Working Hard...or Hardly Working?

Free breakfast and lunch at work for the past two days.....
My job is the best!

Claire and me. We are the epitome of beauty and work ethic, as demonstrated by awkward pictures taken while at work...


On the Bright Side

*I got a haircut. (Well, okay....just a trim...)

*My diploma came in the mail.

*I have been officially accepted to the Physiology and Developmental Biology Master's Program at Brigham Young University.

*I learned how to answer the phone in Chinese.

*I am getting better at eating with chopsticks.

*I just re-watched "The Young Victoria" which is an excellent movie.

*My birthday flowers are still blooming.


Crossword Queen!

So I guess I'm not really the "Crossword Queen" per se...I only just finished my first ever New York Times crossword puzzle today...but I have grand plans to become amazingly talented at crosswords someday.

I am incredibly proud of today's triumph and hope to have many more similar triumphs in the future!

{Yes.  It is a Monday crossword.  Yes.  Those are the easiest ones.   Yes.  I have been trying to finish a crossword for....ages....and only just succeeded for the first time today.
Please stop raining on my parade.}


22 As I Know It

On Tuesday of this week I turned 22.  Thus far being 22 has been an exceptional experience, and I highly recommend it.

On Monday evening I got back from campus around 6:30.  I was on the phone with my mom griping about life in general {because my life is *so* hard.  I don't even know what those pioneers were whining about, you know?} when I stepped through my front door.  The singing, dancing 'Happy Birthday' chorus line (comprised of Suzanne, Natalie, Brynn, Madeleine, Annie and Seth) that greeted me left me completely stunned.  Choreographed kickline, no joke.  I just stood in the doorway open-mouthed until they finished.  Then I sat in the special 'birthday queen' chair while we ate dinner.  The crowning glory of the meal was the cupcake that was served to me with 22 burning candles embedded in the delicious cream cheese frosting.  I thought it was going to burn the apartment down.  They were *amazing* cupcakes that looked like this:

Best surprise birthday dinner ever.

Although I was genuinely confused about why we celebrated on Monday when my birthday wasn't until Tuesday.  That is, I was confused until Tuesday night...

Seth came to pick me up to take me to dinner on Tuesday, but before we started driving he insisted that I wear a blindfold.  I complied.  When we finally arrived at our destination, he took off the blindfold... and we were at my Grandma Smith's house?  I decided that it was a little strange, but thoughtful, that he'd decided to take me to see my grandma on my birthday.  And then my mom answered the door.  My parents came to Utah to have birthday dinner and open presents.  It was so good to see them, plus we had my favorite chocolate cake and I got to blow out candles again :)

Suzy left for Europe Wednesday morning.  Everything has been a little less bright and exciting since she left.  I think everyone in the apartment can feel it.  Natalie wore her shirt inside-out yesterday in honor of Suzy, and we wrote her initial on the milk even though she won't be here to help us drink it.  Even though it's sad to have her gone, I loved my study abroad so much and I'm glad she has such an amazing opportunity.

On Thursday I ate delicious Thai food for dinner at a restaurant in Salt Lake.  It was amazing.  I love Thai food so so so so much.

This morning I volunteered in Orem with Habitat for Humanity.  It was a lot of fun.  We worked at a home that is mostly finished doing landscape work.  I raked and leveled topsoil for around two and a half hours, and then I helped lay the sod.  I'd never laid sod before this morning, and I have a sneaking suspicion that my sedentary little self is going to be sore tomorrow.  I drove past that house again later tonight on the way to a wedding reception, and it was really cool to see a green lawn where there were only large piles of dirt this morning and know that I helped make that happen.

This afternoon Seth and I went and watched BYU play Utah in the Mountain West Conference softball championship.  BYU won, which was awesome.  That was the first game I went to this year, which is a little sad because it was also the last home game.  I'm really glad they won.

I'm glad to be 22, and if it's all going to be this good I'm really glad I get to be 22 for an entire year!


Summer Reading List

One of my Day Zero goals is to read 20 books recommended by 20 friends.  I rounded up my list of recommendations and am beginning to cross them off the list.  Here it is (no particular order):

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
The Survivor's Club by Lisa Gardner
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis
Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran
Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
*My Louisiana Sky by Kimberly Willis Holt
Middlemarch by George Elliot
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordin
*The Danger by Dick Francis
Laddie, a True Blue Story by Gene Stratton-Porter
Merchant of Death by D. J. MacHale
No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall

I read the books with stars this past week.  I am currently working on 'East of Eden.'  I will do my best to note my progress as the summer wears on.

Another of my Day Zero goals is to read 52 books in 52 weeks, so if I didn't ask you (or even if I did) and you have a book recommendation for me, please post a comment!


Life Update

So maybe I got a little behind on my blog?  So what?  Life is crazy sometimes, and blogging isn't always the #1 priority....  But it's time to get back on the horse, or whatever metaphor you prefer.

i am a college graduate.

On April 21, 2011 Brigham Young University held its Commencement exercises for the 2010-2011 school year.  I am very much pleased-as-punch to inform you that I participated.  See:

I am the one in the blue circus tent with the funny hat. Oh wait........  I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.  I was there.

Daniel graduated too (summa cum laude, because he's just that cool).  Our individual college convocations were on Friday, April 22nd.  That's where we actually walked across the stage when they called our names and received our diplomas {cough*diploma covers*cough}.  It was a really cool moment to march up there and shake hands with the dean of my college and know that after four years, I was done.

Our family came to support us on our big day(s).

*Please note the tassels have been moved to the RIGHT! That was a proud moment :)

Despite the fact that I was wearing the same outfit as approximately 8,000 other graduates, my parents had an easy time spotting me in the crowd.  They attributed this to 1) my distinctive walk and 2) my red high heels.  I finally got to wear them, and I think it was totally worth the wait.  They looked especially good with my new

little black dress.

Which I sewed with the help of my mother and grandmothers.  I don't have any pictures of myself sans graduation gown, so you will just have to take my word for it when I say that it is exceedingly classy, etc.

In other good news, my ceiling is as bare as my daily schedule these days, the paper chain having served its purpose in helping me count down to such a big day in my life.  I took a few pictures of my empty ceiling space to post, but Suzy informed me that posting a picture of a ceiling with  nothing on it was a little bit weird and silly.  So look up at your own ceiling.  Unless you are using that space to house a paper chain to count down the days to some event, it probably looks like mine.  Empty.  {Woot!}

Also worth noting, the weather in Provo has been gross at best with lots of spring rain...some rainy days more enjoyable than others...but it's finally starting to be sunny.  Hallelujah.