The world is your oyster!: December 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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Saturday, December 31, 2011

It Ain't the End of the World

Every year on NYE, the family goes out to eat at Hunan Manor. It is our favorite Chinese restaurant and one of our favorite traditions.

Here's the conversation we had on the car ride over to the restaurant:

Mom: Let's go around and have everyone say something they are going to do to demonstrate good manners at the restaurant.

me: The boys will get our chairs. Just kidding. I will put my napkin on my lap.

Nicole: That was MINE!

me: Pick again.

Sarah: I will not burp, or fart, at the table. I will leave to go to the bathroom to fart.

Nicole: I will not yell at Heather when she undoubtedly ruins my evening. Just kidding. I will only speak Mandarin to the Mandarin waiters. They are important, too!

Kelly: I will try not to snap at anyone.

Julie: I will drink with my pinkie off to the side.

Dad: Okay, now. This is for everyone. Not just directed at you, Joseph.

Joseph:.....okay?

Dad: There will be no eating with your mouth full of food. Or half-full!

Dahl: I will say please and thank you.

Everyone immediately began praising him and started singing, "When you want the butter, say please pass the butter. Manners, are never out of styyyyyle!"

Kelly: No one can sing it right!!!

Dad: I hope I will not have to remind anyone about things like singing at the table.

And you know what? He didn't. We were perfectly well-mannered. And the food was delicious. And we were all happy about that. And this was probably the best New Years' Eve I have had in 6 years.

Hulloooo, 2012! :)

Afraid of the Red Man

The other night, we watched "Captain America." Then it was time for bed. I am sleeping in Nicole's trundle during this break, and when I got up to her room, I was sad to see that there was just a sheet on my bed :(

I sniffled. "Nicole?" I said.

"Yes, Heather."

"I'm just wondering if you know where my quilt is," I said meekly.

She informed me that I had left it downstairs. I balked. I hate going to the basement all alone!

"Why don't you just go down and get it?" said Nicole insensitively.

I sighed and pulled my sheet up under my chin. "Brrr," I said pointedly.

No response. I began to panic. My mom has been known to set the thermostat at 62* in the wintertime! I had to do something or I would surely freeze!

"Nicooool?"

"Heather! Why don't you just go get it?" Nicole suggested.

"I can't," I said in despair.

"Heather," Nicole said kindly. "Are you afraid of the red man?"

For those who haven't seen it, the badguy in Captain America is bright red and pulls his own face off at one point, and he looks like Darth Mal and Voldemort had a baby.

I was not afraid of the red man. But I said, "Ye-es. So, Nicole, would you pleeeease go downstairs with me to get my quilt? I'm so afraid!"

Nicole went on to explain why I shouldn't be afraid of the red man. I sighed dramatically. I told her she was right. I hunkered down in my thin sheet.

"So you can go by yourself," Nicole finished cheerfully.

I assured her it was fine. I shivered a little for effect. And just when I thought my snot would turn into icicles, Nicole (or Super-Nico, as she is affectionately called) got out of bed, sniffed in annoyance, and went downstairs.

I felt very grateful as I listened to her steps go down the stairs. What a wonderful sister! She was so thoughtful and kind all the time!

I heard silence and I knew she was going downstairs even further, to the basement. I began to feel a little triumphant. Nicole was the best, but I was just as awesome! I had persuaded her to get my quilt! Maybe I was a little obnoxious. Some people might even say I had been annoying. But now I was going to get my quilt. And I was going to be toasty warm. And I didn't have to go downstairs to get it all by myself.

My life was looking pretty darn charmed.

But then, Nicole got back upstairs. She stood at the head of my bed. I saw in her arms a pile that was unmistakably my quilt. I felt so happy and content in that moment.

And then she threw that quilt down on my face. And I think it broke my nose. And my nose looked like this.

Or maybe this. (The one on the left).

And now I'm worried that one day, it will look like this.


