Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The little things

A lot has happened this past week. Job interviews, getting a bike and settling into my new city, school meetings etc. let me tell ya: life ain't easy when you move to a new city alone. Don't get me wrong I regret nothing. But it's starting to get a smidge stressful. I did however find one small comfort from home: my Kombucha.

It was something me and my "sisters" were fanatic about. For what reason I don't know why. But I did the unthinkable. I went on Craigslist and found a Scoby for sale ($5). Now before you all go Dr. Phil on me, please know that I use Craigslist a lot. I mean A LOT A LOT. A lot as in I just bought a used bike on Craigslist the other day for $25 and it runs better than mine did at home. TADA! Meet Maxine II.



 Maxine the first went to bike heaven (a used bike store) back in MN. The only sucky think is that there are like NO bike trails in close proximity to me here in the valley, the drivers around here have no respect for bikers and the streets are NOT bike friendly (unless you're on campus). 

Anyways back to my Kombucha Scoby. I missed the stuff. So I found one online and met the kind lady in the parking lot of a convenient store. She was really nice and the Scoby's were healthy! I'm brewing a batch now. We shall see how it turns out.
 My cousin was jealous when I told her I knew how to make it.. I know she was. I'm trying to decide if I'm going to be nice and give her my Scoby when I'm done or not.. Probably not. Anyways, that's what's been up.


Hopefully I will have some exciting news soon...

Until later!

Nat

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Paper or Plastic?? new town and new faces!

PHEW. What can I possibly say to begin my wonderful explanation of what's been going on here in sunny Arizona. Tempe is BEAUTIFUL. The people are so friendly, and the church is AMAZING. My first night I got here I went straight home and chatted with my cousin before going to bed. I woke up early the next morning (5:00 AM to be precise) with nothing to do besides wait for church. So I cleaned! There was a lot to do.. My cousin isn't used to having roommates. Then I got all spiffed up for my very first Sunday here in Arizona. I was so nervous, I can't tell a lie. Luckily for me I came at the right time. The weather is cooling down (for them at least) and at 108* I honestly was welcoming the heat. Anything beats the humidity in Minnesota. I have absolutely NO complaints about the weather here so far! It's simply wonderful.

They have these neat little buses here in Tempe that are absolutely FREE.





I take it to the Institute building for church, which happens to be only 3 miles from my house. Folks It's HUGE. I'm talking 3 level Parking Garage, 3 level building HUGE. And that's just the ASU Campus Institute. The one in Mesa is a little smaller, but it's still pretty big too! I waltzed in with confidence, knowing that's the only way to go anywhere. It's church, how bad can it be?? I know that the church is the place to be so I was feeling better with each step I took. I saw two young women in their early twenties near a little table, and they had me fill out a new member sheet. CHECK.

I walked into the sanctuary where I was greeted by the Second Counselor's wife, Sister Shumway. She was SO sweet. I sat next to her during sacrament, and then made my first official new friend in the Ward, Elizabeth, after Sacrament Meeting in the bathroom. Wonderful place that is! :)
She sat next to me in Gospel Essentials, and then in Relief Society after that. I was surprised at how many of the people in the ward were so young! I don't think I met anyone over 25. They seemed like they were all students! My new RS President is Amazing. I'm going to miss Talise terribly. But Megan is pretty darn cool. We had a potluck afterwards where I met even MORE people: Another Elizabeth, Oliver, , and Breaunna. They were all great. I even took the Mars bus back to my house with Elizabeth who rode halfway with me before getting off at her stop! It was great.



Then Monday came: FHE. Now, since I knew some people I was super excited. I arrived at the Institue, where I found Sister Morris, Bishop Morris' wife. Along with them was Breaunna, Elizabeth, and two boys I hadn't met before. They were both pretty nice, from Utah (shocker!) and Maine.
We had a wonderful fit of laughter trying to convince Sister Morris to allow us to use plastic sacrament cups! When we brought it up to Bishop, he pointed to Sister Morris and said: "That's all her!". I think I spilled 3/4 of my water out of the sacrament cup when I was taking it. I thought I was alone in this embarrassment when others began to chime in from the back seat and next to me! I wasn't alone after all!! We all began a discussion of the pros and cons of using plastic sacrament cups (it was a hoot) and we finally convinced Sister Morris to let us go "back" to using plastic! Bishop got a kick out of that one. He is so great. The entire Bishopric is so amazing in this ward.

