Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Perfect moment to blog.

Riverton is receiving a sudden downpour at the moment... and I love blogging at the kitchen table by the window, listening to the thunder and watching the rain outside the window. 

It's like the ideal picture of a person at a cafe with a lovely cup of hot chocolate, blogging away on their laptop while staying out of the rain... surrounded by the smells of coffee and baked delectables, sitting in the warmth of the indoors. I told Mom just yesterday that one of these days soon I'm going to blog at a cafe or a coffee shop that has internet, just to say that I did. It feels like a scene from a movie or something.

{Okay. Nerd moment over.}

So, back to the real reason I'm blogging...I've been involved with the Miss Riverton Royalty 2011 all summer, participating in parades, city events, rodeos, and other great things. Rather than type a novel... I'll give a recap in pictures. :) After all, a picture is worth a thousand words (or something to that effect) right?

South Jordan Parade:
Riverton Rodeo:

Riverton Parade:
 Riverton Town Days:

 Fourth of July (Three parades! Phew!):

Days of 47 Parade: 

 I've LOVED being in the royalty this year... it's just as fun as last year, and I'm still learning so many new things. I love both Shakelle and Audrey... we have a blast chatting with each other, taking pictures, meeting people, and spending time together. These girls are amazing! Can't wait to do all the other awesome things we have in store for us this year! But for now, It's time to enjoy one of my other favorite rainy-day activities... reading. Ah. I love reading when it's raiining (And how ironic- the book series I'm reading is called "The Sound of Rain" by Anita Stansfield. You should go read it. Like Right Now. The books are amazing.)

Until next time, devoted readers. ;) Much love.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A little slice of home in the middle of nowhere.

I love visiting Grandma and Grandpa. We go at least twice a year with the whole extended family. We go at Thanksgiving, and on the 24th of July weekend.

Dad had work and Ben decided to stay home this trip... so last Thursday Mom, Brooklyn and I packed our bags and made the drive to the middle-of-nowhere Indianola to stay the holiday weekend at Grandma and Grandpa Pack's house

The first evening we were there it was just my immediate family and Gma and Gpa. We enjoyed catching up with Grandma, who always loves to sit in the dining room and chat while Grandpa enjoys his silent TV in the living room. Grandpa cooked up some delicious barbecue hamburgers and Grandma cooked the corn and set the table. It's tradition to have a barbecue at least one night while at our grandparent's house. I also discovered one of my new favorite (and somewhat healthy!) treats. Strawberries, Bananas, and FROZEN blueberries sliced up in a bowl with cool whip. So delicious.
I also enjoyed a nap on the cool leather couch and reading my book while Grandma and Brooklyn whipped up a batch of homemade ice cream. Oreo. One of my favorites. Then we played Phase Ten (and I beat Mom at a card game, for once in my life.)
 Friday morning I enjoyed Grandma's infamous 5 grain toast. I eat it with Peanut Butter, just like Grandma. Best. Ever.  Grandpa took Mom and I for a morning four-wheeler ride to the place where Ben walked on Pioneer Trek a few weeks ago while Grandma and Brooklyn stayed home and played games.
 We returned home and got cleaned up and then drove into Fairview and ate at the local Mexican Restaurant. Grandma loves learning new Spanish words from the waitresses. She and Grandpa are both regulars at the restaurant... they love the Friday lunch special. :)

Then the girls went shopping at Family Dollar while Grandpa had a nap in the truck. (Big inside joke with the Packs. It's about the only store in Fairview aside from Terrel's grocery market. We always love going and getting some great deals. hehe) I bought some lipgloss and a black flower headband.

Back at the house I had another nap in the living room while Brooklyn, Mom and Grandma played another card game. That evening we were joined by Aunt Darla, Uncle Corey, and our cousin Maegan. 

Time for the Fairview Rodeo! I rode in Grandpa's truck with Grandma and Grandpa and taught Grandma how to use the T9 Texting system. We kept sending silly text messages to Mom and Aunt Darla, who followed us in their car.
 We had so much fun at the rodeo, sitting in the same spot in the arena that we always do... right next to the gates where they let out the bulls. While waiting for the rodeo to start I had a chance to catch up with Sterling Walker on the phone, and then I bought some deep-fried Oreos. Usually I always get a caramel apple at the rodeo... but they didn't have any this year. So I tried something new. Deep-fried Oreos are delicious... but after about three of them I was so full of sweet stuff, that I had a hard time finishing the other three.
 Uncle Martin, Aunt Kisty, and cousins Nick and Nashton met us at the rodeo. We cheered really loud and cringed when some of the riders almost got trampled by the bull. We took lots of pictures. And I also couldn't help but admire the cute cowboys. It was such a fun rodeo. As always.

