Monday, November 12, 2012

Jen's European Adventure: Going Back in Time, Riding On the Wings of Love, and A Harry Potter Experience

Oh my, why is it taking me so long to get the next post out?  It's not like I have a full time job or anything.  But I'm getting it out today in honor of my friend, Cassandra.  She made me realize that it was high time for another blog post.  So Cassandra, this is for you.

The next day began with a trip to Craigmillar Castle.  It was super cool walking around in it, picturing what it must have looked like hundreds of years ago.  Not to mention the courtyard was beautiful.


Don't we look so regal?
After Craigmillar Castle, we made our way to Stirling Castle, which was pretty cool, because they re-did the inside to make it look how it did back in the day.  We got these awesome passes, so we got free audio guides that we never listened to... but hey, at least they were free.  (And we also completely walked out of the castle with them around our necks.  We were almost to our car when we realized that we had stolen them...)

That jacket just suits Ben, doesn't it?



After the tour of the castles, we went to go have dinner with a family Josh knew from his mission, the Campbell's.  Let me tell you, this trip was so fun, because I felt like I got to experience the Scottish culture in a way that I never would have if I had gone on my own.  We got to meet several British families, who were all so caring and sweet, and it was such a good experience!  So the Campbell's are this sweet couple who are both converts.  We sat and chatted with them for a while, and then the missionaries came over for dinner.  It was really great to have them over.  When I'm in a foreign country, I feel like I always have to be on my guard, making sure I'm saying and doing the correct things.  So when these missionaries came, who are all from the States, it was like a breath of fresh air, because I felt like I was a little bit back at home.  Plus, I got to try custard for the first time, which was scrumptious.

After dinner, we made our way to Aberdeen, where we would be spending the next few nights.  We met the family we would be staying with, the Waby's, at a ward party, which was AWKWARD (the party, not the Waby's), to say the least.  We went back to the Waby's house after, and as soon as we stepped inside, it felt like home.  We never wanted to leave.  The Waby's are the nicest family, and I loved being able to stay with them.

The next morning we woke up bright and early to drive 3 hours to get to the HOGWART'S EXPRESS!  Yes, my friends, I, Jennifer Scott, rode on the one and only train they used in the Harry Potter films.  It was amazing.

We took this picture as the train was pulling away, so we didn't get all of it.
But before I get into more details, I have to tell you about the actual trip getting to the train.  So we left at 5:30 in the morning, and believe it or not, I still had jet lag, so I was quite content to sit in the back and take a little nap.  But these were full on country road that we were driving on, and Josh knows how to drive these roads.  I was actually comfortable with it, but I think Ben was getting sick.  Good thing he had a bag full of medication to help him out.

So we were listening to the radio, BBC Radio 2, which is the wackiest radio station ever.  One second it will be playing a rap song, and the next song will be "June is Busting Out All Over"... which would be an interesting title for a rap song... but that's beside the point.  So the DJ, Annika Rice, kept mentioning the fact that lots of people were getting married, and if you are getting married, you should call in with your information and they would play a special song to celebrate.  She had been announcing this for over an hour, and it will still pretty early in the morning, so none of us in the car were talking.  But we were all super curious as to what this song would be, since Annika had been leading up to it for an hour.

Finally, the anticipation was over, and Annika played this song.  Really?  On the Wings of Love?  So, after none of us saying anything for over an hour, I pipe up from the back seat, "Ugh, worst song ever."  Which, of course, led to all of us busting a gut.  And, naturally, this song became the theme song of our trip.

So the car ride was supposed to take 4 hours, but because Josh handled those country roads so well, we made it in three.  So we were early for our train.  We made a stop at Morrison's and got some elevenses, complete with sandwiches, caramel shortbread (which is heaven, I tell you), and angel slices.  After we stuffed ourselves, we went over to our train.  We parked, but then found out we needed change to pay for our parking, which, surprise, we didn't have.  So it was BACK to Morrison's so Josh could get some money out of an ATM.  Ben and I decided to just stay in the car, which turned out to be a bad idea.  Do you remember the last time Ben and I stayed in the car while Josh ran an errand?  Well, it happened again.  Josh left the car, and not thinking, locked it.  So as soon as Ben and I made one little movement, the car alarm was off again.  To which Ben responded, "Oh damn."  I was uncontrollably laughing.  Luckily this time, Josh was still outside at the cash machine, so he heard the alarm, and thankfully knew exactly what happened, and ended it promptly.  Oh geez.

So after we got change, we headed back to the train station, parked, and casually made our way to the train, thinking we had plenty of time.  We walked up to the train, and started looking for our carriage.  We were wandering aimlessly when a train conductor yelled at us, "Are you guys trying to get on the train?"  We nodded.  He waved us back, and we hopped on the train.  Less than a minute after we boarded, the train took off.  We were shocked, because we thought we still had 15 minutes until the train left, but apparently we got the time wrong.  So we just barely made it.  Whew!

The ride was beautiful.  And it was so awesome, because we took the same route they film in the movie, so I felt like I was on my way to Hogwart's.  We even passed over the famous viaduct that's in the Harry Potter films.  Don't know what I'm talking about? Here, watch this, and you'll remember.


Now, does this look familiar?  Amazing, I tell you!


