Friday, August 26, 2011

long. short. medium.

Okay so here's the thing. I want to grow out my hair. REALLY bad. Once upon a time, long ago I had long hair. Don't believe me? Look...
Don't mind the fact that I look extremely ridiculous. But this is me, with long hair, as a junior.   
But I was getting bored with it so, I thought that the best cure for this hair boredom was to chop it off. No, not just get some nice layers or bangs that I would end up hating. Chop it off. I didn't even flinch when the lady braided my long locks and cut that 12 inch braid off. That's right, 12 inches, one foot, GONE. I loved my hair for approximately 3.5 weeks. Then I started seeing all these long haired beauties and wishing my hair was back. And that my friends is when this growing out exhibition began. Ever since then I have tried to grow it out. I will say that I gave in and chopped it again a few times but still, it is taking FOREVER to grow. And it has never ever been the same. So, my advice to anyone that is wanting to cut their hair is to think long and hard about what you are about to be giving up...braids, fish tails, long ponytails, curly locks, beautiful buns...haha the list could go on and on. But I will say there are those people that pull off short hair like no body's business, like my adorable sister Makelle and her cute long bob. So don't let me sway you (or do), I just thought I would share because I came upon the long haired picture yesterday and had a flashback of what life used to be (okay, I'll stop...I'm being a smidge dramatic).

Shortly after I cut my short hair.

This last week, with my favorite boy ever Roan. I love that little cutie!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

More treats!

Drumroll please......Here are the last few videos!!

Here we are at Buckingham Palace, enjoying a nice day around London. This is also a debut of my baby cry. I surprised many of the girls with this little gem and I think their reaction here speaks for itself. I thought it went over well, but I guess that depends on how you take their disgusted looks and cringing. Oh and apparently Catie needed a shower?? haha.

I tried to upload one of the Eiffel Tower sparkling but it wouldn't work! Sorry! But, here is the last one. Grant and I spiced up the many, many long walks we went on with a little speed walk racing. Needless to say the eleven year old beat me in this video but I assure you I beat him a few times (which doesn't sound as cool when you know he is only 11, but come on those are some fast legs and look at that form!) 

Just a little treat

Here is a little treat from my trip. I made an entire DVD for my family to watch that includes pictures and videos and is 30 minutes long. But unfortunately (or fortunately) for you it doesn't come in a blog ready format. So I thought I would just post a few of my most favorite videos from the trip. Mind you they are very short and my videographer skills are less than professional (my family complained of motion sickness when I made them watch the videos pre editing haha). 

Here is our very first video we took. It was filmed on the coast of Ireland, where we were nearly blown away. Even after the many places we went it is still my most favorite view. 

And of course, one from the Harry Potter premiere. Here the fans are all chanting "We want Pottah", and there are our favorite Brazilian cuties (smellies). 

I can only post two at a time for some reason! But, I have two more so I will post them on the next post. 

back in the real world.

I made it home, which I am sure all of you already know. And I am back in my usual rut of bad blogging. I couldn't even finish out the entire study abroad trip, I lazy! 

In case you were losing sleep over what happened after the lake district I will post a few pictures. After the lake district we headed to Scotland and boy was that a fun time! Edinburgh, where we stayed the first few nights, was amazing! It is a big city with a lot to do. Also we stayed in a hostel that was 5 stars. Yes people, a five star HOSTEL. Which meant there was more than one plug for fourteen girls and we had our own bathroom in our room! WITH A SHOWER. It was muy fabulosa (just practicing Spanish). In my particular room we had 6 girls and let me tell you, it was a great time. We made our way through the big city for a couple of days and climbed one tall mountain then got back on the bus and headed out to see the beautiful northern part of Scotland. The northern part inlcuded a stop at Lake Lochness, no I couldn't find Nessie, a countryside hostel, and a drive through the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen. 

We finished out the trip with two final days in Edinburgh, in a hostel even BETTER than the five star one. It used to be university housing so the rooms were like little apartments. There were five of us together and we each had our own room!! We shared a kitchen, living room, and two bathrooms. It was a great way to finish off and it even made me almost, ALMOST, forget about the jewels that we had stayed in along the way. Cydnee's parents got there three days before we left and it was fun being able to hang out with them a little before I headed home! Janie and Dennis, you are the best! 

The flight home was great minus that fact that my two month long allergy attack somehow turned into a severe sinus infection. I spent approximately an hour and half total in the bathroom with my face on the mirror because it was the only thing cold enough to help my fever. But, I made it home in one piece and so did my luggage! As much as I loved the UK it was great to be back in America where my money actually feels like it is worth something. It was the trip of a lifetime and I am so grateful I was able to experience it. I will never forget it and I made some friends that will last a lifetime. 

So without further adieu here are the pictures.

The monument we climbed to in Edinburgh. 

Catie and I at Lake Lochness, we sure enjoyed skipping rocks.  
Grant and I giving Ole Nessie two big thumbs up!

The most beautiful mountains you will ever see!

The view from the top.

