Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Baby gifts

Remember how I was so stressed about buying the baby gifts for my boss? I ended up going to Tiffany's and from the group I got this comb.... ...and also this brush. Engraving takes 2 1/2 weeks so I got them a gift card to get the baby's initials engraved.

From myself I got them this double frame with ink kit from Pottery Barn Kids. Imagine it saying ***** **** **** (baby's name) on the left and July 25, 2007 on the right.

I hope they like their gifts!!

I want one

I was sitting next to my friend Chateau in Sunday School and he has the iphone. Up until this point I've been so, "Oh what's the big deal?" He let me play around with it, and it is freaking sweet!!


I'm official obsessed with eating here for lunch.

It finally happened....

I've lived in NYC for almost six months now and I finally had my first encounter with one in my apartment. Luckily it wasn't as disgusting as this one. It was small, and more white-colored (which strangely made it less scary.)

Okay, are you ready to be SO proud of me? I didn't even flip out, I just involuntarily exclaimed, "SICK!" and then took off my shoe to kill it. It was near a fork so I moved the fork so I could smash it and in that swift moment it disappeared. And then I even searched for it! How much of a grown up am I???

I watched the entire first season and am almost done with the second....and I love it.

Should I take the plunge?

So my hair needs a trim, badly. I've been avoiding, well, for a couple of reasons.
One-I never cut my hair. I guess I'm just lazy. It's long so it's not like there's a particular style it grows out of so I never really think to cut it.
Two-I'm cheap. I hate spending all that money on a haircut when I'm just trimming it. (And it's ridiculously expensive to cut your hair in NYC.)
Three-With a few periods of time of exceptions, I've been going to the same hair girl since I was 15. I don't even like referring her out anymore because she's always booked. She did all my cuts, colors (back in the day when I used to color my hair) and up dos for high school. She knows me and how I like my hair. She knows when I say I want to be drastic and cut off five inches, to really only cut off three because I'll freak if she actually cuts off five. Thus, I'm too scared to branch out to someone new. I know, I know, ask for referrals, but I'm very much in the state of mind that no one's good enough. I've gone to referrals and just because one person loves their hair stylist doesn't mean I will.
Alas, I don't think I'll be in California until Christmas, and somethings gotta be done with this mop.
Lately I've kind of felt like I need a change. I'm 98% positive I wouldn't do this, but I kind of feel like just chopping it off. I have a few options. I've always said if I ever do chop it off I would donate it to Locks of Love, and there has to be at least 10 inches to donate. So today I had a coworker measure my hair from the nape of my neck to the end (thanks for the idea Kathryn.) Any guesses of how long it was? Eighteen inches!!! Obviously a few inches would need to be cut off the bottom due to dead ends, but that still leaves me a lot to work with. I could donate it, but not chop it so it wouldn't be so drastic. Buuuuut a much bigger part of me feels like, if I'm going to do something THAT drastic, I want to go all the way, ya know?
So if I do get that brave, I've decided the Katie Holmes cut is the way I want to go. I think it's absolutely adorable. I think my hair is probably more curly than hers, but I would bet it's about the same texture, thickness (for lack of a better word), etc.
Like I said, there's about a 2% chance of this happening, so don't freak out everyone. My hair is one of the things most people compliment, and any time I mention the thought of it people's eyes get really big and their face gets serious and they say, "Don't do it."
Lastly, let's not forget my fear of commitment. I think even if I was totally set on doing this I probably still wouldn't, because I hate to commit to that.
What do YOU think???

Thursday, July 26, 2007

It's been a while...