And here are some beautiful shots of the scenery, for your viewing pleasure.



And one of the best parts was when we went through tunnels, the steam would build up, and it would get all "foggy", so I put my hand to the window, and replicated this classic scene:
Oh, it was fun, I tell you.

But the train ride was two hours long, so we needed a way to entertain ourselves, which led to lots and lots of games of hangman.  Note that all of the words have to do with our trip... minus the surprise party and hallucinogenic mushrooms...


The train, sadly, did not take us to Hogwarts, but the pleasant, windy, fishing village of Mallaig.  

We were going to get fish and chips here for lunch, but were stuffed from our elevenses, so instead, took a hike.  The boys needed to go to the bathroom about half way up, so I stood as the look out while they tried not to get pee on everything because of the wind.  We made it to the top with the Isle of Skye in the background, and this is where we discovered that we really didn't have any pictures of all three of us on the trip.  So here was our first try at it.

After we looked at this picture, we busted up laughing.  Josh's hair, my face, the wind... oh my.  So we tried again, but the second shot wasn't much better.


Ah well, at least it has all three of us in it.  

On our trip home, an awkward Italian sat next to us, but we just playing more hangman to pass the time.  After the train, we went to Loch Ness, and yes, we did see the monster, in case you were wondering.  It waved to us, and we took a ride on her back.  An experience to remember.


 After that, we experienced some nice British cuisine, by going to Jimmy Chung's, an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet.  It was surprisingly good.  And then we made our way back home to the Waby's, where we spent the night watching a movie, and eating Honeycomb ice cream (so good).

Well, that was a super long post, so stay tuned next time for our trip to Continental Europe, full of lots of McDonald's, culture shock, and "Che Che De Leche".

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jen's European Adventure: A Happy Reunion, a Messy Situation, and Falling in Love

Who's ready for Part II?

In the morning, we got up and got ready using British Airway's toiletries, so we all smelled very generic.  We had to sneak Ben out of the hotel, which was much easier than sneaking him in.  (We just walked out at different times...)  We drove to Heathrow to go get our bags, but when we got there, we weren't sure where to go.  They said that they would call us when our bags were ready, so we just hung out in the parking garage for an hour.  We still hadn't heard anything from them, so we finally called them, and it turns out that they had our bags, but it would take 2-3 hours to "process" them. 

What the heck does that even mean?

So we decided to go around London and come get our stuff at the end of the day.  Josh met this girl on the plane, Delia, who was coming to London for a study abroad, so we invited her to go around London with us.  We got to her apartment and only got lost once.  Her apartment was about a 10 minute walk to the tube, so we headed over.  Once we got there we realized that we had forgotten our tickets for the Tower of London, so it was back to our car.

We finally made it on the tube with everything that we needed.  The thing about this day was that we were going to have dinner with one of Josh's mission companions, so we were on a tight schedule.  We were literally running through London from one sight to another.  An interesting way to see the city, for sure.  

We went to the Tower of London first, which was exceptionally cool.  
And it was totally sweet seeing this sucker in real life.  The Olympic rings!  So cool!
Then we went over to Parliament and saw Big Ben (not the Ben we traveled with, the clock tower.  Geez, guys).
When we walked up towards this, I couldn't help but sing "The second star to the right, shines in the night for you..."

Then we raced over to Westminster Abbey.

And then we made it to Buckingham Palace for our last stop.


We went to get our luggage from the airport, and for some reason I was super worried that it wouldn't all be there.  But we went back to where they store the lost luggage, and after searching for a minute, I found my two bags, all in one piece.  I think I was close to crying, I was so excited to have my own luggage back.

Then we made our way to meet Josh's mission companion's family, the Shenton's.  Boy, were they a hoot.  This was my first experience in a British household, and it was an experience to remember.  Oliver, the mission companion, has Asperger's, but he's very high functioning, and his dad is blind.  So I didn't know what to expect, and let's face it, I was still facing terrible jet lag, so even dinner with a family in America would seem foreign to me in that state.

But it was so much fun.  The Shenton's were so nice and welcoming.  The dad did endless impressions, and I'm not sure if Oliver stopped talking the whole time, but we enjoyed every second of it.

And I got my first try of Yorkshire pudding, which was delicioso.  

After that, it was time to go to the house where we were going to spend the night.  It was another one of Josh's mission companion's, but he was at EFY as a counselor, so we had to go find him to get the key.  The GPS was wonky the whole trip, and as we were going to find his companion, it tried to direct us to go through a croquet club.  Good times, good times.  

But we found the companion (whose name is also Josh, so will hereafter be called British Josh), then found the house.  Well, we were pretty sure it was the right house.  It was late at night, and we go up to the front door, and try to fit the key in.  But guess what?  It's not working.

That's when Josh turns around with a priceless look on his face, saying "We've got the wrong house!"

It was terrifying.  We're Americans, creeping around the streets at night, trying to pry our way in to a strangers house.  Yeesh.

So we called British Josh, and he told us that was the right house, we just needed to go in through the back door.

So we all stash our stuff in a room, and I go to the bathroom to finally take a shower with my own, familiar product.  You wouldn't think it was a problem to take a shower, I mean, I've been doing it for 23 years... but I get into the bathroom, and have NO IDEA how to turn on the shower.  So with Josh's help, I finally got the shower going, and got back to smelling like myself again, instead of airline product.