The whole group!
And a picture of my most favorite adopted summer brothers!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Lake District

July 30th 2011
When we arrived at our hostel in the lake district we were all in awe. It was set in this small town up on a hill and had an amazing view of the lake in front of us. The area was so charming and it is the perfect weather I was wishing I summered there every year. After hauling our suitcases up a flight of stairs and realizing that there was one outlet for 8 girls, yes one, we headed downstairs for dinner. We decided to make dinner as a group, which turned out to be really fun! We made a giant pot of spaghetti, salad, and bread. It was fun eating all together and hanging out. We were all pretty hammered from the drive there so we ended up eating and heading to bed. The next day we left around 9am and headed to Edinburgh. I wish we could have spent more time in the lake district because it was so beautiful and relaxing but we had to get on the road to start our seven hour journey.
On our way to Edinburgh we stopped at Beatrix Potter's house. It was a quaint little cottage with a very pretty garden. We took a quick tour and then it was back on the road again. The drive through Scotland was of course amazing, well the parts I was conscious for (which wasn't a lot). I have gotten pretty good at finding the perfect sleeping position on the bus and it helps that most of us have our own row of two seats. But let's be honest, I can sleep anywhere. We finally arrived in Edinburgh that night around 8pm. We were so happy checking into the hostel because it was a 5 star hostel and it really showed. It was so clean and better than some of the hotels we have stayed in. Not to mention there were only 6 of us in a room and we had our own bathroom and shower! YAY!
Pictures: our lake district hostel, the view from the hostel, and Beatrix's house

York, not the new but the old.

July 29th 2011
We arrived in York the night before but only with enough time to walk into the city and find a place for dinner. Which we did, and the place we found was very tasty! It was Mediterranean style food AND it had bottomless drinks for which you added your own ice. That was enough to make us love York already. The next morning we met up with the group and walked to York Minster. Even though I have seen a lot of old churches here they never cease to amaze me. This one was no different. The exterior was breathtaking as well as the interior. We were able to walk around and look at everything inside and out then we had the rest of the morning to our selves. Cydnee, Catie, and I met up with Hilary and Sarah to walk the streets of York, which are cobblestone by the way! We ended up stopping at a fish pedicure place. We kept seeing them in London but weren't really sure what it was and since it was early in the morning it wasn't busy so we peaked our heads in to see what it was. We found out that it is a pedicure that consists of you putting your feet in a tank of tiny fish that eat the dead skin off your feet. Sarah and Catie were the only ones brave enough to try. There was NO WAY I was putting my feet in a tank of fish, ew! But it was very entertaining to watch. Both girls were freaking out, screaming and laughing while they fish attacked their feet. I will say their feet did come out looking very soft and supple but you couldn't pay me to do that.
After we left York we headed towards the Lake District, like the Hamptons for Londoners. On our way there we stopped at Fountain Abbey. It was much like Tintern Abbey except a lot bigger. It was so green and beautiful and walking around the Abbey ruins was very cool. You could see where all of the rooms were and the passages around it. We ended up taking a look around then sitting in the giant grass field in the middle and reading our books. It was a fabulous ending to our day.
*Pictures are of York minster and Fountain abbey!

Journey to Preston

Okay so because I am behind on blogging I am going to date these next few posts so you know when they actually occurred.
-events occur in real time-(only 24 watchers will catch that phrase)
July 28th 2011
On our way to York we stopped in Preston, England. It is a small town and I didn't really understand the reason for our stopping until we met up with our guide. He took us on a two hour tour of the city talking about the events that happened there in church history. Preston is the first place the missionaries came when they left Nauvoo to spread the gospel. Among those first missionaries sent by Joseph Smith were Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Willard Richards, and Joseph Fielding. We were able to see where they first stood and taught the gospel, where the first saints were baptized, and also a small garden dedicated to those first British converts. Another interesting thing about Preston, England is that it was the first place President Gordon B. Hinckley came when he began his mission. Our guide told us a story about how he was doing another tour (non LDS) and standing in the town square when he saw President Hinckley and Sister Hinckley walk up. He said that he quickly excused himself to go over and say hello. He told us how President Hinckley talked about how that was the first place he ever taught the gospel and told him how nervous he had been standing in the town square. It was a very cool experience. After our tour we grabbed a quick lunch (and maybe some fresh donuts that were being sold on the street) and headed to the Preston, England temple. It is about a 10 minute drive outside of town and it is beautiful! The England MTC is on the same grounds so we were able to see that as well. 
Now for a quick shout out!!!!
Elder Cook has officially been out ONE YEAR! 365 DAYS! 52 WEEKS! 12 FAST SUNDAYS! WOOOOOO! It has gone by so fast, I can't even believe it. He is of course still loving El Salvador and teaching many people. The temple was recently finished and he has had many opportunities to bring investigators there to experience the amazing spirit in the temple open house. 
" I love being a missionary! i am learning so
much! my testimony of the gospel of jesus christ has grown so much!
the book of mormon is TRUE! every verse is inspired of god because
they are his words!"

*The pictures are of the garden in Preston, the place where the first British saints were baptized, my tribute to one year (so cheesy, I know), the temple, and the beautiful lily pond outside the temple. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

You may say I'm a dreamer...

Last Monday was my last night at our flat! That month in London FLEW by. I was just starting to feel like I knew what was going on and it was time to leave. We were all sad to be packing our bags again, starting the last two weeks of living out of our suitcases. No more clothes in the closet :( I was happy that my parents and Makelle were here with extra room in their suitcases because I sent them home with a bunch of stuff that I didn't need. My suitcase lost a good 15 pounds. It is so much easier to lug in and out of hotels and buses. Tuesday morning we stopped in Stratford Upon Avon to visit Shakespeare's house and to walk around town. It was a fun place and we stayed at an adorable bed and breakfast but I forgot my camera in my suitcase so I have no pictures!! But, Wednesday we headed to Liverpool home of the Beatles! It was so fun! I didn't expect Liverpool to be such a cool city. We started our day off meeting at the dock where the first LDS pioneers left England from to meet up with the saints in Nauvoo. We gathered together and sang "Come, Come ye Saints". It was such a cool experience! After that we headed to the Beatles museum. It was the best museum I have been to. The entire thing was entertaining. We finished up our day conquering one of my fears, riding a ferris wheel. Ever since I saw Mighty Joe Young, he had to save her from the broken ferris wheel, I have been scared. But it wasn't even scary and I loved it!! So here are my pictures from Liverpool, enjoy!