Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Go Home!!

So this morning I woke up more excited than I have been on Christmas day in a long time. Something about finding out the truth about Santa tends to suck the excitement out of the morning for me. But today. Wow. I was stoked. Because Today I was finally going to go home.

I realize that it hasnt been all that long really since I've been home, but my stays are always so short that I feel like they hardly get to count. So today was finally here. Haley and I woke up early: 7 am, in order to pack and get ourselves ready for the long a gruesome travel day. Jared picked us up and we made our way slowly up University Parkway to get to the airport. There was a blanket of thick snow on the ground: about a foot since it had been snowing since yesterday morning and was continuing to come down.
About 3 miles up State St we got a call from mom. Your flight's been cancelled....

long pause...

hot chocolate at Barnes and Noble and a skype call with the family....

And so Haley and I are stuck in Provo until the 25 of December. Christmas day. When we leave at noon to arrive in Holland the 26. I leave the 31. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Go shiver in the barn

Following are some of the great, funny or cool shots we took at our photoshoot with Michele T.              

by Michele

by Michele

you tell me...Bristow?
by Michele
by Michele

 The day we decided to do our shoot was absolutely FREEZING!

Kristen's great Aunt had this great place with a rickety barn and a blue shed. What could have been better?
keeeeeeeeeee!! COLD
by Michele
By Alex

by Michele

photo by Michele

photo by Michele

Photo by Michele

photo by Michele

photo by Haley

haha goofing

photo by Alex

"What are you doing out here?" Oh Bertha.

Beautiful sisters by Michele
photo by Michele

Go have a reunion and take some pictures

This last week has been a Naperville throwback. I love it.

Wednesday this week I finally finished my finals. After a 7 am oral presentation that was mostly "winged" due to the 14 hours of Econ studying I did the day before, I drove up to Logan to visit Haley.
Wingers with Britt

Dear Mother. Do you recognize this sweater?...D.I. We Love YOU!

Her friends and I had a great time making picture frames and watching a show called Felicity. Basically anything J.J. Abrams does is fantastic, I've gotten hooked to almost all his shows: Alias, Lost, Mission Impossible, Star Trek, plus several more. This show is another great one. 

Chick-Fil-A with Court
Thursday saw a late morning wake-up--9:45!! Okay, so I actually woke up at 8 am despite a 2 am bedtime, but I did go back to sleep. I seriously think there is something wrong with me. (Yesterday I wanted to sleep in, another late night, but I woke up an hour before my alarm went off. At 7:30. Naturally. I got a problem.

But that is beside the point, Thursday I got to see COURTNEY!! I love that little booger. (I know she's going to read this, hence the great nickname :) We three met up for lunch before H and I drove back to Provo.

On Friday morning, Haley, me, Kristen and Jordan (her sister) and my friend Michele drove up to Great Aunt Bertha's in the mountains and took model shots. One of our favorite family activities for years, we of course had a fantastic time. Michele was a great photographer and between her, my and J's camera we got tons of great shots.

Home-made with the Girls
After warming up during a run, I made fab-o home-made mac'n'cheese. Jacey and Tiare came over to share. It was awesome. I love those girls, I'll miss Jacey next semester while she's on her mission in Chile. But I'm excited for her. Tiare and I decided that we will drive up to Logan more often to visit Court. Get ready girl--its gonna be awesome. (Also, lets please get some closure on HP. Both the new one and ours).

Seesters. We miss you Mae. Wishing you were here to hang.
All this was followed up with a wedding reception for a great friend of mine--and more photos with Kristen--and an early, WET, Sunday morning concert in Salt Lake. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed with David Archuleta. It was beautiful. Keep on the look-out for next years album, which will have the recording of David's Silent Night. It was easily my favorite song performed the whole day.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Go be sick of finals, but not actually sick

It's still the 13th...but it's been a long day and it's still not over.
This morning at 7 am I took my Europe final. It went pretty swimmingly. I got home earlier than expected and went for a nice 35 minute run. I have to say my legs are getting quite shapely ;) Especially with all the treats I've been munching on lately.