I went to bed that night, very peacefully, not knowing at all what was going on with Ben and Josh.

The next morning I woke up, got ready, and we started heading out.  Ben or Josh made a comment about the toilet, and I asked them what they meant by it.  I find out the Ben had clogged the toilet last night.  And that they searched in vain for a plunger, but couldn't find one. 

So Ben might have had to resort to using his hands... using a grocery bag, of course, and depositing the fecal matter in the outside garbage can.

How in the world did I miss all of that excitement?  But I guess I'm glad I missed it, we might have had another mess to clean up had I witnessed that.

We were finally on our way to Scotland.  Scotland was absolutely beautiful.  Definitely the most beautiful place we went to in Europe.  I loved so many things about it, and I dream about going back.


That night, we were going to stay with a lady Josh knew on his mission.  Her name is Sister Liu.  Get this, she's an American, living in Scotland, married to a Chinese man.  Pretty sweet, eh?  Plus, she's the nicest, sweetest lady in the whole world.

So we went to drop our stuff off at her house and chat for a little bit.  Then we headed to Edinburgh to the Fringe, which is this street festival they have in Scotland every year.  It was really cool to walk up and down the streets, and just take in the atmosphere of Edinburgh.  I absolutely loved it.  Plus, we got deep fried Mars Bars, which are death in a basket, but so delicious that I didn't care.

I tried to call the Ministry of Magic, but then I remembered we were in Scotland, not London.  Darn.
We also went to Nando's.  Let me just take a minute and tell you about Nando's.  This is where I fell in love.  With food and a boy.  I've had dreams about Nando's since I've gotten home (just the food... not the boy).  It's so good (the food and the boy).  Nando's is a Portuguese restaurant that has delicious chicken sandwiches and fries... er, chips.  I tried finding a picture of  the chicken sandwich, but there wasn't a good one, so I guess this will do.

\
  
When we went there, this guy took my order, and yes, he was super cute. And yes, he had the perfect Scottish accent.  I didn't say anything to the boys, because you just don't talk about that kind of stuff with your guy friends.  But we were talking about different Scottish accents, and Josh made the comment that the guy that took our order had the best Scottish accent, and I agreed with him... but I guess I agreed a little to quickly, because the boys saw right through me, and they knew.  And of course I checked out his name tag, so I could know his name.  Which is Phil.  And from here on out, he will be known as Nando's Phil.  And yes, I'm planning on going back to Edinburgh just to find him and marry him.

That evening, we went to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which was amazing!  One of my favorite parts of the trip.  It's in the stadium that's connected to the Edinburgh castle, and different military bands come out and play songs.  They had a bagpipe band, and a drill team, and a drum line, and it was all so amazing.  They would project images onto the castle, and at the end, we all held hands and sang Auld Lang Syne, and then there were fireworks over the castle.  Amazing, I tell you.



Well, that's the end of this part of the adventure.   Stay tuned for more Scotland fun!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Jen's European Adventure: How it All Began

Hiya!

Bonjour!

Buongiorno!

Long time, no talk.  I've just been traveling around the world the past month, starting with beautiful Southern Utah, then heading west to sunny California, and then crossing the seas to visit Europe and all of its wonders.

So now I'm here, ready to tell you about all of my adventures.

Ready, folks?

I spent 2 weeks in Europe with Josh and Ben, and oh my, it was amazing, but oh so crazy.  It all started in the Salt Lake airport where we had no idea the adventures that were in store for us.  We were waiting for our plane, when they announced that our flight was full, and that they would check our carry-ons for free.  We gladly checked them in, and we were so excited with our luck!  Our plane ended up being delayed, and we had a layover in Dallas, so that was a little nerve racking.  But we got to Dallas with time to spare, and all was well.  After 9 hours on our flight, sleeping so horribly, we landed in London ready to begin our adventures for the day.  We go to get our bags.  We wait and wait.  Everyone else from our flight has come and gone, and the same 7 bags are going around the conveyor belt.

Uh oh.

We talk to the baggage claim people, and find out that even though we made our flight, our bags didn't.  So they were sitting in Dallas, while we were stuck across the ocean in a different country with nothing but the clothes on our backs.  ...And Ben's 57 medications that he packed.  Our bags would come on the next flight, which would arrive the next morning at 8:30.

After getting our complimentary toiletries bag from the airline, we went to pick up our rental car.  We were on the tube for an hour and a half, and I was literally a zombie because of jet lag.  I probably could have slept standing up.  When we got to our car rental place, we found out the car wasn't insured, so if anything happened to it, we would be buying a new car.  So we fished out an extra £118, and we were on our way.

The problem was that this day we had been planning to go around London, but our day was pretty much shot.  We had to be in London the next day to pick up our luggage, so we decided to do the sights the next day, and hit up Highclere castle and Stonehenge that evening.  It's around now that we discover that Josh's GPS doesn't have any London maps on it, and without it, we are completely lost.   So Ben had to go into a sketchy petrol station to buy an old school map of London.

