Graduation Day

Wow I guess its time for a new post. This time its going to be a short one. I am actually on campus at the LA building killing time before graduation. I will be walking down to put on my cap and gown in the next 15 min or so. This is kind of a big deal for me. I never really had a whole lot of schooling growing up. I dropped out of school after the fifth grade which is when most of my other siblings did as well. It wasnt until later that I started having goals and aspirations that I knew would require me to have a highschool diploma. I went back to school when I was 16 and throguh packets that I sent in through the mail ( internet wasn’t such a big thing back then) I spent hours upon hours in my bedroom trying to fill in the gaps of what I was missing and to graduate from highschool. That was one of the accomplishments of my life that I am the most proud of. It took more hard work, determination and tenacity than any other one thing I have ever done.

When I finished I walked to the mail box one day and there was my diploma. I walked back to the house put it in my room and went back to cooking dinner. I was the first in my family to have gradiated from highschool! In fact I was the first person I knew who had graduated from highschool!

I wanted to go to collage but my parents said it was a waste of time and money. So I didn’t go. At least not then. Later after I left home and became a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I started attending UVU. That was 7 years ago. During five of those years I worked a full time job. I suffered a serious case of depression, lived in Missouri for 18 months and Alaska for a summer, moved 14 times and had many many really interesting experiences.

So while I am only graduating with an Associates degree right now I feel like this ceremony is well earned. Yes I am 30 years old and walking across the stage to recieve my associates degree with a bunch of 19  and 20 year old kids. But I am walking. This accomplishment is something that I can be proud of. And I am. So graduation… here I come!

Bahama Cruise (Part three)

I don’t love cruising. I get a little seasick even with the patch and it wouldn’t be my first choice of vacations. However, that being said. I enjoyed this cruise and this was probably my favorite spot on the ship. I spent a good amount of time walking the upper decks in the open air and laying on the lounge chairs soaking up the sun.

One of my favorite things to do on vacation is read. However the patch that I wore for seasickness blurred my vision enough that I couldn’t read. It was still nice to just relax and feel the sun on my oh so white skin. I was hoping to come home tan…but no such luck. Looks like I am doomed to embrace my whiteness!

I had fun with my sisters. When I was little I always wished I had a big sister who could show me the ropes and help me through all of the difficulties of growing up and who could talk with me in the ways that only a big sister can. I never got that but I get to be a big sister now and I love it.

Laying in bed in our room, at about 1 o clock in the morning I heard my sister call my name. I pretended like I hadn’t heard since I was so close to being asleep and just didn’t want to answer. She called my name again in a little whisper and then asked “are you awake”

“Yeah whats up?”

“Can I ask you a question?” Her voice sounded so serious I was expecting one of those rare sisterly bonding moments.

“Sure” Silence for just a second and then…

“Do you know the muffin man?” laughed and then I wasnt almost asleep anymore.

We always love seeing the little towel animals that the staff make out of the towels in your rooms.

We went to a few of the shows on board the ship and took full advantage of the soft serve ice cream machine.

I swore I was going to work out every day in their on board gym…I never did quite make it there. I’m sure it was lovely.

I also never tried the rock climbing wall.

Although Hannah did and she almost made it to the top. No one else there would have appreciated the accomplishment that was since we were the only ones that knew that exactly 9 months ago to the day she fell 35 feet and broke her back, her neck, almost all of her ribs, and her femur.

She punctured and collapsed both lungs and badly damaged and bruised her heart, liver, pancreas and bladder. Her intestines were pushed up through the diaphragm and into the thoracic cavity and with bleeding on the brain, a severe brain injury and total paralysis of her left side, she was incredibly lucky just to be alive.

All they saw was a girl who walked with a slight limp climbing a wall. We saw a miracle.

The days we spent in port were my favorite. I’ve never seen water so beautiful and sand so white.

We went para sailing…

And even my mom gave it a try, which is saying a lot for her. She over came some real fears when it came to water on this trip.

We went snorkeling and saw a sunken plane and tons of fish. Hannah and I enjoyed it but Esther thought the fish were slimy and was afraid of them brushing up against her. It was funny to listen to her muffled under water squeals as she struggled to get out of the school of fish that we found ourselves in. It was amazing.

Coco Cay Island was my favorite. We had a BBQ after we finished snorkeling, and laid out on the beach. The hammocks, colorful shacks and palm trees with coconuts was exactly what I pictured the Bahamas being. The trip was fun and I was so glad I went.

