far apart.

December 26, 2011

If I could tell you one thing I learned this Christmas, it's that I could have had all the snow in the world, the biggest presents under the prettiest tree, and it still would have felt like something was missing without all my family around. Thank goodness for Skype and for parents who will read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas over the computer screen even though we're far apart.

christmas confession session.

December 21, 2011

1. The man I spoke to on the phone yesterday afternoon who kept referring to his wife as "my bride" (who he married nearly 44 years ago) deserves everything he wants on Christmas morning.
2. Phil Dunphy, will you marry me?
3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is now a movie? Time to confess: I didn't finish the book.
(side note: I cry in the trailer War Horse. Who cries in the trailer War Horse?)
4. I also cried at the Post Office on Monday morning. Something about seeing a line of cars all waiting to drop off Christmas letters and packages and then listening to I'll Be Home For Christmas as you drive away will do that to you.
5. All I want for Christmas is: you. Really.
6. Kylie and I called a long over-due girls night, which meant leaving the uno dolares theater early so we could talk. Instead, we watched parts of the latest Victoria Secret fashion show to encourage any sort of motivation we have for our new years resolutions.
(6.5 I still have no motivation.)
7. Half of my Christmas shopping was done completely online. Bless you Amazon.
8. If the boy who asked you to be his girlfriend when you were sixteen asks you again nearly six years later... It's even cuter than I thought it would be.
9. I miss my parents way more than I care to admit.
10. I read Christmas Every Day every year.

"Peace on earth will come to stay,
When we live Christmas every day."-Helen Rice

I love this season.

the 90s.

December 19, 2011

Thought Catalog (which I love) published this article (below) which I love, love.

Things 90s Kids Will Have to Explain to Their Children:

-Topanga was at some point in human history considered not only a legitimate first name for a human being, but the kind of name that would inspire in malleable teenage boys a life-long infatuation. Topanga, in our day, was leading lady name-material. Topanga (pronounced Tah-payne-ga, for those who will have only ever seen in it written down) is the name of the quintessential girl-next-door who will live, along with Feeney, in our hearts forever.

-At some point, we carried around little plastic eggs with tiny screens on them — in these screens lived our hearts, our pets, our raison d’etre, our very own Tamagotchi. We loved them, we listened to their tiny electronic screams of malnourishment, and we occasionally forgot to pick up their poop for long enough that they died a tortured, poop-filled death. They were perhaps our first foray into the life-consuming world of electronics and self-absorption, later to be fully manifested by Facebook.

-Though on the surface, they are the exact same thing in every conceivable way, whether you liked The Backstreet Boys or N*SYNC said more about your character than all of the terrible macaroni art you could ever make for your child psychologist. Essentially, liking *NSYNC meant you liked Justin Timberlake, as he was clearly the Seabiscuit in that race from the get-go. You even liked him with his terrible, icy-blond mini-fro. Liking the Backstreet Boys gave you a bit more of a cultured palate, as there was no clear Diana in those Supremes. Nick was kind of the wholesome, if northern-Florida-redneck safe choice (save for his humiliating younger brother, Aaron). Brian was the shy, sensitive type. AJ was the hottt, dangerous meth addict. Kevin Richardson was mute with sexy, sculpted facial hair. No one liked Howie. Choosing between the two groups was like choosing between two beloved children, but once that line was crossed–there was no going back.

-“I wanna really really really wanna zig a zig ahh,” has a meaning, and all true nineties kids know it, but we must never share it. Like the Illuminati, it must remain between us, the keyholders. With great power comes great responsibility.

Is it sad that I still feel like the 90s were basically yesterday?
When did I get so old?


christmas memories.

December 16, 2011

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.
--Hamilton Wright Mabie

I love this time of year. I love the Christmas movies and traditions and the shopping and the wrapping and the snow, (and unfortunately since snow isn't in the forecast next week, I went ahead and ordered this a few days ago) -- But one of my most favorite things about the holidays are the memories.

