Friday, August 31, 2012

First Week.

All I can really say is thank goodness it's finally over. Has this week been incredibly long for anyone else?

Nevertheless, it has been a productive one. School, work, work, school, cleaning, watching Boy Meets World for countless hours...Okay that last one might not actually count, but speeding through 22 episodes of Boy Meets World in four days seems like an accomplishment to me!

Brandon is busy with 14 credits of school, and I just added another class today to put me at 15 credits. Brandon is taking International Business, Labor Relations, Finance, Operations Management, and Fundamentals of Marketing. Mondays he only has one class so it is super nice for him. He goes to class at 7:30 and then goes to work for the rest of the day! Tuesdays and Thursdays are his awful days. He has class at 7:30, then a class at 10:30, then he has a three hour break and comes back for one more class at 3:00. It's a pain for him to have to drive out to work and back, but he is done by 4:15 those days so it is really nice! Wednesdays he has a 7:30 class, then a class at 4:00, and then he is done by about 5:30, and Fridays he doesn't have any classes! His plan is to go to work at 7:00 every Friday which is fine, except its going to cause some early Friday nights for us. Let's get real though, we would go to bed early regardless of when we wake up.

Because Brandon has class at 7:30 everyday and I had to work at 7:00 twice this week, I got up early with him every day. It was kind of nice to get up and go for a run on the days that I didn't have class until 8:30, but those days are over, sadly enough. I made the decision yesterday to finish a psychology minor, so I had to add another class to my load this semester to not fall too far behind.

 Some of you may have known, but my original plan was to teach Spanish at a high school level. Even though I no longer have a strong desire to teach, I still really want to work with adolescents. I though about doing clinical therapy with adolescents with depression/anxiety, but I'm not sure I would be strong enough to do it. I am currently in a class called Pre-Practicum, which is supposed to help us prepare for the internship that is part of my department's requirements. In this class, we were given a powerpoint on what is required for certain licensing after graduation and also for graduate programs. One of the graduate programs that was included in the powerpoint was high school counseling. I have decided that I am going to pursue that, because I would get to work with high school students, and will most likely be able to do a bit of therapy. Well, in order to apply to the grad program here at Utah State, there are two psychology classes that are required as prereqs. If I were to take those two classes now, I would only need two more classes to fulfill the requirements for a Psychology minor. Because I am not entirely concrete in my plans after graduation, I decided that it is better to be prepared now than have to go back and take courses later.

So, I added a class this semester, putting me at just five classes, will be taking five classes next semester, two classes in the summer, and two classes next fall along with my practicum that requires 300 hours in the 14 week period. Cool, right? This semester I am taking Family Crises and Intervention, Spanish Literature (did I mention I am finishing my Spanish minor too? Only one more class after this one!), Research Methods, Pre-Practicum, and Families and Social Policy. I actually think I am going to love my classes! Yesterday and today have been super stressful though trying to figure out what I wanted to do about grad school. Lucky for me, we are leaving in about an hour to head to Boise!

I am so excited to see my parents new house! We were there about a month ago and it was mostly done, but I am ready to see the finished product! I am happy that this weekend is a long one and that we get two full days with my family, because they are the best.

Not much else has happened this week. We showed some school spirit and went to the football game last night, Sophie caught a dragonfly in midair a few nights ago, and I made Brandon watch the movie Serendipity with me last night. He loved it, but don't tell him I told you :)

Here are some pictures, since the last two posts haven't really had any.

We made caramel-chocolate-butterscotch covered pretzels for a Harry Potter Party!
Magic Wand Pretzels!

So pretty!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Best Ten Days of my Entire Life!

I know you all are dying to hear about our vacation, and quite frankly, I am dying to tell you about it!! We'll start at the very beginning...

