Monday, September 28, 2009

Time Travelin'


Yesterday I found an absolute treasure while exploring. Upon entering Kensington Maryland, it seems much like a suburban neighborhood with adorable houses, but not much else. Somewhere in the midst of this neighborhood I fell through a tiny crack in time and was transported back to the 1940's. I found myself in the middle of a picturesque, town-square; complete with a small train station and tea room. Antique shops filled the old victorian mansions and red-brick buildings while children skipped around old men playing chess. The gas station hadn't changed either with pumps that were far from being self-serve; had it not been for the 2009 Honda Accord getting gas I truly would have thought I was in some sort of time-warp.
While exploring I also found the Noyes Children Library, established in this incredibly restored school house. Does this not just take your breath away and make you long to be 5 years old again?

Another stop on yesterday's treasure hunt and gem of Kensington Maryland is the temple.... could this town be any more perfect?

National Book Festival

On Saturday I woke to clouds that looked like this...

So I packed my umbrella and grabbed the list my mom sent me and made the trek downtown for this...

There I was greeted by thousands upon thousands of people waiting in lines the length of football fields. I hurried to the purchasing tent and tried to find the books my mom wanted autographed, and waited in line for 40 minutes just to buy them.

Then I rushed back out to take a chance at waiting in line only to find that once I got within sight distance of the author, his signing time was up.

So I moved onto the next- having no idea what chaos I was getting into. Who knew Rick Riodian was so popular? Especially since I hadn't even heard his name before that day. The line eventually turned into a mob of angry parents and I was out of there faster then you could say Percy Jackson. Therefore, I just decided to skip all of the other authors I was going to try for and stalwartly stood in line to see this woman...

Who wrote this book...

While waiting, the rain decided to join in the fun. I was thinking that I had outsmarted everyone with my umbrella and coat so that in no time I would be the first in line cause everyone else was not as prepared.

I was wrong...

Good thing Lois Lowry was such a nice person and decided to stay for an extra hour to sign since the line was so long, and the rain was so intense or else I wouldn't have had the chance to meet her. That's right, I met Lois Lowry, which made that entire fiasco worth every minute.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A new favorite...

"Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen."
- John le Carre

Today I stumbled upon this beautiful quote- an inspiration. Thank you, Shannon, for sharing it with me.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

One year wiser...



Today is my Daddyo's birthday! Since I can't be there to take a trip with him to Richfield and watch elk all day like I did last year, this post will have to suffice.I have a made a list of ten of my favorite random memories of my dad: ( in no particular order)

-His contagious laugh and the way he makes me feel like I'm actually really funny. He will laugh at every dry, ridiculous and drama-filled joke or story I have up my sleeve.

-Watching him read or examine anything with his glasses pushed all the way to the end of his nose.

-Going "backpacking" through Europe together therefore buying enough chocolate to fill a suitcase and now having dad plan "chocolate parties" every time I am in town so that we can finish it... two years later.

-The way he packs. If he is going to stay in a hotel he hardly brings anything, but if he is camping- you can plan on him packing everything anyone might need complete with extra sleeping bags,tents, fishing poles (even in places with no lakes), binoculars, oh and did I mention the kitchen sink?

- Our mutual love of the sunset. Some of my favorite childhood memories were during nights when we used to sit on the front porch, read stories and watch the sunset.

-How he lights up when anything involves nature and/or animals. Whether is being able to spot an eagle overhead during morning commutes, or a family reunion to Zion's, or scouting trips to Topaz... you can count on him being excited.

- Taking a trip with him to watch the Elk in Richfield. I must admit, I had my doubts about it being supremely boring, but that was soon short-lived after seeing how much fun dad was having(and seeing him decked out in head-to-toe camo). It was truly one of the funnest and memorable trips I have had. I think he was supposed to be born a mountain man...

-Commuting to Salt Lake together. Most of the time I was asleep, grumpy or frantically studying but he never got upset about having to drive all the time. Plus, he taught me the "Rules of Commuting"...very valuable knowledge.

