Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful

I thought that by leaving Utah for Christmas I would be escaping the snow. I'll be honest, I was looking forward to a nice drizzly Christmas. Seattle style. I should have known better when my flight home on Wednesday was delayed for an hour because Las Vegas was snowed in. If Vegas was getting a white Christmas, there's no way Seattle could hope for anything less. I still thought I was off the hook. Not a speck of white when I pulled into my house around midnight. But weather was a'brewin in my sleep because ever since then the whole Seattle area has all but shut down for fear of snow. It's like the whole Seattle Metropolitan Area owns just one plow. Businesses are telling employees not to come in, malls are closing early. A bus ill-equipped with snow tires and a capable driver "careened'' down the street and crashed through the I-5 barrier.
A little scary. On Saturday night meteorologists predicted 80-mile an hour winds. My parents (mom) went into panic mode and (dad) ran to the store for batteries and reinforcements. Apparently our late afternoon preparedness was too late and Safeway was already picked over and the gas stations out of gas.

The funniest part of this weather melt-down is that compared to most parts of the country, the snow and wind are entirely normal. Just a run of the mill part of wintertime. Here's a peek outside in my backyard. Sure, the marshmallow on top of the patio table is more snow than I can ever remember piling up in just a couple days. But what, 8 inches? What a bunch of whiners we Northwesterners are! My sister-in-law Heather grew up in Minnesota and is just appalled that there aren't more snow plows at work. Sand and salt don't do the job, she says.

The consequence of such weather shenanigans is lots of QT inside by the fire. Here's my cute dad napping (as we speak!). You'll notice we have a little midget tree in the background. The parents are scaling back on Christmas this year. Too tired to deal with all those blasted needles from real Christmas trees I guess. They're headed to Cabo on the 28th, my mom explains, "to make sure we don't buy too many presents for you kids." Great! Less presents!

Even still, I'm counting down to a very white, and very merry Christmas!


Sunday Favorite

I love this song. It is calming and not too overdone. Simple and true. (Good, non-cheesy videos are hard to find.) Enjoy!


My cute roommates!

Not to go all BYU cheeseball on you, (who?) but I think that I might have the greatest roommates ever. I stumbled into this ragtag crowd because my parents own this house down in Provo. I lived there last summer with my parents and a handful of transients who came and went. The plan was to rent the house out to a family (it's not BYU approved, nor is it zoned for more than 3 non-immediate family members) but due to an odd lease-out time (Mark and Wendy are planning on returning next June, leaving renters just 9 months to enjoy the home), the only biters were young singles. My dad finally selected a group of "nurses" (only one really was a nurse) to move in and dubbed me as unofficial landlord in charge of collecting rent, fixing lightbulbs and cleaning up after all the all-night parties we were bound to throw.

As it turns out, all six of us are in a totally different world of school and/or work but somehow meld together just perfectly. We smart, sassy, beautiful girls have to stick together! Here's us on our roommate Christmas date and gift exchange. All together now: awwww!


My Mason

I'm officially lusting after Mason Jennings. Went to his concert the other day. I've never been good at describing how awesome good music is, so here's a link to my friend Chris's blog. He was there and will really make you feel like you were there. And wish you were there.


We got pretty close up front. Here's the least blurry picture I could take with my phone.


Mood Fixers

Talking to Kelsie the other day about the silly world of blogging she said to me, "Yeah I read your blog the other day and could only listen to about 3 songs before I wanted to blow my brains out." Yeah.. I promise I'm not depressed and/or suicidal. To prove it, Here's a collection of songs that have a similar power to change my mood, but this time to make me either break out dancing (in my car or elsewhere) or burst into song.

Let's Give Them Something to Talk About, Bonnie Raitt: Coy but bold, Bonnie knows how to make her love life happen

Hands Up, Black Eyed Peas

I Want to Break Free, Bicycle, Queen: Rock gods as they were, still so silly

Extraordinary Machine, Fiona Apple: A reminder to keep on fighting

Let Us All Press On, LDS Hymnbook: I sang it all the time as a missionary pick me up. It still works.

