Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I went to a good friend's wedding this weekend. I suppose a wedding can count as a kind of midterm. You've been molding yourself with special characteristics through this life, hopefully ones that will blend well with someone you choose to spend the rest of it with. The great middle ground is the wedding day. The test? Will everyone make it out alive!

This one was no contest, it was one of the most beautiful weddings I've ever seen. Katie was beautiful, her husband was 10 ft. tall. She had to tilt her head expectantly and wait for the kiss!

As any good friends do, Annette and I heard all about pre-wedding planning and anxiety. I was worried I would find Katie is a state of near hysteria-or at least developing the early awakenings of her very first ulcer. But, no! In fact, I believe she is my idea of a perfect bride. She was well aware that her D.J. was a middle-aged woman whose hair declared her to be an '80's enthusiast and whose musical selections reflected as much. However, she was content with the evening and her self, without exuding an over-bearing sense of self-importance. As the dance floor opened up for all married couples Katie wondered, "Now, where is my husband?" (1st, but certainly not the last time she'll say that. Also, hint: check the bar.) Then, her eyes lit up and "I have a husband!" was her simple and satisfied pronouncement for the evening. I still get goose-bumps as I remember how happy they were.

Speaking of goose-bumps . . . here is a seasonal piece that a few of us wrote at F.H.E. last night (Lyrics written to replace those for the song Part of Your World, The Little Mermaid):

Our theme was Slasher Films--

Look at those knives
& all their sheaths
That stupid girl's just under those sheets!
Wouldn't you think she could hear . . .
The sinister breathing?

He's done slashing and hacking aplenty,
He's got a mad obsession with gore.
If it's goose bumps you want, you'll have plenty.
But, who cares?
No big deal
Where's the gore?!?!

I wanna see where the crepos are
I wanna see
Wanna see em killing
Lurking around in
(what'd call it?) 0h- plain sight!
With romance you don't get too far
Kinves are required for slashing and hacking
Cutting up girls who are
(what's the word again?) Blonde.

Out where they hack
Out where they lurk
Out where they kill all night in the dark
Creepy & sick, wish I could watch . . .
slasher movies.

Lyrics by: Nicki, Kim, Luke, Trevor and Elder Anderson (I won't tell the mission president, if you don't.)

Happy Halloween!

PS I just finished my Computing Foundations Midterm, and I can't think of anything more horrific . . . I definitely deserve a treat.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Phil Came to VISIT!!

Anyone who knows me knows how exiting this is! I miss the boy too much to express, and while saying goodbye never seems to get easier it will always be worth whatever time I get with him.

We had a great time while he was here and I'll share my favorite pictures and favorite stories.

On the Saturday after his arrival we helped a friend of mine host a Latino celebration/carnival for her work group. We had a great time, but apparently I did not understand the fundamentals to the three-legged race. Check out that bruise! It wraps around the front too. We also learned to dance the salsa, Phil is a master in the making.

My roommate gave us a hot tip on an apple orchard where you can pick as many apples as you want and only pay 10 cents a pound. So on Monday (or maybe Tuesday) we hopped in the car and headed out! We got 6 1/2 pounds, a well spent 65 cents. The apples seem to have discoloration on their skins, and Phil suspects some sort of mold in the after math of the floods. But, it wipes right off and the apples are yummy.

Phil made a special request for "Nicki mashed potatoes" which apparently included a country gravy. Don't ask me, I have no idea. But, what the man wants the man gets . . . I guess he wasn't kidding. That pile is half the plate! (P.S. After all the fuss over the gravy I had to remind him it was there, you know, in case he wanted some. ;) My favorite part was the Cajun chicken he whipped up. Delicious!

I wanted cake so we baked a yellow cake with vanilla frosting. We ate a little (it was 2 am by the time it was done) and went to bed. I covered the cake with a towel so it would not dry out. The next afternoon I was making lunch and asking Phil what he wanted. He came to stand by me and leaned on the "counter." He put his hand on the towel and rested his weight into the cake! He, he, he, he. I think this is so funny! In the picture you can kind of see the towel-patterned hand print. He, he.

On Friday my roommate Amy and her date let us crash their party and carve pumpkins with them. It was so much fun!! Our perfectionist natures showed themselves and we were only able to carve one in the time it took them to carve two, put we're rather proud of that jack o'lantern. We put a flashlight inside to see what it would look like . . . pretty scary.

