Friday, May 30, 2008

Matt Costa


Wednesday night Kayla, Taylor, Spencer, Liz, Robbie+friends/family, and me all went to see Matt Costa's concert at the Avalon Theater. Spencer and Taylor kept joking that since it was all the way out on State Street that it must be at some run-down, scary-looking place. They weren't kidding. The Avalon Theater, which none of us had ever been to, was a little questionable--it might have looked nice in the 1930s, but not so much anymore: the sign was fading, the paint was peeling, there were weeds growing up through the cracked sidewalks...but since we'd all paid and we all love Matt Costa, we toughed it out, making fun all the while of some of the future band names that were coming soon to the venue, like "Scary Kids Scaring Kids." The concert was supposed to start at 7 and the doors were supposed to open at 6:30, but everything was a half hour behind schedule, so we didn't even get in and settled until about 7:30. There were two opening bands, which I originally had taken videos for, but Matt Costa's stuff was so cool that I needed the space on my memory card.

Even though the room we were in was concrete painted black and really really warm (despite a large fan in the back), the concert was still enjoyable--a little loud, but Matt Costa's stuff was incredible. I wish the video feature on my camera could have caught it better; as you'll see, the sound quality isn't great. And my camera also couldn't capture the smell of the place--strong incense, probably a little bit of marijuana, and a lot of sweaty people. But it was fun. He played all my favorite: Sunshine, A Cold December, and Astair, plus some others that will probably become new favorites.

Also, in other news, I just got back from two days of training for my internship down at UVSC (soon to be UVU), and I'm wiped. But I'm going to love this internship--I'm going to be a tutor/counselor for a government-sponsored program called Upward Bound that basically sponsors high school kids who will be the first ones in their families to go to college. The kids will be taking college classes this summer, and I'll be living with them and helping them with their homework and planning activities and stuff. It's basically like a summer camp, but where school is involved. Looking at the schedule though, I'm going to be busier than I've probably ever been in my life, and that's saying something: every minute of every day is taken up by some activity or other. It will be a blast though. I'm way excited.

Time for dinner--I've got two slices of pepperoni pizza calling my name.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Holiday!

I love the feeling of being able to sleep in as late as I want, or at least until I get awoken by someone telling me they've made me breakfast :) And that's exactly what I got to do yesterday morning; I slept in until 9, when Carter came into my room announcing that he'd made crepes for everyone. Glorious day! Check out how good they looked (and were!).




After breakfast, the four of us (Mom, Scott, Carter) all went bowling. Now, I swear I used to be really pretty decent at bowling; my high is a 145 and just last year I was scoring about 125 (or at least above 100 on most games). Now, I don't know what it is, but it seems like the last couple times I've gone I've just done embarrassingly awful, and yesterday was no different--I mean, on the second game I only scored a 33! No, I'm not kidding. It was that bad. I think Todd cursed me; I had played well until I played with him this last semester, and ever since, I've been awful. But it's all good. I'll get my groove back someday.

Now, if you notice in the picture above, I got lucky on this shot--I at least hit one pin down.

Later that night, I went with Callin, Mary Francis, and Shawn to the Bees game. I couldn't believe how cold it got! I had brought my winter coat with me, plus a blanket, and I was still not quite comfortably warm once throughout the whole game. It didn't help that we got ice cream afterwards. And unfortunately, the Bees lost. So maybe it's just me that's bad luck, eh?

Tonight I went to the Institute in West Bountiful, and even though it's a class I've already taken up at USU (The Gospel and the Productive Life), I'm excited to be able to take it in. Tonight's lesson was all about time management, and even though I'm pretty good overall with my time, it was a good reminder to me to set some goals and plan my time wisely so I can achieve them. We also learned that we should tell people about our goals, because we're more likely to achieve them that way, so here's a few of mine for the summer:

1-Enter two writing contests. I'm only working part-time this summer, so I'm planning on spending my time off writing some short stories to enter into contests.

2-Read approximately one book a week. I'm doing surprisingly well at this so far, thanks to all that time I have now that I'm only working 24 hours each week.

3-Get my tennis game back. I've been doing good with this one too--Kayla and I played last week, and I played tonight after Institute with a bunch of my friends for two hours. And I didn't even do that bad at all! I even won a couple games (and one whole match!).

Anywho, I need to be getting to bed.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Remembering


I love Memorial Day. For me, it's an ideal holiday--one where a lot of the original purpose still rings true and a holiday that's an equal blend of thoughtful, poignant remembrance and celebration. It gives me extra reason to ponder on those I love who have graduated to the next life and also on my testimony of my Savior and all He has done for me.