We decided we were hungry, and this is when we discovered the beauty of Tesco.  Seriously, sometimes I wish I could go back to the UK just for Tesco.  It's just that amazing.  We got sandwiches, white cheddar cheese (which Josh claimed was amazing, so of course I had to try it), deodorant, and contact solution.  Then we went to go check in to our hotel.  Josh just went in while Ben and I sat in the car waiting.  Josh locked the car, and as soon as he was inside the hotel, the car alarm starts going off.  There are horns and sirens, and the doors are locked with Ben and I inside, not being able to do a single thing.  We were trying in vain to unlock the doors, but there was nothing to be done.  A man was sitting in a car next to us just laughing his head off at us.  Ben and I would stop moving, and then the alarm would stop, but then one false move from either of us would set it off again.  Ben and I gave up trying to escape the car, and just slunk down as far as we could in our seats. Finally, Josh came to our rescue and turned off the alarm, and all we could do was just sit there and laugh about it. What makes this story even funnier is the fact that there was this button on the roof of the car that we kept pushing and wondering what the heck it was for.  When we got back to the States, Josh looked it up, and it ended up being the button that could disable interior compartment monitoring for the alarm system.

Go figure.

Our next stop was Highclere Castle, better known as Downton Abbey.

Notice our lovely poofy hair from being on a plane all night and having no hair product.

We got to tour the castle, and the grounds, and it was so much fun!  Honestly, one of the best parts of the trip.  Plus, the grass is the softest grass I have ever felt.  In my entire life.

After Highclere, we got some curry, but realized we didn't have any forks, so a 2nd trip to Tesco was necessary.  We went to a park to eat it, and mine was so so greasy.  It was getting all over my hands/arms. I was pouring some of the grease out onto the sidewalk, and not realizing that I was spilling it all over Ben's foot... oops.

So, covered in grease, we headed to Stonehenge next.  We got there too late to go to the Visitor's Center, but it was still awesome to see this in real life.


After Stonehenge, we realized we needed pajamas and clothes for the next day.  And so our 3rd trip to Tesco came about.  Josh and Ben found Tesco value shirts for only £4.  Josh bought a coral one, which we were very fond of.

It was finally time to go to bed, but the problem was that we might have only paid for 2 people to be in our hotel room.  And we might have had to pass right by reception to get to our room.  And the outside doors to the hotel locked at 11:00, and it was past that time.  And we only had one key.  Which Josh snapped as he was trying to get into the hotel.  So we had to cleverly sneak Ben into the hotel room.  I'm not sure exactly how he got into the hotel, because we couldn't get him the key, but he made it in without a hitch.  The problem was that we forgot to tell him our room number.  So Ben was creepily listening to the hotel doors listening for our voices.  

The problem was that Josh was in the shower, and I surely wasn't talking to myself, so Ben was in the hallway, completely lost.  It was just lucky that Josh called out asking if there was soap anywhere, otherwise Ben might have been out there for a while.

Whew, well, that was just the first two days.  Can you believe it?

More European adventures are to come!  Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

You Wish You Had an August Like Mine...

As you guys know, right now I don't have a job.  (But still getting paid, which is AWESOME.) I quit my teaching job, and now I'm pretty much just hanging out this summer until the real world hits me in the fall.

So before I have to go back to the drudgery of real life, I'm ending my summer with a BANG! It kind of was an accident that it ended up like this, but heck, I'm not complaining.

Alright, here is my life in August:

July 31 - August 5


 Lake Powell with the Boogert's!


August 5 night

Do Laundry.


August 6 - 12:  

Disneyland with my family!


August 12 night

Do Laundry.


August 13-26:  

Europe with Ben and Josh!


August 26 night:

Probably not do laundry because I'll be too tired, so I won't have anything to wear.  But life goes on.


And then it after sleeping for probably 2 days straight, I will venture out into the real world and try to find a job, a place to live, and all of that fun stuff.

But really, right now, I'm just going to worry about what rain coat I'm taking to Europe with me.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Day I Realized My Full Potential

This is an epic story.  So please, sit back, relax, and get ready for a journey into my soul.

If you read my last post, then you know that a couple Saturdays ago I went boating with some of my awesome friends. What I didn't tell you is that I didn't put sunscreen on.  Well, I put in on everywhere but my legs.  I thought to myself, "Oh, they won't get burned..."

Tip for the future:  If you EVER think those words to yourself, don't listen!  You're lying!  Just put the sunscreen on!

After boating, I felt fine all day.  But the trouble came when I put on my jeggings that night.  

Oh jeggings, why do you have to be so comfortable, but oh so constricting?

I went up to my friend Meika's, and my legs started BURNING.  We were going to go watch some fireworks that night, but I seriously didn't know how I was going to make it through the night with my legs feeling the way they were. We were trying to decide whether to actually go to fireworks or not, when our friend called and said that we could just go over to his apartment and watch a movie.  So we decided that sounded like fun, except for the fact they my legs still felt like they had molten lava running through them. 

So, I ask my friends if we can stop off at Walmart before going to our friend's, so I can get some loosey goosey lounge pants that will help my legs breathe a little.  When we pulled into the Walmart parking lot, we made a joke about me putting on the pants in the store, and then just wearing the pants as I pay for them, and just giving the cashier the price tag.  I have to admit, it sounded pretty enticing.  Nothing sounded better than getting those pants on as soon as possible.  But I am just not the type of person to do that.  I follow rules.  Rules state that you must purchase something before using it.

