Friday, August 13, 2010

There and Back Again, by Bilbo Baggins

We went on a hike. To the top of Mt. Timpanogos. Over night. With giant backpacks carrying sleeping bags, tents, lots of water, pjs, and food.

I have never done anything more extreme in my entire life. Nor has anything made me feel more miserable, exhausted, and without hope. Nor has anything ever made me feel so accomplished, proud, and happy to have tried really really hard.

Sidenote: hiking Mt. Timp is a tradition for BYU students. In the earlier days of BYU, massive student groups led by Eugene Roberts (practically the founder of BYU athletics) would hike the mountain every year. So, it was something that I really wanted to do before graduating from BYU. It is something you've gotta do as a student. With other students.

This is how it went down:

The crew: Me, Dani, Michael (D's BF), Seth, Bryce, Isaac, and this other girl that I had just met, Rachel (a different Rachel from the HP party post)

We were supposed to leave at 9:00PM. We didn't. We didn't get to the trailhead and started hiking until 11:00PM.
The group, before we started hiking. We all look a little scary. The camera was on a timer, and some of us weren't prepared... But we look happy. For now.

We hiked for a while. Suddenly things started to look familiar. Come to find out, the first part of our hike was a circle. We sent scouts back to the beginning to look at the map. Isaac drew the map on his arm. We all said it was like the map of the London Underground shaped scar on Dumbledore's leg.

It was at this point that I realized I had made a crucial mistake: We were hiking in the middle of the night, and no one in the group had ever made the 6.5-ish mile hike before. At this point, I was extremely close to saying, "so, let's go home. It's already too late." But I didn't say it because I didn't want to be a party pooper.

We started hiking again. We came to switchbacks. Instead of going back and forth on the switchback trail, we often just climbed straight up from one part of the trail to another. It was hard. And rocky and slippery.

Sometimes the path was wet. And I swear we crossed a stream/river like eight times. My feet were wet. I started to get blisters on the bottom of my feet.

The batteries in my flashlight went out. I found a new one.

I swear I was the only person that ever asked if we could take a break. That got old. Really fast.

We hiked for three hours. Up the side of an entire mountain. In the pitch black. Carrying all of our camping gear. The only thing we knew about our stopping point was that there was going to be a meadow and that there was going to be a lake. It's kind of hard to see those things in the dark.

We found what we thought was a meadow, but we kept walking. And then we found the lake. And THEN, miracle of miracles, Seth found a one-room, stone COTTAGE! A little cottage in the middle of the meadow. We quickly huddled inside. It was around 2:30AM at this point. I was tired. While us girls prepared to go to bed and sat around a lot, the boys set up two tents in the cottage (one for boys and one for girls), found fire wood (there was a fire place in the cottage), and were somehow (it took a lot of time and effort) able to drag a giant piece of scrap metal that they found on the side of the house to cover most of the opening left by the missing front door to the cottage. That giant piece of metal was a LIFE SAVER. I am being completely honest when I say that I have NEVER experienced such wind as we did that night and the next morning. We needed that door. It made the cottage quieter, calmer, WARMER, and a lot less of everything blowing around all over the place. 

By the time we got everything set up, it was 3:30AM. We realized that in order to make it up to the peak of the mountain by sunrise we needed to get up and leave at 4:30AM. We. slept. for. one. hour. Oh wait, did I say slept? I meant closed our eyes. Well, I might have slept for a couple minutes. But dang, you try sleeping on cement floor (where are your hips and butt supposed to go?) with mad wind crashing against your cottage and blowing your door around. BUT, I was warm, and conditions were significantly better where we were than they would have been anywhere else.

When the alarm went off we all grumbled, but got out of our warm sleeping bags and prepared for the final ascent. We left our gear in the cottage, thank goodness. I wanted to prolong putting my backpack on again as long as possible (that thing left bruises on my shoulders).

Notice: forlorn, exhausted, without hope looks on their faces.
This last hour was by far the hardest part. No sleep+hours of hiking doesn't mix super well. I struggled. I lagged behind. And I was very haggard. And it was cold (there was even lots of snow) To get an idea of how I looked and felt, Picture Frodo and Sam climbing the mountains into Mordor. Picture "the black stair" that they climb where Frodo abandons Sam and then gets stabbed by Shelob, the giant spider. Think of Sam stubbling around and kind of crying. He looks so sad and lost and scared, and it makes you cry too. That was me. (Okay, not really that bad. But it's funny, right?)
Frodo and Sam, very miserable, looking into the the distance and realizing they still have SO FAR to go. (PS, looking up these pictures really made me want to watch LOTR. Dani. Let's have a marathon.)

