The world is your oyster!: October 2009        
 
                 
     
       

These are a few of my favorite things:

summertime
pina-colada flavored italian ice
ribbons
sisters
i.n.s.t.a.n.t...o.a.t.m.e.a.l.
dance parties
pearls
flamingos
America
missionaries
s.u.n.g.l.a.s.s.e.s.
playgrounds
dressing up
love :)
     
       

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My name is Heather.

I am 22 years old.

I am an East Coast girl
who also loves Utah.

I love my life. How could I not?

The world is my oyster :)
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

One Year Older

Yesterday, I turned 19 years old. It was a wonderful occasion :) Here is what I did for my birthday.

1. Went to class. On Friday I only have two classes, my stats lecture in the morning and then my stats lab after an hour break. I am randomly in this class with a girl who was in my ice-skating class winter semester and it is so fun!

2. Went out to Tucanos for lunch! When my lab was over, Kelly and I took the bus back to Raintree and then Christine, Winnie, Kelly, Kelsey and I went to Tucanos. I've never been before and it was amazing! The waiters just kept coming with more meats and grilled pineapple and it was all sooo good! The only thing I didn't like was this wasabi? maybe? It's in the Princess Diaires II movie and it is nottt, in fact, guacamole. So don't be deceived. It's actually this really strong something that cleanses your pallet. Other than that, the food was all delicious and I was glad we went.

3. Gave blood! After Tucanos, Winnie dropped Kelsey and me off at the Wilk and Kelly, Winnie and Christine went to run some errands. While Kelsey went off to be productive and do homework or something, I went up to my favorite bathroom on the 3rd floor, turned the lights off, and made myself comfortable on the couch, ready for a nice, pulse-slowing nap. (I tried to give blood on Wednesday (which also happened to be the worst day of my life) but then my heart rate was randomly too high. Still not really sure why, but the guy who took it was really cute so I'm going to blame him. Anyway I was determined to not let a little thing like heart rate ruin my blood-giving experience and cost three people their lives, so I was taking a nap to try and slow down my heart rate.) Over the next hour, I answered four phone calls and turned the lights back off twice after someone came in to actually use the bathroom and turned them one. So my nap wasn't everything I had hoped for and more, but I went down to the East Lounge an hour later to try to give blood again.

For those who don't understand the significance of me giving blood, I'm going to try to explain it now. I first was inspired to give blood by a poster in the hallways of my high school, encouraging people to sign up for the NHS blood drive that would be coming in December. The poster gave three cases in which your blood might be used to save a life. I was amazed! I was thrilled! If I gave blood, I could save three lives! My blood would be in someone else's body and they would be alive because of me! I was fascinated by the idea that I could be standing next to someone on the metro, or behind someone in line at the grocery store, who had my blood flowing through their veins. (Not to mention I would get out of class, eat lots of snacks, and maybe even get a free t-shirt.) This was the best idea anyone had ever had! Then I discovered that there is also a weight limit. I'm sorry, whattt? Yes. You have to weigh 110 lbs to donate blood, as it turns out. I was crushed. I resigned myself to the fact that I would never reach 110 by the December blood drive. Instead, I signed up to help with refreshments. All day, I ran water bottles, pretzels, sodas, granola bars, and juice boxes to the fainting donors and harried phlebotomists and wistfully thought about the day that I would finally be eligible to donate.

That day came last February, when I went to my first-ever blood drive in the Wyview central building. I prepared for this blood drive for months and then, finally, I felt ready. The week before the blood drive I dedicated to eating food with lots of iron and protein. The day of the blood drive, I made sure I ate a very substantial breakfast and lunch. I convinced Jake to give blood, too, and we signed in and completed all the paperwork and the interview. I sat in the chair, chatted with the phlebotomists, and then watched as my blood trickled into the blood bag. 5 minutes and 31 seconds later, my bag was filled and I was standing up, feeling a huge sense of accomplishment and not an ounce of dizziness. I ate my snacks, drank my drink, and waltzed out of the central building, proudly bearing my hot pink bandage about my arm. It was a wonderful experience, so I was excited to be doing it again on my birthday!

