Sunday, December 23, 2012

The post I promised!

SO! I'm here to write the post that I promised I'd write back in November. Yes, about my dearest best friend, Katie. 

She turned 19 in November, actually the day before my brother turned 24, if you remember this post about it.

I actually kind of find it a little scary that she's 19. That means I'm not far behind, and last time I checked I was 8 and she was 9. 

(Although in many ways we still are.)

So I was going to post for her birthday, but uh, I was a little busy, and didn't end up thinking about it until it was way too pathetically late. SORRY!!

So I decided on a Reunion post, that I'm dedicating to her in honor of our lovely reunion after 4 months, 2 weeks, 5 days and approximately 20 hours. (Not that we were counting. Note: I counted the hours after the fact...but the rest I knew ahead of time.)

And before I get into the details of the best reunion ever, let me tell you a little bit about my best friend.

I mean, the basics are over there, on your right, click on "My Best Friend."
It's got the basic backstory, but I don't tell you a whole lot about her.

What can I say? Katie is fun, full of life, beautiful, smart, kind, loving and generous. Also extremely patient. I'll start with that.

She's patient because I have a tendency late to everything. And even though over the years I've been late to about 95% of everything we've done together, she doesn't freak out or get pissed of at me. Rather, she's compensated by laughing it off, telling me like it is when she really is pissed off about it, and planning ahead. She usually tells me time about half an hour earlier than she wants to see me. It's quite funny. We're going to a movie? She tells me that it starts half an hour earlier than it really does. Genius that girl is.

Which leads me to Smart. Katie is ridiculously smart, and always has been. She always tells me I'm smart too (and I guess I sorta am.) but she's smart in the general "I kick butt at life" sorta way. She's smart because she doesn't procrastinate like I do. She's smart because she knows her priorities and knows how to set herself boundaries. She's smart because she knows how to organize and manage her time and her life, which then makes her look even smarter cause she's always gotten freaking amazing grades! Like, Bard, the college she's at, gave her a freaking amazing scholarship because she's THAT amazing.

Oh, and did I mention? A few years ago she and I went to South Africa to take a course my Mom helps teach at the University of Kwazulu-Natal every summer (This course had to do with Microbiology research). We had an absolute blast and learned so much in those three weeks. But when we came home, we had the amazing opportunity to continue some of the work we did. While I was interested in what I had learned, and wanted to continue it, I didn't really stay dedicated. Katie however, started coming and working on a pretty regular basis, even taking the same course again at my Mom's lab over the summer. She is now a Biology and Chemistry major, and part of me feels like its because she found what she loves in these courses. She even got a freakin PAID internship at Sloan-Kettering Hospital last summer before we started college. I mean, seriously, she's going to go FAR!

She's beautiful. So she's smart, but add that to the fact that she's drop dead gorgeous and you're like, "Um, who is this person and can I be her?"

Like, let me show you.

I mean seriously. Totally not fair.

And she looks just like her mom too.

AND she's a freakin' fashionista. She dresses absolutely amazingly. I don't know how she does it.

She's kind, loving and generous. She puts others before herself. She's quick to compliment and is so honest about it. She gives so much of herself to you when she's your friend, but in such a quiet way it might take you 10 years to realize it. And then when you do, you feel so ridiculously lucky to be blessed with such an AWESOME friend.

And the best of all, she's fun, and full of life. I mean, seriously, we have the BEST time just hanging out. We can laugh and talk about anything, and manage to do the stupidest or the coolest things and we have a million hilarious stories from over the years.

Although I don't think it gets much better than it was on Thursday. We were actually jumping up and down screaming and hugging for about five minutes. It's ok, we're just awesome.

So, Katie, here's to you. Thank you for being my best friend. I count my lucky stars everyday because you're my best friend. And always will be.

And don't worry, we'll take that road trip someday.

Live. Laugh. Photograph.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Divine (Comedy) Obsession

So there's a comedy group at BYU called Divine Comedy.

And if you know me (which I'm assuming) then I've probably showed you some of their videos before.

And last friday we went to see their Best of Show.


Like, seriously.

You should become obsessed like I am.

I know all of their names.
I know all their famous sketches
I want to meet them
I want to work with them
I want to actually get glowsticks at their next show
I want them to have more shows
I wish I was as awesome as them...

Not to mention, some of the recent graduates of the show have started a BYUTV show called Studio C. Oh my gosh it's hilarious! I've seen every episode, every clip and basically everything relating to Divine Comedy on the internet.

And I'm going to share with you some of my favorite things about Divine Comedy.

And then there's Studio C stuff. Some of it is repeats of sketches they've done in DC, but they're hilariously awesome!

Ok, I'm going to stop before I go way too crazy with the videos. Lemme do this... watch Divine Comedy's videos here

And then do yourself a favor and watch EVERY episode of Studio C (there's only 9 of them, 30 min each) and you can do that here!

