Thursday, September 11, 2014

13 Years Later

I am nearly positive that I have posted something of the same nature before, so I do apologize that I am too lazy to look for my past post and just link it here. 

Today marks the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. I was was only 9 years old. A fourth grader at Boulton Elementary in Bountiful Utah. I was in Mrs. Rices' class, and wore dresses to school practically every single day. I was quiet, and reserved, but not a good student. In fact I didn't horribly in elementary school, and turned in the majority of my assignments late or not at all.

My first memory of the attacks was in my Daddy's 1998 silver Honda Accord on the way to school. I don't know if my Daddy had heard about them before we left, but I'm fairly positive that he heard about it on the radio. He used to always listen to NPR even when he drove us to school, and with my young age and short attention span I could not have cared less about the "old people" chattering on the radio. I remember we were driving down North Canyon Road, toward Orchard drive (where we would turn left and approach Boulton) when we were driving past Davis Blvd, I remember my Dad turning up the radio. I remember the sense of confusion in the car. I could tell something important had happened. I don't remember if I asked my Dad, or if I started to tell me about it. But I didn't understand fully what was the big deal. I remember my dad saying "oh, they are definitely going to talk about this in your classes today." To which I responded "no. They really aren't. They don't talk about anything in the news." And then I proceeded to go into some conversation with myself about how awful my teachers were. 

That day is a haze, partially because I was so young and mostly because I just couldn't comprehend that kind of evil in the world. Not at that age. I remember we watched a lot of TV that day. My teacher would constantly be "checking up" on what was going on. I remember almost a frenzied feeling. 

As I was standing in the lunch line, not quite in the cafeteria yet, there were some 5th and 6th graders (oh so old to my little 4th grade self) talking about what had happened. They were saying that before they had left to school they didn't know about it, but that the attacks happened at like 9:00. (8:46 Mountain Time to be precise.) I stood quietly until one of my friends asked me when I heard about it, and I relayed my car story. I remember telling my friend "I told my Daddy that we wouldn't talk about it, because we never talk about anything but we are talking about it! That's all today has been--talking about it!"

The next thing I remember is being at home, that evening. It was dark outside, and past my bedtime. It was cool staying up even just a little past my bedtime. My parents gathered me and my brother and possibly my sister around our little kitchen table. My dad brought in a couple of candles and they both started to talk to us about what had happened. I don't recall exactly what they said, but you can imagine what a loving parent would say to their 9 and 6 year old kids... My dad then brought over a couple of candles and matches. He proceeded to light them, which was weird to me. "What was going on?" I thought. My Mom and Dad then continued  to tell us that we were safe, but lighting the candles was a symbol of our love for those who had died that day. I remember the flickering flames of those candles against the darkness outside the windows. 

I lay worried in my bed that night. I had been told about Osama Bin Laden, and possibly seen pictures. I just remember the image of an old, middle-eastern, long bearded man haunted me that evening. Was he going to attack me? What was going to happen? The fear finally set in. 

I remember in coming months I would day dream about capturing this "evil old man." I didn't quite understand that there were others like him. I would imagine in my head President Bush approaching me and asking me to give my life in order to capture Bin Laden. There were always different scenarios, but every time I chose to give my life to capture him. (I was a weird child, eh?) 

It's hard to believe how fast I've grown, and that the war in the middle east has been going on so long, but it is important that we as a society remember those feelings. The feelings of dread, and fear, and patriotism, that we felt that day in 2001. We need to come together, to help globally in the fight against hate and terror. It will never end, but we as individuals can make a difference and an impact-no matter how small. 

My mother posted this video on her facebook today, and I find it touching. The power of music is so amazing to me, and this particular piece was orchestrated in England just 4 days after the attacks.

God bless America. God bless this world. God bless those who bring goodness into it. And pray for those who don't. Pray for a change of heart. 

I would love to read your stories as well, please feel free to comment! (Or just do your own blog post!!)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mexico 2014--Part 8



Oh Erron....What a beautiful serenade. (:

So I realized that I totally did NOT finish my Mexican love story. And now I've forgot all the little details, because the days have just mushed today! We'll see what I can do. I'm probably just going to tell stories about all the pictures I took...So here ya go!

The amazing part about spending two weeks in the Caribbean, is that we weren't rushing to do everything all at once! It was very laid back, and we just enjoyed our time resting and relaxing. 

