Monday, November 28, 2011

The Oregon Trail

Last week I took a quick trip to Portland for the weekend to drive a car home for a friend. It was a great excuse to visit Vanessa + David and their beautiful baby girl, Penelope. I love the northwest, and while I was there I was reminded of the trip my family took years ago, which I probably didn't appreciate enough at the time. We drove up the entire west coast into Canada, in an RV, which in retrospect is about the coolest family vacation ever. But at the time I didn't relish being packed into a tiny home on wheels with my family for three weeks. Oh, if only I had time for a three-week road trip these days!

Well this roadtrip was a little different. I was driving alone, and I was driving in this:



I know. But, this boat on wheels, lovingly referred to by its former owner as "the Blue Pearl," is actually a pretty comfy and luxurious ride! And thanks to Portland's commitment to all things organic and local, I was saved from a 12-hour death by fast food, and picked up some snacks from Trader Joe's.


I spent the rest of the day driving, and listening to podcasts from This American Life. The drive went by in a surprisingly fast blur of enlightening radiowaves, pit stops and trail mix. I should have stopped at Multonomah Falls, but instead, the majority of my trip looked like this.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

promise I'm not a slacker!

I have just been sooooo busy. But in the best way possible! I just got home from Thanksgiving Break which was delightful, and relaxing, and so very needed. But, after looking over my school calendar to get ready to go back tomorrow, I realized that I only have three weeks left of my first semester! Where has the time gone?! Well, I'm going to tell you.

I have been reading. A lot. The paper, and textbooks, and one guilty pleasure book, that wasn't so guilty at all: The Other Wes Moore. Read it, you won't regret it.



I also went to Washington DC on a career trip with my class. I LOVE DC! It was inspiring. Oh, and I went to NY for a few days on the way out and got to see some amazing friends, and the city in fall which is always magic. The group from the program was so much fun and made the whole week amazing. Until the very end when I somehow managed to leave my laptop in the security check at Regan National...oops. Fifty bucks, 5 days and one re-created power point presentation later, I got my computer back. Phew! In a nutshell, I am learning so much, I'm surrounded by incredible people, and I really really love grad school.

The National Debt. Makes me feel a little better about my student loans...

First day in DC, touring the Capitol.

With friends at an Indian Restaurant in Adams Morgan

Monuments at night

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Good News 101

Have you ever had to tell someone something that you are scared to tell them and the longer you wait the worse you make it? Well, that's how I feel today. I have had to keep a sort of secret lately and it feels so great to just shout it from the rooftop..or type it on my blog.

I AM GOING BACK TO SCHOOOLLLLLLLL!!!!

And today, I finally shared the good news with all of my co-workers/boss. And I can call it good news now, because they were really happy for me and it wasn't scary AT ALL like I had anticipated for the last few weeks, which is why I had been feeling like I was carrying a huge sack of secret potatoes on my back and I feel like this weight has just been plucked from my shoulders by a baby angel. I will sleep the sleep of a person not living a double life tonight.

So for the rest of you who didn't already know, I was accepted to the MPA (Masters of Public Administration) program at BYU and will be in grad school for the next two years. I am so excited and it feels really right. I've pretty much wanted to go back to school since the day I graduated and the stars have finally aligned.

So here's to student loans, homework, finals, internships and hopefully (fingers crossed) a good football season. GO COUGS!!!


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Don't be that guy.

So I was driving up to Salt Lake yesterday and I noticed, for about the hundredth time this summer, a guy on a motorcycle cruise past me. Now don't get me wrong, I like motorcycles. I like guys on motorcycles. But this guy was special. You see, I just don't understand the logic of wearing protective leather motorcycle pants whilst wearing no helmet! I know it's not a law, fine. But to go to all that trouble to wear leather pants in 90 degree weather and not just seal the deal and don a helmet? I was befuddled. I think he kind of missed the point. But then I realized, OMG, he wore the pants because he thought they looked cool! Bah. And then it got me thinking of how many times I do anything a third, or half of the way, only to miss the most crucial piece of the equation and render all of my efforts kind of wasted. You see motorcyle man did not in fact look cool. And he could die. Food for thought. In any event, if you're going to go to the trouble of buying leather pants to protect your legs from road rash in the summer, just throw a helmet on too. You might not look cooler, but you will probably look smarter. And live longer. Just sayin.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sky Miles & Room Service

I have been out of town for basically the entire month of June. It's been fun, but I think I'll stay home for a while. Stay home and blog and stuff.