I don't think I realized how difficult of a time I would have becoming Syd. Okay, it hasnt really been that hard, but I have to keep working on that section around my middle that just loves anything with sugar. I've decided I'm somewhat like Buddy the Elf. I just love sweet things. Home-made treats especially. That is one good thing I can say about my limitations: if it aint homemade, it aint going in my mouth. Unless it's Dutch chocolate. No more corn syrup for me. Ever. It just literally makes me sick all the time. Even one bite of something with Cool-Whip in it as I found out over Thanksgiving break. So it's a good thing that corn syrup is bad for you anyways (I don't care what those commercials say about it just being sugar: I won't eat it I tell you!!)

So Haley, several months ago said something to me that I realize is soooo true: I better become a life time marathoner because I just love to bake so much. And eat what I made. My favorite part about baking however, is getting to share it with others and watching their faces as they take the first bite. And then go back for seconds.

This weekend I was able to go to a fantabulous Cambridge Christmas party with almost the entire crew. It was a blast to see everyone and Jen and Derek were so great for hosting it. For said party I decided to take chocolate chip cookies. Not the most Christmas-y treat I know, but everyone loves them. Especially these. I've made two batches in two weeks. That's 5 dozen cookies each time. I cannot stop eating them! It's a good thing other people like them too or I'd be rolling. My friend Jonathan turned up at the party late, and to my delights he ate 3 as soon as he walked in the door, then ate at least 2 more by the end of the evening. Try some. Or better yet, let me make them for you. McKay I'm talking to you... :)

So I've two finals left: Economics and an Oral Presentation at 7 am Wednesday. Fun fun fun. No. But tomorrow night I'm making dinner with Jared! Hallelujah!

Go have a birthday shout hooray!

So December 9 was my 22 Birthday.
I feel old.

I spent the most wonderful day working out, making mac n cheese and birthday cake. In the evening many of my friends came over for a wonderful and crowded celebration. Comments were as follows: "You're 22!? That's old." "You made your own birthday cake!? Who does that?" "Where did you get this cake? You made it? No you didnt." yes I did. And it was superb. Italian Creme Cake. Thanks BHG.
I came home earlier that day to a pile of roses and an awesome travel book from Jared. It distracted me yesterday while I was studying for finals, but luckily the exam I was studying for is all about Europe. So the distraction was educational.

The following day, Dec 10 I got spoiled like none other.
I did however spend almost the whole day on campus, at reviews for finals and bashing my brains in over Economics, which is the second hardest class I have ever taken.
But that evening made up for it. Jared took me to La Jolla, where we devoured bruscetta, a basket of bread, cheese tortellini in tomato sauce and pesto fusilli with chicken. Chased down by a molten chocolate cake. It was divine. He then proceeded to take me on a Christmas Cruise up Provo River. Santa appeared out of the mist, shouting for his reindeer. Then he gave us candy.
To top the evening all off, we played a smashing round of miniature golf with Jason and Katje, two of our dear friends from Cambridge. Jason soundly whooped us all, but I did get two holes in one. All in all a fantastic birthday celebration.

I was sad that the family wasnt able to celebrate with me, but I felt love emanating from across the pond nonetheless from a long phone call, several letters, and several surprise packages of birthday gifts. P.S. the flowers are still alive and beautiful.
Making the Birthday wish.

Okay the Party's here!

Even Carson made it down! I love Jeff and Mel in the background! (And I don't know the kid on the left...)

My fantastic roommates: Kristen and Melanie. They were matching.

Look who all celebrated with me!
My cake and my flowers
"Spoiled me, made me Rotten. Didn't even let me be forgotten..."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Go Speak a foreign language

Right now I should be focusing on my homework. There's a lot of it to be done. But here's the stick, the library is chock full of foreigners who insist on talking.*

Why is it so often that when people speak a different language than the majority that they believe they can't be heard? Just because I don't understand you doesn't mean I can't hear you.
Today I think it's Spanish.
Yesterday was Korean. For 2.5 hours! My table in the library was taken over by a whole group of people speaking Korean, most of them girls. It is a nice language to listen to, and they were mostly quiet. But still. We are in the LIBRARY people. Where people need to go for a quiet place to study. As it was, my efforts to cram for my Org Behavior class were mostly in vain. Especially after they started having a picnic of giant wafer rice crackers that smelled like wasabi. Korean Crunch.

