Wednesday, 31 March 2010


I promise I am still alive! I'm just in the middle of nature staying at a youth hostel in the lake district. I forgot to mention this, but we left on monday morning for our five day trip to the north! We have seen some awesome sights already, and I will blog all about them when I get home. I will also tell all about the happenings of last weekend.
tonight should be an interesting night staying in the woods....wish me luck!
I will be back on Friday, just in time for easter/conference weekend.#


Saturday, 27 March 2010

public speaking??

I'm not sure if it's my thing.

"worry is the anticipation that the outcome will be bad. faith is the anticipation that the outcome will be good. faith in christ is the understanding that whatever the outcome, it will be for our eternal good!"

Christina shared this quote with laura and me while studying scriptures a few nights ago.

I'm writing my talk right now for church, and I'm taking a one minute break to post this blog. I'm speaking about sustaining our leaders. I'm so excited for this talk because it's making me more prepared for conference. I love conference!

wish me luck with my talk tomorrow. The last time I spoke was May 2008, so I'm a little rusty. I will need all the help I can get!

oh, and I'm also singing with sarah in sacrament meeting tomorrow. We're singing in two different meetings because our accompanist, the lovely caitlin, is in the other ward. She wanted us to perform in her ward too, so it should be a busy sunday.

I'm going to have faith that my talk will go well and that I will someday figure out my life!

well, back to my talk. goodnight all you lovely people!

Friday, 26 March 2010

a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

of london town!

I can't believe how great today has been. I have loved every second of it.

First, we went as a program out to Hampton Court. Henry the 8th lived there, and he was married to Kathryn there. Did you know that Henry's diet was 75% meat? He also had six wives, and he was a crazy man. We walked around all the different parts of the palace and saw where he used to live.

My favorite part was the gardens outside. There were beautiful fountains and cute triangle trees. We saw a group of young kids running around the crazy playing games. We were inspired by them, and we all held hands and spun around in circles laughing until it hurt.

On our way to the maze, we stumbled upon beautiful fields of daffodils! I love that they grow all over England. It's such a great sight to see after all the weeks of dead plants and rain. We had a little photo shoot in the daffodils after running around the maze, singing and being crazy, and getting lost.

Then we made our way back to the train station, barely missing our train by a few minutes. We walked around down for the next half hour, and I bought a new umbrella for 6 pounds. what a deal!
We got on the next train and made our way to my favorite place to eat, borough market.

I got a kangaroo burger and a big chocolate brownie. I don't think you could find a place with more yummy foods packed into one market. I couldn't find the flapjack man, so that was kind of sad. But! we found our friend, the patte mushroom man, and tried some more samples.

On the way home, rachel and I stopped at Primark. As normal, I was overwhelmed by all the people, cute clothes, and ridiculously low prices. I know some of the stuff will fall apart soon, but how could I pass up such good deals?!

Then I came home, ate dinner, practiced my song for sunday, and then went to the National Portrait gallery. Laura came with me because she wanted to go to the national gallery (they're right by each other), and we had the funniest experience on the tube ride over.
it went kind of like this...
laura pulled this disgusted/surprised face at something she saw behind me.
I looked behind me and saw nothing in particular
I was really confused and was like "laura, whats the deal?"
I did a double take
and then I saw this man with something moving around in his jacket pocket
to my horror, it was....

a ferret! (minus the hat)
The guy started coming towards us, and he sat in the seats right across from us. I politely asked if we could snap a pic of his little friend, and he said no jokingly. We asked a few questions about the ferret and then suddenly he was handing me his furry friend. I took him into my arms (what was I thinking??), and laura snapped a few pictures. To our horror, she tried to kiss both of us with her little mouth. I gave our friend back to her owner, hoped off the tube, got hand sanitizer, and laughed my head off with laura.

At the national portrait gallery, I saw a bunch of cool paintings of past and present famous people in england. While I was looking at pics of the princes, I ran into Kellen. He walked back with me to trafalgar square, where we met laura. We looked at the beautiful fountains and then headed back home. We stopped at Marks and Spencers and tesco, looking for a treat. I found some yummy british cereal that we came back and devoured, and we made our way upstairs for bed. I got distracted by my friends watching new moon in the classroom, so I had to pop in and watch the last half.

Now here I am blogging, smiling at how happy today was. It really was a beautiful day in the neighborhood (we even sang the mr. rogers song today). I love everyone here. I love every second of my time here, even if it's spent cooped up in the classroom or our tiny dorm room. I love people. I love life.

Trials will always come into our lives, but our Savior always is there with open arms, no matter what.

I'm learning that life is all about learning to love like He does.
His love can heal anything and everything.

anyone who may be reading this, have a beautiful day!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

blast from the past

I was sorting through some pics last night, and I found these treasures.