Most recently (like yesterday) I was in New Orleans for work. What an interesting and unique city. The food, the people, the architecture, and overall culture just fascinated me. I thought it was charming and beautiful and a little bit haunted. Which I loved. Here are a few highlights.

Beignets from Cafe Du Monde. A heavenly little must-have. Fried and buried in sugar.

The steamboat Natchez and view from the River Walk.

Charming & colorful store fronts.

Alligator & Shrimp Cheesecake from Jacques Imo's. I really can't say if it's better or worse than it looks, but you have to try it.

The Godzilla came highly recommended from our waitress: Fried green tomatoes, eggplant and a soft shell crab. Uh-mazing.

Humidity makes things grow.

Night stroll on the River Walk.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

strawberries+cream+horses+fireworks

A couple of summers ago I went to the Strawberry Days Rodeo in Pleasant Grove for the first time. How did I miss this for the first 5 years I lived in Utah?! There is a recipe for a perfect summer night: strawberries + cream + horsies + fireworks = me in heaven. Throw some good friends in there and you can't help but have fun. This year was no exception. I think another reason I love Strawberry Days is because my friend Stephanie is allergic to horses, but she loves them more than life itself. So she comes to the rodeo completely hopped up on Benadryl, and it makes me laugh.

Melissa, Barbie & me. 6.18.11
Stephanie & me. Our first rodeo in 2008. You can't even tell she's had 4 Benadryl.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

big boat. big lake. big family.

There aren't too many memories I can recall that stand out more than family trips to Lake Powell. Since we were kids, we've trekked almost yearly to Page Arizona and launched upwards of 50 Bluths onto one of the best places on earth. The water level has risen and fallen over the years, the cost of gas has just risen, our dads all have bad backs now, and the accommodations have certainly upgraded, but the best part has always been floating in this magical canyon with the people I love most. This year was no exception, and about 50 Bluths piled onto 2 houseboats for an epic weekend of fun.

In the good old days, you usually couldn't catch cell service from most spots on the lake. That isn't the case anymore thanks Verizon...So I solved this problem by leaving my cell phone at a gas station in Filmore. Oops. It was an accident, but I was more than happy to not check my Blackberry for a few days.

The absolute best part of this week, in addition to seeing a bunch of cousins, was our early morning ski sessions with my dad. 5 a.m. comes early, but the water is oh-so-fine. And the look on my dad's face when he got up on a slalom after all these years? Priceless.

Christy's a champ.
Kimberly. On top of the world.

Water's a little chilly this morning.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

DC, Duck & back again.

I love my friend Jackie, and I love Washington D.C. So, a trip to visit Jackie in D.C. (where she works for USAID in emergency food relief, N.B.D.) was a NO-BRAINER. And while we were at it, we decided to join a bunch of friends in North Carolina for the weekend for Duck Beach.

You may or may not have heard of Duck Beach. Basically about a jillion single adults flock to the Outer Banks for Memorial weekend and pack into mansions for a weekend of volleyball and canoodling. I was a tad bit skeptical prior to the weekend, especially after rumors of a "duckumentary" profiling Mormon singles was confirmed. But in addition to getting to see some of my favorites, and spending the weekend with a breathtaking view, Duck Beach definitely over-delivered on my {low} expectations.

In spite of the cliches and stereotypes (which are rampant, don't get me wrong) there are a lot of great people everywhere, and I loved having a chance to get to know more of them in such a beautiful and uplifting environment.

Jackie, Wendy & Me on our back deck. The Atlantic is purdy. So are my friends.


