Friday, September 30, 2011

i can't wait

for this weekend. Why? because I get to go here: 

General Conference couldn't have come at a better time. I'm so ready to forget about everything that is stressing me out right now and focus on my faith. I've only been able to listen to 2 conferences before since I've joined the Church, but each time it's been wonderful and testimony strengthening. I am so thankful for T's mom who got us tickets even though we didn't ask her. She felt prompted to ask her bishop for tickets for us last week and he happened to have some. I had all but given up getting tickets but then I got a text on Sunday with a picture of a pair of tickets. :) 

I need it so badly. General Conference couldn't have come at a better time. 


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Meeeeeeechigan!!!! :D

It's weird how things work out. Last week I was at a really low point. Things happened. I lost my job. My stellar, oh my gosh, I love these kiddos job. But, it happens. 

But then a few days later, I got to go home! I had been excited about going home to visit for a while now, but it seemed like within the last few weeks, I NEEDED to go home now. 

So, T and I hopped on a plane at 730 am (getting up at 345 in the morning was so totally worth it) and jetted off to Michigan!!! It was the furthest east T had ever been and I was excited to show him where I grew up, have him meet my family, and have him with me! :) It was a wonderful wonderful wonderful weekend that I was sad to see end. 

Friday we went to Frankenmuth. In Frankenmuth is Bronners. Bronners is the honest to goodness biggest Christmas store in the entire world. It goes on and on and on and on. 

Kelly even met a polar bear. 

My mom found her white Christmas tree...we're both praying that she doesn't buy this gosh awful thing...but since neither me or Kelly really live at home anymore, we kind of loose our veto vote. Bummer. ;) 

Later that night, we went to a hockey game! My mom won tickets to a Red Wings game thanks to Michigan Hockey Online. They had a Twitter contest and my mom RT'd the link and she won! WOO! T has never ever been to a hockey game before (we're working on turning him into a auto-obsessed Hockeytown resident. We did a good job of it this weekend.) 

On Saturday, we packed up the car and drove to my second favorite Michigan city, Grand Rapids. My cousin Danny (center, in the green shirt) is getting married next month in Mexico. Since some people can't make the trip, they had a shower before they go down there! It was wonderful to see all of my family :) 

All in all, it was a pretty amazing weekend. Drama free (which is always nice) and a great battery recharger. I was happy to see those mountains come into view on Sunday night though. I'll be ready in a few months to go back home. :) 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hoo Are you?

We all know how much I love linky parties! ;) 
Here are this weeks questions from Leslie at Night Owl Crafting
1. What are your favorite 3 things about fall?
2. Are you a football fan and if so who is your favorite team?
3. What is your favorite fall scent?
4. Do you have seasonal allergies?
5. Have you started Christmas shopping yet?

1. When the chilly morning air sticks around all day, I love love love the cool air. When I get to pull out my leggings, Ugg's and cardigans. Going to cider mills and getting fresh cider and doughnuts. 

2. I LOVE college football! I don't really have a favorite team, but I follow BYU, Michigan State, and Grand Valley State (my alma mater! Go Lakers!)

3. My favorite scent...pumpkin pie, apples, and burning leaves. 

4. I used to when I was young...sometimes I get them now, but maybe now that I live in Utah *fingers crossed* they won't be too bad! 

5. No shopping yet! I have, however, started craving Christmas music and have watched Elf once or twice...


Dear Utah,

I'm really sorry, but your State Fair doesn't hold a candle to the Michigan State Fair...

You were still fun though! 

You had huge cows...

...cute goats...

...attention hungry goats...

...goats that like to go on hikes...(this is the way T will get me to go hiking. If we can bring goats...)

...potato pirates...

...snoopy in veggie form...


...cows made of butter...(okay, that was more gross than cool really)

...geese dressed as humans...

...and retro state trooper cars!!! 

All in all, Utah gets a 8 out of 10 for their fair. I'm also very glad that we chose to go to the fair and NOT watch the poor excuse for a football game that was the BYU vs U of U football game Saturday night. :) 

Oh, and the ONLY picture I took on my birthday last Tuesday? 
You can see where my priorities lie...with the food. ;) 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Party Monday

It's Monday! And that means it's time for Life Should be a Party... 

- My birthday is tomorrow!!! WOOOHOO! I'm the big 2-3. Actually, 23 isn't all that big but whatevs. It's my birthday and I can do what I want! ;) 

- We're going to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner tomorrow. YES!

- Ethan (the boy I nanny for) didn't scream when his parents walked out of the room today. He even asked is Miss Gacky (thats me) could go outside with him. 

- I didn't get baby Lexi spit on me either. 

-I got a dozen chocolate covered strawberries from my mom delivered to my apartment. And a balloon! 

-I get to GO TO MICHIGAN next week for four whole days! 


Sunday, September 11, 2011

i will always remember

I will always remember exactly where I was that day. Not just what classroom I was in, but the exact place I was standing, which way I was facing, and what I initially thought. 

I was in 8th grade. I was a teacher's aide for my favorite math teacher. It was a 6th grade math class and I was in the front of the classroom sitting at a small table. The door was closed. There was a knock at the door and I got up to get it. Our vice principal was at the door. I remember so clearly the look on her face. Panic. Fear. Uncertainty. I knew something was wrong. She called Mrs. Elias to the door and quietly told her that the school was on lockdown until further notice and that there had been an attack. I didn't catch much else, because I was trying to listen in without getting in trouble. Mrs. Elias nodded, looked at me and said "We're in lockdown. Don't say anything to the kids." 

