Saturday, December 31, 2011

highlights from my time spent with 2011


Greatest vacation:  London in October!  Enjoyed 4 different double decker bus tours and a boat cruise, excellent food, gorgeous weather, made the London Eye rotation twice, took fabulous photos and did some souvenir shopping.  Took a train to Bath where I worshipped at the altar of Jane Austen.  Took a train to Oxford where amazing architecture is found and lots of students live and learn.  Cried while hearing Alfie Boe sing “Bring Him Home” during a performance of Les Miserables.  Drank tea at the Orangery in Kensington Palace, more evidence I’m a descendant of British royalty.  

Greatest vacations that didn’t include a 5 hour time change and a passport:  Walt Disney World in January where we dined with the princesses and wore cheap tiaras.  Utah in March for a friend’s wedding.  Spent 5 days in the Bay Area in April where I visited the majestic Muir Woods & Muir Beach.  Took a tour of Alcatraz at night and saw my childhood through adult eyes.  Enjoyed the southern hospitality and face melting heat of Charleston in June.  Trips to see my family, see below…

Greatest family time: annual water park fun in July including taking Blake on the cave waterslide, celebrating the baptism of my beautiful niece Julia in Indiana, lots of hands of pinochle, meeting my newest nephew McKay for the first time in March, playing tennis and our monthly video chats

Greatest unexpected life changes:  serving in Ward Relief Society Presidency and starting a book club to socialize and read books I wouldn’t normally – highly recommend Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. 

Greatest new purchases:  Mikimoto pearl earrings and necklace from Japan World Showcase in Epcot Center, my iPad 2, hard bound books of my blog posts and my AppleTV

Greatest guilty pleasures:  Sprinkles cupcakes, Ann Taylor friends & family discounts, using expensive shampoo & conditioner, wearing a sparkly tiara in public, Instagram photo taking, asking my friend Megan & my mommy to sew dresses for me and Till the World Ends (Britney Spears)

Greatest songs played on my iPhone: the entire 21 album by Adele, Iridescent (Linkin Park), Movielike (Jimmy Eat World), Called Out in the Dark (Snow Patrol), Don’t Turn Out the Lights (NKOTBSB), Moves Like Jagger (Maroon 5), Turn to Stone (Ingrid Michaelson) and Belong (Cary Brothers)

Greatest television: Friday Night Lights, Revenge, Once Upon A Time, White Collar, The Good Wife, Glee & anything on the HGTV channel especially The Property Brothers

Greatest concerts/Broadway shows: Les Miserables with Alfie Boe at Queen’s Theater in London, War Horse, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Andrea Bocelli @ Central Park, Anything Goes, Plain White T’s @ Highline Ballroom, Sister Act, New Kids on the Block & Backstreet Boys @ IZOD Center, NY Philharmonic @ Lincoln Center, Catch Me If You Can and NY Pops @ Carnegie Hall

Greatest hours spent in a movie theater: Moneyball, Crazy Stupid Love, Fast Five, Captain America, Midnight in Paris, X-Men: First Class, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II & The Help

Greatest need for a movie ticket refund: Limitless, Cars 2, One Day and Tower Heist

Greatest New York moments: spent birthday in Central Park, took pictures of people, places and moments, 10th Anniversary of New York Fun Day, out of town for Justin Bieber performance on the Today Show, monthly dinners with friends I don’t see often, not losing electricity during Hurricane Irene, “I’m a Mormon” cab ads & Times Square billboard, met the stars of White Collar, played tour guide for Flat Stanley & friends’ trips to New York & Alexander McQueen exhibit @ the Met

new york fun day 10th anniversary

new york fun day's 10th anniversary took place on saturday, december 17th.  i was ecstatic that doc was able to fly in from medical residency to participate in the event.  she was my co-founder way back in 2002 when i was a little new york newbie.  

this year we decided to go big or go home.  we added a little personal pampering, christmas karaoke on saturday instead of friday night, a three course meal in a nice restaurant and buying seats in box at carnegie for the new york pops concert.  we had a great time!

new york fun day is one of my favorite new york christmas traditions.  it makes me appreciate the city and the magic it creates during the holidays.  spending a full saturday with my best buddies is an added bonus.  

i can't believe we have had 10 years of new york fun days.  it has gone by so quickly.  thank you new york city.

Friday, December 16, 2011

this week's simple moments

1.  my mommy sent me flowers for christmas...she is the best mommy i know
2.  enjoyed the new york philharmonic's performance of handel's messiah on wednesday night
3.  stood in line for 30 minutes to enjoy laduree macaroons.  worth every minute of line standing.
4.  made my bed every morning this week.  progress.
5.  glad my bed was made when my co-worker had to escort me home from work because i was sick. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

move over magnolia, you've been replaced!

in a previous post about three years ago i expounded about the virtues of magnolia bakery, which had just opened in rockefeller center.  i was in cupcake bliss and became a bit addicted to grabbing something sweet from their luscious catalogue of goodies.

now i have taken a vow to ignore magnolia's siren song.  i have found a new and better cupcake shop to obtain my hard earned funds.  it's all about sprinkles!  the red velvet, cinnamon sugar, pumpkin, lemon, banana, etc. make me so happy!  the cupcake has a perfect cake to frosting ratio.  neither are overly sweet.  they just taste so dang good.  if you're in new york, DC or california you MUST have a cupcake.  they will change that frown upside down, i guarantee it!

bereavment for decent television

my dvr is very sad.  nothing much for it to look forward to until next month.  i miss you revenge, once upon a time and  the good wife.  i guess i'll actually have to watch those 100s of movies/tv shows i currently have on a book shelf.  or there is always abc family and lifetime cheesy christmas, made for tv movies.

plus i'm looking forward to the introduction of new shows like smash.  i get chills every time i watch the preview.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

old age rears its ugly head

monday night was a trek to new jersey to buy a christmas tree and enjoy the 'burbs for an evening.  took a pick up truck over the hudson river for our excursion.  made sense since i had to bring back a tree. 

driving the pick up reminded me of grandpappy.  he used to take me and my cousins in his datsun black pick up.  we would pile in the back and he would drive along and then start turning the steering wheel so it felt like we were shaking.  i remember squealing with my cousins whenever he would do that.  love those memories with my grandpappy.

anyway, back to original blog post story...

after loading the trees we did our best to secure them and the drop cloth generously borrowed from a friend.  we used my bungee cords and rope to secure.  when i got going on the highway (aka freeway for those living on the west coast) the drop cloth kept flying up so we pulled into a parking lot and i jumped in the back to try to tie rope around the trees and secure it.  pretty sure that is how i strained/pulled my back.

the next morning it was horrendous pain with any movement.  took quite a few advil just to get through the day.  came home last night and popped into a hot bath to try to loosen the tension.  thankfully clare had given me a flannel wrapped rice bag that i could heat up also.  did all i could to make it feel better.  woke up this morning and it was worse than ever. 

moral of the story is that my 30s mean the aches and pains seem to be more frequent and of longer duration.  makes me mildly concerned for my 40s.

