The world is your oyster!: May 2011        
 
                 
     
       

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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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Family Fight Night

Every Monday night, my family meets together for Family Home Evening. We sing a song, go over the calendar, have a lesson, play a game, eat a treat, and disperse. I was the lesson this week and I had no idea what I was going to do.....

.....until a fight broke out! Perfect. Joseph and Jacob were fighting over a book. I seized the opportunity and gave everyone a piece of paper. I instructed them all to write on the paper things that made them happy, or things they enjoyed doing, or people they loved. Everyone got to work.

Then I passed around a Sharpie and asked everyone to write, in the very middle of their paper, something that had made them mad that day, or recently. Mom looked reproachfully at me. "If it's too personal, you can just write, 'I am MAD,'" I added as I realized that I couldn't think of something that had made me mad recently.

Mom's wasn't too personal. She wrote, "when Sid compared us to COWS!" referring to a comment he made at dinner when Sarah wanted more corn on the cob. ("Sarah, you know what happens why farmers feed corn to their cows? So they can get fat." Mom resented this. She grabbed a corn on the cob and ate it. Then she gave Dad a stern talking-to about not saying things like that to her daughters anymore. He thought it was a joke. He tried to kiss it better. Clearly this did not resolve the matter.)

Sarah spoke up. "Can it be a person?" she asked, indiscreetly glaring at Joseph. (She had gotten mad at him earlier in the day and I guess some negative feelings still lingered.) People were approved and Sarah bowed her head to write down the not-so-mysterious name of the unforgivable offender. I watched in satisfaction as the Sharpie got passed around, observing the way everyone jabbed at their papers as they remembered their anger.

"Can I share mine!" asked Sarah urgently. I nodded and she said, "Okay. My happy things are Mom, Dad, Kelly, Heather, Nicole, Julie..." pause where Joseph's name normally would fall... "Jacob, Emily, Kenzie, basketball, and horses." She smiled around the room, ignoring Joseph. The rest of us smiled back at her.

"Very nice, Sarah," I said. "Thank you for including...."

"And my angry thing was Joseph," she concluded quickly.

"Oh. Okay," I said. Joseph seemed unaffected by this.

Jacob shared his next. Not surprisingly, he was angry at Joseph for taking his book. Joseph, at this point, must have felt some need to defend himself, so he shared what had made him angry: Jacob being slow with the book and hogging it.

I guess there are two sides to every story.

No one else wanted to share, so I asked them to hold up their papers, really close to their faces, so all they could see was the thing that made them angry.

"I want everyone to concentrate on whatever made you angry for 30 seconds. We're just going to sit here and think about how mad we were. Then we're going to talk about it."

We had just reached the 20-second mark and I was thinking about what I could say next, when Joseph solved that problem for me. As we all sat with our papers pressed to our noses, he suddenly lunged at Jacob, grabbing at the book and knocking him flat on the floor. Jacob reacted quickly, drawing the book closer to his body and rolling over. Sarah, having allowed her anger to marinate for long enough, jumped on top of Joseph, joining Jacob's team by default.

"No! No!" I shouted, "That's not how we handle anger!"

But when I looked at my parents, I didn't see the alarm I had expected to see. Dad was sitting calmly, watching the fight with some interest. Occasionally he deigned to utter a perfunctory, "Now now." "Hey Joseph." or "Okay guys," but it was a halfhearted effort at best. Mom, on the other hand, was pulling out her phone to catch the scene on video.

So I thought, what the heck. And jumped into the fray.

Here is the resulting video:

Are you wondering what happened next? Everyone was better. Sarah, Joseph, and Jacob were friends once again. Peace had been restored. And so, I have made the following conclusions:

1. Sometimes a good fighting sesh is necessary for a happy home.

2. Little brothers who are taller than you might be stronger than you.

3. The family that fights together, rights together.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Unorthodox Scripture Studies

Mom and Dad went out tonight. So I was in charge. After dinner, I was sitting in the living room, doing something on my laptop. Julie was in the kid study, watching something on the computer. Jacob was downstairs watching TV. Sarah was diddling around, not bothering a soul. All was peaceful until Joseph went downstairs and tried to take the TV from Jacob.

I heard the door open as he went down to the basement. I heard Jacob saying hello. I heard Jacob saying, "Hey!" I heard the beginnings of a squabble.

