Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Food and Family to the Max

I've been home for about a week and a half now.  Joseph, Laura, and I left Utah on Friday, the 17th.  Nearly 30 hours later, we arrived in Arkansas.  Needless to say, it was a very long trip, but we're so happy to be here!

We had a wonderful Christmas this year, but we're missing Emily, Chris, and Tanner while they're in Oregon for two and a half weeks.  I'll go to pick them up from the quaint Branson airport on Thursday, and I'm so excited to have them with us for a couple of days before we go back to school.

Basically, my entire break has consisted of family time and baking.  Johnny gave me a cook book for Christmas and I've been testing out several recipes now that I'm home.  Here's a few of the things I've baked thus far:
  • Christmas sugar cookies
  • chocolate chip cookies
  • glazed apple cream pie
  • banana cream pie
  • 6 loaves of Amish friendship bread
I've also been establishing a really solid relationship with Clark.  I know he's only 3 months old, but I feel like he's definitely going to be missing me once I leave, poor kid.
He loves his Aunt Sarah.  He also loves spitting up on his Aunt Sarah.
Papa and Clark
Laura and Clark both love Sunday naps
Me and Grams - She's been cracking us up all break.
Other great things about this break:
  • I think I've worn makeup a total of two times since I've been here
  • There have been multiple times that Grams has laughed so hard that she's started crying uncontrollably
  • I've been averaging about 12 hours of sleep a night - playing catch up from last semester
  • As I'm writing this right now, I'm sitting in a recliner watching Frasier with Joseph and Mom, while Clark has his arms wrapped around mine
video
 
I love how expressive and responsive Clark is getting.  He is discovering his mouth and all the different things he can do with it.  It's precious.

Life's good.

Also, I spent all day yesterday in the kitchen.  Okay, all day that I was awake, and since I'm getting 12 hour nights that translates into about 2 PM to 7 PM.  Still, it was a very fruitful experience.  I made dinner for my family - zesty roasted chicken and potatoes, homemade rolls, and some asparagus that Mom actually made.  Then we had that banana cream pie for dessert.  Here's pictures, per Johnny's request.




And now I'm hungry again. 


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's Christmas Time in the City

Today, I am reminded of some things that I could do without.
1. Getting 4-5 hours of sleep for three nights in a row.  I need at least 9 a night to properly function.
2. Being on campus so early in the morning that it's still pitch black outside- thank you, finals week.
3. Finals scheduled at 7 AM.  Why would anyone ever do that?
4. Textbook sell-back.  Don't you dare offer me $3 for a textbook that you "already met your quota for and therefore don't need" when I payed at least $50 for it.

Okay, I'm pretty sure I'm done venting. 

On a happier note, it's Christmas time!  This year, all my siblings and I drew names to buy gifts for because our family is getting too dang big (I love it though).  I got Joseph's name, so yesterday I bought him his presents and then got them wrapped for free at the bookstore (I guess the bookstore can do something right).  It got me pretty excited to get home and be with the fam.  Except Emily, Chris, and Tanner fly out to Oregon today, to spend the holidays with Chris's family.  They get back home right before New Year's, so hopefully I'll get at least a couple of days with them before driving back to Utah for Winter semester.

Another thing that got me excited for Christmas- Saturday night, Johnny, Adam, and I went up to Salt Lake to see the lights at Temple Square.  It was so fun!  It's always so beautiful at Temple Square this time of year.  We drank hot chocolate, took tons of pictures, and listened to Christmas music all the way there and back.  I love it there because it is such a good reminder of the reason we celebrate Christmas.
Here's basically a million pictures.


 




Adam saw me shivering so he forced his jacket onto me.  Such a gentleman.  I was not happy about it though.



Roommate love:)


At this point, I was really excited for some reason.

One more thing - yesterday, Johnny and I celebrated our 6 months!  That's pretty legit, I think.  And when I say celebrate, I mean we took my car to the mechanic, went to Walgreens, made spaghetti and mango Koolaid (classic), and studied our brains out for finals.  It was still a very fun night, though.  I love my boyfriend.  The night before, we had a wonderful dinner at Nate and Claire's, then we went to a park and we read my journal that I started freshman year.  It was really fun, I went into pretty good detail about him back in the days before we started dating.  All in all, it's been a great six months.

Now I'm done procrastinating.  It's finals week for cryin' out loud!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Craters and Papers

First of all, today is my last day of classes! At 2:50 (or hopefully earlier than that if my teacher shows mercy on us) I will be done with sitting in classes, listening to lectures, and doing homework for the year 2010.  It's a beautiful thing.  Finals start Monday, and hopefully I'll be done with those by Thursday.  Then it's peace out Provo, hello home.

I'm sure the stress will hit me at some point in the very near future, but as of this point in time, I'm feeling so good!  I can't believe how fast the semester has flown by, but it always works that way. 