I was also so glad when I finally got home. There is nothing like sleeping in your own bed, in your own room surrounded by my things and my friends and things to keep me productive and happy. I am finding a contentment in my life and with where I am at that I havent often felt before.

It’s just good to be home!

Cypress Gardens (Bahamas Trip Part 2)

I spent all day the second day in meetings and then that night we had a formal dinner. It was all very nice and I met some interesting people.  During the course of the day someone commented on the diverse group of people that we had there. I laughed a little to myself as I know that person actually had no idea that there were actually quite a few polygamists in the room in addition to the four Amish that he mentioned. I find it interesting that the Amish are welcomed with open arms and a fair amount of curiosity while the polygamists are looked on rather negatively. But that would be another post. This one is supposed to be about my trip.

The fun started when we rented a car and drove to Cyprus Gardens and Lego Land. It was a lot of fun Here are some pictures…

They even had a Lego version of the statue of liberty, complete with the little ferry-boat!

And New york City! Can you see the Empire State Building?

And across the way is Washington DC. Everything was so detailed it was incredible to see the little Lego street vendors in Central Park Even coins in the little fake fountains, and Lego police cars with sirens. It was incredible. We saw Vegas, Paris, New York, DC, and so many other interesting things all built from legos

Cyprus Gardens was something that my Mom has wanted to see for a long time and I really enjoyed the beautiful trees and gardens. Especially the gazebo. I did a puzzle once that was a picture of this very spot.

We found this old mansion, it said it was private property but the door was open and we didnt see anyone around so we decided to do some quick investigating.

we found this beautiful old staircase. It felt like sacrilege to be standing there in shorts instead of an elegant dress. If I thought the lack of a beautiful dress was bad, the ugly little Lego guy positioned directly under the chandelier was even worse.

so we moved it (after Esther prayed to it) so that we could take a picture. Then after a fair amount of giggling and sneaking upstairs to take a look at the various bedrooms up there we slipped out the front door.I wouldnt mind living in a place like this!

I looked at this next picture as I was about to post it and I remembered being a little girl and wishing so hard for my mom to have another girl so that I wouldnt be the only one. It made this picture of the four of us really special.

Bahama cruising! Day 1

I love to travel, however I have noticed that just before L leave to go somewhere I often feel like I don’t want to go. Thats exactly what happened to me on Thursday night. I was getting ready to head out on my trip  to the Bahamas and I kept feeling like I just didnt really want to go. My roommates finally had to shove me out the door and make me any linespromise to enjoy the trip.

I spent the night at my parents house in Salt lake since I had a very early flight. I hate spending money on food in the airports so I whipped up a couple of snacks and a tunafish sandwich and went to bed. The next morning I arrived at the airport with one hour before my plane left. It was perfect, I didn’t hardly have to wait in any lines, and was able to walk right on the plane. Thats how I like it. I hate waiting in those pesky lines.

I had a layover in Denver and while I sat there eating my sandwich I saw a little bird hoping around between the chairs eating little crumbs that passengers had dropped for it. That poor little bird lost in side an airport was really cute to watch.

I always think its interesting to see what kind of people are going to sit next to me on the plane. This time however it was pretty dull. The first flight was an old man and his wife. They didn’t seem very talkative so I didn’t try to start-up a conversation. The second leg of the trip I was seated next to a younger guy and his girl friend, who when they were sleeping where cuddling as much as those chairs would let them. Needless to say there was no talking happening there either, so I settled for my book and my snacks to keep me company.

Maybe I am strange but I have yet to go on a flight were I dont wonder as we are taking off what I would think and how I would feel about this experience if I were a pioneer who had time traveled to the future.

Once I landed in Orlando i took a shuttle to the Marriott World Center resort.  I met my mom just in time to have dinner at a little buffet where they had the cutest little desserts. I think I had five of them. While we were having dinner I started getting some rather strangest text messages from my sister. Where she gets her sense of humor I will never no. They went like this

” Landed yet? Got your bags yet? Flirted with any hot guys yet? Got a taxi yet? Bought me some pizza yet?

When I didnt answer she continues. Is your flight late? Is your period late? Is your date late? Is your mom late? Did she make your dad wait?

What do you even do with a sister like that?

We went swimming that night in the amazing swimming pool there at the hotel.  It was so much fun.