They are from when I was in Europe with my family forever ago. Little did I know that I would be back ten years later!

My camera is back in tip top shape now. Don't worry, I won't have to post anymore random old pics in an attempt to spice up my blog.
My camera battery charger was hiding in my closet, and it finally hit me today where it was. I just have silly moments where I temporarily lose my mind. But all is well now.

I had two great field trips for class today. We visited the Albert memorial statue for Civ and then the Tate britain for british literature.

I must be off to read the Iliad now. But before that, here's a great quote that my friend reesa shared at devo a few nights ago.

"The Lord doesn't expect us to work harder than we are able. He doesn't (nor should we) compare our efforts to those of others. Our Heavenly Father asks only that we do the best we can—that we work according to our full capacity, however great or small that may be."

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

sweet dreams!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


today we went to st. albans, the cambridge american cemetery, and cambridge.
The american cemetery was a great sight to see. We joke here about wanting to be european, but I'm so thankful to be american.
I went punting with annie, michelle, jen, and liza. We had a tour of nine different colleges along the river in the sun.
I would post pictures, but my new camera charger seems to be a fluke. Maybe I will work out my issues with the battery one of these days.

I came back and skyped raquel.
you know those people who are so down to earth and real that they simply make you want to be better? they remind you that the world is a wonderful place, and that you don't need worldly possessions to be happy.

well, that is raquel.

the world could use more people like her.
love you raquelly!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

I love home

I love london, but I love home just as much.

I love being at home for...

special occasions

baking with mom

old memories and new memories


my room!

with sasha on my bed

I swear london is trying to tell me to go home lately! I just can't seem to stay healthy here. This place just wants to keep me sick or something. I had a little scare with the flu today. Thankfully, I do not have it!
And trying to balance school, sight-seeing, sleeping, exercising, staying healthy, blah blah blah is so hard. It causes much stress. My body is mad at me for not taking better care of it over here.

but what is there to do?! nothing.
all I can do is run around like a crazy woman trying to get everything done. I had a good chat with my dad tonight, and he told me to just relax and try my best with balancing everything.

that is a new word for me.

work hard, plan everything out, and then relax. that is my new goal!

today I went to the Sir John Soane museum. lots of crazy, random artifacts thrown together in a little flat.
I walked down to queensway with laura to get flapjacks (yummy granola bar-ish snacks). The middle eastern guy at tesco loves us. As well as the one that I bought my camera battery charger from. He asked for our numbers, and we ran away.
haha. we flatter ourselves. I know it's just because we are american!

I have to go to bed right now...I only have 24 more days of london centre. I want to make the most of my last days here.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Queen Victoria

Today I went to the Queen's art gallery at Buckingham Palace with rachel. The display consisted of paintings and artifacts of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The queen had this picture painted for her husband. She's wearing a locket in the painting, and the locket has some of prince albert's hair. Queen Victoria painted, sang, played the piano, and loved going to the theatre and throwing balls. She was an extremely influential monarch, especially with culture and the arts.

Rachel and I walked around Buckingham Palace before the gallery and took some pictures. My camera was having issues, so I will post rachel's later. Before going to the palace, I showed rachel V.V. Rouleux, and she fell in love! just as I expected.
We had a very classical oriented day. As if ribbon, the palace, and the art gallery weren't enough, the program bought all of us tickets to a violin recital this afternoon. It was at Wigmore concert hall, and it was beautiful.

It's so magical being here.

I'm falling asleep while listening to iron and wine right now. I think that's my cue to end this post!
goodnight world!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

a few confessions

if you're ever in london, go here.

it will change your life!

confession: sarah, kellen and I forgot to pick up food for the munch and mingle at our ward.
another confession: at the train station, we decided to pop in real quick to marks and spencers to get some food for it.

we made it to church, I taught my lesson, and sarah and I conquered sharing time with plato. Our belgium cookies were a hit at the munch and mingle, and we successfully mingled with many of our friends in the ward including the missionaries. I love my ward so much. They have been so warm, open, and welcoming. All of the ladies there always give me hugs even though they hardly know me.

one more confession: we stopped at marks and spencers again to buy a few more biscuits and snacks to hold us over til dinner (we're kind of in between normal life and trip life. it's so hard to eat normal here!).

We got off the bus at marble arch and then walked down to speaker's corner. It's this big corner of Hyde park where a ton of crazy, random people go to preach/argue/be crazy. It was really interesting to hear all of them, but it was neat to feel the spirit tell me once again that our church is the only true one. We sat on a bench at the park, popped open our snacks, and enjoyed the sun and the daffodils.

I forgot that I had a huge blister on my toe from paris. I guess it was a bad idea to wear high heels! After a few seconds out the door, I took them off. I walked around barefoot in the city london and hyde park today. lots of people gave me funny looks. I guess people don't do that here? who knows!

