Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 24

Your favorite summer activity.

Sea dooing!!!
I love packing up for the lake/river and riding around for hours on the sea doos. It's so much fun and very peaceful. Sea dooing has been a part of our summers for over 13 years now. I still remember those early days when dad would ride with Amie and Berna would ride me, all of us laughing and smiling down the river.  Then I got to learn how to drive and my favorite trick was doing doughnuts in the water, trying to spray people.  I have so many great memories of summer days spent on the water riding sea doos. I can't wait to ride a sea doo again!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 23

Your most exciting sports experience to date.

In 2008 Zach and I went to a Lakers vs. Jazz game in Salt Lake.  It was awesome to be at a live game and seeing the players up close.  It was pretty funny to be cheering on the rivaling team.  The Jazz fans were talking a lot of smack but fortunately the Lakers beat them. It was a lot of fun and I hope to see another game sometime, hopefully at the Staples Center.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 22

The vacation of your dreams.


But before that I really want to take a road trip along the east coast.

And of course I’d love any vacation by the beach.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 21

Your idea of the perfect retirement.

I just want to be comfortable in my retirement. I want to be near my family. I want to live by the beach and travel.

I do think it would be amazing to have a little yacht {a yacht sounds so fancy, maybe a sail boat is better} and cruise around or live on an island in the sun…

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 20

Music you never get tired of no matter how much it's played.

I love Incubus and I never get tired of listening to their songs. I’ve seen them 3 times in concert and I’m so sad I’m missing them on tour this year.

“When she woke in the morning
She knew that her life had passed her by
And she called out a warning, warning
Don’t ever let life pass you by"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 19

Your top 10 bucket list items.

1. Have my own little family
2. Become a registered nurse and work in labor and delivery
3. Own sea doos
4. Do WWOOF in Hawaii and work on a macadamia nut farm
5. Take an unplanned, spontaneous trip
6. See the beaches of Chili
7. Vacation in Ireland
8. Visit all 50 states
9. Vacation in Greece
10. Vacation in Australia

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 18

Your favorite part of the Christmas holiday.

I love Christmas. I love everything about it! It’s truly a wonderful time of year. I don’t think I can just pick one favorite thing.
I love the first day of December it feels like everything changes. Christmas music begins, Christmas decorations are hung and it’s okay bake tons of cookies.
I love finding the perfect gifts (even if they are small or handmade) and wrapping presents.
I love Christmas trees and Christmas lights.
I love going to a Christmas play or a holiday musical concert 
I love being together with family.
And I absolutely love Christmas morning, waking up and knowing its Christmas. There’s something magical about it. I love having a big breakfast and being gathered around the tree with the people I love.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 17

The best quality your mother passed on to you.

I think the best quality my mom passed on to me has to be her loving and giving heart.
My mom has a huge heart full of love for life, herself and for others. And the older I get the more I see that I’m just like her {not a bad thing}. She’s always taught me to do the right thing, stay positive and love wholeheartedly. She continues to inspire me every day.

I also love that I have her lips!

Guyana 2010

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 16

Your most prized material possession.

Right now, my laptop computer. I'm very fortunate to have the internet at my house and that I'm able to communicate so frequently with my friends & family back home. 
My computer holds all my photos, music, and documents, it's my lifeline.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 15

A pet peeve you could kill over.

Other people's feet touching me.

Dirty dishes left in the sink.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 14

A favorite amusement park you've been to.


Family trip May 2009
on Indiana Jones

I love it! Can't wait to go again!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 13

Your favorite outfit that makes you feel good.

I'm definitely a t-shirt, jeans, and flip flops kind of girl and I feel good about that.

But there's just something about wearing a dress that makes me feel even better! 

I love this dress. Yes, I know my arms are long. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 12

A simple pleasure in life you could never live without.

