Sunday, August 21, 2011

Burt the Bronco visits Boise State

First thing Tuesday morning I drove to campus and while there I bought a little stuffed Bronco that I have named Burt. So far I've moved into my room; it's a little room with a little closet, so I used a great deal of creativity to get everything in. I've also been on campus a couple of times to meet with the disability office, take a math assessment test, visit the book store, and for internet access. I'm getting pretty good at navigating the main roads: Broadway, Federal Way, Overland, Cole and Vista, and I only get seriously turned around if I get stuck in an area with one way roads. Saturday night I went to see Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader in Julia Davis Park. Crystal lent me a short canvas chair that worked perfectly, so all I had to do was sit back and watch the movie with my bag of snacks. I had so much fun I went for a drive today through the Park and then walked through the Rose Garden and down to the Green Belt. I even found this cool statue of Abraham Lincoln. I took Burt with me so I have some pictures of my adventures. I've got my backpack packed and my clothes laid out for tomorrow's first day of classes. Wish me luck!

Five Day Summer Vacation- Days 3, 4, and 5

Saturday morning I got up early (9:00 am) and drove to American Fork to meet Brad's family for breakfast at IHOP. I got the Stuffed French Toast with blueberry topping but had a bite of Loriel's Nutella crepes and Dorothy's stuffed French toast with cinnamon apples. I know Saturday mornings are difficult for Brad, so I was thrilled when he was able to join us. Afterward, we went back to their house. We got to talk about Daniel's impending first semester at college and Dorothy moving to her new classroom for her music class. Plus, Loriel showed me her bedroom and her new comforter and pillows and rug. I even managed to do a little furniture rearranging. And for anyone that knows me, that is my idea of a good time ;).
Later, on my drive to Payson, Mom and Dad passed me on the freeway. I had to laugh because they hovered right next to me for a long time, and I was thinking, "Why doesn't this guy pass me already!" I didn't realize it was them until they did pass me and Mom unrolled her window to wave! They were on their way to Aunt Mary's house for a visit too. We got to visit for about a half hour before Alisha and I left to go swimming at the Payson Pool. We picked up Wendy on the way and met Tamara and Scott there. I loved going to the Payson Pool when I was little when I'd visit for two weeks during the summer. The Payson Pool has been seriously upgraded, and they now have two water slides, a lazy river, a kid’s water park area, and a lap pool. Plus they have picnic areas with shade and tables. Not that we got one of those, but we found a sliver of shade, dropped our stuff, and made for the water. I told Wendy that my goal for the day was to get a sun burn. It may be August, but I am going to have some summer fun! After a couple of rounds on the lazy river and a speedy run down the waterslide, I sat back with the cousins and some snacks and laughed and laughed. I love my cousins! Who could ask for better friends?!

After I was sufficiently toasty (mission accomplished!), I gave everyone hugs and headed off for my last stop of the day at Trevor and Erica's. I told them before I came down that I thought it might be fun to go to the drive-in or rent a movie on Saturday or maybe BBQ on Sunday. I'd been working hard this summer and saying goodbye to people, and I was SO ready to have some R&R and some FUN! Especially since I would be back to working hard next week. Blah. Stupid school. Stupid math. Tricia was also down visiting Trevor this weekend, so Erica, Tricia, and I watched Soul Surfer on Netflix. I found it to be a really moving story about a young girl with a lot of great insights. I think I'll check to see if it was a book first.
Sunday was a lazy day with another movie called Arthur, which was MUCH better than I thought it was going to be, a nap, and burgers. Have you noticed how much I've talked about food this weekend? I guess I got to try so many new things that I thought I should share that part of the adventure too :). That afternoon, I went to Lisa's house for my last night of my five-day "weekend." I started with Lisa on Thursday and ended with her on Sunday. She made us hot dogs and French fries. I got a giant bowl of French fries with some ketchup and a giant glass of lemonade and went down stairs and watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. One of the fun things about watching a movie with Shane is that he really notices quirky things about a movie. He remembers the actors’ names and every movie they've been in. This time he was pointed out how the actress that plays Marion Ravenwood looks like she's going to break a hip running up the stairs. he he he. That was a good one :).
Monday I woke up and drove to Boise. It's a fairly long drive and takes about five hours without stops which is much longer than the two and a half hours I'm used to, so that gave me plenty of time to think about the weekend and about all my friends and family. I am so blessed with people that love and care for me! They are interested in what I'm doing and share my joys and disappointments with me. Thanks so much to everyone that made time to see me on my whirlwind trip. Love you!

Five Day Summer Vacation- Day 2

First thing Friday morning, I went to visit the doctor. He wanted to know about my plans for school and what I'd be studying and where I was attending. About 15 minutes into the appointment, I mentioned that maybe we should talk about some of my joints. He didn't tell me to "take your medicine or quit complaining." But I did tell him that I'm still not regular about taking my Enbrel and Methotrexate, but that I've been better and that I'll be extra careful about taking them correctly when I get up to school. I also requested that he write new scripts, so I can pick my nearby pharmacy when I get to Boise. When he was done, I counted them to make sure we'd gotten everything. Yep. Eight. Which I suppose is less than some but more than most.

