This weekend was probably the most fun I've had...ever.
(there aren't many pictures of me since I'm always behind the camera, but one of the guys got some good ones this weekend, so once he gets those up, I'll post them)
Friday, after our last finals, Janessa and I took off for Spanish Fork, UT for our roommate Kristen's wedding. Saturday night, we left her reception early and drove to meet our friends in MOAB!
Our friend McCade goes every year with a group of friends and invited us to come this year. We got there at about 11 at night and driving there in the dark was FREAKY! I can't see well in the dark, and there were a few times when I thought for sure we were in the last moments of our lives.
But we got there alright and the awesome guys had a tent all ready for us.
Sunday, we woke up to a beautiful, sunshiney Easter morning!
After breakfast we went into Arches National Park and got special permits to enter part of the park called the Fiery Furnace, which is a lot of boulders and cliffs and slot canyons and fun things to climb over/around/through.
Sidenote: the park ranger who gave us our permits was an idiot who was making up stupid rules and liked to talk to us like we were kindergartners.
"Where do we walk when we're inside the fiery furnace?"
"If an elephant came into your house and started stepping on your family, would this be good? Or bad?"
It would be pretty easy to get lost in the Fiery Furnace, so I periodically made cairns. They saved our lives. Totes.
After about four hours in the furnace, we went back to camp and hung out, played cards, and talked. Since it was Easter Sunday, it was only fitting the we dye easter eggs :)
Monday morning we got up and did some climbing at a spot called Wall Street. I had never been rock climbing before and I LOVED IT!
Seriously, I've been bit by the rock climbing bug BAD.
Taylor, Tycen, Ian
McCade, being legit
Brittany, doing some hardcore photographing
After a while, the sun was burning our little fingers off, so we decided to go swimming in GLACIER RUNOFF (or water that was equally as cold) at a spot called Potato Salad. I don't have pictures of where we swam, but this is Tater Salad. The black is rubber from the jeep safari this weekend, where people take their modified jeeps and other cars and try to not roll them as they climb up this ridiculous hill.
Have I mentioned yet that we drank 4 dozen cans of throwback Mt. Dew? This was a very integral part of our weekend.
After Potato Salad, some of us went back to climb Wall Street again, which we did until sundown.
Because we are legit.
Janessa is super scared of heights and climbed, too! I was super proud of her. She's a champ :)
Just look at that face and see how excited she was ;)
McCade climbing at night
Me. Also night.
NOT being boinked.
After this we went on a night hike back into Arches, up to the Delicate Arch to get some sweet night shots. I, however, am a dummy and didn't realize that I had the wrong kind of cable release, so I didn't really get any shots in. It was fun to just hang out though and look at the stars and talk with some friends.
Tuesday morning we got one more climb in back at Wall Street and then hit the road for home.
I seriously have the rock climbing bug you guys, and I'm buying my own shoes as soon as I get to Rexburg! Maybe even sooner haha :)
This was such a fun weekend, one that I won't be forgetting any time soon!
Thanks for inviting me, McCade!
So there's this blog I read written by the cutest girl on the planet, Lauren.
Sometimes I've been heard to say, "Oh, I read on my friend's blog the other day..." totally in reference to Lauren, whom I've never met.
Not creepy at all, right?
Nope, nope not at all!
She asked these questions on her blog and so I thought I'd answer them on my blog :)
 What is your favorite book in the whole world? And if you don't read books (sad), what is your favorite magazine?
I love to read. Love love LOVE books! My all-time favorite book, though, is Ella Enchanted.
I remember once when I finished the last page, then flipped to the front and immediately started it again. I've owned three copies because the first two got worn out from reading them so much!
I don't think I've read it since being in college though, it's definitely time!
 What is your favorite color to paint on your nails?
I reeeeeeaaaaaally dislike painting my nails because if they get one little chip in them then I pick at all the rest of them. BUT. This summer I bought a nice neutral purpley-gray color called "Chinchilly" by Essie that I love love love!!
I like to keep my toes painted though, so they're usually some shade of pink :)
 If you were on death row (hope none of you ever will be) what would you request as your last meal?
Haha funnily enough, I was thinking about this the other day. Well, not a "last meal" thing, but like a "if I only had x-amount of time to live, what would I eat," because I think about these things. In either scenario, it would be non-gluten-free things. I never appreciated the texture that gluten gives to things until I was diagnosed with celiac disease, but I guess that's how life is.