 When we all got to the building in Gilbert (After going to the wrong but same address on the East side of town instead of West which was still an LDS church building surprisingly!) that we were meeting for FHE, we found a huge group of people. It was our ward (McClintock) mixed with the other ward (Pioneer). The theme of the night was: "Dinner and a Shrink." We had a fanciful Salad bar, thanks to Bethany, as well as some "dirt and worms" for desert. The Shrink part was about... that's right. MARRIAGE. We had two LDS marriage and family therapy counselors come in and give us the ins and the outs of dating today. In all honesty it was some really good advice that we were given. How to be ready for marriage, realizing that waiting means hindering yourself from blessings and so much more. It was great. I felt bad for the Missionaries who were sitting at our table awkwardly. I was so surprised to see them there! I didn't know that they were even allowed to go to FHE! I don't think they were in Dinkytown.. I will talk more about them in a later post.

My interview with my previous employer (in MN) went well, and I'm just waiting to hear back from them. We pretty much dominated in Softball on Tuesday night, team McClintock won like every game. Just saying.


 First Temple trip in Mesa was AMAZING.





It was a tri-stake YSA temple trip, and there were so many of us there that it took us about 30 mins to even get in to begin the baptisms. The lines to get into the temple were out the door. After we got done, and others got out of their sessions we had a great get together. Us girls slaved away over prepared some great food, and we had some great laughs. I keep seeing people I know in people I have only just met. Today I found "Xazmin."

I found a great Chinese restaurant to aid my Chinese food addiction: Pong pong. What a cute name right??
we even have a Chinese gospel doctrine class during Sunday school! There's a lot of Asians here, just like in MN. I love it. Over all, I'm loving it here. Stay tuned for more fun!

Coming up: My trip to DI (Deseret Industries, i.e. the thrift store that puts others to shame.)



have a good one, everyone.


Nat










Saturday, September 14, 2013

goodbyes are never easy

Yesterday is my last full day in Minnesota. It's a bittersweet time for me, but I know that good things are just around the corner. I have spent the majority of the week at the Van Heel house, with my friends. I consider them family, and I am going to miss them the most out of everyone here. I love them because they are the perfect example of the Gospel. I can use the word perfect without second guessing anything because the Gospel is about change. To use the argument that no one is perfect is partly true and partly false.. Aren't we already because we are trying to be like Heavenly Father?

They are, which is why I say that with confidence. I am going to miss everyone here so much..
The friends that I've met in my YSA Ward especially. I have made some lifelong friends there (you know who you are!!) and there's no way I could ever forget them. I had fro-yo one last time with Brittany, and she gave me some wonderful advice as well as this quote "Change happens outside of your comfort zone."

After hearing that it kind of made all my hesitations disappear. I know that me moving is what I need to do for my own well being as well as my spiritual well being. Over dinner with Talise, I was pouting about stupid reasons why I shouldn't leave, when really everything is working out for my good so very well. She told me sort of the same thing, and gave me some excellent advice for my future. It was some really good advice, folks. I'm telling you, that lady is a bucket of knowledge, yours for the taking if you're wise enough to do so. We went to Psycho Suzi's for dinner and I stuffed my face ate some reallllllly good food (I'll leave my recommendations/info at the bottom for you Northern Belles).

As I was packing up my spotless room (THANK YOU Rachel!) I felt even better about my choice. I'm expecting great things to happen while I'm away. I hope to grow and change into a better person, just like the Gospel is already doing right now in my life. Now just pray that I don't kill someone during my 6 hour layover in Denver. I'm not thrilled about that. If they don't have wifi to satisfy my Netflix subscription, I just might be a smidge upset.

Now for my Psycho Suzi's Review: 


It's a Tiki Themed Restaurant, The food was AMAZING, and the atmosphere was chill. If you can, get on the patio because if you do you can get a great view of the Mississippi River. You can't go wrong with any of the appetizers and the pizza is great! 