So I've been really busy, and when I haven't been busy I haven't felt like blogging, although I do say to myself all the time, "I should blog about that." For some reason I just haven't been able to get myself to the computer lately. Here's the recap:
The weekend wasn't too crazy.
Friday night I went out with Taylor to see Transformers. I actually really liked it. I had heard it wasn't that great so my expectations were low. I thought it was really funny, and the special effects were awesome. Surprisingly I even stayed awake. It's tough for me to see movies Friday nights. When Taylor said we were seeing a 9:15 show, knowing it was 2 1/2 hours long, I thought it was over for me. When we got there the 9:15 was sold out, so we went for the 9:40. I thought I'd be a goner for sure. While we waited we ended up going to a Duane Reade to get some snacks so I grabbed a Red Bull, I guess that probably helped me get through it, haha. We didn't end up getting home until 2am though and I was exhausted. I did have a funny thought that night though. It was absolutely the most innocent evening out. A date with a super nice, super respectful guy, seeing a super clean movie, and then coming home. If I were at school, however, I would have gotten in trouble for breaking the 1am weekend curfew. Kind of ironic.
Saturday was an extremely lazy day. I'd been (randomly) watching the first season of Felicity. I watched the season finale with my roommates and then we totally needed the second season. So I took one for the team and schlepped down through Times Square, the most obnoxious place ever, especially during tourist season, and bought the second season. We watched a couple of the first episodes and suddenly at around 7:30pm I got the sudden urge to just get out and shop. I headed to Urban Outfitters but didn't see anything worthy of buying (at least at the moment since I'm officially budgeting now.) Then I headed down to 34th. While I was on the subway there was a cute little girl, probably 9 or 10, with her dad. She was having such a good time just being with him. She was a little squirrely and was leaning on him and whatnot. It gave me fond memories as I remember hanging out with my dad. I watched her as she didn't even have a thought going through her mind about how she looked. She didn't have to wonder if he'd ever leave her, or if he'd break her heart. I fought the urge to go up to her and say, "Cherish this time with your dad. Don't ever sell him out for another guy. This one will never break your heart. This one will always be there for you to call. He'll always listen. He'll never be too stressed for you, or too busy for you. He won't let you down. He won't trade you in for someone else. He won't have second thoughts. You won't have to play "games" with him. You won't have to wonder what he's thinking, you can just ask him." But like I said, I fought the urge and decided against looking like some crazy bitter chick with issues. Plus, as much as I hate to admit this, unfortunately not all dads can live up to those things I say about my dad.
So anyway, I headed down to 34th and went to Old Navy. I was specifically looking for a type of black skirt I'd gotten at Old Navy like 4 years ago. Obviously they weren't going to have it, but I thought maybe something like it? I'd never been to that Old Navy before, and I was actually super impressed! It was a huge store and they had a lot of work clothes.
Here's what I ended up getting:
a black skirt (not the type I'd been looking for, but a really cute one for work)-$20
some super cute black capris-$15 (worked out perfectly because last week I was wearing my black work capris from Banana and I thought to myself they were getting a little faded.)
black flats with little white polka dots-$20
I thought it was quite the successful outing.
Sunday it took me an hour, yes and hour to get to church.
-20 minutes waiting for the bus
-10 minute bus ride
-10 minutes walking three blocks uphill in my tallest heels
-15 minute subway ride (no wait! an extremely rare occurrence)
-5 minutes walking a couple blocks to church
What a nightmare. But church was really good. I had a chance to chat with the new bishop and I really liked him a lot.
After church my roommate's home teachers came over who were super cool and we all ended up hanging out and chatting for almost two hours.
Monday it poured and poured and poured. It was disgusting. I did nothing.
Tuesday night I had visiting teaching. It was totally fun. The girls who visit teach me (Connie C. and Kim C.) and the girls I visit teach (Jami K. and Lisa T.) and I all met up and ended up just chatting and whatnot. They're all such cute fun girls. We had a blast.
Wednesday was crazy. My boss's wife had a baby in the morning so he wasn't in. Her due date was Tuesday so this wasn't any surprise. I found out Wed I should be gathering money from everyone on the team and another team my boss is over. This was a nightmare. A lot of people around here are much too busy to be bothered. I felt like a total panhandler. I ended up getting about $400 cash. Now I get to figure out what to buy from everyone. I hate making executive decisions. This is their second baby, and their second boy. They pretty much have everything. My boss made it very clear they don't need ANYTHING. I think I'll go shopping at Tiffany's. :)
This was the tough part though, one of my other bosses came to me at the end of the day, gave me his American Express, and told me to spend $400, get something really nice, specifically for the baby. Now what in the world was I going to get? Anything that expensive would be something parents usually want to pick out (ie strollers, furniture, etc.) Not to mention, this is their second time around doing the whole baby thing. I remembered I was in NYC and if I had someone else's money to spend, this was the place to do it. I schlepped over to the east side and hit up Bloomingdale's. I figured, let the posh people pick something out for me, right? They were no help. They only had clothes for babies there. Then I headed even FURTHER up the east side to Pottery Barn. They closed at 7. I got there at 7:05. Awesome. So I head back to the office for a little online shopping. I was there till 9pm. I ended up ordering a double stroller (since their other son is 2) as well as a few bells and whistles to go along with it. I'm sure they've already bought one, and if not, would have liked to pick it out themselves, but there's no telling this boss, "I can't do it." So I figured, they can return it.
The most exciting part of today is my dad is here!! We're meeting up after work for dinner. We're going to check out the TKTS counter to see if there's tickets to any good shows first, but will most likely just end up eating and chatting. I'd rather spend most my time talking with him anyway.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

