The Sweet Seven...

 are breaking up.

I know, it's immensely depressing.  

But life calls us all in different directions this summer.  Kenny and Andrea are moving to Philly to sell alarm systems.  We know that they'll do great!  But... we're going to miss them.
The pair are moving out today.  By the time they return Roy and I will be gone, pursuing a law degree in Az.  And who knows where the Tietjens will be by then.  We're already planning our trip back up to Utah next summer {2012?!} so we can all visit.  Or maybe we'll meet up at Disneyland or Seattle or somewhere fun.  :-) 

Last week we had a BBQ and played uno for our "last get together".  

Yet last night we were all sitting on Carson and Shellena's bed, playing with Story and hanging out.  Maybe trying to lift the sadness of separation, we got out a piece of paper and made predictions of where we will be in 2020.  Nine years from now. 

Kids?  Careers?  and of course where?  Wouldn't it be nice if we all settled down on the same street someday?  Shared a fence?  Carpooled?  But none of us predicted that.  I guess it's not likely, but I'll keep hoping anyway :-)

College Grad

BYU graduation was spread over a two day period.  More time for celebrating!  Woohoo!

So on Thursday I got up early and headed to campus for my last final: Literary Critical Theory.  We were told to analyze a few Robert Frost poems.  I got a little creative and wrote about racism, minorities, etc.  "Soo... the flower represents white Americans..."

That's what I love about English.  If you can find a shred of evidence to back you up, no one can say you're wrong. 

I hope that will prove to be true in the real world too.

Soon after I got home, the fam arrived.  Here's the crew!
Doesn't Zac look like he's just having the time of his life?  {Honestly, I don't blame him.  Graduations that aren't your own can be kinda dull.}

That picture was taken after I walked on Friday.  Notice the absence of one of those quaint caps.  Well... I'll get to that story later.  Here's the cap, if you were disappointed by the first pic:

So back to Thursday.  I grabbed my cap and gown and the fam dropped me off in the parking lot where the humanities majors were to meet.  Luckily I have a few other friends in the humanities college, otherwise the whole standing-and-freezing-my-butt-off-in-the-parking-lot-for-an-hour thing would have killed me.

We floated along the sea of blue gowns down through a tunnel that let us up into the Marriott Center.  We listened to speakers.  Lots of speakers!  On both Thursday and Friday!  I don't blame anyone else for playing Scrabble– but I was totally into it.  It's different when it's your own graduation.  I especially liked the Dean of English, who was hilarious and compared professors to troglodytes.

Walking was awesome.  I went by my full name, including the new last name.  I watched the announcer out of the corner of my eye to see if he would smirk, burst into laughter, or do a double take.

He did a good job.  Very good at suppressing any emotion.

After the final speaker, as we all stood to watch the faculty file out of the building, I turned around and asked Amelia to throw her hat with me.  The guy next to me was in on it too.  At my high school we were forbidden to throw our caps at graduation, which was devastating.  So I had this Hollywood image in my mind.  We were going to throw our hats and everyone would get excited and join in.  Roaring applause!  There would probably be some confetti or something.  Something!

Yeaaaaah, three flimsy caps flipped into the air and that was the end of it.  I did get a few cheers out of people in the audience, but the graduates were acting like they were participating in a funeral procession.  Sometimes, BYU, you gotta lighten up and have some fun, k?  At the very least on graduation day.  Anyway, hence why I'm missing the cap in some of the pictures.  Just as well—they're not exactly flattering.

Then Amelia and I went outside to ring the bell.  It's a BYU tradition for grads to ring the bell to announce to the world their accomplishment.  I'm adding my own superstition that it's good luck for finding a job.  :-)

Meet Amelia:

Oh, you might have also noticed that really "cool" professor in the background.  I was hoping to get a picture of one of some of the professors in their colorful hoods and funny page boy hats but this is who we got.  The professor who refuses to be stuck in tradition.  Love it!

