Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sweet blog

I seriously can't get motivated to do anything this week, including blog about the things I have intentions to.
In the mean time, check out this awesome blog I read about this weekend.
There's a girl here in the city who made a goal to do something new every day for a year, starting on her 29th birthday.  She turns 30 in March so she's about finished, but it's really interesting to see different things she comes up with to do.  
Anyway, she totally explains the whole project and it's really entertaining/fascinating.  Check it out!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet

We thank thee, O God, for a prophet to guide us in these latter days.  We thank thee for sending the gospel to lighten our minds with its rays.  We thank thee for every blessing bestowed by thy bounteous hand.  We feel it a pleasure to serve thee and love to obey thy command.

When dark clouds of trouble hang o'er us and threaten our peace to destroy, there is hope smiling brightly before us, and we know that deliv'rance is nigh.  We doubt not the Lord nor his goodness.  We've proved him in days that are past.  The wicked who fight against Zion will surely be smitten at last.

We'll sing of his goodness and mercy.  We'll praise him by day and by night, rejoice in his glorious gospel, and bask in its life-giving light.  Thus on to eternal perfection the honest and faithful will go, while they who reject this glad message shall never such happiness know.

Sunday night I was sitting on my couch talking to Curtis.  I was exhausted after a long weekend and a long day flying.  My roommate walked in and simply and somberly said, "Guess what guys?  President Hinckley just passed away."  I was so shocked.  He was 97 years old and I obviously didn't think he would live forever, but I just wasn't prepared to hear something like that.
I've read a lot of peoples' tributes on their blogs about our beloved prophet and it seems like pretty much everyone feels the same.  Like everyone else I will always think of President Hinckley as "my" prophet, meaning he was the leader of our church for the majority of my growing up.  My sister-in-law Elise made a comment that I'd also like to point out for anyone who is not of my faith and isn't sure, as members of the LDS church we don't worship our prophets and see Jesus Christ as the head of our church, however we do look to our prophet for guidance.  
Like everyone else, I had very mixed feelings.  It was such a strange state to be in.  Curtis and I just kind of looked at each other and got very quiet.  Deep down in my heart I was (and am) so happy for him to be moving on to the next phase of life.  His sweet adorable wife Marjorie passed away in 2004 and considering the perfect marriage they had, I know they were so happy to be together again.
Selfishly, I was (and am) so sad that he is not here with us on the earth anymore.  There are so many things I will miss about him.  He did so many wonderful things for our church.  
I chose this picture of him because he was told by his doctor to carry a cane, however he usually used it to wave hello, and loving bop people on the head.  
I think the things I will miss the most about him are the love he had for us, and his humor.  It was guaranteed that when you listened to him speak you would both feel his deep love, and also be laughing at times. 
My favorite talk I ever heard him give was when he came to Rexburg and dedicated the Hinckley building.  I absolutely love love LOVED that talk.
We'll miss you President Hinckley.  Thank you for all you've done for us.

Sorry for the radio silence


I've been super busy, but in the mean time, check out the outfit I died over that I sent my niece Megster for her first birthday.  I spent forever at Baby Gap trying to find the perfect outfit.  I finally found something and was headed to pay when I saw this skirt and DIED.  Have you ever seen anything cuter?  I had to start over and find a new shirt.  Can't wait to see what she looks like it in!  Stay tuned to see what I bought for my other niece Madeline (who's due June 2.)  Haven't seen her mommy and daddy yet to give it to them.  I'll post that picture in a few weeks.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Email addresses please!!

A few of you have come forward and unveiled yourselves, even a few of you I didn't know were out there-thanks!!! But please please, send me your email addresses! I appreciate knowing who you are, but (as far as I know) can't invite you to view my blog once I go private unless I have your email address. So Katie, Amy, Meggie, and any others, please don't forget to get your email address to me!
Thanks loves!!
PS Amy, so glad to see you after all these years! I tried to click on your blog but it says you're private. I'd love an invite if you're willing! :) raehope1@gmail.com

Come out come out wherever you are....

