About Me

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I've grown up in Phoenix and have LOVED it!! I have 3 beautiful sisters and 8 wonderful nieces and nephews!! They light up my life!! I have wonderful parents who still continue to help me grow every day. I really could not ask for better parents. Right now I take care of my wonderful grandmother who has dementia. We have so much fun together. And I'm grateful that I can spend this time with her!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Before and After the Big Adventure!

So we all needed to make some EXTRA cash... really Ash and I did and Breba was a good friend and organized it!! We had a fun day and Big Ash won... she sold USED BOYS UNDERWEAR!!! Now that's just NASTY!!!!! Thanks Breba for hosting it!!!

We had a fun group date that was titled, A Death Defying Adventure... hahaha! We started off with a BBQ and then watched Watcher in the Woods... scary... hahaha... If you haven't seen that movie you NEED to rent it!!! And then we took the guys on a scavenger hunt through the desert. We had to pair up with a guy and answer all these funny questions... and at the end of the scavenger hunt we ended up at these tunnels and my friend Josh dressed up as the character Samara from The Grudge and he jumped out and started walking towards us... hahahaha!! It was freaking AWESOME!!! The guys had NO IDEA!! LOVE IT!!!!

Yes we are dressed like "tutes" and we are the stake staff... hahaha!!

And let's just say we like to pull pranks as well... we all KNOW JULIANNE LOVES IT!!

I had to get one photo with all my nieces and nephews and of course Buddy before I left on my Big Adventure to Europe!! I LOVE THESE KIDS!!!!

When I came back from Europe I had a LOT of free time on my hands... and I was REALLY excited to actually be able to go do service at the church store house!! It was a LOT of work, but I loved EVERY second of it!!

My buddy Breba got tickets for Jordan Sparks and Jesse McCartney opened for her... that was my hightlight!! I know I'm older... but dang he is such a cutie!!!

Of course the picture I show of Jordon has cutie pie himself... hahaha

We celebrated Gracie's 6th birthday... she's getting so BIG!! She NEEDS to stop growing!!

Big Ash, Breba and I went to a Root Beer Kegger!! We went CRAZY!!!

We went to a dance party... everyone left and we had the dance floor ALL to ourselves!! Woop! Woop! Breba doing her pelvic thrusts and Ash... I just don't know what the heck you're doing!

Gracie getting ready for her slumber party at my house!! She's so cute!!
I Love this photo because Ky Ky looks like she's a little devil... and she was in heaven with that chocolate Nana was giving her!

Matti Moo, is such a cutie pie... she also was getting ready for the slumber party! I don't think I've seen a happier girl until she found out she could stay with her cousins and spend the night at Nana and Papa's!!

Little Miss Ava Lynn... awwwww!! She is so cute... She was blessed at the begining of this month and I'm so glad to have her in my life. My little name sake!! CUTE! CUTE! CUTE!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Backpacking Europe 2008!!

As most of you know I went to EUROPE this summer. It was a fabulous 5 week backpacking trip!! I actually didn't want to come home. Everyone keeps asking me what my favorite place I visited... and honestly I LOVED pretty much every place I visited!! I started my trip off on June 26th and flew into Paris. Brother and Sister Shurtleff (Miranda's parents) came and met me at the airport and took me back to there flat. Miranda arrived with her cousin Karie Jo later that day. I was so EXCITED to see my long lost friend!! It was nice we got to hangout in Paris for a couple of days before beginning our trip!
Don't you think I belong here???
Miranda and I chillin' in front of the Louvre.

So we are ready to head off to Ireland!!! Miranda, Karie Jo and I!!! Jen Bunny and Big Ash are waiting for us there in Dublin.

We were all really excited to be with each other and begin our trip! Our first night we got tickets and went and saw the Riverdance! How cool is that??? To see where it all began!! The show was amazing and I'm so happy we got to see it!

We took a tour the next day and they took us to this castle. It was neat to see inside and walk around the grounds. To think we would soon be staying in a castle... woop!! woop!!

You guessed it... we're in Scotland now!! I have decided that Scotland is one of the most beautiful and friendly places I have been!! It's so green and filled with so much history!