Travel day 1.
     We left our apartment at 11:30 to drive to Salt Lake. Brandon's mom drove us down there so we didn't have to leave our car, which was super nice! We stood in a nice long line to get our boarding passes, and ran into our one and only hiccup of the trip. Brandon's license is expired. The guy checking us in made a huge deal about how the TSA probably wouldn't accept it, but he would because he is nice. So we were all nervous about actually getting on the airplane, but when it came time to go through security, the TSA attendant said that they will accept a license up to a year after it has expired, so the issue was then gone!
     We were so excited about how grown up we felt even at this point, but that excitement only lasted through the first leg of our flight. We had an hour flight to Denver, got some dinner at the airport, then had a four hour flight to Orlando. Longest flight of my life. I couldn't sleep, Brandon couldn't sleep, and we were antsy to get to the fun part of the vacation. But we finally got there, got on the shuttle to the hotel, checked into the hotel with no issues, even got upgraded to a KING bed, snagged a midnight snack and hit the hay to prepare for our first real day of vacation!

Vacation day 1.
     The alarm goes off and I seriously cannot contain my excitement. Our first day was going to be spent at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, which is where Harry Potter World is! We got to the park about 45 minutes after it opened but it wasn't super packed then, or even all day really! We got a park map and just decided to do everything in a circle. We went to Seuss Landing first, which had mostly kid rides like Cat in the Hat, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, but they were still fun! Next was an old mythical land that had one attraction called Poseidon's Fury. It was a walk through stunt show kind of thing, and we waited for about an hour for it. Guess what, it was a real let down.We got through the first two worlds in about two hours. Then came the best part of the entire day.
     HARRY POTTER WORLD!!! Words cannot even describe how happy I was to be there. I really was almost crying because I was so happy. The entrance to the world is a walk through Hogsmeade where they have Zonko's joke shop, Ollivander's, Honeyduke's, and more! Past Hogsmeade and up on a hill you can see Hogwarts, and it is beautiful, people. We wound our way through some of the shops, then headed towards the rides. They have three rides there. We rode the Dragon Challenge first. It is a big roller coaster that mimics the flight of the dragon in the fourth movie/book during the Triwizard tournament. So awesome. I didn't even feel sick after. Then we rode the Flight of the Hippogriff! It is a quick small coaster. It was good, but its one of those rides where you round the corners so fast that you slam into the person sitting next to you and both of your hips break. The third ride is called the Forbidden Journey. To get to the ride, then line winds through Hogwarts. We got to see the greenhouse, Dumbledore's office, and the Defense of the Dark Arts Classroom. It was a super long wait, but it was so worth it. The ride itself is Harry leading us to the Quidditch pitch, but it passes through scenes of some of the older movies. It was kinda freaky to be honest. There were huge spiders and dementors and they were really scary. The dementors actually scared me the most. But it was so great! After the rides we were starving so we went to the Three Broomsticks. It was everything I ever imagined. It was completely packed with wizards/muggles and had TASTY food. We each had a salad and then we also split an order of cornish pasties! They are small meat pies kind of. That makes them sound gross, but they were so good! And we had Butterbeer. I can't stop talking about how good it was! Brandon said it reminded him of cream soda, but I don't even like cream soda but I loved this stuff! We are going to make some and once we perfect the recipe I will share it :)
     The rest of the day was decent in comparison, but still fun! We rode the Jurassic Park ride, a few water rides, and then made our way to the Superhero area of the park. The Spiderman ride was really cool. It was a 4D ride, but it was just way neat. Then we rode a roller coaster called The Hulk. Most roller coasters go up on the track and then you drop to gain speed, but as we were going up the track I realized that there was no drop, and all of a sudden the ride took off up the rest of the hill. It was insane, but I loved it!
     Our hotel shuttle bus left the park at 7:30, so we went to dinner outside of the park last night. We ate at Buffalo Wild Wings in Boise a few weeks ago and found one near our hotel, so we went there! We went back and got in bed for a good nights sleep for day 2!