I said, "Joseph! I need you!" He and Jacob both came tumbling upstairs, both protesting their greater need for the use of the TV. A remote control was thrown. I decided it was time for Scripture Study. I called Julie in. She ran in and sat down, doing a sort of potty dance.

"I have 9 minutes left of my movie and I have to finish it!" she said by way of explanation.

I called Sarah in. She waltzed in, scriptures in hand, the picture of a perfect child.

I gave the assignment. "I want everyone to think about the last 10 minutes and think of something you did that was not the right thing to do. Or just something that Jesus would not have done. And then I need you to look up a scripture about what you should have done instead, or what will happen if you keep doing that thing. So if you told a lie in the past 10 minutes, you can look up a scripture about how liars go to Hell."

Jacob had one in a matter of seconds. When I asked him to share, he said: "1 Ne 2:22. And inasmuch as thou shalt keep my commandments, thou shalt be made a ruler and a teacher over thy brethren."

Alright. Excellent Jacob.

"Jacob," I said, "that is not about something you did wrong. Try again."

"But I didn't do anything wrong!"

"No? You don't think so? Well maybe you should look up a scripture on humility then," I suggested. D&C 88:100

Sarah raised her hand. "Go ahead, Sarah," I said.

"Okay, mine is in Ezekiel...."

"I HAVE ONE!" Julie exclaimed. "It's...."

I cut her off and turned the time back to Sarah. As Sarah read what turned out to be the wrong scripture (something about loving your wife) I noticed Julie abandoning her first scripture and flipping frantically through the index in search of another one. We moved on to Julie while Sarah looked for the right scripture.

Julie shared D&C 88:122, which says "Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let not all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege." Julie explained that she had chosen this scripture because she had just barely tried to interrupt Sarah. We all smiled at the timeliness of her choice.

Sarah, by now, had realized her mistake. She had turned to Ecclesiastes 9:9 rather than Ezra 9:9. Now she read us a much more fitting scripture about cleanliness and shamefacedly admitted that she hadn't showered yet today. Or cleaned her room. We benevolently forgave her.

Joseph chose D&C 56:8, which is about pride and selfishness. I was very proud of him.

Then he helped Jacob find a scripture about slothfulness. Then all the issues in the house were resolved. And that's how I know the church is true.

:)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dancin Til the World Ends


It's the End of the World! Did you guys know? Today at 6pm, the world is supposed to end. (Kind of.) It's going to start ending today, and then it's really going to end on October 21st, according to this guy named Harold Camping. He actually predicted that the world would end in 1994, but it clearly did not. This time, he is much more certain.

Somehow, Harold has made millions of dollars off of warning people about the end of the world. In 2008, his radio network was allegedly worth more than $117 million. I guess this is lucky for him because when the world doesn't end tonight, or on October 21st, I imagine some people will get mad and try to sue him.

As for me, I am having great fun with the end of the world! I woke up this morning real cheerful and thought, "Hmm! Today is the end of the world! What should I do?"

I explored my options. I could register my pet birds for pet care in case I get taken up to Heaven today at 6 and no one is left behind to take care of them. I could make a playlist about the End of the World. I could go to Confession and confess my sins. I could go to an End-of-the-World partyin DC for only $1.

I decided against the pet care thing. I didn't want to pay $135, or even $10 to make sure that my pets would be comfortable during the Rapture. Plus I guess I'm not going to be saved, since I didn't give Harold Camping any money.

I also decided against going to Confession, since I'm not Catholic and I guess you have to be on your deathbed or about to join the Catholic church in order to participate in Confession. :( Rude. If Blair Waldorf can go, why can't I?

I did, however, make a playlist. And I ate cookies for breakfast. And I went outside and sat on the deck in the sunshine. And I called my dad to wish him a happy end of the world. And I tried to call Nicole but she anored me.....

While I was eating breakfast, Joseph and Julie and I had a funny conversation.

me: Joseph, do you want the last cookie? I'm about to eat it.

Joseph: No thanks, I'm not hungry.

me: Well...have you had any yet?

Joseph: No. But you can have it, I'm not hungry.

me: What if when we get taken up to Heaven and I'm all full from eating cookies, and then there's awesome food in Heaven, but I can't eat any of it, because I'm all full?

Julie: We're not going to Heaven. We didn't pay any money.

me: Woohoo, more cookies!