When my sister and I were little, my parents told us that two elves named Thumpkin and Dumpkin would come stay in our home a few weeks before Christmas. The purpose of their stay was so that they could observe and report to Santa whether or not we had been good or bad that year, and what exactly we would deserve on Christmas morning.

Now, when I say I loved it when Thumpkin and Dumpkin came to stay at our house, I l-o-v-e-d it. It was almost even better than Christmas itself. A kid with two magical elves can't easily be beat. We had a big dinner in honor of their arrival, and I remember always setting two extra places at the kitchen table for our new friends. We'd set up little beds near our own at night so our elves could sleep by us, and you can bet your bottom dollar we never forgot to say our prayers with them around. We meant business. And honestly? It was one of the most magical parts of the season. The only downside to any of it was that I lost friends in the first grade because of this. You can imagine what my classmates thought of me when I told them I had two invisible elves in my pocket. (true story. ask my mom.)

But beside the Christmas elves and the memories, I'd have to say that the one other thing I absolutely love about Christmas is the music -- probably because most songs remind me of a memory, anyway. And I know there are plenty of people who dread Christmas music when it starts at the beginning of November, but not me. No siree bob. I love it all, but most especially, I love Jon Schmidt. I don't remember a Christmas without his CD. Whether we were listening to it in the car picking up last minute gifts, or on Christmas morning as we read our letters from Santa (and Thumpkin and Dumpkin!) -- this song always seemed to be playing in the background.

So I share with you all my most favorite song of the season, because as I spend my first Christmas far away from my parents, this song will always remind me of Christmas at home.

Silent Night by Jon Schmidt on Grooveshark

maybe it's what some people call stalking.

December 8, 2011

SAVE THE DATE from Hailey Haugen on Vimeo.

I promise I only really stalk people through their blogs, because blogs are so much more fun than Facebook. But after obsessing over Haugen Creative videos (like this one and this one and this one) I ran across her own personal Vimeo account a few days ago, and posted on my own blog her own video about her missionary coming home. This is when I knew we were probably meant to be real life friends.

And then Kylie, my stalker-in-crime, texted me this afternoon and told me that Hailey (we're on a first name basis now) was engaged. And she had posted a video of the whole thing.

So you can't blame me when I admit that it made me cry, because it's "shark week" (if you know what I'm saying) which also means I cried during Modern Family last night, too... but that's beside the point.

And yes, admittedly I found her on Facebook, and although we only have 1 mutual friend, I feel like adding her just to say: Hi. I think you're awesome and your videos are awesome and your love life is awesome and we'd be as good of friends I think as I would be with Taylor Swift if I knew her in real life, too. Awesome.

So that's all I have for today. Watch the video above just because it's cute, and because you can stalk her through me, and I have to say it: it's the best time of the year to be in love.

here we are.

December 7, 2011

"Uncle Sam, Here we are,
Volunteers for Pearl Harbor"
Brooklyn Navy Yard, December 1941
photo found here

it's a great feeling.

December 5, 2011

Life got brighter, and somehow, the world suddenly got brighter, too. You know how this is? You’re walking along, and then the sun comes out from behind a cloud, and the birds start to sing, and the air is suddenly warm, and it’s like the whole world is happy because you’re happy. It’s a great feeling.
- Gary D. Schmidt

Laughed out loud several times this morning as I read The Wednesday Wars at work (thanks to Mandy for the recommendation!) I feel like Holling Hoodhood summed up life the last little while, even with the freezing cold temperatures (like 8 degrees?) and the falling on ice part of my Monday morning.

Weekend in photos above.
Don't know if anything is better than catching snow on your tongue, making chocolate covered Oreos, and watching the Christmas Devotional at the conference center with some of your best friends, (one of them who happens to be really cute, too).

happiness is homemade.

