Monday, April 28, 2008

What I'll miss most...

Anxious, excited, ecstatic, nervous, happy, stressed, overwhelmed, unsure, sad. These are some of the feelings I have felt for the past month. The end is creeping up. The end of my undergrad schooling is this Friday (mentally I've been done since the beginning of this year). The end of my receptionist career, which technically hasn't ended just yet but it's coming, I can feel it. The end of spending a lot of time with my three amigos (Katherine, Keri, and Shelli).

That's us (Me, Keri, Shelli, Katherine)

Of course I am happy to start a new beginning, I always am when I'm making the choice to start the new beginning, but I'm really undecided about the whole thing. I'm gonna miss school (yes, you read correctly...I'm a nerd). But most of all I'm going to miss seeing my girls practically everyday! Keri, Shelli, and Katherine have become my very good friends. I have always been told that the friendships you make in college will last a lifetime. I sure hope that's the case with us. I have experienced a lot with these girls. Major moments in my life they have been a part of. We've been on vacations together, been there for life changing experiences that only the best of friends are a part of. I will never forget our spring break to California! What an adventure. We saw all of Southern California in 4 days! We even made time to stop in Vegas to watch Keri sing (Boy is she amazing)!

Yes, we're spelling out CALI!

All of us slept on a twin bed. Now that's friendship.

We made a pit stop at Suzie's old fashion 50's diner

Finally, we made it to the beach!

We stayed a bit too long in the sun...

Cooling ourselves off with ice cream

Stopping for a spiritual moment at the San Diego temple

Doing a little shopping at the Beverly Center

Us right before the Chelsey Lately show (that was for you Keri!)

We've made fools of ourselves singing karaoke, and dancing like no one is watching us.

That's Shelli and Me groovin' with my Dad while Keri sings.

We've celebrated birthdays together and weddings.

Nothing like a friendly game of pool to celebrate Keri's birth

The winners (Shelli and I let Keri and Gordon win, it was her birthday after all)

Happy Birthday KERI!

Whenever we're together, you know it's a good time. Even if we are in class, it's still the best time ever! I know we'll stay in touch. It will just be weird to not be experiencing everything with them. Instead I'll have to hear it all over the phone, or through e-mail. We're all going on such different paths, but I'm excited for the future and I will not forget the past.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Working for the man...for FREE!

Many of you know that I am doing an internship for a local health department. This internship is part of my degree requirements. I was so excited when I found out that I had been chosen to be an intern there. There was a lot of people up for the position, but it looks like they thought I was the best person for the job (I think they were right). I have had a lot of experiences to work in my community. Most of them have been worth while...others not so much but none the less it is great job experience for the future. The most rewarding experience I have had is with the tobacco prevention program. Today I taught a class at a school that is for "troubled" youth. Working with them has really opened my eyes. They come from these backgrounds that I cannot even fathom. It helps me realize how truly blessed I am to come from such wonderful parents and family that support me and build me up in everything that I have pursued or am pursuing. These kids share stories with me that no one should ever have to experience. It is heartbreaking. It is hard not to bring that sort of thing home with you at the end of the day. Tobacco prevention is the last thing that these kids need to be worrying about…they have deeper things to worry about. At the end of the class today, it was rewarding to have a few of them thank me and ask for more information so they can share it with their families. It hit me when I left that that’s what this job is all about, reaching someone.
Along with teaching the older youth, I was also given the opportunity to teach a kindergarten class in the area about seat belt, bicycle, and pedestrian safety.
That was a blast! The kids were so well behaved and so smart, it blew me away! During the bicycle safety discussion we talked about the importance of wearing a bike helmet. Lots of them had “questions” which were really comments about wearing a helmet. One little boy raised his hand and said “One time my sister was standing on a stool in our kitchen and fell off and hit her head. She wasn’t wearing her helmet.” He was so serious, and it took all I had to hold back a laugh and tell him that we do not always need to wear our helmets, it is just very important to wear them when we ride our bikes. I told this story to Gordon. He really took it to heart. So much that I caught him with his helmet on while he was studying! Just being extra cautious I suppose. I am glad I can promote safety wherever I am.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I can't believe we're still in Utah!

This weekend I ventured down to St. George with some friends from my ward. It was just us girls (yes, another girls trip). It was originally suppose to be a couples trip with two other couples that we have become very close friends with in our ward, but none of the husbands could go, so us wives decided that we still needed to see the sunshine and went anyway. It was a lot of California trip, but still fun. I enjoyed getting to know Jess and Sally better. We did nothing but relax in the sun, for 6 hours straight on Saturday! Needless to say, none of us wanted to go bask in the sun the next day...Jess and Sally were fried! Me, not so much. I had my far share of burnt skin on my Cali trip, and lesson learned, I used sunblock this time. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery...the red rocks are amazing. We kept saying that we felt like we were in another state. Utah is so diverse and beautiful. We went from snowy mountains to palm trees and red mountains!
It was nice to not have to worry about the two weeks ahead, which is busy busy because I 'm graduating! One last quick get away before I have to buckle down and get a real job! I didn't have to cook, Jess and Sally took over that responsibility. I was grateful since I'm not much of a cook, until I found a very long curly hair in my eggs...thanks Jess! Luckily it was hers and we weren't out to eat. Besides the hairy food and fried bodies, I had a wonderful time.