Ok, enjoy! And really, don't be afraid to waste your time on this...cause it's totally worth it! :D

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Biggest Accomplishment (of the semester)

So since we're approaching the end of the semester I decided that I needed to look back and figure out what I had actually accomplished this semester. So I started making a list...

-Didn't starve/live off of only Hot Pockets (although an argument could be made for my obsession with Pepperoni Hot Pockets)
-Didn't get killed by my roommates. Shhh don't tell them, but I'm really crazy. I'm still surprised they like me.
-Didn't kill my roommates-- they're awesomely normal, in the weirdest way possible.
-Only got homesick every other day
-Only stayed up all night some of the time
-I haven't made my parents broke...yet.
-Survived the entire semester without going on any awkward dates. Or any at all for that matter. YES!

...and a bunch of other stuff I'm too tired to think of (I stayed up all night)

But I realized that I had one gigantic accomplishment that I can't go without stating.

I finished a video game.

I FINISHED a video game.

I finished a VIDEO GAME.

I (LIKE ME) finished a video game.

(Darn, it's so hard to capitalize an already capitalized i.)

Now, I love video games and spent a large amount of time as a child attempting to fulfill Link's Quests, trying to save Princess Peach, and searching for all of the Pokemon, but I had never actually finished any of these games, but got halfway through and started over again after I had gotten bored or stuck. 

Sorta like reading the Book of Mormon (man I know 1 Nephi SO well!).

So I finished a video game. Specifically Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. And it was AWESOME.

I think it took me a total of 50 hours-- according to my Wii. Over the course of two months. Nice.

Now I had some help.

My roommate has played it multiple times, so she helped me out.

I also may or may not have used a walkthrough.

But I'm not a cheater guys.

Despite what SOME people think. (ahem, darling unnamed roommate)

So yes. There is my biggest accomplishment. This will be followed by others I'm sure. I've made a list of all the games that I need to finish, and fully intend to, no matter how long it takes me.

Next: Super Mario Galaxy (I'm already halfway through!)
There's also some Spyro, some more Zelda, some more Mario, and a whole host of LEGO games. (LEGO Lord of the Rings was just released!)

Oh, I guess I did something else this semester.

I survived. Beaten and bleeding, but alive.

Here's to survival.

Live, Laugh, Photograph.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Finest Quotes from our Apartment

Here is a compilation of all the greatest quotes that have come from our apartment. I find it quite hilarious.

Elizabeth: (Shaking Christmas Present from Nicole) "I can't figure out what it is!"
Nicole: "I need to come up with a good comeback for that, but I'm still thinking."
Elizabeth: "Um?"
Nicole: "Ah! Don't shake that it's a Nuclear Bomb!"

Katie: (After finishing her bottle of Cream Soda) "It's gone. Why is the rum always gone?"

Nicole is sitting at our coffee table eating her dinner, she's sitting on the floor.
Elizabeth: "Nicole, you know you can sit at the table..."
Katie: "What, you don't think my coffee table is good enough to eat at?!"
Elizabeth: "No! I mean...yea, it is...but I'm saying its more...ugh! I'm trying to be a loving and supportive roommate here!"

Nicole: (talking to her mom) "Well why would I go to the emergency room if I'm already dead?"

Nicole: "Yea, if it was the middle of the night I'd trust Katie over you to give me CPR."
Elizabeth: "Hey! I'm certified to do CPR!"
Nicole: "Yea but, she just seems more...responsible. Except of course if she didn't have her glasses, cause you're not blind."
Elizabeth: "Nah, I'm only slightly less blind."

Nicole: "Yea, you know one thing I'm always scared about is if I go to the hospital and they take off all my nail polish."

Katie: "And then he a testimony! Like he came up and gave a talk and I was like...That is so HOT! Oh gosh I am so mormon!" 

TV Show:"Does Hello Kitty make wedding gowns?" 
Nicole: "What?" 
Elizabeth:"No, she doesn't." 
Nicole: "You don't know that, and I like how I key in on that one word."

Nicole: "You know it's time to break up when he says he can't wait for Bambi's mom to get shot."

Nicole's home teachers: "One day you might be a single matriarch and you'll be home alone because all of your sons will be off serving in The Great Armageddon War." 
Katie:"Well that escalated quickly."

"AHHHHHHH! The friendship, it burns!!!" 

Nicole: "But at least you'd be cute when you got shot. The coroner would be like, 'Man! She looks FABULOUS!'"

Katie:"I mean, you can't say: 'It's God's will that I do laundry today.' No. It just means you need to plan your time better."

Katie: (while sipping her hot chocolate) "I feel so sophisticated."
Elizabeth: " Denny's?"

We're walking back from the grocery store and some random guy asks us for a ride. We decline, and as they're driving away...
 Katie: "Why would they do that? We could be serial killers for all they know!"
 Elizabeth: "I think it's kinda sweet! And we're two girls walking with a ton of groceries, how could we be serial killers?"