We started off our day going to the elephant house ( I guess that's where the author of Harry Potter began her books) and eating breakfast. It was YUMMY!! After breakfast we walked down this road and saw a bunch of people lining up by the side of the road. We asked a guy what was going on and he said that there was a homosexual wedding going on in the church. We're like what??? They allow that here??? We found out later that THE QUEEN was there to Knight a Lord of a Thistle. So yes we SAW the Queen while we were in Scotland!! Wahoo!! She's the last one going into the building on the right.
We went and had a full Scottish breakfast one morning. It was good... but lets just say that there was A LOT of meat on that plate!!
Ahhhhhhhh... This was one of the best times I had on the trip!! We stayed in a Castle!! It was freaking AWESOME!!! When we climbed the hill and turned the corner and saw the castle we were all in awe. None of us could believe we were staying here!
We call ourselves the W.S.A (White Shirt Association). This is the view we had overlooking the winding river and the forest. BEAUTIFUL!!!
So while we were in the castle getting our beds ready... Ashley had the BRILLIANT idea to take the bed sheets and dress up like we were from Jane Austen times... hahaha... we only had two people walk in on us while we were doing our photo shoot. :)
One of the days we were there we rented bikes and went to the Falls of Shim. It was beautiful!! If you look closely you can see the castle in the background.
We're now in England!! Wahoo!!! We went to Globe Theatre and of course we HAD to strike a pose!! This was such a fun day!!! It was my birthday of course!!!
One of the main things I wanted to do while we were in London was see Les Miserable... and we did on my birthday!!! That totally made my day!!! Thanks girls!!!
We took a train down to Bath one day and took in the waters... hahaha!!! I LOVE saying that!!! Actually we did drink the water and it taseted really GROSS!!! I wouldn't recommend it.
So obviously we LOVE Jane Austen!! If you were a fan you would go to the Jane Austen Museum as well!! It was cool to see all the costumes from the films!!! We LOVE Jane!!!
Next stop...AMSTERDAM!!! It was really pretty there! The food was awesome... but the transportation SUCKED!!!! !! They have the best pancakes EVER!!
We went to the Anne Frank House. It was neat to see where Frank family lived in hiding and to read about the events that occured there. I'm glad to see this place that I've read so much about in school.
We're back in Paris!! We go into the Louvre and right there is my favorite statue...Wing to Victory!! It was beautiful!!! I was so excited to go into the Louve this year... because last year we didn't have time to go in. We saw the Mona Lisa and that was cool... it's way smaller than you would think it would be... but I still liked it!!
After we went to the Rodin Museum!! Do you notice the resemblance???
Of course we had to go by the popular sights!! I LOVE the Eifel Tower!!! It is one of the coolest structures!!

I finally saw the REAL arch... hahahaha!! Last year when I went there was an arch in front of the Louvre and I thought that was the Arch De' Triumph... hahaha!! Nope!! This is the REAL one!!

On some occassions I feel like I look like the Albino from Princess Bride... so I felt like I looked like him on this day so we HAD to take a picture of me with my twin.

This was the train ride to Milan... it was a 7 hour train ride with no ventalation on the train. Yes you read that right... NO VENTALATION!!! I thought I was going to die!! Do you notice the cold water bottle in my bra... hahaha!! I had to do that or I was going to pass out!! It was a miserable ride... it was actually the ride from HELL! I can't really describe to you really how HORRIBLE it was! Use your imagination!

Wahoo!! We're in Italy and off that stinkin' train!! Ashley and I decided to run up the Spanish Steps... you know... it really is deceiving... but there are A LOT of steps there!

This was one of my FAVORITE days in Italy!! We were in Roma and we went to the Colusseum. It was really cool to see this place I have learned about in my Art History classes!! The place was really big and it was fun to be able to touch it.

Here we are at Palatine Hill... They call it the lovers gardens. It was beautiful there!! And of course Big Ash, Tom Cat, Jen Bunny, Miranda Panda and I all had to strike a pose!!
So after we left Palatine Hill we went and had dinner right next to the Colusseum and then got gelato and ate it while the sun set. It was so neat... once the sun set they started blowing up hot air balloons right in front of us!! It was AWESOME!!!

