Friday, August 17, 2012

Enlightenment is a peach.

The other day at church I was reading my patriarchal blessing.
I do love reading it so.
It always lifts my spirits and reminds me of what an amazing life I have still ahead of me.
I read one particular part that has NEVER stood out to me before.
It described the kind of vocation I would have for myself.
I won't go in to detail, as that is both private and not appropriate to share with the world on this said internet, but it was spot on of what I do at New Haven.
I couldn't help but smile from ear to ear.
It just made me so happy that when I was a 16 year old teenager, Heavenly Father knew the kind of job that would fill me with joy.
How fun.  And cool.

I seriously can't describe how incredible my job is.
I get to see hurt, scared, hopeless girls come in and strong, healed, lovable girls come out.
One of the girls I am particularly close to is graduating from the program on Wednesday.
I thought I was doing ok with it, but I realized while driving home and thinking about her leaving, that I'm really not ok.  So I just cried.  And cried some more.
I will miss her little British self so.

I start up a new post alllll about my job quite frequently because I want y'all to know in detail what I do, but it overwhelms me.
It is ridiculously hard to describe and then for someone to fully understand.
If I ever get around to doing it, it may have to be a mini series. :)

Anywho...those Costco cookies won't eat themselves...


Sunday, August 12, 2012

1 Year Down!

I canNOT even believe one year has come and gone!
Where the heck did life go?!
I guess they say that time flies when you're having fun, which may be the reason that this year has gone by so dang fast!
Because Alex and I have too much fun together! :)
Alex really is my bestest of friends and I couldn't imagine marrying anyone better than that man.

Here is what I have learned in this past year about my sweet, sweet husband:
1) When I am feeling down (whether he is the source of it or not) he will NOT stop trying to make me feel better until I actually do feel better.  He is a persistent one.  Which I am so grateful for!  Some husbands would just say I was being a stupid girl and move on until I snapped out of it.
2) I can get a little silly and out of control sometimes.  But whether I'm singing at the top of my lungs or dancing around like an idiot, Alex just looks at me and smiles and says I'm so funny.  That just boosts my confidence to keep being a spaz. :)
3) I rarely play the piano around Alex.  For some reason I get nervous around him and the piano.  I haven't figured out why yet.  Anywho...when he does come home while I'm playing the piano, he comes into the room so he can sit down and listen.
4) In his sleep he hugs me, love pats me, kisses me, etc.  He always knows I'm right there.  It's seriously one of my favorite things when I wake up in the middle of the night and he does something cute without even knowing he's doing it.
5) He always asks my input in his outfits if we're going to church or some other event.  I like that he trusts my fashion sense and knows I wouldn't let him walk out looking like a goon. :)
6) He compliments my cooking.  That makes me feel good.  Whether he does it so I'll cook more for him or because he wants me to feel good...either way...I'll take it!
7) He gives me blessings any time I ask for one.  Not that he could really say no...but he could complain about how he just gave  me one or how he doesn't feel like it, etc.  But he doesn't.  He just quietly does what he needs to do to give me a blessing from our Heavenly Father.  What a treasure to me for marrying such a worthy man who can give me a blessing 24/7.
8) He's always telling me I look pretty.  It doesn't matter if it's right when I wake up or if I'm all dolled up...that man makes me feel like a million bucks.  (Though I do tend to get more compliments throughout the day when makeup and a good outfit is involved. :) But I really am always amazed when we first wake up and he tells me how beautiful I am.
9) He apologizes when he's wrong.  Even if it might take him a few minutes :) I appreciate him taking responsibility for himself.  It makes things so much easier around here.
10) He takes upon himself the job of making sure we say prayers together, read the scriptures together, and go to the temple together.  (Even if the Olympics have perhaps screwed up our scripture reading time.  Oops.)  I'm so grateful for his proactivity in our spiritual lives.  I know he'll be an amazing father in that aspect.  (NO...this is NOT a baby announcement!)

I really could go on and on and on about Alex Foster.
But I don't have enough time.
I need to go kiss that sweet man and wake him up to wish him a "Happy Anniversary!"
We're headed to Bear Lake for a couple days and I couldn't be more excited to spend a few days with no one else but my main squeeze.

Happy Anniversary, Alex.
I love you more and more every, single day.
Thank you for being the amazing man that you are and for helping me reach all I am capable of.
Thank you for making me feel like a queen.

