Saturday, March 28, 2009

Back in Time...

The spell of adventureless days seems to be fading into history... ironically that is exactly what broke our boringness spell... history, I mean...

It is also time to bring my boy back into the story of my life... no don't worry, he didn't go anywhere. (We are going to school and sometimes that takes precedence over adventuring and fun... *sigh*) With the end of the semester coming up in a few weeks the light at the end of the tunnel is almost upon us! Unfortunately, no one told the Utah weather man... whoever is in charge of the weather is not aware that we have officially crossed the threshold into spring... pleas make up your mind! (and make it up on the warm idea...)

Today was a beautiful day and started very early for Bryce and I. Bryce called me at 6:50 in the morning to make sure I was up and getting ready to leave our apartments by 7:00 (and yes this is in the AM, for those of you who don't think college students don't know what AM is... we've read about it...) You see, time travel must start early if you are going to make it back to the 19th century... *sigh* OK, so we drove up to Salt Lake because the Living History Conference was scheduled to start with Breakfast at 8:00.

The Keynote speaker that started off the conference is the dean of history at Weber state. His latest book published is a biography of one of the most interesting characters I have heard about in the history of the Mormon church and Utah... He is right up there with Brigham Young, and Rockwell Porter... even J. Golden Kimball could keep his company. :) But I was very impressed by his story and I wish to share a little about him for those who actually care to read my randomness... This man's name was Jedediah Grant. He was converted in Europe and came over to the US with his family. At age 15 he served a 10 year mission through the eastern and southern states. When he came back to Ohio he married his childhood sweetheart and began the move to the Salt Lake valley. His baby girl died and was buried next to the trail, then his wife died... she made him promise to bury her and the baby in the valley. He drove back to find the baby but she had been found by the wolves, so failed to keep his second promise. (His wife is buried in the cemetery at This is the Place Heritage Park now...) When he got to the valley he was elected the first mayor of Salt Lake City and soon thereafter was called to be the second councilor in the first presidency under Brigham Young. This man had the opinion that being a Mormon was an all or nothing commitment. He was the key player in the "Mormon Reformation of 1856." This reformation started the second councilor "Jeddy Grant" traveled up to Layton where he met a congregation that he felt was spiritually dead. So, naturally... he stood up at the pulpit and told them that they had all just been excommunicated. He then said "if you are going to repent and become a good Mormon, then follow me down to the millpond and I'll baptize you back in." It worked... and Grant did it for multiple congregations all over Utah. Brother Brigham just shook his head and agreed to let him do it. I really want to read this book, it sounds so interesting. (It might be coming up on goodreads sometime soon... ;D )

It kinda makes you stop to wonder though doesn't it? I mean, would I be excommunicated if Grant came to me? Am I spiritually asleep and comfortable enough... am I in it with my all or just what comes easily? I hope I will at least be re-baptized... ;)

After that the man from the Gold rush taught a class on the 49ers and their impact on people in Utah. Did you know that Salt Lake City raked in 1/2 a million dollars in the year of 49... or 50... I can't quite remember... the point being, everyone was filthy rich... except who? the church members. Brigham Young didn't like the traders that set up shop in Salt Lake and didn't believe that it was right for the church to get involved. So the Church was experiencing hard times financially but the people benefited from the abundant economy. Yet another interesting fact... :)

I learned how to garden and how to irrigate. I have the pioneer tips and pointers, where and how far to plant your plants, how deep, and how to work the water, etc. My favorite part of my classes was the "Tea Parties and Military Wives" class. Bryce naturally went to learn about Military Drilling in the Civil War, while I attended this class... :D But I got to attend my first real tea party! It was quite the first experience for me. All the ladies at the table with me were also having a first time, so none of us really knew what we were doing. The hostess brewed 3 loose teas (mango, cherry vanilla, and a black current), also some raspberry tea bags were set out (technically the tea bags weren't invented until 1910...), and there was also hot cocoa and a punch bowl of lemonade. There were also trays upon trays of little snack-like foods... cake, crackers, strawberries, little cookies, etc. (all period). It was a delicate hour. I decided to try one of the herbal teas for the experience... Mango... it tasted like... mango water with a slice of lemon sitting in it... (which it was... ) we passed our bowl of sugar around our table about 4 times before everyone was able to get their drinks down... then we gave up and went for the lemonade... :D When I told Bryce about the food he was totally jealous and wished he had at least poked his head in... haha... that would have been a sight to behold... :D

My last class of the day was Millinery (hat making). I have been inspired to try out a project this year that has to do with seamstressing... I am no good at it, and I think it will be fun to try something that can be turned into a good sill.