So now we're in Florence!! All I have to say is that they have the BEST outdoors market ever!!! We celebrated Jen's birthday here!!! And of course I HAD to buy her a gelato!!!!! We LOVE gelato!!!

They said we couldn't take pictures of The David... but I DON'T listen to that of course!!Don't tell me I can't do something! :)

We're now in Venice!! This was a cool city!! I'm soooo glad I was able to see it!! We took the water taxi everywhere... we could NEVER afford the gondola's!! Way EXPENSIVE!!!
So Big Ash brought some chips with her to St. Marks Square and we fed the birds... lets just say the birds really liked it!! Hahahahaha!!! Actually out of the entire trip this was probably my most favorite moment!!!! Even though NASTY birds were attacking us!!
Right before we left Tom to defend for himself... we are on our way to Switzerland!!! YESSSS!! I need some rest!!!

We got to Switzerland very late that night and so we went straight to bed. When we woke up we looked out our window and oh my goodness... the most gorgeous sight!! Lake Geneva was right out our door. It was beautiful.
So we decided to go for a walk around the lake... and of course I had to lay in the grass and soak it all in!!!

Our next stop was Bern, Switzerland. It was really nice here... we saw Einsteins house!

Ok... if you're not laughing at this then you have a dull sense of humor!! hehehe!!

Yesssssss!! I can say we went to Austria. We were only there for like 20 minutes... but we were there and I have the reciept to prove it!!! That's why Big Ash and Miranda were not so happy!! We had to pay to go through the country... that does suck!!!

Hello Munich!! So while in Munich we discovered a few things... the first one is that we found one of the hottest guys we have ever seen in person!! Yep... the one standing next to Big Ash!! These guys were playing the violin and we stayed and listened to them for like... I don't know... maybe an hour or even 2.... hahaha!!

This was the next thing we discovered. We went to Dachau. This was one of the first concentration death camps in Germany. Many terrible things happened here and I am glad I could see for myself what had occured so I can make sure it's NEVER forgotten.
All the buildings were torn down because of diseases...they just have markers that line the where each bunker was.
Going into the Krematorium made my stomach turn.. It was so sad to see how they "took care" of there "sick".

After we left the camp we went on a walking tour of Hitler. This hall that we're in was a hall that Hitler would hold functions and speak to the crowds.

After we went to the most famous beer hall in Germany!! The food was YUMMY!! We had meet balls and mashed potatoes and potato soup and a large pretzel!! Lot's of food!! We met some really nice guys there. They were from Italy and they sang us some songs!! My favorite guy was Owl... you know like the flying bird. Hahahahaha!! That's how explained his name. He made me laugh!!

In front of the Berlin Wall... I still can't belive that this was barely taken down!!

In front of the Olympic stadium in Berlin. It looks like a prison outside and inside!! Hitler had it built... so that explains everything!!!

Our train ride back to Paris was interesting. It was a night train so we had a room with beds. Us 3 girls shared it with a grumpy French man and a young Mexican kid... and lets just say... one of them was farting ALL night!! It STUNK so bad!!!!! GROSS!!! That's definately a ride I won't forget!!!
We got back to the flat and fell to the ground... we were on the road for quite some time and EXHAUSTED!!! We only have one day left in Europe now... and then back home to the U.S.A!!
So Miranda's parents took us out to dinner to this awesome resturant!! They serve the same exact meal to everyone... EVERYDAY! If I lived there... I would eat that meal EVERYDAY!!! It was so freakin' good!!!

And this is how we ended our night and trip... we went up to the top of the Eifel Tower and watched the sunset... and then went down and sat on the grassy knoll and watched the Eifel Tower glitter while listening to Micheal Buble sing "Home". I can't belive my trip is over!! I came home July 31st. It was the BEST 5 weeks I could have ever experienced!!! I am so greatful for friends that would want to take this journey with me and family that is so supportive of me having my adventures. My adventures are what I live for... I can't imagine life without them!!
So I leave you with this last thought... Enjoy the Journey. Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away.