Nicole: "Mantee's hold their breath underwater, but if they wait too long and pass out, they'll sink to the bottom and inhale water and DIE. Please Manatee's don't pass out!"
 Elizabeth: "Umm...the same thing happens when humans drown."
 Nicole: "Yea! But Manatee's are cuter!"

Katie: "I can't be a gangster, I don't have the dexterity. You know....for the gang signs."
 Elizabeth: "I like how that's your only reason."

Halloween night, Katie and Elizabeth sitting at home doing homework.
Katie: "I wonder where Nicole is?"
Elizabeth: "Probably hanging out with her friends."
Katie: "Must be nice having friends."

   Katie: "I got a job and a calling all in one day... it's like God had a baseball bat labeled Responsibility and hit me in the face with it."

Elizabeth: "Oh, I totally think God is makes total sense!"
Katie: "You mean like Morgan Freeman?"
Elizabeth: "Oh my gosh! YES!"

Upon Elizabeth waking up:
Katie: "Sooo, watcha doing today..."
Elizabeth: "Well... I've got loads of homework... (proceeds to list off a ton of work to do)"
Katie: "'re gonna play Legend of Zelda then?"

Sunday, December 2, 2012


So you all know how much I LOVE Christmas by now.

If you don't...well. I hope you do now.

For me Christmas starts the day after Halloween (no, not Thanksgiving). Meaning decorations can go up at the beginning of November and the music can be blasted for the next two months whenever it pleases me.

Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with me. So I've been holding back on my holiday explosions...


December has arrived!

Note: If this sounds familiar please go here. If it doesn't, go anyway. :D

Which means that I get to go nuts on all things Christmasy! Yipee!

I mean... more nuts than I already have. I've got decorations, the music, gifts bought and wrapped and under the tree, sufficiently cold weather and hot chocolate. What could I possibly want right? Hehe....

You'll see.

So I thought I'd start with this, a litte Christmas Questionnaire that I found whist swimming within the depths of the internet. It'll let you know how my Christmases usually go.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Definitely hot chocolate, every time I've tasted egg nog I've wanted to vomit. No offense to egg nog lovers out there, but it's kind of a gross idea. So hot chocolate all the way, with candy canes as stirrers to add some mintiness :D

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? It really depends. Usually Santa has left out a bit of a bigger present that we can see right away when we wake up Christmas morning. He might hide it under a blanket or something, but it really depends on the present. The rest are wrapped and just mixed in with everything else. I don't know about the rest of the world, but we also get presents from the Tooth Fairy and The Easter Bunny and the like. But that's cause they helped Santa pick out the gifts for us. They're so sweet!

3. Colored Lights or White? Colored. Definitely colored. White is really beautiful, but nothing is quite as amazing as colored lights on a tree, inside or outside, or a house. They're also infinitely more interesting than white lights, something my ADD brain appreciates.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Hehehehe. No. And (thankfully?) I've never had an experience with it. Plus I really don't want nargles, I've heard that they're a pain to get rid of.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Ah, you know this! The sooner the better, so basically November 1st. But if I have to wait until after Thanksgiving, well, I will.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Oh goodness. I really don't know! I guess for specifically on Christmas I love my mom's french toast. But in general I'm a total sucker for all of the sides my mom makes with Thanksgiving dinner. I could eat them all year. Cornbread Sausage Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes (with the skin still on), Roasted Brussels Sprouts, homemade Rolls, and oooh, I'm getting hungry. Over the last few years I've noticed that whatever sides we might have for Thanksgiving tends to pop up more frequently before Christmas. I really really like this trend.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a Child? Oh I don't know...there are too many to count. As I look back it's never been the presents that mattered, but rather who I was with and the love that's there. I think my favorite was actually just a couple of years ago. It was my brother's first Christmas home from his mission and it was just the five of us. We had the most peaceful and loving Christmas I've ever experienced, and extended it when a snowstorm hit the city, which gave us not only a white Christmas, but it kept us inside for the next two days, which was the most blissful two days of my life. There's something about Christmas that makes everything so magical, and that Christmas was definitely magical.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I was 8, the Christmas before my sister was born, and all of my extended family on my mom's side was visiting for Christmas. I left a note on my door asking for Santa's signature, as well as Rudolph's. I woke up Christmas morning to a note from Santa telling me what a good girl I was and a hoof print from Rudolph! I've believed ever since. I've got physical evidence people.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Um, actually, I don't know! I guess it really depends on the year. When we're visiting family we do (like last year, we got pajamas of course, I'm actually wearing them now, they're the best!) but in my immediate family we don't. Although, between my sister and I was ALWAYS get a few pairs of Christmas socks from my mom. Easily one of my favorite presents every year. Its awesome cause then my sister and I can actually match in some way. The same goes for Christmas jewelry too.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Is there some sort of method? I mean, I guess I'm a little bit of a perfectionist in my family, but I was always concerned with the tree getting completely and evenly covered. Otherwise, the ornaments can be whatever. At home we have store bought baubles, handmade and special gift ornaments, and then we have a huge collection of special ornaments the White House releases every year. Every year, without fail, my Dad's parents, now just Papa, send everyone an ornament for that year. It's one of my favorite things to do every year. To sort through them all and pick out the ones that will go on the tree...because we always run out of space for them all.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Love it!! Until I hate it. I mean, in NYC snow barely lasts a day before it's nearly all cleared away and is just slush. So when it snows I get really excited, but then I get left with slush. So I love snow when its actually snowing. Then after the fact it's just gross. Except when I'm out of NYC, then its awesome all of the time, cause it actually stays nice.