With that the conference was over but Bryce and I had stuff to talk about all the way home and have come back to it every so often since. It was a really amazing experience for me and I am glad that we went. Isn't history just amazing? There is something for everyone to be found. It doesn't matter what your hobbies are, there is a history of it. If you know where to look you can find a great, educational experience that you will remember for a good long time. (*hint hint* This is the Place is a great place to experience this... ;D )

Anyway, in all fairness in warning... the historical information will start to be a regular occurrence around this blog... My job is looming ever nearer and excitement for it is growing exponentially. (woah... college word there... sorry, it just slipped out!) Sorry that my posts are so stinking long... just ignore the middle part and pretend you enjoyed it. That's just fine with me! :) Have a wonderful night and until next time!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice...

That is what MY girls are made of! :)

Heavenly Father has, for some reason, deemed me worthy to receive the blessings that I call my wonderful friends. They take care of me and cheer me up every day here and I can't even begin to express my gratitude and love for each of them.

I can't imagine life without my amazingly wonderful roommate Ica. I don't think anyone who knows us can either. The whole "joined at the hip" idea is not truer for anyone than us! :) She takes care of me everyday. Her happy smiling face can brighten everyone's day and never fails to brighten the apartment. Even when I know she's having a not-so-good day... or has to go to the ER... she always makes effort to make sure everyone else is alright and happy! I get these little random love notes attached to my bed, in my car, or just randomly all over the place. She is a sweetheart. We have had some amazing times over the years and they just keep getting better. I wouldn't have it any other way! I also don't think I could watch LOST without her... it has created a special bond between us... :) I will not know what to do with myself when she goes off on her adventure to Disneyworld... all I have to say is that it had better be a great souvenir... ;) I just love her so much and I thank the heavens that she puts up with me as her roommate and friend. :)

My next little blurb is for Megan. There is a quote that I believe describes our apartment and mostly Meg. I quote Po (the panda), "there is no charge for awesomeness, or attractiveness." We have to remember to only take about 10% of what she says seriously, but when it is serious she know how to be. We laugh and worry together and have had some really great times. She's the psych major and I think she couldn't be in a better apartment of girls. :) Meg is a wonderful example to me of patience and unconditional love. She gets things done and also knows how to have fun!

Alyssa is the one who has promised to beat up any boys that break my heart. :) (Bryce, don't pay attention to that last sentence...) She has made that promise to all of us. She's a girl who knows where she is going and what she needs to do. I admire her for her perseverance, honesty, and easy-going attitude. She doesn't really complain and I am hard pressed to find her in a really bad mood. She usually greets me with a smile and a "how was your day?" :) It is nice to feel so loved! I will say, when I first moved in, she was a little intimidating... but I have found a wonderful friend and I wouldn't trade her for anything! I will miss her when she moves away from me. *sniff*

Julie and I have a special relationship... :) and by that I mean only the best! We love to tease each other because we make each other laugh. She has the best faces! If there is a potentially awkward topic of conversation we (the other girls and I) often find ourselves competing to see which one of us can get "the Julie face." I can usually win with a "*gasp!* JESSICA!!" and a good wide open mouth. :D She thinks I have weird eating habits... which I do... and will constantly pay attention to my meal times. I thinks she's just impressed with my mad skills of making everything safely unhealthy... :D One day Jules... its only a matter of time...We're pretty tight and I love her to death. There have been some pretty deep and wonderful discussions. It also makes me laugh when she comes out on the couch at night because she doesn't want to go to bed, and then immediately falls asleep... only to have me drag her back to her bed... good times. I am so excited that she isn't abandoning me over the Summer months. We are planning some gand adventures together. (take that Ica! :D ) She inspires me to be better everyday!

Katy is a brand new bundle of energy that keeps all of us hopping. She loves dance, her family, and playing cupid's little helper. It has been fun and interesting to get to know her and she is a sweet girl who has a lot to offer the world. She just got home from a mission in Argentina and has some great stories to tell.

This seemingly random post comes up as all of try to decide where we are going to live in the upcoming months. I wanted to publicly acknowledge these wonderful girls and thank them for all they have done for me. I have grown spiritually and physically so much since moving in with them. I truly believe that Heavenly Father placed them in my life to teach me the lessons that I have learned about friendship, relationships, and service. They are such great examples of Christ-like people that its impossible to find a better bunch of girls.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Luck o' the Asian?

