A Girl Should Be Two Things: Classy & Fabulous. - Coco Chanel


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

It's that time again. Another year has ended. I can't believe how quickly it came and went. I love the beginning of a new year... because it causes you to reflect. What did you do that was exciting? What things did you learn? Did you accomplish any of your goals you set last year? How do you want to improve in the new year and what would you like to accomplish? This is what goes through many people's minds, including my own when Christmas is over and the new year is approaching.

I just reread my post from last year. I obviously didn't accomplish all of my goals that I set... but I did set a lot. I accomplished many of them though. As I have reflected on this last year (while looking through photo's and reading old blog posts) I had an amazing year. Besides being sick pretty much all of Winter and going through 7 roommates... I did a lot of awesome things and made the most out of the year.

I tried new things:

New recipe's
Went for a ride in a tiny 4 seater plane
Took a hip hop class
Cross Country skiing
Rode in a helicopter
Had my first couch surfer
Swimming with Dolphins
Riding an elephant bareback

Had some big accomplishments:

Ran my first half marathon
Lost 55 lbs (maybe 50 now... I think I gained 5 this month)

Got to scuba dive somewhere new

Got 2 new nephews

Visited 2 new states (Indiana & Michigan)

Went on a cruise

Saw some awesome concerts:

Shania Twain
Joshua Radin
Matt Nathanson
Imagine Dragons
Josh Groban
LeAnne Rimes

Visited 5 new countries (Honduras, Cayman Islands, Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand)

Go to some places that I had been wanting to see (Bryce Canyon, Zion's and Havasupai)

Formed better relationships with extended family and made some great new friends.

And probably the thing I wasn't expecting the most and was a pleasant surprise... Johnny. Last year, one of my goals was to "find a man". However I say that every year and it never happens and I thought the same would go for this year. I met John in September and he has honestly been such a joy in my life. When I first met him, I had no idea that we would end up dating and that I would end up caring for him as much as I do. He is such a great person. I love who he is and how he treats me and I love spending time with him. He is kind and respectful not just to me, but to everyone. Everyone that meets John likes him. He has a great sense of humor and is always making me laugh. He is always finding ways to serve me. We have a lot of the same interests. He comes from a great family, who I adore and has welcomed me in with open arms. We have GREAT communication. It has never been drama or a guessing game... we are honest and open with each other. Things with John have been easy and fun. These last 4 months have been awesome. I really appreciate him. He leaves in a couple of months to go backpacking in South America and I don't know when he will come back. I'm sad that he is leaving and I don't know what will come of us... but regardless of what happens... I'm so thankful he came into my life.

Speaking of John, he is the one I spent New Years Eve with. We were with his family for a little bit and then we met up with his good friend and his wife. We went to Provo Town Mall and hung out while a bunch of stuff went on around us. 15 minutes to midnight we went outside to wait for the ball to drop. They had hot air balloons on the ground... glowing (not sure why). I brought sparklers and then at midnight after the ball dropped there was a great firework show. Believe it or not... this was my first kiss at midnight on New Years Eve. John had a kiss last year, but this is the first time he has been in a relationship on NYE. Me, I have been in a relationship twice on NYE but never got a kiss because we were always visiting family in different states. So this was my first... and it was great.

2013 was great. Really great. I'm excited for 2014. Knowing everything that happened in the last year... it is very exciting to think of what will happen in the next year. You just don't know... that is what makes it so exciting! I haven't decided on my goals yet... probably all the ones I didn't accomplish last year will be put on my list again this year. Other than that... I just want to keep living life to the fullest and see what comes my way. Happy New Year! Cheers to 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013


I got back from my Southeast Asia trip a month ago now and am now finally posting the last of my trip. The biggest portion of the trip. It takes me a while to post about my trips because #1- I have SO many pictures to go through that it is overwhelming. I actually still haven't gotten everyone's pictures yet and I still haven't finished editing all of mine... but enough that I feel like I can post about it. #2- there is SO much to tell and show... it's hard to summarize it in one post. However, I'm going to try... so here we go. It's going to be long... you have been warned!

My adventure in Thailand started by landing in Bangkok with Daniel at 8:30pm after a long and fun day of running around Siem Reap, Cambodia. We needed to be in Chaing Mai by 6:15am the next morning for the tour that I had booked and before our trip we realized that we couldn't find any flights that went from Bangkok to Chaing Mai AND the train was being worked on so the train was not an option and the bus was not going to get us there in time. So what did Daniel and I do? Well... we rented  a car and we drove through the night in a different country where we didn't know the language and where they drive on the other side of the road (I had Daniel do the driving because he had driven on the other side of the road before). The guy that we were supposed to rent the car from was not there... when he finally showed up it took FOREVER to fill out the paperwork and get the car. We didn't make our way out of the airport until around midnight. We got a little lost trying to get out of Bangkok, but thank goodness I have a GPS on my phone. My GPS told me it would take us 9 hours to get there... we ended up making it in 7 1/2 thanks to speed demon Daniel. If you did the math, you realized that we still didn't make it on time for our tour, but the tour guide was understanding and we missed the market in the morning but we were able to meet up with them somewhere else and made it in time to ride the elephants. I was so pumped to ride elephants bareback that I forgot that I didn't get any sleep that night... but that would catch up to me later.

