Sunday, September 28, 2008

Petrice & Caleb 9-27-08

Yesterday, I went down to Central Utah to celebrate Petrice & Caleb's wedding. Road trip! (Except I was so tired I fell asleep for about half of the car ride). They got married at 11:15 in the Manti Temple, and I was lucky enough to get to play photographer afterward (they had an actual photographer, but Petrice asked me to do a couple different ones, just in case they didn't like the photographer's). I was really happy with how they turned out. Rachel got a better one of the picture below, but I still thought it was funny, so I posted it.

The five of us waiting for them to come out (they took SO long...but that's okay. Petrice had to have time to fix her hair and do her makeup because she'd woken up an hour and a half late)

Petrice and all her friends who came. I love how this turned out.

Petrice catered her entire luncheon and wedding luncheon. Apparently she'd almost pulled all-nighters the two nights previous to getting married to prepare all the food. Everything looked and tasted delicious.

We just had to have one of us making terrible faces. Side note: we hadn't planned to, but all of us friends were wearing black and jewel tones, which was kinda cool. We even matched a lot of the colors of her reception.

Below are some of my favorite pictures that I took of them

That last one is my absolute favorite from the whole day. I thought it turned out amazing (I'm pretty sure I lucked into it, but I'll take it!).

It was so fun having the six of us together again--I thought it was really special that we could all be there to support her. I love how all of us have stayed together for so long--most of us have been friends since elementary, and we've been there for each other through everything (despite both Liz and Petrice moving away in high school). I truly have been blessed with the best friends ever.

As for the rest of my life, I'm staying abreast of all the work (albeit just barely, some days). And all my efforts are starting to really pay off--I've been getting killer grades on my work (which makes me especially happy, because many of my teachers are VERY tough graders), receiving regular compliments on my writing from my creative nonfiction teacher, and my boss has used me as an example on numerous occasions about how to be an effective tutor. There's nothing like feeling appreciated :)

I have a lunch date tomorrow with a guy I met swing dancing named Manuel. We've been dancing together for the past three weeks (he's AMAZING and has shown me all these crazy lifts I never thought I would do--you know the big lift they do in the movie Dirty Dancing? Yeah, I can do that lift now). Anyway, we've been talking quite a bit outside of swing dancing, and he's taking me out tomorrow. Oh, and he's going to teach me how to drive a motorcycle. Boy am I excited!

And of course, the biggest news---if all goes well, my mission papers should be going in TODAY!!! Woo hoo! The long wait is almost over...hopefully in about 10 days I should get my call. Then I can finally stop wondering about where in the world I'm going to end up...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Beginning Again

And here I am again--another school year, another beginning. You'd think I would have gotten used to it all by now, but I still feel the anticipation bubble up in my stomach whenever I get the chance at a new start. The beginning of this school year though has been very different than years past--for starters, I'm living in a new place, with almost completely new people (with the exception of Liz). This has also been the first time I've ever taken more than 2 or 3 English classes (I'm taking four this semester). It's a good thing I really really love my major, because most people think I'm crazy--for example, this week I've already written 3 essays (and it's only Monday) and by Wednesday I will have read about 300 pages. It's a crazy workload (even now, just starting out), but I don't mind it; it's easier for me to stay focused when I have a lot to do.

Funny random incident: so right before this semester started, I decided to switch out of the ballroom dancing class I was supposed to have with Todd (because I thought it would be easier for both of us to meet other people in our dance class if we weren't in the same one). I originally switched into another ballroom class, but when I went to class that first Monday and discovered that there were only 5 guys (2 of whom were married) and about 35 girls, I decided within the first 30 seconds to drop the class. There was no way I was dancing with a girl all semester. Right after that class ended, I made a run for the nearest kiosk and decided to sign up for intermediate country swing, which promised more favorable numbers (since it shows how many guys and girls have signed up for the class). So I go bouncing into class on Wednesday only to discover that I'd transferred out of Todd's class only to find myself in Cameron's. Ah well. Life goes on. I actually thought the whole thing was quite funny, although I don't think he did...