*Footnote: it's not only the foreigners that talk. Americans are just as chatting and usually louder.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Go Elimination

Elimination one: Several days ago I slaughtered my wardrobe. After finally openning my boxes of winter clothes, I decided I needed to eliminate some of the items I have kept since high school. Some may call this rat packing, others may call it thrifty. The truth of the matter: I don't like throwing out that which is still decent ( I still own jeans from 20 lbs ago...) even if it is old, out of fashion, or doesn't fit extremely well. Another truth: I hate spending money. Sometimes I will splurge on things (usually at the grocery store--some vegetables or meat or something such like) but for the most part, I talk myself out of major expenditures (that is if you ignore the jeans I bought last week on the Victoria's Secret site...

Problem however, my dad recently saw a picture of me and apparently thought the dress I was wearing made me look dowdy. This is unnacceptable. Hence: wardrobe massacre. It's going to be a great day at Plato's and the D.I. for several lucky people.

Elimination two: Kristin and I will be Sidney Bristow by Christmas. No garbage eating, and work-outs every day. I feel good about this. It's not a diet. It's a lifestyle adjustment. Hence it will work.

Elimination three: An FHE activity the other day made us speak for 30 seconds without saying "like" "um" "uh" "so" or long pauses. In other words, we practiced speaking like adults. Heretofor :) My roommates and I have decided to make this our model for every day usage. Let me tell you, it is like so difficult to uhhh do this.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Go run and tell that!

we are the ghosts of bad christmas pictures
Provo Halloween Half Marathon.
5:30 am wake up
6:55 drive to the buses
8:15 catch a bus
9:10 arrive at Aspen Grove
9:15 RACE
Finish in 1:56.

Rachael, Jeff and I ran all 13.1 miles. Jeff finished (obviously) way before Rach and I; he's a stud. We had so much fun, chatting all the way down, pushing each other along, watching the racers go by in various costumes, and making sure we staying in front of the 2 hour pacer. He was fun to listen to--he kept shouting out funny comments--but having him so close behind us during miles 5-7 was kind of nerve wracking. So we ran away from him. The race itself went by really fast, before I knew it we were at mile 10. Rach kept me going--Love you girl!

Today I am sore. Very.

Go trick and treat

So this week has been a pretty hectic one. I have gone to bed after midnight every day and woken up before 6 am three times...

Sound the Feasting Horn

 Wednesday Jared and I had our dinner and a movie date. The plan: beef ragu sauce on gnocchi, french bread and salad. Let me tell you it was the stinking best Italian food I have ever had in America. It was a feast. Thanks to Jared's mom for the white wine--it made all the difference. The movie: 12 Angry Men. Not your typical date movie to be sure, but I had to watch it for an assignment. And actually quite a good film as well. Also treat: below.

  friday night we participated in the Amazing Race! Okay, not officially, but close enough. After driving to American Fork for dinner (45 min to Lindon because of traffic) and an Amazing pumpkin cupcake from Dippididee, we made our way to Liberty Park in Salt Lake. From there, we raced 8 other couples around the city, to grave yards, the masonic temple and several parks. At the cemetary, we had to find the gravestone of a woman named Lilly Grey, who had fallen victim to the _________-  ___________. The answer: beast 666. Creepy!!

The race truly was Amazing, and haunted. Jared and I totally won. Except again, not officially, since apparently one other couple had done one "clue" that we hadn't had to do. We finished everything first including one very tricky word scramble. We figured out all but the last one, spootin took us forever. Turns out it was potions.  We turned it in and were told, "That's it you won!" WE CELEBRATED! Then our victory was stolen from us. Lame. But we are winners at heart.

This activity made me want to come up with one of these on my own for next year. An all round fantastic night.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Go get your own kickstand

I probably shouldn't do this, but I'm going to because its late and I'm tired. Also, because it has actually turned out to be a really good day I believe its okay for me to do so because I'm in a good mood. Therefore no bitter tones.

