Monday, November 29, 2010

thanksgiving and room updates

 just a few things have been happening:

the ward thanksgiving dinner with variety show!! here is one of my favorite father/son combos performing a magic show! too funny!
 daryl and karen . . . two of the treasured friends i have made
 blurry, but soo love this family!!

thanksgiving at the nielsen's!! i LOVE LOVE LOVE that they are here. they are from highland and i went to school with rex and mary, their oldest kids, and jesse went to school with another daughter of theirs, etc. sister nielsen is a quilting phenom, and the dad is my bishop. basically, i am almost home! i got to sleep over wednesday to thursday and then again thursday to friday. it was soo grand to just chill and relax and just be.  sister nielsen is half italian, and she is an incredible cook. she made homemade bread, then dried it out for the stuffing. HOLY COW it was amazing!!

a little birthday breakfast party at the friendly toast. love when others decide to actually get ready when they go to breakfast. that - i thought - was the joy of going out to breakfast . . . you just get up and go! oh well, just fulfilling my calling in life: making others feel good about themselves. ;-) LOVED the table we sat at. so of course, i took a picture!

these elders represent my life: elder yurovich is from russia (belarus to be specific) and elder yim is from hong kong. crazy that they are companions and crazy that i love both of their home countries! they are teaching anatoly and wanted someone who spoke russian. let's not get into why in the world they asked me to come, but whatever. it was a fun night! i may need to get rosetta stone for Christmas and relearn some russian. 

i re-did my room. and finally put stickers on my bins in my closet. yes, i was going to do my nails tonight. oh well. it so didn't happen. 

there will be more to come. this weekend i am going to hang out at CT's to make yummy food and decorations: can we just say felt snowflakes?? ;-) to be continued!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

quick thoughts . . .

i was looking at a website during a lunch break at work. it's a fabulous site. 
in my perusing, i found this and wanted to laugh really loud !!

it made me think of my red couch. it is currently in my apartment at home (utah home) that was joked to be the love couch, but it just became the therapy couch. many many tender chats happened with various girlfriends and guyfriends. i always have and always feel very needed and grateful for the moments when my listening ear, or words of encouragement, or even just my hugs are needed or wanted as someone is hurting. it makes me grateful for the breaking and hurting moments in my life, because regardless of what the experience is, my heart has been molded and i know the pain of being molded. i empathize with that anguish. and so, i love when i get to pass on the safety i have felt from others in my times of molding.

but i also thought of a friend telling me that i was dramatic. WHAT!??! ME!?!  (hehehe) i have realized - after i was bugged for a bit, because it wasn't said in a kindly manner - that for the most part, being a girl = dramatic. and although i may be more dramatic that other women, i am very, very okay with that.


i decided long ago, that i want to truly live. i don't want to be kind, or nice, or blah. i don't want my energy level and my life-lived level to be nice and even. i want the ups and downs. i want the peaks with the valleys and gorges. i want the vistas and the sorrows. i want to laugh and be so joyful that i loudly proclaim how much i love my life. and i want to embrace the moments that i am a bucket of tears (love that these tears come in most of the moments - happy or sad. realized that these tears of mine are connected to my heart. heart = tears).

call it drama. call it "crazy emotional needs". call it living. but i plan on living with a flare. 
just in case you were wondering.  ;-)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

gratitude for . . .

 . . . pandora!!

all day every day, i get to listen to music.
this is a dream in many many ways. the one minor detail is I DON'T KNOW WHAT MUSIC I LIKE!!!

confessions. ugh.
i have often said that the music i like is whatever my sisters tell me is good.

which is great unless i am living a million trillion miles away and can't ask them all the time. so, i get a few singers or songs that they love, plug them into the pandora station thing, and tah-dah!! i have a beautiful music mix. life is bliss.

so , as the missionaries tonight encouraged, i am writing my list of blessings, and pandora - as crazy as it sounds - is rather high on the list right now!

ps anyone else, though, feel like it's really funny that my station is Bare Naked Ladies Holiday, and Jim Brickman is the first artist that comes up??

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Decorating!

my mom is a holiday master. home is such an heavenly place to be because she thinks through details and makes the holidays so fun. especially Christmas. because i usually spent most of my time at home - regardless where i was sleeping - i didn't do much decorating for the seasons. 

needlesstosay, being out here, i have taken on the responsibility for my Home-ness. yes, i live in a little room. yes, there isn't much space. but it's mine and cozy. it's my heart. 

with all the beautiful farms around and farm "stands" i decided last night that i needed a beautiful wreath. and a lovely fresh garland would be divine too. tragically, most places are closed by 5 around here. i support them going home, but it is a little frustrating to have to wait until saturday to explore beautiful places. 

so i went to michaels and joannes. before you balk, i added a twist of my own - and there is more to come - and i went to my favorite wilson's farms for fresh berry branches, lemon leaves, and tomorrow, i will get a mini Christmas tree. here's what we have so far:

 my shout out to louisa may alcott and her love for owls.
 took down lots of pictures to de-clutter. i like it.

 don't ask about the lighting . . . the light in my room is dying . .. makes quite an ambiance (sp??)

 i bought this BeAUtifUL hat in philly. i finally was brave and actually wore in through the airport, on the flight, and through the boston airport. i was sooo brave - and there wasn't anywhere to pack it without it getting smooshed. this pic below is just for you to get a general idea. :) i am planning on going to nyc in december. is it not the most perfect nyc winter hat??! yup, thought so!

Monday, November 15, 2010


this past weekend i got to visit a friend and make some new ones in philly - aka philadelphia. it was beyond wonderful. remember how i am continually in awe of the people i get to have near my heart in this life? it blows my mind that i can meet people and within hours feel like we have been friends for a lifetime. welcome to this weekend.

ben was in an institute class i got to teach at byu. we ran into each other last fall at a single's conference out here in boston. he is in philadelphia working in a low income high school and getting certified through teach for america. shockingly, we chat about teaching and i live a little through him. 

i got to stay with girls that live around the corner from him. they are some of the greatest women i know. we had wonderful talks and chats and stayed up WAY WAY too lat and ate WAY WAY too much! who knew that philadelphia was the land of food?? and i took oodles of pictures of the beautiful beautiful doors and details around the city. 

after spending friday in ben's class - and teaching his seniors (my apologizes to the first two classes, i am a little rusty), we headed to his favorite place to run.  it's a forest park in the middle of the city. there are rock walls and forts and plaques and benches in the rocks . . . it was pretty cool. minus the fact that ben forgot his running clothes - which made it so that i was definitely off the hook to run with him. so we walked. but, i actually ran today because someday i want to run through that park. i'll start now to be ready for next fall!
 no, my arms are not broken - i am just attempting to be vanna white - such a pathetic attempt
i don't think ben enjoys having his pic taken! :)
 and i just laugh!
 happy indonesian food!! (there was a picture of me with a different course, but sooo not cute. thus, sooo deteleted!)
yes, i ate some of everything!!
happy beautiful, meaningful rings.
ben being "tough"!

 note the swollen, tired eyes and faces of us girlies?? hmmm  .. .

dutch apple . . . wowsers

of course they were alive!!! ugh!

 love it. love it. love it.
 ben got a little defensive about hope's cookies being the best cookies known to man. some how we will need to have a hope's vs. levaine's (from NYC - remember i got them with CT)

  the perfect fire station

 i loved both of these!

 at the jewish deli - and the deserts were truly holy!! notice the eclairs please. only 3 can fit on a cookie sheet!!!

 yup uku, you have to eat it!! and he truly did!!

go philly!