Benny and the Jets, Elton John: There's a reason he's a legend.

Drrty, Christina Aguilera: I'm a closet Xtina fan. Most of her Stripped CD can get me in a good mood.


The Way You Make Me Feel, Michael Jackson
Mickey, B'witched
Highway to Hell, ACDC


Moody Music Playlist

I love music that has the power to change your mood, regardless of what you were feeling when the song comes on. Be it my suppressed emotions or recent turmoil, I've lately remembered how many great songs can make you just ache the second they turn on. So here's my quick list of the songs that somehow always have the power to get me. If I missed anything, let me know. It all started with Bonnie Raitt coming on the radio, so she's a good place to start...

I Can't Make You Love Me, Bonnie Raitt: "I can't make you love me if you don't/ I can't make your heart feel something it don't"
Ohh. Heartbreaking. Unrequited love. He doesn't feel it Bonnie, and that will never change.

Slow Dancing in a Burning Room, John Mayer: "It's not the storm before the calm..."
No one likes knowing that the love that you're holding on to is falling through your fingers no matter what you do. (The one from his live Village Sessions CD is my favorite, click here to find it)

Near to You, A Fine Frenzy: A Fine Frenzy has a lot of melancholy songs. Whisper and Ashes and Wine are among my favorites. This one's depressing not so much for the one dealing with 'love lost' but the one who loves the one who lost. "I loved him so but I let him go because I knew he'd never love me back... Near to you I am healing but it's taking so long" Alison Sudol knows she's being unfair to her new love but knows she needs a deep rebound to wrench herself from the despair she's feeling about the one she still loves. [I have to admit this song fits the Jacob-Bella-Edward dynamic all too perfectly]

Hurt, Johnny Cash (Nine Inch Nails cover) : "I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel..." I'm not usually a proponent of songs that encourage suicide or self-mutilation. But this song really makes you feel the irreparable regret that Johnny is feeling.

The Lorry Ride, Kate Rusby: This folk song is about a lovelorn woman and her tall and handsome man who goes off to pick coffee at the plantation. She is warned to move on, that the work is too dangerous, that he won't even survive the lorry ride home. But she waits for him and mourns, "my days are hard, my nights are slow, and I am so alone/ but I'll dream a dream that will never end 'til he comes home" That's true dedication. (I can't find it online :( )

The Leader of the Band, Dan Fogelberg: I think this song makes me cry because I always thought of my dad as the leader of the band and I just hate to think of his eyes growing old. "And daddy, I don't think I said I love you near enough"

River, Joni Mitchell: Don't be mistaken by the the joyful carol music throughout. This song is jam-packed with conflicting emotions, realizing that what's done is done and wanting to just get away from it. "I wish I had a river I could skate away on... I made my baby cry..." (A more contemporary Sara Bareilles does good justice)

Half of all Fiona Apple songs: I had a roommate once tell me that she knew when I was feeling moody because I listened to Fiona Apple. She feels it (just watch her when she sings live) and makes you feel it too. Here's Love Ridden, Across the Universe, and Never is a Promise

Other good ones
Brick, Ben Folds
Nothing Compares to you, Sinead O'Connor
Yesterday, Beatles/BoyzIIMen
I'm Moving On, Rascall Flatts
California, Mason Jennings
...let's see, what else...


Orange you glad this is lactose free?

I've always been a little hesitant to make fruit smoothies, I don't know why, mine always end up wrong. But I've perfected just one and it is scrumptious! Not too sweet, not too tangy. And so easy. I'm still working on getting the ice to end up the right size.

Kami's Vanilla Soy Milk Orange Julius

1 cup vanilla soy milk

6 0z (1/2 can) orange juice concentrate (Mine is Western Family Brand)

1 cup cold water

8-10 ice cubes

Blend all the junk, then dump in ice. Delicious!

