Friday, July 31, 2009

Dancing Fool! (literally)


I love to dance.
I love any form; from slow, to just goofy dancing.

But just because I love it does not mean that I am the least bit good at it.
A point that has become painfully obvious as Colter has been trying to teach me to
SWING DANCE!

I have really enjoyed having him teaching me, it's a lot of fun!
But I don't know how much fun it is for him because
I SUCK!

I took ballet & tap lessons when I was younger but quit when I was just three years old because I couldn't take this mean girl's teasing about seeing my underwear through my leotard.
(which I didn't confess until years and years later to my mom that that was the reason why I hated dance class.
That's how much I was traumatized by the whole underwear situation.)

Since then my skill have barely progressed passed the
"shuffle, shuffle, tap, tap" move.

Well last night I'm proud to say that I stepped outside my comfort zone and
did moves (not very successfully, but still)
that I never thought I would!

Colter took me to SUU's Swing Club.
Apparently it's the BIGGEST club on campus during the school year.
There wasn't much of a crowd there last night,
which I'm very grateful for since I made a fool out of myself, but it was still fun.

There are so many moves, and the people there make them look so easy its ridiculous.
The good thing is that Colter is such a great leader that when he's twirling & dipping me
I can somewhat follow along.

The hardest moves to do were the lifts.
We tried two or three, which were mostly unsuccessful because of me.

We tried
- the FLYING SQUIRREL,

(which I think I'll be able to get with a little more practice)

- this crazy one where the girl lays on her back and the guy pulls her legs up until she flips backwards,
(this was the one where I, very ladylike and gracefully, belly flopped on the gym floor.)
- and another crazy one where the girl sits, gets pulled out into a flip and then wraps her legs around the guy's waist as he turns in a circle.
(that was the one I did the most successfully, but still didn't do it correctly all the way)

Needless to say, I need lots & lots of practice. I even need to practice my twirling,
which is kinda sad since that is a basic move most little girls learn when they are toddlers.

(probably would have had it mastered years ago if it weren't for that bully in my dance class)

Even though I completely embarrassed myself at this club,
the only way to get better is to keep going.
Hopefully one day I will be able to do these moves with Colter when we go down to
St. George and dance at the Electric Theater.

Hopefully...


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fishes & Friends

I have been thinking about friendships and relationships for the last couple of days.
Last night I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about them so much.

That Winnie the Pooh song about friends kept popping into my head...
"Friends...Near & Far Away,Gather here Today..."
That's all I could remember.
(I doubt anyone has heard it, but it's a Pooh Classic)

At the beginning of the summer we had such a tight nit group of friends.
We hung out all the time and laughed our guts out when we did.
(Literally, I remember my guts really hurting from laughing so hard)
When schedules conflicted and time was spent away from each other,
we always picked up right where we left off.

I knew this couldn't last forever.
It was inevitable that things would change this upcoming fall,
but I didn't think that it would happen so soon,
with weeks still left in summer.

You can feel it,
one day it all changed,
and I don't think it can ever go back to how it was.
We're growing apart.

Life is changing for us all.
We've all had a summer of new experiences that have blessed and strained our friendships.
New Jobs
News Friends
BIG Vacations
New Crushes
New Interests
New Wards

All of these things, although good things, have changed the dynamics of our group.

This upcoming year is going to be hard for us all to keep in touch.
We're all going to be in different points in our life.
Some are:
going to college (in & out of town)
finishing up high school
leaving for missions
moving out

My Dad always uses the analogy of Fishes.
I'm a Fish and my friends are all Fish.
For a while we're swimming on the same path, but then some Fish decide to wonder onto a different path than what I'm on.
Sometimes they swim back, or I swim after them & we have things in common again.
Sometime we don't.
Thus the way of Fish...

We can't predict our future lives,
but I hope that we will never forget each other or the love we have for each other.
Even if certain situations can get on our nerves and sometimes we get annoyed at each other,
I hope that we ALL remember how deep our friendships are rooted.


Heavenly Father has blessed me with so many great experiences this summer,
but at the same time I feel like I don't have enough time.

I have this yearning to spend whole days with my friends, all individually,
before school starts and things really change.
I want to spend time with the New, the Old, & the even Older friends I'm so blessed to have.