What peeves me:
  • dirty dishes left in the sink
  • when you lock up your bike in a bike-rack and someone chains theirs up next to yours. Then, because they don't have a kickstand, they lean their bike on yours, ensnaring it in a handlebar,  brake-line and pedal mess that takes five minutes and grease on you clothes to untangle. 
  • turning on the heat in October because it is snowing. Heavily. And you are running a race in 4 days in the mountains. 
  • BYU class registration. Why is it such a pain? And why can't everyone just wait until morning so that I can go to bed?
  • waking up early to finish homework and then your teacher falls behind in class and therefore you don't actually need the homework to be done at all. Spent costs. 
  • The nasty stain? It's from the pumpkin, which I carried to the trash on a cookie sheet. I had to scrape it off the floor. Yummy.
  • people leave stuff that rots at your house and don't ever clean it up, leaving you to clean up their mess

The gray stuff is furry, not blurry. It's mold.
What I love:
  • when my professor giggles to himself in class and none of us know why.
  • when that same professor tells me and my group that we did a fabulous job on our presentation, that we did the best of anyone who has yet presented, that he wants to see the exact same combination of theory applied to case studies on the final exam
  • nail polish
  • herbal tea--I have been drinking at least two cups a day. It keeps me hydrated, warm, and as Mel mentioned tonight, its my stress reliever. I love to grip the warm mug in between my hands
  • when my roommate made muffins and gave me one. Or my other roommate brought me a carmel apple, or my other roommate came into my room and gave me a back massage. Basically I love all three of them.
  • when I run into old friends and realize that they have matured in ways I never expected, but at the same time in ways that make us better friends. 
  • when my Econ professor sends out an email that says that we no longer have to turn in/do more than 60 percent of our assigned homework since we have a test on Monday. 
  • When my dad sends me emails
  • when my sister comments on my blog
  • banana bread--all kinds and at any time of day
  • hot showers and smooth legs
  • spandex and boots and big comfy sweaters
  • getting assigned a movie to watch for homework
  • when I try to think of a really great Halloween costume and end up wearing something totally random. Except this year I'm really going to plan it out--SUGGESTIONS please.
See: more positive than negative. It has been a good day.
Go 24/7 (Although I'm not going to today because I need to catch up on sleep).

Go to school before the sun comes up

Yesterday I woke to a glorious 5:30 wake-up call, turned on my light to finish some homework, and discovered the power had gone out. Dismayed and irritated, I proceeded to flip the switches all around the apartment. No luck. I lit a candle. Yes, I did homework by candlelight...

Then what to my wondering eyes would appear, but the power went back on! I took a shower. The day went by slowly and painfully. FHE was a nice and much needed respite, as was Melanie's and my P90X workout at 9:30 pm. Did I mention that my internet isnt working?

This morning I woke at 5:50. The internet still isnt working. So here I am at school. Before 7 am. I rode my bike through the dark streets of Provo. You know how dark it is just about everywhere in the world at 1 am? Well, this morning it was darker than that since most of the sky was overcast. I could see a few stars peeking through. But the cold air mostly kept me peddling as fast as I could, hoping to make it to the Tanner Building without more delay.

I will be spending my entirety of the day here at school. Lovely.

Why? you may wonder what I am doing here so stinkin early for. Well, my wonderful European Geography professor sent out an email last night at 7 to remind us about an assignment he mentioned in the last 5 minutes of our last class period. "Find a rural village in Europe (using GoogleEarth) that qualifies as one of the 7 types and bring an image of it to class. Oh, and we will probably have a quiz on types tomorrow in class." expletive.

This is my life right now.
On a brighter note, my roommate got a electronic piano yesterday for Christmas. She came stumbling into the apartment dragging a box bigger than she is and said, "Christmas came early this year." I discovered 2 things. 1. I like playing piano. 2. I can still sight read after 5 years. There is hope for me yet mother.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Go make something delicious

I  watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this weekend. The old one: the good one, with real Oompa Loompa songs and everything. That film is filled with great one liners, mostly coming from the candy man himself: "so shines a good deed in a dreary world." and my personal favorite: "Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted...he lived happily ever after."

Jared and I made the first batch of banana treats this weekend. Another new kind of banana bread: this one with a streusel topping. It turned out fabulously delicious, but I think it would be better as muffins.