December 1, 2011

The Happiness Project:

-One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy, is to be happy yourself.
-Never start a sentence with the words: “No offense.”
-Look for happiness under your own roof.
-“Nothing,” wrote Tolstoy, “Can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.”
-When I find myself focusing overmuch on the anticipated future happiness... I remind myself, “enjoy now.” If I can enjoy the present, I don't need to count on the happiness that is (or isn't) waiting for me in the future.

other happy things:
-this video.
-this video.
-this video.

... and snow in the forecast.

absence makes the heart grow fonder.

November 29, 2011

I've neglected this blog because it's been hard to stay on top of everything, let alone online journal-ing. But since November is ending, and the most wonderful time of the year is just beginning -- I thought I'd share only a few of the happiest of things that the 11th month of the 2011th year has brought to me:

-The oh-so-fateful date of 11/11/11. After years of waiting to make a wish on such a special day, I somehow found myself at 11:11 that night + in my pajamas + in a Wendys parking lot + making a wish inside of a car. But my wish was granted.
-The return of my best friend Max. Words won't be enough for this point, because I don't know how to write about being happier than I've ever been before.
-Christmas decor. I watch Mickey's Christmas Carol every time I set up the Christmas decorations, just because we used to when I was little. Even with family far apart, I still feel at home.
-Thanksgiving feast, naps and Youtube videos with my aunts and uncles and cousins.
-Black Friday shopping. Never had done it before, never will do it again.
-The cuddle couch/Red Robin bottomless fries/stories by the fireplace - all accompanied with friends and family and movies and smiling til our cheeks hurt. I love how people come together so much more often this time of year.
-My tentative (fingers crossed!) planned trip to see my parents (and Samoa!) this Christmas.
-And again: My best friend coming home. Have I ever even talked about being in love on my own blog before? If they say absence makes they heart grow fonder, mine could probably burst at the seams.

run-on sentences only because i'm so happy.

November 10, 2011

This week the stars will align because I will have been able to see every single person in the picture above.
And a few others, too.

The best thing about having old friends is the way old friends know everything about you. They know you only eat turkey and cheese sandwiches plain, they know you listen to your music too loud and about that time when someone found Sara's sock in Mr. Call's class. They know you kissed like a fish and wore boxers with leggings to midnight movies (that's truly depressing to think I thought it was cute) -- They know you by your big hair or long stories and the way everyone seemed to be in love with the other at some point in time. It's because life is only better and growing up isn't as hard, and memories from way back when are even sweeter because with them, you get to remind yourself that the relationships that last (despite the odds of growing up) are equivalent to the stars aligning. Or at least they are to me.

In a very nutshell way of saying things: I can't even begin to say how grateful I am for these friends. Friends in their sweats and face masks and retainers, underneath piles of blankets asleep on the cuddle couch. Friends in their Sunday best, all trying a little harder to be a little better. Friends who make you laugh or cry because you're laughing too hard, and friends who know what you're thinking five seconds before you do.

But most of all, I can't even (literally: can't even) begin to say how excited I am to see my very best friend: the kindred spirit of all kindred spirits, (thanks to an assigned seating arrangement in our English class six years ago) who comes home tomorrow night after two years away.

Gosh, I think I'm so happy my heart is about to burst.

book of mormon stories.

November 3, 2011

Mormon Messages are always beautifully done, but I loved this one especially. I've read The Book of Mormon many times and have had special experiences while reading from its pages, but I still remember being about eight years old and for the first time, feeling something different inside of me as I read a few verses to myself one night.

Since then, I have found so many answers to so many of my questions while reading from this book, and have felt peace even when life has been the most difficult. The best part of all is that when reading from The Book of Mormon I feel closer to my Heavenly Father, and something inside always assures me that I am His daughter and I am loved.

"I promise you that if you will prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you previously have read it, there will come into your hearts an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to his commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God."
-President Gordon B. Hinckley

I don't think there is anything that makes me any happier.

to my utmost kindred spirit:

November 2, 2011

Sometimes I wonder if I should turn this blog into the adventures of Kelsie and Kylie, because that's what most of it is. Kylie has been my best friend since we were fifteen years old, and I'm pretty sure we knew each other before that in heaven. I think we promised to find each other here on earth just so we could get through life together -- because lets be honest: sometimes life is hard.

