Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Birthday to ME!

Is it conceited to do a blog post celebrating your own birth? If so, then I am conceited!

Today I turned 25 years old. TWENTY FIVE!!!! How did that happen?

I had a little moment of fame the day I was born - my birth made it into the newspaper. The nurse at the hospital that helped my mom through labor, c-section and recovery had something special happen with my birth. I can't remember exactly what it was. Either I was the last baby she helped deliver before retiring and had been there for a long time, or I the 8,000th baby she helped birth or something (I made that number up, in case you were wondering). Her, my mom, and I were in the newspaper. Pretty neat, huh? I knew from that day on that I was meant for greatness!

There is one aspect of my birth that my family will NEVER let me live down. I was breach. The doctor tried THREE TIMES to flip me around into the right position, but me the stubborn person that I am, I flipped right back. Sometime in there my mom's water broke, so she said that all the flipping around in a dry womb was excruciating. Sorry Mom! Didn't mean to hurt you! I was just dead set on doing things my own way, rather than how everyone else wanted me to do it. I think personality trait has stuck with me - though not as much as you might think. I just wanted to come out bum first! But, that's really dangerous. So, the doctors decided to do an emergency c-section. Again, sorry Mom! Ever since then, my family feels the need to remind me of my stubbornness pretty much every time we all come together. I was such a butt-head, apparently. They all think it's hilarious. It's really quite old to me, though. :)

Another important thing about my birthday is that I was born somewhere around 9 pm. The doctor wanted to set my mom up and do the c-section the next morning. She screamed, "NO!" See, my sister's birthday was the next day. She did NOT want to have to deal with two girls having identity crises of having the same birthday but not being twins. So, she forced the doctor to do it that night. It's funny though - she wanted so much to not have us share a birthday, but every birthday I remember, we have celebrated both on the same day anyway. So - Happy Birthday tomorrow, Sarah!

Here are some pictures from some my birthdays over the years. All but the first are just since I got a digital camera. I have pictures of other birthdays, but they are all prints, darn it.

I was such a cute baby. I'm kinda obsessed with myself as a baby.   :)

First birthday with Mommy and my presents!

Yay cake!!! Gosh, I was cute!

And now....skip forward to 2006. When I got a digital camera...

I don't know if this was for sure my birthday - but it was that summer of 2006. So, I guess that means I turned 19 that year. That's Malorie, me, and Sarah.

I think we probably celebrated all of our birthdays together this year, 2007. I was 20, Becca was 30 and Sarah was 22. Becca's birthday is 11 days before mine. 

This was at my 21st birthday party. I was in Seattle with the Flourishing Families Project - my first birthday to spend with no family around. I made a TON of cake balls - they were so yummy! Somehow I didn't get a good picture of that day at all. Oops!

This wasn't for my birthday, but it was in Seattle and is one of my pictures of me! I think it was my facebook profile picture while I was on my mission. 

I turned 22 on my mission in Jacksonville, Florida. It was my favorite birthday by far, despite the fact that our district ended up fasting for the second half of it. Here we are at Sonny's eating the best BBQ I've ever had. Around the table from the left is Elder Udy, Elder Atherton, Elder Terry, me, Sister Johnson, and Elder Price. 

Between the last picture and this one, my amazing friend Ta'Keshia got interviewed for her baptism. It was such an amazing experience and took a lot of hard work to get there. I have great pictures of us after, but she doesn't like her picture to be accessible on the internet, so I left it out. But believe me, it's a priceless picture. :) But this one is me showing off my birthday packages.

And this is everything I got! Yay!

We had cake that Saturday I think. (Remember, we fasted after lunch, so no food or drink, and definitely no birthday cake!) Elder Price celebrated by sitting on Elder Udy. I miss those two!

Here I am holding my cake. The expression on my face is what happened when I realized that Sister Johnson was recording the birthday singing and blowing out of the candles on her camera instead of mine. Don't worry though - she got me the video later. 

My 23rd birthday. We were all still very giddy about me being home from the mission, even though I'd been home for 2 and a half months. Again, we celebrated all 3 of our birthdays together. I love my sisters soooo much! I am so blessed to have them!

And we love to laugh together!! Yay!!!

This is on my 24th birthday. I got dressed up because I had to finally renew my driver's license and I wanted a good picture. I got it too! Most people are surprised at how good my license pic is. The secret - SMILE! Even if they tell you not to!

We went to see Malorie later that day. I love her so much!

And Allie!!! My favorite little girl in the whole world!!!!

Here I am turning 25! We had church today and I got an extra present! Due to sewage problems at the chapel, church got cut from 3 hours to 2! Not that I necessarily want church to be shorter all the time, but it was nice for today.

We all know I like to make faces by now, right?