We find the lounge pants section of Walmart, and I was walking like a crazy person because my legs were hurting so much.  We find a pair that I like, and I go to the dressing room to try them on.  I was seriously considering wearing them out of the store, but really afraid that the dressing room police would arrest me as soon as I stepped out of the room with the unpaid-for pants on.  So I made Meika come in with me.  I take of the jeggings (oh sweet glory) and put on the lounge pants.  It was like taking a breath of fresh air after being locked in a porta-potty.  I knew there was no way I was putting those jeggings back on.  But I was still afraid of wearing them out of the room.  That's where Meika comes in.  She just ripped off the tag and gave it to me.   So I stuffed the jeggings in my purse, and sneak out of the dressing room so the girl (who looked about 14 years old) wouldn't tackle me and make me take off the pants.

So I get to a check out lane, and Heather and Bryn are nowhere to be found.  I knew Heather had to be there for my checking out experience, so I called her up.  She answered, "So is this your one phone call from prison?"

Witty, she is.

I tell her to hurry to the checkstand.  I'm sitting there holding the tag, not knowing whether to actually put it on the conveyor belt or not.  Also, I'm scoping out the cashier wondering if she's going to chew me out, look at me like I'm a freak, or just play it cool.  The man in front of me finishes paying for his items (he wasn't wearing any of his purchases...) and I hand the tag to the cashier.  I said, "... I'm wearing the pants.  Here's the tag."

I don't know what I was expecting: sirens or SWAT team to come in to lock me up for the rest of my life.  But, shocker, it didn't happen.  She just took the tag, acting like this happened 7 times a day.

She handed me the receipt, and I felt like a new woman.  I felt invincible.  I had just bought pants while wearing them.  I felt like a whole new world was open to me and I was finally ready to take it on.

Guys, do not underestimate the power of Walmart lounge pants.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Kick-Off

Can I just tell you that I am loving my life right now?

I used to hate it when people would say that, and let's face it, it's because I was jealous.  I wasn't happy with my situation in life, so I just didn't love reading how happy everyone else was.  I know a lot of it, well, most of it, has to do with your attitude and perspective, but when you're in a bad situation, it's hard to reach your full potential of happiness.

Did that make any sense at all?  No?  Oh well.  Let me just tell you about my week last week.

So it was my last day of school (with the kids) on Tuesday.  We had tons of fun signing yearbooks, watching a slideshow, having a dance party, and playing kickball.  The bell was about to ring to let the kids out for their coveted summer vacation, but we still had about 5 minutes left.  I asked the kids what they wanted to do for the last 5 minutes of school.  I told them we could read, dance, watch 5 minutes of Arthur...  My kids said, "Let's have a group hug!"  And they all ran up to me and we had a class group hug.  It was the cutest thing.  A great way to end my year.

So I had to go back to school on Wednesday to finish everything up with my classroom and say goodbye, and then I was also free for the summer!  It's only been a week since I've been out, but let me tell you, this has been the best week.  Let me take you through it:

Wednesday

It started with Wednesday night.  My friends and I have a game night each Wednesday that rocks.  It's basically the highlight of my week.  Like, I'm going to see Celine Dion next week in concert, and I'm disappointed that I'm going to be missing game night.  That's how cool it is.  So, of course, it was a great way to kick off summer vacation.

Thursday

The next day, my friends and I worked on a surprise for our friends all day.  Heather and I started Monopoltopia this summer.  We play Monopoly every week, and we've been trying to play a different themed Monopoly game each time.  So far we've played Spiderman, Horseopoly, Lord of the Rings, and the Original.  A couple weeks ago, we realized we didn't have a new Monopoly game to play.  After walking around our neighborhood and knocking on doors hoping for someone to have a Monopoly game for us, we decided that maybe we should create our own.  We decided to make one based on our friends, the Junkyard Kids, and basically make it about all of our inside jokes.  So on Thursday, that's what we did.  We re-named all of the properties to be fun things we've done together or fun places we've been.  Park Place and Boardwalk are now St. George and Disneyland.  And we re-made all of the Chance and Community Chest cards (now Group Five and For Camelot!) to be funny things we've done and said together, complete with our own pictures on the cards.  And, of course, we re-named the game Junkyardopoly and created our own logo, which totally rocks.  

So we worked on this game for 6 hours straight, and told our friends we have a surprise for them, and that they needed to meet us that night.  All of them were in, except one:  Jared.  We begged him to come, and told him it was essential that he be there.  He is leaving next week to New York, so we made this game early enough so he could play it before he left.  We talked him in to coming for just 30 minutes.  Now here's the great part.  We kept the box the same, so our master plan was to unveil the Monopoly box, and just tell them that we're playing Monopoltopia tonight.  And then we'd surprise them by taking the game out of the box.

So we get to Eric's apartment, with the game covered in a beach towel.  When all of our friends arrived, we had them sit down, and then we unveiled the Monopoly game, telling them that we were playing Monopoltopia!  We had a range of different reactions from really, really excited (Eric) to "I don't get it" (Jared).  We told them they have to play with us, and we opened the game to set it out.  Then our friends saw how cool we actually are and got more excited about it.  Then we played an awesome game of Junkyardopoly, laughing at our stupid jokes, with Brandyn trumping us all.

