Thursday, October 9, 2008

Nerves

Ok, in less than two weeks I will be at the MTC. Less than two weeks. Can I just say that I am getting SO nervous?! I've wanted to serve a mission for as long as I can remember and I know it is what I am supposed to do and Jacksonville, Florida is where I am supposed to be, but that doesn't mean I'm not scared out of my mind. A mission is a huge responsibility! I don't know if I can teach. I don't know if I can overcome my shyness enough to go up to strangers and become friends with them. I don't know if I can go 18 motnths without seeing my family and only talking to them four times. There are so many things I'm worried about. AHH! And I only have 13 days before this crazy adventure begins. Wow...

But again, I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing with my life right now. I know that if I follow all the rules and put my trust in the Lord, He will help and sustain me. Which is a dang good thing, because if He isn't by my side, there is NO way I'll be able to make it.

D&C 84:88 "For I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angles round about you, to bear you up."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mosaic

I saw this on Rachel and Ned's blog and thought it was pretty cute, so I did my own!

The Questions:
1. What is your first name? Rachel
2. What is your favorite food? Pizza
3. What high school did you go to? Brazoswood
4. What is your favorite color? Blue
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Michael Weatherly
6. Favorite drink? Dr. Pepper
7. Dream vacation? New Zealand
8. Favorite dessert? Blue Bell Ice Cream
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Therapist (it got cut off, but it says "I used to have super human powers but my therapist took them away")
10. What do you love most in life? Love
11. One Word to describe you. Classy
12. Your flickr name. (kid version: favorite animal?) Jax (as in Jacksonville, as in where I'm going on my mission...that picture is Jacksonville Beach!)

Here is how you can play too:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Camping in Oregon!

Last weekend my roommates Cherice, Jessica, Janae, Danielle and I went camping with Bryan and some of his friends/girlfriend/sister down in Seaside, Oregon. It was such a great weekend! I loved getting away from Seattle for a bit and driving for hours on absolutely beautiful roads and wandering through a cute small town.
We left Friday at 3:00. I had to stop for gas on the way out and while I was pumping I realized I had forgotten the directions. That would have been incredibly bad considering I had absolutely NO idea how to get where we were going after getting off I-5. At first I was really upset at myself for forgetting it (I think I was quoted as saying, "I hate my life!" as I often do when I'm frustrated), but as I was waiting for the elevator the thought popped in my head that I should be really grateful that I remembered when we were only a block away rather than forever down the road. So, that made me feel better and not be as upset. That didn't last long unfortunately because the traffic was absolutely INSANE!! We only moved a mile in the first 15 minutes. It took 2 hours to go 40 miles. 40. I wanted to shoot myself. It was terrible! I don't know why, but as I have gotten older, I have gotten much less patient and I have pretty bad road rage. I don't take it out on any one else or anything, and I drive safely and all that but I get so dang frustrated that I have to consciously calm myself down. But honestly, who could blame me in this situation? it was absolutely ridiculous!

But, after the two hours that should have taken 1 at the most, we stopped at a Super Wal-Mart!! It made me so happy! See, there are no Wal-marts in Seattle. Something about protecting small businesses or some crap like that. I'm a big fan of Wal-mart. It's cheap. It's convenient. You can get everything you need at one store and have plenty of options. I have no problem with that. Step all over the little guys! I want to save money and time!! Anyway - it warmed my heart to be in a Wal-Mart again after 3 months. We spent an hour there (20 min of that in line for Sub-way) and I wished we could have stayed longer. I really wanted to stock up on my favorite cereal because it $3 less there than anywhere here, but alas - with all our camping stuff, there was no room...

So we got back on the road and the view after that was amazing! We were driving on the 101 which is called the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. I fell in love with the area and decided that I would love to live around there in a cute little town completely surrounded by the most beautiful forrests I've ever seen. Also...we spent about half an hour following a really hot Mercedes coupe and I was drooling and speeding to keep up with it... I want that car!

We finally got to the campsite at 10 pm - three hours later than we should have. It was pretty dang cold and the fire was a bit puny, but I loved it compared to camping in Texas where you can't escape the heat at all. We had pizza rolls roasted over the fire and they told me to open the corner and let it cool off for a minute. I sat there holding it for at least 4 minutes and I thought that would be enough. So I popped it in my mouth and HOLY COW!! I don't think I have ever had something that hot in my mouth. The pizza roll had basically turned into molten lava and 4 minutes is not enough for it to cool down! I couldn't taste anything in the middle of my tounge for 4 days!! It was so painful!