Today I also added about 5 peach slices that Kelsie had canned for me. MM yum, this has got to beat the cold that's coming to get me!


Pre- semester Sea-town

Just days after Raelle's wedding, Doug and I drove up my parents' car back up to Seattle. (They had been living here in Utah forthe summer an were headed back to Seattle for the cold season. We hit so many birds with one stone I can't even count my bounty. Some highlights:

Hanging out with my one true love, Kendall when she also happened to be in Seattle for the week. Maybe the last time I see before she heads down south for Navigator training (she's gonna be an Air Force All Star). After we hung out at Gasworks Park we got Ivars. Yummy.

And we saw the Troll Under the Bridge (that's me on his shoulder) - Made by a bunch of Fremont hippies in the 70's. I love him.

We went up with my parents to Victoria B.C. This is at Buchart Gardens, a phenomenal (if not pricey) display of late summer foliage. It was literally breathtaking the whole time we were there

An early morning ferry ride to Port Angeles.

My kind of weather/skyline.

Snoqualmie Falls is more beautiful than I even remembered.

(I know, I know I used to boycott both ferries and Snoqualmie Falls. But I'm a visitor now, I'm allowed to enjoy them!)

The best part of the extended stay was the wedding. Gabe, one my very best friends from high school married his girlfriend of almost 3 years. They are booh devoutly Christian and the Spirit was so strong in their ceremony, I know that God is pleased with their marriage. I totally cried. They're just perfect for each other. The venue was up North of Seattle and had a little pond with a rowboat (my favorite), a putting green, croquet and a well-used dance floor (yes, we did boogie down to YMCA). Kelsey, the beautiful bride, thanked everyone for coming and said "I've been praying for this weather since we got engaged!" It had been raining all week (see above picture) but the weather was indeed surprisingly ideal.

Raelle and Matt's wedding

(Sister) Raelle Greer, one of my funnest (most fun?) companions and (Elder) Matt Cunningham, my most non-annoyingly responsible District Leader didn't know each other at all in Thailand but met, courted and got married this year. I'm pretty sure the first time they met I semi-introduced them. So I'll take credit for yet another match made in heaven.

So I guess this is basically old news by now (two months old) but its 2:16 am and I can't sleep. So, what better to do than update my blog. Here's my favorite pictures from the Cunningham's wedding in August (some of them I stole from Sister Greer's facebook album)

Matt's house is on the hill above Provo so the reception had a sweet view. Oh, and don't they look pretty together!

I loved the colors, black white and hot pink- especially the black suits and hot pink ties on the groomsmen. What a bunch of stud muffins.

Just in case you didn't know, the Manti temple is absolutely stunning. Inside and out it is olde-style beautiful (that e on the end of old is on purpose). I want to see more of it. My second favorite thing about the Manti temple is that it is the the main focus of the town, and located next to the other two most important places in Manti- the cemetary and the rodeo grounds. All within walking distance. yay!

Three hot babes, waiting for the happy couple

4 hot babes striking a pose.


Celebrity look-a-like

MyHeritage is a website that lets you upload a photo of yourself and it matches you with your celebrity twin. Some are pretty close. Some are a little more far fetched [umm Paul Hindesmith??]

I just spent almost an hour messing with pictures of me and celebrities. I swear half of them I apparently match with an Asian. I guess it's in my blood.

My favorite: Eva Longoria

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities

Kate Winslet came up a lot. Other highlights: Hilary Clinton

Give it a try and let me know who you are!


Brown Beauty

I was walking home from the bus last night (about 6pm) and was really amazed at how beautiful it was. Having grown up in Seattle I am extremely addicted to green. Just about any time I comment on the beauty of an area it is due to the green. Yesterday, however, the sun was coming down, not yellow and pink yet, but it was just that kind of light that made everything crisper. Like how everything looks when you just get a brand new prescription and you realize how fuzzy things were before. My house is right up near the mountains and I felt like I could see every detail. The mountains certainly don't have any green on them this time of year. The little color there is is patches of orange-yellow changing leaves. Why the beauty then? BROWN! So I just looked up the word brown on Wikipedia (the ultimate resource for everything) and found out that brown is an entirely relative color. Did you ever know that? I've been mulling that around in my brain for the last little bit and quite honestly, I still don't get it. But the announcement stands: brown is beautiful.