If you get to read this before the world ends, I think you should also take the time to watch this music video. It's "Give a Little" by Hanson and makes me so happy every time I watch it!

What are you doing to celebrate this day?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Q" the Liquid Sunshine

I've never really been the happiest of campers, or the campiest of girls. I mean, I went to Girl's Camp every summer when I was in Young Women's, but as Caitlin and Rachel will attest, I also packed a month's worth of clothes, 5 pairs of shoes, at least 2 bottles of bug spray, and an air mattress.

I'm also not particularly fond of middle school. I didn't think it was so bad when I was a middle schooler, but now that I am in college, I don't even really feel 100% comfortable visiting there. Even if I am just going to eat lunch with Jacob or something.

But this morning, bright and early, I was driving down the road with my mom, hot on the tail of a Penske truck full of middle-schoolers luggage for a 3-day camping trip. The farther we drove, the more cows and trees we saw, until eventually we had arrived at Summit Lake, where Outdoor Ed was held when I was in 6th grade as well.

So why, being the noncampy college girl that I am, was I returning to Summit Lake to participate in a middle-school excursion? Long story short, Mom and Dad will be getting on a jet plane tomorrow morning to go visit my mom's family for a few days, so Mom can't chaperone at Outdoor Ed this year. I am going in her place.

We had about a half-hour before the buses pulled up with the kids, so Mom and I got to know some of the other parent volunteers. I don't remember any of their names, just their ages. That was the topic of conversation. They basically just went around in a circle, alternately admitting their ages and rushing to assure the others that they couldn't possibly be that old because they looked so great. They reminisced about the days when 40 seemed soooo old. They giggled at their naivety. They glanced sideways at me, and smiled (not unkindly) at my youth. Then they shared their nervousness, eagerness, and / or apathetic-ness about becoming a grandmother soon. Rain started lazily falling at some point in this riveting conversation, and as I pulled on a musty-smelling, bright red poncho, I knew it was going to be an interesting day.

The kids had been divided into 16 groups (A-P) and lined up in their groups at Camp Central right after arriving. Mr. Fairbanks took the microphone and a hush fell over the room. Glowering around the room, he began listing off his expectations for how the kids would behave over the next few days.

"Some of you may have noticed an extra sign. Is anyone here in Group Q? Raise your hand if you're in Group Q." No one raised their hands. "Hmmm, that's funny," he said, not a trace of a smile in his voice. "Some of you are going to be in Group Q by the end of the week. Mr. Yetter, do you want to tell these 6th graders about Group Q?"

Mr. Yetter is Mr. Fairbank's right-hand man. Sometimes, I can't tell who is talking on the microphone unless I peek, because they even sound similar. Mr. Yetter took the microphone and verified what we had all already guessed: Group Q was where the students who misbehaved went. They didn't get to go to activities. They lost their privileges. They wouldn't get to go to the dance. I was afraid they would be forced to sleep outside, but the teachers didn't go that far.

After Mr. Fairbanks was satisfied that Mr. Yetter had put the fear of God in the students with all his talk about the ominous Group Q, he took back the microphone and addressed the issue of the rain.

"This stuff coming out of the sky right now, that's just liquid sunshine. And you're gonna discover over the next few days that your teachers are a little bit....crazy. We ignore that stuff. Until it gets dangerous. Right now it is not dangerous. So it is full speed ahead with our activities."

Looking around the room, Mr. Fairbanks couldn't resist throwing in this final warning, "There will be no running when I call your group. If you want to run, you can just....run home, because we do not want someone slipping and falling and getting hurt within an hour of our arrival. You do that on your own time."

And with that, he dismissed the groups one at a time for lunch.

Jacob's first activity (after lunch) was canoeing. We schlepped through the rain down to the gazebo, ponchos up, avoiding the puddles as much as we could. Mr. Mike, a biologist and canoeing enthusiast, was our instructor for the activity.

Here are a few highlights from Mr. Mike's talk:

"There is no such thing as bad weather, only unprepared people." (I disagree....I have seen lots of bad weather days in my life.)

"There's two things you need to leave here with: respect and consideration."

"Take a green life jacket if you weigh 100 lbs or more. Otherwise, take a red life jacket." (Everyone scrambles to grab a green life jacket, proudly proclaiming that they are way too big for a red life jacket. I end up with a red life jacket.)

