back in Provo

On Thursday, Mom, Dad, Emily, and I all made the trek out to Provo for yet another school year. We drove the truck and the beaten up Toyota (the latter of which has no A/C) and it was kind of a long drive out there . . . .

Dad putting air into the tires before we left.

My breakfast: leftover birthday cake.

Mom filling up the truck in Grand Junction.

All of the stuff at my feet--it was a very full car.

The disgusting Provo traffic that greeted us when we arrived nine hours later.

It was such a fun weekend, and I'm way excited about my new apartment and my new roommates; however, last night was not fun and was way way sad. What's different for me this year is that things aren't that different for just me, if that makes any sense. . . . I'm just going into another school year at BYU: I've said goodbye to my family before, I've lived on my own before, I know what I'm doing. I'm experiencing the least amount of change out of everyone in my family. What was so hard for me was knowing how scared and sad Emily is and how sad and lonely Mom feels, knowing that there's only so much I can do.

Last night was hard for me because I knew the significant change the rest of my family was experience, while I was basically doing the same thing I've been doing for the past two years.

It was hard. It is hard.

It's just so different feeling like nothing is really too different for me this year. That's the only way I can think of to explain it, even though it doesn't make much sense. Mom's and Emily's blogs show a better sense of what they're feeling--everyone is scared and sad because of different things, different unknowns. The only thing I can think of to do is just press forward, knowing there's a plan.

Here's to another school year, the same and different all at the same time.


High Roller

This week I have spent more money than I've spent all summer long. As has been made clear from the previous post, this week was Moving Week, and I had a few things I needed to buy. Monday, I had a large shopping trip to the beauty supply with Jacquelyn. My biggest purchase was the Paul Mitchell flat iron:

It retails for $125 to $150, and I got it for $57. That's right: $57. It is seriously one of the best straighteners around and now I can have shiny, silky, straight hair everyday. I also purchased shampoo, conditioner, and gloss drops. It was awesome.

My biggest spending day was my birthday. With birthday money, I went shopping all day for a new fall wardrobe. It was SO much fun! Grandma, Mom, Emily, and I made stops at TJ Maxx Homegoods, Macy's, JC Penney's, and Dillard's. I purchased four pair of shoes, several sweaters, chocolate cropped pants, a pair of Limited jeans, and a little black dress. (Oh, and new workout pants: I'd had my old workout pants since eighth grade. Yikes.) We went to Wendy's for lunch and spent a total of six hours on our feet shopping. Phew. It was quite exhausting, but totally worth it.

And today I've spent money at Bed Bath and Beyond, TJ Maxx, and the BYU Bookstore. So, this week has been a week of much spending, but a fun one sure. I mean, aren't those red shoes to die for?


no comment

I leave tomorrow for Provo at 6:00 a.m. It's past 11:00 p.m., I'm not quite finished packing, and I want to die. Reference photo below.

ps--I've had an awesome week that deserves to be documented when I don't feel like walking death.


winner, winner, chicken dinner

My twenty-first birthday is on Tuesday, and on Friday I had a party with my friends. We had hamburgers with homemade buns (courtesy of Grandma) and IBC root beer (we felt it was appropriate considering this particular birthday--IBC is the closest I ever want to come to beer) for dinner and homemade brownies (again, courtesy of Grandma) with ice cream for dessert.

Then we opened presents, which were so generous! Sea shells from Florida, Disney World paraphernalia, and a shell necklace from Universal studios from Toribio; twenty-one things for twenty-one years old from Lauren, including cute pens, a polka dot journel, the Hilary Weeks book, nail polish, a pumice stone, nail files, nail clippers, ice cream bowls, ice cream sprinkles, marachino cherries, chocolate shell sauce, caramel sauce, and pina colada mix; seasons one through five of "Monk," courtesy of excellent present orchestration by Rachelle and from Rachelle, Ben, Mike, Duncan, and Cheyne; and a way cute lamp for my apartment from Liz.

After presents and dessert, we headed downstairs to play some Cranium Pop 5. (If you don't know about this game or haven't played it, it's pretty much the best Cranium game ever, plus you can play a secondary game with the point chips. Just ask Jess and Diana. We're pros.) We had enough people to play boys versus girls, and naturally, the girls won. :D We always had a slight lead--the boys did keep us on our toes. I think the best plays of the evening included Emily's cameo (charade) of Cool Ranch Doritos, Duncan's cameo of the slogan "Give a hoot, don't pollute," Tori's sculptorades of Air Jordans, and my letter line-up for Kevin Bacon. I give the hardest play of the night to Michael for trying (sadly, unsuccessfully) to letter line-up "Bridget Jones's Diary."

