Monday, October 31, 2005

HAPPY HALLOWEEN !


This isn't the best picture of the jack-o-lanterns my dad and I carved today, but it's the best I have right now. I just wanted to put something related to Halloween on here.

AND I wanted to say that I'm finally officially declaring Halloween as my favorite holiday. As a Christian, I feel a little guilty not saying that Christmas is. But I'm not sorry about it. Because I've gone over the reasons for Halloween in my head, and they're good ones.
  • It's the closest holiday to my birthday.
  • It's the closest holiday to Daylight Saving Time, which should probably be a holiday itself.
  • After a long, long period in the calendar year of no national holidays, Halloween ushers in the winter holidays.
  • Nowadays, it's pretty much a holiday devoted to the young and young at heart, which I think is great.
  • It gives people a reason to dress up like their heroes, use their imaginations and creativity, and ask for candy.
  • That last point is a good transition into this one. That is, Halloween gives people a reason to chow down on candy. You can pretty much eat tons of candy on Halloween, and no one will say, "Do you really think you should have that?" And even a week after Halloween, you can still munch on candy. All you have to say to yourself and others is, "Oh these things? They're Halloween leftovers!"
  • Eventually (and inevitably), we all get a little sick of non-stop candy, and this is the perfect feeling to have going into Thanksgiving, when food is about as healthy as it gets.
Am I leaving anything out? If so, please write a comment.

Thing I'm thankful for: carving out those pumpkins today with dad. Okay, he did the cutting, but I did the cleaning -- pulling out seeds and pumpkin yuck is kinda fun for me. Anyway, it was fun. Thanks for the fun Sunday, dad!

Friday, October 28, 2005

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEXIA!

I know Lexi's birthday should be a happy day, but it's always a little sad to me because it means she and I are not the same age anymore. (See "Happy Birthday To Me!".)

Lexia is:

L ike my best friend or something
E specially cool and fashionable
X enophilic
I nto Jimmy Fallon
A lways super fun

This post is related to a future post I have in mind called "The 5 Signs of Bad Poetry." Mostly I just wanted to say something fun about Lexia. By the way, I'm not sure the word xenophile can be turned into an adjective in the way that I have done, but I wanted to use a real word -- not "X-tra" or "X-ceptional" or . . . you get the point.

Anyway, I've decided that, in lieu of Lexi's birthday, I should paste yet another picture of her on my blog. The following image is my favorite (EVER) picture of her. It was taken in France a few years ago when she was studying there. I think it was Bastille Day.



Happy birthday, Lex.

Thing I'm thankful for: That Lexi was born before me. She really made my life a whole lot easier. :)

Happy Birthday to Me, Part 2

I need to give credit and thanks to everyone who made my birthday great. First of all, let me say thanks to all the friends who e-mailed or called me. I can't believe you remembered! I think that really is the best part of birthdays -- people wishing me a happy one. I mean, I didn't have an "awesome party" or anything like that, but I still consider this birthday to be one of my bests because people remembered me.

It IS nice to get presents, too. Clay made a pumpkin pie, Lauren bought me "A Lot Like Love," Jacki and Brooks gave me a card, and mom and dad gave me red and yellow roses. Mom also got me a belated present -- a giant mylar balloon that plays the song "Wild Thing." Yeah, it's kind of an odd gift, but nonetheless fun. Summer dropped off a present today while I was gone (belly, belly sneaky). She got me a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, a Fiskars paper trimmer (for scrapbooking), and a dessert stand. Well, Lily picked out the stand; I can guess why -- the box has an image of the stand with cupcakes on it.

All in all, a good birthday.

Thing I'm thankful for: snow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Happy Birthday To Me!

I hardly ever meet people with October birthdays. It seems like the most common birthday month is August. But today I did hear of someone who shares my birthday. She's the sister-in-law of a friend. Of course I don't know her, though; I've never actually met anyone born on October 26th. I decided to at least find out if there are any celebrities with an October 26th birthday. So here they are:

Will Swenson (1973) -- lead actor in The Singles Ward


Cary Elwes (1962) -- The Princess Bride


Julie Dawn Cole (1957) -- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory


And of course, my male counterpart,

Jon Heder (1977) -- Napoleon Dynamite


Earlier this year, I was talking to a friend, and after I said some particular word or phrase, she laughed and said, "I love that movie." I was confused and said, "What are you talking about?"
"You were impersonating Napoleon Dynamite, right?"
"Uh . . . no."

