Monday, August 25, 2014

The St. John's.

You'll hear me say often that my companions were my absolute favorite part of my mission. I love them and the experiences I had with them above anything else (actually, my Mission President & his wife fall into that category along with Hno Pomeroy). I made a pact with myself, or goal if you will, that I wanted to visit/get in contact with the families of my companions to let them know just how amazing their sister missionaries were! (Just a couple of weeks ago, I met the Rogers)

This Sunday I had the blessing to meet the St. John's/Cables. I LOVE THEM! If you remember Hna St. John was my companion in Baytown and she had just got done with training when we got put together. As I drove to Bountiful Sunday afternoon, I put in me and Hna St. John's favorite CD and tried to make a mental note of all the great stories I could share with her family. I was so happy to be at a dinner table with them, and I know all of our thoughts were turned to Katelyn that night.

I will forever be grateful for my mission, and even more especially so for my companions.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

24th birthday.

I could think of no better way than to celebrate my 24th birthday with:
& good nachos.
So that's exactly what we did.
^^this was the best of my cousin selfie attempts.^^
^^FYI Angels stadium has refillable popcorn which we decided tasted better than Petco Park (sorry, Padres), but no refillable soda (Petco Park wins on that front)^^
^^The nachos may have cost $15, but they are delicious and appropriately loaded with toppings. It's also a plus that the cap is deep, so you basically get your money's worth.^^
birthday presents from my parents this year. practical, & enjoyable. 
1. makeup wipes, 2. eos lip balm (Utah's dry air is brutal on the lips) 3. oil absorbing wipes 4. Nixon the Unit 40 watch (I was in need of a digital watching seeing as how I had TWO break on the mission) 5. The Book Thief (I bawled at the end of this movie, I'm hoping I can make it through the book) 6. A journal. Here's looking at you volume 16!
So, the little pad of paper in the photo before this one (the one with hearts on it) is actually a stack of $1 bills all crisp and bound together. Education quotes are conveniently interwoven in with the Washingtons (can you tell I have teachers for parents). A Pinterest creation brought to life by my mother. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

B.O.O.T camp.

I went to girls camp for the last time in 2008 (I also happened to have my 18th birthday while there) and I've been wanting to go back ever since. & so, I was thrilled beyond thrilled when I got called to be my ward's camp specialist when I got home from my mission. My mom serves as a counselor in the stake young women's presidency so it was equally amazing to see the whole thing unfold "behind-the-scenes" if you will.

The theme for camp was, "building our own testimony." I wish you all could have been there for the testimony meeting, the spirit was as thick in the air as it was on the mission.
I get to serve these two amazing girls. :] Mia & Tiana.
The Bishops were invited up one night to share a devotional with their ward group of girls and to bring them dessert, seeing as how our ward has two girls, they were spoiled. :]

Thursday, August 14, 2014

On breaking up with social media (kind of).

I did this today...

& In reality, it's been something that I've been wanting to do since I got home from my mission.
(I downloaded the app only to delete it from my iPhone a month or so later)
But, I would find excuses like, 
"but how will I keep in contact with the people from my mission? 
or my family in Mexico? 
or people whose numbers I no longer have?"
& wouldn't you know it, Facebook is really REALLY clever, 
because once you push, "deactivate account" they pull out the big guns 
& give you profile pictures of the very people I mentioned above and say, 
"but so-and-so will really miss you, & 
don't forget about this person they'll miss you too!" 

I've been slowly breaking up with social media...
When I got home, two of my closest friends tried explaining Snapchat to me and I found the whole concept really ridiculous. 

"Wait, so you send a picture only to have it delete itself 3 seconds later? How is that fun? Why not just send someone a picture via text."

but, I caved in to peer pressure, and got one.
It was fun, for a bit till I kept getting "selfies" with no kind of cool factor, and "food" pictures, and endless quick nature landscape videos. 
& then there were the times where a certain boy would send me snapchats that were simply black screens with text as a kind of pseudo way of texting.
I could only take so much before I deleted the app.
I haven't regretted it once.

I stumbled upon this blog post (I worked with one of the girls at the Y) a couple of months ago and it reminded me of a research paper I had written for an English class my last year of undergrad. I was/am fascinated by the pull social media has on us (human beings as a whole). I've tried to wrap my head around how it became a "thing." 

& then today I read this brilliant piece from Forbes in which the author compares social media to fast-food consumption and it just got me thinking, "so,why haven't I disconnected from FaceBook yet?"

Truth be told, I've always secretly admired those who don't have a FaceBook account. Like my friends Jen and Steve. They were always so inspiring to me! I guess it was because it was for me a sign of independence from the world.

I don't think FaceBook and other social media is inherently evil in nature. I think it becomes what we make of it, and I just wasn't using it in the most beneficial way. 

I did a little experiment  after reading the Forbes article and did a google search for "FaceBook depression" and found a whole slew of articles about the subject via the Huffington Post (i love them!) and probably spent more time than I should have (I'm supposed to be watching lectures for law school) reading them. 

