Love this place and these people

Monday, February 27, 2012

Where does the time go? Part 3

It's not even the last day of February, which is a short month anyway, and I'm already posting.  Here's to overcoming my habit of procrastination, baby steps.


I forgot a very important part of the month of August, a trip to Rexburg, ID to visit my adopted family the Walkers.  I first met the Walker family my freshmen year at Ricks College.  A guy I was dating introduced me to them.  His older brother is their son-in-law and he would go to their weekly Sunday dinners.  I went a few times with him but by the time we stopped dating, the family loved me so much that I still got invited to Sunday dinners and other activities.  Dave and Claudia became my parents.  Misty, Jaclyn, Jill, Jenny and Kevin became my siblings.  Julie and James became my cousins.  The adventures are too many to recount here, but they were a huge part of my life for the two years I was in Idaho.  So when I found out Dave was retiring after 30 years of working at Ricks, I had to go up to attend the festivities.  I hadn't seen any of them in years and it was such a wonderful weekend.  Kevin, an 11 year old when I first met him, had just returned from his mission and spoke in church that Sunday.  Yes, that was a little weird.  Especially because he moved down here to SLC to play basketball for SLCC putting us essentially in the same social scene.  I felt a little bit old.  But it was so wonderful to see all of them.  I am so grateful that they took me in and treated me as one of their own.  I love them.

Dave was a football coach.

His first year coaching was the first year of my life.

Love this photo.

Dave and Claudia.  Love them.

The siblings.  You can just see how much fun we had.

I also got to hang out with my cute niece and nephews.  I can't remember why they were in town, but we went for my favorite treat, frozen yogurt.  I always get the tart with granola and fruit.  Allie, Tyler and Trent wanted chocolate and vanilla swirl with sprinkles, malt balls and of course gummy worms.  Not delicious.  But they sure are adorable.

And then the craziness started.  Just thinking about it stresses me out a little bit.  I thought I worked a lot as an accountant, but that was nothing compared to my fall busy season as a recruiter.  I won't go into the gory details, but it took over my life and with the exception of one or two activities, I had no life outside of work from the end of August through Thanksgiving.  The good news is that even though it was crazy, I love my job.  It is so much fun, exhausting but fun.  I love working with the students, faculty and professionals. 


Several members of my family have a small obsession with Taylor Swift or T-Swizzle, you choose.  She came to Salt Lake and my parents gave Shandi a ticket for her birthday and Brianna, Saryn, Cailey and I went with her.  I was a fan before, I love her music, but after her concert I have to admit that I am also a little bit obsessed.  I actually saw her open for Rascal Flatts out in DC over four years ago before she was a big deal and I wasn't that impressed.  But this concert was unbelievable!  It was practically a broadway show with all the costume and set changes she had.  Dancers coming down from the ceiling and out of the stage, Taylor flying through the air on a balcony, confetti coming down from the ceiling.  It was a dream.  It may have also developed due to the fact that we were invited to attend Taylor's private "T" party after the show.  Bree had been telling us about these before the concert.  She has people assigned to walk through the audience during the concert to select fans to come to an after party with pizza and the chance to meet Taylor and the band.  Of course I thought there was no way we would ever get picked so I didn't really think about it.  I'm not sure if it was the matching shirts Cailey made for us or the fact that we were dancing and singing our hearts out from our floor seats, but during the third or fourth song I was singing and dancing along when I heard Cailey and Shandi screaming.  I later found out that a random girl had approached them and asked if they had ever met Taylor.  They said no and she asked them if they would like to.  That's when the screams started.  When I turned to see what was going on, we all crowded around this girl and she asked us if we would like to attend the "T" party after the concert.  I may have started screaming and jumping up and down like a 14 year old girl.  I couldn't help it.  Just knowing that we were going to meet her after the show made the concert that much better.  I loved every minute. 

Just outside the concert in our matching shirts.

Inside the concert waiting for Taylor to come on.

In the "T" Party room

With guitar player Grant (I had to look up his name).

Yes that is Taylor.  She is so nice.  


Not realizing just how crazy my life was still going to be, I planned a trip to NY and DC in the middle of October.  Unfortunately I ended up working a lot more than I would have liked to, but at least I got to play with some of my favorite people.  Christina took the bus up from DC and we stayed with Adrienne for a couple of days.  We had perfect weather the whole time we were there.  

I love this girl.  And I love this photo of us.

And this photo.

And especially this photo.  We got several donuts from the donut factory and we ate all of them.  This particular one was a coconut cream that was one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten.

I think we should be on their ads.  Donuts and milk on a sunny morning in Central Park, it doesn't get much better.

The 9/11 Memorial is breathtaking.  Go see it as soon as you have a chance.  It is a wonderful memorial to all those whose lives were lost that day. 

Our friend Sara happened to be visiting NY the same days we were there.

It's hard to tell but that is a waterfall behind us going into a hole that is I believe the same size as the base of the building.  It is pretty incredible

Christina is wearing all 12 scarves that we purchased in China Town that day.  Of course making a face with our friend Dave.

We are fun.  That's really all there is to say about the three of us.  I wish we all lived together.  Oh the good times we would have.  After we went to get dessert we just stood on the street corner and talked and laughed for almost an hour.  Love you both!