Now, I'll end with my favorite story for the week. There is no picture because I didn't have the heart. One morning I woke up and checked up on Phil on his Coleman air mattress (what a trooper). I asked him how he slept. He reported that he didn't sleep well because he was cold all night. In his groggy voice and with a groggy face he informed me that he was just too tall for the blankets I had put on his "bed." What? How is this possible? I made one of those blankets myself . . . "See. My feet stick out the end." Yep, folks. Somehow during the night he had managed to turn all of his covers horizontally across the bed. Poor guy. I tucked him back in properly and didn't laugh until later! I must be the best girl friend ever.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Field of Dreams!

Here are some pictures from this grand adventure!!

To the right is my roommate Amy. Yep, they've added a baseball concession-stand-style gift shop next to the charming, white picket fenced, farm house.

"If you build it, they will come" . . . oxygen tanks and all! Adorable!!

Here I am, testing the corn-y air, James Earl Jones style!

Here Kendra (a good friend) is just taking a picture. But, Amy knew what to do to create the perfect shot.

What wonders do beset my eyes? And they can be yours, all yours! for a small fee.

Last, but not least . . . Country Junction! It is absolutely the only place to eat, dah-ling, after the Field of Dreams. (But, really. It's the only place.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sigh . . .

As some of you may know, I was able to take a fairly impromptu trip home!!  My classes are held on Wednesday, Thursday and every other Monday.  With a Monday off approaching I figured I could skip out of town for the long weekend without doing any harm to my studies.  I was right!

I left on Thursday (Sept. 11) after my night class.  I drove from 8:00 p.m. straight through the night and morning to arrive at my parent's house around noon on Friday.  My family then drove me to SLC to have lunch with Phil.  I was so happy, and I think my family and Phil enjoyed making fun of my delirious, sleep deprived state.  I saw no one but Phil, his family, and my family . . . and it was just what I needed.  I miss Phil terribly and living in Iowa makes me feel a bit trapped and a bit unconnected.  I know there are lots of people who will be upset when they get this news, but I only had 3 1/2 days to soak up my boyfriend.  I am so lucky to have so many people that love me . . . and I will insist on seeing you all in my month home during winter break!  (Including Nikki Barkume, who is due to arrive Thanksgiving week!!!)

After my trip home, I became less bitter with Iowa.  I think I may even actually like it. ;)  Iowa City has a charming feel, and it's nice to be surrounded by so many green and growing things.  Fall weather has set in, but the trees are still very green.  It's a bit strange.  I'm used to more fall colors by this time.  And, it's chilly.

I certainly love my little singles branch.  I feel so happy with all the people.  The are all very quirky, but they are also very loving and accepting and not afraid to do the Lord's work in all its variety.  It is refreshing to be among them.  If the Lord has brought me here for a purpose, it may very well be this love-filled Iowa City 3rd Branch.

I am learning quickly that all I need to learn in this diverse field of librarianship will never entirely reach me through my course work.  It is a dually frustrating and invigorating discovery.  I wish my instructors were giving me more, but there is also an under lying challenge for me to find the information and opportunities I need on my own.  And, as a Library and Information specialist the skill is a must.  So, I guess in a way, this program's lack is providing the impetus I need to develop necessary skills that may have gone under nourished.  You never know, I may just conquer the world yet.

PS  My roommate, Amy, and a friend Kendra went on a Tuesday's in Iowa trip to see the Field of Dreams movie site.  How funny is that?!?!  It's still there, looking creepily the same as it did in the movie.  Ah, Iowa.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

To the Starting Line

On your mark.

Get Set.

Um . . .

This being the first week of class I kept expecting to get busy. Hmm. Waiting . . . waiting . . .

I'm sure I'll regret saying this in another week's time, but so far it has been decidedly anti-climactic. Oh well, another day, another dollar-spent.

I met with my advisor for my Digital Fellow project and I will be working with a collection of readings from a locally broadcast program called Pairie Lights. This will involve digitizing the recordings from their original format (sometimes reel-to-reel!), and then finding the best way to sort them, store them and make them available to the public via a website linked to the Virtual Writing University.

I have learned three things in the last week, though. 1) Being alone is difficult for social butterflies. 2) Keep your boyfriend as close to you as humanly possible. 3) Don't read Priscilla Presley biographies when you are relatively alone and relatively unoccupied. Earth shattering, I know. You should be taking notes.

On a lighter note--my new roommate has arrived!! Enter Stage Left: Amy Scott. She is great and amazing, and has already made our little pad more of a home. Yeah, thanks Amy! Amy is in the non-fiction writing program working on an MFA and is coming to us from California, then BYU where she completed her Undergraduate degree. She just finished up a year interning with the Smithsonian in Washingon, D.C. (Not the State, Aunt Connie.) She pretty much rocks.