12. Can you ice skate? Of course! I took lessons for years! I absolutely love ice skating! I wish I could do it more often...

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Oh there are so many its hard to say. Every year there's a gift that tops everything, but I mean, it really has to do with what age your at. I mean, as a little girl I would say one of my favorites was this giant barbie train thing I wanted so desperately that I begged and begged for for months. But then it was the year I got my brother's old iPod as a hand me down, or when I got my first new iPod the Christmas before he left on his mission. Or the first book of a series that I've been waiting for the end of that my mom got years ago, its one of my favorites! Or the year we got a Wii, or after that permission to get my drivers permit, or last year when I got a new lens, or the year I got diamond earrings because they were "coal". I mean, the list just goes on and on!

Although I think one of the top three has to be the diamond earrings I got when I was sixteen. My mother has always teased us by saying "you want a hint about your christmas present? It's....carbon based." or "you know, coal is surprisingly expensive this year, are you sure you deserve it?" and when she wrapped the present she told me, "Lizzie, I'm giving you coal this year--for real." and shook the box, which sounded like coal shifting around. On Christmas morning I opened it to find the diamond earrings with a little note that says "Carbon based (check), 3 dimensional (check), Coal (highly compressed) (check)" I still have the note too... easily one of my favorites.

Sorry, long story rant, back to the questions!

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? Family. Family family family. I love waking up Christmas morning and spending the time together just experiencing the magic of the day. It's fun to give and to receive, and to watch all of your loved ones just experiencing a blessing of a day together.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? This is harder than the holiday dish one! So if we're going for easy, I'd say Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Squares and Hot Chocolate. But I have to say I really love  Peanut Butter Cookies, you know, the ones with Hershey kisses on the top? And Rollo cookies, those are AMAZING!

Rollo cookies: A Rollo cut in half placed on a pretzel and warmed up in the oven. A pecan placed on top and let cool. Easy, simple, and a Christmas staple in our house.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Do we really have any traditions? We usually have a day where we get the tree and decorate it, as well as put up the nice Nativity set we have (I loved that job as a child, but now it's the Rubster's) and take out Juan the Christmas Boy and his dog (I will share the details of this...once I have pictures too.) and listen to Christmas music as we do it. I guess that's as traditional was we go. We also usually play the Yule Log thing on the tv on Christmas morning because we don't actually have a fireplace or anything like it. We even hang our stockings off of the TV Center. I guess it's tradition cause we do it every year, and it may be a little odd or different, but that's what I love so much about our Christmases.

17. What tops your tree? A star. I don't get this angel topping business, stars are amazing, and they can light up if you get the right angel just looks weird to me.

18. Which do you prefer: Giving or Receiving? Giving. I used to love Receiving more, but one year my parents told me that I should really look at what I was giving, and since I really try to give to those I love. I mean, it helps that I've given up trying to guess what my parents are going to get me. They shock me every year with something that I never even knew I wanted, and are so clever and creative that I'm always delighted on Christmas morning. Because of this, I've focused all of my energy on giving that same feeling I receive back to everyone, because I want nothing more than to share that surprise and delight with everyone! Except I'm not as good as my mom in that category. She's the queen of gift giving.

19. Candy canes: Yuck or Yum? Who would ever say yuck? Yum yum yum! I even put them on my Christmas tree!!

20. Favorite Christmas Show? A Christmas Story. Followed closely by A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life. We watch all every Christmas, and it's not quite Christmas without jokes about the leg lamp or Snoopy's dancing.

21. Saddest Christmas Song? Is there a sad Christmas song? If there is I don't know it. I love 'em all.

22. What is your favorite Christmas song? Oh I don't have favorites! I mean, I really love Harry Connick Jr.'s Christmas Album, as well as Gladys Knight's and Barbara Streisand's. Oh, and some MOTAB as well. I just sorta go with what I'm feeling. I really like all of the classics, they make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Although I think one of my favorites is one I share with my dad. That's Harry Connick Jr.'s "It must have been ol' Santa Claus." Such a fun song!