-I have never heard him in my entire life complain about having to work or drive so far to get there.

-His support for all my dreams, ambitions and goals in life. He has taught me that everything is possible and has made it possible for them to become realities.

So Happy Birthday Daddy-o! Thank you for all the laughs, tears, words of advice, support and memories. I look up to you in every way. I hope this year is the best yet! I love you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Globalization

Greatest line about Mormonism was spoken from the mouth of my co-worker who happens to be from a village in Namibia… how she knows about Utah/Mormon culture, I will never know. The world is truly getting smaller.

“Christyn, if you’re Mormon, why don’t you wear all those funny clothes like everyone else in Utah? I guess maybe you only wear those when you are in Utah. But you just look so normal being here in DC. ”

“ What funny clothes are you talking about?”

“ You know, the ones like the Amish people wear…”

She clearly was thinking I was part of the Fundamentalist LDS church which was understandable, yet hilarious and made for great conversation

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cookies

Life is tough some days, especially when some days feel like everyday. Though it has not been stressful or overwhelming, it has taken a beating on my self-esteem and confidence. All I long for right now is to pack my bags, fly home and sit around the kitchen table with my family, while my mom’s famous cookies bake in the oven.

There is nothing better for the soul then a worn, wooden table, warm cookies and a listening ear.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back From the Dead



While many of you are starting your fall with new seasons of your favorite TV shows such as Lost, House, 24 and Gossip Girl (just admit it, you love Gossip Girl) I have been sucked back in time. There are two reasons for this... 1. The TV we have is so old that we couldn't even hook up a DVD player without a converter box, therefore cable was out of the question and 2. My roommate got hooked on Dawson's Creek while stuck babysitting at her sister's house for a weekend, so somehow I got roped into it as well-even against my own will I might add.

While you all are wondering if Jack Bauer will ever die or how Dr. House knew about a disease that only exists in one other person in the world, I am nostaligcally living my life in the 90's... complete with belly shirts, "golden arches" hair styles and chunky heels. My friends and I have become so obsessed with Dawson's mainly because we don't have cable so we can't kill time with any other show and also, because we have become so wrapped up in all the drama. It has started to consume much of our free time because we are dying to know who Joey ends up with(Don't give it away if you know) and it's getting way more intense! Who knew? Good thing we only have two more seasons to go... pathetic, I know.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Here are the long awaited pictures of my cute little apartment. I had to wait until many of our decorating projects are complete... there are still plenty more to go, but I thought I would share what I have now. Enjoy!
The view during sunset is by far my most favorite part of this apartment.

Lisa and I made these during a late-night craft craze. They are made from vintage wallpaper and we love them.








This is yet another craft project... a collage wall of our world travels. I love it and find myself staring at it all the time.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Birthday Mama!



It's my mama's birthday on this very special 09/09/09! Woohoo!

10 of my favorite random memories with my mom: (in no particular order)
- Coming home to my mom blasting the recording of a live Earth Wind and Fire concert throughout the entire house while she is cleaning, therefore she never hears it when I sneak up behind her to say hello which inevitably freaks her out.

-Taking a mother/daughter trip to Disneyland in September 05' and having an absolute blast

-Countless craving excursions to Taggarts Grill

-The way my mom always loves to party. Seriously, I have never known a time where my mom has turned down throwing a party

-How everyone in the family gives her a hard time about her height and her classic response is always " Be grateful. I sacrificed for you!"

-3 generational shopping trips with Grandma Lofgreen, Mom and I

-When my leg was in a cast up to my thigh and my mom had to help me with even the simplest things. I will never forget how I never once heard her complain about having to take so much time off of work to take me to all of my classes, give up all of her lunch breaks to get me glasses of water or have to help me every night to take a bath.

- Her passion and dedication in helping her students succeed. I know I always give her a hard time about being a mean teacher but all of her students know, just as I do, that it's all out of love.