The key will be BALANCE.
I'm going to have to learn to balance:
New & Old friends
Family
Work
School
Church
& just the everyday life challenges that will be thrown at me.

I don't want any of those areas to ever be neglected
because something or someone new has entered into my life.
I
know it's not possible to keep up the closeness that we've had for so long now,
but I refuse to let our relationships become those
awkward "hello's" in the store
and nothing else because we have nothing in common anymore.

Maybe its just me feeling this way,
but I hope that my friends who read this will make the same effort to balance me into their lives,
as I promise to do in mine for them.






Monday, July 27, 2009

Working Girl

"Work, work all week long
Punchin’ that clock from dusk till dawn.
Countin’ the days till Friday night..."
-Alan Jackson


I am a working girl.
I work at the Gerald R. Sherratt Library on SUU Campus.


I'm mainly only ever working at the Circulation Desk where my duties include:
- checking OUT materials
- checking IN materials
- helping patrons
- shelving books, magazines & journals
- shelf reading (thee most tedious job ever!)
- collecting the book drops
- & any other odd jobs around like delivering the mail.

BUT, once in a while I'll get to do fun other little jobs like:
- Cover Karen's Lunch in Media Collections (I like it down there in the basement)
- Run errands for Sheri
- Help Ellen with inventory
- Work in the Copy Center (always fun)
- Help with Special Collections Archiving
(Where I have to wear special white glove while I'm touching things. Official, I know!)


Although I would sometimes like to have as much time off as my friends do, to hang and basically do whatever they want to this summer, I am truly grateful for my job.


I know that I am so blessed to have a job where my bosses care about me and work around my schedule pretty well.
I'm very appreciative that they hired me when there were tons of applicants to choose from. I know how hard it can be to find a (good) job, especially these days.


I wouldn't mind a little more vacation time, but I can't complain about the pay check! :D
Its a satisfying feeling to know that your hard work has paid off,
and the feeling of more independence from my parents has ROCKED!

I've had jobs before but I think with the responsibilities of this particular one, I will be more prepared to:
- manage my finances
- be more organized
& have more stability this upcoming fall semester when I move out.
(which, FYI, is in less than one month!)

So yes, I am a (BLESSED) working girl.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

NATIONALS IN NASHVILLE

Well, after a week living in Nashville, Tennessee, I'm back in Utah and I cannot tell you enough how much I LOVE DRY HEAT!

Our trip was so fun! It seemed like we were there for so much more than just a week, but at the same time all the days went by so fast!
Our week at a Glance:
(probably going to be boring if you're reading this, but its more for my sake, so I can remember later on)
Click on the Links for more information on what activities we did

Some of our plans had to change becasue of timing and weather, so you might notice some differences in our activities from what I posted last time that we were going to do.

FRIDAY:
-Leave Cedar City at 12:30 pm
-Arrive at the air port in Vegas at 4:30 pm
-Take off at 6:00 pm
-Arrive in Nashville at 11:00 pm

SATURDAY:
-Catch shuttle to Downtown Nashville at 9:00 am
-Eat Lunch at the Big River Restaurant
-Tour the Belmont Mansion
-Go back to Hotel for a break
-Go to Concert at the Grand Ole Opry (get to see Allison Krauss)
-Dinner at Cracker Barrel (right across the street from our hotel, lots of food for really cheap)
SUNDAY:
-Have to be ready at 7:00 am (central time) for FCCLA State Pictures
-9:00 am went to Church in a small LDS branch (shocked the 15 regular members when a huge shuttle filled with around 30 Utahans showed up)
-Lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe
-Shopping at the Opry Mills Mall
-STAR Event Competition Registration and Orientation (super boring and a waste of time)
-Nap
-Dinner with our group, the Hurricane Advisor, Angelie and McKenzie at the Cracker Barrel

MONDAY:
-Sleep in!
-Shopping at the mall (also just across the street from our hotel. but "across the street" is a good 5-10 minute walk)
-Lunch at T.G.I. Fridays
-More Shopping :)
-Opening Session
- Dinner

TUESDAY: COMPETITION DAY
-Ammon and I are ready by 9 to practice presentation
-Present project at 11:20 am
-ROCK our judges socks off with our amazingly good oral presentation!
-Both go over to the mall and eat at Johnny Rockets
-Wait for Mrs. Leavitt to get done judging & other girls to present
-Have a Nap
-Hung out at Hotel

