You you you Utah

God bless Southwest Airlines and their free flight change policy. I rescheduled my original flight to the Rocky Mountains three times before settling on last weekend. Thursday night to Tuesday morning would surely be enough time to enjoy wedding festivities and the company of everyone else I love in Utah, right? Wrong.

I forget sometimes that I lived in Utah for some 6 odd years and that most of my friends from my time there are still there. The trip was much more of a whirlwind than I anticipated, so I'm summarizing here, mostly using my online banking as a reference.

**Dinner at the delicious Terra Mia with the always beautiful Katie (four cheese pizza and bruschetta were amazing and worth it, even with the stomach warfare they started). I'm lucky to have friends like Katie who I've known since forever and have such a history with. Someone who I can just pick up and be best friends no matter how long it has been since we have really talked last.

**Grey's Anatomy season premiere. Der is out of control. Mer is out of control. Christina should NOT marry Owen. Everyone is acting crazy but the dreamy therapist. Bring on Season 6!

**Many silly sleepovers with Brooke. Only one personal meltdown. I miss sharing a room with her for her bestie handling of both.

**I spent 30 minutes on campus. I'm proud of my BYU Alumni license plate frame, though I'm yet to fix it to my actual car but not so sure about the impulse Y Christmas ornament. I've been slowly accumulating Christmas ornament souvenirs from my trouncing around and thought this might be a good addition. I just wish it weren't so... blue.

**A whole day with Christie! Excessive boy talk. Laughing with her hilarious husband. Lemonade and a stroll down Provo Center street with her blonde and growing babies. And she made me a dress! From scratch! Made up the pattern and everything and I look like a total babe in it! I am constantly amazed at this woman's skiiillls as a wife, mother, homemaker and friend. When I grow up, I want to be just like Christie.

**Lauren's high-so wedding dinner at the Grand America. She's so lovely. Sadly, besides the friend of the groom who I may or may not have hooked up with a year or so ago, I didn't know a soul. The two married guys I sat between were friendly enough. I totally could have found my soul mate at the after party though! Sitting in the lounge, waiting for my ride because I'm a carless vagabond, in a dress made 4 hours earlier from DI sheets the lounge waitress came by to tell me that a stranger offered to buy me a drink. I declined, awkward and flustered, not knowing the proper etiquette in such a situation but soon regretted it. I was thirsty and could have used a free Shirley Temple from one of the 4 creeper males wandering around the lounge.

**I was saved by Melissa, who not only let me borrow her car for the deathly early sealing the next morning but let me sleep over and keep her up late with my tirades in her perfectly decorated room. I have the fondest memories of mission life with this girl. There is no one as thoughtful as her on earth.

**After Lauren's sealing (more on this later), I stalked down Sister Ang, my Cambodian companion's little sister who is serving on temple square. She is an almost twin with her sister (who I LOVE!) and her English is so good! Apparently, they recently changed sister missionary clothing rules- dark, mid-length skirts and collared shirts no longer required! Not that these rules affected my mission much, but I think the church is taking a step in the right direction. Next step: tank top G's!

**Raelle met me at temple square. We left for literally the best Khaw Phad (Thai fried rice) I have ever had (including in Thailand!) at Mai Thai on 300 W 1500 S in Salt Lake. The ginger dish was just okay. Raelle's baby is cute enough to be a Gerber baby and she's a cute little mom herself. We were going to head to the Relief Society broadcast after bopping around Gateway, but realized we left the tickets behind (oops!) so we hung out with Melanie instead. I walked out with some of her somehow stylish grandma clothes.

**Lauren's reception. Lovely. High strung lights, BBQ, live (perfect) music. The cake was not my favorite. But the peanut-butter balls were perfect. And the sparkler and lit lantern send-off was worth the wait.

**I pretty much made Jodi and Tyler make me waffles. They are so cute. Jodi was such a great roommate. The only one I ever had with my same shoe size.

**Sacrament meeting in a Belmont ward. People shouldn't knock these wards so much. It was a really good testimony meeting.

**I was going to try to escape home for a nap after sacrament meeting (sooooo tiiiirreeeed) but on my way out, ran into literally all of my favorite people from my last ward in Provo. People I had for the most part entirely forgotten about. Kristin who I blogstalk; Heather who I have no way to contact but love seeing; Dave who is just the best, my old home teacher just got engaged; the old EQP announced he's still not married (I haven't been gone that long); the old Exec. Secretary who I forgot I totally had a crush on; the guy who I would never date but has the most charming smile; people who I am not even Facebook friends with, but love! I ended up staying for more church. It was just what I needed.