-Childhood summer day trips, vacations and activities. My friends would always wanted to come to my house because my mom always had fun things to do and see during the summer months.

-Her holiday spirit. She celebrates every holiday to it's fullest extent complete with decorations, themed meals and color coordinated attire.

Happy Birthday Mom. Thanks is far from enough for everything you have done for me, but it's the best I can do being here in DC. I hope this one is the best yet(especially because of the date)! I love you!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Importance of Education

President Obama gave a speech this morning that was broadcast to all schools in America. Of course, many educators, community members and parents have put up a fight saying it was "brainwashing", "socialism"," promoting a political agenda" etc. With every story I heard of people putting up a fight against the President's address, it would frustrate me to no end. It's not about being a Democrat or Republican, it's not about politics, it's about teaching our children to support our government and our President even if we don't necessarily agree with everything they promote. We, as Americans, have placed him a position to lead our country and with that we have agreed to listen. Through education, our children will be able to learn how to make those decisions, how to deduct who should lead this country and how to support that vote. Shouldn't we set an example? As I watched the address this morning, I was moved in every way at the simple message our President gave to the students of America. Stay in school, work hard and believe in yourself. Isn't that something we all can agree on?

Here are a few excerpts from his speech:

"And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future."

"Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future."

"Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it."

"So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it."

http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/

Eat, Sleep, Wakeboard, Repeat

This Labor Day weekend was spent celebrating Shannon’s 23rd birthday at her magnificent lake house. On Friday; Julie, Lisa and I made our way to the lake after a few detours ( aka getting lost) and a pit-stop at the Denny’s that was attached to a 7-11 (classy). We finally made it and surprised Shan with fun-fetti cupcakes, topped with blue frosting and complete with ridiculous pictures of Shannon glued to popsicle sticks. She was a little embarrassed about the pictures, but overall they were a hit.

We quickly fell asleep in our feather beds and woke up early to an epic sunrise over the lake. Nothing can capture how incredibly beautiful the sunrises are over Lake Anna. We threw our suits on and ran to the boat and were the first people on the water that morning. It was the most incredible glass I have ever encountered. Cutting out so hard you can see your face in the reflection and watch as the spray falls to the opposite side brought an irreversible smile to my face, and believe me, I am not the happiest morning person. You jealous yet?

We milked the entire day boating, swimming, laying in the sun, taking naps and eating enough food to double our weight.

Sunday morning we attended church at the Louisa Virginia Branch. It is held in the local high school auditorium and the locals have the quite the tales to tell during testimony meeting. Chickens, daughters sneaking in at 4 AM, dramatic 10 year-olds that run out in tears from the podium, requests for help moving again and mischievous boys being provoked by an irreverent father were all on the docket for an entirely entertaining sacrament meeting.

Sunday afternoon and night was spent sleeping, eating, watching movies, talking around the campfire and full-moon, late-night swims.

Monday we woke early to find the sky over-cast and wind that provided no sign of good water. We gave it a try anyway and found some great water on another part of the lake, after all of us took our turn wakeboarding and waved hello the cows taking a dip in the lake, we found that we couldn’t start the boat again. Uh oh. Turns out the gas gauge is broken in the boat and when it says half-full it really means empty. An extremely nice family helped us out, brought us gas and we were on our way 2 hours later than expected.

While the girls took one last run in the boat, I took a nap and enjoyed the solitude of nature and then we were on our way back to reality. We studied every possible option to make the weekend last longer and not leave that night, but were not able come up with one that paid us.

Thank you Crowley family for letting us use your incredible lake house again. It was a memorable and entirely relaxing weekend. Happy Birthday Shannon! I hope it was the best yet!






Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back to School



Happy Back to School time everyone! As much as I hated paying tuition,buying books, sitting through boring lectures,taking exams, writing papers on topics I didn't even care about and spending endless hours at the library; I find myself begging for the chance to be back there instead of here...