Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm Here

I live in North Carolina. This is still a little surreal. I feel like I'm on vacation, not really living here. Probably because I don't have a job, but hopefully that will change soon. Job hunting sucks, by the way. There is absolutely nothing fun about it. But I'm sure something will work out eventually. I just hope I don't go broke by then. ;)

Ok, so I know you're dying to know about our journey from Utah to Texas to North Carolina. Well, here goes: We drove straight through from Provo to Dallas. No stops, except for gas and food. It was pretty miserable. I can't sleep in the car, especially when the seat can't lean back because everything I own is piled up behind it. So even though Jared was wonderful and did most of the driving, it was still not very enjoyable. But 22 hours into our journey, we made it to Dallas. It was noon on Christmas Eve, so we were able to enjoy pretty much the whole day there.

Highlights of Dallas: Christmas (of course), honey baked ham, Blue Bell ice cream, seeing cousins, hanging out with my family, taking pictures with Leighana.
Oh yeah, I had a birthday during that time, too. I'm 24 now and I don't feel any different, but I do like saying "24" instead of "23."

This is by far the cutest Christmas present I have ever seen.

2008's awkward sibling Christmas picture

Hanging out with cousins at the grandparents' house

We left Dallas on Sunday, the 28th (Leighana's birthday - sorry we had to leave on your birthday, Lele!). We wanted to take more time to enjoy this stretch of the drive because neither of us had really spent any time in the deep south. We stopped for the night just outside of Birmingham, Alabama at a Motel 6 that made me want to throw up. Here's why:
  • There was a Big Nasty Hair on the hand towel in the bathroom.
  • It stunk.
  • I used my own pillow so I didn't have to lay my head on their pillows, but that was kind of a bad idea because then MY pillow STUNK.
Also, I kinda got the heebie-jeebies when we saw the MANY signs in the parking lot that said "Lock your car! We are not responsible for theft or damage to vehicles or loss of life!" Ok, maybe the sign didn't say "loss of life" but I felt that was implied. And then we went to the lobby to check in, except we couldn't actually go INTO the lobby because it was after sundown, so we had to talk to the lady through a bullet-proof glass window.

Ok, so we left the next morning and drove a couple hours to Atlanta. Our plan was to get lunch, go to the aquarium, and be on our way. But apparently, the Georgia Aquarium is crazy busy (especially because there was a bowl game going on that weekend in Atlanta) and we had to wait in line 45 minutes just to buy tickets. And the tickets have times, so even though we got there at 1:30 PM to buy tickets, we couldn't get in until 4:00 PM. But that was alright because we took that time to wander around and see some other things in Atlanta, like the Olympic Centennial Park and the CNN building.

I didn't know Jared was making this face in the background, but I think it's really cute.

This is the hummer/broadcasting station that was used by CNN reporters in Iraq.

We finally left Atlanta at about 6:00 PM and drove the rest of the way to North Carolina. We arrived in Raleigh about 1:00 AM. I'm so glad we made it here safely!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just when I was getting used to being a Utahn...

I will soon be a North Carolinian.

I'm moving to Raleigh, NC to close the 2,000 mile gap between me and my boyfriend, Jared. He moved there in August for school and I've finally decided I like him enough to follow. Putting aside my fear for the future and my sadness of leaving my dear friends in Provo, I'm pretty excited. It will definitely be nice to spend more time with Jared. We have tons of fun adventures planned already.

I'm excited for:
1. the Smoky Mountains
2. the beach
3. southerners
4. venus flytraps (they are native to North Carolina and I want to grow one)
5. being only 4 1/2 hours from DC
6. MY TOTALLY AWESOME HOUSE!

Yea!

Jared is going to help me move out there and we are going to stop in Dallas on the way to spend Christmas with my family. Wish us luck for our 40 hours of driving.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Soundtrack of my life

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A MOVIE, WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE?
So, here's how it works:
1. Open your music library.
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every question, type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button.
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool...