"There's a right way to get in the boat and there's a wet way."

"Are you nervous?" (to a girl who kept squeaking and omg-ing as she sat down in her canoe) "That's alright. You don't need to be nervous. There used to be alligators in this lake, but we haven't seen them in a while. We think the crocodiles ate 'em all. Okay, have fun!"

(Seeing Jacob and I partnered up together) "I like when I see co-ed teams like this. You know why boys are scared of girls? Cooties. You know why girls are scared of boys?.....Babies."

Thankfully, the rain stopped just as Mr. Mike was finishing up his talk. Jacob and I had a great time rowing around and trying to run into other boats, but for some reason, everyone was too afraid to race us.

After canoeing, we went to our second activity: the nature hike. This was also a fun activity, but my favorite part was listening to all the funny conversations happening among the middle schoolers.

Girl 1: Why did you wear those nice shoes here? Didn't you know we were going into na-ture?
Girl 2: Ok! Let me tell you why. This morning, I just wasn't really thinking and....my parents. My parents were rushing me. So I just put them on, ok?
Girl 1: (nods sympathetically) Parents.
Girl 2: Yeah, why do they always ruin everything?

Girl: Why are we doing this? There's no path. This is dangerous!
Mom: Oh, it's not dangerous! We're all sticking together.
Girl: ....well, it's still hard!
Mom: You can do hard things.
Girl: No I can't! I can't do hard things! (voice rising in hysteria) I can't.....
Mom: Yes you can. (pushing her gently toward another parent) Oh, brother....

Girl: AH. What was that?? Did you hear that sound? Ugh. I have to get out of here.
Boy: (singing) You're not my girlfriend.....anymore.....

This boy was my favorite. He continued singing this until we got back to Camp Central. I just love middle-school relationships.

From there, we all reconvened at Camp Central for some fun activities. My favorite was the "Knock your Block off" competition. There were two competitors who put on suits like these:


The object of the competition is to knock the other persons "block" (head) off. We watched a couple rounds and it was so hilarious. Note to middle school boys: if you want girls to like you, win the knock-your-block-off competition. When a champion was named after the first round, the winner and the loser took off their suits and rejoined their classmates. The winner was greeted with thunderous applause from his section, and several girls jumping up to high-five and congratulate him. I can only imagine the conversation those girls will be having tonight in their cabin.

"Ohmygosh, did you see how he knocked that other kid's block off today??"
"He is soooo dreamy."
"I think we're gonna dance together at the dance tomorrow!" *Squeals all around*

And what if it was the same boy from the hike today?

"Too bad he's Sasha's boyfriend."
"No! I heard he broke up with her on the nature hike today!"
"I am so dancing with him tomorrow!!"

At this point, Mom and I had to go home. Tomorrow I will be returning to the wilderness for more adventures with the middle schoolers. My only disappointment is that I'm leaving before the dance. And I was really actually looking forward to watching that little spectacle of middle school awkwardness.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Current Events in the Connor Home

I would like to transcribe, as close to the truth as I can remember it, the conversation at our dinner table tonight, starting after the prayer over the food.

Dad: Alright, Sarah I know you had your eyes open for the prayer, so you are going to get served last.

Sarah: (Moan of disappointment).

Dad reached across the table and pulled the lasagna away from Sarah, placing it in front of himself. Suddenly his motives for punishing Sarah became all too clear. I reached across the table and pulled the lasagna away from him. Sometimes exacting justice becomes the duty of average citizens. I served myself and then passed it along to neither Sarah or Dad.

Joseph: I have been finding a lot of nibbled-on cheese sticks all around the house. And I don't, like, it.

Dad: (eyes bugging) Yes! Do you know who's doing that? (points accusingly at Sarah.)

Sarah: What!

Dad: Sarah, let me ask you something. Who is the one who takes a bite of an apple and then leaves it there?

Joseph: And, who took two bowls of macaroni and cheese and only ate half of one?

Sarah: (looks guiltily at her plate).

Jacob: And who eats all the Jasmine rice?

Sarah: ....that was you, Jacob!

Jacob: Oh. Yeah.

Dad: I have a solution for this. From now on, Sarah, you are only allowed to eat at mealtimes. No snacks for you!

Sarah's mouth dropped open in shock.

Mom: You know, Sarah did something really nice today.