You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.
I would eat two things. First, the double bacon cheeseburger from Zips (a fastfood chain of diner food in the Inland Northwest) that is so greasy and delicious, I would probably die from deliciousness before they kill me. Second would be my mom's homemade rolls.
Because seriously you guys, Mommy makes the very best rolls on the planet. Say otherwise and I will literally fight you.
Oh, and I would have a steak from Wolf Lodge, a steak house in Coeur d'Alene.
And a throwback Mt. Dew to wash it all down!
 Who would you volunteer for if someone you loved was selected for the Hunger Games?
My little brothers and my nieces are who immediately come to mind, though none of them are old enough to be entered into the reaping. But of course I would volunteer for them, without a second thought.
 Describe your first crush and whether it was unrequited or not.
Oh gosh. Jacob Burgess. He kissed me in kindergarten on the circle rug and I was smitten for the next seven years, even after I moved across state lines from Spocompton to Coeur d'Alene when I was 10.
I remember the valentine's day of 4th grade. He made me a pot and painted it blue (my then-favorite color) with yellow flowers and brought that over with a little heart box of chocolates. That right there is puppy love y'all.
I was seriously still so in love with him, even after I'd lived in CDA for a few years. I must have been about 12 by the time it faded.
I think when I was like 15 or 16 I saw him at a stake dance in Spokane...that was fun.
Sometimes life punches you in the face and sits on top of you for a while.
Other times, life surprises you by being pretty darn awesome!
A few weeks ago, Janessa told me about an open house being given by Salus University (the PA school in Philadelphia that she was recently accepted to) and how she heard that they're going to start an occupational therapy program soon. I've been planning on going to grad school at the U for years though, so I was a little close-minded about other schools.
So I went to this open house, and stayed after to talk with some of the directors. Mostly I talked with Dr. Di Stefano, the vice president of student affairs. He gave me his card and told me to email him for more information, but after we had talked for a while he handed me another card and had me write down my name and email address so that he could make sure I got the information I needed. I emailed him a few days later and he said that he remembered me and told me that he'd been very impressed with me! He asked me to email him my resume, which he said he'd share with the director of the OT program, Dr. Gillard.
I hadn't heard anything from them in two weeks, so I was planning on emailing Dr. Gillard myself to let them know I was serious about their program. Thursday afternoon I got an email from her saying she'd seen my resume and was very impressed and that she would stay in touch with me and personally inform me when more information about their program was available! I emailed her this morning, letting her know I'd received her email, thanked her for looking at my resume, and told her I was excited to talk with her more.
AND SHE EMAILED ME BACK TONIGHT!
She gave me her phone number!!
She told me to call her ANY TIME!
the prerequisites to get into Salus are MUCH less intense than the U (read: no more math classes! No physics!) so I will be graduating this December instead of next April!
This last weekend, I had the most fun I've had in a REALLY long time! I think every weekend of college should be like the last one.
It was the long weekend, so my and Janessa's old roommate* Ali came up from Provo to visit us. That was fun enough.
Friday night, pretty much the second after Al got here, we went to dinner at the best eating establishment Rexburg has to offer--the taco bus (the one by the roundabout, obviously. The other one is a sad, weak imitation of this one.)
(can you tell I got these pictures from the facebook? haha)
After consuming five times the daily recommended value of...well, calories in general, we headed home to digest.
Which didn't last long, because we were soon on our way to one of the most glorious places on this earth, G's Dairy Delights! Love me some G's!
To round off a night of adventure, the three of us and some other friends went hot tubbing somewhere and just talked about a lot of things (some funny, some serious) and had a blast. I think I probably have a six-pack now, I was laughing so hard the whole night! We went to bed at like five that night. That was...fun.
(According to Al, this is called a "selfie." She's high-falutin now that she moved to provo, where there are more than 5 options for restaurants and half of those aren't inside old school buses. Whatev.)
On Saturday Janessa and I did homework most of the day. At night we went to a concert at Sammy's with our friends McCade and Erick. (Janessa and I got a lemon cupcake shake which was insanely disappointing).
(The guys were REALLY excited to be in this picture, obviously)
Followed by dinner at Applebee's.
This night there was this huge snowstorm, pretty much the first of the winter, so later that night we went tubing behind a friend's truck.
We came through a little worse for the wear, but it was fun.
So that happened.
Sunday night Mom and Phil came to hear my fireside, it was neat to have them there.