23. Do you use an Advent Calendar? Yes, at home we have a little calendar we hang up that has little pockets in it, which we fill with candy that we can eat every day. It's my kind of calendar.

24. Do you go to Church on Christmas? No. I mean, we have if it is on Sunday, but even then I prefer not. For me all things spiritual are very personal, and I prefer to keep Christmas at home with my family. I find that I remember the importance of Christ's birth better when I'm surrounded by the most important people to me. That and I hate dressing up on Christmas. I like staying in my pajamas all day.

25. What were your Christmas morning rules as a kid? Ah, I'm pretty sure that since I was like two I've been the first up Christmas morning. Like, at 16 I woke up before my sister did, and she was 7. Basically we were allowed to go out into the living room and see if Santa had come. Usually something was left out, hiding under a blanket or something, and we could enjoy the general splendor and excitement for what we knew was coming. Usually between 7:30 and 8 we could wake up any sleeping siblings (meaning, Ruby wakes me up or I wake her up, depending on who woke up first) and by 8 we could wake up our parents and we'd start opening presents!

I'm so ridiculously excited for Christmas!
Hehe, hope you guys enjoy this ridiculously long post!

Live, Laugh, Photograph.
Merry Christmassiness!

Coming up: Christmas Nails, The biggest accomplishment of the semester, and a Comedy Obsession.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yikes! The time flies!

Oh goodness!! So I'm a little upset, because the last time I posted was on my dear brother's birthday, and that was over 2 weeks ago!! What happened to me?

Well then, I guess I'll just have to give you one giant post of awesomeness to catchup then... :DD

So we'll go in order, which means I actually have to think back to before my last post, since I was missing some things as it is... so...whew... here goes!

Lets start with this: 

Christmas Decorating!!! YES!

I'm the kind of person who can barely make it through October without listening to Christmas music, planning out gifts, and starting to enjoy the general wonder of the season. So when I went to Shopko after Halloween (or was it before? If it was...then that shows you how sad of a person I am) and saw that all of their Christmas decorations were on sale for 50% off.

Yes. ON SALE FOR 50% OFF!!

So of course, what did I do? Bought a little fake tree, lights and such with my roommate and we decorated! I'm SO EXCITED!! :D

YAY! They're up!

Working on decking the tree... We made the star by hand with duct tape! :D 


Side note: I am hugely against fake trees. And I'm dead serious about this. BUT, I have to respect, my lovely roommate would suffer from some serious allergies if she woke up to a real tree in the house. While I think it still would be fine, she thinks it would probably be easier to do homework without one's eyes swollen shut. *Sigh* I guess I'll have to take her word for it...

BUT! This does mean one other thing! We DO get to have a REAL WREATH!! I'm so excited! So further decorations to come! Stockings, a real wreath, present wrapping and more!!! I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!

Ok, that rant is done...moving on...

My other roommate also made a fireplace out of paper and its beautiful! Plus we got little stockings on sale on black friday... they're adorable! We're also wrapping all of our christmas presents for people and putting them under the tree...because we can :D

I also go to do my roommates hair in this super cute hairstyle that I've never done before. I instantly fell in love with it, but have not yet managed to successfully try it on myself. Darn it!

Before my brother's birthday, was my BEST FRIEND'S BIRTHDAY! It's literally the day before, so I always told myself "Best friends come before brothers" to keep them straight. ;P 
I was going to do a huge birthday post for her, but since I'm so late I've decided instead to do a reunion post when I've got more pictures and I can talk talk talk about her without balling my eyes out cause I miss her so much.

Then, for my Brother's birthday, we had a little celebration, but what he didn't know was the awesome surprise we had come. My mom came into town! She hasn't been present for my brother's birthday since he turned 17, so it was great for her to come into town and make him his favorite cheesecake.

Then we of course went up to Logan to visit my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Here is basically what happened all weekend:

Yup, I was attacked my crazy boys and a rabid two toothed little girl with the funniest little nose scrunch I've ever seen. Don't be too terrified, she's not as scary as she looks.

Also, my mom and I made an amazing discovery at Denny's right before she left. They're selling food from a Hobbit menu and giving out Hobbit TRADING CARDS! There are 12 of them, 10 base cards and 2 limited edition ones. My roommate and I have so far collected two and a half base sets, with no limited edition ones so far, but we will fight to the death to get them! 

They also have a pretty decent "One ring burger." I recommend it if you're gonna go for the collection. It isn't bad for Denny's food.

For Thanksgiving we went down to Arizona to vist my Dad's family, and we had a BLAST! It was great to visit and to enjoy the 80 degree weather. Below is a picture of my brother, who drove the whole brother ever!

We also got to spend some time with my previous Bishop's family in NYC, who recently moved to Arizona, and I had to post this adorable little picture of their littlest girl. Isn't she ADORABLE? 

Anyway, more to come soon. I just have to make it through finals and then its Christmas Break! Whoot whoot!

Live, Laugh, Photograph.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The angsty part of my life.