Our last activity of the evening was watching the movie "21"--an appropriate choice for the party.It was a most stellar night, and I had such a fun time seeing all my friends again before I leave for Provo this week. The party on Friday reminded me that I really do have amazing friends: they're fun, kind, generous, thoughtful, and more. Also, I remembered that I do love birthdays!

my final great day at Sashco

Friday was my last great day at Sashco. In preparation for that day, I agreed to cover for the full time receptionist for the whole day, and I made sugar cookies, the recipe of which is courtesy of Katelyn. Suffice it say, I was definitely the most popular employee on Friday, and it really was a great day at Sashco.

The cookies were a huge hit, and it was sad to say goodbye to my Sashco friends. On Thursday, (the last day I saw the full time receptionist because she had Friday off), the HR department gave me a really nice card and a $25 gift card to Target. Score! I really enjoyed that job overall and really feel that the Sashco job was the job for me this summer. However, despite the greatness of Sashco (manufacturer of sealants, stains, and chinkers for residential and log homes), I wasn't so sad to leave. :) That's the nature of temp work, I suppose.


I'm taking the offensive

John came home from school a few days ago with a nasty cold and then spent the next two days sick at home. Mom and I both woke up this morning with hints of sore throats and runny noses: it's time to take action. I have quite a busy week ahead of me what with my birthday, packing, and going back to school. I don't have time to be sick this week.

I was sneezing a bit last night, and I wasn't sure if it was allergies or what John had, but I didn't want to take any chances, and so I took a vitamin B/C supplement last night before I went to bed, just in case. I woke up this morning, and it looks like a cold is the case. I popped another B/C supplement, and then ran to the store before work to grab tubes of Airborne for Mom and me. (I know that studies have been done that show that Airborne and vitamins don't really do anything and that it's silly to spend your money on such gimmicks, that it's all in your head; however, I am a-okay with Airborne working psychologically for me. I don't care if it's all in my head as long as my cold goes away. So, I continue to be mental and take Airborne.) I've been taking Airborne and my vitamins religiously today, because I do not want to be sick, especially right now.

I'm taking the offensive: this cold will not win. I will win.


Shoutout to a blog

My mom, Denise Wood, finally started her own blog. Check it out. She's pretty much amazing.


I should have exited at Sheridan

This is what it looked like in front of me:

And this is what it looked like behind me:

I was driving on I-76 after work and was cruising along as I always do. Then, a couple miles away from the junction to I-70, the cars are stopped. I groan as I slowly come to halt. I can't see how many cars are backed up in front of me, and I try to keep my thoughts positive. Five minutes pass. Ten minutes pass. I barely inch along. I'm approaching the exit to Sheridan, which could get me home, but I think that the backup is probably due to some kind of construction, and that once I pass the construction, I can easily continue cruising home. Negative. I miss the Sheridan exit and am consequently stuck in inching traffic.

So, I decide to get off at the Wadsworth exit instead. As I approach the Wadsworth exit, I realize that everyone is getting off at the Wadsworth exit, because an entire section of I-70 was closed off because of an accident of which I could see absolutely zero evidence except some police car lights.

It takes me another fifteen to twenty minutes to get home from Wadsworth.

No air conditioning. I had sweat in my hair, sweat creeping down my back, sweat making my legs stick to my jeans, and sweat creeping in other places. And the car started smelling funny. I inched along I-76 long enough for me to listen to the entire soundtrack of "13 Going on 30." I left work a little after 4:00 and didn't get home until almost 5:30.

I should have exited at Sheridan.

PS--Why did no one tell me I spelled "punctuate" wrong in my "about me" section in my profile?? Good grief. Some editor I am . . . .



This is what it looks like outside today. And it's raining. I love it. It's perfect.


thrifty jackpot

Last year, I pretty much mooched off of my roommates for kitchen supplies. I didn't have my own dishes, my own pots and pans, my own baking stuff. Over Christmas and stuff, I did acquire some more of my own kitchen and baking supplies, so at least I felt like I could contribute a little bit, but overall, my kitchen supplies were greatly lacking. I felt that I couldn't go into this year without a solid supply of my own stuff, yet the prospect of acquiring all the kitchen staples I needed was financially overwhelming. So, Mom suggested we go thrifting and find what I need there.

Last night, Mom and I ventured out to a more ghetto part of town to the ARC thriftstore and proceeded to fill our cart with several pieces of kitchen supplies. Here is what I found:

Inventory of what I purchased:
  • 2 stainless steel pots
  • 1 stainless steel frying pan
  • 2 mini muffin pans
  • 2 stainless steel square cake pans
  • 1 loaf pan
  • 1 Whirly Pop
  • 4 dinner plates
  • 4 salad plates
  • 4 glasses
  • 1 butter pot
  • 4 bowls (they are the pieces wrapped in paper)
  • 1 blue polka dot plate for cookies
All this for $48.78. That's right: $48.78. I think my favorite purchases are the stainless steel frying pan, the polka dot plate, and the Whirly Pop. Seriously, I can make awesome popcorn now with my very own Whirly Pop!!