Vacation day 2.
     After an awesome first day, we were so excited for day 2! We spent the day at the other half of Universal Studios. They had a Termintor 3D show/stunt show, a Simpsons ride, a huge roller coaster that we didn't do, and a few other stunt shows. They also had a Despicable Me ride that I was way excited for. We waited in line for an hour only to be semi disappointed. It was just a 3D ride with a motion simulator. It was sad for us. We took our time that day and made sure to watch all the shows we could. Compared to the first day, this day wasn't as good, but it was fun nonetheless!
     We left the park at 7:30 again and walked to a Mexican restaurant near our hotel for dinner. We split a tasty burrito and got some fried ice cream to go, but because it was so hot, it was mostly melted by the time we got back to the hotel :(

Vacation day 3.
     First day at Disney! Our bus schedule said there was a 7:30 bus and an 8:10 bus to the Magic Kingdom which opened at 9:00. We didn't want to not have a seat on the later bus, so we got up at 7:00 and made it to the bus stop by 7:25. And guess what. The bus didn't come until 7:45 because there was no 7:30 bus since the park didn't open until 9:00. Luckily, we got a seat on the bus. Mostly because we were the only ones there until 8:00, but still. We got to Magic Kingdom right as it opened and headed over to Adventureland! We had breakfast reservations at ten so we didn't want to stray too far. We went to the treehouse, rode the magic carpet ride, and the jungle cruise, then went back for breakfast! We ate at the Crystal Palace, which is a character breakfast buffet. We got to see Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore! After breakfast we continued to make our way around the park. We did everything that very first day except like four rides, the parades, and the fireworks. We were at the park from 9 to 9 that day! We went back and crashed.

Vacation day 4.
     Epcot! We got to Epcot as soon as it opened. Last year when we went to Epcot with my family, we only had a few hours there, so we didn't get to see the Worlds half of the park. Brandon and I gave ourselves two days at Epcot because we weren't sure if we could do the entire park in one day, but we sure did. It was really rainy and kind of chilly that day so the park wasn't too busy. We did just the attractions side in about three hours. Most of that time was spent just wasting time waiting for the rain to go away. We even bought mickey ponchos! Test Track, our favorite ride at Epcot, is closed for remodeling, so that was side. But we had tons of time to hang out in all the different countries at Epcot! We watched the show in Canada, walked around Great Britain, and rode the rides in Norway and Mexico. We were in France about mid afternoon and were too hungry to just hold out for our dinner reservation, so we shared a crepe and got our own eclairs in France. They were so dang good. Seriously. Mom, if you are reading this, tell dad Brandon wants to make eclairs this weekend. We ate dinner at the Nine Dragons Chinese restaurant. Again, super good. I don't even remember what we ate. Tsao's Chicken or something? Delish. That night we snagged a great spot for the IllumiNations light show and watched each of the countries light up. It was definitely a good day.

Vacation day 5.
     The next day we went to Hollywood Studios which is my personal favorite. We got to the park as soon as it opened and were able to ride Tower of Terror twice, and the Rockin' Roller Coaster once all within the first 45 minutes! We made sure to watch all the shows, Beauty and the Beast, Indiana Jones, and an animation show. We had started to watch the Little Mermaid show, but two minutes into it it got cancelled for no apparent reason. But no fear! We watched it a little bit later. They have a tour that takes you through some of the props from Disney movies, the costume area, and they also do a little show that shows you how water special effects work. Brandon and I were chosen to be the deckhands for the scene. In the pictures you can see us in our special blue water attire :)
      Our dinner that night was at the Sci-Fi diner, and restaurant where you eat in convertible cars and watch old previews and clips on a drive-in screen. We even got a free sundae for our anniversary! That night we were SO excited to watch Fantasmic. This was my fourth time at Disney World and I had never seen it, and neither had Brandon. We waited 45 minutes and right as the show was supposed to start, it started pouring rain. We didn't want to stick around and wait for the later show, so we left.