Opening Credits: "Lullaby"-Kalai

Waking Up: "Ain't Nothin' Like" -Brad Paisley

First Day of School: "Control Freak" -Copeland

Falling in Love: "The Day Before You" -Rascal Flatts (this one actually fits really well)

Fight Song: "Hop a Plane" -Tegan and Sara

Breaking Up: "One Fine Wire" -Colby Caillat

Life: "Alone" -Kenny G (no! I really hope this song does NOT describe my life!)

Mental Breakdown: "Time Stands Still" -All-American Rejects

Driving: "Somewhere A Clock is Ticking" -Snow Patrol

Flashbacks: "Ice Ice Baby" -Vanilla Ice (should I be embarrassed that I have this song on my computer? Cuz I'm not.)

Getting Back Together: "Dancing With Angels" -SheDaisy

Wedding: "It's My Life" -Bon Jovi (hmm...not your traditional wedding song)

Birth of a Child: "I Can Tell" -BBMak (I might be a little embarrassed to have BBMak)

Final Battle: "Tied Down" -Colbie Caillat

Death Scene: "You Can Do It" -No Doubt

Funeral Song: "Oh Dear" -Matt Costa

End Credits: "Luckie St." -Cartel

So...this didn't work so well. But you should do it anyway, because I like to see what kind of music other people have in their libraries.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thank you!

Check out this full-page ad in the New York Times defending the LDS church and other faiths. I adamantly agree that whatever your political or moral opinions, violence and vandalism are unjustified.

http://www.nomobveto.org/images/nytad_lg.png

Friday, December 5, 2008

Snow Sports

I once saw skiing (also applies to snowboarding) defined as "the art of catching cold and going broke while rapidly heading nowhere at great personal risk." Pretty accurate, I think. Nevertheless, I really wish it would SNOW so I could hit the slopes!!! What is this? December 5 and no snow??? Agh!

More NZ pics

Check out more pictures on facebook here and here.



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Trip to the South Pacific

Wow, I don't even know where to begin. I'm usually one of those people that uploads my photos to facebook just moments after they were taken, so the fact that it has been 32 hours since I have been home from the biggest vacation of my life and I have not yet uploaded a single picture is pretty unbelievable. The problem is that I have about 500 pictures and it's incredibly overwhelming to even think about sorting through those and deciding which ones to post. Plus, I don't remember half the names of the places we went. Well, that's not entirely true. I remember lots of names. I just can't remember which name goes with which picture. So again, I am going to defer to Sherry's blog, where she is posting a much more detailed description of our journey than I ever could...or ever will.

In answer to the very broad question that everyone is asking, "what did you do?" I will answer with a very broad, "spent a few days in the Dunedin area checking out the shops and local tourist spots, touring the beautiful Otago peninsula where we went on some hikes and saw lots of sheep and birds and sea lions (AND...keep reading to find out what else we saw there); spent 5 days driving/camping around the south island, mostly on scenic highways, stopping for lots and lots of hikes and going on 2 boat rides; and finished off with another day and a half in Dunedin."

One day soon, I will upload a large number of my pictures to facebook and you can look through them there.

For now, I will just list the highlights of my trip!

1. I saw a penguin in its natural habitat! Who can say that? And, to top it off, it is one of the rarest species of penguins in the world! It is called a yellow-eyed penguin and you can learn more about it and see better pictures here. We went to Sandfly Bay on the Otago peninsula, which is just outside of Dunedin to catch a glimpse of these little guys. Penguins will run/swim away if they feel threatened and this can be detrimental to their hungry babies, so it is very important that you are not seen. So...we had to hide out in these wooden rooms. We only saw one penguin and it was pretty far away, but it was worth it. Even from 100 meters away, I could tell it was cute. =)




2. The Catlins rainforest. It was incredibly green and dense. We went on lots of short hikes, which was really fun because we could walk for 10 minutes and be at a gorgeous waterfall. All of our hikes pretty much looked like this. It was great.