The pictures above are of my Grandpa Austin's headstone; he passed away when I was 16 and a sophomore in high school. I wish I remembered more of Grandpa when I was younger, but him and Grandma lived in California then, so I didn't see them as much. But I do remember the many, many Sundays spent at their house here in Bountiful playing Rook and Hand and Foot. I remember how it all started, too; my grandparents had just moved into the house just a block up from us, and my mom kept trying to tell me and my sister Hannah to go over and visit, but we were too shy. So on one Sunday, she suggested we go over and ask them to play cards with us. And ever since then, it has become a tradition to go over to their house on Sunday nights and play games and eat treats. Grandpa was a genius at Rook: he knew every card that had been played and was the only one I've ever known that could lead out with a ten and not lose it. He loved to win, and he was loudly triumphant every time he did (which was often). Grandpa was usually Hannah's partner, and Grandma was usually mine. We would play for hours, only going home when we had to (because we had school the next morning and they needed to go to bed).

I often loved to go and sit down on Grandpa's headsone in high school and just meditate on everything going on in my life. I would use the time to pray and ponder, to reflect and thank my Heavenly Father for all my blessings. When my life got so overwhelming, visiting Grandpa's headstone reminded me of the wonderful life he led, and how grateful I am for the gift I was given to know him and to be alive and know and love the people I do.

I've always liked seeing all the flowers and gifts covering the cemeteries on Memorial Day. It's a shame they can't look like that all year round.

One thing I realized this Memorial Day is that I've never seen my Grandma Fedor's headstone; she passed away when I was in 4th grade, and so I don't remember too much about her. But I do remember that she loved those pink peppermint candies and she used to always give us handfuls of them whenever we saw her. I also remember going to visit Joe and Madeleine's family down in St George when she and Grandpa were down there too. She bought us all shirts to celebrate the Cleveland Indians being in the World Series. I remember her kissing me and telling me she loved me.

After visiting Grandpa's grave, we drove down to Herriman to eat at Sarah and Jared's and visit Adam's gravesite. My feelings are still fresh every time I go out to see the little headstone, and the tears still come to my eyes as I think of how much I miss my little buddy. How special Adam is to all of us, and what a powerful reminder of how we should all strive to be--as innocent, mild, trusting, and happy as a child. I am so grateful that I am blessed to have a knowledge and testimony of the glorious truth that I will be with Adam and all of my family again. I know that Christ is my Savior, and that because He died and was resurrected, that we all will be resurrected someday. I'm so grateful for the comfort that this testimony brings to my heart.

There's many things I will always remember about Adam, but the thing that will probably always stand out to me the most was the way he completely personified joy to me. His exuberance and love for life--for trucks, for playing in the sandbox at Grandma's, for having books read to him, for the pleasure of talking--will always stay as a sweet memory and as a reminder to me of how I should strive to be.

I remember two summers ago, at the Eaglewood Fourth of July celebration, when I grabbed his little hands and we ran right up by the platform where the band was performing and we did a little dance there together, with him giggling like mad (and me too). After that, he ran over to the little gravel pathway and started transporting the rocks into little piles (probably wishing he had his diggy with him).

Even though we are made to pass through hard things, I am grateful to be able to trust in a Father who knows all, and who will dry all our tears and make everything right in the end. His plan is perfect, and I know that He lives, and that His Son made it possible for us to have eternal life--eternal joy.

As we left the cemetery, I looked up to see the vivid red and blue of the flags flapping in the sun against the backdrop of the mountains, and I thought of how beautiful this world is. And just think---if our world is only a telestial world, imagine the beauty and grandeur of the celestial world, where we may be in the arms and presence of those we love for eternity. Life is surely a beautiful thing, even in its saddest moments.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Finally, Friends!

I'm so excited that almost all of my friends are finally home from their missions! I just remember how boring last summer was, because everyone was gone but Chelsee and me. But this summer is totally different; I can hardly keep up with everything going on! Callin got home last Friday from his mission in Vancouver, and we all went to his homecoming this last Sunday. He gave an awesome talk on faith, and pinpointed four major enemies to faith: fear, doubt, laziness, and procrastination. It made me realize that a lot of my energy is wasted in doubting, when I really just need to trust that everything will work out for the best.

I was especially excited to see Rach this last weekend; since she got married a year and a half ago, I don't get to see her as often as I'd like. Her and her husband are now living in Vernal, so I was glad she made the drive to come to our friends' homecomings. Her enthusiastic attitude about marriage and seeing how happy she is makes me less scared of the whole idea of it, lol.