Back to school, back to school

I realize that it's October now and mid-terms are approaching, meaning that we're reaching the mid-point in the semester where we start counting down until Winter break rather than up from summer. 6 weeks into school and I still love all my classes. I realized as I was registering this semester that I'm a little OCD about picking my classes. I get my mind set on something and I'm finicky with MyMap (the new BYU registering for classes program) until I'm happy. Somehow this year I ended up with almost entirely Monday, Wednesday classes. This makes for some very long days but luckily if I make it to Wednesday, the rest of the week is a slide. So, here's the round-up:

Geography of the Urban Environment: Understanding how cities developed and why they are the way they are. Love it. Lectures are marginal (I have to do the crossword in class to keep my focused...) but assignments are actually quite interesting and help synthesize what I'm learning.

Comparative International Development Education: Yeah, I didn't know what that meant either. Basically we examine education systems around the world and try to figure out which ones are best for which areas. My professor is this total Bad-A economist turned social developer from Nigeria, Geo-Jaja.

Grant Writing: It is what it sounds like. We learn to write grants. I hope that it will give me some practical skills to make some moolah for NGOs. So far so good.

US History to 1877: We just finished the Revolutionary War and surprisingly enough, it's fascinating. Despite the fact that the class is 2.5 hours long with no breaks I usually stay alert and interested. My professor keeps history lively while somehow condemning Whigs and cell phone addicts to burn in hell.

New Testament, the four Gospels: Yep, I still read the scriptures.

Tennis: Love it! I'm still just awful but I'm really improving my forehand, backhand and slam. My serve is really bad.

It's a fairly light load (just 13.5 credits) but I've been keeping myself busy by falling into bunches of useful extracurriculars. I accidently became a member of the Non-Profit Management Minor Student Association which has been really fun, and I just started doing research about Africa with a group going to China. Hopefully I get to go to China too. I'm also looking into grad schools and my post-graduation possibilities whenever that day comes. If anyone has any other good ideas of good things for me to do, let me know!


When was the last time you thought about Rhode Island?

Rhode Island is one of those states that you don't really think about until you have to. Not that it's unpleasant in any way, it's just... there. Kelsie and Jake are there now so I've thought about Rhode Island a lot more recently than I ever have. Last Saturday Jake called me and offered to fly me out to play with Kels and the kids, on Sunday. So I made the impromptu trip across the country and had oodles of East coast fun.

Monday we were in Providence (that's the capitol of Rhode Island, you know) and I fell head over heels for the Brown University campus.

Tuesday me and Kelsie stayed the night in Boston. It smells just like Seattle. We had dinner on the wharf and got lost looking for somewhere, I don't remember where now. But on the way we accidentally ended up driving through Harvard and by MIT. Not as neat as Brown. Boston has a cool urban feel.

Wednesday morning waded in the Atlantic ocean and again accidentally ended up at Plymouth Rock. I guess it's not really a rock and it's not really the first place the pilgrims landed. Or so says the lady we met from Cape Cod.

Here's Kelsie puking all over the ridiculous traffic in Massachusetts. Still, somehow the GPS in the car always reported that our destination was about 7 minutes away.


Rob's 50th Birthday Mexican Pirate Luau

This blog post is written assuming all readers know Uncle Rob. If you don't, it doesn't make as much sense.