Monday, December 05, 2011

christmas season has begun!

the christmas season has officially begun! 

the first official activity of the season is the brick church park avenue tree lighting.  it happens every 1st sunday in the month of december.  100s and 100s of community members gather on park avenue at 6:30pm to sing carols and watch the illumination of the trees along the avenue.  this year the weather was absolutely perfect.  it wasn't its typical freezing temperatures.  loved the atmosphere of being surrounded by my friends and neighbors as we sing the songs of the season.

netter and i with our annual photo after the park ave trees are lit

now i can focus on the rest of my christmas activities!  here's a quick run down of what christmas in new york city (per moi) consists of:
  • buy christmas tree in new jersey
  • watch white christmas
  • wrap all pictures hanging on walls so they look like presents (a la Joani)
  • write christmas annual review letter
  • address christmas cards
  • listen to tuba christmas on rock center ice rink
  • buy and ship christmas presents to family & friends
  • make christmas music playlist #2
  • attend church services
  • read nativity story
  • donate to Sub 4 Santa
  • decorate christmas tree
i'm obviously most excited about this year's new york fun day!  doc is coming all the way from michigan to celebrate the 10th anniversary of new york fun day.  i'm so so so happy she's coming since she was the co-founder of this great event.  this year we're adding some things to make it even bigger!  can't wait for december 17th!

today while walking back to my office after grabbing lunch a song came on my iPhone.  it was the brass rendition of "o holy night" performed a few years ago on the awesome show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  it almost brought tears to my eyes because i think it is so beautiful.  take a listen below and let me know if you enjoyed.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

attack of the soy sauce

i was wearing a white collared shirt today.  it looked pretty cute. then i went to lunch with some co-workers.  we walked through the doors of mandoo bar to enjoy some yummy dumplings.  i was grabbing the last goon mandoo, a delightful piece of pork and veggie heaven wrapped up and pan fried, when the soy sauce attacked!

i neglected to take into account that there was a sizable hole on the surface of the dumpling which meant the soy sauce i "dipped" it into filled up with a ton of volume.  i bit into it and SQUIRT! soy sauce all over my face, drops all over my shirt, and the most tragic of all - IN MY HAIR!  my hair was crunchy and best of all, smelled of soy sauce. 

thankfully this horrible attack doesn't make me anxious every time i contemplate eating another dumpling.  i'll be happy to walk through the doors of mandoo bar when the opportunity provides itself again.

and thank goodness my co-worker paul had a handy tide pen.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

budding artists

my nephews greatly enjoyed the capabilities of my iPad. their favorites are the bubbles app and the penultimate app. they both drew me pictures which I'm willing to share with you. aren't they little budding artists?

me, blake and jaxon at the zoo

just call jaxon "mini jackson pollock"

blake's interpretation of where i live - aka new york city

time with the family

there is truly nothing better than spending time with my family. I was able to enjoy a fantastic Thanksgiving week this year. this is only the third time in almost 10 years that I have shared turkey, stuffing and most importantly candied yams with my Utah residing family members. i flew in on Tuesday night and am heading back today. as I sit in the delta sky club I'm so thankful for the time playing trains with Blake, parcheesi animals with Jaxon and watching baby McKay take some of his first steps. my mommy fed us well and the weather was perfect. all in all it was a spectacular week. it recharged my battery to be ready for the crazy week that is staring me in the face starting tomorrow.

thank you my family for always being happy to see me and for sharing your holiday time off with me. I love you bunches and bunches.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

personal realization #7

if someone does something that is an exception to the behavior of those around him/her it seriously irks me.  no one should expect "special treatment".  if you are a receipient of "special treatment" then you should be excessively grateful because you didn't earn it or deserve it

i learned at a youngish age that i don't know how to keep my mouth shut when someone does something or asks for something that would give them a "leg up" on everyone else.  this personal characterization can best be explained in two personal stories.  one from my youth and one from yesterday.

where:  disneyland in anaheim, california
when:  about 1994 which makes me in my mid-teens
why:  waiting for the Fantasmic evening performance on Tom Sawyer Island

my family and i found a place to stand by a very prominent rope that sectioned off a circular walkway with a tree and bench in the middle.  ropes were placed on both entrances to this small walkway effectively telling the disneyland patron that this area wasn't available for fantasmic viewing.  (refer to my drawing below)  as i stood directly behind the rope i watched about 8-10 people at different times duck under the rope and go stand by the tree.  a nice disneyland cast member would walk over and tell them they couldn't stand there.  the 8-10 people would then put on their best "i had no idea this area wasn't open for watching" expression and duck back under the rope and try to squish next to me.  i got more and more irked, annoyed, bugged by these people who thought those ropes were there to keep everyone else out except them. 

i finally snapped. 

this youngish couple ducked under the rope, cast member told them to leave, they put on the "i had no idea" expression, ducked back under the rope, tried to squish me and I LET THEM HAVE IT!

i distinctly remember saying with disdain dripping from my voice - "do you think i'd be standing behind this rope if i could be closer to the show?  what do you think this rope is here for - to keep me out and make your viewing better?"  then i gave them a very dirty look and elbowed more personal space for myself.  pretty sure the youngish couple was dumbfounded that they were called out on their bad behavior by a teenager. 

my mom and dad looked at me aghast but with some respect and a little bit of "you go girl!" in their eyes.

where:  radio city music hall on the corner of 6th avenue & 50th street
when:  november 15th at about 3:05pm EST
why:  buying radio city christmas spectacular tickets for my friend physical therapist

got to the box office at radio city to buy the tickets and there were about 18 people in front of me in line.  bummer.  after about 10 minutes, the older man directly in front of me gestured to one of the ticket ushers to come over because he had a question.  he proceeded to start giving the usher grief because he was there to buy barry manilow tickets and everyone else was getting christmas spectacular tickets.  why should he wait?  he wanted to bypass the line to get his tickets for the manilow show happening in FEBRUARY.