Our second Sunday there Erron and I wanted to take the collectivo to Playa, and attend church. The night before we had checked lds.org and found that church started at 10 am. So we quietly woke up and got dressed in our Sunday best, and started the very humid hike to the "bus stop." Along the way we ran into Bob & Kate, who were just returning from their morning walk. (They would walk along the beach every morning!) We greeted them, and continued our walk. We did not want to be late!

As soon as we reached the stop, we found a collectivo, and hopped aboard. This was the first one we took that was old, it was pretty much just a van with benches lining it right below the windows. I didn't get to sit by Erron, but that meant we could make googly eyes with each other until space was made to sit side by side. We eventually got to our stop, which wasn't all that close to the church, and started our (again, very humid) walk to the church. I knew where it was because it was one of the first things I saw when we were on our ride from the airport to our condo. I had noticed it was surrounded by a tall fence;which being from Utah, was weird to me. It looked like a church building you'd find in the heart of Los Angeles or somewhere like that. As we entered the church an overwhelming rush of cool air hit our hot bodies. I was in paradise. Erron wanted to find where the meeting was held, but I told him I NEEDED a drink first. We then made our way to the chapel, and found that we had completely missed the sacrament, but had come in time for Sunday school.

As we took a seat in the very last row, I looked around. This was not a usual chapel! There wasn't a pretty stand in the front with an organ or wooden podium. We weren't sitting on benches, rather in chairs. And the light fixtures weren't hanging like chandeliers, rather they were just average lights. We were pretty much in a regular room! The fact that it was a chapel astounded me, it was still incredibly nice, but very different than I was used to! Erron translated the meeting for me, and when we were supposed to split up for Priesthood & Relief Society, I decided to just stick with Erron-I wasn't comfortable sitting in room with people I didn't know and especially a language I couldn't understand whatsoever.

As most of the ladies walked by me, a cute girl, about my age came up to me & asked me in English if I wanted to attend Relief Society with her. I immediately said yes! I had wanted to attend the meeting, but without any knowledge of Spanish couldn't bring myself to it. She was a God-send! As we took our seats in the front row of the room she introduced herself, her name was Marbella, and she had lived in Canada for three years when she was a teenager. We spent time whispering to one another about our backgrounds and where we wanted to end up. Her fathers dream had always been to live in Canada, so for three years her family just packed up and moved North. She also translated a little bit of the lesson for me, and it was so cool to hear what they were learning!

After church I found Erron & we headed outside to take a picture--how could we not?? (;


I was so happy that we had attended church, and looking back I think it was one of the best memories I have from down there. It was just such an addition to my testimony to hear the gospel in another language, and see the beautiful people who lived there & worshiped the same as me.

We met a man at church that worked for Alma's LDS Tours, and we talked to him about going on a tour the next day. He said he would give us a call that night.

The rest of our day was spent relaxing, swimming with Kaila & Miah, and enjoying the splendor of God's creations. What a perfect Sunday!

School So Far

Officially I have been back in school for a full week! (Well, now almost two....I'm a little late posting this...) Things are going smoothly, and I love where I'm attending. 

Since I registered for my classes in a bit of a scrabble I didn't quite remember what I was taking. Well it turned out I am taking some pretty awesome classes! Monday & Wednesday I have women's self defense, which so far I think is going to be one of my toughest classes mentally. I'm a pretty confident person, but the activities he has us do (so far) have completely put me outside my comfort zone. I also have English 2010 on those days. It's like an advanced writing course, and my professor is INCREDIBLE. I know that it's going to be a challenging course, but I am okay with that because I do know that I can definitely do English. It's kinda my thing. (: 

Mondays, Wednesday, & Fridays I have a general political science class, I wouldn't say that it's going to be my favorite just because of the style of teaching my professor has. It's one of those classes that you could read the book & figure it out on your own-so why attend class? Don't worry, i'll still be attending, it's just one of *those.*

Tuesdays and Thursdays I have History 1700 which is American History of some sort. The professor is one of those guys that are obsessed with making sure that you follow everything they ask of you, so he will have dumb one point assignments that you have to constantly be checking Canvas for, so that you don't miss those points. We'll see how that class goes.... I also have Philosophy, Western Religions on those days as well. And DANG! I love that class! My professor is definitely an expert in religious studies, and I really enjoy just listening to his viewpoints and learning all about the main western religions! I never realized before now how much Islam, Judaism, and Christianity have in common with each other! You can tell we are all rooted in the same gospel fundamentals of goodness.

The school is amazing. I know I've told so many people this, but did you know that UVU is one big building!? They are all connected by various hallways and such! I am SO stoked for Winter, because I wont have to suffer trudging through snow to get to class. Parking aside, I've really enjoyed my first week back. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

First Day, is Tomorrow!