We spent Saturday window shopping in Seaside and at the beach. They had a lot of cute shops and I could have spent much more time shopping and looking around, but Jess was anxious to get to the beach. I'm not sure why since it was so cold, but we humored her and went. It was still cloudy and I think the temperature was 52 or something ridiculous like that. I was in sweat pants and a sweat shirt and I was freezing! We didn't get in the water anymore than just our legs, feet in my case. We were in unrelenting, frigid wind for 5 and a half hours. It was kindof miserable, but I didn't want to leave because it was so beautiful. I've only been to the Pacific Coast once and I was four, so I don't remember it. Let me tell ya, the Pacific Coast (where I was at least) is infinitely better than the Gulf Coast that I am used to. I think it was better than the one beach I've been to on the Atlantic Ocean, too, but the difference is not as much. But, after being battered by icy air, we couldn't stand it anymore and left. We decided to go see a movie just so we could be out of the cold for a few more hours. We saw Mamma Mia, which was okay. I wouldn't buy it, but it was worth seeing once and it was definitely entertaining, but Meryl Streep is not my favorite and I thought the story would be more about the daughter rather than the mom, and I wasn't a fan of watching her for two hours. But the music was good and Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth are dang good looking, so that made up for Meryl.

We went to Sacrament Meeting at the local meeting house and it was pretty good. After it was over we went to the beach again just to walk around and enjoy God's creation some more. I wish so much the weather we had Sunday had started Saturday. It was sunny and warmer and I think I would have gotten in the water more. Due to it being Sunday, that option was out. But we took some fun pictures and I got to swing!! The drive home was long, especially when everyone in the car was asleep, but it was still just as beautiful.

All around, a fabulous weekend! I had such a great time and I am really glad that I decided to go. Camping really is fun, and I think I'll do it more - as long as I'm not in Texas. Anyway - here are some of my favorite pictures from the weekend.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Life in Seattle

Well, with being busy with work and my schedule working around doing interviews, I haven't had a huge amount of opportunities or time to go do awesome things in Seattle. But every once in a while, I get lucky and the project funds an activity for us to do to keep us going. They call them "incentives." I call them "sweet! I don't have to work!" Anyway, the first one we had was going to a Mariner's Baseball game. Now, baseball is not my favorite sport...actually, it's one of my least favorite, but I was pretty excited to go! We lost (no surprise there - the Mariner's are great at losing) but I had an okay time. Being there definitely solidified my dislike of the sport, but oh well - it was fun being there. I spend 9 bucks on a hot dog, almost got knocked over the balcony (see picture below - Cherice almost killed us all when she barreled into us), and got wrongfully accused of being drunk (just because I'm loud and laughing does NOT mean I'm drunk!) Anyway, here are my roommates - at the time at least. Brittany B on the left - she left us to go be with her husband, what's that about?!, then Brittany H, Jessica, me and Cherice in front. I love them so much!
For another "incentive" we took a ferry ride over to Bainbridge Island. It was freezing cold and super windy and some of my friends got some great pictures of us all with our hair blowing and such, but I didn't. We walked around the little town for a few hours, had the best ice cream of my entire life, got free pizza from Dr. Day and took lots of fun pictures. Here is one of my favorites - we passed a little shop that had tables outside and these huge tea cups. HUGE.
When we got back from Bainbridge, Cherice, Jessica, Stephanie and I decided we wanted to see Seattle from the top of a building. We randomly chose one and went inside - oops! It turned out being a Federal building and we weren't allowed passed the front door. But the security guards told us that the tallest building in Seattle had an observation deck that was open to the public. So we went there, went up 73 floors and this was the view:
Apparently, Seattle has an underground. Back in the day they decided to build the streets of Seattle one floor above what it currently was in order to eradicate the plague. But parts are open for tours and some shops have renovated the lower floors, so you can actually walk below the streets and sidewalks of Seattle. I thought it was pretty cool! So we went on the Underground Tour and a few of us ended up having a little photo shoot on this barrel and chest. It was great fun. Our tour guide was Roman Catholic, but his sister-in-law is LDS. She taught him the Primary Song "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree" and we ended up singing it while we were underground. I was pretty surprised, cause with all 18 of us singing, it sounded like the whole group was singing and I didn't think anyone else knew the song, but it was just us BYU students and the tour guide. Anyway - great fun and this is me with Danielle and Jessica under the streets!
Symphony time!! A small group of us went to Seattle Symphony and heard them play some works by Wagner and Mahler. It was so beautiful!! It made me miss playing French Horn SO much (they had 9! horn players! Absolutely gorgeous!!!) I absolutely loved it, but was also a bit sad because it reminded me of my ultimate dream that will now never happen - to play in a Symphony. Here is my new roommate Janae, Jennifer and I.Cherice and me!