I was the last one in our group to make it to the top, but WOAH. The view was breathtaking. It was incredible. In both directions. I looked out and could not believe how far I had come. As we sat at the top together, marveling in the world that we live in, I couldn't help but think back on the moments on the trail when I really, really, really wanted to give up. I had told myself that I didn't really care about making it to the top. That it really wasn't a big deal, and that I didn't have to do it. I even told myself that if I got injured I could get a ride home on a helicopter, and that would even make a cool story. But you know what? I'm not a quitter, and I knew that even as those thoughts were flying through my head for the first time, that they weren't real. There was never a moment when I wasn't going to finish, I can just be really dramatic sometimes. But for real. It was hard. I really wanted to stop. to rest.

Okay, so this is a video of me actually making it to the top. Isaac was filming, and unfortunately, he only got half of the view on tape. And also, the video is not that exciting, but you can get a little bit of an idea of how high we were. In was insane. And you can see the little shelter at the top. 

But I finished, and I am so glad that I did. We watched the sun rise, and it was a miracle. The sun rises every day. But how many times do we notice? I pray for sunshine all the time. I love it so much. I never want a rainy day. But I don't know how many times in my life I have actually seen the sun rise, and have been able to enjoy that. Well, I enjoyed it that day. I enjoyed it from the tip top of a mountain. The second-highest mountain peak in the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains.

So, we were at the top. But there were some others at the top. Some other students, similar to us, and then there was this man. I swear he was a mountain man. He looked normal, but he was unusual. I could tell. First of all, he was by himself. Second, he told us it was his 20th time hiking the mountain. Third, he slept in the little hut at the top of the mountain. That might be the number 1 worst place to sleep on this Earth. Fourth, to get down the mountain, he slid down the glacier.  I am not making this up. Fifth, he took a swim in the lake at the bottom of the glacier- the one by our cottage. That lake was being fed by the glacier. Those things are frozen! The water was literally just barely above freezing temperatures. See? Mountain Man. Sixth, he paid Isaac $20 to swim in the glacier too. He did it. I think that mountain man picked Isaac as his heir.

I also want to add that out of the 7 of us, I was somehow the only person to bring a camera. And it died. Like right after the movie featured above was filmed. So we used Isaac's phone to take a picture of us at the top. I don't have that picture. Someday I will get it, and post it up here. But the video is proof that we actually made it! 

After basking in the recently-risen sun for a while and deciding we could brave the wind again, we hiked back down. We got back to the cottage, and after eating some little breakfast, we all went back to sleep. There was nothing else for it. We were exhausted. And we actually slept this time. At least I did. And I slept well. It was very refreshing. We napped for probably an hour, maybe more, and then cleaned everything up to go home. My favorite part of the trip, I think, was that nap. It was really fun when Dani and I were awake, but the boys thought we were still asleep, and they were really funny. Dumb boys. They didn't know girls were listening. And we just lied there quietly. Giggling a lot.
The mountain goats by the cottage. See the pretty lake? And wildflowers?

The cottage. It kind of isn't a cottage. Oh well. We were trying to look triumphant. (notice the snow in the background. That is part of the glacier. It was slippery).
The hike back down was unbelievable. It was amazing to see everything that we had previously hiked through in the dark. I had NO IDEA what we had come through. It was beautiful. More beautiful (and heavenly) than I could possibly describe. I tried to take pictures, but none of them do it justice. It was amazing. The farther down we got, the more amazed I was at what we had accomplished. I am being honest when I say that if I would have known exactly where we were going from the beginning, there is a VERY high chance that I never would have tried. Sometimes ignorance is a very good thing.

