of it all, I have taken great joy in feasting on the words of Christ in the Book of Mormon as well as continued reading of my patriarchal blessing.
I love this time of year. The colors of the trees are changing, the air is becoming more crisp, BYU students are still cheering for the Cougars, and I have an excuse to go shopping for a fabulous Halloween costume (Pictures forthcoming). As I walked home from class this afternoon I couldn't help but thank Heavenly Father for the glories of autumn. The leaves on the ground are yellow, green, and pink now but soon they will be covered by snow. For now, I can be grateful for the beautiful colors of autumn, the wonderful friends I have and the moment of quiet reflection that I was able to enjoy.

11 October 2009

Mmm...you smell good!

I don't know about you but I happen to love it when guys smell good. And I'm not just talking about the "Oh, you showered so you don't smell like a sock" kind of a smell; I'm talking about those moments when you pass a guy in a crowd and just as you pass him, you are caught up in the glorious scent of some type of cologne. But only certain colognes will do and only in moderation. This topic was discussed at great lengths Friday night and I wish to share our favorites: both of these colognes received a unanimous vote of "love" from the five girls who participated in the discussion.

Cologne #1: Old Spice
This is a classic. You CANNOT go wrong with Old Spice.

Cologne #2: Victoria's Secret Very Sexy for Men
The name says it all. Very sexy. Funny story: after having this conversation Friday night, I attended a BYU football party on Saturday night. The young man I happened to be seated next to was smelling his sweatshirt. I asked him what he was doing. He then informed me that he was smelling his sweatshirt because it smelled very good. Well, curiosity got the better of me and I also smelled his sweatshirt. Immediately in love with the scent he had chosen, I asked what it was. He wanted me to guess but after a few moments gave me this hint: "I bought it online so I wouldn't have to go into the store." What store could strike such fear into the heart of this courageous young man? Victoria's Secret of course. And when he confirmed my guess, I just had to laugh. I had just been talking about how amazing this scent was the night before and here was a handsome young man PROVING our decision: Very Sexy is, indeed, very sexy.

10 October 2009

Missing Part of My Pre-Teen Life

Well folks, a missing part of my pre-teen life has been found. Last night I had a sleepover with some girls who used to live in my student ward. One of our guy friends stopped by and brought us the game Dream Phone. It was a favorite of his sisters and thought we would like to play it too. I loved it! It was great fun. Don't know the game, or don't remember it because it's been so long? Just click here to watch the commercial! "It's for you!"

07 October 2009

Congratulations Jodi and Justin!

My friend Jodi had her baby this morning! I am so very excited for her and Justin. They are going to be fabulous parents. Their baby girl is named Jamie Lynn and she was born at 8 am, weighing in at 7 lbs 1 oz. Both Jodi and Jamie are doing well. This is an interesting thing for me. I've known Jodi since we were 13 and in middle school. She is my first friend to have a baby. Strange.

21, Baby!

Well, I am finally 21 which doesn't mean a whole lot but it does mean that I'm no longer 20 and that's a big deal to me. I had a fabulous birthday weekend. It started with my roommates decorating the mirrors in the bathroom and in my room.
Here I am getting ready to peace out to St. George to meet up with my momma.
She drove up, I drove down, and we met in the middle-ish!

My roommate Chelsea also decorated my car. She's very, very sneaky.
In St. George we went out to eat, saw a movie, had a spa day, and went shopping. Here we are at Olive Garden on my birthday. The waitress asked us if we wanted wine and I started giggling because for the first time in my life if I had said "yes" they would have actually given me wine! Instead we just took my picture with a bottle.
Happy Birthday dinner with my mom!
This is us Sunday morning as I'm about to leave to go back to Provo.
Thanks for a great weekend Mom!!

My roommates threw me a giant party on Sunday night. We had milkshakes, took pictures, and chatted for a few hours. This is Brock, one of my good friends and old hometeacher.
He thinks he looks like a creeper in this picture, but I think it's precious.

Some of my friends from my Study Abroad came!
From left to right: Will, me, Courtney, Janet, and Kelcy. I love them!!

A TON of people from my ward came. These handsome guys are Gustavo and Matt. Matt was my hometeacher and council co-chair at the beginning of the year so we're pretty tight.
I love my roommates! We've been living together for almost a whole year now and we get along famously. From left to right: Chelsea, Steph, me, and Britt. I love you ladies!!
These fellas are Spencer and Nate. I've known them for about a year now and love them to pieces. My ward is basically FULL of amazing people that I'm blessed to know. Nate is extra cool because we have the same last name, we're both band geeks and his parents own Beatles Rockband. Holla!
These are the Sowa brothers: John and Joseph.
John was my hometeacher over the summer and
Joseph is an extremely talented music composition major.
These guys are fabulous and wonderful examples to me.