My niece got a tooth!

And I seriously am obsessed with those eyes!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

A recap of my thoughts/happenings in the last couple days...

  • When I woke up Wednesday morning it was pouring outside. Random. I brought the adorable rainboots out from hibernation. Luckily, however, the hideous rain ended up being a total blessing in disguise. Yesterday I was sitting in the park reading during my lunch. It was packed because Broadway in the Park had just ended. (Actors come and play out scenes from various Broadway shows.) So I'm reading along and I felt a drop of water. I look up and then out of no where it starts pouring. I mean pouring. The sort of thing you see in a movie. Suddenly everyone was scattering in every direction. I looked at my white shirt and straightened hair and to myself thought, "Great." Then I remembered I still had my tiny black H & M umbrella tucked away in my oversized white Canal St. bag. Thank goodness because I had a good 3-4 minute jog back to the office and would have been completely soaked without it.
    When I left work it was just slightly drizzling, however when I left the subway to walk the three blocks to my apartment it was, again, pouring. The umbrella saved me from the waist up, however my pants from the knees down were completely soaked through. My shoes were as well. They were my snakeskin flats (that makes them sound hideous, but I swear they're super cute) from Gap I just got two weeks ago. Two out of two times I've worn them to work I've gotten off the subway to come home and it's been pouring and they've gotten soaked.....kind of weird. Anyway, but despite this, I was glad again, to have my umbrella.
  • So today I'm wearing a necklace that is one of my staples. It's just a small plain gold chain with a gold antique-looking key. I love it. It's funny though, because every time I wear it I'm asked by at least two or three people, "Is that the key to your heart?" They always think they're so original as they chuckle to themselves. Today the doorman at work who's never said a single word to me leaned in as I passed by and said really low, "Is that the key to your heart?" It was kinda awkward.
  • So the other night as I was walking I was thinking about dating and realized, 100% of the relationships I've been in, whether serious or casual, have ended in failure. It was actually a pretty depressing thought. (Yes, I know, I've learned SO much, but in reality it's still failure because my intentions when I start to date a person are not to learn something and then get out.) But then I thought, "How romantic that we keep trying, despite the odds." I can't believe how strong the drive is to find companionship. I can't think of anything else I would continue to pursue if I had a 0-whatever rate. Just kind of a random thought that branched off into so many other thoughts.
  • Today the summer concert in the park by my work for Good Morning America was John Mayer and Eric Clapton. I'm bummed I didn't get a chance to walk over but I was running late. I did hear Eric Clapton singing at least so that was kinda cool.
  • Lastly, I had quite the treat this morning as I left for work. Now this is going to make my neighborhood sound super ghetto. It is, somewhat, but not as much as it's about to sound. So I walked out of my building and guess what was at the bottom of the stoop? A sleeping homeless person. I pass homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks all the time all around Manhattan, but never have I see one so close to my building. I literally had to step over this person (I say person because his or her face was covered up, so I don't know if it was a he or a she.) All the scary movies I've seen have come back to haunt me, because as I was stepping over him or her I got the creeps that a hand was going to reach out and grab my ankle. After I was in the clear I got the urge to take a picture, ya know, for the blog, but then got scared the bum might chase after me.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Not that anyone called to ask, but...