I'll leave you with a video I made for him.
I think it's pretty great. :)

video

Monday, August 6, 2012

NYC!

So, here I am (a month later) FINALLY blogging about NYC.
Words cannot even express how fun this vacation was!
But seriously...I don't have enough words to describe how amazing some of the sites are.
I highly recommend going to NYC if you have not been!  I would never want to live there, but it was a blast to visit!
It was great to spend time with my sister-in-law, Brittany, my mother-in-law, Ann, and my niece, Isabelle.  I sure got lucky marrying in to a fun family and I'm grateful I got to know them even better throughout this trip.

The pictures uploaded a little out of order (not sure why), but I picked some of my favorites!

Hudson River Boat Cruise: 
 This cruise took us along the river where on one side you have Manhattan and Jersey on the other.  Seeing the skyline from the water was really cool.  It of course has to takes you by the Statue of Liberty. We got out on the island a few days later, but for now we just cruised by.  It was the most surreal moment seeing it for the first time on this day.  I remember staring up at it and thinking, "Wow...it really does exist."

Breakfast @ Tiffany's:
 One morning before our bike ride, I just HAD to eat breakfast at the Tiffany & Co. on 5th Avenue!  Audrey Hepburn is one of my idols and so this was on my bucket list!  So happy to cross that one off!  A muffin never tasted better. :)

Bike ride in Central Park:
This activity was one of my favorites!  It was so so SO much fun!  Central Park is gigantic!  It's crazy to think that there is one of the largest cities in the world all around you, but you're taken out of it and surrounded by beautiful trees, bridges, benches, birds, boulders, etc.
 While in Central Park I spotted the scene from Home Alone 2 and Elf. :)

Times Square:
 Times Square is a wild place. :) It's the busiest place that we found in New York.  And I'm pretty sure the LAST place I'd want to be on New Year's Eve.  There's tons of people there 24/7, stores, restaurants, and a lot of funny characters.  Like this Naked Cowboy for instance.  He was a crack up.  Right here he is saying, "Feel how firm my butt is."  Brittany and I were dying laughing!  When we told him to be nice with us since we were married he just went, "Oh that's ok...I'm a certified minister!"  Oh, ok...because that makes it ok.  It really did make for a hilarious 2 minutes in our lives.

NYPD:
 The police are a frequent sight in this city...thank goodness.  I just decided to ask them if I could take a picture and the one guy gave me his hat to wear.  Super nice!  That is probably one of my favorite pictures from the trip!

John's Pizzeria:
 AKA: The best pizza on the face of this green Earth!  I've never been a fan of thin crust pizza.  But that's probably because it's Dominos.  The crust at the end of the pizza has always been my favorite...it's the reward for eating the rest of the pizza.  I was worried I wouldn't like it, but I was SO wrong!  It was delicious!  Our favorite was the Margherita pizza that had the freshest basil on top!  We went there a few times since it was so dang good!

WICKED:
 I saw "Wicked" in Chicago 6 years ago, but seeing it in NYC was amazing!  The whole show was jaw dropping, goosebump chilling, and flat out inspiring!  That's really all I can say.  I lose words when I try to describe this show.

Behind the Scenes "Wicked" tour:
 The morning after we saw the show, we went back to the theater the next morning for the behind the scenes tour.  They pulled out a bunch of original prop pieces, pictures, and the original costumes for Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth!  I was dying!!!  They also show you in the theater and teach you all about how the show runs, how many people it takes, the process of starting a Broadway show, etc.  It was really neat and I'm so glad we went!

Subways:
 The Subway was a whole experience in and of itself!  You can get yourself going in the wrong way extremely fast.  Just when I think I got it down, we left.  My favorite experience down there on the platform was the night we were coming back to our hotel.  Isabelle got out.  Brittany got out.  I got out. Ann was not so lucky.  The doors shut right on her face!  We all gasped and were in pure shock.  And off Ann went as we stood there on the platform.  Brittany was in such shock that she threw her hands up and dropped her phone down ON the train track!  At this point we are laughing SO hard.  It all was happening in a matter of seconds and it seriously felt like I was watching a movie.  I came SO close to peeing my pants.  And those of you that know me, know that my bladder will lose control and has no mercy sometimes.  Thankfully, I gained my composure before an accident happened.  This guy came over and saved Britt's phone!  He freaking jumped DOWN on the track, grabbed her phone that was in 3 pieces, and hoisted back up on the platform!  We were so terrified a train was going to come!