That's not the first time I've gotten that kind of response to something I've said. :) Anyway, I thought it was very funny when I found out Jon Heder and I share the same birthday.

(Dylan McDermott and Seth MacFarlane were born on this day as well, but I don't really know their work.)

Thing I'm thankful for: Um, being born.

The most special thing about being born on October 26th, 1981: It's 363 days after my big sister Lexi's day of birth. We're the same age for 2 days! We're Irish twins!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

Mom, the girlies, and I played "Hide and Seek" yesterday. These are some of the places they hid:




After I found them, they posed for a picture.


Don't you love that they put their hands on their hips? :)


Thing I'm thankful for: "Hide and Seek" with a 4 year-old and a 2 year-old. If you ever get the chance to do that, take it. It's pretty much my favorite game EVER.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What to Expect

This is the introductory post to several posts that should've been written a long time ago. Finally, I have my NY pictures up. There are tons, so enjoy.

Part of my trip included a visit to upstate NY. The main reasons for going there were to see Palmyra, NY, the Smith Farm, and the Hill Cumorah. Sound familiar? Probably not. They're all historic sites/landmarks for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I don't mean to (overtly) use my blog as a missionary tool. :) I just wanted to have these pictures up here mainly for my family. But in case you're not a Mormon, I put links in here that are helpful. Most of them provide simple descriptions of the places I visited. Check them out!

Also, as most of you know, the most recent posts of a blog are listed first. So when you read about this trip, you will be reading about it in reverse, kind of. Mom and dad, you'll get used to it.

Have fun!

NY Statues

The first night in NY, Lexi and I walked to Magnolia Bakery. On the way back to her place, we saw this shop called "Fantasy World." You can guess what they sell. Anyway, I told Lexi to pose like the model. (Sorry about the lighting. I was just learning how to use the flash on mom's digital camera.)


This guy saw me taking a picture of her posing, and he was like, "Here, take a picture of me posing." So I did. (Thanks, whoever you are!)


This started a "Statue Series." It was Lexi's idea, but I think I'll take it. I will forever be asking people to pose as statues now. It'll be a fun, life-long project.

Anyway, here's the third one. It was taken just after mom left for Atlanta.


This final one is my absolute favorite. I'm sorry about the lighting, but the camera batteries were running low. Ah, you stupid batteries -- right when I needed you! But you can see for yourselves that this is the best one. I mean, no arms! She looks like she has no arms!!! :)


Thing I'm thankful for: Lexi's creative genius -- and flexibility!

Single In the City

After mom left, Lexi and I did single things. That is, we went to the Young Single Adult church activities. Here we are on Roosevelt Island. I only have this one good picture because the camera batteries were running low. Anyway, it was fun. We had hot dogs and chocolate, and we (well, mostly Lexi and Laura) danced the night away.


We also walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. At first I thought, "What's so great about the Brooklyn Bridge?" But I must say, it was nice to take a short stroll across the bridge while admiring the city lights. Here's Lexia waiting for the bus at Astor Place (which will take you to the Brooklyn Bridge stop):


It was too dark to get any really good shots of the city from the bridge. So I just took shots of the bridge itself. :)



This may give you a good idea of what it's like there at night. Sparkly city lights everywhere.


Here's Bryant posing for a toothpaste commercial. :)


Brigham and Lexia pose for a picture on the train going back to Manhattan.


There are all these little statues around the subway stations. I think they're a little strange and wonder why they're there. If anyone knows why, please tell me.


Lexi took a picture of us walking. I liked it, so here it is:


Thing I'm thankful for: The small areas in NYC that have trees, water, and open spaces. I was only there about 2 weeks, but I was already craving scenes of nature.

Niagara Falls, NY

We decided that since we were already in upstate NY, we might as well go to Niagara Falls. I don't think Lauren liked it that much because it's just "one of those tourist-y places where we have to pay to see God's creation" -- or something like that. Maybe so. But I liked it. I know I've never seen a waterfall as big, so it was pretty cool. It's always nice to be so near to water. Hmmm. What is it about water that is so pleasant? I mean, I love the mountains more than the beach, but a big reason I love the mountains is because of the snow. Hm.