Back to Amelia.  I may have mentioned her before.  Last fall semester she and I randomly had every single class together but one.  It was obvious we were meant to be friends.  She may be one of the main reasons I was able to survive the last year of school.  Thank you Milz.  

While I'm at it... thanks to all the people I met at school-- both BYU–Idaho and BYU--who helped distract me when I needed it, and who made school an absolute blast!

 And thanks, Roy, for being patient with my late nights of studying and essay-writing.  But especially thanks for being the best cheer leader ever!

And thank you Cosmo for providing such a great photo opp. 

Thank you BYU for the "sample" diploma.  Truly.

It will look most excellent on our wall for four months {while I wait for my real one to come in the mail.}

Thank you everyone who sent their congratulations via snail mail or facebook {yes, I succeeded in my fast and though I am again frequenting facebook, I don't feel as addicted.}

But in all honesty, I never would have had these amazing experiences without these two:

Mom and Dad—
When the moment came to flick that tassel from one side of my cap to the other, I wasn't thinking about how many assignments I'd finished to get there.  I wasn't thinking about that C in college algebra or the A+ in geology.  I was thinking about how lucky I am to have parents who pushed me to succeed.  Parents who let me choose my dreams and then provided me with the opportunities to accomplish them.  {I was also thinking about how weird it was to have a Jimmer backdrop for your graduation photo, but it was less important.}

Thank you SO MUCH!

Comprehending Graduation

Wait, why am I still at home?  I should be in class... right?  Sitting through another lecture on feminist criticism.  Flipping through yet another Shakespeare piece.  This is life- it's always going to be this way.

Oh.  Until I graduate on Friday.

And then what?

I've been a student my entire life!  I don't know anything else!  How can they just throw me out into the real world and expect me to survive?  What if I just want to write essays and take exams for the rest of my life?  I've complained about it for years, but it suddenly seems so much more comfortable than going out and finding a job.

*Alright, Breathe!*

I just can't get it through my head that I'm done with classes.  Done!  It's so alien–I can't wrap my mind around it.  Of course, I'm still working on final essays and studying for exams, but those will be over before I know it.  And then it's all uncharted territories.

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to don the cap and gown – all that stuff.  But I'm feeling ridiculously nostalgic.  I know I'm going to miss the environment of being a student.  Maybe I won't give it up.  After taking a year off and working maybe I'll start up a master's.  By then I'll be homesick for Shakespeare, I'm sure.

Ah, it feels good to vent. 

Now back to my papers and studying like a mad woman.

Hmm... Flunking out might buy me some extra time here, though.  :-)


Anyone want to see pictures of my favorite baby?

Lil' Stor Stor!

 She likes to watch TV.  Especially General Conference.  So cute!  And I'd also like to point out Carson's pink toenails in this shot, and mention that none of the boys have bothered to remove the nail polish from April Fools Day.

I don't have any nieces or nephews of my own, so I probably overdo my love for this little girl a bit.

This weekend was her baby blessing.  Afterward there was a luncheon with all of Shellena's family {which includes us and the McAffees of course}.

Andrea and I made a killer potato salad to bring.  It might be the first time I received compliments that weren't just out of pity!

Shellena thinks I'm well on my way to becoming domestic.  But really... I think Andrea and I should just share a kitchen forever.

The Tietjens are the cutest little family!!!

The night before the event, Kenny and Andrea came over for a camp out.  You know, so that we could cook together, then wake up bright and early to drive together to the blessing.  Since we're in Utah, it's still too cold to actually camp outside.  So we had one in our living room instead.  There were s'mores {though we didn't end up eating any}, scary ghost stories, almost no sleep, etc.

We brought our air mattress and our guest bed mattress out.  Ummm... two days later I'm still hanging out on our guest bed mattress, wedged up against the couch in our living room.  Even though the train is louder out here, for some reason Roy and I really love sleeping in the living room.  Maybe the mattress is more comfortable... maybe it's because we can watch a movie to bed... I don't know, maybe it's just something different.