These past two weeks have been absolutely crazy.  I've had papers, tests, and homework up the wazoo, and it's been killing me.  But since I leave next Friday(ish) to go home for two weeks, Johnny and I have been trying to cram in fun things to do before then.

Last Friday night, we drove up to Midway to swim in a crater!  Our friend, Kristina, told us about it so we decided to check it out.  It was so sweet!  First of all, I'd never even seen a crater in real life.  B) I'd never been inside of a crater.  And 3. I'd never even imagined that I could swim inside of said crater!  The water was super clear, we could see the scuba divers way below us.  It was amazing, I was actually giddy like the entire time because I just kept thinking to myself, "I'm swimming in a crater!"  Sometimes my own thoughts crack me up.  So between the fact that I'm easily entertained by my thoughts and the fact that I was doing something new with my boyfriend, it was a very positive experience.  Basically, I love doing new things.  I feel like college has given me so many opportunities to try new things.  Here's a few:
  • Road trips to Southern California, two years running, because swimming in the ocean is the best thing to do in February when there's still snow EVERYWHERE in Provo.
  • Laser tag - I know, not that big of a deal to most people.   But we don't have laser tag in Mountain Home!
  • Snowboarding
  • Driving to Vegas on a whim, on the last day of finals.  Leaving at 7 PM, getting there by midnight, sightseeing on the strip like little tourists, grabbing some fast food, and hitting the road again by 2 AM to get back to Provo by 7 that morning.
  • Spelunking in ice caves in Idaho.
  • Wedding dress shopping - multiple times, never for me.  But don't even think that stops me from trying a few on.
  • Hot-tubbing in the middle of winter.
  • Going to my first BYU football, basketball, and baseball games and track meets.  Plus my first ever lacrosse and rugby games (my roommates were such athletes!).  And I can't forget my first inner-tube water polo game - thank you, Brittnye.
  •  Running a 5k
  • First NBA game (and several more to follow)
  • Holi Festival of Colors, which I learned about later in my world religions class
  • Stand-up comedy shows
  • And, as of last Friday, swimming in a real-life crater. 
I hope I can always find new stuff to do, because with all of these things, I'm never ever bored. 
Can I just say I love life?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Abba.

Today in my New Testament class, we read Mark 14:36.  Here's what we learned about it:

Abba: A personal, familial term for father as used in Hebrew. It is Aramaic for father, and in Talmudic times was used as a title of honor. It was used in the language of Jesus and the apostles, and later by Greek-speaking Christians, as an intimate name for the Father in Heaven.

My teacher said it might translate to "Daddy," or some other close, intimate form of father.

Right now I should be writing the hardest research paper I've ever written.  And I will get to that as soon as I finish this post.  I just wanted to say, first, how much I love my dad. 

He knew I had this massive paper due tomorrow, and that I'd probably be up all night working on it.  He also knew that, at this point, I'd probably be getting a little discouraged/overwhelmed/stressed out.  He was right.

So he called me, just to check on my current mental and emotional state.  Then he preceded to offer me really great advice, the kind daughters need to hear from their fathers.  He offered to send me a milkshake (he makes the best), but then decided the USPS probably couldn't get that to me in a respectable manner.  I would settle for one of his hugs, but that will have to wait for 3 more weeks.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Turkey and Blessings.

I have so much to be thankful for, it's a little bit out of control.

One thing that quickly comes to mind is the fact that I had a place to go for Thanksgiving dinner this year.  Johnny's family was nice enough to invite me, David, and Laura all up for the holiday.  We were all so grateful for that, because all of the Lanoys went to Arkansas this year, so we weren't sure what we'd do.  But it was important to me that we stick together, so when I heard that my siblings were also welcome at Johnny's parents' house, I was so excited.

Johnny and I drove up to Layton Tuesday night, and hung out with his family from then until Thursday night, when we drove back to Provo so Johnny could work the next morning.  Laura and David just came up for Thursday.  We basically played games, watched movies, and just had a grand time with the Allreds.  I seriously love Johnny's family - they are such nice people, very funny, and very welcoming.  I feel really comfortable around them, probably because they remind me a lot of my family.

Here's some pictures that I stole from Johnny's camera from the week. This is Norah, Johnny's niece.  Her parents, Nate and Claire, live in Orem while Nate is finishing up at the business school, so we get to hang out with them pretty regularly.  She's exactly one month younger than Tanner, and I can't help but think the two of them would be pretty great friends.
  

This is Johnny's mom, Margo, with Johnny's two younger siblings, Amy and Scott.  They both go to Utah State in Logan.


On Wednesday, we went outside to play in the snow.  It was freezing!  Johnny and Scott got a little adventurous, while I was struggling to get enough blood circulating to my fingers to even take a picture.


