my life after school: the reading.

As an English major the first thing I was looking forward to after graduation was reading. This may come as a bit of a shock because I was reading all the time for my classes, but I was excited to finally pick out my own reading list for a change. Now, more than ever, I have felt the pressure many other readers (especially English majors) like me have felt... so many books... so little time. I have a huge list of books I want to read and have the hardest time deciding what to read first! The library has helped out,  because some of the books I want to read have super long wait lists...

Here is what I have read (so far)!

I started with a book I have read a lot about, but never actually read:

The Picture of Doian Gray is one of those books you  compare other stories too, can be analyzed from many angles and is a fascinating look at modern life. I loved it. I love the way Wilde's descriptions and style seems to dance from one word to the next. If you haven't read this book. DO IT.
Next up was...

The Great Gatsby is one of my favorites, I soaked every word of it up,  so I decided to try another Fitzgerald piece and read The Other Side of Paradise. While I enjoyed it, I did find myself comparing it to Gatsby the whole time, and lets face it,  Gatsby is better.

After a few classic writers I was ready to jump back into the world of young adult literature, a place where you can escape to another world. I saw these books in Barnes and Noble, and totally judged them by their covers. I loved the cover designs and just needed to open the pages to see if they lived up to their covers. Maggie Stiefvater took the ever so trendy werewolf  and totally made it her own. The books were easy to get through and I enjoyed how the perspective jumps back and forth to different characters. All in all a fun read.

For  a few years now I have wanted to travel down memory lane and re-read the HP books. I started at the beginning, where the magic began, and couldn't be happier. JK you're amazing. It has been years since I have read the Sorcerer's Stone, and had forgotten so many of the little details. It was love all over again.

My most recent read (I am a few chapters away from finishing) is Matched. I love the concept behind the book, futuristic society, girl questioning  said society, sound familiar... but I don't know if I am in love with the book yet. I do however need to know what happens so it hasn't failed me completely. I know there is at least one more book, so depending on how this one ends we will see if I need to continue the series...

All in all, I love picking my reading list again. Who knows what will come next!

my life after school: the graduation.

It has officially been 3 months since I have graduated from BYU. I thought it might be time to share a couple of my "graduation" photos. I walked in August so I "fake graduated" before I actually graduated (finished classes/received diploma.)
Here are a few pictures from that momentous event!

In December I finished my last class, took my last final and then celebrated with a few friends and lots of waffles. It all felt so surreal at the time! Even more amazing was Caity and I finished at the same time! Sometimes it feels like we were in school forever! 
But at the same time it feels like just yesterday she was walking into my dorm declaring her love for London, and our instant friendship began! I am so lucky to have her as a friend and I am glad we shared as many fun and exciting, occasionally dangerous memories as we did! I know I couldn't have made it through school without her!  I can't wait to see what adventures we have in the years to come! Look out world here we come! 

Here we are in the very beginning, as little freshman, and at the end, as wise graduates! 


a little more disneyland and a hint of LA

As promised here are a few more pictures of our adventures in Disneyland along with pictures from the Getty  and the beach!
 morning of the 24 hours.

 R2 jumped out of my hand... and this is what happened. 

 the Getty has been on my museum bucket list for a long time and I absolutely loved it.
 it is a  building that is as artistic on the outside as the works housed inside. 

 apparently Lady Gaga didn't invent the hair bow.... 

 a few of my favorite artists and some eco-friendly straws. Win and double win. 

 in addition to awesome art and architecture the Getty has an amazing view of LA and really pretty frames.

 the soundsational parade featuring my boyfriend: Aladin. 

 California Adventure, our quest to find the best donuts, and the pacific. 

 beach time, Mary Poppins Cafe, and the best donuts! 

and because i love it so much i bring you a glimpse at The World of Color. 

the cat.

Normally cats only bring one thing to my mind: allergies. I can remember when I was pretty little, maybe 5?, and I was playing with a neighbors cat. I rubbed my eyes and boom, my eyes turned into puffballs my nose into a faucet.  From that day cats were not my favorite animal. Well that being said, my senior year in high school we accidentally "adopted" a cat. Yes, I said accidentally. Everyone tells the story a little different but it goes something like this... a skinny, sad looking cat wondered into our backyard one day and Dylan fed it some tuna, it came back the next day  (I am now singing: "The cat came back the very next day") and someone else fed it, this went on for a few more days... I think I was probably the only one who didn't feed it, not because I am by any means heartless, but cats make me itch so I tend to ignore their existence. This happened until all of the sudden we were buying cat food and 6 years later that same cat lives in our house and goes by the name Miss Kitty.

Moving  back home I had mixed feelings about her. She thinks it is funny to sneak into my room whenever I leave my door ajar. But over the last few months we have come to an agreement, to tolerate each other. She leaves me alone, for the most part, and I give her treats.

