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.