So the moral of this story is. You should really just get your own blankets from the basement, even if you are a lazy terd. Because if you don't, you might turn into Michael Jackson when a kind deed turns mean on accident.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

You might be in the Connor home if....

-All of your clothes are suddenly covered in birdseed.

-You wake up to find that your suitcases have been opened and rummaged through and borrowed from.

-The 17-yr-old is wearing the 9-yr-old's boots.

-The 9-yr-old is wearing the 21-yr-old's dress.

-"Mr. Grinch" counts as Sunday music.

-Rita's counts as it's own food group.


-Saying "chum chum" is acceptable if you forget the lyrics to any song.

-Your life could be a musical.

-Winnie is revered and Steve Johnson is forgotten.

-Your siblings are compared to happy porcupines when they sing.

-Someone is giving someone else a wedgie.

-There is a shrine for Philip Johnson on the fridge.

-There are 4 bathrooms and that is NOT ENOUGH


-Someone is wearing a hoodie as pants.

-Getting up to turn off the hall light is way too hard. Yelling for 10 minutes for Nicole to do it is a much more reasonable situation.

-There is only one mature adult figure present at any given time. They may or may not be you.

-"We're leaving at 12:30" means "We're leaving at 12:15" means that we leave at 12:45.

-You hear "Coming Home" 3,158 times a day.

-And you are not happy about it.

-The real meaning of Christmas is VENgeance!

-Three people sleep in one bed. One person gets 90% of the blankets.

Is there any mystery left as to why I love coming home? :)

Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam

When I go to my home ward, I typically try to avoid big kid meetings as much as possible. Instead, I like to spend all of my time helping out in Primary!


I walked into the Primary room today and was greeted with a huge hug from the Sunbeams teacher, Sister Henderson. I was her unofficial teacher helper in the summertime and I absolutely love this lady. But even if she was terribly annoying or rude in any way, Primary would still be a highlight of my visit. I never fail to be entertained and enlightened.


Here's what happened this week:


Prayer: Someone stood at the front and gave the prayer. I didn't hear it. I did hear: "Sarah, put your dress down. All the way down." In a whisper voice, "Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. STOP! Turn around." From in front of me, "She's my favorite toy ever!" From across the room, "Big deal, I can pray, too." And, when the prayer was over, "A.....me-e-e-e-e-e-en!" sung quite beautifully.


Singing time. The children learned that it is better to give than to receive. The chorister had one child come to the front and pick a random present out of her bag. (They were small things, like a baseball, a cookie cutter, a cool plate, etc.) The child then wrapped the gift in a yellow napkin and tied a yellow ribbon on it. That child's teacher then went out into the hall and pulled in a random person who was just standing out there. The unsuspecting hallstander would come in and stand at the front of the room. All of the children then sang a verse of a Christmas song to the hallstander, the child presented them with the gift, and everyone wished them a Merry Christmas. Random gifting is so fun!


Bishopric Message. One of the counselors in the bishopric came in and told a shortened version of the story of Christ's birth. At one point, he said "They said that Jesus was going to come -" "Jesus is going to come??" There was silence. An abrupt, Shhh! And the Second Counselor continued uncertainly, "Mmmm.....they said that Jesus was going to come."


Closer to the end of his message, the Second Counselor said, "We need to be prepared for the Second Coming of Christ." A child in CTR 6 indignantly interrupted him with, "No, the third! He already came and came again, so it'll be the third. I thinkkk so." The Second Counselor shifted and laughed a little uncomfortably. "Um, so, we need to ready for when Jesus comes again," he clarified.


Classtime. After all of this, we split up into class. In Sunbeams, we read a Christmas story, set up a Nativity, and made gingerbread houses. You know I was happy about all of those things.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pockets can be Hazardous

And in some cases, they can be downright malicious. How, you might be wondering?

This morning, I had a final at 8:30. Jacob txtd me at about 8:15 to make sure I was awake. He said, "Did you wake up?"