There's my map of viewers. I'm pretty sure I don't know all of you, or if I do, you haven't let me know you're looking at my blog. I don't mind blog lurkers, we all do it. I've been very guilty of it myself far too many times. It's fun to see what people are up to, even if you hardly know them. It's fun to be able to get in touch with people you haven't talked to in forever, or make new connections. I've made new friends through blogging who used to just be friends of friends. It's a great way to make connections. What I DON'T like are cowards who use blogging to spy, and leave mean and nasty anonymous comments. It's one thing to say something hurtful to me, but I can't stand for someone I love to be hurt through my blog. That's not what this is for. You know who you are. If you actually have something relevant to say, actually have some proof to back up what you're saying, step out of the shadows and show your face. If you have any pure intentions whatsoever, give me something I can work with. Otherwise, LEAVE ME AND EVERYONE I KNOW ALONE.
As for the rest of you, I don't mind if you look at my blog, but you're going to have to let me know so I can invite you. My sister recently told me of someone who told her at church she enjoys my blog. Great! But please let me know, so I don't block you out.
When I return from Boise I will be going private, so please send me your emails by Sunday so I can send you an invite. Send them to raehope1@gmail.com or leave them in a comment.
I hate to do this, I didn't want to go private, but certain people have left me no choice. I'm sorry for coming off so harsh, but I just can't stand for the people I love the most to be attacked.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I hate these


If you have one on your blog you should definitely take it off.  So annoying.

Off to Boise to give away my wife

So I head out to Idaho tomorrow to hand over my best friend Shantay to one of the best men in the world, Sam Nelson. I couldn't be more thrilled for the two of them. Back in Oct 06 when they were just starting to get to know each other I remember telling Shantay I just had a different feeling about Sam. I've known Shantay through a few serious boyfriends but something just felt different with Sam. I knew he was something special. I'm so happy I get to experience the joyful event with them and their families.
Congrats you two! I couldn't be happier for the both of you!!

I'll be back in New York on Sunday and I'm sure I'll have plenty of photos to post.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Who's getting your vote?


I took this survey.  Check it out and see for whom it says you should vote.

My 'hood

Remember this photo?
I found this map of the same place (except the photo above is taken from the side, so the southern tip is pointing to the left.)  I thought this would give my friends and family in other areas a better idea of what my neighborhood looks like, and different places I mention.

MLKJr weekend

I love three days weekends, especially because at the bank, they're three and a half day weekends. Whenever we have Mondays off we always close early on the Friday before.
After work I did some serious shopping. I got a bunch of things, but the most important was my dress for Shantay's wedding this weekend! She's not having bridesmaids or anything, but wants me to dress in her colors. I needed a second opinion so I ended up buying four different black dresses and had Curtis help me pick the final one.
This picture is from winter semester 2005. This is when Shantay and I just started getting to know each other, the beginning of a beautiful friendship, if you will. The picture is from North 40. If you went to BYU-Idaho, you definitely have heard of this gem of a place. It's super ghetto, but Shantay and I had a blast learning to ride the mechanical bull.


Friday night Curtis got in late from Atlanta so we saw an 11:40pm showing of Cassandra's Dream on the Lower East Side. (Here we are on the R/W.....my roommates happened to be on it as well, going to the opening of a new museum.) We've never gone to the movies there so it was kind of a different experience. All the different neighborhoods of Manhattan have such a different vibe. We definitely felt a little out of place with all the emo/alternative people crowding Houston Street. The theater was pretty old school. You had to stand in line outside and the seats were totally old. It reminded us of the cheap theaters in Rexburg and Provo.
The movie was alright. It was directed by Woody Allen and you could definitely notice his signiture style. It was a little slow at times, but still enjoyable. Ewan McGregor was exceptionally hot, and I never complain if I have to watch a show with Collin Farrell.

Saturday we decided to see Cloverfield, despite being skeptical it might be totally lame. We went into it with the attitude to just enjoy it for what it was, and we did! You can't go expecting to see something realistic, or you'll be disappointed. It was really fun because there was a ton of "NY lingo" (references to things you'd only catch if you live in the area, or are very familiar with it.) About half of the movie is based in lower Manhattan, which is where I live. They never show where exactly they are, but at one point they're filming in front of a Sephora that looks like the one just a little up my street on Broadway.

After the movie I was craving some chips and salsa so we hit up Chevy's. Curtis was excited for the guac, as you can tell (and his arms aren't as hairy as they look in this pic, haha.)

We got the Ooey-Gooey-Chewy Sundae. SO FREAKING GOOD.