I'm lying in bed right now, trying to get to sleep, and the knots in my stomach just wont stop twisting. Am I the only one that gets nervous for the first day of school.....every. single. year? 

I think I can justify my nervousness since I am going to be attending a new campus. But at the same time, I'm a {semi} grown adult. I shouldn't be this way! Right? I mean it doesn't help that I haven't toured the campus at all. Or that I have neglected to buy a parking pass, but it'll all work out.... I hope. :)

Tonight was wonderful, I asked my dear husband for a "back to school" blessing, and he gave me the sweetest blessing I've had in awhile. Next week my dad will be giving me one, but since I wasn't at my parents house today, I just had to wait. I love the feeling of comfort that I can receive from priesthood blessings. I really have such a testimony that they are really a direct message from God. 

Afterwards, Erron and I decided to play a game of pool. In which he won, BUT only by thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much. Seriously, it was a freaking good game! I only scratched once, and kept sinking the balls, which usually never happens!

I also made some fresh white bread, and we enjoyed a nice homemade warm snack out of the oven. I cannot wait for Fall and Winter, so that it's cold enough that I just want to spend my days indoors cooking and baking! 

Welp. The time has come. I have GOT to sleep. Do you have any good tips for reducing nervousness?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Strep Got You Down?

I promise I am not constantly sick. It's just that lately my luck hasn't been the best. 

Today I am enjoy the view of my ceiling as I not-so-much enjoy the aches of my seemingly frail body.

I am prone to strep throat. I get it at least once a year, and for some reason I do kinda blame my dad's genetics because he has the exact same problem as me. {Love you Daddy!} So yesterday morning when I cleared my throat as my alarm clock went off, I knew what was coming. It was the oh so familiar feeling that my throat was rubbed raw. I proceeded to go to work. {Which, by the way, was a nightmare! Please don't go "back to school" shopping the day before school starts.} And spent the entire day trying to soothe my tonsils. 

We had a little family BBQ last night in which I kept scarfing down chips, since they felt so good scratching my throat. That was a mistake. Besides the itchy-ness of my throat, I went to bed pretty content, and made up my mind that strep was not knocking on my door this time! 

Wrong.

Today was so much worst, complete with the whole package of fever and chills, and achy bones. Plus my throat felt about 1,989 times worse than it did yesterday. {Did you catch that awesome Taylor Swift reference?? OCTOBER 27TH!}

LONG STORY SHORT, if you suffer from chronic sore throat/tonsil problems/strep, I want to share my remedy with you!


What you need:

1 Cup warm water
1 TBSP salt
Any brand of throat spray

Directions:

Mix salt and warm water together, until the salt has been dissolved. 
Gargle small amounts of your salt solution for as long as you can, then spit, and repeat until glass is empty.
Use the throat spray 1-2 times, holding it in your mouth for 15 seconds and then spitting out. Make sure you don't drink or eat directly after doing this as you want it to stick.

I've found that this helps keep my itchy-ness down for a good hour or so. (:

PS: Does anybody has experience getting their tonsils out? Comment below with your thoughts!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Living la Vida....Giardia

Once upon a time (about 3 weeks ago) I went on a beautiful hike with my beautiful aunt, Melissa. We traveled up Big Cottonwood Canyon, and found our way to the trail head of Donut Falls. We were prepared with hats & water. And started off on our easy little hike.

It was quite hot that day, and I thought that I had brought enough water for the both of us, and as it turned out I didn't at all! One bottle was NOT enough. So by the end of our hike as we were cautiously scrambling down the falls, I decided to take a sip of the delicious and refreshing looking water that weaved through the rocks and trickled to the bottom of the falls. 

I figured, hey, I don't live in the jungles of Africa. It's just a run-off of snowfall in the mountains of Utah. What's the worst that could happen. Not even five minutes after I had drank from the stream my auntie mentioned how she was so thirsty, but she didn't want to drink out of the falls because of the high risk of infection. 

I should have known better. Good things happen to those who wait.

The next day I was holed up in the bathroom, and my husband mentioned that I shouldn't have drank that water. But of course I didn't believe him. I insisted I was fine.

It wasn't until I had the most painful experience a few days later that I started to question my decision. And yesterday was the tipping point. I feel for every single person who has ever had a parasite. Mine is in my intestines and it is probably the worst pain I have felt since I had gallstones a few years ago.

Erron was laughing at me last night because I was too scared to use the bathroom. It's terrifying! I just want it out. 