I love my sister!! Happy birthday tomorrow Sarah!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Everything I Need To Know I Learned In Band, Part 1

Marching band. Concert band. Four years of blood, sweat, tears, and pain. Incredible joy and crushing disappointment. Pride. Mostly, it was four years of learning how to succeed, learning how to work, and developing incredible friendships. I learned so much. 

Being in band in high school has had such a huge impact on my life. I literally cannot go a month without having some kind of band-related dream. The content is always slightly different, but always anxiety provoking. I either have to learn a whole marching show in one day, lose my instrument and have to go on a mad search to find one, show up at region auditions only knowing one of the three songs, decide to switch instruments right before a contest, etc. These dreams are so stressful! And they make me miss playing and being in band SO much!

Oh how I do NOT miss wearing that wool uniform. 

But that's beside the point. The point is that I have a work party tomorrow. My sister is coming with me (because "significant others" are encouraged to attend. I am the only one without said "significant other," so my awesome sister is coming with me). I have a client just before so I won't be able to drive there with Sarah. She'll have to get off work and meet me in League City before we go. Which means we might be a bit late. I was a little worried about it. Then, I remembered this piece of wisdom I learned my first year of being in band...

Each year, marching band practice started two weeks before school started in the Fall. Last week of July we'd start waking up at 7 to get to practice at 8 (I think - it has been almost 8 years since my senior year). We'd be in the Texas heat and humidity of July/August for 4 ish hours, have an hour and a half off to go home, eat, and shower, and then come back for the same amount of time of practicing the music inside. I never once put on sunscreen for all that time outside in the sun. And I never once got burned. I still wonder HOW that happened. We all had beautiful tan lines on the ankles, thighs, arms, and neck. Somehow, as grueling as it was, I LOVED summer band!

The last Friday before school would start, we'd have the band pool party.  Our fearless leader, Mr. Koch, would talk to us when we all came together for announcements at the end of the day. This is (not verbatim, but close) what he would tell us about the pool party:

"I know we are all excited about the pool party tonight. All you Freshman, eager to please, wanting to make a good impression, new to the game, will probably show up 5-10 minutes early. Sophomore's, you've got a year of this under your belt, you're a bit more confident, you know you can take it a little slower, and you'll all be there right about on time. Juniors, you know what it's all about, you're cool, you've got a reputation of knowing how to take it easy; you show up about 10 minutes late. Seniors, you're the one's everyone looks up to, you know you've got better things to do than be on time to a party, you know how to grace everyone with your presence and you know the importance of making a grand entrance - you'll be there 15-20 minutes late."

Here is most of the Senior Class of 2005 at Medieval Times on our trip to Dallas. 
Mr. Koch is on one knee in front. 

I have taken this advice to heart! I used to be late to everything, important or not. Oops! I've since changed my ways and I'm mostly good about being early or on time to important things. But when there are social events, I still like to be there a little late. Cause its just so awkward when you're the first one there! So, I use the wisdom given me through Mr. Koch and marching band, and show up to social events late.

So my work party tomorrow? Though I'm not going to be late on purpose, I am going to let myself not worry about it. Thanks, marching band!

I must also say that my favorite thing about band was meeting my best friend, Malorie.  

 She is the best friend anyone could ever have and I am SO grateful for her!

Without band, we never would have met. In fact, we met in the band hall!

These pictures of Malorie and I were all taken just before I went to college at BYU. We had to get a picture with my car, the "Lovell Land Yacht" - it was infamous among the band while my siblings and I were there. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Graduation Reminiscing

People are graduating all over the place here in Houston. I drove past a graduation, called a client during a graduation, saw that Reliant stadium is hosting 4 graduations this weekend, and have seen tons of graduation excitement on facebook recently. All of this reminds me of my graduation last August. I never posted pictures anywhere, so here are some of my favorites from that glorious event.

I do love that Cougar. 

Aw. My family, minus Becca. 

Shoes? who needs em?

I'm a little spunky sometimes. ;)

Nice photobomb, bro!

The world is MY campus. I just need more money to travel it. Wanna help? 

Go forth to serve? Sounds like a plan! 

Wish that camera was mine. 

This place was my haven Senior Year. Would not have survived without the wonderful friends I made in this room. And I learned so much to help with being a therapist now. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I had to work in the coding lab!


Strike a pose!

Did I tell you about the time when I walked in the JFSB fountain? No? Well, I did! SO much fun! 

I was a little afraid of slipping, but I survived. 

I LOVE that top! I had to show it off. 

Hehe. :)

Cute little footprints. 

Love this picture. 

And love my sister!!!

Me and the Y. Somehow in 4 years I never hiked the Y. Sad story, huh? 

Sarah pulled a face before me! It's a miracle!

But I fixed that quick. And seriously? Impressive lips, Sarah!!! 

So there you have it. I graduated. It was thrilling. Then 10 days later I started grad school in Houston. And now, 9.5 months later I'm doing my internship and seeing clients and acting like an almost grown up. WEIRD!!!!