Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What, am I living in a library?

Two weeks after moving back into our home, we're still in the thick of unpacking. There are boxes stacked in almost every room (my room is piled with them) but we're slowly tackling this huge task. There's more than enough room for all of our stuff, it's just taking a while to actually pull our act together (okay, my act together) and unpack.

Today we attacked the living room and the boxes of my parents books. We have built in book shelves covering one whole wall of that room. Twenty shelves. These shelves are now designated into sections (yes, like a library). We have Religion, the Literature, a shelf of art books, and then the History books with the few extra literature books mixed in, and then the last section is philosophy. We have a lot of books. Oh, and the books in the living room? Yeah, that's only the hardbacks. We still have twenty more shelves to fill in the family room, and who knows if all of the extra books plus the kids books will fit on those. Good thing we have about ten unused bookcases sitting in the garage just waiting to be brought into the house to be filled with countless pages of words.

My parents have more books in their room. My brothers have some books of their own in their room. I have more books than I realized. For the past nine months I've been ordering books online and going to Barnes and Noble and Borders all the time to get books to read, when I actually have a ton. But of course, all my books were packed away. I forgot how many I had. Now I have more books than any other girl my age that I know (except for Natalie, she has more books. That's because she's Natalie).

I love books. I love them. I don't care that people look at me weird when I tell them that never in my life has my family had any form of television aside from VHS tapes and DVDs, because look at what I get. I get more books in my own house than I could ever dream of being able to read. While I was putting away books in the living room, I started looking at some of them, particularly ones in the religion and philosophy sections, and I have this hunger to read them all. So for the next four months while I'm home, I'm going to read as much as I can.

These is our living room bookshelves. The whole section on the far left is all philosophy and the top three shelves in the middle left are History with the bottom one being art books. The far right shelves are religion and literature are the four middle right shelves.

Paper backs in the family room

About fifteen boxes of books that have yet to be unpacked. I'm not really convinced they'll all fit on that bookshelf.

Most of my books (on my old bookshelf that's being kept in my closet to make room for one of the bigger, better bookshelves from the garage.) Granted, the top shelf is just DVDs and some of my journals, I still have a lot of books. Plus a couple boxes of them.

I should be reading instead of blogging.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Called to Serve

I have a lot of guy friends. A lot of them. For some reason they've just been easier to get along with, so we haven't had fights and the friendships have lasted longer than almost every friendship I've had with a girl.

Now that I'm almost twenty, most of my guy friends (the LDS ones, at least) have either left on their missions or have their calls. In January I have three guys leaving: Sam is going to Indiana, James is going to Poland, and Jesse is going to Taiwan. I am unbelievably excited for the three of them and I'm excited to see how they grow and change over the next two years. However, even though this is a joyful time and I'm happy they're going, it's still a little bittersweet.

Sam is one of my best friends. At one point we were a little more involved than we were prepared for, but that died and now we're jsut really good friends. We've talked about everything under the sun and he understands me well and I him. I know it's a good thing that he's going to serve the Lord in Indiana, but I'm going to miss him. A lot.

I'm such a whiner.

Me and Sam after his farewell. 12.28.08

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mother Knows Best

There have been many times in my life when I've gone to my mom with worries and problems I've been dealing with. She's listened to me cry and complain and pity myself and then gives me advice. It's always been good advice, but I can't say I've followed it very often. I don't listen well and even when people tell me things, I usually end up doing what I want to do. In the end, I'm always back in my mother's room telling her she was right.

Tonight I went to a wedding reception for a girl I grew up with at church. She's a year older than me and the third girl from our class to get married this year. She has always been kind to me and I call her my friend. But tonight I realized how little I knew her in high school and how I know her even less now. That's how it is with all the girls in our stake.

I saw a large handful of the girls I've known all through middle school and high school. The ones I danced with at stake dances and shared tents with at girls camp. We all smiled and greeted each other and asked about college and we all like it. But really, we're just being polite. I don't really know these girls and, while I'm glad they're enjoying college, they're not my friends. They're friends with each other and they all room together and are in each others wedding parties, but them and me? We're just people who grew up together, so we say hello out of courtesy.

I can't help but wish I had been better friends with the girls in my stake. I had good girlfriends in the stake, but one moved away, one thinks she's superior to me because she graduated a year early, and the other hates me and won't talk to me (for reasons unknown). I picked poor friends, I realize this. Sometimes I just wish I had been able to be good friends with those girls at the wedding receptions. Maybe if I had, I would be better at having best friends. Instead, I go to these wedding receptions and the only people I'm really glad to see and talk to are my leaders from when I was in Young Women's and seminary teachers.