The Seattle Aquarium is pretty dang cool. I think it's supposed to be the best one... I haven't been to enough to compare it, but it was awesome. Here I am with a starfish!
My roommates (now) and a scuba diver in the water. We are still debating as to whether it was a man or woman. I'm thinking woman...but we'll never know. Cherice, Jessica, me, Janae and Brittany.EWW!! Big, nasty octopus. It was very intriguing and very disturbing watching this thing move. Sick...
And finally, me laying on an otter....

It's been...how long??

Ok - after being chastised by one of my best friends for not updating my blog at all, I figured I'd better stop being lazy and let everyone know what is going on with my life.

Work is...going... We only have about 8 or 9 interviews left to schedule before my partner and I are done with out group of families. That sounds good right? Well, all the other groups only have about 3 left to schedule, so we feel super behind on everything. I know it's not our fault that we are behind - we are doing all we can to contact these families and get things set up - but it sometimes feels like we just suck. Another thing that is crazy frustrating is that our computer is completely shot so we can't do the post-edit on the past...20 interviews we have done. So we are even more behind there. Again, NOT OUR FAULT!! But still insanely maddening. It will all get done by the end of the summer - it has to! - but it is going to take a lot of late nights and early mornings in the hot un-airconditioned office...yuck...

On to better happenings of my life. Since I last wrote... my best friend got married! Malorie married the love of her life, Michael on May 24th, 2008. I was lucky enough to go home and be a bridesmaid for her. I had a great time and felt so blessed and loved to be able to share that time with her. I am so happy for her and Michael and am looking forward to seeing where the rest of life takes them! Here are some pictures from that weekend!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Rachel...the Pig

So, my first full day in Seattle Dr. Day took a group of us on a tour of Seattle. It was great fun - full of driving up and down scary hills with narrow roads, weaving in and out of cars, and even a whorehouse with a sign advertising their "show" Chronicles of Nudia. We stopped at a beach with gray sand, and cold, clear water (VERY different than what I'm used to in the Gulf). We saw a great view of the Seattle Skyline, Space Needle included at a very cute park. The highlight, however, was going to Pikes Place Market and getting a picture with Rachel the Pig. For some reason there is this golden pig in the middle of the market, named Rachel, that you have to touch or kiss, or something (I only touched it - ain't no way I'm putting my lips on a gold statue that millions of hands of questionable sanitation have touched!!). So, here is Rachel and Rachel the Pig!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thai food at the park


Hooray! After two weeks and an hour and a half of extreme frustration due to a loss of internet connectivity, I have internet access in my apartment!! This is very exciting seeing as I was dying from having to walk to the office to do something as simple as get on facebook. Literally dying. But all is well and I can now get on whenever the heck I want to. What a beautiful thing. An even more beautiful thing is that I was able to catch up on the NCIS episodes I missed the past few weeks. It made my week!

So tonight, a big group of us went about half an hour north to Bothell, WA (where the one single guy in our group is from) and went to a Thai restaurant. I already can't remember the name - crud! But there were 10 girls and 1 guy. Kimber jokingly said that Bryan should introduce himself and say he's from Texas. At first I got a little defensive because I thought she was just raggin' on Texas like people always do, but then I realized she was referencing the polygamist colony scandal from a few weeks ago. So, no bad-mouthing of Texas occurred - just the polygamists who happen to reside in that great state. Anyway, we decided to get the food to go so we could get to the park before the sun set. They took forever getting our food to us, and then we realized when we had driven 20 minutes to the park that they didn't give us any rice! And seeing as I got curry, there was no way I was going to eat it without rice. No way. So, two people went back and got the rice and life was good. But back to the restaurant. One of the hostesses had a shirt with something written in Thai and Kimber and I were trying to decide what it said. She thought it just said Welcome, but I decided it said: Kiss Me I'm Thai. Not nearly as catchy as Kiss Me I'm Irish, but I figure they had to work with what they had. When we were leaving Bryan was being very impatient with us because we stopped for some pictures and someone told him to be patient, to which he replied, "No. The sun's not going to be patient!" (we wanted to see the sunset at the park) It was pretty funny.