Then, Heather and I went up with Meika to her house for a sleepover.  We watched She's the Man (well, Heather did anyway, I made it to the part where she decided to pose as her brother).  And then we fell asleep.

Friday

The next morning, we made pancakes, had a shaving party (don't worry, we were clothed), and headed off to the Parade of Homes.  We had a great time looking at the awesome houses and, more importantly, stepping on the bubbles in the carpet lining.  

After Parade of Homes, we went shopping for my Jen Quit Her Job party that night.  Part of our shopping experience was buying floppy hats.  We had jokingly tried some on a couple of weeks ago, but then realized how much fun they are, so we actually bought them.  Girls, if you have ever thought about buying a floppy hat, but have been too afraid or self-conscious, don't think twice, just do it!  Best purchase I've made this summer.  

My friends came over, and we drove up to my aunt's house to have a bbq and swim in her pool.  After taking some classy pictures in our hats, we played king of the tube, murderer in the dark, and sharks and minnows.  Then when it was dark enough (and freezing enough) we watched a movie in the pool.

Saturday  

On Saturday we got up bright and early to go boating.  We got to the lake and wakeboarded (Eric and Brandyn were awesome).  I tried to get up, but just couldn't seem to get it.  And then we went tubing.  Heather has this awesome tube that's flat, but big enough for more than one person, so you can do tricks like switching spots, and then try to push people off.  It was awesome.  I went with Eric and Lindsay and there was one time were I literally fell off the tube, but Eric grabbed my lifejacket and pulled me back up.  It was amazing.  He did that probably 3 more times on that ride, and then we took one turn, and I looked around and I was the only person on the tube.  I have no idea what happened, but I was King of the Tube!  Anyway, after tubing we stopped on the lake to each lunch.  Literally as soon as we finished lunch, the wind came.  It just came out of nowhere so we decided to head back, but the waves just got bigger and bigger.  Meika and I were sitting in the front of the boat.  At first, we were just getting little sprays of water, but eventually water was just dumping on us, and we were drenched by the time we pulled into the dock.
We successfully pulled the boat in (after Brandyn almost submerged the car in the lake) and drove home.

Whew, what an awesome weekend.  Saturday night was an experience all in itself, so I'll save that for another post.  But if this weekend was any clue to how my summer is going to be, then I am totes looking forward to it!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Love.

Here are just a few things I'm loving right now:
  • Getting a new haircut - with bangs!
  • The awesomeness that you feel after doing something really great with really great friends.
  • Getting butterflies in your stomach over a boy.
  • Making super fun plans for the summer.
  • My jeggings.
  • Having good talks with my sister.
  • Being with friends that I haven't seen in a while.
  • Looking at pictures of Disneyland... (which I haven't posted about yet... I'm waiting for the rest of the pictures, and then I'll post.  It will be that much more exciting.)
  • Warm weather.
  • Only having a week and a half of teaching left!
That's right, folks. In exactly 12 days, I will be absolutely done with teaching, and on to the next adventure in my life!  What is that, you ask?  Well, I'm not sure yet, but that's all part of the adventure, right?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Decisions

I hate making decisions.  

If you know me, then you know I'm indecisive.  I have the hardest time making even the smallest decision.  Which is probably why I hate shopping.  I can't choose one pair of shoes over another, so I end up buying both and spending tons of money.  But that's beside the point.

As most of you know, I have some tough decisions coming up in the near future.  My career choice wasn't the best decision I've ever made, so I've decided to move on and choose a different path for my life.  I applied to the University of Washington to be in the Library and Information Sciences Master's program, but got Shawn-ed.  (What?  You don't know what that means?  It means I got wait listed.  Here, watch  this and you'll understand.)  

Let's just say Shawn took it a lot better than I did.

So basically I'm in a "I don't know if I'm moving to Washington until September" situation.  Which means I have to make other plans.  And here is where the problem begins.

Because I know I'm not teaching next year, I have a whole host of options available to me.  And each option has multiple sub-options to choose from.  So, as you can see, I'm confused up the wazoo, and I've changed my mind about what I'm going to do pretty much every week.

So here's just a glimpse at some of the thoughts I've had running through my head:
Substitute teach
Be a teacher's aide
Work in a library
Volunteer in a library
Live at home
Move out
Move out of Utah
...Teach at a different school?...
Get a friend like Cory to kick people out of the University of Washington so I can go

Who knows?  But one thing is for sure, my future will be an adventure!


Friday, March 9, 2012

A Sticky Situation

I have got my mornings down to a T.  I know exactly what time I have to get up in order to be right on time for work in the morning.  This includes grabbing breakfast and eating it in the car.  (You don't think I would sacrifice my precious sleep for time to sit down and eat breakfast, do you?)  My cousins came up from Arizona a few weeks ago and brought tons of delicious citrus for us to enjoy, so lately my breakfast has consisted of a scrumptious, juicy orange.  

I haven't had problems with peeling and eating my orange while driving.  I had figured out how to peel it without getting juice all over my clothes.  But for some reason, fate was against me today.