Picture taken a little more than halfway back down. You can't even see the peak from here... you have to go over this mountain, through a meadow, and then up to another peak, which is about an hour's worth of hiking HIGHER than this one in the picture. But so beautiful, right?
One of the many waterfalls we played in on the way back down. Please don't look at these pictures closely. While Dani may look adorable, I, on the other hand, do not.
I think, though, that the hike down felt longer than the hike up. It was significantly easier to go down (but really hard on the knees), but it felt like it took forever. And I fell a couple of times. One of my falls resulted in scrapes and cuts all down my right leg. Oh, and little rocks and dirt inside of the cuts. We had to squirt out the rocks with a water bottle and bandage me up. It hurt. And now the tan on my leg is going to be all messed up. And I might have scars. Eek.

But I made it. We all did. I hiked Mount Timpanogos. I think it was about 13 miles total, there and back again.
At the bottom of the trail. We look a little worn out. (Well, Michael and Dani look like Christmas morning) And I am posing very awkwardly.

Our trip lasted for about 15 hours. It felt like 3 days.

The end.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Live every week like it's shark week. Nothing is impossible except for Dinosaurs."

I recently love 30 Rock.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I have this best friend named Moe. She is one of my favorite people of all time.

She had a birthday yesterday. August 8th.

Somehow, I missed that birthday. I remembered everyday up until that day. But then forgot. I am a horrible friend, and Moe, I am begging forgiveness.

In recompense, and this is something I should have done anyway, I am going to list 22 reasons/stories that explain why I love my bestie Moe.

1. She has really really really soft and silky brown hair that she used to let me braid all the time. When she was a techie for Les Mis and I was in the ensemble, I would sit on her side of the stage and braid her hair during rehearsal.

2. She used to have a wart on her knee. And she was proud of that wart. The two of us were on Preference royalty, and during her little clip of the assembly movie when they asked her what was unique about herself, she pulled up her pant leg and showed off that wart. Don't know why. But I loved her for it.

3. She was on color guard with me, and along with Jen, we battled on together. She often took my side in uniform battles with Robin, Heather, and Collette, even if she didn't care either way (I guess that's what is good about having a dominant "white" for a best friend. :)).

4. She took AP US History with me and Jen. We were a dream team in that class. And one day while we were in class, actually one of the days that we wore our color guard day uniforms to school, she had an itch on her leg. She was itching and noticed something strange. She reached up her pant leg, and started to pull. A fleshy-colored thing started to come out... and low and behold, and entire pair of nylons had been stuffed in her pant leg. All day. It was one of the funniest moments of my life.

5. Moe is inventive in the way that she makes herself so beautiful everyday. One day her eyelashes looked like a zebra. It was because she likes to use a hair dryer to warm up her eyelash curler before using it on her eyelashes so that they curl better. She learned the hard way that a hot eyelash curler would melt off mascara that was already on her eyelashes... I love that Moe.

6. She responds to all sorts of nicknames: Slow Moe, Moe Schmoe, Moenika Louise, Preg-Moe, etc.

7. When we were freshman at Dixie State, we would run around together like crazies. We went to a cool college Halloween party at the Staheli barn/corn maze in BATMAN CAPES. That Jen and I made. We had no other costume besides that. I remember that we left the house to go to the party, but then realized that we didn't actually know how to get there. So, we stopped and asked a man at the gas station. He told us, and then we got in the car to drive away. Somehow, neither of us had listened to the man explain the directions because we assumed the other person would. We still didn't know how to get there. Oh the problems we caused ourselves.

8. She always goes along with my crazy schemes. She did not even try to stop me from being the most annoying sophomore of all time. Which I appreciated, because I had a lot of fun. She didn't even stop me the night I terrorized the Preference dance. Somehow, Moe, Heather, and I were put in charge of the fog machines. We sat in the rafters above the dance. And threw marshmallows. At the dancers. Let's just say it caused some problems. It was not one of my best decisions. But Moe was gracious enough to let me have my fun.

9. When we were 18, and I had still never been kissed, I had problems with my jaw. I still don't know what was up with that. But it was painful.  Moe's diagnosis, however, was that my jaw wasn't getting enough "exercise." Eww.

10. Moe makes a certain face every time she looks in the mirror.

11. Moe is going to have a baby. A little girl. I love that little girl, because she will be a mini Moe.

Moe being an adorable bottle of bubbles, before we put the costumes on. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the actual costumes)
12. One year for Halloween, Moe, Jen, and I decided to be bottles of bubbles. I credit Jen with the fantastic idea. Jen had an awful work schedule that fall, so she had little time to make the costumes. Moe and I took on the responsibility and worked on the costumes for hours. Together we were able to build my favorite Halloween costume of all time. And we won the "bubbliest costume" award at a Halloween party.