Sarah, kellen and I may or may not have eaten the entire box all by ourselves.

Then we walked down hyde park along bayswater and looked at all the art for sale.

it was a very successful and uplifting sunday! I loved it.

mon amour

ok I promised I would blog about paris, so here it is!
paris in a nutshell.

on monday morning, we woke up bright and early. I was planning to pack that morning, but my alarm didn't go off. I woke up about an hour late, so I just threw some clothes in my north face backpack and headed out the door. I was kind of a frantic mess, but thankfully I made it on time onto the eurostar on time. We started off heading out to Chartres. We also found this fun merry-go-round.

that night I went to the eiffel tower, got a crepe, and ate some french onion soup. The eiffel tower at night was INCREDIBLE. It was probably one of the pretties sights I've seen, hands down. it was too late to go up, so we just took some pictures in front.

The next day started off at versaille and then the musee d'orsay. Versaille was cool--it was kind of similar to the vatican in a lot of ways. I loved the musee d'orsay and all the beautiful art! It is in my top three art gallerys. After that, Karalyn and I got separated from our group at the museum, so we tried to meet up with them at the pantheon. It closed just a few minutes before we got there, so we just walked around a little. I was super tired and not feeling well, so I grabbed a sandwich and pastry and went to sleep by 9:30. I was bummed to have to go to bed early, but my body was about to shut down.

The next morning, I felt much better! I had slept for approximately 11 hours, and I felt almost completely better from being sick. It was also st. patrick's day, and I completely forgot until Macfarlane tried to pinch me. Little did I know that it would turn into the best st. patrick's day ever! it was probably one of my favorite days of my life actually. I saw like 20 sights in paris, walked my feet off, and had an amazingly fun day with the dream team.

first on list, notre dame. Walked to the very top, saw the beautiful view, found my inner gargoyle, and snapped a pic with the bell.

next, saint chapelle and the cluny museum. Saint chapelle had gorgeous stained glass windows, and the cluny museum had the unicorn tapestries. loved the beautiful windows and fell in love with the tapestries. didn't see that one coming!

then we took a nice long walk down to La Rue Mouffetard. It was so fun for me because I started to ask lots of french people (in french) how to get there. I simply got up the guts and just starting talking. I remembered more than I thought, and I was so happy to be able to speak to the people. some of the nicest people ever!
on the way there, we walked through the latin quarter and luxembourg gardens (in the madeline stories). The mouffetard had the best savory crepes I've had in my life, and we also had amazing ice cream.

continuing on, I led the group of ten to the louvre, where we walked little kids play with the boats and then walked up the champs elysees. I had my first macaroons ever at La Duree. Then to the L'arc de triomphe! beautiful view of the city and eiffel tower.

what we did at the top of the arc

next up, louvre.

Rachel and I stayed together and wandered around, mostly looking at the highlights. We have similar taste in art, so it was perfect. We decided to take a break and eat dinner there, so all of us just got sandwiches in the cafe. I spoke french to the people who took my order, and they kept asking me questions so I could practice my french. They even gave me a free sucker!
When I went to throw my trash away, one of the guys started talking to me in french again. I couldn't understand what he said, so he switched to english and asked what I was doing that night. He then proceeded to give me a napkin with his name and number on it. Sadly for Baba, I did not give him a call that night! we all got a good chuckle out of that little incident.
I did something more fun...looked at more art. and then looked at the gorgeous fountains outside the louvre.

the next day was just as great.
It started off at the musee d'orangerie, where I basically cried while in awe of monet's water lillies. (lets get real, I wasn't basically crying, I was just simply crying. I was so happy)

Then I directed the group across the river to the musee de rodin, and we just happened to find an amazing pastry shop on the way. The sculptures at the museum were beautiful, and I found a few appreciation for them. We went to the catacombs afterwards (very stupid). I hurried through and went to a chocolate shop, Jeff de Bruggs, while waiting for the others. I talked to the chocolate lady for like ten minutes in french, and a sweet old french lady came in and spoke with us as well.
side note...I counted the number of times I talked to people there or asked for directions. guess how many there were?! 35.
Then I got some underwear and croque monsieurs with kira and brittney.

We walked back to the mouffetard, where I got one last crepe of nutella and banana, and then walked back in the warm sun to our hotel.
My trip to paris was complete bliss. I feel like I left a part of my heart in that wonderful city. All the french people were so sweet and nice to me as well.
I can't wait until I go back to the land of love!! (hopefully in will be in a few short weeks with my parents! cross your fingers)

Paris, I love you!
I love your amazing food, rich culture, kind people.
I loved the amazing memories I made here with unforgettable people!