I talked to my mom about this, since I was caught in a fit of self pity. After bursting into tears I mentioned that I know this isn't that big of a deal, but I've got PMS so it feels like a bigger deal than it is. My mom just laughed and listened to me blubber on about high school and not knowing the girls and how poor high school aged Amanda didn't fit in. Then after telling me that high school doesn't matter and you make your real friends in college, she said, "What I think you should do is get a cup of hot chocolate, go to bed, and know that these next few days are going to be tough."

I did just that and I feel much better.

Friday, December 26, 2008

2008. 50 Best Things

1. Moving out of Chapman and into Tuscany with my own bedroom, five other awesome girls (both semesters) and having access to a kitchen all the time. It's awesome.

2. Deciding on a major that works and I really like it! This is a big step. I think I'm more happy with this major than I was with any of my previous ones. Technically it's University Studies, but I've got a cluster in Spanish Literature and a cluster in English Literature, so I'm really a Literature major. With a ballroom dance minor. Bomb.

3. Ending the dumbest relationship ever. I don't think there was a good reason I got into it in the first place. It was tough and the situation wasn't ideal (or good in any way, shape, or form) but we both made it through in one piece. At least I did.

4. Being the Ward Chorister. When I was called, I was terrified. This is one of the few callings I've always thought would be horrible and never ever wanted it, but I was called and I made the commitment to do well. I learned a lot. I'm glad I had that calling.

5. Lunch with Stefanie for a second time. It was lovely. Keep your fingers crossed for next year.

6. The birth of my nephew, Seth Hermansen, in August. I'm glad I was able to be around to see him during his first weeks of life. He's the most adorable baby you've ever seen. I love the kid to bits.

7. Moving back into our house (a work in progress....)! After living in a tiny rental for nine months (...three for me, I was at school for six months), being back home is wonderful. All the late nights my mom stayed up to plan everything for this house have paid off; it's beautiful.

8. Thanksgiving week. Disneyland, Hollywood, San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Malibu. It was awesome. I'm glad that I was able to take Eryn around Southern California and it was so fun. Whatever money I spent, it was worth it.

9. New Years Day and seeing Juno with Carly and Daniel. We snuck cider into the theater and then had an extra bottle when we left the theater and were in the car. I opened it and it made a huge mess. It went everywhere. It was awesome. I smelled like cider for forever.

10. Single Adult Volleyball. Even though it ended in April, it was so fun while it lasted. If it started up again, I'd go.

11. Samuel Huse. All around, one of the greatest guys I have ever met. Thanks for being the way you are.

12. Opening day at Dodger Stadium. Sandy Koufax threw the first pitch and it was awesome. I'm glad my Dad chose me to share that experience.

13. Bowling nights in Simi, at least the first ones. We had a lot of fun. We changed the bowling names to be really stupid or offensive and made fun of each other for bowling horribly.

14. Having Randi as a roommate and best friend. She's awesome. I can't WAIT to see her again in April!

15. Español con Señora Peck para dos semestres. Loved those classes (just not the insane amounts of homework in 201...)

16. ROY JONES. Awkward, awesome old man.

17. Hair experiments. Hair cuts and hair dye. Shorter, layered hair. Failed attempt to dye my hair black (glad it didn't work out), and purple hair. Awesome purple hair.

18. Having a car in Rexburg. It made everything that much better. Plus, Jack is the best.

19. Some experiences with the spirit that were so amazing, I can't even put them into words.

20. Love notes on paper air planes. Also, no sceens in our windows so we could throw them out the window and make passing boys pick them up.

21. Fish! Walter, Death Bumps, Roy Jones, and the rest. I loved them.

22. Being hypnotized in my psychology class. It was amazing. I want to do it again. Soooo relaxing!

23. Eryn. Freaking. Tupper. Why were we not better friends when we both lived in Chapman? Seriously. I love you.

24. Breakfast at iHop with muh muh muh Michael Ross! It's an awesome tradition. We need to do it again before you leave for school in January.

25. Phase Ten with our FHE brothers. We played a ridiculous amount. I think we only finished once.

26. Stepping up and dealing with things I don't want to deal with. I may not like the way some things go and how some people act, but not everything in the world is fine and dandy. Not everyone has respect for other people. Sometimes we have to do things and say things we don't really want to.