WEDNESDAY:
-Woke up early, went to one FCCLA exhibit
-Ditched out with Ammon to go have a nap while everyone else went to exhibits
-Ate lunch with the girls at the Cracker Barrel
-Hung at the Hotel
-Soaked our feet in the Hotel Pool
-Attended the FCCLA Closing Session
-Ditched out early with Ammon, Angelie, & McKenzie to go to Harry Potter 6 over at the Mall
(MOVIE REVIEW: didn't remember much of the book, but it didn't follow it too closely at the beginning. But still REALLY good. Kinda intense, probably should've been rated PG13 instead of just PG, but definitely worth the money.)

THURSDAY: FAVORITE DAY! (and the most humid)
-Woke up early to go to the FCCLA STAR event Awards Ceremony
-Ammon and I were awarded a Silver Medal, surprisingly because our book didn't deserve it. (We must have won our judges over with our winning personalities.)
-Ditched out on the meeting early to go have a nap (we were very sleeping as you can tell, we needed lots of naps. Mrs. Leavitt didn't ever know that we ditched out on any meetings early. SHHHH!)
-Had the only disappointing meal of the trip for lunch. (only because that was the only time we ate at the food court in the mall. gross...)
-Rode on the General Jackson Showboat (very relaxing)
-Met up with our friends from Hurricane, Barely made the Downtown Shuttle
-Ate Dinner at the Wild Horse Saloon (favorite meal! I ate fried pickles (and I usually hate pickles) and the best BBQ sandwich)
-Burned off the Calories line dancing to the live band and laughing hysterically at Ammon's awesome line dance moves.
-Took the shuttle back to the Hotel really late at night
-Had a "Noodle Party" in Angelie and McKenzie's Room
-Rung in Ammon's 18th Birthday

FRIDAY: Ammon's Birthday!
-Went to bed at 12:30 am
-Woke up at 3:30 am to pack and get ready to leave
-Caught the Airport Shuttle at 4:45 am am
-Took off from Nashville at 6:00
-Sat by Will Snyder, Winner of "Can you DUET" on the plane (we watched him perform at the Grand Ole Opry earlier in the week with his partner, Caitlin Lynn.)
-Landed in Vegas at 9:00 am (pacific time)
-Ate lunch in Mesquite
-Home by 2:00 pm
Those were just some of the highlights of the trip. I couldn't possibly capture all the memories in one blog entry.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Another important thing happened while in Nashville: I DECIDED ON MY MAJOR!

Being at this national convention reminded me of how much I love the Family Consumer Science Feild and I got a confermation that that is what I want to go into and teach.
Bad News: SUU doesn't offer that as a major as of last year. :(

So plan B is: Get my teaching certificate from SUU and then go on to another school to pursue the FACS area.


It was quiet the exciting week, as you can tell.
The trip was soo soo much fun, I loved every minute of it.




SOME FUN FACTS ABOUT NASHVILLE:

  • More than 50% of the population of the US is located within 650 miles of Nashville.
  • Its largest industry is actually Health Care- with 5 major hospitals in the city.
  • Labeled the "Athens of the South" due to the many colleges and universities in the city.
  • Considered the Buckle of the Bible Belt- has over 700 churches (Not buildings, but denominations. There are church buildings everywhere!)
  • Known as the "Volunteer State".

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

So Little Time...

To Do List Before 12:30 on Friday, July 10th:
Clean my Room!
Laundry
Take clothes to Dry Cleaners
Pack a suitcase
Shop(food, makeup, travel amenities, new purse?)
Charge: iPod, Phone, Camera
Prepare FCCLA Competition Manual

This list might seem pretty small, but considering that I work everyday this week,
(at least 8 hours each day)
& that some of those things take an extreme amount of time
(cleaning of my room & the manual),

this is a huge undertaking to complete in the next 2 days.

This Friday, I will be traveling to Music City, USA!
AKA: NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
Back in high school (which was only a month and a half ago, lol ) I was involved in the club
FCCLA.

(Which stands for Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America)

Its a service club, but it also competes in different aspects of the Family Consumer Science field.