Oh... and I wore my cowboy boots, of course. :)
 Back at home we had burnt almond fudge ice cream for dessert. Saturday morning Aunt Melanie, Uncle David and cousins Chelsey, Chad, and Chase came up to Grandma's house. We had a BLAST on our family's new karaoke machine that we brought to grandmas. (Although I don't know how the boys got the highest score on their screamo song...)

Mel, Chelsey, Darla and I made a trip into Fairview to visit The Corner Station... an adorable little vintage shop full of handmade jewelry and home decorations. Chelsey and I love going to The Corner Station. I got a really cute vintage-looking locket. Then we enjoyed shakes at T Cee's Dairy Freeze. I love tiny towns like Fairview with their one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants.
We went back to the house and enjoyed each others company. The house got quiet while many people had a nap and I read more of my book. I love summer reading. We enjoyed sandwiches, macaroni salad, potato salad, fresh fruit and more for lunch. One of the many things I love about being at Grandma's is that everyone eats together at the dinner table for every meal. The whole extended family. I love the time at the dinner table we spend together. For dinner we had Grandma's meatballs in homemade sweet n' sour sauce with rice, rolls, and other yummy sides. We enjoyed Great Grandma Bower's Raspberry Delight for dessert.

The cousins hiked up to Black-Hawk... where we visited the "abandoned Indian camp" and got gifts from "The ghosts of the Black Hawk Indian tribe." This is a tradition we've kept since the grandchildren were little. Grandpa set up a little clearing on the side of the mountain on Grandpa's property that looks like an old Indian camp. There's animal bones tied to the trees, Indian beads hanging from the branches, an abandoned fire, and flint scattering the ground. Every time the cousins come to visit Grandpa hikes up there and leaves little Indian-presents for the kids. He used to tell us the Indian ghosts left the gifts for us. One time we got dream-catchers. Another time we got arrowheads. This time we got little Indian bracelets. Now the cousins all know that the Indian Ghosts aren't real... but we hike up to Black Hawk every time we visit anyway.

After our hike it was time for Mom, Brooklyn and I to head home. We said our goodbyes, packed up our bags once again, and returned to good ol' Riverton. What a fun trip! I love all of the traditions and fun times we have at Grandma and Grandpa Pack's house. I love being up in the mountains during the summer time and enjoying the company of my sweet family. Couldn't have asked for a better holiday weekend.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pretty much, I'm in love with this...

Love the voices.
LOVE the piano.
... why haven't I heard of these guys before now?

P.S. In all of their videos they have something funny going on in the background. Love it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

counting down the days...

All of the plans and dates have been set in stone, officialized. We're getting ready to book a room at the hotel. I'm going to visit my best friend! I haven't seen Elise since April when we spent the weekend at her Grandma's in Logan at the end of the school year. We went our seperate ways for the summer. She lives in Colorado and is preparing for a mission and I'm driving to her hometown for her mission farewell!!


Despite the texts, phone calls and skype dates... it has been WAY too long! There have been countless times this summer when I've thought "This is when I wish Elise was here!" I swear, this girl understands me on a level that nobody else has even come close to... aside from Britt and my Mom. I love her to pieces and back together again. I've been needing someone to sing in the car with me, laugh with me about boy stories, and go on crazy adventures with me! Ahh! I miss her SO much.

And now I get to see her :) Even though I know she's going to be busy getting ready for her mission when I'm there, I don't even care. I can just picture myself getting out of the car in Colorado and running to the door full-speed to give her a big hug. I'm thinking there will be a ton of screaming, hugging, and laughing when I see her!! I'm so excited. I miss my best friend!

37 days until I get to see Elise Vander Does! I can't wait. Love you girl!

Email pen-pals.

One of my dearest friends Austin Arntsen is moving to North Carolina this week! I stopped by his house one last time to visit him and say goodbye. We had a great time enjoying our snow cones and catching up on life.

Ever since efy about five years ago, he has been such a wonderful friend! We have a plethora of ridiculous inside jokes and crazy memories. We've made a deal to become email buddies again, just like the good ole' days when we first became friends (back before facebook ruled over the earth and Hotmail was the internet craze).

Good luck to you and your family Austin as you make the move across the U.S. Here's to all of the good times, and I'll be looking forward to our emailing awesomeness until the next time I see you! Thanks for being such a fantastic friend!

To read more about Austin and the efy boys,
Take a look at another one of my blog posts, efy boys: a tribute to lifelong friends.

This is Austin and I. Oh and did I tell you, we're soulmates? 
Pretty epic. My Birthday Book told us so. ;)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Super Summer Extravaganza

I love love love my singles ward. While I'm excited for school to start, I really wish I could just scoop up my entire ward, bishopric and all, and drag them to Ogden with me. Yep. That would be a dream come true. But instead I dreadfully count down the days until my return to the armpit of Utah. ;)

I'll be so sad when I have to say goodbye to all of the friends I've made. No more movie nights at Kyle's, no more swimming outside with the boys, no more ice cream at the girls' apartment in Herriman, no more Wednesday activity nights... no more lingering longer with the Riverton 1st on sunny Sunday afternoons.

awww man... this is really going to stink.