3. Fiordland National Park. Yeah, the whole park was a highlight. It's hard to pick out the best parts, because it was all incredible and unlike anything I'd ever seen before. I'm not hard to please when it comes to nature and scenery. I can find beauty in a variety of landscapes. But this was really just different from anything I've ever seen before. There was moss growing on everything - the trees, the rocks, the ground. I'm pretty sure it was even growing on itself. And if we had stayed there long enough, it would have grown on us, too. Sadly, I don't really have any good pictures that describe this because my camera battery died that day, but I did snag this video, so check it out to see some awesome scenery. Besides hiking and camping, our main activity in the Fiordlands was going on a boat cruise in Milford Sound. It was gorgeous.

video




3. The waterfalls. Oh, the waterfalls. We saw so many waterfalls, Sherry even started joking that she was sick of seeing waterfalls. We saw big ones and small ones and there were definitely too many to count. Besides the one at Milford Sound, here are some of the impressive ones.


4. The totally awesome science exhibit at the Otago Museum. I felt like a kid playing with all of the hands-on exhibits. Just think back to a really cool science museum you went to as a kid and you've probably got the idea. Except NOT. Because this one was at least twice as cool because it also had a RAINFOREST! This rainforest had a banana tree and a waterfall and geckos and turtles and a bazillion butterflies. Seriously. One bazillion. I think I read that somewhere. There was also a display of butterfly and moth pupae and you could see the adults breaking free and starting to fly!




5. The Haast Highway. Why? Because it looked like this. If there were a road you could drive on to get to heaven, I think it would look like the Haast Highway did the evening we were on it. Absolutely stunning!

The best part of New Zealand was, without a doubt, the beautiful landscapes. So I will try to add pictures to facebook tomorrow, because showing you pictures is probably the best way I can describe my experience. And I will add a link to the album on my blog, for any of you who are not facebook users.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm a Cheater

I'm not writing a real post - one with substance - right now. That's why I'm a cheater. I'm too tired to blog about my NZ trip right now. All I want to do is sleep, but I've been trying to stay awake until a reasonable bedtime hour so I can get back on a normal rhythm.

So...go to Sherry's blog and read about things we did in New Zealand.

I'll write my own later!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I haven't traveled to the top 2 corners yet, but...

One of my favorite comedians, the late Mitch Hedberg, said, "I want to hang a map of the world in my house. Then I’m gonna put pins into all the locations that I’ve traveled to. But first I’m gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won’t fall down."

Well, I haven't traveled to the top 2 corners yet, but...I am going to the bottom right corner of the map on WEDNESDAY! Hooray!

Sherry is pretty much amazing and she made this awesome map (color coded, even!) of our journey. It reminds me of the maps at the back of the Bible that show Paul's travels. But our journey will be much faster because we will be using a car. Lucky us.

As you can tell, this only includes 5 days of the 10 (well, 9 and a half, really) I will be there. The other days will be spent around Dunedin, where Sherry and Eric live. I am SO excited!

By the way, I just went into my bathroom to consult my world map shower curtain to try and figure out what countries I need to go to in order to put a pin in the top 2 corners of the map, and I ran into a serious problem. The top 2 corners are the MIDDLE OF THE ARCTIC OCEAN! Don't know if anyone's noticed that before, but that presents a problem. Looks like I'll have to travel to the New Siberian Islands in Russia and some of those uninhabited Canadian islands way up north. They aren't exactly in the corner, though, so I'll probably have to travel to Alaska and eastern Russia so I can tack down the sides, too.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Apathy and the Irony

I forgot how much I hate elections. I think it is WONDERFUL that people have differing opinions, because no ONE person or ONE group can be right all the time. (Well...except Jesus Christ - I look forward to the day that He rules the earth and we don't have to worry about elections anymore.) I think there is rightness and truth on all sides (or should I say "both" sides) and that we need both sides to balance each other out. It's natural that there should be disagreements about what's best for our country or what's the best way to reach those goals for our country, but it just makes me sad to see people and politicians be hateful toward one another or attack their moral character for not having the same political opinions. I just want these elections to be over...stat. I plan on voting and I hope that the person I vote for wins, but if he doesn't, oh well. America won't fall apart. That's the beauty of our system. There are checks and balances to make sure one person can't screw it up too badly. And even if they do, their time in office will expire and someone else will take over and America will still be free and we will all be ok.