I also got to visit DC for less than 48 glorious hours.  I didn't take any photos, but I had such a wonderful time catching up with all of my nearest and dearest in that city I love.  I am trying hard to find time for my next trip.

The one other non-work related adventure during the crazy month of October was the annual So You Think You Can Dance tour.  Bree and I are a little obsessed so we of course went.  This was my fourth year in a row.  It wasn't as good as last year and I missed my DC groupies, but it was still worth it.

 It is now much later than it should be and I have eaten way more cookies than I should have to keep me awake.  So the rest of it will have to come later.  Hopefully the next post will bring us up to the current day.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Where does the time go? Part 2

So this is the last day of January and I am determined to keep my goal of writing once a month.  So this might be quick, but here it is.  The last several months will actually be pretty easy to catch up on because I have been doing a lot of one thing:  work.  There were a few other fun things though, so I'll focus on those.


Tara and I fulfilled our childhood dream of driving up the Eastern coast to Prince Edward Island (PEI).  If you're asking yourself why we would go there, you probably also don't recognize the quote I have at the top of my blog.  PEI, home to the one and only Anne Shirley, one of my favorite fictional characters ever written.  L.M. Montgomery placed the majority of her stories on this island and for good reason.  It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.  The trip was full of family, good food, and beautiful scenery.  Just what I needed before I started the craziest 4 months of my life.

Ben & Jerry's was a must see with some of our favorite cousins, the Ryan and Amber Jensen family (they may look familiar to you from recent Romney campaign ads).

Yes they have a Flavor Graveyard.  There were some in there I wish they would bring back. 

The sample flavor of the day was "Late Night Snack" created by Jimmy Falon.  It has chocolate covered potato chips and was surprisingly delicious. 

We stopped by the birthplace of the Prophet Joseph Smith on our way back to New Hampshire.  It was raining and very beautiful.

We had a yummy birthday dinner for Amber before we hit the road.  I just love everyone of these faces!

One of my favorite parts was all the lighthouses we got to see.  This one was close to Kennebunkeport, ME where we stayed with some of Tara's friends.  This stop was mostly about food.  We had lobster the first night there then we went up to Portland for the day and had amazing fish tacos and fruit buckles.

There was this random place close to where we were staying that looked kind of like an organized junk yard.  We stopped by to see and it turns out the man who owns it is a collector (hoarder?) of items and old buildings.  So he has had a bunch of old buildings moved to his property.  I loved this old gas station.

He let us see inside this place and I couldn't believe the amount of stuff he had inside this building.  

This is the wedding cake house.  The story goes that a desperate man built it for his love in hopes that she would be his bride.  I don't know how it ended, but I probably would have gone for it.  Look at all that detail!

You probably didn't know that the larget LL Bean store is in Maine as well.  We had to stop in just to say that we did.  And of course take a photo by this very large boot.

Next stop, Bar Harbor in Acadia National Park.  If you are ever in Maine, don't miss this place.  It was raining and cold but still so lovely.  The photos don't do it justice.  We only had a few hours there and I wish we would have planned for more.  There is actually a point called Cadillac Mountain that is one of the first places you can see the sunrise in the US.  It's one of the top recommended activities, we of course didn't have time to do it.  Guess I'll just have to go back.

Don't judge my large, orange shoes.  Somehow I overlooked packing tennis shoes so I bought those sweet ones at a thrift store in Portland. I love me some thrift stores.


And we finally made it to magical PEI by crossing the Confederation Bridge, one of the longest in the world. This is the home that inspired Green Gables.  It belonged to L.M. Montgomery's aunt and uncle.

Dressing up like Anne and wearing an "I heart Gilbert" shirt just seemed like the right thing to do.  Probably one of my favorite souvenirs EVER!

Part of Lover's Lane.  Everything was so green and beautiful.  I'm not a writer and don't have any flowery thoughts, but if I were, I can only imagine how this place would inspire me.  It is just as lovely as she describes in her books.

The original covers to the Anne books.  I wish I owned these.

Yes there is a haunted wood.  It is the woods between L.M. Montgomery's home and her aunt and uncle's.  I'm sure she really did have some terrifying walks through there as a child.

She is buried very close to where she grew up.

The view from the cafe where we lunched.  

Not a very good view from our incredible bike ride along the coast.

Better view, especially the lighthouse.

The "White Sands" hotel.  Not quite the same as they show in the movie, but still fun to see.

I love the contrast of the red dirt and the ocean.  I have an affinity for red dirt, being from Southern Utah and all.  But we didn't have any oceans down there.  

The front desk clerk at the B&B where we stayed in Charlottetown recommended we go see some local talent and it was wonderful.  I felt like a local and I went and met her after because I enjoyed her music so much.  I just can't remember her name right now...

This is what the entire city of Charlottetown looks like.  Beautiful flowers everywhere you looked.  Charming window boxes and such nice people.  If it didn't get so cold there during the winter, I might consider moving to PEI.  

Our charming B&B.

And the red, sandy beach we stopped at on our way out of town.  I was getting creative with the camera and wishing that Ani and Christina would have been there to participate because Tara was not that excited about it.

Just me trying to be artistic. 

The entire trip was wonderful and I highly recommend it to everyone.  And that all took a lot longer than I was planning and I was supposed to be in bed an hour ago, so it looks like there is going to be a part 3 to the update.