Kylie shares her personal experience here, but after the month of April this past year, I think we became more like adopted twin sisters. We sat in bed for weeks, crying, laughing, crying even more - wearing our pajamas and only eating Cracker Barrel fried chicken. (we joke about it now - but confession: that month we both had Cracker Barrel on speed dial).

Even though I've always considered Kylie one of the closest friends I've ever had over the past seven years, the past seven months we've become even closer. Saying things like "Cody," "a lot can happen in a day," or "bullet points" all mean something, but probably only to the two of us. We kick each other underneath the table when we know we're both thinking the same thing, or plan our weekend dates around the other so we don't go more than 48 hours without at least a diet coke run together.

And I know growing up means things change, because I've seen a lot of that this past year. But I also know that growing up in my and Kylie's case only means another 365 days of friendship. So with all that (and so much more) -- let me just say I love Kylie like a sister and couldn't be any more grateful for a kindred spirit like her. Her 22nd (take 2) year of life will surely be the best - because lets be honest: we'll be the best of friends for all of it.

november 1.

November 1, 2011

1. A weekend getaway in Park City = perfect. Apple pie, fireplace games, Halloween movie re-runs and wearing bathrobes over our clothes is all I could have asked for.

2. Hopefully I attended the last college Halloween dance party ever. I'm ready to graduate from college (soon) and college dance parties for life now.

3. Why is it more fun to read books from the library in a bookstore instead of the library itself?

4. My sister and her husband adopted a baby puppy named Boston into their little home, and he is pretty much the only thing I ever think about. Cutest thing in the world.

5. Did you know that next Friday will be 11/11/11? Which means you can make a wish at 11:11 on 11/11/11? You can times your luck by five. And if I said I waited my whole life for that day, it wouldn't be far from the truth.

my sunday afternoon walk.

October 24, 2011

I had two favorite things about yesterday:

1. An afternoon walk.
2. And a family dinner.

When we cracked open an egg and noticed two yokes in the center, we made a wish for good luck. And then I went snap happy on a walk up the canyon and later was introduced to just about the funniest person alive. If I could have a new roommate, I'd probably pick Fredrick, The Protector of Faith.*

*(warning: this film is not g-rated).

last minute thought.

October 23, 2011

A lot of people have a lot to say about feminism. I think I like what G.K. Chesterson has to say about it too:

"It [feminism] is mixed up with a muddled idea that women are free when they serve their employers but slaves when they help their husbands."
-G.K. Chesterson

Chesterson is right on up there with C.S. Lewis and Elder Holland in my book.

a sticky sweet saturday afternoon.

October 22, 2011

I like extra sugar in my oatmeal for breakfast, at least on Saturday mornings. I like making plans last second, and catching up with people I care about for longer than expected. I like sleeping in and wearing my hair in curls that I did yesterday morning, and reading over old letters from my brown box in bed. I like my new library card that even came with a frog on it, and I like conversations with Mom and Dad. I like reruns of Modern Family (where has this show been all my life?!) and I like going to the store to make s'mores in a jar with old friends tonight.

I like Alfred Hitchcock movies and apple pie in the fall,
I like driving past the football stadium and hearing the crowds cheer,
and I like Saturday afternoons most of all.

taking it all in.

October 18, 2011

While sitting underneath blankets and scarves in our leather jackets, we tried to take all of autumn in. It was the first time in seven weeks I think I really let myself think about nothing at all, and I made only one mental note: I need to do this more often.

The drive through Sundance all the way up to Aspen Grove surely has to be one of the prettiest things I've seen in all my life. Especially when it came to the yellow leaves on the aspen trees; they were so bright it looked like gold, and we even had to listen to this Coldplay song twice because of it. Maybe even three times.