...I'm okay.

Yesterday a steam pipe exploded a couple of blocks away from my office and the street completely split open and tons of steam poured out as high as the Chrysler Building. One women died of a heart attack due to the shock, and many were injured. People were covered in mud from underneith the street, and many people had been badly burned and were bleeding. Luckily I was no where near at the time, and all my friends have been accounted for. My roommate works right where it happened and she said their building shook and the lights flickered and they saw everyone running in the street. I'm so glad I wasn't there because I surely would have panicked and thought it was a terrorist attack.

I feel so badly for those who were hurt, but am glad it was an accident and not a bomb.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rae Bear, Rae Bear, What Do You See?

Remember that book from when you were a kid? So Monday night on my walk/run around Central Park I realized I see so much while I'm out. I decided to document these things. Sometime I should really take my camera with me and just take pictures of everything.

Here are some things I wish I could forget:
  • A man peeing next to a tree (I wish I could say this is the first, or even second time I've seen this, sadly, it's not as rare of an occasion as one would hope. The world is not your urinal people!)
  • A man smoking while pushing his (hopefully) poor innocent little kid in a stroller.
  • A whole bunch of bums.
  • A couple going at it on a bench.

Here are some happier things that made me smile:

  • A cute old couple walking together holding hands.
  • Fireflies.
  • A man pushing another man in a wheelchair through the park.
  • What looked like a Harlem FHE group.
  • A cute little girl walking who looked like she just barely learned to walk.
  • Lots of doggies.

I love my walk/runs!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


It's Elise's birthday! Elise has been a part of our family for a year and a half now, but I feel like we've been sisters for so much longer than that. I was so lucky to be so close to Provo while she and Jason were dating.
I remember the first time I met Elise at my cousin's open house for his wedding. It was that night my mom and I determined she looks just like Kate Hudson. Obviously she's a total doll! That night we went to Denny's and right off the bat I knew I liked her because she not only listened to my ridiculous stories, she actually enjoyed them!
I could never fully explain how much fun I had coming to Provo and staying with Elise in the Enclave. We'd stay up late chatting about everything from guys I was dating, to makeup (need I mention the infamous "can you girls go talk about your make up over there?" story,) and anything else that popped into our minds. I look back to times with Elise and I just remember laughing.
Elise has a great memory. She always remembers the insignificant little details of my life. She's always patient. She's a wonderful cook, very giving, hilarious, so much fun, and so likable. She really brings out the best in my brother. Not to mention, she fits into the family so well because she's tall!
I'll never forget the time I got to go to Lake Powell with Elise's family. It was such a blast and of course I had so much fun getting to know Elise in a different setting. She taught me how to wakeboard which is now one of my favorite things to do (even though I never get to go!)
I can already tell Elise will be such a good mother because she's such a care taker of everyone around her, especially my brother. She has such good taste in everything, from fashion, to home decor, to husbands! (I know I said that about my other sister-in-law Nadia, but it's so true for them both!)
Happy birthday Elise. I love you and am so happy you'll be a part of my family forever.

Shake Shack, Soccer, Bruce, and Bishops. A great weekend.

The weekend started off awesome. Friday night Chelsie and I decided we wanted to get dinner and a see a movie. We both knew we wanted to try something new but didn't have anything in mind. As I was leaving work I got the idea to try Shake Shack. It's one of those places I've been hearing about forever but haven't ever tried. (Don't kill me Kathryn.) The reason I haven't tried it, though, was because of the line. Shake Shack is one of those places that you really have to be geared up for. The line is always at least an hour long. Everyone always RAVES about it, though. Chelsie and I were both in the mood so we decided to go for it. It's a cute little shack in Madison Park, notice the string of lights in the picture below. We met down there but I ended up taking the subway a little bit too far downtown. I walked about ten blocks north and ended up doing a little shopping along the way. I got a cute turqouise necklace and a $20 white summery dress I wore to church today.
Finally I met up with Chelsie. The line was the shortest I'd ever seen it (we still waited an hour.) We finally got our burgers, and let me tell you, they were DIVINE. I'm the kind of person who defends In-N-Out to the death. When people try to tell me that something is better than In-N-Out I never believe them, however.........I found something that is. Shake Shack is AMAZING. The burgers are amazing, the fries are amazing, and the shakes are AMAZING. There's a million different kinds of shakes you can get (they're actually called concretes) and I got peanut butter. I'm drooling just thinking about it.