Well, after competing on the region and state level, CHS had two teams qualify for nationals.
My best friend, Ammon Bunker, and I were one team.

meet Ammon Bunker

So we're going there to compete with the other 6,000 kids from all over the country & virgin islands. But that is the boring part. The REAL fun is what we get to do after we compete!
We're going to visit: (click on the links)
The Grand Ol' Opery
The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum
The Belle Meade Plantation
Nashville Shores Water Park
and we're going to take a ride on the General Jackson Showboat

And we're staying at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Check it out, it's huge!

Lots to do before we leave! Can't wait :)
Stay tuned for lots of pictures when I get back

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fourth of July!

The Fourth of July is always one of my FAVORITE holidays.
I love the parade, BBQs, fireworks & family traditions.
Sadly this year, I missed the parade because I was under the weather.
But luckily I got feeling better later,
enough to go to a BBQ at my sister's in law's (and good family friend's) house.
My Mom

Dave and Leslie Swank (with my Dad trying to duck out of the picture)
The "soon to be" Parents

"Sisters...Sisters. Never ever such devoted Sisters..."


After eating and lounging for a while, we carried out our family tradition of going to the movies.
We saw Ice Age 3. Word to the Wise: it's CHEESY!
But it was still fun to go together.

Later on that night, Alex Jones and I went to our singles ward party at the Leavitt Hanger.
There weren't many "singles" there.
There had been a 1989 CHS reunion there earlier and a few family wards were invited also,
so there were lots of families and older people.
Good thing we met up with Holly Anne Smith & Colter who are our age.
Well, sorta- me & Alex are still kinda wee tikes.
We had Root beer Floats (with HOMEMADE root beer) and watched the fireworks.
After the show,
since there was a DJ, naturally we started to dance.
And when I say "WE", I mean me, Alex, Holly, her parents and Colter
. Everyone else ( and there were quite a few people there)
just stared at us as Holly's mom lead us in the Electric Slide!
Eventually a few others joined in.
This one really old couple started to dance and it made me melt they were so cute!

Colter even taught me to swing dance, which was a blast!
.The party was way fun, and we continued to dance well after everyone else left

It was a great holiday and weekend.
I'm grateful to live in America and enjoy the freedoms that we have. Even with all of our problems in the government and different political views, I know that we live in the promised land, where God has prepared a place for our Gospel to flourish and grow.


I'M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

"A"merican Partay!

My Friends & I are starting "Letter Parties".
(Basically, just another fun way to fit in some fun this summer before friends move.)

During these Letter Parties you do activities that start with that particular letter of the alphabet that you have chosen.
Example: a "P" Party would include: Pajamas, Peporoni Pizza, Popcorn, the movie Pride & Prejudce, and so forth.

So with the Fourth of July being the next day, we decided (in true patriotic fashion) to have our first Letter Party be an "A"merican Party!

We partied it up with a BBQ in my backyard.





My Dad cooked us some Amazingly good burgers & hot dogs. The girls pitched in with side dishes and we had Apple Cobbler for dessert.


A BIG thanks goes out to my family for helping get everything together for my friends & I! They're so great, everyone had a great time and left with a full belly because of them.


They love those little Snap Fireworks :)



18 year olds + Glow Sticks = Immaturity :)




And thanks to those boys that provided the after dinner entertainment with Fireworks!

It was a fun night that also included many rounds of Mafia. A game that I usually give my position away within the first few minutes. I'll have to practice being more sly...

It was a great way to kick off a big weekend :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

GIVE ME S'MORE!

Every Tuesday since school got out (I think with the exception of just one) our friends get together for our Weekly S'more/Fire Night.
And last night was no exception. Our group fluctuates week to week depending on different summer schedules but our usuals usually include:
Alex Jones
Mariah Morris
Natalie Whittier
Rachel Stewart
Quincey McGuire
Rebecca Stewart
Ammon Bunker
Cortlan Lyman
Carson Chandler
Jeff Farnsworth
Chris Larsen
Brennan Myers
& a few others










There have been some CRAAZZZYY times at these shindigs.
Including the time we caught a creepy man robbing Cortlan's truck & had to call the police.
And don't even think about forgetting all those times "Louise" shows up & I almost pee my pants laughing at her.
I love getting together every week to catch up with everyone and make new memories together. And of coarse I love the inside jokes and teasing that come with those memories.


This has been a fun summer tradition and I'll miss it once school starts up again
and friends move away.