13. Moe and I used to like to drive to the Smith's parking lot and make fun of the college kids who would go there to hang out and meet up with each other. We thought it was funny to watch the gathering and then see it disperse in mere seconds once a cop showed up. We thought the college kids were lame. We were the lame ones with nothing else to do but spy on the kids we thought were lame.

14. Also during our Freshman year in college, we went to lunch together almost every day. She would pick me up at 11:00am after my institute class. Every Wednesday we went to Cafe Rio. We would usually get there and be in line before they actually opened. We would get our food- exactly the same order every week- and often, we would share. It was a pork burrito with black beans and mild sauce. And for at least the first 5 minutes of eating, we would just rant and rave about how delicious it was. My mouth is literally watering just thinking about it. On Tuesdays we went to Fazolis because there was a Tuesday deal on the Kids' Meal. I love me some Fazoli's lasagna.

15. She calls me Audrina. Or Drina. Or just Drin. I love it. She got it from Audrina on The Hills. I love that too.

16. One day Moe arrived at my house so that we could get up to our usual shenanigans, and she was VERY excited about something. She had just heard a song on the radio that she LOVED the first time she heard it, which is unusual, you know. And so when the song ended, she listened really hard to hear who it was by. And guess who it was? The Backstreet Boys. The song: "Incomplete." I love Moe because she loves the Backstreet Boys too.

17. When Moe was getting married and trying to pick the date, she thought about getting married on July 21, 2007: the day that HP7 was released. I told her that even though it would be a huge sacrifice, I would come to her wedding instead of being up North for my regular Harry Potter reading traditions. She changed the date. (Okay fine, I know that HP wasn't the only reason).

18. Dairy Queen is a traditional spot for all my friends and I, but particularly for me, Moe, and Jen. We had a special booth. I love Moe because she loves Dairy Queen as much as I do. We used to convince the workers boys to give us extra chicken nuggets and stuff. And Moe introduced me to Dairy Queen gravy. Yum.
The 3 of us at DQ, after a basketball game.

19. When we were sophomores in high school, we were very poor. We both had to save money to go on the Denver trip with the color guard. So, we had a bake sale. We made trillions of giant cookies and carried them around in a basket at school to sell them. Never in a million years would I do that again. But it was a lot of fun with Moe.

20. Moe and I also had the same teacher for chemistry. We both struggled a bit in that class. One day, when we were both dying and needed a load of extra credit, we decided to suck up to our teacher a little bit. This might actually be one of the times when Moe just followed the plan and stuck her name on it. But we did it together. We made a giant banner for Mr. Rea, our teacher. It said something to the effect of, "Mr. Rea is the best teacher ever. He is our favorite." It was giant and overpowering and ridiculous. But gave it to him, and he loved it. And we got extra credit.

21. She snorts when she laughs sometimes.

22. Another year on Halloween, we dressed up in Vanessa's old dance costumes. Moe dressed as a pregnant hippie. I think that's all I need to say. Moe. is. so. funny.

Me and Moe at her wedding. I was a lucky bridesmaid. I want to add that Jen and I threw her our first bridal shower ever. It was bomb.
One day I was really mad at Moe because she was blowing me off for her fiance (And okay, this was literally the only time I was actually ever mad and hurt because of Moe). We had made plans, but she literally ditched me. I was really ticked. I finally got a hold of her (she wasn't answering her phone for like two hours), and she hadn't even left the place she had said she was going to leave like three hours before. I told her not to come anymore and hung up on her. And then I drove to Kennedy's house, crying. It was ridiculous, but really, I was just horrified and so sad to be losing a best friend. I knew that she didn't care about me nearly as much as she cared about Steve, and that hurt. I was 19 and didn't understand (Hmmm, this is sounding familiar-- I felt this exact same way when my brother got married. I'm sensing a pattern. Maybe I am afraid of losing things. Of being abandoned. I don't know. Change. I am afraid of change.). I felt left behind and betrayed. About a week later (and the day before Moe's wedding) my family had to move out of our house on very short notice (literally the worst 24 hours of my life). I took a break from packing and moving to go to Cafe Rio with Moe and Steve. I just remember driving there and sobbing, sobbing, sobbing. I was crying because of the stress of moving, but mostly it just really hit me that she was getting married and things would never be the same again. Moe was so sweet, though. We ate our most delicious pork burritos with black beans and mild sauce enchilada style, but no lettuce and no salsa, discussing in great length how delicious our food was. I don't know, it was just nice. Moe stuck by my side for a long time, and I finally passed her off into the care of Steve that night. She was a really good side kick. Such a giver in our relationship. I was such a selfish taker, and she put up with that.