And then came our picnic: apple pie, cream soda, and honey butter with bread. Baguette bread, to be clear. I don't know where that idea even came from, (perhaps from our self-scheduled Saturday morning French lessons?) but I'm a baguette-bread-picnic-eater for life now.

And I know I said it last time, (and maybe even last year) but this fall is my favorite. I've lived through 21 of them before, but number 22 seems to be taking the cake. And to be honest, I don't even know why. This semester certainly has been the most difficult. The past few weeks have definitely had more ups and downs and disasters than I can count. But the weather makes me feel like its "my best day" nearly every day - and although I don't know why, I'll take it.

witches night out.

October 17, 2011

For whatever reason, the nickname "witches" have stuck with us over the years, which is why witches night out at Gardner Village gives us an excellent excuse to say things like:
"Break your bones break your back, make your skin black as black!"*

This year included the best soup you will ever find, free cookies & cream fudge, Britney Spears, too much traffic and orange striped tights. The night "put us through the ringer" as Kylie would say, considering all the events like policemen in short shorts and witches galore -- but it was a perfect fall activity, if I do say so myself.

As for other Halloween outings: This week we'll be going to see the silent film Phantom of the Opera at the Organ Loft with our kindred spirits who lately seem to make Monday mornings okay with traditional movie nights on Sunday.

And I gotta say it: I really like the fall, but I like it this year especially.


*Heaston Dahl may be the only person who will understand this.

your happiness will have no ends.

October 10, 2011

A few years ago, I remember reading a talk by President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and for me, it was one of those things you read once and remember for the rest of your life:

"My young friends, there is much happiness and joy to be found in this life. I can testify of that. I picture you with a companion whom you love and who loves you. I picture you at the marriage altar, entering into covenants that are sacred. I picture you in a home where love has its fulfillment, and I picture you with little children about you and see your love growing with them. I cannot frame this picture. I would not if I could, for it has no bounds. Your happiness will have no ends."

I've spent so much time "planning my own wedding" since I was six (just kidding, maybe like 12) and usually it included things like what flowers I wanted at the reception, or what "our wedding song" would be -- but I think so much of the little details go unnoticed anyway because you're so overwhelmingly happy and grateful for the feeling of love. And for family, too.

a monday.

October 3, 2011

This is one of those days that the pages of history teach us are best spent lying in bed.
-A Philadelphia Story

It was one of those days. At least I can say it's Tuesday in two hours.

pardon my french.

September 28, 2011

I skipped class today to go to the bookstore and teach myself French.


It was officially unofficially the first day of fall a few weekends ago, and naturally I found myself sitting in Barnes & Noble with a stack full of books on my tiny table. I usually wander around the classic and new fiction section, but that day we gathered travel and vacation novels -- and then I wondered what life would be like with a bank account ending in ...000,000,000. I have come to the conclusion that my first flight out of Utah would probably be to Disneyland in Paris.

But that day I was unfortunately reminded of one sad, unfortunate truth,
and it is this:

I only survived one semester of French.

The only phrases I can really remember are enchante, leitmotiv, and je ne sais quoi - which translated means: I don't know. That was the one phrase I used most frequently in French 101 and which is why I never moved on to French 202. Je nais sais quois never failed me, except it kind of did because I still can't speak the language of love.

But that's okay because my determination kicked back in again on the first unofficial day of fall. And thanks to a rainy evening at the bookstore/and the Amelie soundtrack on repeat, we purchased our French phrase books, and officially began our Paris fund for post college graduation.


Which is exactly why I skipped class today to go to the bookstore to teach myself French.

mission impossible: krispy kremes.

September 26, 2011

I know I say it so often, but this time I really found my kindred spirits.

Dr. Ross
Agent 89

And we're all off to Hollywood. I'll be sure to write a postcard.

how i de-stress my life.

September 19, 2011

You know it's been a long day/week/month (in my case) when I am building forts in my closet, or beds inside of bathtubs (long story), or decide to watch a movie on the balcony instead of on the couch. Lately, all of our movies have been hand-picked from the library, and films in black and white seem to be mandatory. So far, we've particularly taken a liking to Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, and both of them combine wonderfully in the movie *A Philadelphia Story.