...sidenote, i had already had a rough day when i exited my office building to go buy these tickets so wasn't in the best mood or have "what would Jesus do" at the forefront of my mind.  ok back to the story...

i spoke up and asked the man, again with disdain dripping from my voice, "why are your barry manilow tickets more important than my or their christmas spectacular tickets?"  the older gentleman, who was both shorter and smaller in muscle tone than moi, turned to me to berate me for listening in on his "private conversation".  this seemed ridiculous to me since we were standing on a sidewalk in the middle of new york city.  he told me how he hated people who butted into other's conversations when it didn't concern them.  i told him i didn't appreciate people thinking they deserved special treatment.  after a long minute of death staring at each other, he turned back around and i continued to listen to adele on my iPhone. 

the funny thing is that the usher who originally was part of this brew-ha-ha took off as soon as i said something to the man.  he let me fight that battle.  when i finally got to the front of the line the usher supervisor was there and made a grand (and almost loud in volume) apology for the rudeness of the man in front of me.  he hoped i had a wonderful day and would come back to see shows at radio city often.

here's where the personal realization kicks in.  i don't necesarily think that i should be going around berating people for what i consider elitist behavior.  i'm not their mother or father.  plus i don't want to get in a more severe altercation.  i do think there is nothing wrong with being annoyed or frustrated and perhaps asking them to realize that they aren't alone in waiting in a long line for tickets or trying to get the best view of something.  i just think that rules are made to be followed by EVERYONE! 

maybe i should go into law for my next career.  work to make sure rules are obeyed for the greater good.  uhhh, maybe hours are really long and too much school is required.

Friday, November 11, 2011

gift ideas for moi

joani made the dreaded call a few days ago.  it was the call asking me for ideas of what i would like for christmas this year.  i'm TERRIBLE at coming up with ideas for people to buy me gifts.  as previously posted i fully know that i'm a difficult person to buy a gift for.  i'm very specific in what i do and don't like.  i clearly know this about myself.  the other issue with buying me gifts is that i live in new york where space is tight and i can find everything on my own. 

must say that joani wasn't the first to request ideas from moi about gift giving.  moocher texted me a couple of weeks ago because she won the sibling lottery when i was assigned as her designated sibling to buy for.  sorry mooch.  in my own defense i did tell her what i wanted.  top of my list is an employed man to take me on a date.  really hope she's working on getting that present wrapped up under the christmas tree. 

i guess this blog post is really an apology to my mom at my utter lack of help when it comes to buying things for me that i might like and don't have to store for the majority of the year.  so sorry joani.  if i think of anything that doesn't involve the word "card" at the end of it i'll let you know.  until then inspiration can always be gleaned from my wishlist located on the left side of this blog. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

yanni, the cure for the common insomniac

joani told me today that she has been struggling with insomnia.  has to be one of the most frustrating things to deal with because you literally can't do anything about it unless you start popping pills which i DO NOT want joani to do.  that could just open up a whole nother can of worms.

as i was thinking of natural things to suggest to joani for her insomniac ways, a light bulb went off above my head (not literally mind you).  the answer was so great and perfect in its simplicity.  joani needs to embrace yanni in her life.  he can make the mind wander into a haze of bliss that is conducive to eyes closing and the REM cycle starting.  go ahead and tell me i'm wrong.  doctors need to start prescribing his music to insomniacs the world over.

to help motivate joani to embrace the yanni i've chosen my favorite slumber inducing piece of my greek buddy to demonstrate below.  i beseech you my madre to take one yanni "pill" and call me in the morning.

...please don't become fixated on yanni's perfectly coiffed mane of hair or groomed to within an inch of itself moustache.  really wish the director had focused on his hands tickling the ivories rather than his facial expressions as he "feels" the music.  oh well, i blame the 90s...

and good night.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

and thus busy season begins...

yesterday i sent out the email to my co-workers detailing all of the holiday events happening at rockefeller center.  the rock center tree arrives this friday!  as in three days away!  then the biebs performs on the plaza in two weeks and one week after that we have the ceremonial tree lighting.  what has happened?  how can it possibly be the month of november?  i'm either in shock or feeling the effects of post traumatic stress disorder due to the rapid movement of time in my life.  anyone else feeling a bit of PTSD from the fact that it is november - specifically november 8th?

i'm really hoping to keep the blog posts coming but beg your indulgence if my relationship with new york suffers due to professional, religious and personal increased demands on my time.  please keep checking as i will do my best to keep the levity and pictures coming. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

a trip to the kingdom with pictures

i'm officially in withdrawal from my london vacation. it was an amazing time that would like to repeat often from the travel, food, culture, day trips, shopping and lounging in hyde park. all of the negativity created by the lack of sunshine and bad food choices from 2008 was wiped clean with this most recent excursion. we arrived to a long line at border patrol, grabbed our bags and snagged a ticket for the heathrow express. the mass transit system really is great but quite expensive - just an FYI. a very nice man was willing to help carry my bag up the long flight of stairs from the tube notting hill station. love me some brits and their courtesy. perfect beginning of our time in the united kingdom.

...sidenote, love that this land is literally a called a "kingdom". how cool is that? i was visiting a kingdom with numerous palaces. apparently all of those disney princess movies did work their magic on me...

here's a run down on what we did over the six days we were in the united kingdom:

went to the national museum. took an evening ride on the double decker tourist bus. ate some pizza express in notting hill. bought some groceries. arrived at london eye at opening time to wait in line for about 15 minutes. took lots of pics from the eye. found the awesome skate park full of graffiti. took more pictures. boarded a boat for our tour down the thames. took another ride on the tourist bus. ate dinner at a whole in the wall indian place. saw les miserables with alfie boe where i cried multiple times. hopped on a train to bath. fell in love with bath. took a lot more pictures. rode the tourist bus. ate at jamie oliver's italian restaurant - yum. enjoyed some ice cream in the bath abbey square. bought a magnet. went to the jane austen center to worship at her altar and try to remove the stank of singledom. twirled and danced within the assembly rooms. ordered pizza hut meat pepperoni lovers pizza on our return. ordered an amazing english breakfast with fruit, tea, hot chocolate and bread basket at the wolsley where the women next to us ordered a traditional breakfast including baked bean. hmmm. caught a train to oxford. took a ride on the tourist bus. walked around christ church college and magdalen college. absolutely stunning colleges. did some light shopping including a t shirt. took more pictures. ate at wagamama noodle shop. devoured left over pizza for dinner. took bus to harrod's department store. ate an overly priced breakfast on the fourth floor. wandered around. bought some macaroons from laduree. bought my christmas cards. netter bought earrings from tiffanys. jealousy developed. went to kensington palace gardens. sat on a bench to eat macaroons and enjoy the sunshine and atmosphere. learned the seven princess' names during the enchanted kensington palace tour. took some more pictures. waited in line for afternoon tea at the orangery. decided i want to move to london while drinking lemon ginger tea and eating an orange scone. dropped purchased and headed back to london eye for night viewing. took a whirl on the fastest carousel i've ever ridden.  walked across the thames to hitch a ride on a bus to picadilly. found huge tourist shop where picked up flex's christmas present and a few other trinkets. found a red phone booth for optimal picture taking. toured the royal mews which was awesome. joined light crowds at buckingham palace for more pictures. saw the most awesome mullet ever. stopped at EAT for lunch on the go. hopped in a cab to paddington station for heathrow express to airport. hung out at heathrow until flight back to the land without the word "kingdom" in it.

