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.


July 23, 2011

I think I could live here.

The charming coffee house, Auckland city by ferry, Viva la Vintage, the oldest movie theater on the island, and every amazing restaurant lining the most darling Main Street that you could ever imagine... (including a Greek bistro where you can dance and smash plates!)

I've picked out my house already.

young and old.

July 21, 2011

10 confessions of growing old (and by old, I mean, I just turned 22):

1. Do you remember when you were little and you'd kiss your pillow/pretend imaginary boyfriend before going to sleep? Okay, so maybe I don't do that (anymore), but I daydream about my wedding and things like that before I go to bed -- it's basically become a part of my routine: wash my face, brush my teeth, say my prayers... plan a wedding.

2. Eye wrinkle cream is now a part of that routine, too.

3. I'd still rather eat anything saturated with sugar for breakfast. I try and avoid the poptart aisle at all costs.

4. I don't want to grow old today. Sometimes that changes, but after talking to my mom about rest homes and the hearing impaired, I decided today is a day I definitely don't want to grow old.

5. My Zac Efron crush is dying, and I'm starting to get motion sickness on swing sets... a sure sign that my childhood has definitely ended.

6. I'd rather go to bed early and wake up early than the alternative.

7. Time to admit it: my parents were right.

8. My bad hip is getting worse, and it's illegal for me to drive without glasses. I'll probably be arthritic and blind by 25.

9. I still drive as fast as I did when I was sixteen.

10. And most of the time, I still feel like I could be seventeen.


Since I'm a little bit younger than most of my friends, I always feel semi-prepared when my birthday rolls around because everyone has "already aged" -- But this year, I felt differently. When I turned twenty I remember vaguely feeling a little sad because I had to say goodbye to my adolescence; turning twenty-one, however, was just a lot of fun.

But twenty-two?

After writing down that list, even though I know I'm still young (although some things are definitely sounding a bit old), I have come to the final conclusion that this year is a good year to be a little bit of both.

So Happy Birthday to all the other July 21sts out there! It was a good day to be born, if I do say so myself.

the lake.

July 18, 2011

The last thing I would still ever identify myself as is a runner, but when it's not raining (and raining... and raining) it's too pretty and perfect outside not to. My parents live minutes away from both the beach and a lake, so I have a hard time each morning deciding where I'd like to go. This week, though, I think I like the lake best. It's still a little too cold for the ocean, and there's a bench I've found with my name on it right next to the lake with the prettiest view.

So today I packed a picnic and a book and went back to enjoy the two most relaxing hours I've had all summer. I couldn't choose between thinking about life or teaching myself how to whistle, so it was probably an hour of each.

Best day so far, I'd say, but I said that last time didn't I?

best day so far.

July 16, 2011

Today was so perfect that I hate to see it end. And I know I've said that same thing before, (probably even within the last week) but really, truly, today was so perfect that I absolutely tried to mentally photograph almost everything about it.

It all started with a sudden detour to downtown Takapuna.

Usually when I fly out to New Zealand during Christmas break, it is so sunny and warm, most people are crowding the shops wearing their swimsuits; but this time, the rainy, wet weather reminded me so much of fall. Everyone was rushing in and out of stores to avoid the cold, and it all felt so much more like a cozy and quaint secret than the usual tourist stop. After aimlessly walking in and out souvenir shops for a while, (and after unfortunately discovering one of my favorite stores had been closed down!) we began to make our way back to the car just in time for the pouring rain. Thank goodness we left the house in too much of a hurry to remember our umbrellas, because we stalled and found our way into a used bookstore.

-- Now, I love any old bookstore as much as the next person, but this one was different - and excuse my exaggeration, but it was really like a step back in time.

After finding hundreds of perfectly old and worn books, (Bronte, Austen, Tennyson) and after reading Matthew Arnold tucked away in the corner, (best: "Alas! is even love too weak, To unlock the heart, and let it speak?" -- gosh I love that) I really, completely lost track of time. Boxes filled with pictures from fifty, sixty, seventy years ago were cluttered all around the store, and everything I found felt like it must have been a treasure to somebody at some point long, long ago.

That's when I discovered the most darling book of all-time entitled, "Christmas Is A Time of Giving" - published nearly sixty years ago. All I could think of while turning the pages is of the future Christmases I'd spend reading that same book with my own family. Definitely the best ten bucks spent in a long time, and I'm already searching online for any/everything else the author may have written... all so cute.