So I guess I could say I don't really care what happens tomorrow. And you could call me apathetic...but I probably wouldn't care. ;)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloweeeeeeeeeeen

Introducing...Burger King and Dairy Queen!

So...the costumes. We had been tossing around ideas for a while and finally decided on these about a week before Halloween. I knew I wanted to make some sashes, so I went to the fabric store and bought some cheap muslin, ribbon for edges, and gold glitter paint. They turned out alright, although they were a little too short and I did a terrible job on the sewing. But that's pretty much what I expected. I don't know how to sew. I want to learn, though. Anyway, the day before Halloween, I went to DI (Deseret Industries thrift store) and wandered around for at least an hour, hoping something would just jump out at me. I almost bought 2 matching shirts with a picture of smiling cows. I'm glad I didn't get those. They were really ugly. Luckily, I ran into an old friend and told her I was having a hard time coming up with a costume and she suggested robes. Brilliant! Don't know why I didn't think of that before. DI didn't have crowns and I didn't have time to go anywhere else, but lucky for us, Jared's neices (who we took trick-or-treating) had some that we were able to borrow! Isn't Jared's crown perfect for a king? I love it.

Other Halloween-related things that are somewhat noteworthy:
1. Caramel apples are really easy to make. Just melt some of those square caramel candies in the microwave (with a little bit of milk - 2 tbsp for every 14 oz of caramel) and dip the apple. You can even roll it in desired confections.
2. I don't like scary movies. I always think I can handle them, but I can't. I end up covering my face most of the movie and then having to ask what happened after everyone screams.
3. The Halloweiner is the cutest Halloween book ever. It's about a weiner dog named Oscar that saves the day.
4. I really like leaves on the ground. It kinda makes me sad to see people rake them up and put them in bags where they cannot be enjoyed. They are so pretty! And fun to step on!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Picture Tag! If you're reading this, you're it.

The rules of the game: Go to your pictures folder and take the fourth picture from the fourth folder and post it. Its fun! :) Then give us a some details about the pic.

Ok, I have lots of pictures and I am crazy about organizing them into folders, so I actually had to click on my 4th folder and then my 4th subfolder and then my 4th picture. I was actually surprised there weren't more folders I had to go through.

Anyway, this is my mom on Christmas 2006. Um, this is at our house. In the living room. That is a plant in the corner, not the Christmas tree. I really don't remember anything about this picture. But I love my mom.

fUn WiTh JaReD

Jared came to visit for the weekend and we did lots of fun stuff, but somehow I only got pictures of a couple of things. Oh well. Most of these are from when we drove the Alpine Loop (scenic byway connecting Provo Canyon and American Fork Canyon).





Jared knew about this statue garden in Salt Lake that has a sphinx with the face of Joseph Smith, so we had to go check that out. It was such an odd place. It's called Gilgal Garden.

We also went to the Body Worlds exhibit (the one with all the human bodies), ran a 5K (Jared won 3rd place! but that didn't surprise me cuz I think he might be some sort of superhuman), and went to the BYU-UNM football game. It was a great long weekend (but somehow still not long enough).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lake Powell

This past weekend, I finally got to experience the splendor of Lake Powell. I went with 7 friends and spent Thursday through Sunday boating, wakeboarding, camping, and exploring. It was hard to believe how wonderful the weather was, considering it was the end of September. It was perfect and beautiful. I'm kind of a sissy when it comes to cold water, so I thought the water was a little chilly, but it didn't keep us from having a great time.



Friday, September 19, 2008

Weekend in North Carolina

I went to Raleigh, North Carolina to visit Jared this past weekend. Here's some photos of fun things we did.

1a) Free expression tunnel, i.e. graffiti wall. Totally legal. Totally fun. We spray painted tons and tons of things on the wall. We figured that gave us the best odds that something of ours would survive more than a couple of days. Turns out we were right. Jared walked through the tunnel a couple days later and nearly everything we painted was already covered up by other people's graffiti.

Here's where we tried out our tagging skills to see if we could ever be in a gang.

And here's where I drew a picture of myself so Jared won't forget me.