Rhett and Aimee drove me to school today in Rhett's dad's beautiful beautiful beautiful truck. I started to txt Jacob back while I was in the car. I was actually running a little late this morning so I didn't have a lot of time to get ready, so I said, "Yes! I am gross this morning :/ did -"

I meant to say, "Did you wake up in time for work?" but we got to campus right then, so I had to close my phone and put it in my pocket and get my stuff and get of the beautiful truck. I figured I would finish the txt later, when I wouldn't be in danger of losing my hands to frostbite.

I got to my classroom just in time to take my final and completely forgot about finishing the txt to Jacob. When I got out of my final, I saw that I had a new txt from Jacob. It said, "On that note, I just walked into the break room with the food stuff and some dude ripped a fart! 60 yr old bald guy."

I thought: Jacob is in 3rd grade. Then I thought, Oh well. I can humor him. So I replied really nicely in a way that showed I accept his fart humor.

Then I thought, On what note? I looked back in my txts and realized I had missed one. It was from Jacob, and it said: "You pooped?"

I thought: Okay, there is a line! Why is he asking me if I pooped??

I looked back through my txts from the whole day. Apparently, my pocket helpfully finished my txt from this morning and sent it on its merry way. The txt that Jacob got said: "Yes! I am gross this morning :/ did P000000"

And that is why you really need to be careful when pairing phones with pockets.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

EXTREME

A lot of people, when they want to be bangin' like a speaker box, will resort to extreme measures. We are always hearing about extreme diets and extreme exercise routines and how dangerous they are. I am not an extremist. I stay FAR away from these extremes!

Here is my diet: I only eat food that I want to eat. I am okay with wasting food if it is disgusting. Why would I stuff myself full of nasty calories when I could just eat delicious calories?! I used to pick around around my food, eating the worst bites first and saving the best parts for last. But now, I start with the best bites and if I am still hungry by the time I get to the not-as-good bites, then I will eat them. Otherwise, I will throw them out. That's not too extreme, is it?

Here is my exercise routine: Occasionally do ab-strengthening, core-strengthening, and body-toning exercises for 20 mins with Aimee at home. Walk to campus every day. Walk home from campus every day. Walk up and down stairs. Um....yep, that's about it.

But this week, I did get a little extreme. Aimee, her fiance Rhett, and I - we all got a little extreme. We signed up for 7-day trial memberships at Gold's Gym. To get our ($0) money's worth, we are determined to go every day this week! After getting some marriage advice from a condescending, bald smoker named Otis who had been married 3 times, we were able to get started.

In Florida, there was a fitness center by my apartment, and I would sometimes go there and run on the treadmill. (I'm using the term "run" very loosely here.) Compared to that place that only had 3 treadmills, Gold's Gym in Provo is EXTREME! When I walked in, I was immediately intimidated by all the machines that resemble guillotines. I was less intimidated by all the super-serious worker-outers running on treadmills, so Aimee and I headed for the movie room.

The movie room is EXTREME! and kind of dangerous. There are a bunch of exercise bikes, treadmills, and stair-steppers all facing a big screen. The lights are turned so low that you can't read the buttons on the treadmill. Even worse, you can't always tell how close you are to the other machines until you almost get taken out by one of the stair-steppers.

But even with all these hazards, I like working out in the movie room, because I don't compare myself to as many people. When I'm in the main treadmill room, with normal lighting, I compare myself to everyone else in the room. I can't do that in the movie room because I can only see, like, three other people. Everyone else gets swallowed up in the darkness.

When I am running, my music has to be a little extreme. Just a lowercase kind of extreme. I also have to listen to happy music. Angry music doesn't motivate me as well as happy music does. I have to listen to my funnest, most upbeat songs. They have to make me want to run SO bad or else I'll just settle for a 3.5 mph speed-walk. That is not extreme.

Not only does my music have to make me want to run, but it also has to make me want to dance! I don't know if anyone notices in the dark abyss that is the movie room, but I zigzag across the treadmill as I run. I constantly change the speed so I can step in time with the beat. I almost fall off at least twice every workout. I find myself running into the handlebar in front of me. I accidentally step one foot off the treadmill and my hands fly to the bars on either side of me, clinging to them frantically as I regain my footing. It's an adventure, to say the least.