The first thing that came to mind was ice cream! Ice cream is the cherry on top of life.

i love sprinkles
But then I thought, "what simple life pleasure could I really never live without?" and the beach came to my mind. I don't think I could live without smelling the fresh sea breeze and seeing the blue, sparkling ocean. I can't wait for the day I live near the beach, it's going to happen!

beautiful Barbados

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 11

Something you feel you've improved in yourself and you're proud of.

Over the past 17 months I can honestly say there has been a lot that I've improved in myself and that I'm proud of.  Joining the Peace Corps has been the best thing I could have done for myself. It has pushed me to my personal limits.  I've learned so much about myself and about life, which I am forever grateful for.  I've learned patience and how to go with the flow.  I've learned how to budget and make do with what I have. But the most important improvements I've made within myself have been growing stronger with who I am, being happy with myself, and being more self confident. 
I'm so proud of myself for taking this huge leap with my life and believing I could do it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 10

Your favorite winter activity.

After spending 3 winters in Utah I can definitely say I'm not crazy about living where it snows. Although, there is something magical about waking up to the first snow fall of the season.
But my favorite winter time activity is driving around looking at Christmas lights. Of course this activity would not be complete without hot chocolate. I love hot chocolate!! In fact, drinking lots of hot chocolate and driving around looking at lights are my favorite winter activities and wearing flannel pajamas.  So I have 3 favorite winter activities.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day 9 & Goals

Your biggest fear.

If you know me you know I strongly dislike and kinda fear mice. This fear started a few years ago when mice were living in our garage and I could hear them at night biting and scratching at the wall. I would imagine them getting through the wall and attacking me, ugh just the thought gives me chills. A few times I had to call Papa over to either set a trap or throw away a dead mouse. I couldn't even look at one, and I hated going into the garage.

Since being in Guyana I've not only seen mice but also huge rats. If I see one I have to turn my head immediately. Thank God I have not had any in my house (knock on wood). But I do think seeing these rodents more frequently has helped me a little to over come this fear. Even though I still squirm and shriek when I see them.

Funny story... we were at the pool in Linden one afternoon (the only time we've been). My feet were in the water and to the right I saw a mouse scurry along the side. I didn't want to make a big deal of it so I just turned my head. When all of a sudden I looked at the water and the mouse was swimming. I screamed and to my surprise the life guard dove in, grabbed the mouse by the tail and flung it out. We all laughed and cheered.

Lately I've been all about setting goals for myself. This past week I had two goals: to wear clothes I don't wear a lot and to cook dinner every night. I successfully achieved both goals!
Here are 3 pictures of the lower half of my outfits.  More pictures coming soon, Chelsea and I have big fashion plans!

Friday, July 15, 2011


I'm feeling really content with everything right now.  And it's a pretty amazing feeling. This past week I've faced frustrations just like any other week but I've noticed that these "frustrations", or things that should be frustrating me really haven't phased me at all. It's so remarkable to realize that I'm not letting things to get me anymore.

This week we've had handymans around pouring cement and installing a second water tank (finally!). So we have had no running water for 2 going on 3 days now, meaning we've been filling buckets of water from the stand pipe outside to bathe with, wash our dishes, do our laundry, and flush the toilet. When running water is taken away from you you really see how many times a day you go to turn the faucet on.
Anyways, not having running water use to drive me crazy. It was hard to do dishes and it sucked having to bathe by pouring water on myself from a bucket. But this week I've managed just fine with the bucket system and it really hasn't bugged me like it did months ago.

Also this week I was told we'd be going on a health outreach trip, which I was actually looking forward to. Medex told me to be at the health center at 8:00am. Now, I knew we wouldn't be leaving that early but I did as she said and arrived at the health center at 8:15. Was I surprised to find the place locked? No.  So I sat outside and waited for a half hour until a nurse came with the key to open the doors. Medex didn't arrive until 10:30 and said we weren't going on the trip.  I just said, "okay" and I was content with that.