*One of our favorite quotes:
Don't you agree that if a man says he loves a girl, he ought to marry her?

Oh I wish.

I think I take a liking to old love movies when I'm stressed out of my mind, because everything back then seems so simple - even love.

So I'm looking forward to another week of school.
If I make it through tomorrows 6 AM to 5 PM schedule on campus, after pulling an all-nighter on Saturday and staying up until 2 in the morning on Sunday... Angels will be singing the Hallelujah chorus.

10 years ago.

September 11, 2011

I was twelve years old on September 11, 2001.

Although I was not old enough to understand everything as I stood in front of the television that morning with my family, years later I can't quite put into words what that day did for me. There was something different in the way I felt the following days; as I saw the flag wave, as I watched the evening news, and as I read the words "God Bless America" on billboards, signs - even hanging in car windows.

This weekend, like many of you, I watched all the specials of 9/11 on TV, and I was touched by the memorials reminding us of the incredible and awe-inspiring courage of so many that day. But it was this morning, as I sat and listened to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Temple Square, that I was truly reminded of that same way I felt as a seventh grader on that day ten years ago:

I feel so, so grateful to be an American. And I always do, but so especially today.

as is tradition...

September 5, 2011

Summer 2011. from Kelsie Christensen on Vimeo.

Another summer documentary.
Here's to: thelma and eleanor, (their new bff luna!), wesley's timeless advice - naturally shared at cafe west, utah lake, the river bank, ray charles, fireworks, emails, penpals, and sunshine.


And I'll miss it. Just like I do every single time school starts again.

a few love letters.

September 1, 2011

Dear Book Delivery Boy (the same one who I met a year ago!),
Thank you for the books. Break up with your girlfriend.

Dear Tuesdays,
How am I going to survive you this semester?

Dear Stress Levels,
Lower yourself.

Dear Mandy,
Thank you so much for letting me guest post on your darling blog! I think you are lovely.

Dear New Zealand,
You spoiled me.

Dear Skype,
Thanks for being invented. My Mary Kate and Ashely Olsen days aren't quite over yet thanks to you.

And most importantly:

Dear everybody reading this,
Please watch this short film. It's about 20 minutes long, but so very worth it.

That is all.

Yours Truly,
Love Always,

how to beat the back-to-school blues.

August 29, 2011

My last week of summer included a lot of last minute crossing off lists.

List for: Before School Starts, I Need To...
List for: Before Sunday Night, I Need To...
List for: Before Summer Ends, I Must...

The end of summer list included sidewalk chalk summer murals, newspaper boat river races, and of course, riding our bikes. Saturday night we took one last bike ride down to the river banks and watched the lightning and played with our sparklers (i think the words wingardium leviosa were used a few times too). Even though I think I sometimes sound like I'm 7 years old when I write about what I love, it was such a perfect way to end such a perfect summer.

But then it all abruptly ended this morning the moment my alarm clock went off. (My alarm clock is my radio, and I'm pretty sure that every song I wake up to I end up hating forever. This morning? Still Fighting It by Ben Folds.)
But I got ready, grabbed my backpack and books, and ran out the door ready to go. And even though driving on University Avenue isn't the most pleasant activity in the world, I learned on my drive over that you only need three small and simple things to help beat the back-to-school blues:

1. Christmas music. Yep, I listened to Mariah Carey sing Oh Come All Ye Faithful on my drive over to campus.

2. 1.25 liter of Diet Coke for 98 cents.

And 3. Finding out that Beyonce is with child. Fact: If I could be anybody in this world, it would be Beyonce. When my sister found out this morning, she told me she'd name her firstborn whatever Beyonce names hers. She really will, too.

And by that point I had found a parking spot. As I got out of the car and began my walk across campus, I realized that not only was I ready for it all to begin, I was maybe even a little bit excited for it too.

