September 15, 2014

happy birthday mother dearest

I know parents are well known for bragging about their kids, but I think I'm better at bragging about my parents.





And yes, my Mom was/is/and forever more will be one sexy lady - and because she would kill me if I posted her drivers license picture, and because my dad wouldn't let me a tape a Tim Riggins poster to their bedroom door (who wouldn't want a good morning birthday greeting from him?) I will instead share a photo of my mother as Miss July at BYU back in the 80s - she hardly looks a day older ;)

Happy Birthday Mother Dearest, I love you!
Thank you for being my bffaeae for life.
(and making sure dad never starved us to death ;)

September 11, 2014

september 11th, 2001

A few months after September 11th, I remember my family was held up at the LAX airport for a few hours due to a delayed layover. My sister and I got to go pick out a few magazines while we waited for our flight home, and I can still remember seeing this picture for the first time in Time Magazine. I've loved it ever since.


"On a normal day, we value heroism because it is uncommon. 
On September 11th, we valued heroism because it was everywhere."

September 4, 2014

back to school = makes me miss hawaii

Without fail, every single year right around September I get reaaallllly nostalgic about BYU Hawaii. I mean really, really nostalgic. Not that I didn't love school in Provo, but what are you going to miss more? Studying at the beach or in your cinder block dorm room? (the answer is beach, obviously)






don't mind these ghetto pictures from 2007 
i think my digital camera back then had a screen that was 3x3 cm - yes, centimeters

I've written about my freshman year before, as a newly 18 year old adventuring out on my own in small town Laie - and even after all these years it remains one of my sweetest memories. I can still remember as if it were yesterday, walking into my first college class: English 101 (I was already completely sunburned from spending too much time outside) and I remember introducing myself amongst other classmates who were from all around the world - some places I hadn't even heard of. I remember thinking (maybe the first time in my life) that there were a million other places other than Utah that I would want to see and travel to and live one day (hint hint Max ;)





Last fall, Max applied and was accepted into BYU Hawaii -- and trust me when I say that that was one of the hardest decisions to turn down... ever. But for a hundred other reasons at the time, we knew it would be the smartest (although not the most exciting) to stay here. So here we are! Good ol' Utah. And we've been blessed far more than we deserve so I can't complain, but days like today the idea of a new adventure sounds more than wonderful to me.
(especially if it's in Hawaii)

September 1, 2014

see you next year summer


This summer might have been one of the best. The night I took this picture (just a few weeks ago) will be one of my favorite dates I have ever had with Max -- and yes Mom and Dad, I'm only more convinced that California and year round warm weather is calling my name (they were both born/lived in California/Hawaii and so I will never understand HOW my family ended up in snowy Utah ;) But seriously.

And Max begins school tomorrow morning and our summertime wreath is coming down today, so we will end it all by going to see Herman's Hermits in the park tonight (I'm Henry the VIII I Am? Anyone?) - a part of my soul belongs in the fifties and sixties too.  

So that's it. Happy, Happy Labor Day! And goodbye most wonderful summer! We'll see you next year.

August 28, 2014

molecular biology

Figure A: Max's molecular biology homework



Figure B: candy gram celebrating the end of summmma semester


If I could understand half of a half of a half of what Max has to study in school,
I think I would deserve a candy gram too.

August 25, 2014

the perfect s'more

The other weekend we went on our second picnic of the summer. Yep, it was only our second picnic and considering our schedules over the next few weeks, it will probably be our last (how has this summer gone by so fast??)

Anyway, a recommendation for those of you who like s'mores:




We didn't have a campfire or a microwave on hand, so we decided to grill it. Yep, the graham cracker + the mallow + and the chocolate + all together + on the grill. Leave it for just a few minutes (maybe three), and voila! Everything was just perfect - easily the best s'more I've ever had!

As for our summer to-do list:




We've checked off most of our list! Last Labor Day I was legitimately depressed about the end of summer, but this year - I can't wait! Football games, carving pumpkins and wearing new sweaters (shopping helps just a titch :) I'm all for September.


And excuse me for saying it (again), but these two are the cutest.

August 23, 2014

for those of you who may wonder what i feel about president obama.

I had a lumpectomy several weeks ago -- and I really should say that first of all, I am so, so grateful to report that the tumor was benign. Prior to the surgery though, (and obviously aside from the incisions and scare of cancer itself) I was deathly afraid of going under anesthesia. Anesthesia posed two main threats in my mind: 1) I may never wake up again and 2) If I did wake up, what was I going to say in front of a bunch of people I didn't know? (can you tell yet that this was my first surgery...ever?)