Anyway, giving blood today wasn't quite as positive of an experience. When I got my pulse taken the first time, my heart rate was the exact same that it had been before. A little bit frustrated, I asked if I could try one more time in ten minutes. The girl said that would be fine and I sat down and tried to think calming thoughts. I imagined my heart pulsing. In my head, I watched it move. I imagined a knob next to my heart that controlled the speed of my heart. I imagined myself turning it down. I breathed deep, long breaths. Ten minutes later, my heart rate had gone down 9 points. Just from me thinking about it :) I was eligible to give blood! I was once again fine when I sat in the chair and watched the blood drip into the bag. This time it took 8 minutes. Which was kind of annoying, since I had wanted to beat my time from February, but it didn't happen.

Today when I got up out of the chair, I got three different kinds of cookies, two juices, and one extra-large shirt. (It was all they had left.) I felt a little bit dizzy and very thirsty, which I hadn't been expecting, so I was a little annoyed. About five minutes after I was done giving blood, Kelly and I were running across the street to catch the 832 back to Raintree and I was feeling very dizzy. Regardless, I was still happy to have given blood.

4. Did homework. I sometimes don't like college as much as I say I do at other times.

5. Went to the Haunted Forest! It was great. It was just a big group of girls and boys. Waiting in line was even fun because they had an awesomeee actor performing a skit as Jack Sparrow and I was totally enraptured. The Haunted Forest itself was okay but I think I built it up so much so I wasn't really scared as I went through it, maybe because there were so many people?

6. Watched the Proposal. I had to leave the Haunted Forest before everyone else because I had to turn in some homework and I walked into my apartment to find Crystal and her friends Alex and Connor, getting ready to go to the Dollar Theater. They invited me to join them and we went off to watch The Proposal for my third time.

All in all, it was a wonderful birthday!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Conference Weekend!

Yesterday was a day of highs and lows.

It started out with me being happy out of my head that it was Friday. This week has been so stressful and I was just glad that it was almost over. I had my first stats test, two quizzes in D&C, a Marriage and Family project, and a test in ASL. All week, I was either studying or stressing, or both. By Thursday I was totally drained, and after classes, I went home and fell asleep until about 12 when I woke up, took a shower, and went to bed.

Probably the highlight of my Friday day was having lunch with Andrea and Kierea. We all sent out missionaries who were really good friends with each other within the last 5 months, and now we like to have lunches or get ice cream together. I love these girls! We sat and chatted for about 2 hours, about everything. Talking to people who are in the same situation as me is so uplifting and pleasant! I'm so lucky to be friends with these girls :) This was definitely a high point of my day.

Yesterday was another home game, against the Utah State Aggies, which we obviously won, 35-17. Although we left early, I am going to call this a high point because of where we were sitting. Portal RR, section 136, row 36. Yep....the veryy. topp. row. I don't know if anyone's ever seen the deleted scenes of the Pink Panther with Steve Martin, but in one of them, he and his partner are getting on the plane and finding their seats. His partner was nice seats towards the front of the plane. He finds his seat quickly and easily. Steve Martin, on the other hand, is led by a stewardess to the very back of the plane. They go through door after door, past countless seats, finally ending up at a wooden chair that is tied precariously to the wall. By the time that the food he ordered arrives, it is cold and molding. And that is Steve Martin's seat. The point of this story is, as we were walking up the thousands of steps it took to get to our nosebleed seats, I felt like Steve Martin walking to the back of the plane. From our seats it was difficult to tell what was going on EVER, so we mostly just took pictures and chatted. The view did start growing on me, though, because you could see the whole field, and there was no one behind you. We ended up leaving early, just because we were sure that the Cougars would win and being up that high wasn't super-exciting.

Kelly, Winnie, Christine and I ended up in my apartment, watching The Office, which we all missed this week. We had not even gotten through five minutes of it when, suddenly, we heard music coming from outside! There was an impromptu dance party happening in the parking lot. Someone with a really good sound system in their car and a disco light was the host, and we were the happy invitees. We ran down the stairs and started dancing with them. This was a high anddd a low, because it was a high point of the night, and because we got low to all the songs! (haha.) It was so much fun and it totally turned my night upside down. The boys were from Glenwood so maybe we'll never see them or hang out with them again, but maybeee they will come back for another dance party! Crystal had two friends, Brian and Bruno, who were her friends since middle or high school, who were there too. Brian is this big Hispanic guy who I immediately felt comfortable with. I just wanted him to be my friend and take care of me. He and Bruno were both so nice and pleasant. At the dance party, Brian became even more my favorite person when he flipped me over his arm so fast that I thought my head would fall off. I felt like a little kid but I kept wanting him to do it again.