Our friend Josh Taylor also got home this last week, and his homecoming was also Sunday, so all of us were kept busy going to both of them (and very full since we ate at both of their houses!). Josh went to Samoa on his mission, and he gave an inspiring talk on the gift of life. Josh lost his mother very unexpectedly while he was about halfway through his mission, and he bore a powerful testimony that this life is not the end. What a blessing it is to know that we have a Savior who died for us and made it possible that we might all see those we love again. Life truly is a marvelous blessing, and I'm so happy for each day I've been given!

It seems like it's been the summer of seeing everyone again that I haven't seen for awhile; Mara came to a bonfire we had up at Eggett Park on Monday night, and I haven't talked to her in forever. She's only living a couple blocks away at her parent's house for the summer, so hopefully I'll be seeing more of her.

I look so pale next to Mara...but that's okay.

I brought my guitar (okay, well actually it's Jill's guitar) up to the bonfire and reluctantly agreed to play the song I'd written for my friends. Hearing all of my friends play made me want to practice more, so I've been playing a LOT these past two days. The fingers of my left hand are way sore, since they need to re-form the calluses that used to be there when I played more. And today, I asked Calvin if he'd start teaching me guitar again, and he agreed, so hopefully I'll be doing a lot more of that this summer. Oh, and notice the bag of Cheetohs at my feet :)

Other news: I finished Twilight. I haven't started the other two yet, because I'm still waiting for Carter to borrow the second one from the neighbors. I've got to say, I was expecting the writing to be a lot better, but I have to admit that it's an intriguing story. It was fun to read something that didn't take much brain power. Currently I'm reading Wuthering Heights, which I surprisingly haven't read yet. It took me awhile to get into it, but I'm starting to really like it. I have a huge reading list this summer, and since I'm only working part-time, I actually might get to a lot of it. And I've bought a lot of books lately, too--probably a good dozen since last month. I guess I just went a little crazy at the thought of being able to read something that I actually wanted to read, rather than just something I'd been assigned (not that I didn't like the books I was assigned--it's just nice to be able to choose something for myself once in awhile).

Anywho, I just got the DVD I ordered through the Internet (Strictly Ballroom), so I think I'm going to go watch that and sketch for a bit in my room.

Mini Golfing





It's great to be home again with the family. Saturday night, Dad and Arlette took us all out to Mulligans to go mini golfing and then out to Mimi's for dinner after. I feel so lucky to have been able to spend the first two weeks of my summer with them--thanks again for everything guys!

While we were waiting for everyone to get there (always someone in the Fedor clan who's late...), we were entertained by the antics of Lily, Logan, and Zoe. Lily was doing the park a free service by yanking up all of their dandelions, and Logan was a good sport as she dumped handfuls of the yellow weeds into his lap and gave him hugs that ended up in him falling over. Zoe proudly stood by herself on the lawn and screamed and made funny faces at everyone. I heard that her surgery on her foot was rescheduled for tomorrow; I'm praying that everything will go okay. She sure looks ready to walk and run around though, so I bet this will be really nice for Jill (well, maybe. I'm sure she'll get into even more trouble with two running feet to carry her there).

I ended up doing miserably on the mini golf course. I really used to be quite good at it, I promise! But being out of practice for a couple years will do that to you, I guess. But that was okay, because it was fun (and exhausting!) to try and keep up with Lily and Logan as they ran around all over the course pulling up grass and stacking rocks and playing on the miniature obstacles of each hole. Motherhood must take up an enormous amount of energy: kudos to Jill and Sarah for handling it so well.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Kansas City Road Trip

Todd and I wanted to get to Kansas City at a reasonable hour, so we decided to leave at 6 in the morning from his house in Oakley. Todd must have just been too excited (or anxious) to sleep, because he ended up waking up at 3:30. Luckily, he was nice enough to let me sleep in until 5:15.

We decided to have me drive first for as long as I could, since Todd still had to make the trip to DC by himself and also would be driving us that night into Kansas City (I hate driving at night, esp. in unfamiliar places). As the picture above shows, there was a gorgeous sunrise spreading out over the valley as we embarked on our journey, which hyped us up for the drive.
Todd's Rodeo only gets about 17 miles to the gallon, so we had to fill up A LOT. This was at our first gas station stop. Over the course of the whole trip (including his way to DC), I think Todd ended up spending almost 500 bucks in gas. Ouch.

Both Todd and I love to sing, so we sang for a good portion of the trip--Todd esp. was getting into singing along with Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera, complete with dramatic hand gestures and everything. Too bad I was driving during that time period, so I didn't get a picture.

