Taking pictures of all the random junk in an antique store hardly seems like your typical Christmas tradition. But for me, Brandi, Alyssa, and Corinne, it has become a much anticipated ritual. This was our third year of adventures in downtown Riverside. The tradition actually started four years ago when my family went to the Mission Inn with Brandi's family to look at the fabulous lights. For some unknown reason, we ended up venturing inside this huge antique store. Brandi and I decided to entertain ourselves, so we started taking pictures of random things in the store. We had so much fun, we brought Alyssa and Corinne back the next year and thus the tradition began. This year was no exception. We found lots to laugh about! After our antiquing, a trip to BJ's was obviously necessary. We were all laughing so hard in our booth; I'm sure our waiter thought were were mental. It was a great night. Miss these girls!
I experienced a new level of stress last week as I somehow managed to work almost 40 hours while writing two papers (one was 16 pages long!), and of course studying for and taking three final exams. I love working at the testing center, but finals week brought more craziness to my life than I planned. Thinking that three finals would be no big deal, I didn't even hesitate to sign up to work so many hours. I was actually excited about it. But once finals week hit, that excitement ended almost immediately as I realized that I had practically no time to study for my own exams! By some miracle, I manged to get through the week. Now I am home relaxing with the family and it feels just great.
I'm convinced that God gives us the beauty of the fall season to help warm us up to the freezing temperatures, inconvenient weather conditions, and lack of sunlight that follow. Although I'm dreading having to wear a jacket more often and have all but abandoned my flip-flops, I do find this time of year to be absolutely stunning. Especially here in Utah. I love looking outside my window to see piles of leaves on the ground and vivid red and orange colors in the trees. I love all the festivities that come with the season. Decorating for Halloween, hiking the canyons, carving pumpkins, fall fashion, the start of basketball season, hot chocolate, the first snow, good food, and seeing family for the holidays. This definitely makes the drop in the temperature slightly more bearable.
"I'm hittin easy street on mud tires" Once again, college has a way of killing my blog. It seems like this is a busy week for everyone except me so I will take adventage of my free time and write about my trip to Idaho last month. Definitely one of the best weekends I've had since coming up to school. I took the three hour trip with Lendrum, Tolson, and Lisa up to their aunt and uncle's ranch near Preston. The ranch was beautiful! There was so much fun stuff to do: four-wheeling, fishing, swimming, shooting, horseback riding, hot springs. We even had a chef cook all our meals! But the most enjoyable part for me was just being away from my cell phone, away from facebook, and away from homework for a weekend. It was just great to get away and focus on the people and environment that surrounded me.
Oh, the joys of the San Diego County Fair. Nothing says "expensive" like fried food and stomach-sickening rides! This year I had the chance to go backstage with Neon Trees. I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty awesome. They needed someone to sell merchandise after the show, so I put my cashier skills to work. It was crazy how long the merch line was. We sold out of everything except for two shirts and a few CDs. I thought I was just selling everything as volunteer work, so when the manager handed me fifty bucks I was pretty excited haha. Bradley helped sell too, so I split the money with him, but it was still a sweet deal. After the show (which rocked, as always) we met up with Chris and his girlfriend Danielle and explored the fair for a little while. I was not in the mood to throw up my entire meal, so I didn't go on anything crazy, just this scary ride called "The Zombie." It was kind of a joke haha. The worker actually had to push Chris and Danielle's cart for the first little while because it wouldn't move on the track on its own. We did a few other little games, all very expensive! At the end of the night, it was nice just driving right out of the fair, since we got to park backstage.
I have to thank my friend Andrew Glenn and my cousin Aaron for introducing me to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. And I have to thank Travis Tan for going with me to their show last week at Paramount Studios in LA! What a fun concert! The band played for the Billabong Design for Humanity event, which was pretty sweet. It took about 10 seconds for me to realize that I was wearing too many clothes though...I guess I missed the "wear absolutely nothing" memo haha. I guess I just felt out of place in my pair of ripped jeans and T-shirt, while ninety-five percent of the other girls there were wearing dresses that were cut off mid-buttox. Oh well. Before the event, Travis and I explored The Grove and then ate some French crepes at the Farmer's Market. Then we ate some cupcakes at Crum's...which probably added up to be more calories than both our dinners combined. Once we arrived at the studio backlot where the party was, we unknowingly stood in line for a while to get "over 21" wristbands. Whoops. We checked out the art shows, the surf board carving demonstration, and some other cool stuff that was there. They had a fashion show too, with real life models modeling real life swimwear. It was cool, except that we were standing right in front of a ginormous speaker and practically become deaf. Bad decision haha. The concert itself was awesome. And the crowd was way into the music (or just drunk) so that was fun. After the show, we waited around to see if we could talk to anyone in the band. Our patience paid off and we got to talk to Nora, the accordion/piano player AND Alex Ebert, the lead singer! I was pretty dang excited. I love live shows. I wish I could go to more haha. But oh what a wonderful night!