Here is as much of the group as we could possibly fit into one picture and this isn't even everybody. Some people had come and gone already, and there were still more people to come. Needless to say, I felt extremely loved and grateful to have such wonderful friends.
Probably the best birthday I've ever had. Yay for being 21!!

22 September 2009

Latter-day Sounds

Who loves Christmas? I do!
I joined a Community Choir here in P-town called Latter-day Sounds. We are
a Christmas choir, bringing the joy of the Christmas season to our corner of Utah. This past Sunday was our first rehearsal and, let me tell you, we're already pretty fabulous. And that's with only five girls and a load of guys at our first go-round. Don't worry, there were two firesides going on that night so a lot of people were missing. Luckily, we have amazing directors and fabulous repertoire. I love Christmas music and I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to share my testimony of the Savior through music this upcoming season. If you are interested in attending our concert, it will be on Sunday, December 13. Details will be forthcoming. You can also check the blog for the choir here.
Happy singing and Happy Christmas!

11 September 2009

Book Club

"What to do with all the free time you have?"
"What free time?"
"Join our book group!"
"I like books. Sure, why not?"

Moral of the story: I joined a book group! The first book we'll be reading is "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. I'm very excited to be exposed to all sorts of different novels. Hip Hip for literary expansion!

28 August 2009

West End Love

Here's the final list of all the shows I saw in London:
Les Miserables
Hairspray (x2)
Sister Act
Billy Elliot
As You Like It
The Winter's Tale
The 39 Steps
The Mousetrap
Peter Pan

And I loved them all!

11 August 2009

Why I left BYU-Idaho, changed my major, and spent the last six weeks in Europe

This post is brought to you by Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog by Kitty Burns Florey. I spent the last few hours devouring this fabulous read and in the last chapter came upon a passage that pretty much sums up the catalyst for my life the past year. It's a little bit lengthy (not too terribly) but I hope that you will enjoy the imagery and fabulous writing of Kitty Florey.

"Writing can be terrifying for students in those vulnerable and insecure...years. This wasn't true for me--I've been shamelessly willing to put my thought on paper at the drop of a pencil for as long as I can remember--but for my old sixth-grade friend Rosamond, a blank page was almost as intimidating as the after-school dances the nuns forced us to attend a year of so later, with Buddy Holly blaring tinnily from a portable record player, the boys milling around (staring at their shoes, hands in pockets, snickering) on one side of the room, and the girls (making small-talk, each one wondering miserably why she wore that horrible skirt that makes her look fat and must be the reason no one is dancing with her) on the other. Rosamond says that, for her, writing was just that ghastly: when "How I Spent My Summer Vacation"-time came around, her hands went clammy and her mind went blank.
(This paragraph is the clincher) But diagramming--that was another world. The only thing that mattered was whether a sentence was diagrammed correctly, and that could be demonstrated to everyone's satisfaction by means of a few intersecting lines. It was a game; it wasn't about you. There was no room for opinion. You weren't being judged on the contents of your soul or the quality of your imagination. You weren't writing drivel, you weren't failing to do justice to an idea that gripped you, you weren't afraid of being too fanciful or too dry or too simple-minded--all you needed was accuracy. Brilliant diagramming, unlike brilliant writing, was something that could be learned."

I am no writer but I love to read and I love the English Language. I will diagram to my heart's content and love every straight lined moment. This book was fabulous and, actually, her writing reminded me very much of Mater's blentry writing. I love it!

27 July 2009

Best Week Ever

Wanna see the layout for the best week ever? See below.

Monday: Sister Act the Musical
Tuesday: Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and (Lion King or Chicago)
Wednesday: (Lion King or Chicago)
Thursday: Day trip to Canterbury and Battle
Friday: The 39 Steps
Saturday: The Mousetrap (Happy Anniversary Mum and Dad!)
and (Phantom of the Opera matinee)
Sunday: Church
Monday: Too Close to the Sun
Tuesday: A Winter's Tale

I'm so happy I could scream. By the end of this week I will have seen (for sure) 6 musicals and 6 plays. If I get to see Lion King, Chicago and Phantom that will be 9 musicals and 6 plays. I'm the luckiest girl in London!

26 July 2009

Where are all the posts?