While I'm on the subject of Todd, I'll settle it once and for all (since everyone has been asking me)--no, it hasn't been awkward seeing him, and yes, we're still friends. As for whether I think anything else will ever happen between us, I don't wish to conjecture at the moment. Whatever's best will happen, and that's that.

Below, you'll all find most of the pictures I've taken in the last two and a half weeks--the first six are from when I stopped by at Jill's before moving up to school and the last five are of USU's crazy 80s dance I went to with some of my friends Labor Day weekend.

Zoe was so funny when I went over to Jill's--at first, she would cry whenever she looked at me or whenever I got too close, but by the end, she was cuddling up to me with her blanket and playing "catch" with me with Lily's purple soccer ball (more like "Roll across the table" instead of "catch," but it's all good--you can get away with a lot when you're that cute). And when I tried to put my "eyes" (sunglasses) on Zoe, Lily gave me a very exasperated look and told me that those weren't Zoe's sunglasses, and then proceeded to go get the appropriate pink pair.

Me and the two cutest nieces in the world! I can't get over how blue their eyes are--my eyes don't even look blue in comparison.

Labor Day weekend, a bunch of my friends came up to spend their holiday partying with us in Logan. Friday night, Dean and Taylor came up for the 80s dance, and then the next day Matt and Callin came up. Saturday, part of us played tennis and the rest went to a free tumbling class, and then later we all joined up together for rock climbing in Logan Canyon and dinner at Olive Garden. It was an awesome weekend, and it made me wish all of my friends were up here in Logan with me--I really miss them all.

The 80s dance was pretty nuts (just as it was last year)--the fun started with our trip to DI a few hours before it started, where we basically picked out the brightest, most horrendous clothing we could find (side note: apparently everyone at USU also had the same idea--guys were coming out of the dressing rooms modeling tight basketball shorts and little girl vests. I think people somehow translated 80s to mean "dress as weird as possible--use Richard Simmons as a guide"). I didn't think Dean esp. would really go for the whole dance thing, but he shocked all of us by jumping around like a fish out of water and busting crazier moves than any of us. We all had a lot of fun, even though it was about a million degrees in there and our hair had all gone flat by the end.

When we first came out of the bathroom after getting ready, Liz and I basically looked like 80s hookers. Or at least that's what I felt like with my gigantic, hairspray-stiff hair and little pleather skirt.

Below is everyone that went--there weren't that many of us, but definitely enough to have a good time.

I think we'd all have been pretty popular if we went to high school in the 80s. Or at least I'd like to think so--it makes me feel better about life :)

I decided that if Dean and I had gone to high school together back then, he would have been my preppy-80s boyfriend and we would have ruled the halls together with his rolled up jeans and old sneakers and my shirt that said "Sorry-I'm Taken" (see below for the visual picture, if you can't visualize it completely).

Well, that about sums up my first couple weeks. I went home last weekend to go to Scott's dad's funeral, and while I was down there I also checked out the Greek Festival with Carter and Dean (where we waited almost two hours in the most ridiculously-long food line), played tennis with Dean, Matt, and Kayla Friday night, and went out to dinner and to see Kung Fu Panda with Dean on Saturday. It was overall a pretty good weekend, and recharged me for this week (which, if you couldn't tell from my first paragraph, has been just a little jam-packed).
Below is a poem that has come to mind over and over again as I've started this new year--even though it can seem tiring sometimes to constantly begin, it's a chance at a new start, a new day, and a new me. I love that. As for now, I've gotta jet---I haven't eaten a real meal since this morning, and that was about 12 hours ago. So I'm outta here. But here's the poem real quick before I go:

Beginby Brendan Kennelly
Begin again to the summoning birds
to the sight of light at the window,
begin to the roar of morning traffic
all along Pembroke Road.
Every beginning is a promise
born in light and dying in dark
determination and exaltation of springtime
flowering the way to work.
Begin to the pageant of queuing girls
the arrogant loneliness of swans in the canal
bridges linking the past and future
old friends passing though with us still.
Begin to the loneliness that cannot end
since it, perhaps, is what makes us begin,
begin to wonder at unknown faces,
at crying birds in the sudden rain
at branches stark in the willing sunlight
at seagulls foraging for bread
at couples sharing a sunny secret
alone together while making good.
Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin.
01 09 10