Jess & Sally cooking me breakfast. Jess got a little powder sugar happy with her french toast!

Enjoying our yummy breakfast on our patio.

Me, Sally and Jess (that's her bum) basking in the sun...not so fried yet!

Ew gross, a hairy egg!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

¡Bienvenido a México!

Our honeymoon was what every honeymoon should be like...nothing but relaxation! We went to Mexico and stayed at the Grand Sirenis Resort (yes, it's all inclusive). It is on the coast of the Riviera Maya. It was close to Tulum and about a couple of hours away from Cancun. Neither of us had been out of the country, and boy was this the way to experience it! Eight days and seven nights of complete bliss!!

Our room

Ocean view from our room & the lazy river where we spent a good portion of our days!

Our little friend that we found in our room

"Cash Money" Gordon holding our money that had gotten all wet from swimming.
He's outside on our private deck attached to our room.

Gordon clogging up the lazy river & lounging by the pool (what a babe!)

Me hanging out on the cabana & us together on the beach (the naked Canadian girl took our pic)

Waking up every morning to a delicious breakfast with a beautiful view of white beaches and the ocean, then relaxing all day long on the beach with our "fancy" drinks and smoothies, breaking only for a yummy lunch that mostly consisted of "American/Mexican" food like nachos piled high with jalapeños and salsa. Gordon and I were in heaven! The dinners would have probably been amazing, but because were going to be in Mexico, Gordon and I only packed clothes that consisted of shorts, light t-shirts, and swimming suits. Our travel agent forgot to tell us that we would only be allowed in the restaurants for dinner if we had on nice dress pants and a dress, and no sandals! So we ate at the buffet most nights, or ordered room service; neither of which were horrible, but they weren't all that wonderful either.
We also broke for other activities
snorkeling and canoeing at our resort, and taking two tours.

Our first tour we went on a large boat that took us snorkeling and parasailing. I'm not sure where we did this, but it was amazing to see all the different living creatures in the ocean and watch Gordon parasail (I chickened out)! Our second tour was by far the best! We were able to go to Cobá and take a tour on a Mayan reservation where we saw Mayan ruins, hiked around in the jungle, took a ride on a zip line across a lake, repelled into a cenote, canoed in a different lake, relaxed on some hammocks then had the Mayan people cook us lunch, which was delicious!!! The Mayan people were so gracious to cook us dinner and let us view their culture for the day. What an experience that was, unforgettable!

Us exploring and hiking a Mayan ruin

Gordon on top of a ruin. What a view!

Hiking up the ruin & in the jungle

Hiking in the jungle & coming up from swimming in the cenote

Us on the zip line

Us canoeing & the cutest Mayan girl selling honey

Relaxing on the hammocks

Mexico wouldn't have been complete without a trip on Mexico's public transportation "bus", aka large van, to see what Mexico is really like outside of a resort. That was an experience all by itself! To get onto the "bus" you have to stand on the side of the interstate highway and wait for a "bus" to flash its lights, you wave as you make sure it's the correct color of writing on the bus because that is dangerous all by itself getting on the wrong colored "bus", then they pull over, you discuss the price to take you where you want to go, then hop on for a death ride that just may consist of a wreck that neither of the people operating the vehicle care to report or even care at all that a wreck just happened , then arriving at your destination grateful to be alive and off the "bus". Although we didn't go very far from our resort, just about a half hour away to Playa del Carmen, it was also an unforgettable experience. As soon as we started walking on the streets, we were hounded by "salesman" to buy anything and everything they had to sell. Gordon, being the bargainer that he is, had a set price for a hammock that he wanted to buy. He would not go over this set price, even when every "salesperson" would laugh we he said he wouldn't pay more than $20 for a "hand-made" hammock. Finally when we were getting ready to leave, one "salesperson" said to him "Tell me what I can do for you" to which Gordon's replied "Sale me a $20 dollar hammock." He was very surprised at Gordon's reply and told Gordon "I like a man who knows what he wants" and sold a beautiful hammock to Gordon that we have yet to use (and Gordon will tell you that is my fault because I will not let him hang it up in our living room). Our trip back to our resort was much better than our trip there, thank goodness! We were so grateful to be back in our bubble safe and sound.
When it was time to leave, Gordon and I enjoyed on last breakfast with the view, hit the beach one last time, and while we waited for our van to come take us to the airport we enjoyed one last fancy drink (
Piña Colada goodness is what we called it).

Enjoying our final fancy drink

On the way back to the airport we joked about how Bear Lake will never be the same unless we had someone on the beach bringing us fancy drink after fancy drink (I asked my mom if she would be willing to do that for us on our vacation and I had no reply just a nasty look on her face. I told her we tip real good! Still no reply). Oh and by the way, the bar tenders making our drinks never once messed up on our request to not include alcohol in our drinks, and we never got funny looks when we made the request...all of which we were thankful for. We did have an interesting conversation with a gentleman when we ordered our drinks one time because of our "crazy" request. He asked us where we were from, then if we were Morman. We had a short discussion about our beliefs and that was it. He was a nice guy. Coming back to reality was hard, but the honeymoon has not ended...we've only gotten closer.