So, we went to this great park. When we got there, there was this huge willow tree and a very cute proposal setting under it. Some guy had put down some sleeping bags or something and covered them with rose petals and lit candles right under the willow tree. It was so cute! I wanted to sit at the bench right behind it and watch the proposal play out, but no one else thought it would be a good idea. I told Bryan to take notes for his future wife cause it was so cute. That was when we got to a table and realized our lack of rice. So while we waited for it to arrive, we went walking on the cute little boardwalk that went out over the lake. It was really pretty and peaceful. There were supposed to be turtles, but all we saw were three mallards. At one point I heard the water against the shore and I automatically thought of alligators. It is weird to me that there aren't alligators in the water up here. Cause definitely there are at home. Brittany, who is from Houston, thought the same thing. Anyway, the park was really relaxing and beautiful and it was a very nice way to spend the evening.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tulip Fest!

On Saturday, a lot of the girls drove an hour north of Seattle to go to the Tulip Fest. It was basically just fields and fields of tulips - very Netherlands and Holland - esque. It was absolutely gorgeous! I think they had about 40 different varieties of tulips. We went the second to last day that they were open, so a lot of the flowers had already had their heads cut off and were re-plowed or something, cause I'm sure there would usually have been a lot more than there were. But there were still a lot and I loved it! Unfortunately, it was raining and cold. I had my little jacket, but my hands were definitely completely numb by the time I went inside (and by inside I mean a big shack/barn kind of a thing with tarps spread over the top and sides). Also, because it was raining all day - I mean, it is Seattle - the ground was SO muddy. Luckily, my shoes had fantastic traction, so I only slipped once and it wasn't bad at all. But pretty much all the girls I was with had cute shoes on that had absolutely no traction and they were sliding all over the place. Two of them, Danielle and Rhea, decided to just take off their shoes and walk barefoot in the mud. It was pretty messy. They got bags from one of the shops to wrap around their feet for the drive home. Again - I was VERY glad to have good shoes. It was really sad though, cause I definitely saw a couple of older people completely fall down in the mud.

Anyway, here are some of my favorites of the pictures I took that day:

Friday, May 2, 2008

SEATTLE!

So, here I am in Seattle. Finally. I've been ansy to go since, I don't know, September. It's pretty exciting. The city is beautiful - SO green. I just got here yesterday though, so I haven't done much other than unpack. The penthouse is huge and I will be putting up pictures soon. But great day! I am here and I will write more when I have more time. I have to hurry and go eat lunch so I can go on a tour of the city. Woohoo!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Movin' On With the Rest of Your Life...

Sad day. My good friend Becca left Provo forever today to work in D.C. I hate good-byes! All of us got together last Wednesday at Chili's for a final dinner group shin-dig. It was fun (and let me tell ya - the food was delicious! Chicken Fried Steak is AMAZING!) and we all had a great time, but it was really sad for me. With Becca leaving today, my roommate Brooke moving out Wednesday then leaving for Taiwan and me leaving for Seattle next week, I don't know if I can handle all the goodbyes. I'd be okay if I was coming back at the end of the summer, but after Seattle I'm planning on being gone for 18 months and I won't see these girls for 2 years. It's a very hard thing for me to deal with, let me tell ya.

And to make matters worse - Becca came over last night to say goodbye because I was going to be on campus all day today. She was busy so she didn't get to stay long, and then we said goodbye and that was it. I was getting pretty teary-eyed! Like I said - I HATE goodbyes! I had this big ol' lump in my throat and couldn't talk and it was just terrible! Then this morning I'm walking to the bus stop and there's Becca! So I'm thinking, "Great - I have to go through that again?!" It was actually really good to talk to her for 15 minutes, but it just made it that much harder. Luckily I was in public and able to control my emotions - but it was a close call.

So, now I'm all kinds of sad getting ready for everyone, including myself, to leave. Growing up and moving on with your life is very bitter-sweet. Why do things have to change?

So, here we all are Chili's for our last dinner. Tiffany, me, Jess, Victoria, Brooke, Becca and Janeen. I love those girls - I don't know what I would have done without them this year. Die, probably. :D

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Start of Something New

Ok, sorry for the lame High School Musical reference in the title, but I thought it was catchy. Today, I got bored. This happens quite often, but seeing as it's a Sunday morning and I'm ready for church and don't feel like doing anything productive, I figured I'd do something at least somewhat productive. At least I'm not sitting on my bed staring at the wall, which I have been known to do at times like these. So, today, boredom = blogging.
I've been wanting to start a blog for a while, but haven't. Obviously. Since I'm starting it now. Rather than 6 months ago. Right. So, I don't really know what I'm doing, or how to make my blog look cool, but I'll figure it out. Especially when I am done with finals on Wednesday and moving out of my apartment on Friday. Because then I'll have nothing to do for 4 days. I freaking love not having anything to do - it's my favorite!