i know how lucky i am to be able to take these trips to far away places. even as a youngster i wanted to be adventurous and traveling was really the best way for me to feed the independent beast. i have never regretted any time spent in my travels. and am thankful that the opportunity is always there to pack a bag and head out for the next destination.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

photography class in central park

a couple of weeks ago i did a photography class with my buddy cara.  the instructor wouldn't let us shoot on any preset modes like "landscape", "portrait" or "sports".  instead we were only allowed to photograph using the aperture and shutter speed ranges.  it was so fun and very informative.

we then had to shoot a saxophonist playing under a bridge, poet's walk and the sun shining.  here are a couple of my favorite shots i took.

do you like?

Monday, October 17, 2011

heading on a jet plane

london here i come!  t-minus eight hours until my plane takes off for the land of the brits.  i'm very excited. 

last night i prepped my ipad and iphone for the journeying.  made the decision to include entertainment that was written, sung, set or performed by the natives.  my ipad only has british movies on it currently.  i filled it up with my jane austen fix of persuasion, pride & prejudice as well as jane eyre, the king's speech, les miserables 25th anniversary concert (which is technically french but produced by a brit so it's allowed).  the fabulous miniseries of north & south along with little known movies like the duchess and young victoria.  have grand plans for adele, snow patrol, coldplay and keane to sing to me.  my plan is to do as much british immersion as possible and watching and listening to these british artists starts the trip off right. 

i must confess that my boyfriend dwayne johnson's movie fast five also made its way onto the ipad.  so for my purposes, dwayne is an honorary british citizen.

i'm hoping to share pictures as often as i can while trapsing the tube stations, harrod aisles and roman baths.  until next time, cheerio govenor!

Friday, October 14, 2011

this week's simple moment

i'm bucking pinkymcg blog trend and only mentioning one simple moment this week.  this moment has been on my mind a lot recently as i walk the streets of my adopted home town.  a large number of my friends are leaving the city for locations distant and often considerably warmer during the winter.

the mass exodus from NYC seems to have begun in may with gooch moving to dallas to pursue her dream job.  then came clare taking her talents, VW beetle named daisy and contagious laugh to utah.  and then the ward friends are systemically leaving to go to london, san francisco, utah, baltimore, toronto, australia, miami, etc.  it seems that each time i walk through the doors of church there is another family who has recently announced that they are moving out of the city.  enough already!

i definitely don't judge these friends who are choosing to take their life's journey down a path away from the concrete jungle.  i'm just sad.  the simple moment of life in new york city is that eventually almost everyone leaves.

the only way i've tried to stem the pain of separation is to give these moving friends a charge to always think in the back of their mind when they meet an LDS single man - "is this guy a possible good match for my totally awesome friend pinky?".  if the answer given by their mind to that question is "yes" then it will make the long, short or miniscule time we spent together in nyc completely worth it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

thank you utah photographer

a lovely woman in utah took pictures of my brother coyote and sister-in-law sunshine's family recently.  sunshine was smart to send me via text a link to the photos on the photographer's blog.  i immediately used my iPhone for the purpose of tracking down the latest from their male heavy family.  these pics of their family were some of the best i've seen in a really long time.  of course i'm biased.  but seriously, how cute are my nephews?  the answer you're looking for (in true utah fashion) is "totally freaking adorable!"

all creative credit to the photographer as well as coyote and sunshine for making such amazing kids.

mckay, blake and jaxon
love reflection of coyote and sunshine making silly faces

the soundtrack to london

need to make a playlist for my journey through that other awesome island...england or the uk.  i've been in a bit of a rut with my listening choices.  as previously stated, my love for my BFF 4-eva adele has not wavered and i'm sure she'll sound even better when i'm walking upon her native soil.

please help me oh friends of mine.  share the wealth when it comes to good music that is propelling you through your day.  i'm open to all types of music minus twangy country, hard hitting hip hop (previously known as "gangsta rap"), and techno (also known as "house").  don't be shy...let me know in the comments section what is good that i'm currently missing because my devotion to adele and maroon 5's moves like jagger is currently blowing up my headphones.

i'm completely willing to give a shout out to anyone who increases the joy in my life by sharing good music.  i might even name one of my future children after you.  now that's a reward to aspire to.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

economics, baseball & brad pitt

netter and i attempted to see moneyball on a saturday night two weeks ago.  we arrived at the theater with 20 minutes before showtime and learned the showing was sold out.  bummer.  last saturday we decided we wanted to see the movie so were proactive and bought tickets online as well as arrived at the theater a good 35 minutes before the five trailers began. 