But anyway, to end the evening my mom and I sat in Starbucks drinking steamers and hot chocolate discussing (mainly) my sisters upcoming wedding this fall, and all the future family reunions and vacations we'll get to have. On our way out the door I fell in love with a boy who was wearing a blue shirt and had brown eyes. Kylie you will kill me because I kept on walking, but I did turn around to look three or four more times. I talked about him the whole ride home, imagining with my mom a scenario much like this one (minus getting hit by a car) from only my most all-time favorite movie ever... If only my nerves hadn't gotten the best of me.

And now I'm sitting by a space heater. I'm eating Tim Tams and Pringles, telling the internet about my day because my cell phone doesn't get service down here, and so there is nobody I can really call. But the point is, today was really perfect, and I don't think I would trade anything in the world for it. That's all.

the past 48 hours of my life.

July 11, 2011

Pulling an all-nighter the night before I left wasn't the smartest idea I've ever had. The next morning at breakfast (which I was already awake for at six forty-five in the blessed AM) I asked the waitress how her food was, and said goodnight to the cashier even though the sun was just rising.

I fell asleep sitting up twice that day.

We waited 4 hours for our flight at the SLC Airport, only to find out that it had been delayed for 24. We finally make it to San Francisco the next day and spent most of our time on photo booth, because at this point, anything seemed funny.

Finally we began the 12 hour journey. Someone proposed to his girlfriend on our flight, and it was kind of like The Wedding Singer, except he didn't sing about "growing old with you," he just told her. I have only witnessed one other proposal in all my life, and it was at a concert; I liked the airplane idea more, except if I were the girl, I probably would have cried in front of everybody -- especially when we all started to clap somewhere high above the pacific.

I miraculously slept for six hours on the flight while listening to this song on repeat (the entire six hours) and I will have it stuck in my head for the next 18 months. I carried on a conversation with Marcus (a bartender) which is ironic if you know another Marcus who is also a bartender, who ironically just kissed a girl I know quite well on the Fourth of July. He still also owes me a shirley temple, especially if he gets to ride my bike.

And now here I am. I arrived at 5:30 in the morning (NZ time) and to avoid jet lag and an awkward sleeping schedule, my parents have forced me to stay awake so I spent the early hours of the morning watching Fox News and MTV.

So far, I have seen birds in the grocery store, the beautiful beach (from the car), Rice Krispies called Rice Bubbles -- and after I overheard someone say "confectionery" in a New Zealand accent, I kept asking my mom if we could stop by the "confectionery aisle" at the grocery store, just so I could say that word the same way.

We bought four things of Tim Tams.

And that's it. The past 48 hours = success, because somehow, I am still awake, and alive, and all the way in the southern hemisphere in a tiny little place that almost feels like home. It's called New Zealand.

i could die happy here.

July 5, 2011

I've mentioned Dear Lizzie before, but today was especially special. Chocolate cupcakes, recounting our Fourth of July events, drinking dizzy fizzy lizzies (or something like that?), eating turkey and cheese, and forcing ourselves to memorize this song (almost got it!) - we spent most of our time admiring the food and our surroundings rather than eating our lunches.

And speaking of the fourth...
Kylie and I were able to cross off several more items on our "summer to-do list" - but that deserves it's own post, and I plan on saving that for three special people next time.

happy 4th

July 4, 2011

I've mentioned John Adams letters to his wife Abigail before, but I especially loved this letter, too. Dated July 3, 1776, future president John Adams predicted the fourth of July to be something like this:

"...I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction."

I've been especially patriotic in some ways since the eighth grade, (and yes - I thought former President Bush was super cute) but reading that part of his letter earlier this morning made me feel so especially grateful that John Adams was exactly right.

Happy 4th of July!

for-ev-er. for-ev-er.

July 1, 2011

I have never been to a Bees game before, but going to a baseball game was on our summer to-do list so it had to be done. Even though my summer vacation will resume in New Zealand next weekend, I have almost felt like I only have a few days left to cross off everything I want to do this summer.
(and plus it's winter in the southern hemisphere, so it's almost like a winter break?)

Although I haven't followed baseball much before, (and by that I mean never) - it was still so much fun. The weather was perfect and the combination of cracker jacks, coca cola's and snowies seemed as all-American as the sport. To top it off, we'll be going to see The Sandlot tonight (who else had a ginormous crush on Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez twelve years ago??) and best of all - it's an outdoor movie/at the SL Capitol/for free/over the 4th of July weekend. Twenty four hours after that, we'll be sitting on a boat watching the fireworks from Utah Lake. Watching fireworks in a swimsuit? Gosh I'm so excited.


and this is just a small secret (and maybe it's not so secret) - but to be completely honest, i'm probably going to miss all this more than i should - even if it's only for five weeks.

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