Vacation day 6.
     ANNIVERSARY DAY!!! We chose to spend our anniversary at Animal Kingdom. We got to the park as soon as it opened and headed straight for Expedition Everest. On our way there, two guys stopped us and asked if we wanted their fast passes to Expedition Everest, because they were leaving the park. It was like 9:07, so I felt bad for them. But to make their day better, we took the fast passes. We did seriously everything in the park that day. The morning started out a little hectic running from one place to another, but after we watched the Finding Nemo musical (which I had also never seen), the day seemed to smooth out. When we stopped to buy some wings for lunch, the guy that helped us was so happy that it was our anniversary, and he gave us free drinks! Best day ever right? It didn't look like rain at all that day, and it was so dang hot. We had finished about everything when we headed to the Lion King show. We had talked about possibly leaving the park early and seeing if we could get into the restaurant where our reservations were at early, but decided to wait until after the show to decide. Well, the Lion King show started at 4:30, and when the doors opened at 5:00 for us to leave, guess what. Rain. And lots of it. So we put on our ponchos, braved the weather, and ran to the bus to go to our reservation.
     Our reservation was originally at 7:45, since we planned on staying at the park until 7:00, but we got right into a table at 5:30! This was a fancier restaurant than the others we ate at, because it was our actual anniversary day. The restaurant is called Sanaa, which means work of art in Swahili. The food is African/Indian food. Our waiter gave us a whole shpeel about the Africans gave the Indians (from India) beads, and the Indians gave the Africans food and spices. We had butter cream chicken, and spicy durban chicken, with a side of naan bread. I can't even begin to describe to you how tasty this food was. Brandon and I have already decided that our next cooking venture will be trying to replicate this dinner. Best part was the food. Second best part? Free drinks again, and a free dessert!
     We topped the night off with some shopping at Downtown Disney, and playing the Amazing Race back to our hotel. Turns out there is no direct bus from Downtown Disney to any of the parks, we take the bus back to our hotel. We left Downtown Disney at 9:00 to try and get to Epcot by 9:45. However, we had to take a Disney bus to a Disney hotel, and then take a bus from there to the park. Needless to say we missed the Epcot bus. A bus finally came to take us to Magic Kingdom, but we didn't get there until 10:30, and still needed to get to the parking lot where our shuttle was, which was a ferry or monorail away. Since the park had just closed, the monorail and the ferry were jam packed. We ran to a hotel right next to the park, and took the monorail from that hotel to the parking lot, and got to our bus stall at 10:47, two minutes after it had left. Luckily we found another bus going near our hotel that said he would drive past our hotel and open the door so we could jump. But guess what! He even stopped the bus and let us off nicely. It was a long last few hours of the night to say the least, but what a great first anniversary! Even running around like a crazy person was fun, just because of who I got to spend the day with.

Vacation day 7.
     Luckily we had given ourselves two extra days at the parks. Since we had done most everything, we let ourselves sleep in. This was awesome after the night we had had before. We went to Denny's for brunch, then went back to Hollywood Studios! We rode more rides, watch some of the street performers, ate at Pizza Planet, and went back to try and watch Fantasmic. Only guess what! More rain. It sprinkled from like 7:30 until we left the park. At 8:30, when Fantasmic was supposed to start, they told us that it was cancelled, but that they had a small preview for us. We got to see some fireworks and flames, only without the characters. So I still have yet to see Fantasmic. If anybody wants to take me back to see it, I won't complain.

Vacation day 8.
     Worst best day ever: the last day of vacation :(  We slept in again, later this time, then went back to Magic Kingdom. I was looking for a shirt for Anthony that I had found at Downtown Disney, and after looking in the park for thirty minutes, I found out that that specific shirt is only at Downtown Disney. Guess what we did for the next four hours? That's right! We played the stupid Downtown Disney transportation game again, all only to shop for twenty minutes. Once we finally got back to the park, we got a chili dog and watched the parade, then made our way to finish all the attractions. We made sure to ride Thunder Mountain, Pirates,and the Jungle Cruise one more time. For dinner we split a mickey pretzel, because who doesn't love soft pretzel in the shape of a famous mouse? Then right before the show we got an ice cream sundae.
     Okay people, I am putting up a link to this show we watched because I cannot even describe how awesome it is. It is called the Magic, The Memories, and You. They project onto the castle and it is AMAZING. Seriously, watch the link below. There will be a quiz at the end of the blog post. Do it now.