9/11 Memorial:
 This place has the oddest feeling to it.  The only way I can describe it is eerily spiritual.  I'm so happy with what they've done to make it a special place.  Even though you're in the middle of the business district it is surprisingly quiet.  I was handling my emotions pretty well until I was sitting on this patch of grass watching an American flag wave in the wind.  This man nearby was looking up to the sky and just started sobbing.  Thanks, dude...that's when I started to lose it.  So many thoughts start flooding your mind like, "How scary would this have been?" "What would I have done in the last seconds of my life?"  It was hard to leave because you felt like you couldn't get enough of that feeling.

Carlo's Bake Shop:
 If you don't watch "Cake Boss" on TLC, then you will have no clue what this place is, but for Alex and I...we like that show a lot.  It is just right across the river in Hoboken, NJ.  Thankfully the line wasn't too bad so we didn't have to wait a super long time for our treats!  I got an eclair and a cupcake, which were delish!
 When we got our treats we just went across the street to sit on some benches and eat.  That was also one of the most fun times of the trip.  It was so pleasant to eat treats and people watch during the evening hour.  We were all enchanted with Hoboken, NJ.  If for some reason Alex or I got a job in NYC, I would live in Hoboken.  I loved that little city!

Hoboken, NJ river front:
 Seriously...such a charming place.

NEWSIES:
 I have watched the movie my entire life so it was so exciting to see it on stage!  I was really pleased with how they did it!  I was sad that some of the lyrics were different and the story line was altered slightly, but overall...it was such a fun show!  It has such a great energy and the dancing was to die for! I definitely recommend seeing this if you ever go to NY!

Brooklyn Bridge:
 One morning for our exercise, we decided to walk the Brooklyn Bridge.  I'm so glad we did!  It was such a fun thing to do!  That was another moment where I thought to myself, "It really does exist."  The architecture is amazing and it really was so fun to walk around on it.

Serendipity:
 Giant frozen hot chocolate?  Need I say more.  It was dang delicious!!  And the restaurant has such a delightful atmosphere.  Thankfully our wait was only an hour.  Mmm...I want one of those right now...

Traces:
 This show hasn't been around very long and is actually off Broadway, but was still amazing!  The only way I can describe it is if a bunch of circus people got together in a junkyard and had a party.  The amount of talent on the stage was ridiculous!  It made me feel slightly mediocre.  I bet it will explode very soon!

Manhattan Temple:
 I'm so happy we went to the temple!  It was such a cool reminder that no matter where you are, you can feel the spirit.  The temple was built within a building so all city noise is gone when you walk inside, which was super cool.

Empire State Building:
 Hello from 88 floors high!  Seeing the city from way up there was crazy!  You can see so far!  It's also crazy that you can see from one end of Manhattan to the other and that there are sooo many buildings in between those two ends.  Central Park is also easily spotted, as it was the large green blob. :) I felt very "Sleepless in Seattle" while walking around up there! :)

Rockefeller Center:
 Too bad it wasn't winter so no ice skating was done.  It was still so fun being there!  In the left top corner, the Today show is filmed right there!  We looked through the windows and you can see where they sit and all the different sets they use.  On our bus tour to the hotel on our first day, they drove us by the "Today Show's" Friday morning concert, which was...Maroon 5!  I saw Adam Levine standing there waiting to go on!!  I went a tad crazy inside. :) Too bad he wasn't there while we were just strolling around.

NBC Studios:
 The best "Gilly" face I could muster.  If you don't know what Gilly is...watch SNL.  If you don't know what SNL is...you live under a rock.

Metropolitan Museum of Art:
 The MET is GIGANTIC!  We were in there for 4 hours and only went through like a quarter of it!  The Egyptian collection was incredible!!  But this here is me with Mr. Vincent Van Gogh. :)


 Statue of Liberty:
Before we went to the airport for our flight back to Utah, we hit up Lady Liberty's island.  She is much larger than I realized.  Unfortunately, she is under construction so we couldn't go right up by her, but it was still super cool!

Well...that is my NYC trip in a nutshell!
It was such an amazing experience and I hope I can return someday!
Seriously though...this doesn't even do it justice, but hopefully y'all caught a glimmer into the awesomeness of it all! :)

Thanks Ann, Britt, and Iz for the best time!