It was a score of a night last night. Not only did I find all that stuff--almost covering me completely for the fall--for so cheap, but I got to shop with just Mom and me, go home and wash all my stuff (it took a couple of hours because I had to let most of the stuff soak so the stickers would come off), and stay up 'til midnight keeping Mom company while she made cinnamon buns for Dad's work. It was a stellar night all around.

My own Whirly Pop for $3.99!! (I can't get over how cool it is.)


leisure reading

So, when I came home for the summer, my brain was basically fried. I really had no motivation to start reading what I wanted to read over the summer. I'd done so much reading for school, and it was all reading I had to do and reading that I was tested on, and I just couldn't face reading in-depth books yet. So, I indulged in watching TV shows and movies, reading not very often at all. And then I went to Borders and picked up a couple of books, one of which was a quick and easy read. Ever since, I've been back into the swing of reading, and want to soak in as many books as possible before I leave in a few weeks.

Here is what I've read in the past few weeks:

"The Friday Night Knitting Club": It's a good, lighthearted book that still has some poignant insights. It made me laugh and I loved the character development.

"Reading Lolita in Tehran": I sure am glad that I don't live in Iran. I thought this book was fascinating and had amazing insights into reading and literature. I had a hard time getting into the book, because the style wasn't what I was used to, but once I did, I loved it. It was definitely more serious and was pretty intense at parts. I really liked it, but I was ready for it to end.

"Breaking Dawn": no comment.

And I just started reading "The Great Gatsby" for the first time. (Can you believe I've never read this book?!) So, in the space of a week or two, I've been able to read lots and I want to read at least three more books before I leave, because once school starts, no more leisure reading for me. :(


a eulogy for Stella

Right before my junior year, a woman in our ward called me up and said that she was getting a new car and wondered if I wanted her old Rabbit, free of charge. Heck yes! So began the Stella Saga. I got sweet seat covers for her for my birthday and named her Stella, which I thought was an appropriate name given her awesomeness. She served me well for the rest of my high school years, and just last weekend we sold her.

Stella had her fair share of problems. She needed a new clutch when I first got her, and a man in my stake offered to find the part and install it if I would just take his son from seminary to school everyday--easy peasy, lemon squeezy!! Stella and I were meant to be. The battery would die if it was too cold outside, and sometimes I accidentally left the lights on, killing the battery: these adventures with the battery taught me many lessons, not the least of which being how to use jumper cables. I always kept jumper cables in the back of my car, and I knew how to use them.

Stella also was the car on which I learned how to drive a stick: a miserable experience, but if I can drive Stella, I can drive any car on the face of the planet.

Stella had several idiosyncrasies: the heat would never go completely off and would only come up out of the defrost vents; there was a weird whistling sound connected to the speakers, and when I'd accelerate, the whistling would get more high-pitched; no A/C; a manual convertible; you couldn't shift directly into first gear, but had to rather go into second and wiggle your way into first; the gas gauge didn't work, so everytime I went to the gas station, I had to fill up completely and rely on the odometer to know how much gas I had left; when it rained, Stella let some of the rain into the car, gracing you with a nice, sloshy puddle on the passenger's side; when the car was idle, the battery would sometimes threaten to die, so I had to rev the engine to get the battery back up, and people would think I was trying to be cool when really I was trying to keep my car alive.

I had several adventures with Stella, including running out of gas on the way from seminary at least twice, hitting a pedestrian, getting my first (and so far only) speeding ticket, getting a flat tire after running over the curb on a sharp turn, several mysteriously dead batteries, a faltering alternator, and going the completely wrong way on Colfax Avenue for several miles.

If she would have made it over the mountains, I totally would have taken her to school with me. Alas, she had to stay in our driveway when I left, and when I came back for the summer last year, she didn't work. We managed to get her up and running for about a month, and then a cocky missionary said he could fix her and he killed her. She hasn't moved since.

Last week, some guys came by wondering if Stella was for sale. She was. They took her and planned on fixing her up. Her spot in the driveway is now empty.

Today, Emily saw her on the side of the road with a "For Sale" sign in her window. Who knows what her future holds now . . .

Stella, you were good to me. You had to go, because you didn't work. I still love you. I will miss you. You will always have a special place in my heart as my first--very junky--car.


I'm cursed

My ward boundaries for my fall/winter student ward changed, and now I'm in the 12:30 ward.