Has it really been TWO YEARS since I graduated high school? I can't believe it. I have to admit, my own graduation seemed a little more exciting. But it was a great day for Julia. The day was busy and hectic, but we got through it. My schedule went a little like this: 7:30am work...12:45 lunch at BJs...pick up flowers at Stater Bros...met at the school at 3:00...Ceremony started at 5:00...Dinner at the Cook's afterward. Buba and Papa and Robin came down from Utah and of course grandma and grandpa were there. I am so proud of Julia and I can't believe she is already graduated!!
Unfortunately, I had to work on Saturday and Sunday. But on the bright side, I got Friday and Monday off and spent both days at the beach. The weather? Beautiful.
On Friday I learned to surf! I can finally call myself a true Californian. I went out in the water with Brittany and she taught be how to get up. I even caught a few waves myself! They were quite small, of course, but I was still excited to be standing up on a board in the ocean.
After surfing for the first time
Monday-Memorial Day-My beautiful twin and I spent the day at Torrey Pines and La Jolla. We didn't surf, but put our boogie board skills to the test, which proved unsuccessful since the waves were awful. The beach was crowded! I've never seen it that packed before. We ate dinner at Jose's (apparently that's where all the "young folk" go to hang out) and ate outside overlooking the stunning view of La Jolla's magnificent ocean. We had a few moments at the restaurant where we definitely made complete fools of ourselves-making a mess with the napkins, thinking the pepper was powdered alcohol, asking for silverware when it was right there on the table-but it was a great time. We watched the sun set down by the cove and chatted with an old lady who was livin up the retired life. We couldn't go home empty-handed, so we grabbed a few real estate magazines for the road. Maybe someday we'll be able to afford a closet in one of those beautiful homes!
My birthday came just as it does every year, but this time I turned 20. Wait, what? TWENTY? That just sounds so...old. Of course nobody else seems to think so, except for kids I babysit who have this idea in their heads, like me, that "twenty" means mature and grown up. It's kind of sad: I will never be a teenager again. But, moving on...my "twenties" will be fantastic!
I was fortunate to get some nice Ed Hardy perfume and a good guitar case from my parents, a new pair of sweeet sunglasses from Sta, and a guitar stand from James. The stand came in three pieces, so James wrapped each one separately and hid them, making me read through riddles to find them. It was so cute. Sis. Rasmussen, Moose, and Sara came over for dessert and were joined by Travis and Mandy Speed a little later. Corinne was there for dinner (corned beef, as always!) and she brought be back an awesome bracelet from Vietnam and some strange Vietnamese candy haha. I had to work that day, which was kind of a bummer, but I guess that's just what twenty-year-olds do!
I had my hands full watching the three Perkins kids while their parents went away for the weekend. What an adventure! We did a lot of fun activities, and even managed to get through sacrament meeting without a fuss from Avery. Mission impossible: accomplished. Some of the fun things we did:
Antelope Hills carnival. We walked to the school across the street and had a blast at this free carnival going on. The kids got their face painted, ate ice cream, played on the big blow-up slides, and danced on stage! Those three kids have some crazy dance skills!
Walking Oreo. A visit to my house proved eventful when we took Oreo on a walk to the park by my house. We took turns holding the leash and then ran around with Oreo once we got to the park. Brayden had fun going down the slide with Oreo.
Mulligan's. Lizzie and Tony gave me some free miniature golf passes before they left, so we went down to Mulligan's to make good use of them. I told the kids we could do mini gold and ONE other thing only, due to the outrageous prices. Of course, that never satisfies anyone. Brayden didn't wear socks with his shoes, so he got a blister and that sure didn't help his mood when I said no to the arcade games. We did come to a compromise though. Camden could do the rookie go-carts for his "one other thing" and Brayden could have a few bucks for the arcade for his "one other thing." Brayden exchanged his tickets for a "go go ninja" which he took practically everywhere he went for the rest of the weekend. I made sure we didn't lose that little guy...or else the world as Brayden knew it might as well have ended haha. Mini golf was a blast! Avery was so cute with her golf club as she followed the boys and tried to get her ball into the hole.