Luckily if it doesn't clear within the next 2 weeks I will be going into the instacare to receive meds. But at this point it isn't too bad.

HOWEVER. Remember my tale, and NEVER drink from beautiful mountain lakes or streams. PURIFY all your water! Or you will be bawling your eyes out regretting that you didn't for weeks after.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I'm *Officially* Feeling 22

Currently my house is a disaster zone. Courtesy of birthday '14. 

Last night was amazing. And I desperately hope that this post doesn't come off "braggy" or anything, I just have to express with all you internet friends and strangers how incredibly loved and blessed I feel. Obviously I do not deserve anything that happened this last weekend, and I definitely don't need gifts to make me feel blessed, but WOW I am completely overjoyed with the birthday haze that still lingers in the air.

The second I opened my eyes yesterday morning Erron started to sing the "Happy Birthday" song. Seriously, right that second! Which was proceeded by breakfast in bed. AKA cake, duh. And a morning full of snuggling and sleeping in. When he finally took off to the office, I proceeded about my day as normal. Grocery shopping included. Although I did indulge myself with a Starbucks cotton candy frappuccino. My favorite! (: {Also, for all my LDS peeps that worry I'm drinkin' coffee on my 22nd B-day, it doesn't contain any coffee. Just thought I'd put that out there since someone already questioned that. Haha}

When Erron finally came home he made me cover my eyes as he snuck my presents into the man-cave to wrap up all pretty-like just to make me happy!

When he was finished he came out he let me open one of the presents {of his choosing} and it was TWIZZLERS! I don't eat very much candy nowadays so this was a big treat! My Grandmother then took some couples "birthday" shots of us





and then we were off to Chuck E Cheese! 

Oh my goodness I hadn't been there since I was a little kid and we had SO much fun. Lots of skee ball and air hockey, and a couple other odd ball games. (: We ended up with a total of 70 tickets and Erron let me choose the prizes. I decided on candy & a crazy straw! {YAY!} Erron then took me to my favorite restaurant, Rubio's, where I had a free meal! On the way home I rolled downt the windows and blasted Taylor Swifts' "22" and sang out the top of my lungs.

When we got home it was opening presents time! 



The first one I opened was Lovestruck, a Vera Wang perfume that was the first present Erron ever gave to me and I'm almost out! 


Awkward foot aside, I loved Erron's card. (:


After that came the "big" present. I seriously had no idea, the things I thought it could be weren't the right weight and shape for the box, so I was puzzled!



IT WAS A SODA STREAM! I remember telling Erron I wanted one probably 2 years ago or so as we were strolling through the store. He laughed, since he doesn't like carbonation, and I knew that I would never get one. I mean, who needs a "make your own" soda maker? Well he hung on to the idea until now, and got a great deal on it & we both found out that you can adjust the carbonation level. So it can be normal, LIGHT, or heavy. Soda water is my favorite drink ever! So even if I don't end up making my own "soda" at least I can have homemade bubbly water!

Seriously, so incredible.

Here is a collection of my gifts:

My mom suggested that I set up a wishlist on Amazon, and I'm telling you guys, it is an amazing invention! Erron told his parents about it on the DL, and on Sunday I was surprised with the T-Fal set of pans that I had registered for! Such a shock! And so much better than cash! My family did the same as well. I received through UPS today the mandoline slicer, cake stand, pyrex glass tupperware, and millennium barbie that I wanted. {I got the barbie when I was about 8, in the year 2000, but as the typical fun loving child that I was I pretty much trashed her.} Ethan saw it on my registry and even offered to pay for it with his own money! How sweet!

Included in the picture is my large diet coke that I treated myself to at Rubios {complete with my crazy straw.} All the cards from family, including the watercolor one my sister designed specially for me:


I'm totally framing it! And the cupcakes my Grandma and Grandpa got for me! I am waiting until tonight to try them with Erron-so I'm sure they'll taste just a gorgeous as they look!



I neglected to include two items in my pictures out of haste. Bobby & Mandy got me a huge picnic basket! Yes, it's a cooler, but doesn't picnic basket sound....well....cooler?? 


And Kit snuck me the shell that he got for me in Cancun. The reason I say he snuck it to me, is because I refused to take it home. I've already told you how I don't collect shells from the beach anymore, so while it was so thoughtful that he gave it to me in Mexico, I declined as I wanted another cute little creature to have a home! Well that little stinker totally found a way for me to accept it, and honestly it has such a great story behind it that I'm glad that he did!


Thank you so much to everyone for making this last weekend such a fun birthday experience!