Anyway, here's Lexi, Lauren, and mom:


I love this picture of the falls -- if I do say so myself. It looks like it could be in a calendar. :)


I really like taking pictures of people taking pictures. This is similar to the Lexi/Lauren picture in the Sacred Grove post.


When we were on the observation deck, I realized I don't have many pictures of just Lauren and me. So here we are! Friends Forever!!! :)


This wall was in the walkway with the elevators. When I first walked by it with Lauren, I said, "I LOVE this wall. I bet Lexi will REALLY love this wall." Sure enough, Lexi said later, "That's a great wall! Let's get a picture of us in front of it." So we did. I think everyone looks good when standing next to teal. Or a warm pink. Yeah, that's it. Teal and pink.


You can pay an extra dollar to walk to the bottom of the falls. The view is pretty nice from down there. And it makes for some good pictures, too.



The stop in Niagara Falls was our last major one. After that, it was back to the city. Incidentally, Lauren and I were recently talking about how New York City is called THE city, as if it's the only one. Well, it is a good one, but there are other good ones, too. So, there! Take that, NYC! :)

Thing I'm thankful for: Our fun trip to upstate NY. We had some crazy times, but we had more good times. Thanks, mom, Lexi, and Lauren!

The Hill Cumorah

After we left Smith Farm and the Sacred Grove, we went a few miles down the road to the Hill Cumorah. On the way up, Lexi posed next to some flowers she really liked.


This is a view from the bottom -- that's Lexi in the middle ground,


And this is a view from the top. Beautiful, isn't it? It doesn't look like it's that high, but it was a rough climb for Mommy.

Lauren made it, too. And she looks very relaxed in this picture. :)


Me, mom, and Lexi.


Mom, Lexi, me, and Lauren. Another family was up at the top, so the mother took a picture of us.


Here is the statue of Moroni at the top of the hill. I really like the sky in this one.


Mom found out that we could've driven our car to the top of the hill, so she had Lexi and Lauren walk down to get it. While they walked, I took a picture.


At the Hill Cumorah Visitors Center, we looked at the many copies of the Book of Mormon on display. The Church prints the book in about 150 different languages. The Visitors Center had 90.


Here's a closeup of some. I'm not sure what the bottom row includes, but the top row is Afrikaans, Armenian East, and Arabic. Pretty neat, huh? I love that my church is so cultural. :)


Thing I'm thankful for: Halloween! I's just around the corner! I'm so excited!!!

The Sacred Grove

I will confess now that I'm a little wary about putting comments of the Sacred Grove on my blog. But I want you to see what it actually looks like. "It's just a forest," you could say. But it's special because it's part of who I am.

It's very peaceful in the Grove. There were lots of other people walking around as well, but it's large enough for everyone to have their own isolated areas once in a while. One of the first things I noticed about the Grove -- this may sound odd -- is the forest floor. I mean it. I wish streets were composed of the soft, springy soil that makes up the ground there. It's wonderful, and I'm not the only one who noticed. Lexi said it felt good under her feet.

I should probably mention that nobody knows the exact spot where Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. There are no markers. You just walk around and know that the LDS Church made a pretty accurate estimation.

This is one entrance to the Grove:





This is my favorite tree in the Sacred Grove. It's young and lush, and it's the perfect canopy for shade. I took this picture with my camera facing the sky, and see how the tree blocks the sun?


The stones in the next picture are part of what comprised the western boundary of the Smith Farm so long ago. I will make the same kind of comment I made about a tree in the Smith Farm post. That is, it's amazing that I could be standing on the very same rocks the Smiths moved to build their wall. I love historical sites and landmarks for the connection they give you to the past. It's so wonderful!


Mom took this picture of Lexi, Lauren, and me. I know it's fuzzy, but try to admire the compostition and color of the image. It's perfect.


Here's some lichen we noticed on an old tree. It's kinda pretty . . . for a parasite.


Looks like I'm not the only one who thought so . . .


Thing I'm thankful for: The First Vision.