Monday, December 31, 2012

Leading Up to the Big Day!

Loren and I spent this Christmas (break) at home in Orem. If that sounds boring, I can testify that it wasn't! Loren finished his exams a week before I was finished working at the high school. Last day of school (and days leading up to it were a Winter Wonderland)!

 When school was out, we ran some errands, like going to BYU to fill out some transcript order forms. It was weird being back on campus and not feeling like I belonged...


After finishing school and our errands, we felt it appropriate to take a trip to Middle Earth to be with Bilbo and the gang ;)

All the while during our Christmas break, I accomplished little bits and pieces of my many grad school applications. I have one check and one paper to fill out then I'm finished! This is what I looked and felt like while doing all the tedious apps

 Of course we had some fun in between! If you know me at all, you know I can always fit in some fun ;)
J-Dawgs cutie

Christmas ornament shopping at the mall. We had success at Macy's, go figure. And lucky for us, they were 70% off--score!!

And we just had to stop at Chik-Fil-A for their chicken biscuit breakfast! I miss chicken biscuits like no other since living out West.

Taste buds and tummy were overjoyed ^_^

That night we decided to splurge and go watch this fantastic movie! Definitely worth going to see! Great story, characters and voices, and take home message :)

After the movie, we walked over to Iggy's. A few weeks ago, my work had a Christmas party where I won a $25 gift card to Iggy's! (Have I mentioned that I love working for Timpanogos High? They're so generous to the faculty that I never want to leave!!) For dinner we got cheese fries (so sinfully good; I'm sure my arteries are still clogged!), sandwich and a burger and only paid 18 cents extra. Oh yeah!

 Christmas Eve was so wonderful that it felt as great as Christmas Day! I got a Christmas card and letter from a good friend in high school, Lindsay. She hand-wrote me a letter updating me on her life and the lives of our close group of friends. I was so delighted to receive the letter--who does that these days (minus if you're a missionary)? The fact that she would take the time out of her busy law-school driven life to do that for me was really touching, worth way more than any boxed up present. After that, I had a brief run-in with Afton, Kaylynne and Rob Wallace from back home who are visiting family in Utah. We talked outside only for a few minutes but to see my old "family" was a joyous occasion :) 

THEN, to top it all off, I got to Skype with my BFF Sister Candice Thomas!!! The snow had been coming down literally all day that I was worried to make the drive out to her family's house in Bountiful to Skype "in person." So we figured out that I could be on Skype with her sister while Candice was on Skype with her mom. Bingo! At first she didn't know what to talk about. So we did a lot of talking for her :) But after a little bit she told us some stories and she was herself and not in missionary mode haha. I took some screen shots to commemorate the occasion ^_^

I told her to smile but she moved back and looks like a scary ghost

She couldn't hear us...haha

Isn't she adorable?

 I didn't take up the whole time she was on, I promise! Ample time was spent talking to the family. Unfortunately she's forgetting all her Japanese!! And some of her English too ;) Can't wait til she's back in America where she can be re-educated :) It was so great to see Candice and to get to talk to her. It was one of my favorite Christmas presents. 

 That's all that happened leading up to the Big Day! Of course we snuggled, watched movies, watched the snow pile up, play games and more in between ;) Christmas Day report to come soon!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thanksgiving '12

For Thanksgiving, we drove down to St. George to spend time with Loren's family. Once we got there Wednesday afternoon we chatted with the family a bit and then took Mary to the park since it was so beautiful outside. I think she enjoyed herself :)

Later on we all played Dice, when Danny and Bri (Loren's brother and his wife) drove into town from Phoenix! After dinner we played Beyond Balderdash--such a hilarious evening! Shame you can't capture those family time moments but it was a cherished night :)

The next day, Loren, Papa Stone and I went to Kanab (small town close-ish to the Grand Canyon and Lake Powell) to clean their vacation home before another family came into town that day. It was a B-eautiful day!

After a few hours of traveling and cleaning, we made it back home to help out making a dish or two. Here's the lovely newlyweds fixing the mashed potatoes. Check out the muscles on these two! ;)

After a yummy meal, we played Mexican Train dominoes! It was a really close game, well not for me, but half the group was neck and neck!

Poor Loren--I made him change into his nice clothes for Thanksgiving and pictures. He was a good sport and doesn't he look dashing? :)

The next day we said hi to Loren's old boss who's going on a mission with his wife to Bulgaria! Then we hung out to "play" with the family's chickens!

Making sure the chicken didn't poop on him, hehe.

The lone white chicken!

Along our trip, we made a short stop at Cedar Breaks National Park. I've never been so it was an adventure :) It was a gorgeous day, albeit brisk and windy!

Luckily for us, there was a couple there at the same time so we took pictures for each other. I like those making "deals."

These were our "model"/we're enjoying nature pictures.