After the shack we went back to Chelsie's place and decided there wasn't really any shows we wanted to see, and I was really tired, so I made it an early night and went home a little before 11.
Saturday was a blast. I got up and went to Chelsie's and then we headed down to the financial district to meet up with some people to play soccer at Battery Park City. Let me tell you, that was a TRECK! (But so worth it.)
As a sidenote, my friends Brian and Crissy Sharp were in the city for the day and we'd planned on meeting up for dinner. As Chelsie and I were walking to meet the group we totally ran into Brian and Crissy! What are the odds??? There's 8 million people in NYC and we happened to b on the same side walk, 5 feet away from each other, at the same time. It was so good to see them.
I didn't know any of the people there, but we had so much fun. Everyone was so cool and it was neat to meet some people from the finanial district ward. I met a girl who's from Huntington Beach, and another from Rexburg so I hit it off with them and we all exchanged numbers.
Soccer was a blast. I played from ages 5-13, but really haven't played since so I was a little apprehensive. It was just fun to have the competative side of me to come out again. It was nothing intense, everyone was at different skill levels, but we were all into it.
After soccer Chelsie and I ate at a random little Mexican restaurant. It was pretty good, but nothing I'd make a point to return to.
After soccer I ran a few errands (MAC, Rite Aid, and Central Market) and then did a little tidying up around the apartment.
Saturday night my friend Taylor and I went to the Magic Johnson theater and saw Live Free or Die Hard. Obviously I love Bruce Willis, but I have to admit, this movie was really good! Then Taylor and I walked around looking for some ice cream, and ended up just buying some and taking it back to his place. I played on his drums a little bit, and he played the guitar, and we just chatted for a little longer before I went home.
Today it took me almost an hour to get to church. Since there's no uptown local trains where I live right now I had to take the bus to 125th and then the subway from there. When I got to the church I found out my bishop was being released! So weird, in the last four years I've had three bishops and they've all been released in the past 6 weeks. The new bishop seems pretty cool.
After I got home from chuch my old bishop (Jim Carter) called me. My parents were having them over for dinner. He home teaches my parents, and since Jason and Elise, and Rebecca and her family would be other there, he wanted to do something interactive. He was giving a lesson on gratitude and had me answer a few questions for him about what I was grateful for. They were the same questions he'd be asking everyone at home. Then, he asked me to look in the hymn book at the songs about gratitude and then call him back and leave him a voicemail singing the first verse. Obviously I laughed hysterically at this suggestion. He said he was going to be having everyone do it, and it would be a fun surprise if they heard a song from me. After a few minutes of persuading he got me to agree to it, I couldn't believe it (actually I could, he's the master of persuasion.) I chose There is Sunshine in My Soul Today. I really wish I could be there.
All in all it was a great weekend. My buddy Steve is on his way over to set up our ac unit in our living room and I couldn't be more thrilled about that.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Happy 3rd birthday Ryno!! (this is a little overdue)

Last Saturday (07.07.07) it was my Ryan's 3rd birthday. This was the first year I couldn't be there for his big day which made me so sad.
Ryan will always hold a special place in my heart, as he made me an aunt for the first time and even though I was away at college through a lot of his growing up, I was at home for it a lot as well. It was always really hard to say goodbye to him when I'd go back to school, and especially hard when I moved away to New York. For a while after I moved when my parents would go to my sister's house he would ask, "Where's Rachel?" After I graduated and lived at home for seven months he got accustomed to the idea that when he saw Grammy and Grandpa, that meant he was seeing Rachel too, but suddenly I wasn't there anymore. They keep telling him, "Rachel's in New York City." He's finally starting to understand, at least, that I live with Curious George. (Apparently that cartoon is based in NYC?)
We have gotten a chance to really bond with each other. Some of my favorite things I've taught him to say are, "Booya!" "That's nast!" "Mr. Belvedere" and "Superstar!!"
Anway, I was out of town on his big day so I didn't have a chance to blog for him.
Happy birthday sweet sweet boy, I love you so much. You make me so happy all the time. I hope you had a very happy day!!
A little trip down memory lane...