So thank you summer for being so great,
But thank you Christmas, Diet Coke, and Beyonce for making the end of it all pretty good too.


August 21, 2011

But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement, the greater part of life is sunshine. -Thomas Jefferson

Really couldn't have said it any better myself.

will defend the silver lining.

August 19, 2011

Last night Kylie and I had a late Birthday celebration with lunch pails, sparklers, bubble gum and diet cokes. We sat in our usual spot and talked about what we usually do, like how life rarely ever goes according to plan. But something I can count on is friendship. She is one of the only people I can have a conversation with, without saying anything at all.

After hitting a bucket on the freeway the other day (never-ending road construction, thank you) I took my car in to get an estimate of how much it would cost to be repaired; the sweetest old man came out to take a look at it, and surprised me when he said, "For you, it's free!" Even when I insisted on paying him something, he refused. I went home and wrote the first thank you card I had in a while, and I felt so grateful I couldn't even find the right words I wanted to say.

And I'm sunburned. Sometimes I hate it when that happens because people like to tell you that you're red, but this time I don't mind because it means I had a summer day yesterday, and I don't have too many of those left.

So a combination of mosquito bites, early mornings and feeling blessed sums up most of this week. And even though it's almost the end of summer, I'm not that sad.
At least not when John Mayer comes on the radio.


August 12, 2011

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

I love being home. When you leave the country for a period of time and land back on American soil, there is a feeling you get that I can't really describe; it's like love and pride all mixed into one. When my friend lived in the Ukraine for a few months, I remember her telling me that as she went through Customs once arriving in the Chicago airport, they stamped her passport and said welcome home. It made her cry. And I know this may sound funny, but I honestly felt the same way.

However, I've got to be honest... after watching this video earlier this morning I felt like packing my bags again. This makes me want to travel and travel and travel and only come home after I've seen all there is to see,
(watch the videos eat and learn, too - both so inspiring!)
But school starts in a few weeks, work resumes on Monday, and I have a lot of friends with a lot of catching up to do.

So I guess this will have to fall into the category of: One day.

a lucky penny.

August 10, 2011

For my Birthday a few weeks ago, my parents took me out to lunch to one of my favorite restaurants, and on the floor I found a lucky penny.
And you know what they say about lucky pennies don't you?
"Find a penny pick it up,
All day long you'll have good luck."

I figured that since I found it on my birthday, it probably meant all year long I'd have good luck... which so far, has been proven true:
(in other words, this is just a long-winded summary of my New Zealand getaway)

-First time I've ever been in a five story mall, conveniently located just two blocks away from our hotel in Australia. Dreams come true in buildings like that.

-Took a ride on one of the steepest railways in the world (in a rain forest located in Katoomba, Australia). Seriously, we all felt like Indiana Jones for sixty seconds.

-As was mentioned before, I tried vegemite: I was one of the firsts out in a game of mafia and consequently had to take a bite (luckily I avoided a whole spoonful) and it honestly tastes like pure salt. But looks like Nutella. And they put it on toast? I'll stick with Tim Tams.

-I was also almost kidnapped one night. When they say your life flashes before your eyes, I can similarly relate - except it was more like my unlived life: there goes my wedding, my future daughter Summer, my career on Fox News, my retirement at Turtle Bay... etc.
As a group of guys surrounded and approached the car (that I happened to be sitting alone in/in a parking garage/at 11 at night) I tried to listen to my iPod and look unaware of my unknown approaching fate: Most likely being stuffed in the back of a trunk, probably a Taken-like-movie-scene, minus the fact my dad isn't Liam Neeson. I would probably die.
But long story short: I lived.

-Did you know that out here they call the hood of the car the bonnet and the trunk of the car the boot? Did you also know that I was particularly smitten with a certain boy because of this? (okay, in all honesty it wasn't only because of this) But all I'll say is: 12 hour marathon date/doesn't like Megan Fox/insists on offering his jacket/picks me a flower/and he opens my car door every single time? Proof that life actually beats Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen movies... by a long shot.