So I'm going to start this post with a warning.

WARNING: This is a very angsty post. Lots of depressing things are said and several sad rants happen. I apologize.

When I started this blog I promised myself that I wouldn't hide the suckish parts of my life from it. It's part of my goal to be open and honest with myself, and to quote my all time favorite movie "What better way to share my private thoughts than to broadcast them on the internet?" Hence the "angsty" part of this blog's title.

Now for the most part I really try to stay upbeat and don't like to write about the cruddy things because they pass pretty quickly, and I don't like to dwell on them, especially given a whole lot of really difficult stuff I went through last year. But today has just sucked. 

And I can only think of two ways to make me feel better. 

A)Rant, get it out of my system, breathe, be thankful and cry a little.

B)Eat bad food and play Legend of Zelda.

Part B comes after this.

So lets start with the bad stuff.

1) I was up all night studying for an American Heritage Midterm. I've really been putting it off all week  (and all of my other assignments for this week) and needed to take it by 11am this morning. I also had to pay $7 for the late fee. I will admit: I was tired, cranky, out of caffeine, and I got super distracted several times. I finally pulled myself together and left around 10.

2) It's freezing cold outside, and at first it was raining, and now it's snowing. Given that I was tired and cranky (still am), and halfway there I realized I was WAY underdressed, I just ended up being COLD, tired and cranky. Not a good way to take a test.

3) Sat down to take the test. An hour and a half earlier I left, hoping that I had at least passed, since I'm already failing American Heritage. Nope. Got a 63. (Admittedly, this is 10 points higher than my last midterm, a 53, which is definitely an improvement...) There are only four graded things left in the semester, and I need to achieve perfect scores on two of them and mid 80's to low 90's on the other two to *hopefully* get a 70 in the class. THAT SUCKS.

4) By the time I left the testing center it was snowing. I was wearing a sweater and gloves. I'm freakin freezing as I'm trying to bike home, and I can barely see as it is. 

*Side note: I saw a kid walking onto campus wearing a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops. No coat. IS HE INSANE? Three possible explanations for this phenomenon. a) He's from Antartica and this is warm weather for him. b) He's insane/an insane friend made a bet with him. c) He's trying to kill himself by hypothermia. 

As I'm biking down University Ave (Those not in Provo: Giant highway-like road that has a steep incline as it goes down the last bit of the mountain.) a car cuts me off. I swerve, fall off of my bike and fall into a puddle of freezing street water/slush. You have no idea how hard it was not to just lie there and cry pathetically until someone came and picked me up.
Oh, and the car, just zoomed right by me. Didn't even slow down. Now if I was in NYC, this wouldn't be unexpected. But this is Provo. A guy accidentally bumped my rear tire once and stopped traffic so that he could get out and see if I was ok. I hadn't even fallen.
I guess I'm not the only rude driver on Provo streets. I thought I was the only one who cut off people so rudely. (Hard habit to break I must say, it's in my blood.)

5) Found out the last Lab for one of my classes was last week. Not this week like I thought. I was 1 lab short. Now I get an automatic fail. I signed up with 15.5 credits. Dropped one class for 12.5 credits. And now I'm going to fail one? And I'm not doing so hot in the others? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!?!?! I suck. Major suck. Ugh.

Note our awesome christmas decorations. That post is coming up soon. Promise.

They were really small flakes, until...

...they got massive, and super pretty.

7) The worst part of all of this is, today is my big brother's birthday. He's 24 today, and I can't believe it. It's so hard to realize that he's an adult himself, about to move off to Seattle for an awesome job after he graduates this December. He's changed so much from the little kid I grew up looking up to and hoping that he wouldn't always think I was just his annoying little sister. And even harder for me to accept, is that since he is an adult, with his own life and own situation, is that I will end up following in his footsteps. Not in the exact same way, but I will also end up out in the world on my own, in a way college never will be, and it's scary enough as it is to watch him do it. 

Ever since I was a toddler, I was always comparing myself to him. I always wanted to be just as big, just as interesting, just as cool and just as smart as him. One of my mom's favorite stories is from when I was little, and I had an earlier bedtime than him. I was angry that I had to go to bed first, and was throwing a fit about it. Mom gently tried to explain that since I was younger I needed to go to bed first, to which I responded, "I'm not younger! I'm just shorter!"

Imagine a little blond, curly haired girl with a huge pout on her face and hands on her hips yelling this line in defiance. Yup, that was me.

Even though we're six years apart, I always felt like I had to be as good as him in everything I did, something that I found extremely difficult given our different personalities. Throughout high school he struggled with just being social, and talking to people. Meanwhile I had the opposite issue, I liked to be social, but couldn't make the same grades, test scores and I distinctly remember him being a senior in high school, and everything just "clicking" for him. He was doing really well, in school, with friends, and on an even keel on every front, preparing for college in a slow but steady pace.
I on the other hand, struggled throughout high school, especially in the last two years, and I kept waiting for things to "click" like they did for him. But instead things got worse and worse. And while things have improved since, I'm still not much closer to clicking like he was. 