This year was Rob's 50th birthday. For anyone 50 is a big year, most especially for Rob, who keeps his mustache full so that he looks older (it works for Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds, it can work for him). This has also been a big summer for Rob because he moved out of the Knudson house (where he has lived for probably 16 of the last 20 odd years) to the Hyde house in Fallon, NV. Fallon sits at the west end of the Loneliest Road in America, where moving eastward, the closest town (Austin, NV) is 110 miles away. (We drove the less lonely I-80 to hwy 95 route and it was pretty grim except for Wendover and Elko. I can only imagine). It has a strong Air Force presence (as well as alleged cancer-causing residue from nuclear testing nearby), signs at the city's edge advertising the dozens of local churches (aka these are God-fearing folk) and is a refreshingly pleasant oasis in the desolate Nevada desert. I have lots of fond memories at the Hyde's house, playing in the dirtiest neck of the Carson River and pretending I lived real farm life because I helped gather the chicken eggs and sometimes stepped in dried-up horse poop.

Anyway, Robbie is adjusting to the new scenery so to help him with the transition we planned the party. I'm pretty sure it was supposed to just be a regular luau (lei's and inflatable palm trees) but somehow we ended up with Cafe Rio pulled pork salads and a ridiculous pirate treasure hunt in search of all Rob's presents. We swam, we played, we ate and ate and ate. Everything a family reunion should be.

I don't have any great pictures, but here's the family after the treasure hunt.

PS My family is totally rad.


Magic Shows and the Jamestown Bell Choir

I have mixed feelings about getting old. The altruistic side of me thinks that there is something beautiful about making it through life and being gracious and proud enough to show the battle scars. I love seeing people like this woman who I met harvesting rice in Thailand (please disregard the goofy look on my face, I'm not sure what that's all about). Her wrinkles are deep and tells stories of long, hot days harvesting rice, raising children and smiling through hard times (as Thai's are always doing). She's made it and even though she probably just wants to sit and not be bothered, she's keeping on. No Botox for her. It would be a disservice to her experience to inject what would look like a life of ease just for a flawless forehead and fewer crows feet. I want to be like the old lady who shows life experience in the way she carries herself- graceful, strong, weathered maybe, but weathered with wisdom. I realize, however, that this vision of old age is a little off.

Grandpa's traditional wave goodbye at Jamestown
The other night I went with the parents to the Jamestown Assisted Living variety show. Grandpa Hart has been living there for the last 4 years or so and he plays in the Bell Choir. The variety show had other acts but this was definitely the headliner. They played America the Beautiful, and a whole bunch of songs I've never heard of like Hi-lili Hi-lo (well I actually know that one, but just because I've come to hang out with grandpa during bell choir rehearsals. For a creepy puppet rendition of the song click here). The show was nice enough (my grandpa is too cute) but it was a stark reminder of just how unglamorous old age really is. None of the bell choir members even cracked a smile, many of them probably couldn't. Most of the people that live at Jamestown were fairly accomplished in their lives. My grandpa was a rocket scientist. Well, an aerospace engineer. He worked on Top Secret planes for Boeing back in the iron curtain, 'we're afraid of the USSR' days. He served in SE Asia in WWII and saw the Emporer of Japan sign the treaty papers ending the war. He was an excellent singer (performed with the family, in choirs and alone). Now he and his generation are debased to bell-ing 9 of the 35 notes in the assisted living variety show. Half are in wheel chairs, they all smell, their wrinkles are sallow and covered in age spots. With all improvements in medicine and life expectancy, is this what they are living for? Worse even, my grandpa now remembers only snippets of the non-marginalized life he led. I know his mind is moving right now but whatever he's thinking about doesn't last very long. From my frequent visits, I can count about 20 odd stories and thoughts that grandpa cycles through. A handful from the military, post-military, his wife and his children. But he certainly has his priorities straight. Most quoted, "I've come to realize that the single most important result of the restoration of the gospel is the ability to seal families." I think he really misses his wife.

I see how hard it is for grandpa to come to grips with his diminishing capacities. I do not look forward to it. It's not pretty, but I do still believe it can be approached with grace. I complement grandpa and the bell choir for keeping active and staying as high-function as they possibly can. Here he is doing the same magic tricks he did for his grandkids, now for his great-grandkids. They're a little less magical as his shaky hands stumble over the magic set stunts. The old two-dollar bill roll out is now a one dollar bill wallet, but the kids' names are still on it!