It's been three years since that happened. I still love my Moe, even though I forgot her birthday. Me and Moe have been best friends for about 7 years. Other best friends have come (like her husband, and all my Provo friends) and some of them will go, but me and Moe are forever, I think. I don't ever want to lose her as a friend.

Moe, thanks for being so great! And I hope that you had a fantastic birthday. I hope that 22 treats just as good as 15-21 have!

Friday, August 6, 2010

A double birthday party to remember.

July 31. Two birthdays. Joanne Kathleen Rowling and her fictional, yet somehow very realistic, memorable, lovable, and admirable character, Harry James Potter.

With the help of several of my friends, I threw a party. It took days of thought and preparation, but I think I did something worthy of the honorable JKR and HJP. We had been talking about this Harry Potter party for months, literally since May when I discovered that my friend Joey loves Harry Potter as much, perhaps more, than I do. I didn't think I would meet my match in this life, but Joey, I think, knows more about Harry Potter than I do. He is a trivia king. He listens to Harry Potter in his car like it's music. Over and over again.

So anyway, we decided to celebrate our love for HP and throw a party.

We planned, made assignments, and then everyone showed up at my house around 9PM, July 31, 2010.

The party consisted of:
  • Lots of Harry Potter food: Cockroach Clusters, lemon drops (because they're Dumbledore's favorite muggle candy), Acid Pops, Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, Chocolate Frogs, Love Potion, Butterbeer, Cauldron Cakes (compliments of Scott Pew), Pumpkin Pasties (compliments of Sarie), and a muggle-style birthday cake for both JKR and Harry (compliments of Dani). I'm going to be honest: the food. was. awesome. You might want to click on that picture to see it all up close!
  • Decorations. I made 4 large poster banners- one for each house. I hung them from my ceiling. Joey made a collage/drawing of a fat lady to put on the front door (so it's like you are entering Gryffindor tower. I made a sign for the bathroom that says, "Prefects Only" and then really small at the bottom, "Password: Pine Fresh." I also made a little pear to hang in the kitchen, you know, cause you have to tickle the pear in the fruit bowl painting to get into the Hogwarts kitchens.
  • Costumes. I just wore my HP7 shirt, HP glasses, and carried my wand in my back pocket (yes, I got several warnings that a back pocket is a very dangerous place for a wand). Rachel, however, came dressed as Luna Lovegood, and it was perfect. She even had a necklace that looked like it was made of radishes. She had spectrespecks and a Quibbler. Tyler came as Malfoy. He wore a badge that said, "POTTER STINKS," and hand-carved his own wand. Joey wore a shirt that among many things, said, "Neville is my homeboy" and "I heart defeating evil" and "heroes don't sparkle." Caitlin came dressed as the cutest Ginny Weasley I've ever seen. And Melissa wore a Gryffindor scarf. Scott made a badge that said, "Team Hermione." Bryce and Isaac found sticks outside and brought them as wands. You gotta admire their ingenuity.
Me and Rachel. You see her Quibbler?
Draco Malfoy.
Luna (Rachel), Bryce, Isaac. So cool. Rachel is trying to look like Luna- mystified and like there are wrackspurts flying around. Bryce looks stoned on accident.