She went on to tell a story about a conversation Sarah had on the phone with one of her friends. She had told her all about FHE and how our family does it. At this point in the story, everyone else had been served, so Sarah was allowed to get her lasagna.

Dad: (interrupting Mom) Hey hey Sarah!

Sarah: I know, Dad!

Dad: Only get how much you're going to eat.

Mom: .....So then, Sarah asked if we could invite her friends over for FHE and I said we could one time.

Sarah sat there, beaming. Finally, someone was saying something nice about her.

Joseph and Jacob: What!! No! (Cries of outrage.)

Mom: I think that was really nice.....

Joseph: Mom, NO. They are not going to invade our house again. They are always over here! They like, lived here last year!

Dad: Sarah, I have another thing I need to talk to you about. I think it's fine that your friends want to call you and talk to you. And I think that's nice that you talk to them on the phone. But I am not going to be your little answering service.

Sarah: Why is everyone being so mean to me tonight??

Dad: No one's being mean to you!

Sarah: No snacks, no friends, no phone calls.....

Mom (anxious to say something positive about Sarah): I think that was a really nice thing that Sarah did tonight. We can just have her friends over while you guys are at, Scout Camp. Or something.

Dad (anxious that his point has not been driven home): Ok! That's fine! But for now on, I'm not going to answer that phone anymore. When it rings, and someone's calling on that 2nd line, I'm going to let it ring. (Five more minutes of that. Mom finally cut him off.)

Joseph (for some reason trying to keep this conversation going): But! What if it's a stranger and they come and kill me?

Mom: Awesome.

Heather: All the better.

Mom: How about, everyone says something that they learned today.

Jacob: I learned, that I was constipated today.

Disgusted looks in his direction.

Sarah: What's constipated?

Heather: Do you want to know?

Sarah: Ooooh.....no.

Dad: Alright now, I learned something today. Do you guys know what a current is?

A few people made some feeble guesses. Distraction quickly prevailed. I have no idea what Dad said next; it was something about electric currents. I started listening again when he said,

Dad: So, for the next 24 hours, no one in this house is going to use anything that requires electricity.

Mom looked at him sideways, quickly decided that this wasn't something that needed to be taken seriously, and went back to eating.

Julie: What! Dad!

Her voice strained as she listed off the things that she had to do in the next 24 hours that would require electricity. She alone seemed affected by this declaration. Everyone else continued eating in a distracted silence, having already decided that Dad wouldn't enforce his decision for even a half-hour. Maybe in a few months or years, when he'd had time to think it over, he would, but for now, it was an idle threat. Dad grinned, interpreting our quiet as tacit compliance.

Dad: Until you know what a current is. If you can come to me and tell me what a current is, you can use electricity.

He listed off two other words, but I can't remember what those were either. Julie argued with him a little bit more, just enough so that he felt powerful, but not so much that he got angry and really turned off the electricity.

Mom: Alright, can we go over the calendar?

Dad, who seconds before had been thrilled with the feeling of authority he had been building up all dinner, must have realized that going over the calendar would push him right off his new throne. He glanced around restlessly, looking for another mandate he could issue. The perfect opportunity was right at the end of the table, where Julie, who had just gotten up from a nap before dinner, was pushing uneaten hamburger meat around her plate.

Dad: Julie, you have to eat that. It's good stuff.

Julie's head snapped up, her eyes enraged.

Julie: Dad! I don't. Like. Hamburger meat!!!

Mom: Julie, can you go get the calendar.

Julie got the calendar. We made it through about a week and then everything dissolved again. Nothing can clear a room at our house faster than the promise of productivity, and we were whizzing through the calendar. By Saturday, May 21, the children had scattered.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Virginia is for Lovers

So here I am, hanging out with the Saunders at Virginia Beach, and I just realized something. Literally, the realization came upon me 20 seconds ago.

I don't want to be a tourist. I want to live places. I think I've always been that way. I don't want to visit Florida and take a trip to Disney World, I want to live in Florida and work at Disney World. I don't want to visit Utah for General Conference, I want to live in Utah and study at BYU. I don't want to come home for a few days every summer, I want to live in Maryland for a few weeks and then go back to my other home in Utah.