Top O' the Mornin' to Ya! Yesterday is the day the Irish celebrate the death of their St. Patrick. He was one that is said to be the one to purge the country of pagans. But has more recently become a great excuse to drink a lot... (Not here at the Y though! We're still running as longest in the "Stone-cold sober" titles 11 years running now! :D )Isn't this a great holiday? I mean what could be better than celebrating my favorite color! Plus, it makes a great excuse to dye your food fun colors... :D

All of my life I have celebrated St. Patrick's Day with green food, usually green milk in the morning (those mischievous little leprechauns) and pinching plots a plenty. This may have something to do with the elementary school teacher I claim as my mother... This year's celebration was a little... OK,very unconventional for me but was absolutely wonderful!

Monday for FHE we had the "family" over to our apartment for a green feast! It is also our month to have an activity with the Bishop and his family. So we invited them to join us as well! We had a pretty good turn out. The Bishop was impressed with my green food-making ability. There was green pasta, green Alfredo sauce, green butter, the boys brought bread and cucumbers for a side, and for desert we had green party cake and donut holes (these were not green... unfortunately...) This was the kick-off to what seemed like a normal St. Patty's day... or so I thought...

Midnight came around, and since we are college students... all of us were still awake and goofing off. :) (we only goof of at midnight though... we really are very studious... ;] ) I pinched a couple of my roomies who weren't wearing green and then made my way to bed. I did promise my roommates that I would not dye their milk green for their breakfast in the morning... a little disappointing but I was planning a green party and didn't want to use up all my food coloring. I woke up and dressed in green.

At 5:45 we (meaning the roommates and a few others) had reservations at "Spicy Corea" here in Provo. It was Cody's birthday and we were there to surprise him. He served his mission in Korea and loves the food from there. So where else would you celebrate an Irish holiday but at a Korean restaurant?! I told myself that I would try anything that was included in my dinner... it was a little worrisome... I was told that the kimchee (spinach boiled in a special Korean spice) was absolutely amazing but i thought it was a little slimy. The rest of the food was fantastic! I actually really like it and find it more exciting than Chinese (although I only know that American Chinese stuff...). I did draw my line at anything that used to swim... Alyssa, who was sitting next to me, had ordered Korean pizza. It had squid, octopus, and crab in two thin layers of ... dough... in the middle of the meal she pulled out a whole, little octopus with tentacles still attached... and popped it into her mouth... lets just say that I was glad that wasn't placed in front of me... :) Julie is very happy that we enjoyed it because I'm sure we'll be eating there again rather soon!

The party at our place was a hit and despite the green queso dip (yes it was a questionable color for queso...) everything was eaten and we got to watch the traditional Darby O' Gill and the Little People to finish off the night. :) So an adventure to note and a new culture celebrated. Who knows, maybe I am growing up after all! ;D

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Quick Update!

A short (hopefully!) update on how life is going right now.

I made it through my week of death... I had 4 of 5 tests to take and three papers due by Thursday. But I am alive and well. Right now in school I am just getting to class and holding on for the last leg of the semester before finals in mid-April. The sunshine helps a lot with the spirits and college adventures. That snow is a little cold... but I think it leaves the mountains looking quite lovely!

I have a job set up for the summer! I will be working at This is the Place in Salt Lake City again! So if anyone wants to come up and visit, I can work out a deal with the park! ;) I am very excited. I had so much fun doing it last summer and hope to have some good stories to share with ya'll this year too! :D I also have living arrangements made for the summer. Good news, I am not moving! yay! and my roommates are (well... most of them) will be staying/ coming back in the fall. I am very excited. I have enjoyed the ward and my roommates this past year here and moving is just a hassle anyway... (PS. I will miss Ica terribly this summer but wish her a safe and wonderful time!)

Yesterday was the day for missionary news apparently. I received three emails and two letters from all over the world. I will say, it was kinda fun! :) I have close to 30 friends serving all over the world right now. I call them "my missionaries". They are all at various stages in their full-time missions and are all working very hard. It is fun for me to see them all growing in their lives and in their testimonies. They can bear their testimony on anything, at any time, and I love to read them. They are so sweet and simple and wonderful. If you ever get the chance, its a good pick-me-up to get a letter... send one to someone sometime. Its great fun to correspond the "old fashioned" way. :)

Thats it for now! Thanks for reading! Hope you have a fantastic day!