Matt and Sarah came over for a night of N64 games yesterday and... yes the mattress was still taking up all the space in our living room.  Maybe I should have been embarrassed of the piles of blankets and pillows cluttered everywhere.  But we just bounced around on the mattress while racing Mario Kart.

Who knows how long our living room will look like this.  :-)

School of Choice

Time's up.  We gotta choose a school!  We need to plan where we're going to live for the next three years.  Ah- stability sounds heavenly. 

I'm proud to say that Roy was accepted to every single law school we applied for {except he was wait-listed at Seattle, but really it's just a matter of time before they call him up and beg him to come, I'm sure ;-)}.

So we've been waiting, debating, procrastinating, and then we get this package from Mom.

Hmm... I have a feeling she wants us in Tucson.  Just a hunch.

Today I dropped an envelope with a down payment into the mailbox.  And it was addressed to...
The University of Arizona!

Why?  Because we really loved that Arizona water bottle Mom sent. 

In all seriousness, Az is the best school that we applied for.  Although we did try to fairly consider each school, Roy had his heart set on this one in particular from the beginning.  When Roy got his acceptance he was on a high for about two days straight.  It's highly ranked as a law school, it's close to family, and the people at U of A law have been the nicest and most personal out of all the others.  Roy got a phone call congratulating him, and they've sent us lots of information and flew out to Salt Lake to meet with those in Utah who were accepted.  Talking to the representatives in Salt Lake really made me feel confident in our choosing U of A.

Now that we've officially reserved Roy a seat, my hubby is starting to realize that this is really gonna happen.  It's not some abstract dream- it's really official!  I think he might be a wee bit nervous.  But hey- at least he doesn't have to go through it alone.  He's got me!  {I guess that could be both a positive and a negative... I can be a little distracting.}


Festival of Colors

In the rural area of Spanish Fork, Utah, planted right in between muddy fields of cows and corn, is the Hindu Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple.

Yes, random.

But really cool!  Several monks from the temple came to the Day of Hunger on BYU campus last year.  They taught us a mantra/chant/song and we basically did the conga with them!  Fun!

Every year, thousands of people {mostly BYU students} travel out to their temple to celebrate the festival of colors, or "Holi".  It is so popular, that they do a "throwing" every two hours.  Think New Years countdown style.

Holi has been celebrated by Hindus since the 7th century.  There seems to be a lot of significance.

  • The celebration of the coming of spring.
  • Throwing powder and water {traditionally made with healing herbs} to keep sickness away that was believed to be at it's peak during the spring.
  • Celebrating stories of their deity.

That's about all I know about the traditional Holi.  The modern one–at least the on in Utah–is basically just an excuse to throw colors at people.  When Roy and I started walking up the hill toward the temple, random strangers began throwing colors at us.  No waiting for the countdown.  People would just shout, "Clean people!!!!" and then we'd be bombarded.  I thought it was kind of fun.  Roy... well he got hit in the fact a few times.

By the time we got to the top of the hill I looked like this.  Just from random people throwing colors at us.

 But by the end I looked like this!


Why did we go?  Because we won't be living in Utah for much longer.  We figured we better have the experience now.  This picture below isn't even a picture of a throwing.  It's just people dancing and crowd surfing to a Hindu band singing "Hare hare krishna" over and over again.  I know Krishna is the central figure of Hinduism, but I have no idea what "hare" means.  They said/sang it a lot.

Roy and I only stayed for an hour.  We met up with Leah and Jamie and some of their friends for a little while.  And I was surprised at how many people I saw that I knew.  I even saw friends I haven't seen for years!  Everyone of all faiths comes together for this!
Oh and guess what?  I still have pink in my hair.  It has been over a week and I can't seem to wash it out.  The green, yellow, blue, everything else came out.  But my hair has been dyed pink.

April Fools Continued

After our very large baby shoes project, I didn't April Fool very many other people throughout the day.  I just indulged in little lies here and there, followed up with, "April Fools."  You know, just for laughs, and just because I have the excuse.