This is a picture that I took, turned Black and White and somewhat, actually very amateur-ly edited, and submitted to a Utah BW contest on Instagram. No luck getting picked. Oh well.

That Saturday night we had a date night with our BFF couple, John and Eva Fisher, who are visiting since their relocation in June to West Palm Beach, Florida for his job. We got delicious Zupas (take out, since we left their baby with her parents--first time they've gone somewhere without him! Big step!) and played a game called Carcassone. Think Settlers of Catan but without resources to make things. It was fun but I'm not the best at strategy games. Although our third time playing I got second! 

Eva and her cute niece, who's the spitting image of the adorable young daughter in We Bought a Zoo.

Sunday came around and we went to Eva's home ward so that her son Keith could be blessed. Loren was invited to be in the circle, which was so nice. Here's the pair of them now! Loren will make a cute daddy some day :)

After another round or two of Carcassone, we talked and said our good-byes. We'll see Eva again in May--yay!! As we were heading home, we saw these awesome lights! I love Christmas!

And that's a wrap! Our Thanksgiving was short but so fun filled! I loved about every minute of it!  The only down side was my cat allergies from the weekend turned into a cold/sinus infection that lasted the whole rest of the week! :( I even stayed home from work one day because I couldn't shake it and didn't want to get the kids in my class sick; although they might have exacerbated the illness. Staying home was really helpful to getting over it and it turned out great for me because my co-worker said it was a day from hell. Glad I missed out on that! ^_^

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Well, what had happened was...

After church and after we had dinner and ward member's house, I was totally going to sit down and just blog! But of course facebook distracted me a little bit. Then I got on my email, decided to email my best friend Candice, who's on a mission in Taiwan. Normally I don't write her lengthy emails to her because I try to save the good stuff for letters (when I actually take the time to write them) but also because I feel like not much goes on in my life. But I thought "cut the crap. I'm sure she wants to hear some of it!" so I wrote her little anecdotes of work life. Nothing revealing, because apparently there's no discussion whatsoever about what goes on at school... Well at least about the students and what disabilities they have and whatnot. But I still think I may post funny stories of things they say on here, at a future date of course. So anyways, I basically wrote her a novel of work stories and whatever's been on my mind. I just wrote what I would say to her as if we were on the phone together. After that, I decided to get on Pinterest. I seriously don't get on that much, but when I do, I pin my heart out! :)

So as I'm pinning away, what should I see but the number of emails in my inbox change--and guess who it's from? Candice!!!! What luck that I should be on at the same time she is in Taiwan writing her weekly email to her family! We were able to pass some emails back and forth and it was so wonderful! I miss that girl so much. When we emailed, it was the same her, so delightful and referencing some of our old inside jokes ^_^ And when I asked her what she wanted for Christmas, of course she couldn't decide. Her reply was "uh... a muffin mix.... maybe?" Haha

Anywho. No one appreciates this as much as I do. I don't care. I'm just happy I got to connect with her! Only 197-ish days until she's home!!!! You can bet I'm gonna be at the airport to give her the biggest bear hug of her life! Watch out, Candice! :)


Monday, November 12, 2012

Snuggie Texts.

Found this on Pinterest. This guy got a text from a stranger and decided to play along with it! Definitely worth reading!! I was about to cry from laughing so hard! Read it. NOW! And read the follow up post that says "Click here for Part II" at the bottom.

Snuggie Texts.

Enjoy!! :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Youtube Vids

I'm gonna do my best to post on my blog more often, even if it's just random. Like the videos I'm going to show now! Enjoy!!

My friend from work showed me this one. Super funny! It's called "Night time... Day time!" :)

This one is Jimmy Kimmel's challenge to parents to tell their kids they ate all of the Halloween candy. So great! Some of these kids need a spanking or two for how they react...or they just don't get their candy back. The last 3 children are the cutest! I wouldn't mind having them as my own kids :) 

This one is "totes adorbs" (totally adorable)! :) He's speaking in English but the subtitles are in Portuguese, so don't pay attention to them. 

Pentatonix. An acapella group made famous by winning the show The Sing-Off on NBC. They're in-cred-i-ble. I would love to see them in concert! Check out any of their videos on Youtube, they're all good! I just like this mash-up and how you can really hear Kevin's skills. Kevin is the black guy. I love him (in an I love music sense). He's seriously an awesome musician and person. Check out the next video to see how cool he really is!

This one is a parody of the famous song Somebody that I Used to Know by Gotye that then had a cover done by Walk Off the Earth. If you haven't seen either of these, check them out before watching this. Or at least the Walk Off the Earth version. This video will be much funnier if you do that. Viewer discretion is advised for a bleeped out swear word and pretend throw up sound. Other than that it's funny. But you've been warned.

This one isn't funny but it's entertaining. It's another video from The Sing-Off but the performers are the Dartmouth Aires. They came in 4th place. This episode is  a mash-up of 3 songs by the same artist--Queen.