For lunch I met Michelle (and Stella), Natalie, and Stephanie (and Charlie and Garrison) at Red Robin. I can't believe how much all the kids have grown since the last time I'd seen them which looking back was actually in 2009, so I guess maybe it's not so crazy. However, we did have a crazy table with all the kids and all the catching up going on. A couple of times Stella would try to get her mom's attention by putting her hand on Michelle's cheek to turn to look at her. It was pretty cute, so I tried to get a picture. Then Stella took some pictures using my camera. I figured she probably should finish her lunch, so I told her she could take our group picture outside when we were all done. It's not the most flattering picture, but it has all of us Ricks roomies.

Mom and Dad entered the MTC on Monday, but they have evenings off so I arranged to meet them for dinner and a visit to the Millers. I got done with my errands a little early, so I drove to our designated meeting spot (near the University Mall sign). I found a little shade, pulled my pillow out from the backseat, snuggled up next to my suitcase in the front seat, and with the car (and the air conditioning) running closed my eyes. I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew I had to wake up to answer my phone. It's a good thing I was early because so were Mom and Dad. They had spotted a Spaghetti Factory for dinner and Mom and I split Chicken Penne with marinara sauce. I was a pretty hit and miss on remembering to pull out my camera during the weekend, but I did remember to ask the waitress to take our picture. Because I was in front of a window, she suggested I sit over by Mom, so I snuggled up to her for a pretty cute picture. 

After dinner we went to visit Aunt Nila and Uncle Ted. Uncle Ted didn't look so good and was very pale. He couldn't vocalize, but he was very aware of what was going on around him. Dad took his hand and said hello then told him a little joke, and it made Uncle Ted smile. When I held his hand and told him hello, he held on real tight and maintained eye contact. It was a very sweet moment, so I shared about how much I appreciated being able to live with them when I went to BYU. One of my special memories was learning about prayer through their example. We had prayers every night, and they were really good about mentioning people by name and asking for blessings specific to their needs. I learned that prayers are important to communicate to our Heavenly Father, and He is as interested in what we have to say as we are interested in sharing it with Him. Then Dad and Aunt Nila talked a long time about football and sports. They did a lot of name dropping; it's so funny. I love it when Aunt Nila tells a story and circles and circles and circles and circles and then goes back to her original topic. How she remembers where she started, I don't know because I can't ever do it, but I love it when she does that. Terri and one of her kids and a couple of Deb's kids came by to say hello. It was nice to see everyone and we had a nice visit. When we said goodbye Mom and Dad told Uncle Ted, "We'll see you when we'll see you," and I thought that was very fitting.
Friday was a pretty long day with waking up at Michelle's, the doctor, lunch with my Rick's roommates, a drive to Provo, dinner with Mom and Dad, a visit to the Millers, and a drive down to Santaquin to Katie's house. I told Katie that I had to get to bed early that night. And then we proceeded to visit until eleven :). It was worth it though! We talked about my move to Boise and our families and their new house. They recently moved into a great house on the edge of town. Of course, I loved that because I'm from a small town myself and lived right on the border of town and the country. Katie and Jared's Madilyn is a friendly little girl. She'd tell me, "Hi! Hi! Mom, say hi." They were super great to their first house guest, and I can't wait for my next visit!

Five Day Summer Vacation- Day 1

I had a GREAT weekend and loved seeing everyone. From Wednesday- to Saturday, I saw my entire family! Plus, I squeezed in lunch with my Ricks' roommates, a visit with Aunt Nila and Uncle Ted, a sleep over at Katie Haymore's branny new house, and swimming with Scott's, Alisha's, Tamara's, and Wendy's families. I think I averaged about three families a day. So here's a breakdown...
Thursday: Mike, Amber and Ellie Larsen stopped by the office in the afternoon to drop off a going away present. It's a picture of each of their kids each holding up a sign so that together they read, "We love you, Cindy.” And, I gave them my 'With Love, The Browns' picture book with pictures of our adventures this summer and some random pictures of us so they don't forget Mom or Dad or Tricia or me. I think it turned out real cute, and they were nice to go through and look at all the pictures. Earlier, we had a little last-day-party that Doug brought a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, so Larsens stayed and had cake. We visited for a little while (Mike wondered if now I would root for BYU or BSU which I'm still debating) and the girls colored some pictures for me. After they left, I finished up some loose ends and jumped in the car for my crazy weekend in Utah.

Dinner was with Lisa at Chili's. We split the most delicious salad called Quesadilla Explosion Salad (Grilled chicken with cheese, tomatoes, corn relish, cilantro, tortillas strips and citrus-balsamic dressing and served with cheese quesadillas.) I told Lisa about working for Doug in Boise, and she was way helpful telling me all the things I should keep track of that I can itemize for a tax write off. She had lots of great suggestions that I had considered before like internet and a desk and unbilled time and the percentage of my time on the phone for work. It was super helpful.
That night I drove to Michelle's house. For my thanks-for-letting-me-crash-at-your-house-gift, I brought some huckleberry taffy that I got at Gossner's. Brent told me that it tasted like grape taffy, and since he likes grape taffy, I figured it was a hit. Before I went to bed, Michelle and I watched the finale of So You Think You Can Dance. She has a dance background and a definite opinion on who she thinks is good and who isn't. It was awesome praising and bashing the different dancers as well as comparing our favorite choreographers and dances of the season. It was like old times. Except she has her own house. And a husband. And a kid. :)