-I was able to visit both Sydney, Australia and Hamilton, New Zealand LDS temples. So special.

-Harry Potter on Worlds Largest Imax in Darling Harbor + Ferris Wheel looking out over the Sydney Harbor + stroll through Hyde Park on a sunny afternoon? No words my friends, no words.

-Gold leaf brownies (twice) amazing margherita pizza (everywhere we went!) And I only gained 30 pounds.

-And finally, (and most especially) out of the millions of stories I could write about, what the real highlight has been is the people who I've been able to meet and the friends I've been able to make. It goes to show that relationships always mean more than anything else in the world, and that there will always be good people and kindred spirits who will cross your path, no matter where life takes you.

There really is so much I love about New Zealand (and Australia!) now, it's not even funny. I have a feeling that this time as I board my flight back to the States, a part of me will feel like I'm leaving home, rather than returning to it.
And I think my penny was pretty dang lucky.


August 3, 2011

Thelma and Eleanor made a new friend before I left (a blue beach cruiser Sara so perfectly named Luna), and right now that is the only thing that makes me feel okay about having to leave New Zealand in the next little while. I didn't think that I'd be that sad to go, but I have a feeling I just might.

I have so (so, so, so) so many adventures that I want to write about, (like):
-The night I finally tried vegemite (it's awful)
-Gold Class Theaters. Watching a movie on a lazy boy recliner (seriously) and they serve you MnM's in a champagne glass? Why, thank you for changing my life.
-The fact that the pizza here is worth living for (not kidding). I have a new unhealthy addiction for pizza.
-The New Zealand International Film Festival. That deserves an entire post of its own.
-The fish market - which almost made me sick to my stomach. So many (ginormous) fish (on steroids).
-The cutest friends I've been able to make... I once believed the nicest people lived in Hawaii, but I changed my mind: they're in NZ.
-And going on the worlds best date (with yes, a boy who has an accent) traveling around to things like little quaint towns and the most beautiful beach I've ever seen... If I die tomorrow, I have lived a full life.

But I plan on writing more about all of that soon enough. In the meantime though: TGFT. Or in other words, Thank goodness for Thelma (and the friends at home who I miss oh so much!)
Because oh my, I will miss it here too.

Please listen to this song. He's kind of a big deal down here, and he should be at home too. #Love.

melts my heart.

July 30, 2011

I thought I wanted a baby koala, but I changed my mind after feeding the baby kangaroo; they don't sleep nearly as much, (although look at the cute little one with his little brother and sister sleeping behind him!) Oh my gosh, if only. They are by far the cutest things I've ever seen.

a vacation on vacation.

July 28, 2011

I've grown up hearing my dad never being able to quite fully put into words his love for Australia. Serving an LDS mission in Sydney years ago, I've heard all my life about the most beautiful city in the world and all of the incredible experiences he had as a 19 year old boy living in this country for two years.

I grew up dreaming about coming one day and seeing everything all for myself, (...and wanting to own my own baby koala. my first stuffed animal was a koala bear with velcro hands that I probably loved more than anything when I was little!) So needless to say, when I first found out that Australia would be a part of my summer plans, it was some of the most exciting news I've had in all 22 years of my life.

My pictures hardly do any justice, because truthfully, the city is so beautiful it could make you cry. The Sydney Harbor/Bridge/Opera House and everything surrounding the area is out of this world. And this is saying a lot, (especially for those of you who know me) but as much as I've loved and adored and have always wanted to live in Boston all my life, I'd trade it in a second to move to Sydney. It is by far the most spectacular/breathtaking/beautiful city in the world, and now I know why my dad didn't have enough words to describe it, because really, I don't either. It's unreal.

I'll write more about all the specific and exciting things we've been able to do, but in the meantime... change of plans everyone: I'm not ever coming home.

Powered by Blogger · Designed by Pish and Posh Designs