Now that I no longer ignore her existence I have discovered how funny she is. She likes to sleep in the strangest places. Here is the proof:

she loves to wiggle into boxes that are clearly too small. 

she also snuggles up to math books. 

 we found her cuddling with dezi one night.

her favorite spot is this bag full of paper shreds. she loves it! 


24 hours of disneyland!

This year is one of those special years where we are given an EXTRA day! Usually I don't really think much about leap day, it just is one more day added to my least favorite month. BUT this year we had something to celebrate. In honor of this extra day, Disney decided to have a bit of a celebration "One More Disney Day" is what they called it and as part of the celebration Disneyland was open for 24 hours! Yes you read that right, they opened their gates at 6am on February 29th and didn't close them until 6am on March 1st. If there is any thing you should know about my family it is this: We love Disneyland. We currently have season passes, and this is not the first time. So we jumped on the chance to have a full 24 hours to be in one of our favorite places! 

I decided a fun way to document this day would be to take a picture every hour on the hour. To show what we were doing but to mostly show our emotional status as we progressed through the 24 hours. 

We woke up SOOO early, well for me it was really early, and somehow made it out off the doors at 5:50. We wanted to open the park. Thankfully we were staying in one of the hotels right across the street so we didn't have to mess with parking, we just walked on over. To our surprise there was a long line to get in, like out of the main plaza, down where the bus drop off zone and then down Harbor Blvd, and a U back up Harbor! We were told the night before that Disneyland was giving out special Mickey Ears to the first 2000 guests, and so people started lining up at 10pm the night before to get the collectable ears. (We passed on this opportunity. We thought it best to get some sleep if we were going to make it 24 hours!) We had a feeling this was a sample of  the next 24 hours. Lines. It took us about a half hour to make it into the park, but once we did the energy was awesome. They had a Leap Day sign, and special buttons for everyone who came into the park and cast members with mickey hands on high-fouring (remember the Mickey hands) us as we made our way down Main Street! We headed right to the Emporium on Main Street to pick up the limited edition merchandise they were selling only on Leap Day. Which leads us to the next picture:

Waiting in line to buy our shirts.. hahah yes there was a line that snaked through the store just to buy our shirts. They only had a limited number of special shirts, sweatshirt, and ears, so everyone was anxious to get them first thing! I think the shirts (and sweatshirts) are so cute..
(ok so apparently this is the best picture I have.. but it says "I took the Leap and didn't sleep. I pulled an all-nighter at Disneyland.) 
After our shopping extravaganza (each of us got either a shirt or sweatshirt) we were pleasantly surprised at how calm the rest of the park was! We went on a few rides then tried out the new Marry Poppins Cafe. They were "practically perfectly" decorated had so many fun pastries and sandwiches! 

When 9 rolled around we were in line for Indy, so excited about how short the lines were.. If only we knew what was coming in about 12 hours... 
After a couple more rides I found myself needing to visit the little girls room at 10! 

 At 11, after we had seen Modern Family being filmed outside of Splash Mountian!! (more on this later)  We decided to head over to California Adventure to hit a few of our favorite rides. C.A. still closed at normal hours so we had to do it during the day!

One thing I forgot to mention. When we were waiting in line to get in the park, Dominique said she wanted to stay in the park the whole 24 hours. Before this we had all planned on going back to our hotel and napping, eating ect. But since our shirts said we didn't sleep, and our fear of the park reaching compacity and not being able to re-enter the park, we all jumped on the plan. We were going to be hard core and stay the whole day! By noon, we were ready for lunch.... and a nap. As you can see above, I was getting tired, but I am proud to say I didn't sleep at all the whole day. The rest of the family did fall asleep, either in shows, on rides or while we were waiting for things... (Dominique wants me to point out that she only "rested her eyes" for a half hour). 
After lunch we went to watch Aladin (this is one of the napping locations for some...) Little did I know later that night Aladin and I would have a thing! 