The night ended with the girls once again gathered on the couch in my apartment, watching The Office and Gossip Girl.

This morning I realized, as I rolled out of bed and shuffled into the living room, that I love conference weekend. I love having the ability to watch it from my apartment, in whatever state I am in. Kelly came over and we made raspberry and chocolate chip Bisquick pancakes during the first session.

I can remember when I was little and we had to go to the stake center to watch conference. The week before General Conference, we spent time at Family Home Evening updating our conference notebooks with pictures of the prophets and apostles, inspiring quotes, biographies, articles from the Friend and New Era, conference bingo boards, and blank paper for drawing or taking notes. We had to go at least an hour early to get a good seat. It wasn't so bad because I grew up on the East Coast, where there is a two-hour time difference and the first session didn't start until 12. Besides, all my friends would be there, and in between Saturday sessions, we would play outside, climbing in the trees and splashing in the little creek. Everyone went their separate ways for lunch, and every year, my family got Subway. It was a special treat for us then (now, Kelly and I get Subway almost every day) and it was a tradition we looked forward to every conference. After the afternoon session, we hurried home the minute the last talk ended to get pizza from Pizza Hut and host a pizza party for all the young men in our stake. They would come over, eat pizza, tease us a little, and then leave to attend the Priesthood Session en masse. I loved this tradition, too.

On Sunday, our day started early in the morning when we got up with my mom to make Belgian waffles for the young women in the stake. They came a few hours before the morning session and had all the waffles, whipped cream, syrup, strawberries, blueberries, bacon, and sausage a person could want. We laid out the breakfast on China platters and borrowed chairs to accommodate everyone who came. We would have leftover Belgian waffles for at least a week afterwards. These weren't waffles from a mix, either. My mom made the batter from scratch the night before to give it time to settle properly or whatever. When we made Belgian waffles, we were serious about them.

Usually between sessions on Sunday, there was a potluck in the gym of the stake center. You could count on there being at least one impromptu jeopardy game taking place in the building with people using their notes from the sessions the day before. We would go outside and take family pictures in the trees, all dressed up with our Sunday dresses and our fluffy bangs.

These were the days before conference was available in people's homes, when we had to actually get up and get dressed to listen to the prophet. I distinctly remember the year that most of the people in my stake started watching conference from their own tv's. I'm not sure which year this was, I just remember that we drove into an almost-empty parking lot, scampered into an almost-empty church building, and excitedly claimed the best seats in the house. I remember looking around, waiting for the rows around us to fill up. I remember thinking, "Man! We must be earlier than I thought!" And finally, I remember conference starting and me asking, "Where is everyone?" My parents said that it was Saturday morning, and it had always been the least attended session. That made sense to me. People just couldn't make it this year. The chapel would be full again tomorrow. The next day, there were a few more people, but the chapel was still surprisingly unoccupied.

Every year after this, the numbers dwindled even more. I saw the difference in the church as the potlucks and jeopardy games of the past slowed down and eventually stopped. I even saw the difference in the Belgian Waffle Breakfast, as the young women showed up to our house wearing sweatpants instead of skirts, because after breakfast, they would all be going back to their own homes to watch the sessions. My family stopped going to the stake center, too, when we had the option of going to my Aunt Carol and Uncle Brett's in Pennsylvania. This was so fun for me. We all got comfortable and took notes and snacked as we pleased. We could wear whatever we wanted.

These are two distinctly different settings. But in both of them, I have felt the Spirit. I have felt the love that the prophets and apostles have for me, personally, and for the church as a whole. I have come to know and love them. I used to think that I loved General Conference because that was when I got to play at the Stake Center, see all my friends, and eat delicious food. But I guess that wasn't the case, since all of that changed, and I still love it :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Leggers

A few days ago, my lovely roommate Christine and I came up with a really fun game that we call Leggers. It is amazing at relieving stress. I would highly recommend it to anyone with legs (and/or stress).

Here's how you play. You stand behind the couch and flip backwards so your head is on the couch cushion and your legs are straight up in the air (so you are upside down on the couch, facing away from the couch. Then, you make letters with your legs. Some of the letters, you can only make with two people. Like "A." and "N."

Anyway, Christine and I came up with this delightful little game on Monday at Winnie's house while she was doing homework and my laundry was in the Wyview laundromat. It has many benefits, including:

1. relieving your stress
2. working out your abs
3. improving your bond with your roommate :)