Monday we went out to breakfast and just chilled and had an easy day.
Now it's back to school, my second week of teaching, and lots and lots of stress.
It was a good weekend.
Every weekend should be like this.
*Mine and Janessa's roommate? *Janessa's and my roommate? I worried over this for like five minutes and I still have no clue what the right one is.
If you know what it is, don't tell me...I already feel bad enough about myself.
Once upon a time, probably somewhere around last thursday, five-ish of the kids from my preschool class were the only ones outside during outdoor play (we usually share the playground with two other classes).
During this time, I pretended to be a pirate and let them chase me.
In hindsight, this was a mistake.
Today, I went outside again and was immediately assaulted by the same kids from my class.
But, being preschoolers, about a go-jillion (it's a word, my dad and I use it all the time) kids from the other classes followed suit, started screaming like a herd of feral banshees, and chased me around for approximately seventeen hours while I ran away screaming about how I don't want to go to jail because they don't have...
Whatever, don't judge me.
I would occasionally let them catch me and put me in jail, only to escape a few seconds later.
Followed by banshees screaming,
"Teacher! Teacher! I'm going to get you!"
"No pirates here!"
"I'm a pirate too! Get me!"
"Teacher wait, I'm on your side!"
"Get her! Get the pirate!"
"There are lots of popsicles in jail!"
Oh, also, at one point, there were about a hundred thousand of these "police officers" dragging escorting me back to jail, when all of a sudden I feel one little hand up the back of my shirt and I have to find an appropriate way to say,
"Um...let's keep our hands out of teacher's shirt..."
Twice in my life I've had the privilege of singing a different arrangement of the 23rd Psalm, and both times it has had a different meaning, depending on my situation in life and the trials I was (am) going through at the time.
The first time was in my senior year of high school--I was in the Idaho All-State Women's Choir in Pocatello and the song was entitled, appropriately, Psalm 23. Singing it in rehearsals was emotional for me when I reflected on the words, but when we were finally performing it in the concert, I burst out in tears right on the stage as the song came to its climax and we sang,
"Surely goodness and mercy will follow me.
And in the house of the Lord,
I will dwell forever, I'll dwell forever!
I remember feeling so loved by my Savior that I just couldn't contain all that love and joy. Hence the tears.
Now I'm in a choir called From the Heart. We sing pretty awesome spiritual songs. We're singing one right now called, "Brother James' Air." It's pretty much my favorite song of our program.
(Backstory: the choir went on retreat in Island Park this weekend (fear not, separate cabins for ladies and gents) and sang and sang and sang until we had our songs learned.)
One thing I love most about FTH is when people offer personal insight about the songs we're singing.
One thing someone shared about this song on retreat was its message about the atonement, and how, if we trust in the Savior and align our will with His, we need not fear.
We don't have to be afraid of anything.
"Yea, though I pass through shadow's death
yet will I fear no ill.
For Thou art with me, and Thy rod
and staff me comfort still.
Rod and staff.
Sometimes when I'm praying for guidance through a trial, I'll receive an answer, and I'll know what it is the Lord wants me to do;
but many times I lack the faith to believe that if I do what I'm prompted, things will turn out alright.
In my head, I know that the Lord won't let us walk in the dark long before he lights the way ahead, but I have a hard time applying it to myself, especially in the past few weeks.
This weekend I was strongly reminded of this and my testimony of my Saviors love for me and mindfulness of all of His children as individuals was strengthened in a way that I've been searching for in weeks past, but haven't been able to find. I'm more grateful than I can say for the examples of my fellow choir members, and their willingness to share the things they feel when touched upon by the spirit. "Goodness and mercy all my days will surely follow me, and in my Father's heart alway, my dwelling place shall be"
Today I taught preschool as the lead teacher for the first time! Let me tell you, boys and girls, it was scary but one of the most fun things I've ever done! I loved it!
I got about two hours of sleep last night (punctuated by preschool-teaching nightmares--yikes!)
I feel (and look) like I've been living in the dumpster behind Craigo's for a week and a half. (and I was thus spotted by an ex-boyfriend--the horror!).
But I am so happy!
First of all, because L. Tom Perry was the devotional speaker here in Rexburg today. That was neat.
Second of all, because I get the opportunity to work one-on-one with a little boy here in town who maybe has some sensory issues and needs a little bit of extra love!!!
I've been so bummed that we don't have any special needs kids in our preschool class, and this boy has not been specified as having any special needs, but this just makes my heart so happy!