...here's Ryan on his 1st birthday...

...then again on his 2nd birthday.

My how he's grown!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Planes, trains, and automobiles......and subways, cars, buses, shuttles, and airtrains.

So obviously I made it to my destination, and boy was it FUN. Here's the recap.
Remember how I blogged in Phoenix that there was a 4:something flight and 6:something flight, and both looked bad? As luck would have it, I got on the 6:something flight. Woo hoo! There were about a million people ahead of me in the standby line, but luckily they were all in groups of two or more, and there was only one available seat, and no one wanted to break up their posse. Fabulous.
I ended up getting into SLC around 7:30, and (shock!) my luggage was there waiting for me.
My mom picked me up and we headed over to my Uncle Mike and Aunt MaryLee's. Most of their kids were there (some with spouses and their own kids) so it was fun to see my cousins. We had delicious bbq and then Uncle Mike gave us a cool fireworks show in the street. It was a blast.

Waiting for the fireworks show.

Me and Michelle AKA Ding and Dong. Best cousins since forever.

How cute are my grandparents??

Brother and sister.

This is a picture of some of the fireworks taken by my camera utilizing the fireworks function. Ooh!

So at 9am the next morning I hopped on the shuttle up to the Rexburg. I couldn't wait! My driver was super friendly and really talkative. Normally this totally annoys me. I hate small talk all the time, I especially hate it when I'm traveling, and tired. For some reason this guy didn't bug me. He did, however, quickly remind me I was in the "Mormon Belt" with some of his comments. He asked if I was a student at BYUI. I said no but that I'd graduated a year ago. He then asked me what I was doing and how old I was. Then the next question I haven't heard since I've moved to the east coast, "So....you're 24 and not married?" My answer, "Nope, not married." And then my all time favorite, "Why aren't you married?" I mean, seriously people, what do I answer to this? I just gave my usual, "Haven't found the right one yet," and the conversation moved on (of course after he told me all about his single nephew.)

We finally made it to Rexburg and Aimee was there waiting to pick me up. It was so fun to see her. We were like two long lost lovers, running toward each other and then then hugging forever and then just cracking up at ourselves, haha, it was great.

Aimee and I went back to her place and hung out for a bit, but then she had class.

One of the best parts of the weekend was` Shantay and her boyfriend Sam were in town as well!! How lucky am I?? They picked me up and we headed to our favorite place, Gringo's. :)

Reliving one of our favorite past times, lunch and gossip at Gringo's.

The pre-meal.

The meal.

Then we went by our old stomping grounds. It was so strange to see it. Meetmeattheridge.com!!!

After lunch I went back to Aimee's and we headed up to Idaho Falls. Here's a picture during the scenic drive. Looks very different from NYC!

Rae Hoe + Aim Brow = True <3> I was so excited to see Chelse! She just got back to Idaho after being in Hawaii for the summer. I look albino next to her.

Love love love these girls! Our old Bishop and his wife were so sweet to have us over for a bbq.

Sister and Brother Longhurst. I absolutely adore them. Sister Longhurst was my advisor while I was Relief Society President. I loved serving with her.

Bishop and Sister Scrogham. Some of the best people I know.

This was my favorite night. We were all at their house from 7-11pm and we just talked and talked away. They are the kind of people who always make you feel so welcome, and are always so happy to see you, and make you feel like you want to be a better person, and uplifted when you leave.

When I left last year the outside of the temple wasn't finished yet so it was so fun to be able to see it. It is so gorgeous and can be seen from so far at night.

After dinner we went over and hung out with John Ivers and Tyler Muir at their place for a bit and then decided we should go night swimming at Rigby Lake.

On our way in Ty's hot car.

We goofed off quite a bit in the back seat.