He tells me things weren't easy for him. He didn't always get really great grades or blow everyone out of the water with everything he did. No, that's not what I wanted. I wanted his steady pace, his stability,  his quiet and calm demeanor and his emotional center. He tends to take things internally, while I explode outwards, letting everything out. He has self-control, and I don't.

I watched him go on a mission, and see him blessed a thousand times over for his service. He came back a stronger person, a more confident person, and a more stable person. As I consider, and prepare, for my own mission, I can't help but hope and pray for the same change. Maybe not in the exact way that he changed, but with a similar end result. I want to be a more stable person, and I don't want to feel like I'm a volatile bomb waiting to explode at the next possible moment. He made a slow but steady upward trend and I look at where he is now, and all I want is to be there, not stuck in the middle of this muddy bog trying to make enough sense of myself to get to the other side.

So I guess today has a good thing. It's his birthday, and since it's November it's only appropriate that I just be thankful for him. Thankful that he's here with me now. That we can both live in the same city as adults. That everyday he finds a way to show me how much he cares, that even though I'm an outpouring of emotions 24/7 (and I can promise you, I've rotated through sad, mad and happy several times whilst writing this post) and he's not, he knows just when and how to be there for me, even when I know he has NO IDEA how to deal with, or understand the rapid-fire and ridiculously strong emotions I'm presenting, he still loves and cares for me, no matter what.

So that's what I'm most thankful for, for today, and this week, for my brother, the BEST BIG BROTHER in the whole wide world, who I wouldn't give up for anything.

Happy Birthday. I love you more than you could ever know, and I hope you aren't super weirded out by this post. :P

Live, Laugh, Photograph.

Up Next: A light and fluffy post or two (snowless snowball fights, christmas decorating) and another long emotional one about another special birthday... THE BFF's (which was yesterday). She more than deserves her own post, and I've got a couple of good and embarrassing stories (embarrassing for both of us, but that's ok.) to share from over the last ten years. ;)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

30 Apples + 1 Cook =?

So the one thing I absolutely love about fall is apples.

(well...the colorful leaves and the great weather too, but mostly apples)

Something about the season just makes me want to wear all sorts of colors.

And take pictures of all sorts of colors...

And eat all sorts of colors!

Also, I just want to wrap up, pick some apples, and make TONS of stuff with them!

So I embarked on a project.

Part 1: Make Apple Butter and store it in the freezer for its amazingness to last through winter.

Part 2: Make some super amazing apple pie... cause...well, cause it's awesome.

Part 3: Make Apple Cider Donuts.

And I did! 

This post however, will be about Part 1&2. (Seeing as Part 3 hasn't happened yet, we decided there were too many treats in the apt as it is.)

So here we go!

Basically it was really simple:

We took LOTS of apples...

And peeled them..

And then cut them up into little chunks...

For the apple butter I put it in a crockpot, with some sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple cider, lemon juice and just a splash of vanilla extract.

I let it sit for basically 12 hours, took it out...

and stuck it in a blender. Yes, I blended it, but it was the best way to get it smooth and super yummy :D

Of course, for the apple pie I took those apple chunks (with the same ingredients too! Can you believe it?) and stuck it in a homemade pie crust.)

Now, here's what I actually recorded photographically. I used the pie crust and apple pie recipe from this cookbook my mother got me before I moved in. This guy Mark Bittman is a genius, but I read his recipe for pie crust and was like..."Uh, NO WAY"

He called for two sticks of butter, to be smashed with your fingers while COLD into flour. Oh, and don't forget to add ice water while you're at it!

And I was making two pie crusts, so I needed FOUR sticks of butter. 

what was I thinking!!!!

So of course, the only thing that got me through the finger smashing bit was to...of course Photograph it. :D

Eww... that much butter totally made me gag.

So I promise you, if you ever try to smash four sticks of butter with your fingers, you will swear off of butter for the rest of your life. Not really. And the smell will totally make you gag. Like, ugh *shudder*.

But, it was totally worth it.

Why you ask?

It was the best apple pie I've ever tasted.

And no. I'm not exaggerating. THE BEST.

I sat down and took my first bite and all I could say was "Oh my gosh."

That pie crust is divine. The apples were perfect. I was in total heaven.

So I highly recommend Mark Bittman's recipe's. I've tried so many, and they're all just amazing. He's a phenomenal chef, and his book breaks everything down, and makes it all so simple. And since I'm such a visual person, all of the photographs in his book show you how it's supposed to look not just what you're supposed to do.

Also, if any of you are wanting, here is my mother's apple butter recipe. It really is divine, and you will never go back after you've had apple butter.