...let me back up real quick before i tell you my impression of moneyball - as an 10/11 year old my family had season tickets to oakland a's games.  my favorite professional athlete is mark mcguire (i still remain true regardless of any doping allegations) who spent the majority of his professional career with oakland.  my field of business is finance.  i think brad pitt is incredibly handsome and endearing plus he generally dresses really well.  i picked up the book by michael lewis and proceeded to read a majority of the book but just couldn't make it to the end...

the movie was fantastic!  probably in the top tier of movies i've seen this year.  i thought jonah hill and brad pitt made a great duo and the baseball wasn't so heavy that i felt i was rewatching ESPN sportscenter.  plus it had the added bonus of making me burst into laughter out loud on multiple occasions. at the conclusion of the movie i immediately called joani to tell her she HAD to see this movie.  i think she would really enjoy it.  the content had action, suspence, emotion, comedy and last but not least, brad pitt!  that's what i call a winning combo.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

giving him the benefit of the doubt, it's not working...

this past weekend there was a singles conference for LDS singles age 26 and over here in my own backyard.  it was my first conference ever.  the main motivation for my attendance was my really good BBW (bath & body works) friend T was in town from salt lake.

she and i met up on saturday morning to catch up and talk about our adult lives of home ownership, setting up 401k accounts, making sure we are the favored aunt and plan amazing vacations.  it was so great to spend time with her.  i miss her especially when she shares her insights and life experiences.

during a slight lull in the activities of the conference T ran into a friend and former home teacher from DC.  during the course of the conversation with this dude he mentioned more than once that there is no one to date in new york so he looks forward to moving somewhere to finally find someone to date and hopefully marry.  i wanted to punch him in the face.

let me clarify...i didn't have the immediate reaction to punch this guy because i had suddenly and completely fallen in love with him.  no, my motivation for inflicting bodily harm upon his jaw line was because he obviously needs a swift reality check that physical pain could provide.  saying there are no women to date in new york, whilst standing in front of eligible women who have numerous eligible women friends, was a load of (pardon my language) crap.  what does this guy want in a wife?

i left the conference with a sour taste in my mouth because i know this little philosophy is not exclusive to this dude.  so i ask the single men of the world, regardless of religious affiliation, to please open your eyes and look around you.  i can with absolute certainty promise you that you are surrounded by amazing women who have all the qualities (and probably more that you can ever imagine) you want or desire in a companion.  stop thinking that perfection exists, because honestly, there is a very good chance that you are not perfect so expecting it in a wife is just plain ludicrous.

good luck to T's friend from DC in finding that special someone outside of NYC.  i'm sure he's a great person who has a desire to do what's right and built a righteous family.  i'll try to give him the benefit of the doubt as long as he promises to never again complain about having no one to date in the area he is living like it is a problem not of his own choosing.

was i wrong to have the immediate motivation to punch this guy?  please friends be brutally honest.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

welcome october

welcome to the first month of the fourth quarter of the year.  october is one of my favorite months of the year for many reasons.  here are a few:
this october has the added bonus of absolutely gorgeous weather, a singles conference complete with a halal lunch and devotional by member of the seventy, vacation to LONDON and fall photography class in central park with my friend cara courtesy of groupon. 

october really is the final moment of bliss before the misery and woe of freezing temperatures, bus stop closed due to rock center tree, planning biggest annual RS event, barren trees in central park and need to wear five layers to combat the wind tunnels.  thank goodness for thanksgiving, christmas and disney world as event to look forward to once a month from november through january.  if only i had something to plan  to get me through the bleakest month of the year - february.  i'm sure i'll think of something to get me out of town and into sunshine & warmth to combat the february doldrums.

so welcome october.  it's always nice to welcome back an old friend.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

oh sweet riley nelson

a facebook friend posted this video today and it just made me absolutely giddy with joy.  as a background, riley nelson plays football for the byu cougars.  he came into the game in the third quarter on friday to lead the cougars past a very good utah state team.  well done riley and his teammates.

feast your eyes on the come from behind with a 96 yard last minute drive skills of riley and most important, his luscious locks.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

total BFFs

i love adele.  i think she's an amazing singer.  her music is inspiring and emotional.  would have been more than willing to pay top dollar for a ticket to her concert in the city earlier this year.  but we weren't yet friends at that point.  our relationship developed this past summer.

i love her.  and i don't care what anyone says.  i love her for the singer she is.  i love her for the britishness that she exudes.  i love her for the lyrics she writes.  i love her for her sassyness.  i love her for the style she promotes.  but right now i love her most for the fact she filmed her gorgeous someone like you in paris.

thank you adele.  we are now best friends 4-eva.

what happens when i'm bored

i'm bored; therefore, i buy things for my apartment to change something and attempt to take away the boredom.  trust me it's a good idea.  otherwise the dark side of HGTV watching will send me down a deep dark spiral of wanting to buy a house in some random location just for a change.

what do we think of this duvet cover set for the bed?

expanding my book reading horizons

my good friend jewel and i needed to spice up our social circle so we started a book club.  we invited a bunch of our buddies to read and discuss books written both recently and of yesteryear.  at our discussion last month we chose a book called unbroken by laura hillenbrand based on the recommendation of one of our comrades.  the summary said it was a story about a man who competed as an Olympic athlete in the mid and late 30s then served in the army air corps during world war II.

i have never read or even picked up in a book store or library a book that dealt with the subject matter of war.  it just wasn't my style.  but i'm a team player as they say so i dutifully purchased the book through the iBookstore.  kinda held out until about 10 days left before the date of our discussion.  started to read and LITTERLY. COULDN'T. PUT. MY. IPAD. THAT. HAD. THE. BOOK. DOWN.  lost a lot of sleep over the last 10 nights.

the story was amazing!  and as my friend said during the discussion last night, if i didn't know it was a real story i would have thought the events detailed in the book were straight from someone's imagination.  even reading about all of the atrocities that happened to louie, i was completely inspired by his determination and ability to retain as much humanity as possible while being physically destroyed and stripped of his humanity.

i would urge everyone to read this book.  not only is it well written by laura hillenbrand (author of seabiscuit) but it is a page turner because you want to know what happens to louie.  you care about him and his comrades.  you won't be sorry if you choose to dive into the story of this courageous man from torrance, california.

hoping that october's book the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society is just as good.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

a note to a thief...

to the person who stole my debit card number,

it makes me sad that you stole my debit card number.  there was no need to produce a counterfeit card to joy ride in taxi cabs throughout the city, buy some possibly needless gift cards and supplies from targets in the bronx and brooklyn as well as treat yourself to a coffee and doughnut at dunkin doughnuts.  there really was no reason for you to take about $400 of my hard earned money.  you truly should be ashamed of yourself that your thieving ways caused me to almost hyperventilate and start to shake because of panic and absolute dismay. 

there are only a few things, to me, that each person of the human race should hold dear.  they are honesty and integrity.  mr./ms. thief - you failed miserably on both points when you stole my debit card number.  i really hope that it was worth it to you because i think i was able to catch your thieving ways soon enough to get the card number cancelled before you hit the slot machines in atlantic city or bought that iPad you've had your eye on for the last week.