At 2 my mom and I went to see Muppetvision 3D while the rest went on a couple rides... another nap for my mom! 
At 3 we decided it was time to make our way back to Disneyland before the after school rush! We were not going to have them close the gates on us! 
BEST RIDE OF THE DAY! I love Star Tours, and I love the revamp, so we went on this ride multiple times. This ride was so much fun. First my dad really really really wanted to be the rebel spy and said if he was the rebel spy he would buy us all churros. He also said if any of us were the rebel spy he would buy that person a treat of their choice. This just upped the ride. So we got on and guess who was the rebel spy... Dominique! She was so excited. And we had the best group with us. A bunch of kids who were so excited by the entire ride. And I FINALLY got to go to the one location I hadn't been to yet. It really was the best ride of the day and one of my favorite parts of the trip! 
At 5 mom and dad went to go grab coats and dinner, and just "the girls" went on a few rides! As we were taking these pictures and I was grabbing some castle shots a lady walked by and jokingly said "look at that ladies ugly baby." I thought it was the funniest thing ever because all day (OK.. all trip) I was holding Yoda like this whenever he wasn't on my back. He also sat on my lap for all of the rides, and he even got his own seat on Pirates.. he was scared so Dominique kindly held his hand! From this point on Yoda was known as my "Ugly Baby." 
Half Way! As you can tell from this picture, some of us were more excited than others.. and some were starting the downward spiral of tiredness. I was pumped. 12 more hours of Disney!! 
PARADE TIME! During the parade, (which I will not lie, I love Disney's parades, even if they are geared toward the 2-6 age range..) Niques and I found boyfriends. Aladin blew a kiss at me and we shared a moment of eye contact... he totally wants me; and as Peter Pan passed by he was talking to Niques. It was love at first site for both of us. 
8 was another one of my favorite moments of the day. We were on Main Street when the Disney announcer's voice piped through the park and said it “Disneyland has now ended its normal operating day…” followed by the sound of a scratching record, “Just kidding, we have 8 hours left!” The official party had begun! They played "Jump, Jive and Wail" and then continued to announce on the hour, how many hours were left and played a song including 12 o'clock rock and other fun full of energy songs!
At this point the park was full of energy and hype and filling up quickly! We were starting to get a second burst of energy! 
10 pm, the temperature was starting to drop, and so was a few of our eye lids. Dezi was having a rough time staying awake and after a showing of the Tiki Birds, so were the parental units. 
One of the things Niques wanted to do was see Fantasmic! They only had one showing at 1am, and to make sure we were going to get spots we decided to check it out around 10:30. And lucky we did. It was already pretty full. We ended up having to go to one of the standing sections, and here we waited until 1am... yes about 3 hours of nothing but waiting.. Luckily we had some yummy soup as a pick me up. 
And we waited... We were shocked at how crowded it was. They came on around midnight to say that due to overwhelming interest in the show the viewing areas were now full. I read online the next day that at 11pm Disneyland had met full capacity. FULL. Disneyland was full. They had closed the gates and were no longer letting people in. The gates were closed from 11pm to 2am. And the craziest part was even at 2, people were still buying tickets to get in! It was crazy. And according to the news so were all of the freeways around Disneyland, one guy said it took them 3 hours to get 5 miles!  At this point we were glad we hadn't left to take naps! But Disneyland was the most crowded I have ever seen it. You really could only shuffle from place to place. Lucky for us we stayed in one place waiting for Fantasmic for a few hours of this madness! 
Fantasmic Time! And yes it was cold. Don't mock. 
Yet another Tour from our friend C3P0. Also Yoda is napping on my back. Not fair. Some of these late night pictures are my favorite, because you can really see the energy level in each of us. Dad: Can't. Keep. Eyes. Open. Mom: only four more hours. only four more hours. Dezi: Where am I? Am I sleep walking. This place is fun.  Niques: SLEEP DRUNK. CRAZY EYES. Me: I AM NOT TIRED AT ALL. I LOVE DISNEYLAND. I LOVE STAR TOURS. 
 Here we have another one of the nap locations. Small world. How they slept through the slightly creepy (even more creepy at 3am) dolls singing their oh so friendly song beats me. Here I am: 
And when I caught Dominique with her eyes closed she informed me that she was simply "blinking." 

24 hours gives you a lot of time to do things you wouldn't normally do, like go see Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. It has been years since I have seen them and I really enjoyed it. I think they are much funnier at 4 in the morning! Both girls managed to sleep through most of the show, and Billy's gang kept making fun of them! 
1 more hour to go! It was a little after 5 that I finally got tired. I was surprised how long I lasted. I thank my wonderful college career and many all-nighters for this talent! Dezi on the other hand, was not doing so well... and Dominique had officially mastered the crazy eyes by this point! 
6am. WE MADE IT! WE spent the last 15 minutes wandering around Main Street waiting for the last announcement stating that we had made the 24 hours! The last 5 minutes felt like 25 but it was well worth it. The announcement rang through the crowd and everyone cheered! Few were left in the park and many looked as if they were sleep walking, but we had made it to the end. The last song brought a tear to my eye (possibly from lack of sleep and that emotional roller coaster that comes with it.) "M. I . C. See ya real soon. K. E. Y. Why because we like you. M. O. U. S. E." As we exited the park and the sun came up there was a line of Cast Members and the Vice President himself with their Mickey hands on  their to high five (four) us and congratulate us! What a day it was. We all shuffled our feet across the stretch back to our hotel, we didn't say much to each other, but I know we all felt proud, happy, and exhausted. A day we will never forget!