After riding elephants we went to a rice field. Never had seen one before. SO beautiful! I felt like I was in a painting.

We then went to an Orchid & Butterfly Farm.

After that it was on to Tiger Kingdom for some snuggle time with the big cats. We also had lunch here.

Last but not least we went up the mountain to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep! It is a Theravada Buddhist temple. The temple is most often called Doi Suthep which is the nake of the mountain it is located on. The temple is located 9.3 miles from Chaing Mai and is a sacred site to many Thai people. It has an AMAZING view from up there. It was a full day of activities.... by this point I could barely keep my eyes open... but we loved this tour (one of the highlights of the entire trip... go me for finding and booking it) and our guide was just for us and she was SO great!

All the different Buddha's for every day of the week.

My Buddha (because I was born on a Saturday)

Next we explored the market's in Chaing Mai and ate street food (which we loved).

Bought Thai clothes.

Rode tuk tuk's.

We went to the fish spa! Believe it or not, this was on my Thailand Bucket List! Not sure what a fish spa is? You stick your feet in a tank of little fish that eat the dead skin off of your feet. You have your feet in the tank for 15 minutes. It tickles SO bad... I cried because I was laughing so hard. When you take your feet out... they are SO smooth! 

AND went and participated in the Floating Lantern Festival! Another one of the main highlights of the trip and the entire reason of why we went to Thailand when we did. There is actually two festivals that go on at the same time (which I didn't realize). We participated in both! First one is Loi Krathong which is a festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand and certain parts of Laos and Burma. The name means floating crown or floating decoration and comes from the tradition of making buoyant decorations which are then floated on a river. It takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. A krathong is decorated with elaborately- folded banana leaves, incense sticks and a candle. A small coin is sometimes included as an offering to the river spirits. On the night of a full moon, Thai's launch their krathong in the water, making a wish as they do so.

Then there is Yi Peng... why we went. The festival is meant as a time to make merit. People also hand lanterns and light candles in the gardens and houses and temples. There was also a lot of fireworks as well. Tangled made it famous. I even did it for my birthday last year. It was magical. Now times that by 1,000 and that is how magical this festival was. The lights in the water and the sky that just went on all night. It was seriously one of the most beautiful things I have seen. None of these pictures come close to doing it justice. All those little dots in the pictures are lanterns in the sky. It was amazing. I'm so glad that we got to be a part of this.

Then we were off to Bangkok! As it turns out, my neighbor (Adam) was going to be there for 3 weeks on business. He happen to arrive the morning we got there and he let us crash at his hotel. It was fun adding Adam to the mix. He was so excited to be there and pumped to have us there too since he was by himself. He helped us get excited again since we had already been traveling for a week and were starting to get a little tired. With Adam we squished 5 of us in a Taxi and drove 45 minutes to the Floating Market. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed because I didn't realize that it was just for tourists. However... we made the best of it and still had fun.

We explored Bangkok and tried to figure out public transportation. It's a big city... it wasn't easy. We did get to Wat Arun though... which was awesome. Wat Arun is the temple of dawn and was built in the early 19th century during the reign of King Rama II.

We were over Bangkok... said goodbye to Adam and were ready to move on to Phuket! Sadly pretty much the entire time we were there... it was rainy. Not what we had hoped for in the beach part of our trip... but I think we still made the most of it and had a lot of fun. The scuba dive was the highlight for me! I would LOVE to scuba dive in Thailand again someday. There are so many places to dive there that are some of the top in the world.

We also rented scooter's and rode around in the rain and went to see the Big Buddha!

This is also where I was blessed by a monk... which is pretty awesome. I got a wrist band for good luck.

We tried to book a boat tour... but the weather was too bad... it was super disappointing.

We did get a little bit of sun in the few days that we were there... and we enjoyed every second of it. It is just beautiful there.

Adam met up with us again for a night and then we had to leave the next morning for our LONG journey back to the good ol USA. What an AMAZING trip. I loved it. I was so happy I got to do just about everything that I wanted to do while I was there... and I was in good company. So thankful that I was able to do this. Thailand is a beautiful country and I would love to go back someday.