my final piece of advice to you, the person who stole my debit card number, is to take a moment to evaluate what you are doing.  stop leeching off other people and causing stress and anguish.  and if after the self evaluation you decide that you're all good with the dishonest choices you are making then my next piece of advice is to never open a checking account because i'm pretty sure the people you associate with wouldn't hesitate to do to you what you did to me. 

the person who spent three hours of her day on the phone or in the branches of my bank

Sunday, September 25, 2011

ode to HGTV

my friend preppy told me about her recent addiction to watching HGTV.  i thought it was kind of odd but didn't voice that opinion to her directly.  in my mind there were so many other great cable shows to enjoy like AMC, Bravo, ABC Family, Bio, etc.  Who wants to watch shows about how to build a deck?  or what kind of paint and primer combo is best to disguise a red wall?  or heaven forbid, watching men compete in a show about who can make the best bird feeder out of popsicle sticks?  needless to say, it didn't intrigue me but i thought that my friend preppy is a pretty urbane, cultured and sophisticated new yorker/san franciscan so maybe i should see what all of the hoopla was about.  big mistake.  huge.

i have now turned into an HGTV groupie.  it is my go-to surfing channel if i'm waiting for my prime time shows to commence or i need something in the background while i cook or if i'm just lounging on my couch in my 400 something square foot apartment that i pay a rent of 4 digits to call my home.  some of my favorite shows are house hunters international, property virgins, for rent and my first place.  the mistake in converting to the dark side of watching others search for properties is that i have some serious, hard core house envy.  i want to be one of the young whipper snappers that is buying their first home full of three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen with an island and deck in the back yard.  oh and did i mention all of the homes seem to have a dishwasher and laundry facilities?  because they all do.  be still my beating heart.

don't get me relationship with new york city seems to be on solid footing.  we still spend lots of wonderful hours together basking in vibrancy, culture, energy and street fairs selling food on a stick.  it's just that HGTV has opened up a new adult world to me full of people concerned about mortgages, location vs. space, and how close is too close to one's parents.  as well as how to compromise on paint colors and how big is too big when buying a new HDTV for the family room.

sometimes i wonder if i could have a long term relationship with a place like los angeles, san diego, phoenix or portland that is just as vibrant, cultured and energetic but with an added bonus of a mortgage full of equity and maybe a yard where my one day dog can romp and play.  i think in many ways it is better to not realize what is out there so you don't know anything but your chosen way of life.  unfortunately HGTV burst that bubble of ignorance. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

this week's simple moments

1.  the un general assembly is in town - 'nuff said
2.  first relief society meeting was a rousing success
3.  took the subway to and from work three times this week :/
4.  enjoyed central park walk late on a saturday afternoon as the sun was going down
5.  taught clare how to use the FaceTime function on her new iPad - hooray for technology that brings people together

Thursday, September 22, 2011

new york favorites written by M2 relief society

our ward's relief society fall social was all about how to live, love and enjoy living in new york city.  one of the things we opted to do was ask all of our relief society members to send in their opinion on the best places to see, do, eat, be pampered, people watch, etc. as well as advice for living in the city.  we had a great response so i thought i'd let you know what made the list...(see if you can pick out the items that i submitted as my faves).  Please feel free to share with any friends who are planning a visit to the greatest city.  This list was compiled by real life New York women.

 Follow the advice of John Lennon to WALK everywhere! It's the best way to get a feel for the city and you can find amazing architecture, people, food, shopping, and helps you feel a part of a larger New York City community.
Embrace it! There are many things that may seem inconvenient and hard; however, if you focus on the positives they will always outshine the negatives. You will learn & grown here more than any other place. Choose to enjoy every moment!
Be involved in the ward! Go to any and all activities to make your presence known and develop your New York family.
Learn the MTA Bus System – it takes you almost anywhere you want to go and is amazing to see the many people, places and architecture pass by your window
 Get a safe pesticide for your apartment like EcoSmart. They’re made with natural ingredients that don’t irritate senses when using them.
Use your computer – you can order groceries (, diapers ( and almost anything from and Most online retailers have excellent shipping prices that make online ordering more convenient.


o Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) – free on Fridays from 4:00pm – 8:00pm
o Metropolitan Museum of Art – pay what you want
o The Paley Center for Media (previously the Museum of Television & Radio)
o Museum of the City of New York
o Fort Tryon Park and The Cloisters
o Museum Mile Festival in early June shuts down Fifth Avenue and numerous museums are free including the Met & Guggenheim

o $6 ticket to movies playing before noon on Friday, Saturday & Holidays at AMC Theaters
o Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Square – tickets as low as $15
o $20 tickets for select Broadway shows through Hiptix – free registration for those between the ages of 18-35
o Student Rush tickets to Broadway shows
o TKTS booths in Times Square & South Street Seaport
o Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater
o New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center – tickets as low as $25
o NYU & Fordham showcase fantastic & cheap arts programs & film festivals
o Alliance Francaise (FIAF) for culture events and viewing foreign films on Tuesday nights
o Plays at BAM Harvey Theater in Brooklyn
o Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater offers numerous classes and amazing performances
o US Open Tennis Championships – cheap ticket for a Grounds Pass early in the tournament

o Conservatory Garden at Fifth Avenue & 105th Street – gorgeous in Spring & Fall
o The Highline and Chelsea Market
o Green markets for fresh produce, flowers, etc.
o Bike riding and rowing boats in Central Park
o Walking the Brooklyn Bridge and stopping at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
o Ice Skating at Wollman Rink or Rockefeller Center
o Free walking tours throughout the city
o Long Island City's waterfront park
o Double Decker bus tours with visiting friends – 2 for 1 tickets available for local residents of tri-state area with web registration and proof of residence
o Karaoke in Korea Town at Duet 35 – private rooms to sing and dance to your heart’s content
o Top of the Rock Observation Deck at dusk
o Concerts at smaller venues - Bowery Ballroom, Terminal 5, Irving Plaza, Roseland Ballroom, Brooklyn Waterfront, Mercury Lounge and Beacon Theater
o Park Avenue Tree Lighting & Singing – first Sunday of December gather outside Brick Church @ 91st & Park Avenue to sing Christmas carols