We had a blast taking a million pictures after our "swimming experience." A first for some. ;)

We had a blast that night. It was about 3am when we headed back and then John and I hung out the rest of the night chatting and didn't even go to sleep! The next morning we got together with everyone again (minus Chelse, plus Shantay and Jon Kvarfordt) and went back to the lake.

Spilling the juice. One of our favorite things to do.

One of my all time favorite pics of us together.

Rae + Tay

BFF, Wifeys, and Twinners

(Both born on 6.4.83 in case you were wondering, yeah, we're pretty much soul mates.)

Love Jon Kvarfordt. He's a doll. You know Oprah's decorator friend Nate? Jon is SERIOUSLY the straight version of him. Seriously. (Except he didn't really think that was a compliment.)

After the lake I went home to shower and then off to Sage Day Spa (one of my favorite places ever) and got a massage and facial (my first ever!) They were AMAZING, to say the least.

After the massage I went back to Aimee's for a bit and then Jarom picked me up and we went to dinner. (He's hands down, my favorite; the most humble, genuine guy I met in my BYUI career. LOVE Jare.)

After dinner with Jarom he and I went back to Aimee's and chilled there for a bit. Jarom left after a while and Aimee and I went to Walmart to search for a fan. She's living in Brookside and there's no ac, and it was ridiculously hot. There were no fans in Walmart, boo. We made a few other stops, including going to Jordan and Ryan Ghoulson's place. It's so strange to see them married. They seem like a couple of little kids, but perfectly happy.

Then Chelse came over to Aimee's and we hung out for a bit, and then I headed back to Chelse's mom's place in Idaho Falls to sleep there.

Then next day (Sat) I took Chelse to work at Johnny Carino's. She's a doll and a half and let me borrow her car (good ol Clyde!) and I headed back to Rexburg. I got ready for the day and met up with Shantay for lunch, just the two of us this time. We ate at, where else? Gringo's. MMM. After lunch Chelse had finished her lunch shift at work so I headed back to Idaho Falls to hang out with her. We chatted for a bit and went to the mall, and then I dropped her off for her dinner shift.

I then drove back to Rexburg and went to my grandparents' place and hung out there for a few hours. It was great to see them and catch up. They've been having a difficult time, as they've pretty much been living in Vegas to help out with my Aunt Leza who's been so sick with cancer, so it was a nice treat for us all to be able to just enjoy each others' company like old times. They showed me a copy of the letter President Monson had sent to my aunt. My Uncle Mike (different Uncle Mike) has a friend who know's Pres. Monson and was telling him about my Aunt Leza. He sent her the nicest letter and said her name would be added to the prayer list for the meetings with the first presidency and the quorum of the twelve. It was pretty amazing.

My grandpa is so handy and is always working on something. This is what he was doing when I got to their place.

Not the best picture, but I wanted one of the three of us.

After I left my grandparents' I went back to pick up Chels, and then we headed back to Rexburg to Aimee's place. We spent the rest of the evening sitting around having girl talk until about 2am. It was heaven. :)

Chelse left to go back to her mom's place and we said goodbye. I hate those goodbyes when you don't know when you'll see the person next, but I have to say, I've gotten pretty used to them.

The next morning I woke up feeling sick. My throat was so sore and my lymph nodes were swollen, and I had a horrible headache. I got packed, and said goodbye to Aimee. Shantay and Sam picked me up on their way out of town and dropped me off at the shuttle. Two more goodbyes.

I got down to Salt Lake and Becky picked me up. It was great to see her, she is always such a little ball of energy. She took me back to her place in Provo. She lives at King Henry and her roommates are all really cute girls. We had a really great time despite my still not feeling very well. (Hence, the nastiness in the picture below.)