Playdate with the Dyer's. The boys were asking me all day "When can we go to the Dyer's house?" So it was a nice break for me when they went over there for a while. After Avery woke up from her nap, I took the opportunity and went and picked up a few things at the store-dinner for that night and breakfast the next morning. Then the Dyer's came over to our house and we all ate dinner and then the kids played outside for a while. They all play so well together! It made my job a lot easier!
Church on Sunday. I guess I kinda just wanted to prove to myself that I could get three kids ready for church by myself and sit quietly through sacrament. Success! I packed a bag with extra diapers, paper, and toys for the kids. We were a little late, despite my efforts to get there early haha. Avery had a cold and so she didn't go to nursery. So she rested in the foyer with me while the boys were in primary. She started getting fussy toward the end of the third hour and had no problem going down for a nap when we arrived home!
It was definitely a busy weekend, but it was a good experience for me, and the kids too (I hope!). It was cute, Brayden didn't want me to leave and tried to block the door so that I couldn't go home.
**Wish I had pictures! Unfortunately my memory card for my camera is not behaving.
Wake up and feel the sun shining on my face Another sunny day In Californ-i-a
But though the weather's nice, I've got nothing to do Wishing I was with you Hoping you feel the same way too
[Chorus:] I've been to the beach a hundred times Felt the sand between my toes Hollywood, Newport, and San Diego It's not bad I suppose But with summer so near and you so far Baby I can't wait that long I want you back in California Back where you belong
I dream I'm walking along the coast with your had laced in mine That would be just fine I think about it all the time
We'd laugh as the tide comes in from the sea You make me so happy I need you here with me
[Bridge:] 'Cause I'm out here all alone just waiting Underneath a cloudless sky. I'm out here all alone just praying That soon enough you'll arrive And we can finally start our life... -----------
Very rough draft of course! But a good start I'd say. Now I just need to write the guitar part...
California has been treating me well! The weather has been absolutely beautiful. After a long winter in Utah, I love just being outside and feeling the sun beating down on my face. Its been quite boring compared to my busy college life that I love so much. But last week, I had the chance to go to the beach with Rebekah. It was 93 degrees at the beach! Glorious. We only got waste-deep in the ocean because it was freezing cold. It felt good to be in the water again though. I definitely got sunburned, but it was just enough to turn my white Utah skin a shade or two darker the next day. The week got even better when we decided to go to Seaport Village and Coronado Island with Rachel and their friend Laura the following day. Seaport is one of my favorite places in San Diego, and San Diego is one of my favorite places in the world. I had never been to Coronado, however, and after only a few minutes after crossing that stunning bridge, I knew I had found a new favorite place. We ate dinner at Panera Bread, another new favorite! Then we went to visit the famous Hotel Del. We first parked right next to the parking lot, but Laura insisted she knew a better way. So we ended up parking by the beach and hiking the whole way in the sand by the water up to the hotel. Rebekah's dad was with us, not dressed in anything remotely close to beach attire haha. We laughed the entire way there about how silly it was for us to walk all this way. When we (finally) got to the hotel, we explored a little bit and looked at the shops and expensive restaurants. The hotel and its location was breathtaking!
Back to the beach!
By the time we got to Panera Bread, we were all starving!
I can't believe that I'm finished with my sophomore year of college! How have two years just slipped past me? Don't get me wrong, they've been filled with the some of the best memories of my life. Life at Liberty Square was definitely an adventure this year! I really miss it. I met some of my best friends and I'm realizing that life in California, although warm and sunny, is just not the same without the people that made my life so wonderful up at school.
Free hot dog Fridays Roommate sleepovers Guitar parties Brownie Wednesday Ward-greeting Comedy Sportz Dinner group April Fools pranks 30 Second to Mars/Neon Trees concert Staying up way too late laughing Ab workouts Jimmer Liberty Square Cameron and Kurt: "aye aye aye yo!" Jack Bauer Family dinners at Uncle Steve's Temple trips Learning how to dougie Halloween party "Blockbooster" Friday lunches with the Gates sisters Friendship
A few of the girls in our wonderful relief society