Sunday was church. Curtis spoke and did a great job. It was so cold walking to the subways. Seriously, I don't know if I can handle this cold. My face almost froze off.
After church we came to my place and hung out and enjoyed a nice three hour nap. A little too long I guess. We watched the season finale of Amazing Race (spoiler alert!) and I was SO excited because my favorite couple since the first episode, TK and Rachel won!!!! They seriously were so amazing, never losing their heads, never getting frustrated with each other, always just appreciating the experiences they were having. Talk about the most adorable little couple.
Then we watched the awesome Giants game.....so excited for the Super Bowl! Manning is going to kill Brady.
Today I had work off. I enjoyed sleeping in till about 11am. Curtis had to work but came over for a lame lunch of cereal and a 100 calorie pack. What can I say, I have no groceries. Fresh Direct was backed up so my food won't be delivered until tomorrow.
Then I did a little shopping down at South Street Seaport. Once again, it was freezing, but at least it was really sunny and the sky was blue. I returned a coat at J.Crew and got some socks and saw my friend Brittany who works there. I also went to Baby Gap and got some adorable things I will post later (after their recipients receive them.)
All in all it was a great weekend, now I need to go get some laundry done!

For Elise

I was hoping if I at least took this pic and posted it some of the guilt would subside....

Happy 1st birthday Meg!


It's my dear sweet little Meggy's 1st birthday today!  I can't believe it's already been a year.  It seems like it was not too long ago that my mom came into my room while I was getting ready for church and told me my sister had had little Megan Hope Holmstrom.  She stole our hearts right away with her killer blue eyes and sweet presence.  Even though I'm far away and don't get to be around her every day like I'd like to, when I do see her all I can see is a little angel.  She is perfect for her mommy, almost never crying.  She's the happiest baby, just content to be with you.  She's a little cuddle bug and makes anyone happy by just looking at them.
Happy birthday Megster.  I love you!!

Sub zero temps? Not a problem.

The frigid temps in Green Bay couldn't stop our boys last night.  Super Bowl here we come!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Anyone have a spare grand they wanna throw my way?


Sigh.  This week there was a segment on Christian Louboutin on Oprah.  They had some models showing some of his shoes from the spring line and these were one of my favorite pair.  For the reasonable price of $1020.00 you get not only this shoe but the right foot as well!!  Again, sigh.
I had this picture on one of my monitors at work all day yesterday and I slowly fell more and more in love.  By the end of the day I was drooling.  Why can't I be rich and have an important event to which I could wear these?
Maybe in my next life I'll be able to wed Jack Nicholson and he'll buy these for me.  Hmm, kill two birds with one stone...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

We are Marshall

So one of my bffs from high school Megan Marshall and her mom Wendi (who's also a total doll I might add) came into town a couple weeks ago.  I met them at La Guardia airport.

After we got them settled into their hotel we went to dinner at Harry's Burrito's, one of my favorite mexican restaurants.

On Monday they were in midtown near my office so we met up for lunch.  

Here's Meg and I when we went to see Chicago.

Love this girl.

I still <3 NY

So all my California family and friends have been shamelessly talking about their fabulous 75 degree January days they've been having.  I hate to say it, but I've been that person.  Alright already!  I know you've been to the beach, I know you've been to the park, I know you're wearing flip flops.  Okay, I'm just kidding, I'm really just jealous because I'm cold!!  The picture below is from my sister's blog.  She took it from their house on one of the many beautiful days they've had.  Even though they've got the amazing weather they can still see the snow-capped mountains.  Sheesh.

Luckily it hasn't been too bad.  We really haven't had snow, actually we've been getting a lot of rain.  But hey, yes it's cold, yes my lips and skin have been ridiculously dry, and yes I've been taking Airborn everything three hours because everyone's been sick, but, I still love New York.  I mean come on, look at this picture of the southern part of Manhattan.  Yes friends, this is where I live, and it's pretty great.  Thanks to Curtis for the great pic he took from the airplane.

For those of you who are Manhattan challenged: the bridge on the right is the Manhattan Bridge, the one on the left is the Brooklyn Bridge, one of my favorite landmarks.  It's the one in I am Legend.  I've posted pics of it before and have mentioned walking across it (yes, to Brooklyn, that area of land you see on the bottom of the picture.....and the area on top is New Jersey.)  If you look at the part from the Brooklyn Bridge to the left, and kind of pinpoint the middle, I live about there.