And here is lady liberty that Jared painted. She is winking. (Don't mind the pancakes. Those are part of someone else's picture. But aren't they amazing?)

And here is a portrait I painted of Jared. Jared wears bowties.

1b) This was not a planned activity, but we happened to see the Isaiah-man on campus while we were at the free expression tunnel. Here he is, standing at his portable podium, preaching to whomever will listen...which, at the time, was no one.

2) Beach. Always fun. But more fun in the Atlantic Ocean than the Pacific Ocean. Because it's warmer. The water couldn't possibly be more perfect. Unless it didn't have salt in it. That would make it better. But I'll deal with the salt if it could always be as warm as it was this day.



I love jumping pictures. So here we are jumping off a lifeguard tower.


3) The Aquarium. For those of you that don't know, I LOVE aquariums. And I really love octopuses. By the way, octopuses is the more correct plural form of octopus. "Octopi" was just a mistake that caught on too well. In hopes to maintain the illusion that I am not a nerd, I will cease writing octopus trivia and just show some pictures.

I also love carnivorous plants. Well, as much as one can love them without really knowing anything about them. Anyway, we saw some venus flytraps. They were really small, but still carnivorous.


Ok, that's enough.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

So I had this epiphany...

I was driving home from work and it came to me. Actually, I was listening to a country song. Don't know the name of it, but it's a man talking about his family and there's this line that says, "little blue-eyed blonde with her shoes on wrong cuz she likes to dress herself." So that got me thinking about little kids and how they all get to a point where they want to be independent and start refusing help from their parents. Of course, if they fall down and get a booboo they always come crying to their parents for help then. But there are definitely those times when they want so badly to do things for themselves that they reject their parents' help even if it's to their detriment.

So I realized that this is exactly how we act with Heavenly Father! It's not a bad thing, but it is totally necessary for us to leave His presence (come to earth) and really learn things for ourselves. He is always there for us if we get hurt or scared, but He knows that we need independence and experience to progress. There was this great quote by Lorenzo Snow in the July Ensign that says, "We believe that we are the offspring of our Father in heaven, and that we possess in our spiritual organizations the same capabilities, powers and faculties that our Father possesses, although in an infantile state, requiring to pass through a certain course or ordeal by which they will be developed and improved according to the heed we give to the principles we have received."

Love that quote.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Living by faith, not fear

Today was one of those days where it seemed like everything I heard at church was presented JUST FOR ME. I love days like that. Except days when it's like, "REPENT, JENN!" Those days aren't as fun, but still just as important. Anyway, today was a good day. The most important thing I got out of church today was to LIVE BY FAITH, NOT FEAR. It's ridiculous to make decisions (or rather, NOT make decisions) because we are afraid! And yet I do it all the time. I'm afraid to quit my job, I'm afraid to start a new job, I'm afraid to go back to school, I'm afraid to move here or there, I'm afraid to date this person, I'm afraid to stand up for myself, I'm afraid to share the gospel...yada, yada, yada. I basically just exposed my every weakness, but whatever. I don't want to be afraid anymore. I realized that every time I make a decision (or fail to make a decision) based on fear, I am showing God that I don't have enough faith in Him that things will work out!

When it comes down to it, what I'm really afraid of is loss. Loss of life, loss of love, loss of income, loss of dignity, etc. Earlier this week, I was reading the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. I love that parable. Lazarus was a beggar. He had poor health, no food, and we can safely assume he also had no home and probably no friends. I don't know how his life evolved into him being a poor, sick beggar, but the point is, he experienced profound loss. But God, being the just and merciful God He is, comforted Lazarus when he died to make up for the bad things that happened during his life. What I learned from this regarding loss is that whatever is lost in this life will be restored. If we die, we will live again. If we experience heartache, we will be comforted. If we endure injustices for Christ's sake, we will be rewarded. Often, God comforts us during this life. But sometimes, we must wait to receive our reward. Either way, He will not leave us comfortless.