5 lbs of apples* peeled, cored, and cut into chunks (similar size)
2 cups apple cider
2 cups sugar (can use white or brown sugar or mixture)
Pinch of salt
1 T cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Splash of vanilla extract
Juice of 1 small lemon

*For apples I like to use a mixture of sweet and tart (Roma, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Cortland, Northen Spy, Winesap, Red Delicious, Liberty).  

Core and peel apples then cut into similar sized chunks.  Put apples in crockpot.  Add other ingredients and cook on high for 1-2 hours covered, then cook on low for 8-12 hours.  Use three marble sized tin-foil balls to prop lid up and allow steam to escape (this will help to thicken the apple butter).  Once the apple butter has reduced in volume, taste to see if more sugar or spices are needed.

Spoon into containers and freeze.

NOTE: 5lbs of apples is basically 20 apples (large apples, more if they're smaller) This makes for A LOT of apple butter, so I highly recommend scaling down to maybe a quarter of this, unless you're really happy with having apple butter in your freezer until springtime (which I totally am.)

Also, use a handheld immersion blender or a standup blender after the apples are done. This will smooth out the chunks and make for even better apple butter.

Stick it on peanut butter sandwiches, pancakes, toast, and just about anything you can think of! It's pretty much the best stuff I've ever eaten.

I may be lying about that. Please forgive me. It's still really amazing though.

Next up in the series of projects: Christmas Decorating, followed by Apple Cider donuts, with a possibly brief interlude by a post about a snowless snowball fight. :D

Live. Laugh. Photograph. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Genius Roomate + Cardboard = A coffee table?

Alright guys, I'm finally updating you on all the goings on of last weekend.
Surprisingly they ended up leaking into this week and this weekend, but one thing is definitely done and checked off our list- and that's our new Coffee Table!!

You see my genius roommate Katie decided we needed a coffee table because we spend 75% of our time on the couch. And it's a lot easier to share snacks, eat dinner and generally be messier when the table is closer to us. And while the table that BYU provided us is really great, it doesn't encourage general laziness. ;)

But we're college students, so of course, the general preference isn't to buy something, especially if you might end up having to get rid of it 6 months from now because you're moving out and have no place to put it.

So Katie works as a Custodian (it's one with super awesome hours- 8-12! Not any of those crazy early morning shifts!) and of course, as part of that job she has to change the paper towel rolls in the bathrooms every day. Now she started with just bringing home a half filled roll, because she has to change them anyway, and instead of throwing out the roll we get free paper towels! AWESOME!

But then she was like "Lets make something with the paper towel rolls!" And I was totally confused at first, like seriously? Who is she kidding?

But then. a brilliant idea was born, and soon after we produced this amazing brain child:

(This is the finished project. I wasn't gonna wait til the end to show you!)

And voila! A coffee table!

Now, thanks to Zeus and two months of being camera-less, we decided nothing was quite as beautiful as documenting the entire process with photos, so I grace you to (maybe not the worlds best photos, but that's ok.) the story of our table.

It started out with these paper towel tubes...

A large box, and Katie's super awesome cutting/drawing skills...

So serious!

Ain't she a pretty lady! Haha she's super awesome!

So we cut a box in an oval shape, and then glued the layers together for added stability.

Textbooks are necessary for these sorts of projects...

See the layers?

And of course... we may have done a little goofing around too.

Next was the spray painting... we picked a lovely blue :D

And then I decided that we should sponge the paint a little bit to add some texture. 

I think it sorta's still cool :D

So then we took the duct-tape wrapped paper towel tubes, glued them together, mounted them on square pieces of cardboard and then added it to the top!

(Note: we placed little stones in the paper towel tubes to add stability. We thought of everything! :D)

I also like taking pictures of my feet. I apologize for the randomness.

We originally hot glued the legs to the table, but every time we moved it the glue make little cracking noises. So after we duct taped the edges for extra gold awesomeness, we super glued the legs on again, with a whole bunch more glue too...and some extra duct tape for good measure...

 ...and voila! We have an awesome little coffee table! It's the best thing ever!

Hahah, so there's one of our adventures... Up next is Apple Butter, Apple Pie and Apple Cider Donuts. :D

Oh, and then I'll post pictures of our newly decorated apartment! Decorated for Christmas I mean... We got a little christmas tree and everything!

Oh geez. I feel extremely domesticated. I need to go to something more interesting. Darn cooking and little house projects. You're just way too much fun! :D

Live. Laugh. Photograph.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Childhood Memories.

So I was thinking about when I was a little kid...

and I look at how different it was in comparison to how my sister is now, and geez, we've had two totally different experiences. Neither is better or worse than the other, just different. And that's ok!

But this song crossed my mind, and I couldn't help but post it.

I believe we still have the Raffi video on VHS. Oh man I need to watch that again.

Also... don't you just love the total 80's clothes and hair? Oh it totally cracks me up...And to think, all of those kids are now in their 20's! :D