A night out

One of Curtis' and my favorite restaurants is Ulysses on Stone St.  The area is super cute.  It's a way old street with a cobble stone road and other fun restaurants.  We go there probably every 2-3 weeks.  It's always fun because our friend Libby works there, there's never a wait, and the food is good.  We ate dinner there on New Year's Day and got so full, I don't think I've ever felt so sick from eating too much.  (I think we were making up from the night before when we were stuck in Times Square with nothing to eat for like 9 hours......still need to post about that, I know.)
Anyway, we went there the other night, and I had to take a pic of Curtis' favorite thing, the nachos.  Seriously, the picture doesn't do the size of the plate justice.


The last bite (minus some of the jalepenos he couldn't finish off, seriously, they put a million in there.)


And waiting for the 4/5 to take us to Blockbuster.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

HSBC makes dreams come true


It's true.  Your eyes are not deceiving you.  I finally got my beloved Louboutins.  They were sort of a gift.  They feel like heaven on earth.

Newest anti-theft device


Saw this on my way home from church last week.  Love it.  Only in New York, kids, only in New York.

My new favorite hobby


Yup, apparently I longboard now, and I love it.  Okay, I haven't gone pro, but it seriously is so fun!  I always heard about longboarding and how "sweet" it was in college, but it seemed like it was just guys who were always crashing and getting gnarly scabs, something I happily left behind in grade school.  The only girl I knew who did it was my friend Chelse, who's just one of those super cool chicks who can be totally girly and adorable one minute, and the next be hanging with the boys, totally keeping up.
So Curtis has a longboard and since he only lives 6 blocks away he usually longboards over when the weather's not bad.  One night we were leaving his place and headed to mine so I told him I wanted to try.  It pretty much was me standing on the board, and him holding my hand and pulling me along, kinda little red wagon style.  Then, at one point, we both sat down on it sledding style (his idea.....)  I believe my direct quote when we took off was, "I'm not like you!  I don't like getting hurt!"  Luckily he stopped us before we ran into a wall.  
Anyway, so Saturday night we stopped by his place where I'd left a few things while we got dinner, and then headed to my apartment.  It was a nice night so I told him I wanted to try longboarding for real.  He gave me a few pointers and we started off doing slow, simple things.  At first it was kind of awkward and I had a hard time allowing myself to put my weight on my right foot (which would end up at the back of the board....aka regular) and just push with my left foot.  After some semi-decent attempts I wanted Curtis to do it so I could watch.  When I went to try again Curtis mentioned I had the wrong foot on the board.  I'd naturally put my left foot on the board.  Before I could correct it he said, "Actually, maybe you're goofy, go ahead and try it."  I guess it turns out I'm goofy because it was way more natural and easy to push with my right foot and then steer once both feet were on the board.
I had a total blast and can't wait to go again!!  Thank goodness I live right next to Battery City Park.  Longboarding along the Hudson River?  Sounds pretty good to me.  I gotta get out before we get snow!!

Best movie. Ever. (FYI, spoilers...)

Seriously??  I'm still laughing from seeing this last night.  I heard it was good, but I loved it.  Love love LOVED it.   I was rolling in hysterics, the entire time.  My knee was hurt from slapping it, and at one point I was kicking the chair in front of me due to my lack of body control.  I was that obnoxious person in the theater that couldn't control her laughter.
There's no way I can pick a favorite line because honestly every one was amazing, but here's one that had me doubled over, "Nah...I mean, I'm already pregnant, so what other kind of shenanigans could I get into?"  Oh yeah, I also loved, "Can you hold on for a second?  I'm on my hamburger phone.  It's just...like...really awkward to talk on."  And lastly (for now) when Bleeker said, "And Blair Witch Project was about to come on Starz, and you were like, 'I haven't seen this in forever' and you wanted to watch it, but then you were like 'Oh no, we should just make out instead.  La la la.'"  (PS If you're reading this and didn't see the movie, you're probably not laughing.  So stop reading my blog and go see the movie!!)
Anyway, it's hysterical.  All the actors do a great job.  There could not have been a better person chosen for Jennifer Garner's roll, and I almost cried in about every scene she was in.  Allison Janney?  Didn't even know she was in it.  Funniest person ever.  Lastly, if nothing else, a cameo by Dwight Schrute makes every movie amazing. 
Seriously, go see it now.  If you've already seen it, go see it again.  I know I'm going to, and at $12 a pop I never see movies twice, but I'm making an exception.  I can't wait till it comes out on dvd.