Price: $$$ out of $$$$$ 

Location: 

1900 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis, MN
(612)-788-9069
You might want to call for reservations!
www.psychosuzis.com



My next blog post will be posted from Arizona. I'm going to enjoy the 48° weather here while I can. :)



Nat

WWII Bomber Ball!

This past Saturday was one of the best nights of summer! It was the 2013 commemorative air force bomber ball, held here in St. Paul, MN. It was truly spectacular! 

The dance was held in an actual airplane hangar, and was filled with planes and cars that were actually used during the war. The best part of it though? The dresses! <3






There were so many people there who were dressed according to the era me included of course. I loved the music as well! All 40s style music, mainly the Andrews Sisters, who of course were born and raised here in MN! 


I saw some delightful dancers and loads of older couples who could really cut a rug! I mean we're talking full on Lindy Swing! 

(Wow sorry about the image quality...)

Overall it was a grand night. The best way to end my last weekend here in MN.



 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

{Recipe}: Breaded Zuccini

The chef Louisa is back with another recipe. What you will need is:

-Zucchini, quartered
-Seasoned bread crumbs (or Keebler crackers crushed) 
-Egg (whisked) 
-Wok pan with oil





Add your seasoning to your bread crumbs:


Chop up your Zucchini:
(Look how BIG this zucchini is!)


Coat with egg first, then your bread crumbs. 




Heat your oil and add your zucchini-


Flip occasionally:


And there you have it! Because we used salt free seasoning, we added salt to taste. It turned out really good! 


Enjoy!  

Nat

Psssst! Keep your eyes peeled for a VERY SPECIAL recipe! I can't wait for you to see it! It's very interesting! 





Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Homeschool Awareness Week!! September 2-6 2013

So remember last weeks Sunday post about homeschooling? Well Angel Selden and her homeschooling friends did something that I think is pretty cool. They implemented this week to be homeschool awareness week. It;s perfect because most kiddos are starting school this week as well. 

I found this post on Facebook about it:

"Some friends and I are declaring this homeschool awareness week, and celebrating by wearing something (bright) yellow all week, and then taking pictures of our families and posting them here with a note as to where they were taken.

The idea is for us to see how many of us there are--and for others to see the same. To see us out and about in public. To see that we are "normal" and well-adjusted. And we might even make new friends in the process.

If you don't have any yellow (um...me...), use your educator's discount at Michael's, where bandanas are $1 and t-shirts are 2 for $6 (not sure how long that deal lasts).

So wear bright yellow and post a picture of places you visit! And please, pass along the word!"

Although I don't and have never been homeschool(ed) I think that this is great! So let's paint the town yellow!!

unofficial hashtags: 

#homeschoolawarenessweek2013
#paintthetownyellow



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

{Places}: cliff jumping at the Quarry

Today was one of THE BEST days of my entire summer. We took a trip up to St. Cloud for the day and decided to go cliff jumping at the quarry. A few friends from the ward all went up and we just spent the day jumping off 30-foot cliffs, soaking up the sun. 




The quarry we went to (there were a few in the park) was very deep, probably 100 feet. The deepest one in the park reserve is 116 ft deep. They also have diving holes for professional scuba divers. It's a great place. 



The cost to get in was $5 and that was just for parking, so over all, it was a pretty cheap day. It's a nice hike into the water area and there are plenty of picnic tables along the way.




This is what I'm going to miss about Minnesota. Sure, I whine about the cold and humidity ALL THE TIME, but in reality this weather and this state is so beautiful. I leave in 2 weeks for Arizona, and I will be there for at least two years. Today was a great ending to my summer as well as the end to me living here (for now)! 



It was a good day. I would highly recommend taking the entire family out here. We saw cars with license plates from all over the United States. Even if you don't jump off the big cliffs there are tiny ones perfect for elementary age kids, as well as shallow wading areas and shallow water rocks perfect for wading. 




Price Range: $
Age Range: 3-100 (if you can make it that long)
Location

Quarry Reserve, 
Waite Park, 
St. Cloud, MN