  • Sorting. I made a sorting hat. I also made house badges for everyone to put on after they got sorted. (Some people were really excited about the badges and even wore them to church the next day. Tyler in particular). Joey wrote questions to help sort people, and then to begin, he told us a sorting hat song. From memory. The questions worked for like 3 people, and then it got too easy for people to pick the answers that they wanted for the house they wanted. That's when it got good. Joey, Ryan, and Michael became the sorting hat. They asked random HP-related questions and then made arbitrary decisions about houses. Then, they would yell the house name out together. Like, "HUFFLEPUFF!" in unison. I recorded the house decisions on a piece of parchment with my quill. Most people accepted their houses. Some Slytherins were mad though. They wanted Gryffindor. One unlucky Syltherin appealed to me: "But don't I get to choose? Harry got to choose. And Dumbledore says that it's our choices that make us what we are, not our abilities." I, of course, could not deny her argument. She pulled the Dumbledore authority card. No one can beat that. One Hufflepuff was unhappy with his house. Bryce. I told him it was a noble house, and that he could be like Cedric Diggory. He accepted that and finally put his badge on. I shook my head and recorded his name and house.
Dani getting sorted. Can you tell from the mean look on her face that she is a Slytherin?
The handsome sorters. This might be my favorite picture of all time. (Michael, Joey, Ryan) PS, they are drinking Butterbeer. Not an alcoholic beverage.
  • Trivia. Rachel came up with over 200 questions. We started the trivia with a few words from Joey: "Nitwit, Blubber, Oddment, Tweak," and then broke up into two teams: boys against girls. We didn't keep score though- I have no accurate way of knowing who won. We just answered questions back and forth, and it was a lot of fun. After the team trivia, though, came the face off between me and Joey that everyone had been anticipating for months. I had been dreading it, because I knew in my heart of hearts that I was going to lose- no longer the master of HP trivia. Which is fine. We actually didn't keep score for this competition either, and we mostly just answered together. So it was fun too. Very low pressure. It was the best, though, when we would answer a really hard question in unison. Everyone would cheer. One of my proudest moments, though, was after the question, "What was written on the Potter's headstone in Godric's Hollow?" I knew it. Joey didn't. "The last enemy that shall be defeated is death." BAM. I think, though, that by far and away, he won. He says that I won. He's just being nice. He won. For sure. But we pretended that we both won, and we decided to share the prize: The Tri-Wizard cup that Scott made.
Trivia Champions? Maybe.
Didn't I have the best helpers in the world? Scott, Joey, Sarie, Rachel, and Dani really came through for me. We worked hard, and the party was a blast. It is way too fun to be nerdy with all my friends. Everyone nerdy together. Such a good lifestyle. It was just so great to have so many people involved who love Harry Potter as much as I do. It wasn't like my past Harry Potter parties where my best friends come and marvel at my eccentricities. I mean, that's fine, whatever, I know they think I'm cool or else they wouldn't hang out with me, but this party was like I was among peers who are just as crazy as I am. And that was so great. And there were lots of us too, like 30-35 people coming and going. My apartment was really cramped, anyway. I think the party was for sure a success.

So, Mr. Potter and Ms. Rowling. Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

There is nothing better in the world...

1. ...than weddings. The adorable and lovely Ariel Jackson got married to the charming and handsome Stephen Martin on July 17th, and I was in love with their wedding. It was literally the most fun I have ever had at a reception. There were lots of wardies there, and we all danced and danced to Bieber and ate cake. It was a blast. And so beautiful.

