Friday, April 26, 2013

Getting Excited!

I love to read. Ever since I can remember I have loved books and I read often. I had phases in college and in high school where I read a lot less then I would have liked, but I pretty much always have a book I am in the middle of. Having worked at Barnes and Noble, my book collection is pretty extensive and one of the possessions I love the most! Of all the books I have read, I have a few books that I treasure, one of which is The Great Gatsby. I read it in middle school or high school and I think it was the first book that I read where I could see that the author was saying something more than just the words on the page. The imagery in Fitzgerald's writing made Gatsby and Daisy's world come to life for me. I have read the story many times, and now it will be a movie! With Leo no less! The icing on this delicious cupcake is that the movie opens the weekend before my birthday... YEAH YEAH YEAH! One of the great things about this story is the mystery behind who Gatsby is. Since the book is told from a third person perspective, Fitzgerald can keep Gatsby hidden and elusive. I hope that remains in the movie. If you love music, the album also looks like it will be a winner with songs from Jay-Z, Lana Del Ray, Florence and the Machine, Beyonce, etc. Here are some stills from the movie and the preview. Can't wait for May 10th!

 The set design, costumes look amazing

Oh Leo. My heart always goes on for you :)

Daisy and Gatsby; A truly dysfunctional relationship 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Girls Camp 2013

One of the most exciting parts of being called as young women's president was the opportunity to go to Girls Camp! I LOVED camp as a girl and have such amazing memories from those times. Turns out camp is a piece of cake a lot of work but totally worth it. We had an incredibly successful fundraiser which allowed us to have some fun with the food and gifts. 

I couldn't come up until Tuesday night, but I dropped the girls off on Monday morning at the stake center. Unfortunately my car broke down on my way to work. Luckily it was just the battery and alternator which were a fast fix and didn't keep me from going up to Orlando the next day. 

The girls all had such a blast! We really got to bond and hang out. I learned a lot of Spanish over the week and I was surprised how much I could understand when I had to. Both the ward camp director and the other parent who came with us only spoke Spanish so we all learned pretty fast how to communicate. 

Some of the highlights of the week: Being mistaken for a teenager most of the time, laughing a lot, being in nature, reading the scriptures, watching testimonies grow, being cold, lots of selfies, crafts and yummy, yummy food! 

The girls made "exploding boxes" as their craft

The city girls really enjoyed nature and took lots of pictures of all of the beautiful sites!

The ward camp director was great and cooked for us the whole time. She made amazing Latin food that everyone envied! Hermana Solis cooked the big meal for the whole camp and everyone was so impressed. I think I gained 10 pounds that week :) 

 I even got to try balliadas which were AMAZING! I have a renewed desire to learn how to cook better and learn some of the recipes from the people in our ward. 

The girls really enjoyed the obstacle course at the camp site. A few of the girls even tried to rope walk, which resulted in one of the girls falling in the water! Chelsea handled it like a champ though and proudly swam to the other side. 

One of the fun parts of the camp was the performances. The girls did a great job performing and got the reputation of being just a little ghetto for their perfectly rapped rendition of "Glamorous" by Fergie and Melanie's beat boxing during the performance.

The theme was "Stand in Holy Places". I think all of the girls learned how to have peace and make good choices, no matter where they are. Camp was a great spiritual stimulus for the girls. 

On the last day they had a ceremony recognizing all of the girls and the hard work the girls put into camp. They did great! 

Most importantly, the girls had fun! The girls are so fun-loving and crazy! I couldn't have asked for a better break from work and life then spending the week with these awesome girls! 

So for my own selfish reasons, one of the best nights of camp was the night my Mom came out and visited me and the girls. All growing up, my Mom worked with the youth at church. When I plan activities and prepare for anything with the girls, I think about what my Mom would do. She is such an inspiration to me of how to be a great mother and friend. The week was emotionally and spiritually uplifting, but it all made perfect by having my Mom there! The girls LOVED her and all called her Grandma (which she loved). 

It was a great week at Girls Camp. I have SOOO many ideas for next year and I already have a huge list! But in the end, what matters is that the girls had a great time. I am so glad we have this program that allows us to learn as grow as Children of God. Love you girls and cant wait for next year! 

One Year Ago

One year ago this month Derek and I loaded up my little Ford Focus and left Utah. This might not seem like a big deal, but the longer we are away, the more I realize this event was a really big deal! First I have to say, coming to Miami was ABSOLUTELY the right thing to do for our family. The blessings we have received and the happiness we have here is beyond what I expected when we made this move. Miami is home in every sense of the word and I couldn't be happier to be here.

I also have to say that Utah gave me so much! It was where I grew into an adult. I learned so much about myself while I lived there and I am so glad I had the chance to leave my home and have an adventure. BYU provided me with opportunities to learn and be challenged academically at a level I never anticipated. I learned to love who I am while I lived there, truly understanding my purpose in life. I made the best friends I have working and studying there (Love you guys!).

