Tag Archives: family


13 Jan

It’s that time of year. The time where we all reflect on the past year and look ahead at what’s to come. 2011 was just the way I like it–lots of travel and many strange and wonderful experiences.

I enjoyed 6 weeks of vacation. I visited four countries and saw 6 states. I crossed the US border 9 times. I took 6 plane rides. I drove from SLC to Vancouver three times and  up the  California coast from San Diego to Sacramento. I visited great friends and had great friends come visit me. I rode a bike in the Netherlands and didn’t die. I went punting down a canal in England and was actually good at it. I drank cactus beer in Belgium. I became an immigrant.

I moved twice and spent the summer with the greatest roommates I’ve ever had.

I started two book clubs, each with moderate success.

I applied to, got accepted to and started graduate school. I got 1/4 of the way closer to becoming a librarian and found out I actually like it. I also discovered I might even be good at it.

I posted 45 times on this blog.

I spent my first Thanksgiving away from home. I made a turkey for the first time and enjoyed the holiday in October and November.

I ate the greatest hamburger in the world, made the best french onion soup, tried poutine, learned to make sushi, and discovered Tim Tams and Coffee Crisp.

I learned to share my twin sister and was truly happy for her on her wedding day. I gained two wonderful brothers-in-law and two amazing step-nephews.

I took out my first student loans.

I attended my first black-tie event and was grateful that my mom taught me good enough manners to blend in reasonably well.

I was pulled over for the first time and got my first speeding ticket.

I was rehired and quit my job at the law firm for (hopefully) the last time.

I went from being an animal hater to an animal hater living with a dog and a cat.

Looking back, 2011 was pretty alright. Although I’ve decided not to worry about 2012–I’m pinning all my hopes on 2013 to be my year–here’s hoping that the next 12 months are as interesting as the last. Or at least that the world won’t end.


23 Feb

46. Two of my very best Thailand buddies George and Sean came to visit. George is from England, finishing out his travels in LA, CA, which is where Sean lives. They road-tripped it up to SLC to visit little ol’ me. After a snow storm stopped them for 2 nights in Reno, they made it to SLC. More about their trip in a later post.

47. I got to go see Brian Regan last weekend. One word: HILARIOUS. Even the supremely irritating, demon-laugher next to us couldn’t spoil the fun.

48. Buying reject Milano cookies in bulk at the Pepperidge Farm factory in Logan.

49. On Glee last night the principal announces the Glee Club’s Ke$ha number like this: “Today the Glee Club will be singing Tik and also Tok by K dollar sign Ha.” It killed me.

50. I found this Albert Einstein quote today and I really liked it. He might be the historical person I would hypothetically go back in time and have lunch with.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

51. The Rocky Mountains. Seriously, there is no better view. They are truly stunning. Showing them off to the boys this weekend rekindled my love affair with those beautiful peaks.

52. Pizza at Stoneground restaurant. Always delicious.

53. This new shirt I bought at Down East. Mine is actually a light pink, but I like this one too.

54. I read today that Keanu Reeves gave away $50 million of the money he earned from the Matrix trilogy. It almost makes me overlook his terrible acting.

55. Practical jokes with my family. Whether it be BYU tortilla chips or 57 lawn gnomes, it’s always a good time.

Back in America

11 Nov

I’ve been back in America for a couple of days now, and I think I’m used to it. It’s not really that big of an adjustment, except that I can’t stop using Thai phrases like “chai” “ok mai?” and “mai pen rai.” My time away, and now returning home, has made me appreciate all that I’ve missed about America and so much that I already miss about Thailand.

Stuff I love about America

  • I can be as loud as I want without people staring at me
  • I’m not freakishly tall
  • Not having to rely on Mirror’s sketchy (at best)  internet connection to talk to my family
  • Evesdropping on other peoples’ conversations whenever I want
  • My friends
  • Clean bathrooms, hot showers and flushing toilets
  • Milk that doesn’t taste weird
  • Crunchy snacks .Nothing in Thailand is crunchy. I don’t know if it’s the humidity or what, but you can’t ever get that satisfying crunch of a potato chip or cracker there.
  • American television. Well, television at all really.

Stuff I already miss about Thailand

  • My friends
  • Feeling like I was helping people every day
  • Sweetened condensed milk on EVERYTHING (i.e. topping for roti, inside ice cream bars, in coffee, etc)
  • Rice. Strangly enough I really miss rice. Along with this goes all the delicious Thai food that comes with rice. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for some ga pao gai from the lady next to P’Noi’s shop…
  • Eating with spoons. I am fork retarded these days.
  • How friendly people are. I have not been wai-ed or bowed to once since I’ve been home.
  • Not having to worry about not having a job. Yeah, that was really nice.
  • How cheap everything was. Stuff in America is pang maak!
  • Taking your shoes off everywhere you go.

There could be a million more things on each of those lists, but I’ll keep them brief. I guess my point is that although Thailand was an amazing and a  fondly cherished part of my life (and I already miss it intensely), I am excited and happy to be home and figuring out what the next amazing part of my life is going to be. I’ve been so lucky this far in my life to experience so much, and I think my best adventures are still to come.