Hello everybody. For those of you wondering why I haven't posted in a while, I have come to post a response. My life is crazy here in London. It's go-time all the time. And I love it. Therefore, I do not have the time to blog because it just takes way too long. If you have Facebook, I would encourage you to look me up and check out my fairly recent photo albums. I'm little behind on this last weekend trip, but everything else is current. Trying to add pictures to blog posts is near impossible and I don't have the time or patience for it. I will be updating my blog when I get home to California in about two weeks. So until then, look me up on Facebook or talk to my mom. She knows what's up.

10 July 2009

Study Abroad - July 2, 2009

Today we split up into two groups. One group stayed on the bus and drove around the circle of Kerry. The other group, which I went with, went first to Muckross house. Please note: The walk to the house took about 15 minutes and it was pouring rain. We were all soaked by the time we arrived at the reception area. Anyway, the house was huge! We took a guided tour through the three-story, ninety-six room house. Seriously, the place was massive. My favorite piece of furniture were the face screens. Back in those days make-up was made from wax and lead. If a lady sat too close to the fire her "face" would literally melt and the lead would seep into her pores causing lead poisoning.
After lunch, a bunch of us (picture and names below) went exploring the expansive grounds. We went through a beautiful forest that had some very interesting foliage. We even found some secret stone stairs!
We then headed to Ross Castle on the other side of the Killarney National Park. Our scenic, and lengthy, walk took us past Muckross Abby and through a busy section of town. An hour and forty minutes from when we started, we arrived at Ross Castle with VERY sore feet. We took a 30 minute break and then toured Ross Castle with some more people from our group. The castle was tiny and not very impressive. All of the Muckross group then waited an hour for the bus to take us to Killarney. Will, Kelsie, Dani and I went to some bookstores then ate dinner at the Humble Pie. I had shepherd's pie and it was delicious! They serve chips (french fries) with everything. Seriously.
Once we got back to the hostel most people went to bed. The boys wanted to play a game so some of us went downstairs to the Reading Room and we played "In the manner of the adverb." Basically, the person who is "it" leaves the room and everyone else picks an adverb. "It" comes back in and asks people to do something in the manner of the adverb. It was a blast! We were kinda loud and we laughed a lot. A girl from Australia, Marie, came in and joined us because she heard us laughing. After a long and very tiring day, that game was a perfect way to end our day.

Muckross House
The grounds looked like Jurassic Park with random wire fences and huge plants.
Look at this leaf! It's huge!
Will modeling the secret stone stairs we found.
From L to R: Will, me, Courtney, McKell, Marianne, and Dani in front of Muckross house.
The guy who took our picture said, "Say Queso!"
We finally made it to Killarney! And we're looking good!
Killarney baby. Woot!
Me in an entrance point to Ross Castle.
The is the view from the lawn of Ross Castle.
Out there is Innisfallen Island where an old abbey is built.
Yay for Humble Pie!

Study Abroad - July 1, 2009

First full day in Ireland!

Our group headed to Gallarus Oratory which is a stone church from the 8th century. It looks like a beehive, doesn't it?

From there we went back to Dingle to pick up another girl in our program who had missed her flight. I took a picture of the pub I had dinner in last night and then Dani and I went exploring in the town. For lunch we all went to Inch Beach. It was my first time to the Atlantic Ocean! It was a pretty overcast day but we still ran around in the water, took lots of pictures, and had a good time.

Our bus driver, John, sings to us sometimes. He knows a lot of Irish songs that have been written about specific cities that we are visiting. I finally recorded him because he's so good! We drive A LOT. While driving through the various little towns I have been stuck by the cemetaries. This country is so much older than American and yet Ireland's cemetaries seem to be in better shape. The writing on the headstones looks so much clearer.

We took a short break at the Gap of Dunloe which is a gorgeous valley people can hike around in.

Our hostel tonight is located just outside Killarney and I've had the song "Christmas in Killarney" stuck in my head all day! Our group went into town for dinner and we ate at the Danny Mann pub because they had free wi-fi. My original room at the hostel was a no-go: the door wouldn't shut. So, they moved us into a TINY room but another room had empty beds so Dani, Rachel and I went into that room. This was the coolest looking building! We had a whole wing to ourselves so we played Twister and watched The Sword in the Stone. Well, other people watched The Sword in the Stone. After about 15 minutes I was falling asleep so I headed to bed. What a great day!

Gallarus Oratory

The pub where I had dinner. It's the blue and orange building.

Dani and I at Inch Beach
One view of our room in Killarney