The next morning we got up at 3:30am. Becky, being the wonderful person she is, drove me up to Salt Lake airport and I was there by 5am to start trying for the standby flights. The security took forever and I barely made it through by about a quarter to 6. The first flight left at 5:55am, no luck. There was a 7:30am flight, 10:30am, 1:30pm, 4:30pm, 7:35pm, and then I think one at 9:45. I did not get on any of the first five flights. Did I mention I was feeling AWFUL? It was a NIGHTMARE. I didn't even feel like blogging! I was getting really tense because I was supposed to be back at work the next day and things weren't looking good. The 7:30pm flight initially looked "great" but by the end of the day it was oversold by three, and I was number 34 on a standby list of 40. Awesome. After much stress and contemplation (is that a word?) I ended up dropping $140 on a flight to Vegas because the New York flights looked much better out of there. (From SLC I had to go to Phoenix and then to NYC.) I spoke with a very nice gate lady who assured me my luggage was already on its way to JFK like planned, and would be there when I got there, just as it was when I'd arrived in Salt Lake the week before.

So at 7:30pm I got on a Vegas flight and felt AWFUL. I'd been popping Excedrin and Airborn all day. They'd help and make me feel a lot better for 3 or 4 hours, but when they wore off my head was pounding, I could barely swallow because of soreness in my throat, my neck was really tight, and my whole body just ached. I was weak and kept getting chills and heat waves.

I got into Vegas at 7:50pm and hung out until 11:30pm when the JFK flight left. The last standby to get on was the guy right in front of me in the stand by line. Awesome. There was a midnight flight to Newark I got on, so that was good news, otherwise that was it for the day.

Shockingly I dozed off a little on the plane. That never happens to me, I'm a very high maintainence sleeper.

I got into Newark at 7:30am and took a $14 bus into the city. I hadn't eaten anything but my throat was KILLING me so I thought a smoothy would be good. Even swallowing that carefully was torture, so I only consumed about a third of it as I rode an hour on the subway to JFK to pick up my luggage. I had a nagging feeling that it wouldn't be there, and when I was walking to the luggage storage something was telling me it definitely was not there. I got there at about 11am so quite a bit of time had passed. Keep in mind I'd basically been awake since 3:30am the day before, had gotten very little sleep in Rexburg, (and only 3 1/2 hours in Provo) and felt like crap. Basically I hadn't slept, showered, or brushed my teeth or hair in about 2 days and felt absolutely disgusting and pathetic.

When I walked up to the counter and the lady asked my last name and didn't show any signs of recognition on her face I knew I was faced with more bad news. Up until this point in the couple of hours it took me to get from Jersey, to Manhattan, to Queens I kept telling myself soon it would be all over and hopefully by noon I'd be home and could shower and sleep all day. (I'd spoken with my boss the day before who understood I wouldn't be into work that day. Thank goodness for John, he's so great.)

So when the lady told me my bag wasn't there, and it'd be in Newark at 5pm that night, the tears welled up. I left, and didn't want to face the fact that this wasn't the worst of it. My keys to my apartment were in that bag. I'd checked them because I have my pepper spray on them and I can't carry that on the plane. I called the only person I know who might be home in the middle of the day, my exboyfriend Brandon (thank goodness we're on good terms.) After the third (and what would have been my final) call, he picked up. I asked if he was home and he said yes, and then, I fell apart. I finally explained my situation and asked if I could come over because I had no where to go. Of course he said of course, and then I took the hour long, 4 subway ride to his place (the A to the C to the S to the B.) When I finally got there he needed to leave to look at an apartment (he's moving in a few weeks.) I took a shower and passed out for a few hours and it was glorious. It was fun to see his doggy Zeke. I've missed that little guy, even though he sheds like nothing you've ever seen.

After Brandon came home it took him practically dropping a bomb to wake me up. It took about an hour for me to fully wake up. We ate some chinese (sushi for Brandon and Mateo, his roommate, and sweet and sour chicken for me.)

At about six we all left. They had to look at another place and I was headed back to Manhattan, to get back on a bus ($25 round trip) to go back to Newark.

I got to Newark and went to baggage claim. I was waiting in line to turn in my ticket, but when I saw my bag I didn't even bother and grabbed it and left.

I made it home at 9:30pm. Wow. Talk about a nightmare. The moral of the story is, while I am SO grateful to my wonderful friend Gabe, and SO happy I got to go to Rexburg.......as long as I can help it, I will NEVER EVER fly standby again.
To end on a happy note, here's another gorgeous picture of the Rexburg temple.