After the light show, we watched the fireworks. We had some dang good seats too! It was a late night after we finally got back to the hotel and packed, but it was well worth it.

Travel day 2.
     The shuttle to take us back to the airport came at 6:30 in the morning. We got up at six and were ready to go early! By the time we got to the airport, got our boarding passes, and went through security, it was only 7:10, not even joking. Our flight didn't leave until 9:40, people. It was a long two and a half hours to wait. When we got back to the Salt Lake airport, I really felt like we had just been there. I was so so so sad.

It was the most wonderful vacation I could ever ask for. I'm sorry that the last few days of the trip seemed quickly summarized, but the first four days were blogged about on Friday and then stupid school started, and I just want you all to hear about how amazing it was! I had so much fun with Brandon being on vacation just the two of us for ten days straight. Neither of us had a care in the world the entire time we were there, and I am just so dang happy that we went through with booking the vacation when we did. It made me love him and our marriage that much more. Could I have asked for a better man to marry??

You can look at all of our pictures at the following site:
Even if you looked at them on facebook, the pictures at that site have captions, so that way you know what is going on. I'll post again soon, hopefully, if school doesn't make my brain explode!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hello world.

I need a vacation. Work is long and hard, I just spent all weekend moving, and I seriously just placed a textbook order of a not small amount of money that is making my heart and wallet cry in despair. Why in the world are textbooks so expensive? Seriously though. And what happened to the days when the school provided the books and if you needed to do extra reading you just had to check it out from your teacher? I didn't even buy books for myself! I don't want to think about what my wallet would do if I had bought books for myself and Brandon. Just because I can mostly afford to go to college doesn't mean I want to pay for the other things too. Sigh. Take a vacation? Is that what you are all telling me to do? Deal. I will go to Florida tomorrow.

But really, I am going to Florida tomorrow. Can I even believe it? No. Am I nervous to fly without my parents or some other qualified adult? Yes. Sometimes Brandon and I get lost places, but you know what, he did a really good job of making pictures in our new apartment look good, so I should probably just trust him on this too.  Two days from now I will be living it up at Hogwarts. Our first day will be spent at Islands of Adventure at Universal Studios, which is where Harry Potter World is. I am probably going to cry of excitement. The next day will be spent at the other half of Universal Studios, and the following six days will be spent at Walt Disney World. It doesn't feel like we are even going, and I probably won't feel that way until we actually get to the parks. All I know is that I thought today was going to be the longest day of my entire life, but it is already 2:00!!!! Six hours down, three to go, and then I get to go spend some quality time with my kitty and pack for a vacation that I don't think I am actually taking.

Onto the real meat of the post. We spent the past five days packing, moving, unpacking and arranging our brand new little home. And by little home I mean larger-than-our-last-home apartment. But seriously, this place is a huge step up from our last apartment. The living room is smaller and has no cable hook up, but we love it so so much. Friday night we moved the last of our belongings. Brandon's dad and brother helped us move our huge washer and dryer, which was super nice of them! We had everything moved over to the new apartment by 9:30 that night! We stayed up until about 12:30 unpacking stuff and setting up beds and furniture and what not. We both woke up around seven and couldn't really sleep anymore, so we unpacked so hard until like 3:00. I was nervous about how our kitchen would work out, but I love it tons!

At 4:00, we went shopping for a few things for the new apartment, and some clothes and shoes for vacation. It was a nice break from moving, but we never really slowed down. We shopped from four to seven, then went to the fair for some tasty fair food! We had barbecue pork sandwiches for dinner with some beans that were to die for, then we walked around until we met up with our friends Keaton and Cassidy. We walked around to all the booths, saw the animals, and then ended the night with a sweet treat. Brandon and I were still so full from dinner so we got cherry limeades! They are definitely my favorite treat of the summer! After the fair, we were so exhausted that we went home and got in bed and were asleep before eleven!