2. ...than Pioneer Day. We are so lucky to live in Utah and get an extra holiday which = an extra day of no work. Pioneer Day this year was a crazy blast. The events included: 1) Thursday afternoon: Lene, Sarie, and I went to 7 Peaks for the $6 after 6pm deal. It was awesome to just be with the girls. There is extra anxiety with swimsuit wearing when boys are involved. 2) Thursday night: campout in Mona (a little bit South of Santaquin). There were a whole bunch of wardies there at first, but when it came time to sleep (and actually camp), most people went home. Me, Dani, Lene, Michael (Dani's bf), and Seth (Dani's bf's roommate) were the only ones that stayed. Dani and I slept in the back of Dani's Subaru. I don't think I have ever had a more comfortable night's sleep camping in the wilderness. We slept with the hatch open so we could fell the lovely night air and see the stars, but we covered at the same time. It was lovely. 3) Friday morning: WATER FIGHT (see number 3). 4) Friday afternoon: swimming at the Moon pool (apartment complex in our ward) and baptisms at the Mt. Timpanogos Temple. 5) Friday night: Inception. Everyone loves this movie. I thought it was cool, but I definitely had mixed feelings. The whole idea just wasn't exactly moral to me. They were criminals, but somehow not in a good way. And I didn't like the way they messed with people's dreams. I don't know. It just rubbed me the wrong way. It was upsetting. But the movie was fascinating to watch nonetheless. 6) Saturday morning: Days of '47 Parade in SLC. Me, Lynne, Lene, Sarie, and Joey drove down. And we got an AMAZING shady, grassy spot on a little hill at the beginning of the parade. President Uchtdorf was in the parade this year. He waved at me.
(Me, Lene, Joey watching the parade. I have a sleepy eye.)
7) Saturday afternoon: the Farmer's market in SLC. We walked around booths for a while, got lunch, and then I went to visit my cousin, Shawn. He was working the booth for his father-in-law. He gave me delicious cherries. I tried to pay him and he said, "We don't take Potty money here." (he calls me Potty. It's short for "Potter" and "Audi Potty") Then we walked over to the Gateway and did a little shopping. I escaped the place without buying anything- except a present for my darling Elise. 8) Saturday night: Dinner with Stephanie at Terra Mia (I can always use a pure and simple Margarita Pizza), and then a sleepover with Rachelle (see number 5). It was a fantastic weekend. And I was so tired.

3. ...than breaking world records and starring in music videos. So on Saturday, July 23rd, BYU put on a giant water fight in hopes of breaking the world record. With over 120,000 water balloons and about 4,000 people, we broke, but not necessarily smashed, the record. Have you ever been in a giant giant water balloon fight? Being in the middle of the fight is not really a pleasurable experience. It's painful. I don't know why, but the balloons had a hard time popping, and they would just smack into you, and it felt like getting punched. But who cares? It was AWESOME! Mass chaos, people throwing balloons everywhere, all 4,000 people becoming instantly soaked in water. What better way could there possibly be to spend a Friday morning? There isn't one. I was part of the breaking of a world record. To be put in the Guinness Book of World Records. It was way too much fun. And then after, we dance partied it up in our soaking wet, heavy clothes up by the DJ, and along with a large group of people, were selected to be part of the filming of a music video. And up-and-coming artist, Kyle Andrews, was using our water balloon fight for his music video. We stayed an extra hour or so to film another water fight, dance some more, carrying Kyle around on our shoulders, and so on. And THEN, when we were leaving, the DJ chose to put on a song that should be known to everyone and all as art: "Bohemian Rhapsody." Needless to say, we stayed on the field and danced and sang to that lovely song, all the while Lene filmed us, putting our performance in forever lasting memory. My experience at the water fight was complete. Oh, and then they gave us free lunch. Sandwiches and ice cream.

Video Courtesy of

(man standing in yellow rain pants: Kyle Andrews. The artist. And I actually really liked his song. It was called "You Make Me Smile" or something like that. It was Jason Mraz/"Hey Soul Sister" style. Kind of a mixing of the two.)
4. ...than Michael Jackson's 2001 album, Invincible. This is a treasure that I recently discovered/have become obsessed with. It fits in nicely with all the Queen craziness. A Michael break is always appreciated. So, the thing that I am trying to figure out, is why I didn't listen to this album like, at all, before? It just blows my mind, because the album is really good. There are a TON of good songs on it. I even have a new Michael favorite: "Speechless." It is pure beauty. I listen to it over and over and over again. I played it for Lene on the way to Mona, and then on the way back she said something that I will always love her for: "Can we listen to that "Speechless" song again?" I was ecstatic. Let's just say that I might enjoy my music more than the average person enjoys theirs. And I constantly try to make others enjoy the same music I do, because let's face it: I talk about it all the time. I casually bring up, say, Queen, in casual conversation with different people at least once a day. I have been known to repeatedly ask: "So, on a scale of 1-10, how much do love Queen? I'm currently at like a 15." Anyway, when Lene requested a recent favorite of mine, I just about peed my pants in excitement. We listened to it repeatedly, and then I tried to expose her to more of my faves. One a related note, Sarie was also in the car on the way to Mona when I exposed "Speechless." She commented, not about that song in particular, that Michael's voice sounded feminine. She told me she didn't want to offend me, but didn't I agree? I didn't know what to say. I really was speechless. Michael's voice is not feminine. It is not masculine, either (well, sometimes it is). It is just Michael, and that is the way he sounds. And no one else sounds like him. I guess when you think about it, he does sound a little feminine sometimes. But really, the thought had never occurred to me because Michael Jackson just sounds the way that Michael Jackson sounds. Isn't that weird?