Todd's car apparently also guzzles oil in addition to gas--he had to buy 3 cartons of oil at a gas station in Nebraska to feed the thing (look at how cute he is, even when making faces at the camera). We also took a short break after he was done at this gas station and ran around and did some country swing moves to try and get any tiredness out of our systems.

Kansas City at last! We made great time and pulled into Dad and Arlette's around 11 at night their time (I think). Dad and Arlette were nice enough to cook up a big steak for us before we crashed into bed. The next day we spent sightseeing around Kansas City and Independence. We went to the Liberty Jail (above), where we had a really knowledgeable sister missionary tell us all about the history of the jail and about the time period it was built. I'd been to the jail twice before, but never had someone explain the background quite that good before. After, we were still a little bit tired, so we took a short nap in the car (actually, it was more like Todd took a nap in the car, and I listened to all the birds chattering in the trees).

After our trip to the jail and our short nap, we drove over to Independence to check out the RLDS temple, which I actually found pretty fascinating. One thing I like about Todd is that he really likes learning about other religions (as do I) and visiting other churches, so this was fun for both of us. I especially liked the Japanese garden set up in the middle of the temple.

After this, we went across the street to check out the temple lot and the LDS Visitor's Center. At the Visitor's Center, we had 3 or 4 different sister missionaries ask us if we were newlyweds or married. Guess we just had that look...it was funny. We had a good laugh about it after.

Look how cute we are! Hee hee.

After our sightseeing, we went over to Hallmark so Todd could check out the workers behind the magic, and Dad gave him a few demonstrations of his lettering talents. After, the four of us (Arlette had joined us from work), we went to the world-famous Arthur Bryant's for their barbecue.

It was a fantastic trip, and the time just flew by (I guess that's a good sign). It was hard to say goodbye to Todd, but we still talk on the phone a few times a week and keep up through text and email. And, if circumstances permit, I might even be flying out to DC in August to make the drive back home with him. But we'll see.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Remember Bachelor #3?

It seems as though everyone has been telling me I really should get on here and update this, especially considering that in the last entry, I made the accusation that a certain male would probably never ask me out. Well, in case y'all have been hiding out in a hole somewhere, he did indeed finally get the guts to take me out on a date, and since then, life has been even more marvelous than usual. Todd is wonderful, and he's got it all--intelligence, ambition, a great sense of humor, smooth dance moves, intellectual conversational skills, and it doesn't hurt that he's extremely attractive. The picture above was taken when we went to Hamilton's the first day of finals to celebrate a great year and to say that we spent almost $100 on a meal. We went all out and each ordered steak, a bacon-wrapped shrimp appetizer, drinks, and cheesecake. And if you're wondering why we're dressed up, it was because I told Todd that every time I'd gone to Hamilton's dressed in a skirt, they'd always given me free dessert. Well, this time was no exception--we'd only ordered one cheesecake, but our server was kind enough to give us one on the house so we wouldn't have to share :)

Todd is currently in Washington DC selling security systems and seems to be very talented at it, as he is in so many areas. Since neither of us was crazy about the whole long-distance thing, we just decided to try to stay in contact during the summer and just see what happens in the fall.

The second semester in L1 was loads of fun. We lost Amanda (who moved home at the end of first semester), but still found ways to amuse ourselves. One thing we liked to do was have dance parties in the kitchen/living room area. The picture above shows Jeralyn getting ready to drop me on my head after trying to dip me for the first time. Since this time, we have gotten much better, thanks to some tips from Todd.

This picture was taken at Winger's, where we went to celebrate Jeralyn's birthday on the 30th and to go out to eat one last time as roommates. You know how there always seems to be that one really annoying, really loud group when you go out to eat at a busy restaurant? Well, sad to say, we were definitely that group. But we had a great time, and we made sure to give our waiter a very generous tip.


Endings always make me sad--I'm a much bigger fan of beginnings. So I'll try to view this as the beginning of summer, rather than the ending of the saga of my life in L1. This was my third year living there with Kayla (my second year with Liz, my first with Jeralyn), and I couldn't have asked for a better ending. Next year I will no longer be living with Kayla (a thought very strange to me, since I've grown so used to her saying "Good night little Torrie" to me every night before we went to sleep). But next year marks a new beginning, a new apartment, new roommates...well, almost all new. I'm still living with Liz, which I'm way excited about. I like keeping my friends close. I would be living with Jeralyn too, except she's getting ready to leave on a mission in July (to Lansing, Michigan, which I amazingly guessed right on the money when we were all making bets on where she would go).

Later I'll post the pictures from Todd's and my trip to Kansas City together. But for now, I need to get to work. Sorry it's taken me so long to update! I'll be better this summer, promise!
01 09 10