A few other "frustrations" this week have been:
An elderly man weeding our yard with a cutlass all week (I just feel for him)
Our yard getting full of water and turning muddy
Guys breaking up our cement walkway when delivering sand
Not being able to clean my house
Biting ants 
Money. I don't have much but I'm not worried about it 
Despite all these "frustrations" I'm grateful for feeling content in my life and I hope this feeling lasts for a long time.

Day 8

The best advice your dad ever gave you.

My dad has always told me, "life is too short" and he's always encouraged me to do the things that make me happy.  Dad loves to have fun and that has definitely rubbed off on me.
I remember so many weekends spent at the park, playing on the slides and swings, throwing the football around, and going on the nature trail. He also use to love taking us swimming and for picnics along creeks. Then all our fun turned into summer days spent out on the lake/river riding sea doos.

If there's one thing I've learned from dad it's been to truly enjoy life.
When I told him I was thinking about joining the Peace Corps, which he was not too keen about at first he said, "do it if it will make you happy".  And I knew he really meant it.  No matter what he has been supportive of my decisions and I know he is proud of me. 

And I will continue living my life to the fullest, thanks to my dad!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 7

A deceased person you admire.

My cousin Brittany passed away 7 years ago and she continues to be someone I admire. She was so beautiful, talented, smart, courageous, loving, kind, and funny.  She was a mother, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend.

I have a lot of good memories of her and wish she was still with us today.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 6

Create your life soundtrack.

This was fun. Some of the songs tell a little about my life while others take me back to a certain time in my life.

Sara- Starship
Love Song- 311
Island in the Sun- Weezer
I Hope You Dance- Lee Ann Womack
Forever Young- Youth Group
Miss You- Incubus
Life is a Highway- Rascal Flatts
Spice Up Your Life- Spice Girls (flashback to Park View days) 
Yeah- Usher feat. Lil Jon (takes me back to 2004)
Toes- Zac Brown Band
I Like It, I Love It- Tim McGraw
Enchanted- Taylor Swift
Carrying Your Love With Me- George Straight
Futures- Jimmy Eat World
Stellar- Incubus
All You Need Is Love- The Beatles
3 Little Birds- Bob Marley
Better Together- Jack Johnson
Rollercoaster of Love- Red Hot Chili Peppers
California- Phantom Plant
Home- Michael Buble
The Story So Far- New Found Glory
My Girl- Temptations (I loved the movie when I was little)
The Scientist- Cold Play
Beach in Hawaii-Ziggy Marley
Cuddle Fuddle- Passion Pit (such a fun song)
Louder Than Ever- Cold War Kids

I can’t decide which song speaks true to my time in Guyana, it just might have to be, “Every Day Ah Drinkin Meh Rum” it was the popular song when we first got in country and every time I hear it I’m taken right back to those beginning months in Guyana.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 5

Your most dreaded house chore.

Sine being in Guyana my most dreaded house chore is hand washing laundry.
I didn't know how good I had it with a washing machine and dryer until having to wash my own laundry by hand. I will never complain about doing laundry when I return home.
Although I can't complain too much because I'm blessed to live down the road from a laundromat. And I'll admit I have gotten lazy with my washing, I'd rather spend $1000 ($5 US) a week than soaking, scrubbing, and hanging it out to dry myself, plus it comes back nicely folded and smelling good.

But at least once a week I do a small load of hand washing. 

Clothes hanging out to dry in the pouring rain.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 4

Your favorite person to be around.

This one is hard. There are lots of people I love to be around. But I think for this post I'm going to say my favorite person to be around is Baby Reggie! And I wish I could be around him a lot more.

There's just something about being around a baby that makes everything right in the world.
The few days I got to spend with him back in April were priceless. Although there were a few moments that made me feel like I am missing out on a lot while living in Guyana, like holding him in my arms, getting little kisses, seeing his huge grin, playing baby games, and listening to his adorable laugh.
He truly is such a good baby and a joy to be around. I'm looking forward to the many more moments I get to spend with this little guy!

April 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 3

A regret you have from/about high school.

High school was a lot of fun and I can't believe it's been 7 years since I graduated. My friends and I were always up to something fun. Oh, I miss those days and my old friends!