27. Being a part of that western movie. It was cold, the dance was silly, and the costumes were really silly, but it was really fun. I'm excited to see how it turned out.

28. The Dodger Game on May 23. Bottom of the ninth, one out followed by an hour long rain delay. We were wet. Dodgers lost. It was so much fun. Actually, Memorial day weekend, all around. I forgot how perfect it was.

29. Ingrid Michaelson CDs. I own two of her three. I'm in love with her songs. LOVE.

30. Adventures to IF. Going to Walmart all night, Denny's, iHop, Target, fireworks. Everything. IF is where the party is.

31. Owing pizza and getting pizza when someone else owed it. I like the tradition.

32. The Beatles Tribute Concert during the summer semester! It was SO so very fun! The band was great and it was so awesome.

33. Pregnant dreams. Even though they weirded me out to the max, having those dreams was pretty memorable. I can remember almost every single dream.

34. Growing up and realizing that I am growing up. Taking everything that's happened over the past years has made me realize what kind of person I am and what I need to work on. I'm improving, I think. I like where I'm at. I don't mind growing up.

35. The fantastic day trip to Rigby Lake that ended up being a trip to the Teton Hot Springs. That was SO much fun, ladies.

36. Dance classes. Both of them. They were so much fun. Seriously.

37. The Salt Lake trip! Driving around late, the McClarens (sp?), Temple Square, ihop, the hotel with the really awful shower and creepy guys in the pool. Sleeping in Bern in the trailer on our way there and stopping at Uncle Rod's on the way home. What a great weekend. Seriously.

38. The fourth of July spent at Island Park. Camping, the Indian name game, star gazing, riddles, water skiing and almost killing that canoe with the tube, never have I ever...

39. All of the songs that forever make me think of driving on the 20 towards IF.

40. Taking naps at Porter Park. SO fun! We saw someone propose, Eryn helped me in a desperate time of need, we ate lots of good food, and did practically no homework.

41. Halloween and all the different parties we went to. It made getting those teeth and contacts totally worth it.

42. Frontier Pies and Pushing Daisies. Also, The Fall. ANYTHING that has to do with Lee Pace and his gorgeousness.

43. All the lunches spent with my mom and sister and niece (and the few after Seth was born). I love being so close with them.

44. Reconnecting with Vince. It was unexpected and still a little surreal and weird, but it's nice to not have that wedge between us. Just goes to show that things that end so horribly can eventually be fixed.

45. Finally fitting in as one of the adults. I understand why the adults hang around the dinner table after everyone is done eating. I get to join in on the more mature conversations and I fit. I'm really a big kid now :)

46. Having 22 journals and a blog in progress for transferring them all over to the internet (under an assumed name)

47. Bowling at the Rex and befriending all the employees there. After a while, the bowling got to be a little lame, but being with those people and being somewhere familiar was really fun.

48. Finding the self motivation to really work hard the last half of Fall semester. I didn't do fantastically, but compared to my midterm grades, I was able to bring every grade up. I worked hard and missed out on several opportunities to hang out and have fun with my best friends.

49. Dances. Dance parties (like Halloween, blacklight, At. Anthony) and formal dances (Fall Formal, Preference, both social dance formals). They were all tons and tons of fun. I love dancing.

50. Overall being able to be happy. Finding out what makes me happy and what I want from life. I think I learned a lot about myself this year. It's been good. I'm very happy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry christmas

I love Christ.
I love this time of year, when the world has it's hearts and minds turned towards our Savior.

Merry Christmas, bloggers.

This is my favorite Christmas painting.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Getting There

Things are starting to feel a little more comfortable here. True, there are still boxes cluttered in all corners of my room and the storage unit hasn't even been touched, but my mom and I (and the rest of the family, sometimes) have been working hard and everything is coming together. On Monday my mom took some time to show me all the special things in the kitchen, like the pots and pan cupboard that has hooks that slide so they all fit, and the warming drawer, the built in silverware drawers, and the new flour and sugar drawer. It's all really neat and organized.
Something about being in the kitchen and seeing all of my mother's special kitchen things make me all the more excited about culinary school. I just want to take that big, beautiful room and tear it apart, making mess after mess with flour and sugar and cakes and anything else I can manage to pull together. I want to dance around with an apron on, my CD player blasting, and no shoes on my feet. I want to make christmas treats, like peppermint bark and homemade fudge. I want to decorate sugar cookies then sell them at the mall along with hot chocolate. I just want to bake things.
Last night James and I decided to bust out the ginger bread house kit our home teachers brought over. We mixed the icing and put all the candies into bowls in preparation. Our first attempt to stick the house together pretty much failed all around, with the icing too runny (even after I thickened it with LOADS of powdered sugar) and one side of the house longer than the other. Eventually it was sticking and it seemed about ready for the extras. I loaded the roof with icing, letting it drip down to look like snow (it looked pretty awesome), and James decorated it with colorful candies that looked like christmas lights. Then the roof slide off. The sides of the housecaved in. Overall, it was a disaster. We ended up dumping the whole thing into the trash (except for the extra candy. James ate those).