But Andrea, Shellena, and I had planned one more April Fools project for our husbands.  At Supreme Nails.  :-) 

Oh yeah!  We'd been planning for days.  And by some miracle I'd been able to keep the secret from Roy the whole time.  But as we were driving to meet up with our friends Roy became suspicious.  He knows me too well, and knows that I would plan something devious on April 1st.  Somehow... I really don't know how... he guessed that this was what we were doing.  How in the world am I going to fool him in the future?  After five years together?  Thirty?  I have my work cut out for me.

Kenny, Roy, and Carson.

 Our husbands are such troopers.  They didn't complain for a second.  In fact... they liked it pretty quick.

Kenny might have liked it a little too much.  He was falling asleep.
 Carson was mesmerized by how fast his dude could clip toenails. 
 Roy gave me a "help!" look at first because he didn't know what he was supposed to do.  For anyone who doesn't know, Roy is ticklish.  Really really ticklish .

He said, "If it tickles can I tell her to stop?"

I said, "No, Roy.  You have to bear through it."

And he did.  But I wish I'd captured some of the looks on his face.  This one is really tame.  But it's still funny because you can see Kenny snoozing away in the corner.
 The finished product (notice Roy's lotioned leg hairs haha!):
 Soooo pretty!
Happy April Fools boys!

P.S. Every single person who commented on the last post said "PUT UP THE VIDEO!"
So here's the challenge... if someone can convince my dad that is is all just good humor and no one will tease him... too much... and I get the go-ahead, I can put it up.  He specifically told me not to put it on the internet, probably because someday he's going to run for office and then the video will show up on every page on the Internet.  But hey, I think it would be worth it!  Haha!   Someone talk him into it!

A Boy Named April Fools

When I was a kid I was an absolute pathological liar.  I had my entire first grade class convinced I was a vampire.  When friends came over to my house they wanted to see my giant boa constrictor that I fed horses to.  I even got my elementary school faculty in an uproar when I told them I'd seen a big, smelly man in the girl's bathroom singing "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum."

Eventually I learned my lesson: lie honestly. 

April Fool's Day is the one day a year when lying is acceptable- encouraged, even!  So I don't hold back.  And I really let my inner liar out this time.

We sent packages to our parents.  The boxes were empty except for a pair of baby shoes.  But on the bottoms of the little shoes...
Yes, I've been planning this prank for months.  Roy thought it was a pretty funny idea.  So did the guys at the post office.
 The packages arrived a little early to each house.  Too bad it wasn't actually on April 1st.  But then again... it might have made our prank all the more convincing.    I was at work when I got the first phone call.

It was Zac, my 14-year-old brother, and I've never heard him so excited before in my life.  I had to calm him down before I could tell him to look at the bottoms of the shoes.  It was almost heart-breaking to crush his hopes and dreams of "being an uncle."  I couldn't stop laughing.

Since Zac had opened the package on his own, I recruited him into our prank.  I wanted him to re-seal it and get video of Mom and Dad's reactions.  After getting over his embarrassment he was happy to do it.  As Dad was opening the package Zac got out his phone and pretended to be texting.  Really he was capturing the moment.

And it was a fantastic moment.  I would post the video on the blog but I don't know that Dad would love that idea.  We got him SO GOOD!  He just kept looking at my mom over and over again like he'd been slapped in the face and couldn't believe it.  Zac finally said, "She said they wrote the name on the bottom of the shoes."

Almost reluctantly, Dad picked up the first shoe.  "April."  He told me later he thought that was a horrible name for a boy {they were boy shoes}.  Then he picked up the second shoe and read "fools".  He looked up, stumped for just a second, and then threw his head back and laughed.  And anyone who knows my dad knows that this is hilarious.

Others who fell victim to our prank include Kirsten and Alexa {our sisters}.  Roy's parents said they immediately had their suspicions, but hopefully the little girl shoes were still enough to make them jump.  Even if just for a split second.

Roy and I have watched that video of Dad like five times, and we laugh so hard.  It's been quite a successful April Fool's Day, and it's only just begun!