I think kids have a 6th sense about these things because someone asked what was wrong the instant the door was closed. Mrs. Elias looked worried. "We're..." She had paused, not really knowing what to say. "We're just on lockdown. Just a drill!" She tried to sound positive. I remember someone asking if there was a shooter in the building. The kids were getting panicked. 

The next thing I remember is being in Mrs. Conlan's language arts class the next hour. She let us watch the coverage. I watched the second tower fall. I remember someone saying "We're watching the beginning of World War 3." 

I remember being scared. I remember being confused. I remember wanting to rush home, see my mom, and hear her say that everything was going to be okay. 

My principal found out teachers were letting their kids watch the coverage. Apparently, he was furious. The tv's were turned off for the rest of the day. At lunch, we talked about what we had seen that morning. One of my friends worried about a plane hitting our little middle school. 

My mom came and picked me up. Then we picked my sister up, who was in second grade at the time. We went home and sat, stunned, in front of the tv for hours. The images were seared into my mind. I remember saying 'It looks like a video game. It looks fake." 

But it was real. So real. Terrifyingly real. 

I remember spending my birthday, September 13, watching the telethon for victims. I remember seeing huge flags flying off the backs of fire trucks, pick up trucks, and car windows. I remember hearing of the influx of people going to the American Red Cross to donate blood. I remember hearing of people from around the country flocking to Ground Zero to help with rescue and recovery. 

I remember being terrified the first time I heard a jet plane fly over head when the airspace was opened up days after the attacks. It's taken a while, but I'm finally able to hear that noise without my pulse racing. 

As I grew up, got older, and was able to process what had happened, I struggled to wrap my mind around it. The images that make me cry the most are the images of those heros dressed in fireman and police uniforms marching into the burning building. They didn't know what was going to happen. They didn't know that the towers would soon come crashing down on them. All they knew was that they had a job to do and they did it, no matter how scary it was. 

There were so much tragedy that day. So many lives lost. I try to focus on the people that sacrificed so much simply because they felt it was their duty. I cannot imagine the amount of bravery, courage, and dedication it took to give up your life for another.  So many people weren't even asked, but they became heros regardless. The people on Flight 93 that sacrificed their lives to ensure no more building were destroyed. The people in the Pentagon that pulled people out of the wreckage. The emergency responders that ran straight into that building. 

The best thing we can do, as Americans is to never forget. During a time that is so wrought with political dissension, cultural divides, and hard economic times, I think it is essential to remember how we felt as a country in the days following that horrible day. The patriotic pride that had you hanging your old American flag from your porch. The religious awakening that tragedies nearly always bring. The sheer unity of the American people. I wish that we could have that feeling as a country now. 10 years later, I think we've begun to forget how we felt in late 2001. 

Please remember those who died. Honor their sacrifice. Remember that all gave some, but some gave all. 

That's what we can do to always remember. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

things seem to change a little quickly around here...

So, three-ish weeks ago, I got a job. It wasn't my dream job, but it was a stepping stone. My foot in the door. The paycheck until I got to my dream job. The only problem? I kinda hated it. And when I say 'kinda', I mean 'a whole lot'. 

I was just at a complete loss of what to do. I hated this job, but I needed the money. I had made the decision to quit, but I needed to find another job. Literally the morning I decided that I needed to find a better fit, I got an email from a family that had found me through Sitter City. She needed a full-time nanny and needed for said nanny to start ASAP. 

I've always loved kids. My first job out of high school was a camp counselor at a day camp near my house. I've been babysitting and nannying since...well...since forever. I've always secretly regretted changing my major from elementary education my freshman year of college. 

Long story short, I took the nanny job. I've been there for a week now and I love it. The kids are (usually) picture perfect (unless you count the times when the 2-year-old screams every time his parents leave the room. haha) and I couldn't be happier. :) 

This past weekend was a glorious 3 day weekend and I got to spend 2 of those days with T. See, the thing is, when I moved out here I picked my apartment poorly. I live up near Salt Lake, T lives in Provo. Thats a whole lot of construction filled nearly 40 miles apart. Sigh. But we make the best of it! 

We drove south for what seemed like forever...

and ever. And ever. And finally got to our destination: 

The Manti, Utah Temple. Gosh this Temple is gorgeous. My pictures don't do them justice. 

On Monday, we decided to pretend we were kids and go to the zoo. Well, the ENTIRE SALT LAKE VALLEY seemed to have the same idea. I kid you not, we couldn't find a place to park. It was silly. We gave up. Instead, we went to "This Is The Place" monument (or maybe it's a part? either way...) which is the place that Brigam Young had seen in a vision and knew the moment he say the Salt Lake Valley, that they were in Zion. (Hence, "This Is The Place" monument name. Because he said that...duh) 

The monument was pretty big. It was cool to learn a little more about the pioneers and what they gave up and went through in order to do what they thought was right. It also paid tribute to the non-LDS explorers who had come to the valley before the pioneers and mapped a lot of Utah before it was Utah. 

I mean, could this valley be any prettier? 

I hope everyone had a GREAT Labor Day weekend. I know I was kind of happy to see summer end because it means fall is here. And fall means boots, sweaters, leaves, Thanksgiving, carmel apples, pumpkin picking, apple picking, and of course my favorite: 
college football!!! :D

Whats your favorite part of fall? 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

it's the final countdown!

NINE days until: 

and NINETEEN days until: 

The things I'm most excited about? Getting to go home with this guy: 

And having dance parties with this girl: 

And being reunited with this hot momma: 

So yeah, I'm pretty excited.