5. ...than turtle cookies. Rachelle spent the night at my/our old apartment last last weekend. She came to church with me on Sunday, and then after, we decided that to celebrate Christmas in July (it was July 25, and Elise, the magic Christmas elf herself, reminded me to celebrate it) we would make Christmas sugar cookies and then eat all of them. Ourselves. Well, I went into the kitchen to start the process, and Rachelle was sitting in the living room doing... something. And then I suddenly had a brilliant idea. I GASPED very loudly and exclaimed, "I know what we should make instead of Christmas cookies!" (it's not like we had been trying to think of something to make instead or anything) I looked into the living room at Rachelle and she looked up from what she was doing and yelped, "TURTLE COOKIES!" And it was precisely what I had been thinking of. Same brain wave, Rachelle and I. Funny thing is that it had been over two years since we had made turtle cookies. They were a distant memory to both of us, yet they were the first treats that came to mind in such excitement. I love that Rachelle. So we made turtle cookies. We didn't have any cocoa, though, so we used a packet of chocolate pudding powder instead of both cocoa and white sugar. Chocolate flavored sugar. They were delish, but had a bit of a different consistency than usual. We'll have to make them again soon. But use the right ingredients next time.

6. ...than working at the Special Collections. I pretty much choose my own schedule. I get to take days off. I get to read obituaries everyday, which, most of the time is very interesting. I get to look at old stuff. Recently I found a document signed by Brigham Young. I showed it to John, my boss, and he got all excited. He told me that that piece of paper/signature was worth probably 5 or 6 thousand dollars. I am so grateful for my job, even if I complain about going a lot of the time.

7. ...than spending time with cousins that I love. I spend Wednesday through Friday with Dallin, Dustin, Daxton, and Dawson while Dave, Sherry, and Dallas were out of town. I was on little boy cousin babysitting duty, and let me tell you, it was exhausting. And I got really sick of cooking and cleaning up. But I loved the time that I was able to spend with my boys. Look below to experience the adorableness. I didn't get a picture of Dallin. He was too consumed by his xbox 360, which is a whole other story that, frankly, I don't want to get into. I hate video games. And none of the pictures I took of Dustin turned out. That boy has no patience for the camera. He turns his head or refuses to smile. Anyway: below are Daxton and Dawson. Possibly the most adorable 2 boys of ages 8 and 4.

 8. ...than watching Zac Efron play a troubled but very talented sailor who won a sailing scholarship to Stanford. Charlie St. Cloud, ladies. See it. The movie is a B or a C. It's weird. And sometimes cheesy. But Zac is actually a good actor, and he does a very good job. The movie is worth the money if only for Zac and his "handsome, rugged, chiseled, and great" features. Also, I might add that there is nothing better in the world than the student deal at the Wynnsong theater at the Riverwoods in Provo. $5.75 for a movie. That's cheaper than a matinee in St. George.

9. ...than Harry Potter birthday parties. See next post.

10. ...than the unexpectedness of Freddie Mercury. Once again, surprised. He has two solo albums. One is titled, Mr. Bad Guy. WHAT? Coolest album title ever, right? Mr. Bad Guy. That's hilarious. The second one is called Barcelona, and is actually not quite a solo album- he shares it with Montserrat Calballe, a female Spanish operatic soprano. They made a whole. album. together. Question: did anyone expect that? And you know what, it totally works. Here's a small taste: (she comes in at like 1:43)

11. ...than the BYU all-sports pass. Those things are literally my favorite thing about BYU. Actually that might not be true. But I do love them. A lot. I have been counting down to BYU football since basketball season ended in March. I. Am. Excited. And I just bought an all-sports pass. One more year of great BYU sports before I graduate. Wow. That actually sounds awful. Why do people have to graduate from college? Why? Let me say forever.

12. ...than turning down the internship at the Library of Congress in exchange for the awesome summer that I have had in Provo. I do not regret that decision. I never have once.

My world in Provo is just such a good place.