I will admit I got in my car and didn't look back when I left. But some days I miss the people and experiences I had there. I really miss the affordable food (Zupas, Cafe Rio, Everything at Riverwoods) and of course the FroYo. I am glad that I can look back at my time in Utah and remember a lot of fun times and great memories that helped me get to the place I am in now.


Bucket List: 30 by 30

I have been thinking about a lot of things that I want to do with my time. Some weeks go by and I feel like I don't accomplish all that much in the time that I have been given. I saw a story on Facebook that talked about how time is like a bank. Every day our bank is restocked with time, and often we just spend the time, not noticing where our time is spent. I totally feel like that! Since I am a manic list maker, I decided to make a list of all of the things I want to do with my time. I have had this list slowly building on my desktop at work and then today I figured out what to do with it! I was on my friend Caitlin's blog, stalking her cute kids and saw a link to her 30 before 30 post. She made a list of 30 things to do before she turned 30 and I was inspired. I added 6 or 7 more things to my list to complete it and boom, here we are. My own list of 30 things to do before I turn 30. Some are rather bold, but at least I have some fun things to look forward to! Maybe if I don't accomplish all of them they can be added to my 40 things to do before 40 list ;)

Here it is:

  1. Run a 10K
  2. Go to England and see all the places I have read about
  3. Read the Book of Mormon and New Testament as a family
  4. Go on a vacation every year with Derek
  5. Make a quilt
  6. Re-learn how to knit and make a scarf
  7. Make a scrapbook of the first few years of our marriage
  8. Learn to play my favorite hymn on the piano (Abide With Me 'Tis Eventide)
  9. Have a 3 month supply of food storage
  10. Participate in the dedication and ceremony for the Ft. Lauderdale temple (Coming 2014)
  11. Go to Pennsylvania again
  12. Visit Mike while he lives in Chicago
  13. Learn how to use my camera and take pictures
  14. Get to know the city of Miami
  15. Rescue a dog
  16. Throw a New Year’s Eve Party
  17. Grow an urban garden
  18. Enjoy the ocean at least 1 time a month while in Miami
  19. Learn to give myself a professional mani/pedi
  20. Read a book about a prophet (recommendations welcome)
  21. See John Mayer in concert
  22. Finish decorating my master bedroom
  23. Write more
  24. Learn how to make homemade tortillas
  25. Help Derek graduate from medical school
  26. Be a better sister/sister-in-law
  27. Go to the Keys
  28. Receive my Young Women Recognition again
  29. Volunteer with a political campaign I care about
  30. Read Pride and Prejudice every year

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pinning Ceremony

In March we had the opportunity to attend the UM Pinning Ceremony to honor all of the 1st year medical students. Usually medical schools do a white coat ceremony earlier in the year but UM does a pinning ceremony instead later in the year. My parents and Derek's dad came down for the weekend to celebrate with Derek and I (Vickie was going to come but she was sick). The event was great and it was fun to see Derek with all of his medical school friends. And he sure did look handsome in his white coat!

The dean speaking 

Derek and Phil 

Love him :) 

Derek with my parents 

Derek and Dustin 

A few of Derek's friends

My parents came up early and we had the chance to go to Key Biscayne and enjoy the sun. It was great to show my parents around the city and to have a day off of work! 

 The weather was perfect! 

We also ate a ton of really good food over the weekend. We tried a ceviche place downtown after the ceremony (we ate the ceviche so fast I didn't get a picture) and then went to Joe's Stone Crab in Miami Beach on Saturday. I think I gained 5 pounds but it was totally worth it! I am so grateful that we have such amazing family who support and love us. I don't know where we would be without both of our parents. The journey is just beginning but I know it will fly by and be over before we know it! I am just trying to enjoy the journey that is medical school! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Temple Trip

At the beginning of March I had the chance to go on a Youth Temple Trip with my ward. Since we are about 4 hours from the Orlando Temple, I got up at 3:20 in the morning to be ready for the bus at 4am. Talk about early! We had some issues with the buses but in the end we were ready to go at 5am and off to Orlando. Everyone pretty much slept on the way to the temple so it was nice and quiet. I can sleep through a hurricane so I was passed out the whole time. We got the temple and the youth had the chance to do baptisms for the dead. The Orlando temple was built when I was 7 years old so I remember going to the open house and then going there as a youth for baptisms for the dead. This is also the temple I was married in and so it holds a very special place in my heart.

 Its just too early to get up!

The girls had a great time and I loved being able to help them. I was able to enjoy the afternoon in the temple, followed by some amazing Chinese food. The youth made a harlem shake video on the way home (which I slept through) and we had a great time talking and getting to know each other. We got home late that night and I felt like a zombie, but it was an amazing experience. I took for granted having temples close to me in Utah. After spending 8 hours on a bus for get to and from the temple, I am just grateful I can go!

 With Emely, Alejandra, Karen, Chelsea and Beverly

One of the most beautiful places on earth