o Epicerie Boulud @ Broadway & 65th Street - amazing French pastries like macaroons
o Tonnie's Minis @ Lenox b/w 123rd & 124th - mini cupcakes
o Francois Payard Bakery @ Plaza Hotel & Houston b/w Thompson & Sullivan
o Bouchon Bakery @ Rockefeller Plaza & Columbus Circle
o Almondine Bakery @ Water Street & Main Street (Brooklyn) or @ 9th Street & 7th Avenue
o City Bakery @ 18th Street b/w 5th & 6th – hot chocolate & cookies
o Levains Bakery @ 74th Street b/w Columbus & Amsterdam – 6 oz Chocolate Chip Cookies
o Donut Plant @ 23rd Street b/w 7th & 8th & @ Grand Street b/w Essex & Norfolk РCr̬me Brulee doughnut
o Magnolia Bakery @ Bleeker & 11th Street or @ 49th & 6th or @ Columbus & 69th – Bread Pudding
o Amy’s Bread @ Bleeker & Leroy or @ Ninth b/w 46th & 47th Street –Chocolate Cake
o Baby Cakes Bakery @ Broome b/w Ludlow & Orchard

o Eataly @ 23rd Street & 5th Avenue
o Pio Pio @ First b/w 90th & 91st – Peruvian Combo
o Baoguette @ Lexington b/w 25th & 26th or @ Maiden Lane & Broadway – Classic Sandwich
o Patsy's Pizza @ 69th Street & 2nd Ave or @ 23rd Street b/w 8th & 9th
o Halal Cart @ 53rd & 6th – best after 7:30pm
o Cascabel Taqueria @ Second b/w 80th & 81st
o EJ’s Luncheonette @ 73rd Street & Third – great French Toast
o Dim Sum Go Go @ Broadway b/w Catherine & Chatham Square
o Joy Burger @ Lexington & 100th or @ Washington Place & 6th
o Alta Restaurant @ 10th Street b/w 5th & 6th
o Caracas Restaurant @ 7th Street & 1st Avenue
o Lula's Ice Cream @ 6th Street b/w Avenue A & Avenue B
o Cafe El Portal Restaurant @ Elizabeth Street b/w Spring & Kenmare
o Le Maison Du Chocolat @ Madison b/w 78th & 79th or @ Rockefeller Plaza
o Yorkville Creperie @ York Avenue b/w 83rd & 84th
o Mandoo Bar @ 32nd Street b/w Broadway & 5th - dumplings
o Dos Caminos @ 50th Street & 3rd or @ Park Avenue South b/w 26th & 27th – excellent Brunch menu


o Bloomingdales on 59th & Lexington
o J. Crew on 17th & 5th has the best sale section
o Barney's Warehouse Sale is worth the madness
o Forever 21 in Times Square
o DSW in Union Square
o Polarn O. Pyret for kids clothes on sale - opening a shop on 79th & Columbus soon
o Fishes Eddy for kitchen items - 889 Broadway
o ABC Carpet & Home Outlet Store in the Bronx (not on Broadway) has great deals on carpets, rugs, and modern furniture.
o Tag sale at the Brick Church (91st/Park) every October and April to stock up on used children's clothes, shoes, coats and toys.
o Fairway at 125th has a free parking lot

o Sample Sales throughout the Fashion District
o Herald Square – 34th Street between 5th & 9th including Macy’s Department Store
o Union Square
o Broadway between Houston and Canal Street
o Chelsea, on 5th and 6th between 14th and 18th featuring Anthropologie, H&M, TJ Maxx, Zara, J. Crew, Urban Outfitters, etc
o Flea Markets in numerous neighborhoods like Hell’s Kitchen and Brooklyn as well as the Garage near Madison Square Park


o Blooming Nails on 90th and Lexington
o Mimi’s Nails on 80th and 2nd – avoid Saturdays
o Make sure your chosen nail salon has massage chairs to allow your pedicure to do double duty. Get a full-body spa treatment for the price of a pedicure
o Many nail salon offer manicure/pedicure combo deals during Monday - Thursday

o Arrojo Studio @ 180 Varick Street – try to book appointment with Katie
o Cutler Salon in Soho – try to book appointment with Hannah
o Whitmore Hair Salon @ 45 Grove Street
o Hair Farfalla @ Third b/w 88th & 89th Street – great for a quick shampoo and decent cuts

a dream is a wish your heart makes

i've stated before how i pretty much always remember my dreams.  and they are always vivid and generally involve at least one person that i know.  here's a run down of my dreams this week, thus far...

monday night -  a guy i had a crush on many moons ago showed up at church so i ran from floor to floor and classroom to classroom to avoid him seeing me.  was terrified that if i talked to him that i would start to like him again.  that had to be avoided at all costs!  crush hasn't been part of my life for quite some time so i'm always annoyed when he shows up in a dream to remind me of his actual live existence and that he didn't love me back.

tuesday night - was in a hair salon in utah visiting clare.  she had to go take care of a hair care emergency so told me to wait.  a woman close by was waiting to get her hair colored.  the owner of the salon came up to me and started giving me a hard time because i hadn't started her color process yet.  i didn't know what to do and clare wasn't answering her phone so i just started mixing color.  but was terrified of messing up this girl's hair, knowing how important my hair is to me, so i told the owner that i wasn't a trained stylist.  clare walked in while the owner was yelling at me.  she got yelled at also.  not sure why i waited so long in the dream to tell salon owner she had the wrong person doing hair.  i guess wanted to protect clare from getting in trouble.  so this dream once again cements my "good friend" status.  

wednesday night - my favorite band jimmy eat world was on my flight from london.  i happened to be sitting close to the lead singer jim adkins so of course i struck up a casual conversation.  i mentioned that i was bummed they were only doing their "bleed american" shows in san francisco, los angeles and arizona because i couldn't go based on work commitments.  jim told me that fellow toros (our HS mascot) had to stick together so he would put together a special performance of the album for me and my friends in new york within the year.  i promised to be his best friend for life.  i think i got the better deal.  REALLY REALLY REALLY wish this dream will come true!  makes perfect sense that my fave band would be willing to coordinate a show for myself and my friends in appreciation of my years of tireless devotion.

wonder what tonight's slumber will bring...