Claire was in charge of making pies for our Thanksgiving feast.  She and Nate made 5 pies, all from scratch!  They were all delicious, and we were all very impressed.


I made one baby pie, which I realize is pretty weak in comparison to all of Claire's.  It's Emily's glazed apple cream pie, and I cheated by using a Pillsbury pie crust.  Maybe next year I'll be brave enough to do a homemade crust.  Grams taught me how to make my own pie crust this summer, for coconut and banana and chocolate cream pies, but I've still never done a two crust pie.  I think I was just nervous to try it out on Johnny's family.  Maybe next year I'll be braver.

 

Basically, Thanksgiving Break was wonderful.   Dinner was delicious, the company was fun, and I even got a little bit of homework done.
On Friday night, Laura and I had a slumber party in her dorm!  It was pretty cool.  We watched a chick flick starring Ryan Reynolds (love him) and played some serious foosball.  Then we got up super early Saturday morning to eat breakfast with David.

Oh, another thing to be thankful for: Arkansas, who was ranked #12, beat LSU, the 5th team in the nation in a wonderful game yesterday.  David and I watched the game together on my little TV in my ghetto apartment.  It was so much fun.  Plus, it was my dad's birthday (happy late birthday, Dad!) so a victory from the Hogs was just what he deserved.

I think that pretty much sums up the past week.  I only have like 3 weeks of school left! It's crazy, I have so much to do before then.  But I'm so excited to go home for Christmas!

Ok, I'm really done.  Now.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

And Foremost.

I perpetually miss my family.  Here's the whole crew in 2009.


And the summer of 2010 - notice the addition of Tanner.  He is seriously the funniest little kid I've ever met, and he doesn't even talk yet.  I dread slash can't wait for him to get older.  I'm sure he'll still have everyone laughing like it's his day job.


And one more, just for good measure.  This time David is missing because he was stuck in Utah...


I have the cutest nephews in the world.  Tanner is 15 months old, and Clark is almost 2 months old.  I love these little guys more than life itself.

Here's a pic from October 30th of me holding Clark - isn't he precious?!  Basically, over Halloween weekend, Laura, Johnny, and I surprised my whole family (minus our accomplice and airport driver, Emily) by flying home for the weekend!  It was so much fun.  I love surprising people, especially with my presence.  Laura and I wanted to meet our new nephew so bad, and Johnny and I wanted him to meet my family.  So one random day in the beginning of October, Johnny said to me:
     "Hey, I've got tons of money.  I just got the biggest paycheck of my life."
So I said:
     "We should spend it all!  What should we do?"
To which Johnny replied:
     "Let's go to Arkansas."
And he immediately started looking at plane tickets.  Best boyfriend ever?  Probably.




Speaking of boyfriends, meet Johnny.  I liked him from the first night I met him, and that feeling hasn't gone away.  We met around this time last year, became really good friends, and started dating in June.  Oh, and then I moved home for two months, four days into the relationship.  We talked every night on the phone while we were apart, and picked things right back up again when I got back to Provo in August.  That's the short version of our history, and that will have to do for now.  Here's a picture of us from our "really really good friends but not yet dating" stage.  This stage lasted a while...


Here's one of us from my cousin's wedding reception in Layton, which just so happens to be Johnny's hometown.


He always makes me laugh, which works out perfectly because laughing is my favorite.


Johnny loved Arkansas.  I can't say I blame him.

Friday, November 19, 2010

First...

So here's my first ever blog post; it's a big day for me.  Here's a shout-out to my roommate from freshman year, Sarah Price Edwards, who, without much of an effort, convinced me to start blogging.  Love her.

  



She runs track and cross country for BYU.  She plays the harp, the guitar, and the piano.  She sews, she gets good grades, and she's a great friend.  Basically, she's good at everything she does, and our suitemate Hoku is obsessed with her, with good reason.


I miss freshman year.

Actually, now that I'm nearly halfway through my junior year, I feel like it's safe to say I miss sophomore year, too. We basically had fun all the time.  Here's me, Brittnye, and Anna at the BYU v. Utah game last year.  It was so intense! We totally won, though, and then we rushed the field, which has been a dream of mine ever since my first BYU football game.  It was bliss.


Here's the roommates from last year.  Apartment 394 in the Colony was pretty much the bomb - just look at my sweet roommates!


Halloween.  That's pretty much all there is to say about this one.  I really wish I had more of an explanation...


Johnny, me, Brittnye, Chris, and Mary - we were all such good friends.  The look on Chris's face says it all.


And one final thing before I wrap this bad boy up for the night - a tribute to Jason Dale Lane.  Just look at this classy guy!

He left us this fall for dental school.  He truly is, as Johnny would say, a man among boys.  But in all seriousness, Jason is one of the greatest guys I know.  He became one of my best friends, and this year is not the same without him.  I think Jason Dale will always hold a special place in my heart.