But I just love my grandpa.



So I've been e-tagged. Blog tagged, b-tagged. Twice! Thankfully both Allison and Heather got me for the same question, because I'm new to this and had a hard time thinking of

10 things people might not know about me

Here goes it!

1. I was born with two teeth. And surprisingly enough it didn't make me look like a freak show/vampire baby. I'm really cute! (Scanned baby Kami to come)

2. I'm addicted to crossword puzzles. Useless information, puzzles and unlimited time make for a fun activity. Usually when I'm really stressed with school or life, I like to curl up in bed with a crossword puzzle book and take it out on the paper. (what, you hit the streets and run?) The only thing that makes me nervous is my grandpa Hart, who is quickly losing his memory and ability to care for himself compulsively buys, works and hoards crossword puzzle books. Do I have a future?

3. I've been to church on every continent but Australia. Mombasa, Kenya (Africa), London, England and Pisa, Italy (Europe), Cuzco, Peru (S. America), Bangkok, Thailand (Asia) and a smattering throughout the US and Mexico (N. America). Believe it or not, the church is really truly the same in all these places! Sometimes hotter, wetter, smaller or more colorful, but not only is the doctrine the same throughout them all, but ward dynamics. Everywhere I've been long enough to get to know ward members there's the power leaders, the struggling souls and the crazies who keep things interesting.

4. I'm afraid of heights. Some things are particularly nauseating, like leaning against high balconies, standing near ledges and walking down steep stairs. Ask my mom how hard I cried ALL THE WAY DOWN Chichen Itza pyramids. Sure that was in the 5th grade. I've gained a lot more control over my panic since them but still I get nauseous or dizzy and sometimes projected visions of my tumbling to my death. This hasn't stopped me from skydiving and hang gliding. One of my biggest regrets is not taking the train down to Zambia to bungee jump off Victoria Falls, the highest bungee in the world. (scanned picture of skydiving Kami to come)

5. I LOVE DRESSES. Skirts aren't bad. I wear jeans most days. But I'm gonna get all tingly about any kind of clothes or fashion (excluding shoes), it's got to be a dress. Jumpers, wraps, fancy, casual, occasion dresses (aka wedding gowns). I rarely buy them but they get me excited.

6. My hair is stick straight. Without a heavy layer of AquaNet and/or some serious teasing damage it will not hold a curl for longer than about 30 minutes. So I'm excluded from ringlets and pretty curls so I have to get creative with the way I girly up. Right now I'm living the blonde life. It's fun.

(This is the post-AquaNet/teasing hairdo from Katie's wedding)

7. I won best paper and spoke at DARE graduation. That's not all that interesting. But I just remembered. DARE... to keep kids off drugs. I think I talked about Sheryl Carkeek (Crapo Shaw) and how she made me want to stay away from drugs because drugs screw you up.

8. I've never broken a bone. The worst I've ever had is an arm twisted from the shoulder. I don't remember it hurting and I got a Popsicle out of it. The only surgery I've had is to remove my birthmark (medical name: Giant Hair Nevus. No wonder I got it removed). Before, it looked like brown lip marks ('a kiss from a black angel'). Now it looks like Chile, or a skinny Florida, or as Max Butikofer pointed out, a giraffe (?) with a line down the middle. Most people think I cut myself. Or have a strange henna tattoo.

Phew! This is getting tough!

9. I have always wanted to be a masseuse. Maybe some day I'll go to massage school. That'd be sweet.

10. My goal is to be conversational in at least 5 languages before I die. English, check! Spanish, check! Thai, check! Swahili, pretty much a check! What other languages should I pick? I'm thinking another romance language like French or Portugese (for Portugal not Brazil) and maybe a biblical language like Greek or Hebrew.

So there's me in a nutshell. A blog shaped nutshell. So now I tag.... Kelsie!