A regret I have about high school is not staying on the dance team all 4 years. I did dance team my freshman year and although it was a lot of fun and I made lots of friends it was much different than dance team in Junior High School and I decided I didn't want to continue being a part of it. So my sophomore year I didn't try out or do anything extracurricular that year. But I missed dance team. So my junior year I tried out and made the team again. I was excited and it was much different from my freshman year. I don't really remember why I didn't want to do it my senior year, but I didn't. I was 16 the last time I danced. Looking back I wish I would have danced all through out high school.
There are still times I miss dancing, maybe one day I'll get back into it.

Lancaster High Dance Team 2003
my hair was so short

Andrea and I on the last day of high school

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day 2

15 things you adore about your spouse.
Since I don't have a spouse I'm changing this to
15 things I love/miss about my sister.

1. I love that she is my sister & friend
2. I miss living with her
3. I love how goofy we are around each other
4. I miss talking to her everyday
5. I love how smart and beautiful she is
6. I miss going to the lake with her
7. I love her laugh
8. I miss baking cookies together
9. I love her sense of style
10. I miss getting ready to go out at night together
11. I love that she loves the Dallas Cowboys as much as dad does
12. I miss her telling me like it is
13. I love that she calls me "little sissy" when she's really my little sissy
14. I just really miss her
15. I love the bond that we share

Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 1

A favorite childhood memory with your siblings.

I loved growing up with Amie and we share so many childhood memories it's hard to just pick one. But I think my favorite memories were when we were really little and we'd load up dad's camper and go camping on the weekends. We loved getting to choose our cereals from those little travel packs in the mornings.

Amie and I each had our favorite Disney movie, mine being the Little Mermaid and her 's being 101 Dalmatians.  We had everything Little Mermaid and 101, bedding, hair goodies, socks and little suit cases.  One weekend we went beach camping and of course we got to pack our Disney suit cases. It turned out Amie left her fully packed suit case at home and we were too far to turn around for it so mom took her to K-Mart to buy her new clothes for the weekend.  I remember thinking it was so funny and she was sad she didn't get to wear her 101 Dalmatians bathing suit that weekend.  

I'm pretty sure this picture was taken that particular weekend so many years ago.


Today is little Reggie's 1st birthday!! I can't believe he is now a year old, craziness! Happy birthday to Reggie! Ange, I wish I could be there to celebrate but I'll for sure be there when he turns 2! Love you both!

While I was looking at Andrea's very cute blog (they have been busy this summer) I came across this and thought it would be fun to do for myself.

30 Day Challenge:
1- A favorite childhood memory with your siblings.
2- 15 things you adore about your spouse.
3- A regret you have from/about high school.
4- Your favorite person to be around.
5- Your most dreaded house chore.
6- Create your life soundtrack.
7- A deceased person you admire.
8- The best advice your dad ever gave you.
9- Your biggest fear.
10- Your favorite winter activity.
11- Something you feel you've improved in yourself and you're proud of.
12- A simple pleasure in life you could never live without.
13- Your favorite outfit that makes you feel good.
14- A favorite amusement park you've been to.
15- A pet peeve you could kill over.
16- Your most prized material possession.
17- The best quality your mother passed on to you.
18- Your favorite part of the Christmas holiday.
19- Your top 10 bucket list items.
20- Music you never get tired of no matter how much it's played.
21- Your idea of the perfect retirement.
22- The vacation of your dreams.
23- Your most exciting sports experience to date.
24- Your favorite summer activity.
25- Your most peaceful place to be.
26- Your favorite childhood game.
27- The most romantic movie & song of all time.
28- Your favorite scenic picture.
29- Your go-to pick-me-up.
30- A quality you admire/consider a strength in yourself.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

17 Months

This month was full of moments where I truly felt blessed to be in Guyana and to be a Peace Corps Volunteer. It's been amazing experiencing things I never imagined, like setting trails and hiking the outskirts of Linden and taking a 6 hour boat ride (one way) to see endangered sea turtles.