I tried to start peeling my orange (which is always the worst part...) and it was a little harder than usual.  I kept peeling the orange, and the juice was getting all over the place.  I mean, this orange was super juicy.  I was trying to keep it from getting all over my white shirt that I wore today, but the juice was getting all over my hands, steering wheel, and gear shift.  After giving my hands an orange juice bath, and still not having my orange even half way peeling, I decided to ditch breakfast for today.  But I still had the problem of having sticky hands and a 30 minute drive.  I grabbed my water bottle and started trying to pour a little bit of water on my hands while driving, but can you believe it?  It wasn't working.  I was getting more water on my seat than on my hands.  Not to mention that I maybe wasn't being the safest driver while doing so.

What to do, what to do?  I could pull over to the side of the road and properly use my water bottle to fix the problem, but with all the construction, it's hard to find a pull-out on the freeway.  And remember, I plan my mornings down to the second, so pulling over, washing my hands, and trying to get back on the freeway would make me late for work.

Revelation:  I remembered I just put some hand sanitizer in my purse the night before!  One of my students had given it to me for Christmas, and I just barely put it in there!  My prayers were answered!  I pulled it out and put some on my hands, but I noticed it's a little thick... and it's turning my hands white...  I looked at the label, and read "Antibacterial Hand Soap."  Really?  They make hand soap that comes in 1.5 ounce bottles?  For what purpose?  So now, I have sticky, soapy hands, and no idea what to do.

So instead of being a normal person and pulling over to the side of the road, I come up with a better way to use my water bottle to wash it all off.  I have a camelback water bottle, so I dipped my lid in my water bottle, pulled it out, and squeezed (squoze?) the mouth piece so a controlled amount of water would come out on my hands.  The soap on my hands started lathering up a lot more than I thought they would, but after a few trial periods, I finally mastered the technique, and my hands were juice and soap free.  Although I can't say the same about my steering wheel and gear shift.

The good news?  I got to work on time with my clothes juice free.

And at lunch I successfully ate an orange like a 23 year old adult instead of a 23 month old baby.
It's all about the small successes.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Can You Guess Where I'm Going?

I'm going on a trip on Thursday!  But instead of just telling you straight up where I'm going, it will be more fun for you to guess. (And if you've talked to me/been on Facebook in the past month, then you already know where it is... basically because I can't stop talking about it.)

Hint #1:  It starts with this letter:


Hint #2: It has wonderfully warm weather:


Hint #3:  You can't buy the following item at this place:


Hint #4: It is 56 years old:


Hint #5:  You can find all sorts of creatures/people there:




Hint #6: You might see a few of these around:


Hint #7: It's the Happiest Place on Earth!


That's right!  I'm going to Disneyland!  Surprise!  One of the other 2nd grade teachers and I are going to go visit our friend and her baby and go to Disneyland for a few days. Boy, am I excited!  Now I just have to brave the next 3 1/2 days of school...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Here's Hoping

Sometimes, I have to deal with stupid e-mails, idiotic questions, and disrespectful comments.

But other days, I get lots of boxes of chocolates, countless love notes, beautiful flowers, and lots of hugs.

Let's hope the next 69 days are more like the latter.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Weekend Getaway

So guys, I've actually been doing stuff instead of just sitting at home and reading/watching TV.  Be proud of me.  This is a great accomplishment.

Basically I have this great group of friends, and we actually hang out.  More than once a week.  This might sound like a minimal amount to you, but for us, (two of us working full-time, an almost graduated U student, and 2 highly busy BYU students) it means a lot.

We decided to take a trip to St. George a couple of weekends ago, because my friend, Eric, has a family condo down there that we could stay in.  For free.

So we planned our trip, and it actually happened!  We set out for St. George on Friday night.  We stuffed all of our luggage into Jared's trunk and hit the open road.  Meika even made cookies for our trip, but sadly, they were left on top of the car, and flew off somewhere between Heather's house and Highway 6.

This trip was basically my perfect vacation.  There was the perfect amount of being lazy and the perfect amount of going on adventures.  Here's just a taste of some of the adventures we went on:

  • Hiking to some petroglyphs, but getting lost first, and making our grand discovery of the junkyard.
  • Going back to that same junkyard to take family photos/engagement pictures.
  • Going to Glitter Mountain and mining rocks.  Oh, and Jared having his near-death experience while trying to climb the mountain.
  • Watching Charlotte's Web.
  • Taking the polar bear plunge after we reached our goal of hitting the beach ball 50 times.
  • Getting hugged by our waitress at Mongolian BBQ (much to the dismay of me, Heather, and Meika, but Eric and Jared appreciated it.)
  • Getting way too worked up playing Resistance (on my part anyway).
  • Going on the long, but informative tour of Jacob Hamblin's home.
  • Making a delicioso candlelit dinner complete with bubbly (the non-alcoholic type, of course).
  • Spending way too long lying around in the big bed.
In short, it was a perfect weekend full of friends, food, and fun.  It was just what I needed to forget about work and stress, and realize that life can be fun, even in the middle of January.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Halfway

I am officially half way done with this school year!

It's downhill from here.

(I mean that in more ways than one.)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hello 2012!