This is song is Tokyo by Imagine Dragons. My youngest sister in law Rachel showed us of video of theirs a year ago and we love them! They're from Utah or at least some of the band members are so their songs are always clean--yay! Unfortunately this song isn't on their album which makes me sad. But the video is funny. Amsterdam is another good song and cool video of theirs. Enjoy!

Well that's all I've got for now! I'll keep track of other good vids and post them another time. Let me know what you think of these videos! :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sun Diego!

A friend of mine brought it to my attention that I haven't blogged in 4-5 months... I blame the busy summer and start of work. 

For the first time in my academic career, I got a Fall Break! It was like a new term to me, like "what's that supposed to mean??" It means I get a 5 day weekend! And that means partayyyyy!!! Loren and I had been toying with the idea of going to San Diego but didn't want to spend too much money. Fortunately, around that time we were contemplating, my dad offered his Marriott hotel points (from all his years of business travel) to us since he's retired and doesn't need them anymore. Cha-ching! Hello California!! 

So we packed our bags and shipped off Wednesday night to St. George (where the in-laws live) to cut part of the traveling time down. Here's an incredible sun rise we saw as we were filling the car up with gas.

Thursday we drove down rather leisurely, considering how badly I wanted to be at the beach. We hit some nasty storms on the way--reminded me of driving in the torrential down pours of Mississippi. Never want to do that again. We got to sunny La Jolla, California, immediately got in our swimmy suits and drove less than 5 mins to La Jolla Shores! :)

That day we didn't jump in the ocean because Loren thought there weren't enough people around to scare off the fish that could be lurking in the shallow waters. Also, this was the same beach that his sister Rachel got stung by Sting Ray years ago and he didn't want to risk another incident. So we built sand castles instead!

Cutie patootie!

My shot at an artsy photo


We went back to the hotel, ate a delish lasagna Mama Stone made for us, and watched Harry Potter 7.1 and 7.2 on tv. It was a good day :) Friday, we hit up a nice outdoor mall near by

Then we checked out Seaport Village in San Diego. 

Birds of Paradise flowers, so neat!

Blurry pic but check out how awesome this swing is--foot rest and all!!

Then we ate at a yummy Greek restaurant overlooking the water.

Gyro and something else. The Gyro was my fave

Delicious, homemade Baklava!! Totally worth the calories ^_^

After our bellies were full of goodness, we had to spend a couple hours at the beach! My main desire for going to San Diego, versus somewhere else, was to go BOOGIE BOARDING!! My first time boogie boarding was this summer in San Diego during the Stone Family Reunion and I fell in love! So of course that's all I did while there and naturally my inner legs were chaffing so bad from all the sand in the water. But I didn't care. I wore it like a badge of honor! After boogie boarding for hours, we headed down the road to La Jolla Cove to see the seals!

That white-ish part of the rock is bird poop. Thought you ought to know!

We crashed that night! Did I mention our hotel had the best continental breakfasts?! Because seriously, every morning I stuffed my face full of french toasts sticks, eggs, potatoes, yogurt, oatmeal, etc.! Mmm mmm good! Saturday morning we drove up to Mt. Soledad which has a 360 degree view of San Diego--so incredible! I wish I had Panorama on my phone!! 

The bright, white spiky building is the San Diego temple

I could see this from the beach and it lights up at night

After this, we drove through Balboa Park, hit up a free museum within our 15 min parking limit! 

Then we went to the Mormon Battalion visitors center. I love this place--it's so fun and interactive. I highly recommend this to anyone visiting the area! And lucky me, I ran into an old friend/co-worker who is now a sister missionary there! It was such a delight to see her!! :D
Sis. Brittany Davies in her pioneer garb :)

She's so cute.

I volunteered to dress up as one of the pioneer soldiers, since all the other visitors were shy and old.

Serious pioneer face pic

By now it was time for lunch. And what are we then ready for next? You guessed it, the beach! Loren got tired a while into boogie boarding so he slept on the beach. After 1 1/2 hours of not budging, a lady came up and shook him, then let out a sigh of relief. She said that he hadn't moved in a while and thought he was dead! Haha ;) While waiting for some good waves to come my way, I enjoyed people watching and viewing part of the Miramar Air Show--planes constantly flew by, doing nose dives and other fun tricks! It was so neat

Not an attractive look but check me out riding the wave in!!

After cleaning up, we headed to Escondido to have dinner with Grandma Stone! It was so fun to get to see her and visit with her!

Sunset at her house

This was our final day here. We slowly made our way back home on Sunday so Loren could go to school Monday. I had that day off and played with my co-worker Kirsten :) Basically, this was the most glorious vacation: I couldn't have asked for more fun, better weather or a better partner in crime!! 

'Til we meet again, San Diego! :)