I want a house in Jamaica! I want to wake up and see the Eiffel Tower outside my window! (Actually wait. I'm not sure if I want to do that. Maybe France is the exception and I just want to visit there, get my picture in front of the tower, and get out. To continue.....) I want to live 10 minutes from the beach! I want to live in a great big Pride and Prejudice-esque house in England and I want to learn how to drive on the wrong side of the road and I want to pick up an accent!

I want to be a local everywhere I go! I don't like vacations. I just like living.

.........And I don't like boys either. Except this one. Actually three.

Monday, May 9, 2011

How to Get a Date, Mormon Style.

Step 1. Be single.

Step 2. Make a passing comment to your sister or brother or mom about an unfamiliar face in church that belongs to a boy who might be about your age.

Step 3. Do nothing.

I'm serious. If you have followed steps 1 and 2 correctly, everything else will follow. Are you a little confused by the vagueness of the instructions in step 2? Don't fret. They are vague because it really doesn't matter what you say. As long as you do not give the impression that you were thoroughly disgusted by the newcomer, you have done all you need to do.

Here are a few examples of some things you might consider saying:

"Did you see that new boy sitting with the [insert family name here]s? I wonder where he's from."

or, "The boy across the aisle from us has kind of a long nose."

or, "That is a real nice tie that boy on the stand is wearing."

or, "Hmmm. I've never seen him before."

After you have performed this task, someone else will take over. Maybe it will be the lady with whom you team-teach in primary. Perhaps it will be the sister in your ward who once gave your mother a KitchenAid. Or the Young Women's leader who runs half-marathons every year for her birthday. And then again, it could be your own mother, in a burst of motherliness such as she deems appropriate for such a day as Mother's Day.

All I'm saying is, you can never be too careful. The sisters in the Relief Society love a good matchmaking sesh and they are an excellent team. Everyone knows everyone else, and everyone knows someone who is talented in just the right way or knows just the right piece of information about someone else. These ladies know who to direct their questions to. They know the numbers to call.

Don't worry if you suddenly discover that your Friday has been planned out for you. You can rest assured that the ladies of the Relief Society would never pair you up with an ineligible suitor. (At least not intentionally.)

You also shouldn't worry if your reputation precedes you, and suddenly you learn that you are not so humdrum as you may have thought. You may have been glorified a little bit in the matchmaking process. That's okay. Embrace it. So now you golf professionally? How nice! You are so crafty that everyone else agrees that you ought to open your own boutique? Well, why not. While you are busy with that, go ahead and congratulate yourself on your performance in the recent spelling bee. You world traveler, you.

PS. I just accidentally bought 3 new pairs of shoes, 2 pairs of boots for the winter and some canvas boat shoes for the summer. WAIT. I promise I haven't forgotten everything I learned from reading the Frugalista Files. The boots were on sale! And I got free shipping! And altogether, it only cost $54.40. What whatttt :)

It doesn't matter. Put your shirt down.

Things I love about being home:

1. sitting next to Dad when the primary kids sing in church

2. talking and playing and studying and laughing with Julie...she is so funny!

3. snuggling with Sarah

4. borrowing the brothers hoodies

5. making dinner with real ingredients

6. Mommy taking care of me when I'm sick

7. going to nursery and primary instead of Sunday School

8. being tanner than everybody else.....this has never ever ever happened!

9. getting paid $50 for the inconvenience of showing up at NIH only to be sent home because of a mishap with the scheduling

10. having this happen twice in three days, whatttt?? :)

I love Utah, and I am excited to go back in a few weeks. I LOVE Florida, and I miss it like crazy. Whenever I go back to school, I feel like I'm going home, and if I went to visit my friends in Florida, I would know how to get places and I wouldn't feel like a total tourist. But even though I don't necessarily want to settle down here, Maryland will always be my home home. I mean, I was born and raised here, so it seems only natural.

I love that first glimpse I get of Baltimore when I'm flying home at night, that glow of city lights. I love the trees along the highway and I love the racecar exit off of 29 on the way to the mall. I love JoJo and Reagan, and Cane, and even Delilah and Bob Delmont. I love Rita's.....is it bad that I've already gone three times? I love NIH. I love the valet parkers and the OP4 nurses and the MRI technicians.

Home is just so....homey. I'm a pretty adaptable person, so I can be happy and comfortable pretty much anywhere. Besides, I love new places and I get a little restless when I'm home for too long, but I'm so grateful that I have such a place as this where I can stop in every 4 months and recharge.