As I run, I like to set goals for myself. Setting goals is awesome! But it is not as awesome if your goals change every minute. My goals change every minute. I'll think, I just need to keep up this pace until I get to 15 minutes. Then I'll think, Actually. I don't have to run that long if I can reach 100 calories burned before then. Then I'll think, Okay. I'm not allowed to walk during the chorus of this song. Or, I'm almost to 1 mile! When I get to a mile, I'm allowed to take a little walk break. You get the idea.

Unfortunately, listening to so many extreme songs and working out in such an EXTREME environment with EXTREME lighting is only fun for a little bit. Aimee and I are tired of running. We are proud of Rhett and Jacob for having gym passes, but we will not be signing up. We'll just stick to Bikini Body for now, thanks.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cutting Corners

I don't know if I've ever mentioned how much I love the sun (1, 2, 3 times at least) but let me just reiterate: I love the sun. I do not like it when I leave work at 6 and it's already completely gone down for the night.

It also hurts my feelings that Provo is apparently participating in the Great Freeze-out of 2011. Last night, I went to see the Zoolights at the Hogle Zoo with Jacob, Kelly and Dahl. I was wearing a ten-ta, a long-sleeved shirt, a fleece jacket, my blue pea coat, a huge big beige marshmallow coat, and gloves. I ran through the zoo, dashing from one heater to the next. I spent my time in the Reptile House thawing out. I was a little bit cold, and I feel like that's weird since I was wearing so many clothes.

Today, I left the Writing Center. It was 26* outside. The sun was gone. I walked through the barren wasteland that our campus has turned into, darting into buildings whenever I could to cut a jagged (but slightly warmer) path home. I left one building and crossed the sidewalk. I was about to step onto the frosted mulch when something stopped me.

"Cougars don't cut corners," trilled a self-righteous voice in my head. I started to turn, intending to follow the sidewalk instead of cutting across the grass. Then, another thought occurred to me. I jerked back around and stepped defiantly on the frozen patch of brown.

"Oh, I'm sorry!" I thought snappishly. "Was something about to grow here? Did I ruin a poor defenseless flower's lifelong dream of growing up in the Ice Age?"

I'm not the only one who's being affected by the drop in temperature, either. Today in the Writing Center, Bryce the Grammar Tutor said to me: "I just tutored the most stressed-out girl ever. She was constantly checking the time, and taking off her glasses and then putting them back on, and just fidgeting and sighing....it was stressing me out just sitting by her!" I thought to myself, Hmmm. I wonder how that would be. I've never tutored someone who was that stressed out. I wonder how I would react? Would I be patient and nice? Or would I get snappy?

Lucky for me, the very next person on the list would have made Bryce's tutee look like Colbie Caillat - the picture of calm and unruffled. Meaning I didn't have long to wait before all of these questions were answered. I would be patient and nice in such a situation! I would have the patience of Job! I would not snap. I would be encouraging throughout the entire thing. I would even invite the drama queen back for more.

This was a boy in desperate need of some Vitamin D. As we talked, he ran his fingers through his hair, dropped his face into his hands, and reassured me multiple times that he hadn't been putting off the paper and it was just a really hard assignment for him. I wanted to tell him that it was a hard assignment because he was trying to write an opinion editorial and his teacher wanted him to write an issues paper, but I honestly thought he was going to cry if I told him that. I suggested he add some statistics to support some of his ideas.

"WHAT!?" he screamed, flipping the desk over. "You want me to bounce on my head all the way to China and back?"

"No," I calmly replied. "I am simply suggesting that you add some support from outside sources. Please, have a seat. Can I get you a cushion? No? Well how about I just write your conclusion?"

Okay so maybe that's not exactly how the conversation went, but you get the idea.

And all because the sun couldn't be bothered to bless us with its kiss for more than 5 hours a day.