So I'm trying not to think about it too much. Last weekend I went on the ward overnight campout at Heber Valley Camp. Despite the sunburn, dehydration, and lack of sleep, I had such a fun time!

 Kevin and I :) Old "Pirates of Penzance" buddies.

We spent time out on the water, and Sterling Walker and I were a great team on the canoe... escaping the bishop and his team who were desperately trying to catch a fellow boat and deem someone else "it" in an intense game of tag. Then Sterling and I left the lake early and walked the 20 minute "hike" back up to camp Esther.

 Me and Sterling. I stole his glasses, so in most of the pictures I'm wearing his aviators. 
(Even though I'm pretty sure he can pull them off much better than I can! haha)

The ward had a great time and enjoyed having dinner and playing games in the pavillion. We had a ward talent show... and I sang the song I performed for Miss Riverton talent. I appreciated everyone's enthusiasm and supportive attitude concerning my performance. It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I mustered up the courage to perform.

 The "gang". These are some of the people I've spent most of my summer with.
They're pretty much awesome.

The bishop held an evening fireside about "Small and Simple Acts of Kindness" that really touched my heart. What an ironic lesson considering this is the ward that taught me about small and simple acts of kindness. They all welcomed me in from day one, and I couldn't be more grateful for each of their small acts of kindness and how the ward has affected my life this summer.

 Emily Sorenson and I. Such a sweet girl with such a contagious laugh!

We had a great campfire and I enjoyed a few too many s'mores and roasted starbursts. And as always, what would a camping trip be without a walk in the mountains to go star-gazing? After admiring and enjoying the evening air, the groupies played an awesome game of werewolf (we couldn't resist... there was a full moon) and then I made my way to the cabin for a good night's rest after getting a terrible headache (result of dehydration).

I woke up in the morning feeling loads better than the night before and enjoyed breakfast with Nicole Walker and some other friends. After cleaning the cabins and loading up everyone's luggage, we enjoyed some more free time before heading off to the ropes courses!

 Nicole Walker and I. Good friends from middle school, reunited in the singles ward! ;)

I loved the challenge courses. We played a series of smaller courses that involved a great deal of balance, strength, and teamwork. Each game had a great lesson that tied into the gospel. I always love the spirit that can be felt at camp. There's something about being up in the mountains, surrounded by nature, and hidden away from the hubbub of the crazy world in which we live that creates a spiritual experience so unique and special and unlike any other spiritual experience that can be felt in church. I appreciated the insightful comments of my friends and testimonies of the missionaries as we challenged ourselves in each course.

After the smaller courses, we signed up and got ready for the high line. We had to climb up a swaying log to a tight wire that was strung between two tall trees. We walked from one tree to the next along the tight wire, using another taught rope as a hand grip; and then rode a zipline down to safe ground. It was such a fun experience. I was so glad to hear my friends cheering me on as I climbed to the top. But the best part was hearing the sister missionary who was standing on a platform at the second tree, offering me words of advice and comfort as I nervously walked along the tight wire. It reminded me of the sign the missionaries had posted at the beginning of the course. "Between Heaven and Earth, we are never alone." In that moment, I realized how true that statement really was.

 Sitting in line for the high-wire course. 
Me being a cheeser, and Kevin given the camera a good ol' thumbs up!

After the challenge course it was time to head home. Kyle Day, Emily Sorenson, Sam Cook and I all stopped in Heber for lunch and enjoyed each others' company during the drive home.

It was such a fun little trip and part of me wishes it could've lasted a day longer! I reluctantly count down the Sundays until my time with this wonderful ward is up... and in the meanwhile I enjoy every last minute; making new friends, learning new things, and strengthening my testimony. Gotta love the singles ward ;) and to all the members of Riverton 1st... you're the best! :)

Me and my friends Sam Cook, and Todd McNeil. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

it's been decided.

If I get married in the warm season, I'm having ice cream served at my wedding reception. That's right. An ice cream bar. I don't mind if it's soft-serve or hard scoop... but there will be ice cream, and there will be a plethora of sweet, mouth-watering goodness to be had. Or something like that. You can count on it.

Big, heaping scoops of cold, creamy bliss will be served.
And sprinkles. Maybe hot fudge too.
Face it, we'll have a vast array of delicious toppings.

Done and done.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

some sort of collage.

Life since I've come home from school has been insanely busy! And so there has been a major lack of blogging, at least compared to my usually frequent posting. I finally loaded a plethora of random snapshots... and so here, in picture form, are some of the highlights of life and summer as of late. There's so much happening and I'm sad that I haven't been writing more of it down. So here's to getting back into the swing of blogging while Summer's still hot! :) Until then, enjoy the pictures. Much love!