That's pretty much all I have on this subject. Anyone else have thoughts on how to live by faith, not fear?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

What I Believe

Since this blog is an account of exciting and important things in my life, it would be devastatingly incomplete without a description of my beliefs. My life CENTERS around them!

I believe there is a God who is the Father of my spirit. Jesus Christ is His Son. They created this amazing earth and everything on and in it, including ME and YOU! I don't understand how they came to exist or where exactly they are, or how they hear my prayers, but I know they are there. When my faith wavers, I just rely on my HOPE. What a sad thought it would be to think that we are alone in this world with no one to look over us or help us or direct us.

I love to read the New Testament and learn about Jesus' ministry, miracles, atonement, and crucifixion. I believe those miracles really happened! Jesus Christ has the power to heal both body and spirit!

I also know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the WHOLE world. Not only did He minister to His own people, but He also appeared after His resurrection to the inhabitants of ancient America. He said, in John 10:16, "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." The record of the people in America and the account of Christ's appearance there is contained in the Book of Mormon, which is ANOTHER TESTAMENT of Jesus Christ. It is not a substitution for the Bible, but a supplement. It is another testament of the same majestic Lord.


I believe that God has not left us without a prophet on the earth. There is a prophet who receives revelation from God for the WHOLE world! He does this through the power and authority of the priesthood - the same priesthood held by Jesus and His disciples. The priesthood was lost through apostasy, but it has been restored! Peter, James, and John (Christ's disciples) restored the priesthood to the earth in 1829 to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. They were given the authority to restore the church of Jesus Christ as it was during His ministry. That authority has been passed on and is now held by Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon church) and prophet of the world. To learn more about Joseph Smith and how he came to be a prophet, please see here.

I believe we are all God's children and should love each other without judgment, hate, prejudice, ignorance, or pride. We are truly all brothers and sisters. "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44). "For I was an hungered, and ye have me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee a stranger and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inanasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren; ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:40).

I believe in living a pure life, clean from drugs, alcohol, and sexual immorality. I believe in taking care of and honoring my body, since it is a gift from God. "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of god is holy, which temple ye are" (I Corinthians 3:16-17).

God loves us! He wants us to be happy. He will bless you with the knowledge of the truth if you ask. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (James 1:5).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My first real vacation since Christmas!

I got to go home to Texas for a week at the beginning of July and had a great time. Basically, I spent the week doing nothing but playing. I spent most of my time doing something outside or playing Karaoke Revolution or Rock Band. While at home, I did a lot of swimming, playing with the dog, and hanging out with my 13-year-old sister and her friend. One day, we drove a couple hours to a historic town called Jefferson in east Texas. It reminded me of Stars Hollow! So this picture is for all you Gilmore Girls fans. A barbershop group was singing at the gazebo in the middle of town. I was looking everywhere for Kirk.

We also went on a boat ride on the Big Cypress Bayou. By the way, a bayou is just a very slow-moving river. It was really pretty and provided some much needed shade from the incredibly hot day.


We also went to our ranch and went swimming and fishing. And I got to drive the tractor to mow the front yard! I haven't got most of the pictures yet from my mom, so here is a picture of the lone bull, Lucky. He has a tuft of curly blonde hair which my mom thinks is "cute" and I think is oddly fake-looking.


To top it off, we met up with my sister and her kids and my aunt and cousin and went to a water park the last day I was in town. It was awesome, but my nephew wore me out! (And my waterproof digital camera somehow got water inside of it and no longer works! Too bad it happened THREE days after my warranty expired!) But besides that, it was great! This is Bubba, who is 7 years old and has more energy that I could ever hope for.


And this is my youngest nephew, Zach. He doesn't really remember me and cried or ran every time I came near him. Apparently, I couldn't even get him to look at me for a picture! But he is a cutie!


And this is my cousin, Laura, and sister, Leighana. (My camera was working fine, here!)


Finally, I have to point out that EVERYTHING IS BIGGER IN TEXAS. This is a not pride; it's just a fact. Check out the gigantic mosquito bite I got! And this was in the morning! Mosquitoes aren't supposed to come out till night! Use the dime for size reference.


And it KEPT GROWING! That thing was almost the size of my kneecap!