**Stopped by the old house. No electricity or water but still felt like home. I loved that house.

**Drive up the canyon with Lisa on Monday. Utah is so beautiful this time of year. We took the lift up at Sundance (breathtaking, see photo above) and I made her take my to the Dodge's house. They were home (amazing luck) and we got to rehash our trip. That trip was so fun. I couldn't have picked a better travel partner. And my mission president and his wife are seriously such high quality people.

**Dinner with Lisa, Andy, Rachel and friends. Rach is just the best. If I were a guy, I would want to marry her. She and Krista even took me to the airport early early Tuesday morning.

**I caught the Link light rail from the airport straight to work. I will do this again. It's so easy.

Phew. This turned out way longer than I anticipated. Sadly, no pictures even to spice it up. It really was such a fabulous weekend.
Still, it's great to be home :)


Accidental Find

I went into TJ Maxx looking for gray boots (out), tried on 6 sweater dresses (none fit just right) and ended up seeing this jacket and trying it on en route to the cashier. Sometimes, you just know in an instant what will be your favorite pieces of clothing all winter. Warm and comfy, accessible pockets, double-breasted buttons from chin to (butt) cheeks, long enough arms, detachable hood, easy to match, easy to wash, easy to love!

The cashier asked me if I found what I was looking for. I told him no, but I'm much happier with my accidental find. Ready for winter!


New home

I know everyone thinks it's pretty cool to be 25 and living with your parents. Okay, that statement might be up for debate (though if you know my parents, it really isn't. My parents are cooler than I am), but apparently over half of 2010 grads (not that I am one of those yet) are living at home these days, thinking it's pretty cool. What is there to not love about little to no expenses and free nostalgia every day of the week? When I first got home, it was a serious party. With 10 of us crammed into literally every nook and cranny of the Knudson homestead, we were all wondering whatever happened to predictability and wishing we had Dave Coulier in the basement. I have had a thrill of a summer living at the base of Demery Hill in the room where I learned to read and not wet the bed but the time has come to reenter the world of paying for utilities and shopping for my own groceries.

I haven't been fo' real grocery shopping for something like 9 months now, what with the living at home, wandering around Asia and using up the last of my goods I have been doing since last November. I realized tonight that I'm not very good at it. A reminder for next time: Don't go on an empty stomach. If you're not sure if you are full enough for a grocery run, check your cart. If the to-buy items include Eggo's, Taquitos, or any kind of frozen burritos, go eat something and come back later. No, Kami, a donut from the bakery does not count, even if it has sprinkles. You always forget to pay for it at the register anyway. I swear it will be 15 empty stomach grocery-run sprinkled donuts that I accidentally stole that will keep me out of heaven.

After a good six laps around the Safeway with I'm sure the very worst selection of everything but butter, I finally made it out with a cart full of what I think will be useful food items. Lemon Zest Luna bars are disgusting, I have already learned. Hopefully how gross they are will not be indicative of the rest of my food choices.

I'm sure I'll miss morning crosswords with my dad and late night chats with my mom, and the occasional run-in I had with everyone else who lives at the house. But I'm sorry family, I got to work in 18 minutes this morning (during rush hour!) and there's no way you will ever compete with that. See you for Sunday dinner.... maybe.


At any time an invitation I can't decline

In the last month or so I have been feasting on the glories of Seattle summertime. Pictured here: My first NFL experience at a Seahawks pre-season game (I think I could really get into the whole live football thing); Pacific Science Center for Bite of Seattle, IMAX, and a Queen Laser Show (Yum, whoa, and ROCK ON!, respectively); Stanley Jordan Trio, an UNBELIEVABLY TALENTED touch-tap guitar player (it must be painful to have that much soul) at the oh so cool Dimitriou's Jazz Alley (I'm now on their email list); and a day flight and fresh seafood to Friday Harbor in a Cessna (seriously, what a dream. Seriously. A dream.).

Good food, good company, and in all these cases specifically, good weather! I can't be mad now that the gray skies are starting to settle. Perhaps gloomier days will persuade me to settle down a bit. I've got a lot to do!