Sunday, December 1, 2013

Today, I'm Grateful for Good Girl Friends

I've had a lot of good girl friends come into my life in the past year.  With them, I've gone on road trips across the west.  We've gone on late night runs to the hospital for food, saved lives while swimming at the reservoir, and hit up rodeos.  We've stayed up late in the night, laughing so hard that we can't even breathe, and gotten up at the break of dawn to go to the temple.  Most importantly, these friends have been there when I needed them.

Last week, was a perfect example of this.  My spirit was heavy as I had just said goodbye to a good friend.  As is common with where I live, they were heading back home to look for a job, with the intent of never returning.  I returned to my apartment with my heart hurting.

One of my new friends surprised me by bringing by some chocolate milk since I had mentioned in passing that I was craving it.  She then started talking about her love for LOR and Harry Potter, not necessarily knowing that I also have a love for both of those series.

During our discussion, I was struck by the goodness of the Lord, and of my friend.  He had placed this sweet person in my life at the exact moment that I needed her, while I'm sure she had chosen to follow through on a prompting.  I know that the Lord places people in our lives for a reason.  The Lord is aware of our situation, and many times his messengers are the people around us.  How grateful I am for a God who cares, and for good friends who choose to listen to the spirit.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

State 23! (Boston Trip Part 2)

When I was about to buy my flight to Boston, Shelby promised we'd get to visit Rhode Island, so that I could get another state.  What a kind sister she was to agree, and then to drive so far to help me cross off the 23rd state off of my list.  Guess who just matched their age in states.  This girl did.  

Rhode Island was just as I imagined it to be; small, quaint, gorgeous views  I even saw some people practicing actual polo!   It was really tempting to stop and watch, but then I remembered our destination was the Newport Mansions.   Ain't nobody got time for polo when Newport Mansions are involved.  Simply stated, they were breathtaking.  Shelby and I turned to each other at one point and said that we felt like we'd just stepped into a Jane Austen novel.  I feel like by just walking into that house, I got to live the unspoken dream of half a million girls.  Of course, by walking into that house with two small children, I may have crushed the dreams of all the old ladies touring the place.  I'm of the opinion that children should be exposed to art at a young age, it's fine.

As if the house tour wasn't enough, with our ticket, we were then able to tour the grounds.   One day I'll have a house with grounds.  A fancy house, although nice, just isn't as impressive to me as a backyard large and well kept enough to be qualified as grounds.  

This kid is kind of one of my favorites.  

I caught this famous family out on the grounds having a picnic.  I think they may actually be the owners of the house.  

Since Rhode Island is apparently known as the ocean state, we had to hit the beach, for just a little bit.  After watching Daxton pour a whole ton of sand over Tayte's head, we did a small part of the cliff walk behind the mansions.  Have I mentioned how I kind of want to live here?  Gorgeous houses, beaches, cliff walks, polo - you just can't go wrong.  

Thank you a million times Shelby for taking me here to visit!

Much to soon it was nice to leave Boston.  It was so hard to say goodbye to that wonderful family, and go back to working.  However, before I'd make it home, I'd have a 9 hour layover in Philadelphia.  Originally I thought I'd never been to Pennsylvania before, and that the stars must just be in my favor.  Turns out I had.  (And that's how my number of states I'd been to mysteriously got bumped up one day in case you were keeping track).  Even though I'd been to Pennsylvania, I'd most certainly never been to Philadelphia.  I lugged myself, my suitcase, backpack, and purse to go see the sights.  Then came the realization that Philadelphia is terrible and doesn't actually realize what freedom means.  I had to have all of my bags opened and searched before I could go in to see the Liberty Bell, or take the tour through Independence Hall.  There I stood, helpless, as all my possessions  in my suitcase were searched; all while a whole slew of people looked on.  I felt that was a little bit excessive, but maybe that's just me.  It was ironic to then enter into the historic Independence Hall, or view that historic bell, and learn about the sacrifices made for freedom, yet here I was, having just gone through an extensive searching process, just to view it.

Apparently Philadelphia was just full of irony that day.  I made the long journey to go to church, and got there just as they were saying the closing prayer.. of Stake Conference.  Really?  At least I tried.  Plus, I felt like learning more about our founding fathers helped give me some good Sunday thoughts.

Only one more state before I accomplish my goal of 24 before 24!  Any suggestions for which one I should reach my goal with?

Monday, October 14, 2013

I've got that summertime, summertime sadness (Boston Trip Part 1)

I realize it's now the middle of October, but I've been missing the summer a lot this week.  Summer was very good to me this year.  

In August the stars aligned, and what I had been hoping would happen for a long time actually happened!  I got offered a new job (Huzzah!), and because of this, I was able to have a week break between jobs to use for travel without using vacation days.  Since options of where to go were slightly limited, I decided to snatch up tickets back to good old Boston.  I don't regret my decision at all.  Not only did I get to kick it with the lovely Osmond clan once again, but I also had a day to spend with the Stephens who were there at the same time.  

Some (I'm looking at you family) questioned my decision of going back to Boston again, wondering what I would do the second time around.  Well let me tell you, there was plenty to still do.  So much, that I've decided to split this trip into two posts.  I know you're all thrilled about that.

Since I bought tickets pretty late in the game, options were fairly limited on flight times.  On the way over, I took a red eye flight, thereby gaining the experience necessary to realize that red eye flights are the worst idea ever.  Glad I got that experience over with at a relatively young age.  Cass and Daniel were awaiting me at the airport, and away we went to tour the city.  I don't know how it happened, but they wanted to visit all the things I didn't get the opportunity to visit the first time I visited.  Well, except for the Boston tea harbor.  For some unknown reason my requests to visit there keep getting denied.  
Moving on.. It was fun to be back in the city again, especially since this time I was an experienced tourist.  Experiencing it with Cassidy and Daniel made it even better.

 Can you spot Daniel?

 The little lovebirds

As you can probably tell from this picture, it was an absolutely beautiful day.  

 She makes the rest of us look bad.

Part of the reason I decided to make the trip was because it has been a little too long since Shelby, Cass, and I were all together.  I've really missed that.  Daniel and Brandon were kind enough to babysit so that we could have a a girl's night.  Best. Night. Ever.  We got started later than we wanted, and it was a race against time as the store closed in 40 minutes.  Unfortunately, there was a little bit of traffic on the way there.  When Shelby mentioned we were only 0.5 miles away from our destination.  I suggested we walk the rest of the way.  We got out, and started to jog.  Roughly 0.5 mile later, I said to Shelby, "Where is this place anyway?"  She couldn't quite remember, so I googled it on my phone and found out we were actually a mile away.  Apparently the 0.5 mile Shelby had mentioned was just until our next turn.  Knowing time was limited, we started to run as fast as we could, although we were pretty limited since we were in skirts and sandals.   People must have thought we were pretty strange as we ran by, but we managed to make it to the store with 20 minutes to spare.  Once we made our purchases, we made the long trip back to the car, laughing about how ridiculous the whole experience was.  

The next day, the Stephens had to leave.  It was very sad to say goodbye to them, but at least I got the one day with them.  Plus, I had another awesome family to keep me company for the rest of my time there, and they had some pretty cute boys to play with.

I love those boys.

 It wouldn't be the last week of summer without a trip to the beach.  Shelby and Brandon had a ward activity that I was more than happy to attend with them.  I wanted to up as much sun as possible, before I retired my swimsuit for the winter.   While there, I had two firsts: swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, and eating clam.  Turns out that clam is actually really good.  At least in my opinion.  

Oh summer, how I miss you.