Last year I decided to spice my year in review up by using my status updates from the year as a review.  I liked how it went, so I'm going to do it again to review this past year.  So, without further ado, here's what happened in 2011:


January
Took care of my car:
  • Note to self: If you wash your car in freezing weather, your car will most likely freeze... even the locks.
Had fun with my roommate:
  • Costa Vida, Sweet Tooth Fairy, and two chick flicks. What a great way to spend Friday night. :)
Read lots of books:
  • I love changing books from my "to-read" list to my "currently reading" list. :)
Taught 2nd Grade:
  • Ah, Del Taco Diet Coke and Churros sure do take the stress out of a day.
  • Student: "Miss Scott, I'm part Spanish."
    Me: "Oh really, and why is that?"
    Student: "Because my dad is from Texas, and my mom is from Arizona."
    Me: ...
  • Does anyone own the movie Horton Hears a Who that I can borrow?
Watched lots of Boy Meets World:
  • When I'm walking down the street and some guys asks "What's the atomic weight of geranium?" I can say "That's a plant, you idiot!"
February
Taught 2nd Grade:
  • If I could wear Pajamas to school every day, life would be good. :)
Got picked to do jury duty:
  • Jury duty cancelled. Now I have a full day of no teaching, and lots of reading. :)
Had adventures with my roommate:
  • "That Thing You Do" is awesome. Buttermilk that expired 6 months ago, however, is not.
Got excited about my favorite author coming to town:
  • Markus Zusak is coming to the Provo Library on March 26th. Who wants to come with me? :)
Watched more Boy Meets World:
  • Shane West was in an episode of Boy Meets World. Who knew? :)
March
Went to Disneyland!:
  • In one week from today, I'll be flying over housetops, going under the sea in a submarine, dodging gigantic boulders, and fighting off an evil robot... in 70 degree weather. :)
Met my favorite author!:
  • Markus Zusak, you did not disappoint. :)
April
Went to Disneyland again:
  • "Where is Shrimpkin? Where is Shrimpkin? ...Who's Shrimpkin?" (You're wondering what this has to do with Disneyland?  Well... we had to wait in lines, and we had to entertain ourselves while waiting in line... hence we came up with funny things to say.)
Planned a trip to New York!:
  • Harry Potter Exhibition, here I come! Woohoo!
May
Showed my mom some appreciation:
  • All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. Happy Mother's Day!
Still taught 2nd grade:
  • Is it summer yet?
Planned my trip to New York some more:
  • Lion King ticket? Bought. Harry Potter on Broadway ticket? Bought. Harry Potter Exhibition ticket? Not bought yet, but will be soon. This summer will be awesome. :)
Watched Les Miserables:
  • Les Mis songs have been stuck in my head since Saturday... and I LOVE it!
Watched The Voice:
  • Whew. Jeff made it through. I can breathe again.
June
Had fun with my sister:
  • When I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of cheese.
Read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • Harry - yer a wizard.
Read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Snape was looking as though the first person to ask him for a Love Potion would be force-fed poison.
Read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • You need your Inner Eye tested, if you ask me.
Read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Oh, shut up Weatherby.
Went to New York City for the first time!
  • Just bought my Harry Potter Exhibition tickets and I have a date with Dan Radcliffe tonight! :)
Went to Lagoon with my cousin and sister and filmed our music video.
  • We love Lagoon! We're going at noon! :)
July
Read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:
  • It unscrews the other way.
Read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince:
  • There's no need to call me 'sir', Professor.
Read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
  • We'll all keep fighting, you know that right, Harry?
Was Harry Potter obsessed:
  • Me: "I just ran over a snake!"  Ian Scott: "Ya! Gryffindor!"
  • Harry Potter - just as good the 2nd time. :)
Wished I was in Disneyland:
  • Happy Birthday Disneyland. :)
Splurged on shoes:
  • Bought myself a pair of Keens. Who wants to go hiking with me? :)
August


*I did not post any status updates in August.  This was because I started teaching again.  So I had no life.*

September
Taught 2nd grade:
  • I made it through conferences. Now I'm rewarding myself with some paradise bakery. I even splurged and got the avocado. :)
  • I don't know if laying down in my bed has ever felt as good as it does right now.
October
Read a new favorite book!:
  • I made it through Monday. Now I'm going to sit back, relax, and read me some Son of Neptune.
Had a wonderful 23rd birthday:
  • I know this is a few days late, but thanks for all the birthday wishes! You guys are great. :)
Found an actor who is almost as good as Zac Efron:
  • It's a Logan Lerman sort of day.
November
Partied with my cousin and sister:
  • Sneaking Winger's popcorn into a gift bag, then sneaking the gift bag into the movie theater? I think so.
Still taught 2nd grade:
  • What a crap-tastic day. But I guess it fits right in with my crap-tastic week.
Got excited for Christmas!:
  • Just finished setting up the Christmas tree. I can't wait to curl up and read a book next to it. I love Christmas. :)
  • We're celebrating Christmas by watching every movie we own that has a Christmas scene in it. Starting tonight with "Rudy".
Found inspiration:
  • I heard this quote at a fireside tonight, and LOVED it. It's exactly what I needed to hear at this point in my life.  “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us: it's in everyone. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Nelson Mandela

December
Taught 2nd Grade:
  • I was proposed to today!  ...Too bad he is only 7 years old.
Celebrated Christmas!:
  • Let the week of Christmas begin! It is going to full of Christmas caroling, gingerbread house making, ice skating, caramel apple spice drinking fun!

Here's to 2012!