Christmas is in a week. We don't have a tree or decorations out (except for one nativity that James and I came across in the office and took the liberty of setting up on the hearth). Mom hasn't done any shopping yet. It's different this year, but I'm okay with that. We're in this fantastic new house and everything is so beautiful and nice. I love it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Back in our home

I drove all day yesterday and got home at seven. Ten hours, almost exactly.

Being home feels really good. It's nice that it's not freezing outside, or even close to it. It's nice that it's not windy and that there are hills and mountains. It's nice to not be in the rental house anymore and have my own bathroom and tons of space. However, it doesn't feel like home yet.

Our house is different. So different. I keep walking out of my bedroom (which, aside from a new light fixture and molding around the doors, etc. is the same) and going almost into the closet insead of the doorway to the rest of the house. It's further up the hall now and right where the doorway was before is a linen closet. I forgot how big my bedroom is. I know I'm going to fill it, but I just can't seem to figure out how I'm going to.

Going to bed last night, I felt like I was in a strangers home. But once everything is settled, it'll feel right and better.

I miss my cat. He's gone.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shall we dance?

Saturday afternoon I got to participate in one of my favorite activities of the semester: The Social Dance Competition. This was followed by our class performance at the Big Band Formal last night.

This semester I'm taking Dance 281, in which we learned advanced Foxtrot and Triple Swing as well as basic steps in west coast swing, mambo, samba, and night club two step. For our competition (which was just between the people in our class, since we're the only 281 class) we competed in Night Club Two-Step. It's a simple dance that can be danced to a whole lot of popular music, which makes it really fun. I danced with a guy named Ethan from Blackfoot, ID. He's a really fun guy and he's ALWAYS smiling! On one of the videos Eryn took of us dancing, you cna hear her commenting on how happy he always is. We placed third. We got medals. We were stoked!

Ethan and I dancing in the open swing session.

Last night was the Big Band Social Dance Formal where our class got to show off by performing our incredibly sexy mambo. I danced with a guy named Spencer who's quite a laugh. We had tons of fun dancing together. I still adore the Mambo.

Me and Spencer after our performance. We're trying to look tough, but I look like I'm about to cry.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Last week of Fall 2008

I miss it already.
I don't even leave until Friday.

Friday, December 5, 2008


As the semester comes to a close, I can't help but wonder where the time went. In the middle of the semester I felt like I was in some sort of limbo, where the beginning of the semester seems a distant memory and the end seemed so far away.

I leave one week from today. I don't feel like I've completed three semesters of college. I don't feel old enough to be almost half way through my college education. It hardly even feels like I was leaving the dorms about a year ago, it seems so much more recent but also such an ancient memory. I'm just caught up in a whirlwind of events that are flying by and then end up suspended in the same spot on the timeline of my memory.

It's a little bit mind boggling. I actually kind of like that it's going so quickly. Before I know it, I'll be done with college and I'll be heading into culinary school. Or married. With kids. (Now that is a weird thought)

I don't think there are words to express how excited I am for my future.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I change my mind a lot

Over the years and more recently these past months, I've changed my mind about what I want to do with my future. I've gone from a high school biology teacher to a nurse to a spanish education major. Now I've got my mind swirling with ideas of starting some sort of bakery out of my kitchen once I get married and have a family. It's not really a career, but it's a hobby type job that will work well with having a family.
I'm still going to finish up my Bachelors in Spanish and English literature and I'm still going to minor in ballroom dance. I realize that doesn't really connect to having a bakery, but I think it's best if I take advantage of being here at this university to learn things that I find interesting and may later come in handy. Later, I can purse my cooking skills at culinary school.

I really want to bake. I want to make cakes. I want to be the next Bakerella. I love it.