Our house. Lotsa good people.
 

 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

26 + 1

I had a birthday this year, and I've only said the number out loud maybe 4 times so far and I try really hard to not think about it. And I just found out from another friend in marketing that I fall into the age bracket targeted for premature aging products. Wah.

But, Karla sent me some pictures from my bday dinner at La Jolla Groves and it gave me a new perspective. Every birthday means another year that I have been lucky enough to be friends with these girls. And that is something for which to be grateful. Also, anyone know a good anti-wrinkle cream?

Monday, May 16, 2011

uh uh baby eggs

A few years ago when we hiked Havasupai, Karla made up a little song about my favorite animal: baby horses (also known as ponies...) but it went something like this: "uh uh baby horse". And we sang this song all the way down the trail as we passed all the baby horses. Which weren't really horses at all, but mules. But no matter. Every once in a while this little diddy pops into my head at the most random time and I am sure anyone within the range of my voice thinks I'm a nut.

ANYWAY!

I woke up to the best news via gmail ever this week! After a painful, complicated and expensive ordeal Jackie and I dealt with over the Buwala chicken coop, we received word that the chickens finally laid some freaking eggs!

Read this in a cute little Ugandan accent. From Paul: It is true that two eggs were found in the coup on Friday, then on Saturday, four eggs and Sunday five eggs, and i was told that the birds will be adding on eggs slowly by slowly until they are completely grown up.

So laying there in my bed reading my blackberry I did a little dance and sang a little song: Uh uh baby eggs! Uh uh baby eggs! (Also known as chicks). And I sang that all day. And I'm so happy. And then my heart hurt because I miss my friends and the kids. But I am so happy that they are starting this new chapter of what I hope and pray will be financial self-reliance.

And then I ate eggs for breakfast, even though they'll technically be selling theirs to pay for the kids school fees, but still, what an amazing day.

Fahad blowing bubbles.
With the kids in the garden.
video

Sunday, May 1, 2011

{librarians} know how to party

A lot of people seem to aspire to plan events. I didn't. But as it turns out, I'm kind of good at it. Just kidding. But really. My latest escapade was a user group party for our customers at a conference in Phoenix. I was excited to get a chance to go home, and it didn't hurt that April is the PERFECT month to visit Arizona. I headed down a couple of days early to spend the weekend with my sister and we spent the day shopping at Scottsdale Fashion Square. Did I mention AZ is perfect in April? It was a good thing I spent a couple of days relaxing though because the rest of the week was just plain nuts. I bought myself an official pair of "conference shoes" (black glitter TOMS) and checked into the Sheraton Sunday night, and spent the rest of the week literally running around.

Have I mentioned our customers our librarians? If you don't know a librarian of your very own, they are honestly the most random slice of the population you could ever imagine. Do they love books? Yes. Do they love to drink? A lot. Do they party like it's 1999? Hells yeah.

Enter Club BLUE. Hands down the highlight of the conference and week, our event was quite possibly the funnest party I've ever been to, let alone thrown. Have you ever hula hooped on a glowing dance floor with your librarian? Yep. And one of the best parts about not drinking is remembering exactly what everyone else acted like the morning after. So when I get bored/stressed/frustrated at work now I just look at our corporate Facebook page and watch the video footage and photos of this bizarrely epic evening. Oh, and remember how my boss jumped into the DJ booth wearing a jersey, fake tattoos and face paint.

And as if the week couldn't have gotten any better, to cap it off I celebrated Earth Day with the Reynas at Cibo Pizzeria. Heaven.

View of PHX from the Sheraton

Shops across the street-Sam's Cafe-I recomend it!

Someone took a picture of me taking pictures of the set up.

Pretty lounge furniture I never sat on.


The food I didn't have time to try.

The bar I could not partake of.

The dance floor I definitely did break it down on.


Things really got going when the Macarena started.



And they're still going.
The ever-lovely Erin {and me}, post-party, fresh as peppermints, so happy it's over.