Go Giants!!!


So we're down to 4: New England, San Diego, Green Bay, and New York.  While it's pretty cool that both my brothers' teams are in it with me, I'm definitely rooting for my Giants!  

Faux-Jess

Thank you Lynsey Nordstrom.  Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the Post?  They sent a Jessica Simpson look-alike to the Giants vs Cowboys game on Sunday, dressed her in a pink Romo jersey, and sat her in the 3rd row at the 50 yard line, right behind the Cowboys' bench.  Check out the story.

Embarrassing....

....but I love this show.  Even more, I love to hate the annoying people on it.  But what's most embarrassing?  Last week I saw someone I know on it.....a friend's mom.........awwwwkward.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Some videos of the kids

video


video

Christmas in California

I was able to go to California for 10 days.  I had a really great time being with my family, seeing friends, enjoying the warm weather, and eating at my favorite places of course!


Could little Megster be any cuter????  I don't think so...



Brad and Nadia flew in late Christmas Eve so we all stayed up talking and my dad got a little sleepy.  So sad.


Poor Meggy had an ear ache on Chritmas day, but she is such a trooper and always the happiest baby.

The whole family (minus me) eating our traditional Christmas morning breakfast, eggs on toast....mmmmmm.



Uncle Jason trying out Ryan's new toy.

One night my mom, Brad, Nadia, and I went down to Jason and Elise's in San Diego for dinner.  Here's me with some of my favorite girls.

At dinner at Rock Bottom.  Downtown San Diego is so fun!


Nicole and Lynette Saadeh, Lynette's mom Carol, and my mom and I had our usual get together lunch at BJ's.
Me and Jane and Richard Brown's wedding reception.  She's one of my favorites.

My best friend Cindy and I got together for our usual: eggs on toast breakfast, catching up, and Friends.  Please disregard my awkward pose.
One of my best friends from college, Aimee, drove down from LA.  We did what we do best, shopped, gossiped, discussed relationships, and ate.  Our favorite pasttimes from the good ol days.  We went to Mission Viejo Mall and ate at Claim Jumper, one of my favorite restaurants.


I love this boy.
Super awkward family photo at Christmas dinner.  Everyone minus Dad who was taking the photo.

The Holmstrom family.

The Hopes.

Mom and Dad.

Mom and me.
Brad and Nadia, the parents to be!!

Obviously I had a great time, and obviously I ate out a lot, can't go home without eating at the best places right?  I can't miss Claim Jumper, BJ's, In-N-Out, and Golden Spoon.  We saw lots of movies like Kite Runner (really liked it) and PS I Love You (eh...so-so.)  
I also got together with some old cheerleaders from high school but am so lame and didn't take a picture!  It's so interesting to see how different everyones' life is.  Tessa Iacono came with her husband who's studying medicine and Dartmouth, they're living in New Hampshire.  Ashlie Lerma came who's engaged to be married in May.  She's living in San Clemente and is using her Master's degree of Psychology working with autistic children.  Sara (Wilgus) Cavaness came who's been married 3 1/2 years, has two children, is finishing nursing school, and was baptized along with her husband into the LDS church a little over a year ago.  They live in Whittier.  It was a small group because it was so last minute, but as always, we had a great time.

Christmas was great.  I got the coat I'd been wanting from J.Crew, and the pink bowls, measuring cups, and measuring spoons I wanted from Williams Sonoma.  It was fun for everyone to be together.  The best present, however, was finding out I'm getting a new little niece!!  Brad and Nadia are expecting their first on June 2, 2008.  They are naming her Madeline Ruth.  (Madeline pronounced like the adorable little girl from the children's books.)
I've been so excited for Brad and Nad to have kids since they got married.  I know they will be the best parents.  They've known for quite a while and have successfully kept it a secret despite the time I was with them in Boston, and the few times I've seen Brad while he's been in New York on business over the last few months.  They told us Christmas Eve.  After we'd talked for hours we decided to go to bed and Brad said family prayer.  At the very end he said, "And please bless Nadia and the baby..." and then closed the prayer.  I was totally taken by surprised, and so excited!  They asked us to guess the sex, and I was write in guessing it was a girl.  That makes 3 for 3 with guessing!