Monday, September 19, 2011

friday night lights farewell

i've expounded previously about my love and admiration for friday night lights.  the show is a perfect blend of character and football.  it is a story about family - a nuclear family, a sport family and a community family.  the final episode of this great series has already been filmed, edited, broadcast and put on a dvd.  it is one of the best finales i have ever seen.  seriously hoping they do as they have suggested and develop a movie for these characters. 

while watching a completely boring emmy broadcast last night i nearly allowed my tear ducts to work when they called out the name of jason katims for best dramatic writer.  he is the brains, heart and soul of the show.  the best part is he ended his speech with the perfect "clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose." 

the evening got even better when the amazingly talented but long shot kyle chandler was awarded the statue for best lead actor in a drama series.  i literally jumped off my couch and started clapping.  i was so incredibly happy for him because without coach taylor the show would not exist.  he is amazing.

lately when people come over to my apartment for the first time and see my large bookshelf full of dvd and blu-rays they always remark how they absolutely love friday night lights.  i can't tell you the number of times i've loaned out the full series on dvd that i own.  anything to help people embrace the goodness of quality television programming.

i will miss FNL.  i will miss eric and tami taylor.  i will miss the dillon panthers and east dillon lions.  i beseech you to watch this series!  it is truly one that brings out the emotions of life set against a football loving town with amazing scenery, music and heart.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

this month's simple moments - written on an airplane

  • obsessed with Groupon - bought one for food and one for a photography class
  • love my book club - this month's book is called Unbroken
  • 69 cent songs on iTunes are awesome
  • nail salon lady asked where my friend was while getting a manicure...apparently netter and i are a nail salon attending duo
  • la guardia airport has more families flying than jfk - must be the numerous orlando flights
  • holiday weekends in new york city are very quiet
  • no more A/C usage = smaller electric bills
  • bought tickets in a box at carnegie hall for new york pops holiday concert
  • allergies are getting bad again
  • three days of perfect weather following hurricane irene
  • line down the block at abercrombie & fitch and parisian landuree for macaroons, i would have chosen the macaroons
  • sat next to a friend from church on my bus to work

trying to coordinate a girls' weekend

it's been over 10 years since myself and my two freshman year college roommates have been in the same room.  i think the last time we were all in the same room was susan's wedding.  a lot has obviously happened in that decade to all of our lives.

while chatting recently with heidi we realized that enough was enough.  it was time to bring the sweeties of m. smith heritage hall back into the same room.  emails about dates and locations have been exchanged but nothing finalized.  this weekend getaway unfortunately is easier said than done with two busy moms' schedules and my work load.  but i know the three of us are determined to make it happen. 

i have no doubt in my mind that when we are all back together that it will seem like we've only been apart for a few months.  that is one of the greatest blessings in life, friendship.  i greatly look forward to partying like it's 1999 again with my BYU comrades heid and susan!

halfway through september

apparently i forgot i had a blog during the first 18 days of september.  my time has not been idle.  seems as the year winds to a close that my "to do" list increases.  not just with my professional obligations but also personal and church.  as i told someone recently, i would rather be busy and accomplishing tasks then sitting around being bored.  got my wish.
  • successfully made it through the first tax deadline of september 15th.  just one more to go in october.  
  • booked housing for orlando, florida january 2012 vacation
  • enjoyed numerous hours of amazing tennis played during the US Open including an epic match between novak djokovic and rafael nadal
  • spent labor day with my brother big lug and his family for my niece julia's baptism - she looked beautiful
  • started going to the gym at 6am daily - yup, 6am
  • planned relief society fall social with my meetings committee
  • saw Andrea Bocelli in Central Park  
  • became kind of obsessed with my Instagram app
  • ate my first cupcake from Sprinkles bakery
that is just a small snippet of my month of september thus far.  finally it feels like fall is in the air.  this means apple picking, photo taking, pumpkin bread baking, breaking out the cashmere sweaters and no more flip flops.  still pretty shocked that we are a short two weeks away from the fourth quarter of the year.  anyone else in a bit of shock by this fact?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

this week's simple moments - transportation edition

1.  while sitting on the bus i saw a man drop a jacket, another man grabbed it, ran to the man, and handed it to him with a smile
2.  chose to ride the subway home where i saw a middle aged man in full clown costume and makeup (but without the wig - thank goodness) grab his briefcase and get on the uptown 6 train to read the New York Times
3.  sang along to numerous boy band hits while driving in clare's beloved daisy, which is the perfect vehicle for boy band singing and dancing
4.  wanted to walk home on tuesday evening but wasn't wearing flip flops so alas...
5.  had one of the saddest train rides ever on saturday morning.  the train took me back to new york city after saying farewell to one of my best friends before she moves to utah.  truly hated that train ride.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

a little bit of city shaking

about 2pm today there was an earthquake in new york city.  the epicenter was in virgina.  the funny thing was how nervous everyone got.  to me it really wasn't a big deal because i've been through numerous earthquakes based on my youth in the bay area of california.  i was the calm, cool and collected one in the office while the "lived all my life on the east coast" peeps became absolutely unhinged by about 8 seconds of shaking.

around 3pm i went outside to get some air.  was sitting on 6th avenue when a woman came up to ask myself and the woman next to me if we had felt the earthquake.  we both said yes and so she asked where we were when we felt it.  the woman next to me said how she was nervous by the shaking.  i told her i was from the west coast so it didn't match any of the others i had previously been in.  can you guess which one of us the nbc4 news channel lady chose to interview on camera?  i'll give you one guess.

Friday, August 19, 2011

happy anniversary to me

this past wednesday was the 10 year anniversary of my graduation with a BA in art history from brigham young university.  i remember the day clearly.  it was gorgeous.  my family and i had to get up at the crack of dawn for my commencement ceremony and diploma distribution held at the de jong concert hall in the HFAC.  i also remember a man approaching me and offering $150 if i would give him my cap and gown so he could be done with his studies.  there was absolutely NO way i was going to make that trade because the cap and gown i wore symbolized lots of hard work, friendships, conversations, education, social interaction, spiritual growth and independence. 

i'll sometimes say that byu for me was the best and worst years of my life.  i think that is the truth about most people and their college experiences.  i definitely gained an education but what i am most grateful for is the people i met and befriended.  those bonds are as strong as ever even though i rarely if ever see my friends anymore.  somehow the things that drove me crazy about my time there have slipped out of my memory.

my choice to apply to only one school after high school paid off and continues to be a blessing as i watch my nephews and nieces develop a love for byu.  still seems kinda crazy that i am the only byu graduate of my siblings after all of the annual summer treks my family took to worship at the cougareat, deseret towers and richards building.

so thank you byu. my time spent in a relationship with you gave me opportunities to know amazing people, study hard or not at all as the case may be, cheer loudly for the byu cougars in the football stadium, marriott center or fieldhouse, live on my own for the first time, develop an everlasting and extremely special relationship with my grandpappy and grandma jewel, learn about financial responsibility and give me experience to lead me on my life's journey which ultimately led me home to new york city.

a very happy 10th anniversary to me and byu.  i think i'll celebrate with a cupcake from magnolia bakery.