I indulged this weekend and bought salmon to make for Sunday dinner. For the first time since I moved in all my roommates were home and we had a delicious meal. Brown rice--thanks to Mel's rice cooker, sugar snap peas in a ginger-miso sauce with mustard soy glazed salmon. Our apartment was filled with the delicate aromas of Asia. Everything tasted delicious and we had such fun talking and laughing and filling our bellies. This rainy Sunday has been excellent so far and it is only 4:30--the day goes on.

This is serving two on my roommate's plate; I forgot about a photo until I had finished eating. This seems to be a habit in my family so I expect they will forgive the sloppiness of this picture. Besides, it tasted delicious.

Sherlock Holmes is hitting BBC America tonight. If you havent seen it yet. CHECK IT OUT. It's a modern day version with all the great character development and intricacies of the classic show.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Go Blog

Dad today asked, "Alex has a blog? When did she start that?"
Apparently I need to be better about this whole writing business.
So Goal:
Write at least a sentence on here each day. This might keep me sane. Plus it can be my random thoughts journal. And update my family.

Currently I am doing a research paper about English National Parks. It's fascinating stuff. Did you know they have classified some government protected land as "Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty." I love this.

I wouldn't have considered this to be an AoNB until I took this photo. Utah Valley. Who would have thought?.
Also, I have 3 pounds of bananas sitting on my countertop right now (12 bananas) If you have recipes you love that have bananas in them then please comment. I'll be doing an experiment with them all.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Go Update

Leaves like fire. Make my heart melt.
Lifes been busy so here's the low down.

1. I started and finished (the season's over) refereeing for Provo Parks and Recreation youth soccer. Lets just say that being called "Coach" by 3 year old blonde boys is my new favorite thing.
2. I got a new do--bangs.
3. Econ is kicking my trash. Seriously.
4. School is extremely unpleasant and I find myself walking up and down the halls in my apartment just cause I don't feel like doing homework. (it's a small hallway).
5.It is fall outside--kinda freezing in the morning as I ride my bike to school but the colors are amazing.

6. I believe the family is moving back to London. Eventually.
7. Applied for an internship with the National Geographic. If you haven't ever looked at it, check out their site. It's my homepage.
8. Jared is so fine. Not to mention how great he is. He treats me so well. And he calls me babe. Win.
Hiking Stuart Falls trail. And poshing it at G.C.

9. I am running a half marathon next weekend.....hahaha. That will be fun.
This is Rachael. She is my running buddy. She is also sleeping on a piano bench. Can I love her more? No.

10. I am SCUBA certified. It feels so good. I love hanging upside down underwater. No blood rush.
11. Did I mention how much I'm sick of school?                                                                                       
12. I'm an FHE mom. It's sweet. If you don't know what that is check out this site.
13. Mom came out for General Conference at the beginning of this month. She, me Haley and Jared went for hikes, to the sessions on Sunday and had an all around blast. Can't wait for Dad's turn!
Check out the water bottle carriage: J-dog hooked his to a belt loop. Mom's is tied on with her belt as a strap. Haley's is in her pants....hahha typical.


Running into the entire Ward Family after so long. What a wonderful reunion!

14. I now cannot graduate in April because I would have to take 19 credits. Possible yes. Do-able heck no. So instead I'll take more french.
15. Got a new car. His name is Papi Smurf. He's a stick.
16. Karaoke'd for the first time. Courtney was there!
Besties forever.

17. A couple Cambridge reunions. Life is so great now that I've found them.
Who can't love the men who sing Backstreet Boys. Note the random Indian guy in the back. No idea who he is...poser. You wish you were as cool.

18. Our intramural soccer team is doing so well. You should probs come watch us play. We have the sickest name ever. Team 23. Oh yeah, we scary.

19. Here's a great quote I found while reading for my Organizational Behavior class.

"We do not stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."
            There are four secrets to saying young, being happy and acheiving success:
                           1. You have to laugh and find humor every day.
                           2. You've got to have a dream.
                           3. You must grow up by finding the opportunity to change.
                           4. You must have no regrets. 

A few words of wisdom for all you readers out there at close. So GO 24/7 and don't ever quit.