Amusing Story: I was at the Coralville Public library working at a computer station when a cute Asian family of three gathered to use the one across from me. Mother, Father, three year old (ish) daughter. The mom was working on the computer, occupying the chair and effectively ignoring the child's prattle, which went something like this: "Mom, would you please let me use the chair? Could I get in the chair, Mom? I need to get those (presumably the pencil and paper) and I can't reach. Mom, can I? Mom?" The precocious, and adorable young thing continued in like manner for several minutes. Mom: "Um-hmm. What dear? umm . . ." Next, the sly young thing is asking "Mom, can I use the bathroom? I need to go to the bathroom. Mom . . ." Mom: "Okay, just a minute." Then, the moment mom gets up for the errand where do you think the three year old re-locates? Quite miraculously she no longer needs to use the bathroom!! Parents beware. This is the generation of the future!

That is all. Scroll down for food for thought.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Settled At Last

I am finally in my new place, and it's adorable! I love it to pieces.

In a rush-rush week I finished up my two summer classes, moved into a new apartment, said good-bye to three great friends, and taken over the Branch Relief Society.

I got the keys to my new place last Tuesday night and that very night my beautiful friends and I moved a majority of my things in. That night we played games on the empty floor of the front room. On Wednesday I helped clean the old place until the moment I had to run to class. I handed my keys over to Tina and Gloria and they moved my furniture in for me!!! I am truly blessed in my friends. That night I was equally blessed with the opportunity of having them both stay over. Tina stayed the next night too! But, by early Friday morning I was alone again.

Saturday I did essential things like unpack my belongings and getting my library card for the local public library! Everything went smoothly and here are some pictures!!

Sunday most of the branch had gone to a young singles adult activity in Des Moines that lasted all weekend, leaving me with the run of the show-as far as Relief Society goes. There was confusion and tardiness that caused me to miss the PEC meeting (blush), but the Spirit was strong in the remainder of the meetings and I was able to conduct and teach the lesson without incident. I hope the sisters have had enough of me for a while, though! (Or, maybe not. I was asked to speak in sacrament meeting next week.) ;)

I picked up another good friend at church on Sunday who was passing back through before she moves to Atlanta, Georgia and she'll be with me until tomorrow morning. Which only leaves me a couple of days before Phil comes to visit!! Yay! Yay! Phil is coming to visit! And, then my roommate will move in! All-in-all, I am truly blessed of the Lord. (If you scroll to the bottom you'll find some food for thought.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ahhh . . .

Well, I finally got 'round to it. Here is my blog. I anticipate it will change drastically, or at least semi-drastically.

To start I just want to state that I'm still torn on this new state. Iowa seems to have many charms, but I'm not feeling them on a daily basis just yet. I made a few truly amazing friends, but sadly they have found new direction just as I have. Only their new direction is away from Iowa while mine is to stay. Bye-bye new cool friends. Hello square one.

A brief synopsis of my adventures thus far: Arrive in Iowa and tour it up with family and boyfriend. Family and boyfriend leave Iowa and I commence crying myself to sleep at night. Within the week a fellow fellow is ousted from her apartment owing to the epic flood of '08 and is sleeping on my floor. At week's end classes are canceled owing to the epic flood of '08 and I find myself on the road again to Sioux Falls, SD to enjoy the security and calming promise of electricity and untainted water. Welcome to Iowa. (View Slide show of the epic flood of '08 , right. The images don't do justice to the destruction.)

Commence week of boredom and attempting to complete as much homework as possible so as to not get behind, and feeling very blessed by the presence of my webcam so that I can still see Phil's charming features.

Once back in Iowa I attempt to establish a comfy living environment without unpacking too much as I will be moving again at the end of July. I miss Phil . His beautimous father offers to help fly me out over the weekend of the 4th. Yes, please? Blessed weekend of the comforts of home and boyfriend (which seem to be more and more synonymous with each passing day).

Cue pain of separation all over again. Cue boredom with classes all over again. Sigh.

Nonetheless, I have enjoyed learning some new things, meeting some amazing people and getting my new calling as 2nd counselor in the Branch (yes, Branch) RS presidency.

I move in exactly one week. Whirlwind set of months. (Or, should I say tornado? There have been plenty.)

Oh, and ps: I saw fireflies for the first time ever!! Thank you Tina and Jamie !! And, of course, Phil. Always Phil.