Well, the surgery went smoothly, and I woke up alive and well at the end of it too... so I should have just been really happy, but I wasn't. Because that's when I found out that the President of the United States of my beloved America was none other than President Barack Obama.



This is actually just a tiny clip of a 30 minute video Max got on his phone (most of which I'd be too embarrassed to share) but this part... well I had to. Lets just say anesthesia is definitely the new highlight of any surgery in my opinion, just don't ask me about President Obama and his "foreign policies" - because he has none, and it will probably make me cry. Again.

August 18, 2014

happy, happy monday


I think I'm cursed every Monday morning. Waking up = death. When I finally get into work there are already a million emails/hearings/trials/subpoenas/meetings/phone calls needed to be made,  even though I was all caught up last Friday afternoon? And that just takes us to 10 AM.

So today was chaos. 
But then I ran across this:

"Promise yourself 

To be so strong that nothing 
can disturb your peace of mind. 
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity 
to every person you meet. 

To make all your friends feel 
that there is something in them. 
To look at the sunny side of everything 
and make your optimism come true. 

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, 
and to expect only the best. 
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others 
as you are about your own. 

To forget the mistakes of the past 
and press on to the greater achievements of the future. 
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times 
and give every living creature you meet a smile. 

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others. 
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear 
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.

To live in faith that the whole world is on your side,
so long that you are true to the best that is in you."
-Christian D. Larson

I love it.
I love it so, so much. 
I love people who are like this (I luckily know a whole bunch of them)
And I'd like to always be like this too.

Happy, Happy Monday!

(and thanks to Amanda for sharing it with me!)

PS. I can't love Taylor Swift (or her new song) any more than I do now.

August 7, 2014

a 20 year tradition

I finally got around to uploading a few of our pictures from Wallowa Lake this year...







I've said it time and time again: this place is my home away from home and hands down one of the best parts of our summer. Even without the dole whips (a true tragedy) we all agreed that this was the best year yet - which is saying something when you've been visiting the lake your entire life.

If you're ever in eastern Oregon, make a stop. It's a little piece of heaven on earth.

August 5, 2014

a few more book recommendations

Last I checked, I'm about 23 books behind schedule of reading 100 books this year. 23! We tried making Wednesday nights our Barnes & Noble night, but because of some exciting job opportunities this summer, I've been a little bit slammed and haven't found as much time to catch up on reading... So for now, I'm shooting for 75 (fingers crossed :)

Below are a few of the books I've read over the last little while that I've loved/liked/meh/etc:

Where'd You Go Bernadette - Oh my gosh, I loved this book. I loved, absolutely loved Bernadette! She's one of my newest favorite fictional characters. The author, Maria Semple, is hilarious - so funny that I looked her up online and found out she has written for shows like Arrested Development and Ellen DeGeneres. Read it!

Killing Kennedy - I had heard so much about the Killing Lincoln, Killing Jesus, and Killing Kennedy books written by Bill O'Reilly that I couldn't ignore it anymore, so I picked up Killing Kennedy first and thought it was fantastic. It's not necessarily any new or "breaking news" information but it was riveting to say the least. Has anyone watched some (or all) of The Sixties documentary on CNN? What a fascinating time and turning point in history.

I Am Malala - One word: Wow. What a story. I thought about it for weeks after I finished; it's hard to imagine living in a world where women's education/and Christianity are not allowed - and that fighting for those rights means risking your life. What an inspirational young woman, it's hard to believe she is barely 17.

FanGirl - Okay, so I admittedly skipped over most of the actual fanfiction part of the story - even though the 12 year old Kelsie could sadly relate to all of it in a way. Mostly though, I enjoyed the love story between Cath and Levi, and the complicated but unconditional loving relationships between Cath and her family. It felt real and heart-warming and was just a feel-good book.

Eleanor & Park - Considering how much I enjoyed FanGirl and Rainbow Rowell's writing, I was disappointed with this one.  Not my favorite.

Ghost Soldiers - I picked this book up in particular after Goodreads had "recommended" it once I finished reading Unbroken (have you seen the new trailer??), so I think I may have set my expectations a little high. Regardless, it is still an incredible story of those who survived the Bataan Death March, and it truly opens your eyes to some of the horrors of war. I finished it within just a few days.

The Things They Carried - Whatever you do, read. this. book. I've never read anything about the Vietnam War because everything surrounding the Holocaust and WWII has grabbed my attention first, but this is easily one of the best books I have ever read. Absolutely incredible.

(and if you need any recommendations on MCAT prep books, you can always ask Max ;)