  • Freshman year, 96th Ward, meeting time: 1:30 pm (by far the worst meeting time I've ever had)
  • Sophomore year, 176th Ward, meeting time: 1:00 pm
  • Junior year, I don't know what ward name, meeting time: 12:30 pm. Well, it's better than 1:30.

My roommate for next year is already moved into our apartment and was in the 9:00 am ward all spring and summer, so naturally, we thought that we would still be in the 9:00 am ward during the fall and winter. Nope. They changed the boundaries. 12:30 pm. Afternoon--again.

I'm cursed with afternoon student wards. Bah.


Dear Dad,

Dear Dad,

I know Fathers' Day was a couple of months ago, so I'm a little late on this, but I wanted to write it anyway. Thanks for being so amazing. The love you have for Mom and your children is evident and undeniable. Even though some days are rough for everyone, I never doubt that you love our family more than anything. Thanks for loving me unconditionally. I know that no matter what happens, you'll always love me.

Thanks for working so hard. I know that employment has been something that has been hard for you and Mom to work out, and I've always admired your work ethic your determination to provide for our family. Sometimes finances are tough, but you always find a way to make things work out, and I've never wanted for those things I truly need.

I love how I can talk to you about anything: school, friends, church, and yes, even boys! In a way, I feel silly saying this, because it seems like such a duh when it comes to awesome parenting, but I'll say it anyway: thanks for being interested in my life. You ask questions about what is going on with me, how my classes are, how my test went, what is new with work and friends and church. I love telling you about my life, because I know that you're interested and that you care. Thanks :) You give some of the best advice ever. I can go to you with just about any problem, and you give me thoughtful, caring, comforting, and direct advice. Because I've never doubted your love, I know that the advice you give me is always for my good.

Thank you for being an honorable Priesthood holder. That means so much to me, and I can't express what a great blessing it was to have grown up in a home where my father honorably held the Priesthood and used it to protect, comfort, and bless our family. Thank you for keeping your covenants and for being such an excellent example to me of what it really means to be a disciple of Christ. I've never questioned your devotion to the Gospel; I've learned what the Gospel is the most through your example.

Thanks for putting up with my goofiness. I know that Emily and I dancing in the kitchen may not be the most convenient or, let's just say it, normal, but you laugh and let us ride out the goofiness. I think I would probably drive myself crazy if I had to deal with me. :) So, pretty much, you're amazing. I couldn't ask for a better dad. Thanks.

Love you lots and lots,


confession session

Okay, confession session: I've read all the Twilight books. And I like them.

I'm so embarrassed to admit this, because the Twilight books really are bad writing, but for whatever reason, I find the concept of a vampire romance quite enthralling. I almost hesitate to recommend them to anyone because the writing is really that bad. The author uses the same trite phrases over and over (chiseled chest, tousled bronze hair, dizzying effect, marble skin, ragged edges of the heart, and the list could go on), and you're often reminded of a supernatural soap opera. It really is ridiculous. Yet, I couldn't wait to get the last book that came out on Saturday. Saturday morning, I got all ready and went to Target where I bought the last Twilight installment for a mere $14.99.

The books are great for purely entertainment reading, because they take no extra processing at all. I actually find myself skimming more than reading for large chunks because it's all the same, and I get pretty much the same effect. These books are books I daren't take with me in public (with the exception of the airport: Twilight is perfect airplane reading. And seriously, who cares what you read in the airport?) and I almost feel silly discussing them with other Twilight fans. They were great Christmas break reading last year, because my brain had been on overload from the end of the semester, and it takes zero brain cells to read and process Twilight. Over that break, I read all three books. And I finished the newest book this morning. In two days. No joke.

The writing, it really is that bad. Really. So, I say, read them. But don't. But do.

I'm continuing reading a substantive book (the one I was reading when the Breaking Dawn came out on Saturday. It took the back burner--vampires are just that captivating.) I'm hoping that finishing Reading Lolita in Tehran will renew my faith in good literature. I'm on the path to literary recovery.

But vampires are just so cool . . .


I really am a college student--promise

Unbelievably, school registration for John and Sarah is already here, and today was the day. School registration is pretty boring, because you just have to stand in line for who knows how long while the school drains your bank account to pay for computer fees. Because of the boring nature of school registration, I told Mom I'd go with her to keep her company. Little did I realize that because I accompanied Mom to the high school, people would think that I was the high school freshman she was registering.

You've got to be kidding me.

I had to establish several times that no, I am not a high school freshman, but rather I'm a college junior and graduated from high school two years ago and was a high school freshman six or seven years ago. Good grief. I felt the overwhelming need to shout, "I really am a college student!!!!! I'm almost 21 years old!!!!!!!"

I'm glad I could offer my company to Mom so registration wouldn't be so boring, but good grief, I felt ridiculous.
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