Something resonated with me. 

Everything I read echoed the concerns of a prophet who had spoken about the very ills mentioned more than 24 years before...

"Pride is a sin that can readily be seen in others but is rarely admitted in ourselves. Most of us consider pride to be a sin of those on the top, such as the rich and the learned, looking down at the rest of us. There is, however, a far more common ailment among us — and that is pride from the bottom looking up. It is manifest in so many ways, such as faultfinding, gossiping, backbiting, murmuring, living beyond our means, envying coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous."

& so, I decided I'd add FaceBook to the list of social media boyfriends I've broken up with... at least for the time being. Maybe in the future, we'll get back together... but, really all the reasons I thought I should keep it (wedding invites, tejas/louisiana friends, high school friends) made me realize that I can try a lot harder to keep in REAL touch with people.

I'm still keeping Pinterest and Instagram though & of course this blog: my little outlet on the internet.

& speaking of Pinterest, I leave you with this thought I saw the other day...

with ,

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

birthday tradition.

When we say that we're going on vacation for my Mom's birthday to "San Diego" what we really mean is that we're going to spend our entire time in Old Town. I've never even been to the San Diego Zoo; I think it's been more than a decade since I last set foot in Sea World, and I've never set foot on a San Diego beach. 

We've gone to Old Town at least once every year for as long as I can remember and more so for my Mom's birthday it just seems so much a part of us. It never gets old. I don't know what else we'd do to celebrate my Mom? The handmade strawberry flavor tortillas, the Mormon Battalion museum, soft acoustic guitar music floating in the air—it's magical. I may not know the names of all the stores there, but I know way around that place better than the back of my hand!

& I don't know what it is, but Texas-y things and mission references were popping up all over the place! 
We got asked if we were from Texas (okay, maybe the Texas shirt my Dad had on and the LSU shirt Ezra had on contributed to our getting asked that...)
Texas soap. SOAP. We were in California and there isn't even a California soap bar!
Spent so much time sniffing all the different bars. So random, but this is my Mom's favorite shop!

I took a picture of this owl backpack mostly because I want to sew one just like it when I have children. Of course, first I have to learn to sew, so...
the paperdoll store! (It's not called that, and really it says a bunch of other things, but really, the only reason I came into this store growing up was the paperdolls. & why yes, I do have a star wars episode I paper doll set from this little shop :] )
Since it was my Mom's birthday, we took a trip down 1962...
I lied. I also like going to the paper-doll store for the rootbeer. guilty.
frogs! TONS of them. It was like knocking doors as a missionary in Tejas again!
When I'm older, I want a Christmas tree filled with these.
Texas salsa dish. Was there a California one? No! I'm not crazy, right?
We had to stop at Pizza Bella.
(notice I somehow know the names of the restaurants in Old Town...)
best pizza you will ever find in San Diego. We tried Mushroom & Co. and the "Kitchen Pizza"
Kitchen Pizza = thin crust, mixed sauce (tomato & pesto), chopped pepperoni, italian sausage, red onion, green dell olives, jalapeños, ricotta and feta cheese, fresh basil and pineapple.
It's my new favorite
I can't even tell you how much I want those jack-o-laterns. Mexicanified everything!
Thanks for having a such a wonderful birthday tradition mom!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Petco Park.

We have this family tradition of going to San Diego around my Mom's birthday. No one knows when exactly the tradition started, or why, we just kind of all accept it. We decided to this time around throw a baseball game into the mix. Only half of us had experienced PetCo park & seeing as how we have a family goal to visit every MLB stadium, it seemed like a buen idea.
We were a fan of refillable soda and popcorn. Sure, it was a little pricey, but endless refills for a family of five, we'll take it!
My brothers got kind of really into the 7th inning stretch.
home runs call for celebration with fire works & flames. There were 3 home runs at our game.
Stadium wide sing-a-long to a scene of Top Gun? Petco Park you are too good!
 Maybe Ezra sported some Cardinal gear because it was free from my family's previous trip to St. Louis (WITHOUT ME!). Maybe he was a little mad that the Cardinals really didn't show up for the game.
He's over it now.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

weekend Utah trip.

This past weekend I took a super surprise-last minute-not planned trip to Utah for interviews at the MTC. My first thoughts after booking my ticket was that I wanted needed to visit with Jenny's (Sis Rogers') family. The Rogers' were kind enough to invite me over for family dinner and I met all the wonderful people I had heard so much about! I even got to meet Jenny's newest nephew before she did!
While in Provo I had a chance to grab lunch with Azteca Teresa, a good friend from my living legend's days. We shared a plate of Guru's amazing sweet potato fries. I think I may have converted Teresa to the delicious goodness.
I had to snap a picture of our little culture inspired footwear!

It's funny, I've made three trips to Utah since being home and I keep finding reasons to go back there, and in two weeks time I'll be back for good school. I kind of feel like Utah is unofficially every Latter-day Saints' home away from home though... There's always a reason to go back.