Wowza, it’s been a while

26 Sep

Well, since Molly came (and for a few weeks before that) I’ve been too busy to update. Mostly I’m too lazy to upload pictures and there’s just too much to write about. So I’ll give you a little synopsis. Molly and I had an AMAZING time. I know it’s cheesy, but I would have been happy to sit in a hotel and snuggle with her. Ok, that sounds weird. It’s just been lonely without her. The kind of loneliness that you don’t realize you have until it stops. Anyway, I dropped her off safe and sound at the airport around 4:00 this morning and it felt weird, again, to sleep alone. I’m sad to have her gone, but it was totally worth it to see her.

Here’s a brief rundown of our trip. We spent the first weekend in Chiang Rai, hanging out with the other volunteers. Molly got to come teach with me at the Buddhist temple and the monk taught us how to meditate. Molly got to have the full Mirror experience and then we headed off to Chiang Mai where we did tons of tourist-y things: cooking class, white water rafting, elephant riding, riding the river on bamboo rafts, temples and more temples. A bunch of volunteers met us that weekend and we partied the night away. We shopped, danced and enjoyed (very) early morning kababs and roti with condensed milk. Side note: America, can we please adopt the kabab as our preferred late night snack? Seriously, I don’t think anything in the world tastes as amazing at 3:00 am.

After Chiang Mai we took the bus to Cha-am beach in Hua Hin where we spend 3 totally useless and lazy days soaking up the sun. It was well worth the money we paid to stay at a nice place (considering we hardly left the property). Thanks to the Courtyard Marriott we had (what seemed like) the most comfortable beds in Asia, a huge tv to watch our pirated DVDs, a beautiful pool, an empty beach that was steps away, and delicious food. It was even worth the heart attack inducing 500 baht I paid for sunscreen.

We then traveled back up to Bangkok, where I must say, I was really a party pooper. I’ve had a cough for over 2 weeks now that finally developed into a full blown sickness. I spent nearly one entire day in our hotel room sleeping. Molly was amazing and kept me supplied with subway sandwiches, water and my favorite milk cookies. We managed to do some shopping, massage getting and sightseeing. The grand palace is less enjoyable this time because of the rain, but it was still beautiful. And the endless supply of all night pad thai can’t be beat.

Tomorrow I join two other volunteers to travel for another week and then it’s back to Mirror. Even with all the fun I’ve been having, I really miss volunteering. I miss my bed at Mirror, seeing the kids, and especially the other volunteers. I’m more happy than ever that I decided to stay an extra 6 weeks. I’m just not ready to be done yet.

More updates (hopefully with pictures this time) soon to come. Love and miss you all!

And he’s ok

14 Jun

So I realized that my last post was quite ominous. Turn’s out Gav’s ok. He went from the ICU to home in 24 hours. They think he was bleeding from the site where they took a biopsy from his colon, but it’s stopped and everything’s all good.

In other news, I had a graduation party on Saturday. Thanks to everyone who could make it. It was fun to get together — even though we had to nix the lawn games on account of the rain. I think I’ve been asked about a thousand times how it feels to be done with school. To answer, it doesn’t really feel much different. I’ve taken every summer off before this, so it feels natural not to be in school. When I get back from Thailand I’ll be applying to grad school (which is nearly as bad as going to school). I’m not sure when it’s really going to sink in. Maybe it never will because I have another few years of college on the horizon.
Graduation itself was pretty lackluster. Long and boring actually. Scratch that. Very long and very boring. But my family all came to support me, which is why I love them so much. I appreciated it an extra lot because there had been so much family drama that week. Gav was in the hospital and my grandmother died. Then I had graduation and Angela’s wedding that weekend. Lots to do in a very short amount of time.
Ange’s wedding was amazing. The rain stopped just in time for the reception. I was amazed at how many people showed up in 40s clothes. It really set the stage for an awesome night. Now that they’re married things don’t really feel any different (which is a good thing). I’m glad to have married friends that aren’t going to disappear after the wedding.
Aside from all that, all I’ve been doing is working, trying to study for the GRE and having all kinds of fun before I leave. The fam’s going camping this weekend, so I can check that off my list of things to do. Other list items include: going to Lagoon, having a bbq, acing the GRE, eating an Apollo burger and fries, cleaning my room, getting a blueberry and coconut snowcone from Bob’s Brainfreeze, hot tubbing, watching fireworks, finishing dad’s company website and going out for sushi.

I posted too soon

9 Jun

Gavin is back in the hospital. My parents took him in last night because he was bleeding internally. His blood pressure was 46/40 when he got there. He’s in the ICU right now. They are going to do another colonoscopy to try to figure out what’s bleeding. Not much to report yet, but we’re hoping everything is ok.

Update on Gavin

7 Jun

Hey everyone, since I’ve gotten so many questions about how Gavin’s doing, I figured I’d better post an update.
He’s doing MUCH better. He didn’t have that colon disease that they were so worried about. They think he probably just had some sort of infection that enlarged his colon. The tests did show that he has something called Barrett’s esophagus: bleeding ulcers in your esophagus. It’s easily treated with medication, but it’s a good thing they caught it because untreated it can be really malignant.
Anyway, they are treating him with a bunch of medications to try to calm down his irritated colon and to treat the Barrett’s. In the meantime, he’s feeling about a zillion times better. When I heard him cheering at the Wii I knew he was getting back to his old self.
Thanks for all your thoughts. I’ll keep you posted if anything changes.