Ever since I worked in the special needs classroom at Mount Logan Middle School (fall 2010), I've been aching for some similar kids to work with!
I love this kind of work.
I think my favorite part of preschool is, any time we leave the classroom, we have to hold the children's hands until we get to our destination.
That is my favorite part!
I guess it may seem weird to most people, but I love the feeling of those pudgy little baby hands in mine.
It's definitely the best :)
This semester I tried out and made it into a choir called "From the Heart." It's a choir run by and made up of students from here at BYU-I. They sing at firesides on campus and travel around at the end of the semester for a weekend and go on tour somewhere in or close-ish to Idaho.
Tonight was our first rehearsal and, though we did mostly introductory things and only sang for about twenty minutes, my heart is just so full. I don't even think I have the words to explain it right now, I'll try to explain later maybe :) For now, just listen to this song we're going to sing. It's called "Here is Hope"
Guys. I want this solo.
Another song that I think is going to be my favorite is called "Jesus, My Savior." The last few lines are,
All of my life, yea, all of my days,
still not enough to sing thy praise.
This pretty much sums up my feelings as of late.
I've missed being in a real choir, it's been far too long. And one like this, where our main goal is to invite the spirit...I'm just so grateful and so excited.
2011 has been a really interesting year for me. Here are some of the things I've done (in the order that I can think of them):
-I took my first trip to Park City and didn't take nearly enough pictures.
-I restored my grandpa's camera from 1948 by looking at it for about a million hours (give or take three) and pushing every button the same amount of times to discover what they do. I also cleaned that camera with cotton swabs. Obsessive? Absolutely.
-I went to two funerals in one week, each for grandparents on different sides of the family. -I sang at both those funerals.
-I promptly vowed to never sing at another funeral again.
-I photographed my grandpa's funeral with the aforementioned camera, which he used while he was serving in the Korean war.
-I started going to school year-round and, after year one (a year and a half of school done over 10 months), I want to poke my eyes out with those little swords that are sometimes in sandwiches and/or fruity drinks.
-I got called as relief society president and had the biggest melt-down to date. Take all the melt-downs I've had in the middle of all six previous finals, combine them, multiply them by the power of a thousand suns, and that was this meltdown. I hope you get the point by now that it was bad.
-I got over my feelings of inadequacy and did a fair job in my calling.
-I drove an hour in the middle of the night to go hot-tubbing at a place that, upon arrival, was closed for maintenance, but got to know the people in the car really well. -I got a new niece! -I got accepted to go to Russia, again, and had to turn it down, again, and my heart broke, again. -I got my car stuck in a hole in a field in the middle of Idaho Falls...yeah...
-I got better at shooting film, especially medium format, which I love. I LOVE medium format film!
-I shot a lot of guns, yo. A lot of guns.
-I didn't take nearly enough pictures. -I learned how to talk about my feelings without my brain shutting down. This is a big, big thing for me.
-I met and talked to some really cool hot-air ballooners!
-I took some really cool pictures in some really neat places. I think the Pallisaides was my favorite.
-I had two people pay me to take their engagement pictures. This taught me a lot of things, like not to let clients walk all over you, and that everyone is happier when you stay true to your own style. I also decided to take a break from that kind of photography, and I'm not sure I've completely recovered yet!!
-I bought three four new cameras and coveted a lot, LOT more cameras.
-I lost touch with some friends that I used to think I couldn't live with out. Turns out I can. It stinks, but I can. Who would've thought?
-I made some amazing, amazing friends that I hope I never lose touch with.
-I TOUCHED A CADAVER! One that has been at BYUI for 10+ years!! I HATED touching the cadavers and did it as little as possible
And that's a little bit about my 2011.
2012 is already shaping up to be a big, big year!
I'm working in the preschool on campus, which, contrary to how it sounds, is going to be my very most stressful class. My first lesson plan is due tomorrow and I have no idea what I'm doing! The kids start coming on Thursday though, and I'm so excited for that :)
Also, I tried out for a fireside choir on Sunday and yesterday I made it to the first round of callbacks! We get the final word sometime tonight and I don't think the butterflies in my stomach will go away until then. (UPDATE: I MADE IT IN!! More to come on this later)
2012 will also bring:
-Three more semesters of school
-Grad school applications
So those things all have to do with school...I don't know what else 2012 will hold, but I'm excited to see :)