The great outdoors

The best thing about winter being over (besides thawing out, of course) is being to enjoy the great outdoors. Utah has a great springtime. One of my goals in coming back to America is to take advantage of all the sweet things in and around Utah. One of my sneaky ways of getting outside is taking this Ventures of Outdoor Leadership class. It's in the Recreation Management College and is, more or less, How to be a Good YM/YW Leader. Included in the class was Intro SCUBA lessons, canoeing, and an all-expense paid trip to Moab. Here's my class, after a morning mountain bike ride:At the delicate arch:

I was amazed at how well the Delicate Arch lived up to the expectations set by the Utah State license plates. If you look real close, I'm in this one on the left.

When you lay down under the arch (top) the clouds moving behind the top of the arch (bottom) make it feel like you're moving.

Another cool arch

There was a cool climbing/rappelling wall (that's me suspended in the air)

And here on the home front, in Springville:

Out shooting with Steve, Jason and that guy with his back to the camera.

I am physically incapable of flicking my wrist the right angle to release the clay pigeon from the launcher. I think it's that same flick you use to make a frisbee really soar. I'm worse at pigeon launching than I am at frisbee, which is pretty bad.

And I probably shouldn't be allowed to hold a gun. I DID hit one of the clay pigeons, though. Once.


The Grandest of Junctions

At National Monument
Kendall and I used to live 457 steps apart. Best friends and confidantes. But since the days of Jr. High we've rarely been in the same place. She moved to Seattle in high school and after that, we bounced around the world (Kendall to Guatemala, NYU, and Israel, me to BYU, Tanzania and Thailand). In the last 4+ years we have probably spent a cumulative 3 days in the same place. Now, Kendall lives in Colorado Springs. The 9 hour drive was too far for either of us to drive, but we compromised on a half way point: Grand Junction, CO. I drove over with my roommate Angie (who dropped me off and kept driving to her house in Boulder) and Kendall took the back roads from the Springs. We stayed at the home of the parents of the roommate of this guy I went on two dates with (not awkward at all!).

A big, metal, Wells Fargo buffalo on Main Street. Main Street was full of quaint, old Issaquah-esque boutiques. We ate Nepali food (Namaste!!), I bought a t-shirt, we were 'this close' to going to the community production of the Wizard of Oz (it was sold out... and 60 bucks). The Grand Junctionese are proud of being a part of the olde west. I'm already planning on moving in. Give me 10 years.

Red Rock= so pretty! You maybe can't tell from the picture. But if you have any doubt, just look at how supermodel diva I look and I think you'll get the picture.


Las Vegas with las chicas

I'm going to be honest here, I don't much care for Las Vegas. Gambling, drinking, and naked girls just aren't my style. The bright lights, high-so shopping and desert beauty don't do it for me either. But last weekend I was in Vegas and it was a bona fide blast. What made the difference? My girls.

My girls!

Heather, Jessica, Brooke and I were roommates Freshman and Sophomore year of college. Since then, Jessica got married and has an 8 month old baby, Heather got married and lives in Hollywood, Brooke graduated and will start BYU Law in the fall, and I, well, I'm still hanging out working on my undergrad :) The last time we were all together was at Jessica's wedding in June 2005. This time, Jessica came into Vegas for her little sister's wedding, Heather drove over from So-Cal and Brooke and I somehow made it through St. George to Nevada.

We got locked out of our car at the St. George Wendy's. Fortunately, we were right next to a log cabin used car lot and the owner came to our rescue.

On the way back, Brooke and I stopped in Mesquite and had dinner with Sister Orasa. She's an eccentric Thai woman I worked with in Thailand. I've never met someone so dedicated to giving the missionaries referrals and food. She's married to a white guy and they both work as poker dealers in M-town. It was serious de ja vu. She had the Elders over, an investigator lesson about to start, ridiculous amounts of food and baggies of leftovers for the ride home. How would it be to be a missionary in Mesquite? Apparently, it would be exactly the same as Thailand!