As we were making our way to Shell Beach we passed through Essequibo and I stopped to see my host family, who I haven't seen since I left their house last March.   It was really good to see them and spend a little time catching up.  My host mom made dinner and it was so good, I forgot how good of a cook she is. I got to meet their daughter who was away when I was there, she is very pretty and sweet, and I hardly recognized their son, he's gotten so tall. It's crazy how time flies.  I hope to see them again before I leave.

As it is now summer, things, work wise have slowed down. But I have a few little projects I hope to accomplish before September.

In my 9 months remaining it's my goal to read the 11 books left on my shelf.

Looking forward to see what the month of July has in store!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Shell Beach

I feel like words can’t describe this past weekend. It was one of those adventures where I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be a part of; it was truly a once of a lifetime experience.

Shell Beach is located in the far northwest corner of Guyana, in Region 1 and is home to 4 types of sea turtles, the endangered Leatherbacks being one of them. Years ago men would hunt and kill sea turtles but for 23 years now Shell Beach has been working to protect sea turtles, as they are part of a non-governmental conservation program protecting and tracking these sea turtles.
The village it self is very small with 150 residents but during the months of May-September this village is all about sea turtles. There’s a group of men who work patrolling the beach at night looking for sea turtles who come ashore to lay their eggs.
It was incredible to see the work they do.

11 of us went for the 4th of July weekend and it was so much fun! We left Linden Friday afternoon and made it to Charity (Region 2) where we stayed the night. We left from Charity Saturday morning around 10am and sat on a boat for 6 hours going on the Pomeroon River, out on the Atlantic Ocean, and through the rain forest. The ride itself was an adventure, as we twisted the turned through 99 turns.

At one point I really had to pee but we were on the river in the middle of nowhere. The boat driver said I could pee off the back of the boat so I made my way to the back and told everyone not to look. As I was squatting I fell into the water, it was pretty funny. Then I had to wrap up in a tarp for the rest of the way because it was cold. Good times!

We arrived at Shell Beach around 5:30pm, unloaded the boat, settled into camp, ate some food and prepared ourselves for the mosquitoes. Once the sun went down swarms of mosquitoes came out, I’d never seen anything like it. They bit through our clothes and bit everywhere it was pretty intense.

That night the guys were setting free a few baby turtles. They were so cute and it was awesome to see. They told us about 1 out of 1,000 baby turtles survive…I hope those little fellows are okay.

Then we walked the beach in the dark for about 4 hours looking and hoping to see a turtle. Unfortunately we didn’t see one. But it was awesome to walk along the beach in complete darkness, listening to the waves crash among the shore and seeing silhouettes of coconut tress.

We got a few hours of sleep and spent Sunday lying around the beach. The water was pretty nice, not to muddy and there were actual waves but there were these little fish that bit so I didn’t stay in the water too long. It was just so relaxing being at the beach.

Come sun down we prepared to set out again; luckily it was windy, which kept the mosquitoes away for a little while.

We walked for about 2 hours without seeing a turtle but we just knew we were going to see one. We took a little break from walking and sat for about 30 minutes when the men spotted a turtle! She was hanging out in the waves and we could barely make her out. She took her time coming out of the water but when she did and we finally got to a shine a light on her it was amazing to see this beautiful creature in the wilderness. It seriously felt like we were a part of National Geographic.
She dug a hole with her back fins to lay her eggs. When she laid them the guys had to remove and bury in a safer spot because she laid them too close to shore. Once she finished laying her eggs she buried the hole and made her way back to the ocean. The whole process took awhile but it was simply incredible to witness.

Monday we left Shell Beach around 8:30am and made it back to Linden just before 9pm. It was such a long travel day. We took 2 boats and 3 buses. We were all sun burnt and itchy with mosquito bites. But we all experienced a priceless, once in a lifetime adventure.

I wish everyone could experience Shell Beach!