Yesterday morning I woke up at 6:15 and couldn't sleep anymore. I got up and unpacked a bunch more stuff and tried to get our house more in order. Brandon and I spent the morning organizing and cleaning, then went out again so I could find some shoes. When we got home we did laundry, hung pictures, and Brandon made our entertainment center/wires look fancy and clean.

Here is a story for you. We had dinner at Brandon's parents house last night like we do every weekend, but this weekend was far more entertaining than any other Sunday. I learned about the games that Brandon and his brothers played on the trampoline. One of them was called Buttcheese. Who comes up with that? Seriously. All you do is bounce and try and hit people with your hip or your bum. Weird kids. They also like to bounce things on the trampoline. Tomatoes, fruit, frozen turkeys....who are these people? Weirdies. That's who they are, but I like them anyways :)

We spent the rest of the night trying to get our apartment to look clean and closed the night with some ice cream and an episode of The Office. Did I mention we don't have cable? How am I supposed to watch Glee or Gossip Girl or the Bachelor?????????? Maybe I will get over it.

Anyways, right before bed I took some pictures for you nice people. Please pardon the mess and the bare walls, we are working on it!

This is the view as you walk in.

Having our entire sectional set up took up too much room in the living room, so we made the sectional into a sofa!
These two pictures are of the guest bathroom. It is right off the living room.

We decided on gray and yellow for the colors in this bathroom. I am excited to decorate!

The laundry closet is just off the kitchen, right after the bathroom. I love having my washer and dryer enclosed. P.s. Mom and dad, we are still loving them!
The kitchen!! We have a lazy susan, which I usually don't love, but I love it right now!

Our HUGE dining area. Notice the patio door isn't sliding, I love it! And our patio is bigger!

The bar in this apartment is so long we can fit five stools pretty comfortably!

This is just a little nook off the dining room. You can see the section of the couch, we didn't know where else to put it!

Our pantry/coat closet! I cannot tell you how happy I am that we have a coat closet. It is a dream come true!
These are our stairs. Sophie loves them!

There is a bathroom sink outside of the bathroom right as you walk up the stairs. Its kind of weird, but I actually love it. I can get ready after I shower without getting hot from all the steam still in the room! And I love that we have a linen closet! It's the best.

The innards of the bathroom.

The shower. Its just a normal shower, nothing special. Our bedroom is to the right as you walk out of the bathroom, and the guest room is to the left.

This is the guest room! It is so much bigger than the one at our last apartment! Everything is going in here until it has a place.

This is our bedroom. We haven't quite gotten around to hanging anything up yet though!

I love how much closet space we have. The regular closet is so big that we fit all of our clothes and a dresser inside! The smaller closet has shelves, so we bought canvas bins and gave our second dresser back to Brandon's parents!

This is us in all our glory after a hard weekend of unpacking.

We love our new apartment tons! I have some other pictures from the past few weeks that I will now share with you :)

Sophie was trying to help Dad fill the hole in the wall.

She took to sleeping like this for a few days, I'm not really sure why though.
Now I get to talk about Sophie for a minute! The move has been hard on her, I am not even kidding. When we started packing at our last apartment everything would scare her. She couldn't walk into a room without poofing up to protect herself. And then this whole weekend we would get spooked at the tiniest things. She has had a lot of fun exploring, but I think she has been nervous that we are going to leave her. She really won't leave our sides, and hasn't since the beginning of last week. Sometimes we lose her in this apartment. That sounds weird, but it really is so much bigger than our last one. This apartment stays a lot cooler than our last one because it is two levels. The bottom floor stays super cool all day usually, and we think that Sophie doesn't love how cool it is. Whenever she gets tired she always goes upstairs to take a nap.

We took her up to Brandon's aunt and uncle's house last week because they got a new six week old kitten. We hoped that Sophie would love her immediately and love having someone to play with, but she definitely hated it. I don't really know about getting a second cat now :(

That's about it for today! Actually that will be it for about two weeks! We get home on Thursday the 23 and start school the following Monday. Boo school. I will try and be quick about posting pictures from our vacation!