A Birthday

I am now the ripe old age of 24-- which means my eggs are drying up. :) 

I had a lovely day at work, putting up Christmas decorations and listening to my favorite Holiday CD's.
Later we ate at Red Robin, open gifts, and did homework (a personal favorite.. )
 I love this boy. I am sure grateful he's mine.  Here's to hoping 24 is the best year so far.


Bryan and I have spent the last beautiful weathered weekends in Island Park and surrounding areas fly fishing & exploring. I thought I loved normal fishing, but this!! It's 10x's better than sitting on the bank waiting for a poor fish to come by and eat your bait. Fly fishing is like a game- you're taught to know what kind of hatches are rising, what fly to tie on, where to cast, what to look for, how to not 'throw' your line (sometimes I accidentally do that..), learning to balance in the river and not fall in, what Gink is, etc, etc. It's a lot to think about while trying to catch these fish, but boy is it rewarding! I hope Fall lasts forever. I sure have loved each moment in the outdoors. The human spirit always needs places where nature has not been re-arranged by the hand of man.

Mmm, so handsome!
Herriman State Park.
Can you spot my shadow?

Moom is the greatest person on the plant earth. She also has the voice of an angel descending from heaven. Moom is graduating from BYU-Idaho this semester in Vocal Performance and needed some pictures for her senior recital that's coming up quickly. She's the kindest, happiest, outgoing person I know. She's in the cool kids club. She makes me feel really cool when I walk down the halls of the Snow Building with her. It's like being in a movie where you're part of an elite group and guys and galls flock to you while you walk down the hall way just so they can say 'Hi'. (don't worry, that never happened to me either, but it does to Moom!). Everyone knows her name and wants to spend hours chatting like they were friends since the 4th grade and have hours of "Moom bonding time". I'm lucky to know her

new school work
new learning
new work schedule
new job opportunities
new students
new classroom
new friends
new love
new life 
new happiness

A life's motto


The day before I flew out of the country, I stopped in at a Cinco De Mayo party to say goodbye to a few close friends that I knew I wouldn't see in a long time.  I had my roommate, Sadie, go with me. It was a big party and I was nervous about who I'd run into. I was obviously trying to avoid any sort of awkward confrontation with a few nutcase guys & I knew she could help me get out of a weird situation fast. We walked in the door of the club house, heard our names and walked over to the group of guys I came to say goodbye to...Except something was different this time; There was a new boy. A boy that I knew, from the moment we met, would change my life forever.
I didn't run into any nutcases that night and I didn't spend much time with anyone I actually came to see. But time was spent with that new boy.  12 hours later I was boarding a plane to live 5,613 miles away.
That Cinco De Mayo became the beginning of our story.

On a cold day in the middle of December, I saw this quote on Pinterest, cliche I know, but it inspired me to apply for an internship that was farther away than I had ever been before.  I got accepted, moved across the world, learned more about myself than I ever thought was possible, and became a better person, friend and employee. Now I'm sitting here in Ukraine on my very last day wondering where the time has gone. I visited 14 countries and received 27 new stamps in my passport. I can even speak Russian (but don't get your hopes up, I can only say a few things).  I hope to catch up on this blog soon, sharing stories and pictures of my adventures. See you back in America.

Living in Ukraine

It hasn't been an easy journey--I'm not sure why I needed to come to Ukraine, yet, but I felt completely okay with the decision to live here. I haven't learned much about being a graphic designer, but I have learned a lot about culture and having compassion for those that don't have everything I do in America. This is how they live everyday and they don't know any better.  I've never been more happy to live in a land that's free! I can live here for 3 months and experience the life that they lead; the dirtiness and filth, the poor planning, the social economics, poverty, etc, and then I can come back and live in America where I'm free to choose for myself the way I live.
Thank goodness for the best of friends that I've made while living here, and for the best of friends and family that talk to me everyday from across the ocean, for it would be a much harder experience without them.

I'm so lucky to be traveling every few weeks while i'm living here in Eastern Europe. It is the highlight of this time here! So far I've visited Amsterdam, Hungry, Slvania, and Italy. In a few weeks, I'll be in the warm sunshine on the beaches of Greece. Sometimes life is really hard :)

The Hospital in Kiev

I made it to Kiev! But before we could do much, they wanted so to get x-rays and our blood tested before we started work with the public. We rode every dirty bus and metro to the sketchy part of town (oh, wait, that's ALL of Kiev..) and walked into a hospital that was so dark inside, dreary, and dirty. The nurses were dressed in 1950's attire running around yelling at each other in Russian. Men and women are in the hallways waiting to see the doctor in only their underwear and when it's their turn, they walk through the medal doors into the doctors dark office. Well, we finally made it to our hall to wait for our x-ray when i turned to my friend and said, "I smell dead bodies."  Seriously, two min later, they wheeled a dead body down the hall.. I about DIED.  The body was wrapped up and had a piece of fabric over it's face, so luckily I couldn't see the eyes :) People were coughing around us and I became a germaphobe and thought for sure I would contract TB or Aids before I left the Hospital. FINALLY it was our turn to get an x-ray and my friend, Ellen, and I went into the room marked with radiation signs and a huge medal door together. The woman nurse, who spoke very little English, told us to take off our clothes completely, stand against the wall and press our breasts into the bulls-eye medal sheet that stood a few feet from the wall, and put our arms behind our backs. I really didn't know what the HECK to think at this point. It didn't even look like an X-Ray machine!  I just started laughing and did what she said because nothing else could be done. I held my breath for 1 min while they took an x-ray of my completely naked body against the wall. Ellen and I thought we were being sold into the sex slave trade at this point, but shortly after putting our clothes back on, they let us leave :) We felt traumatized by the dead body, being naked, Aids, TB and seeing such a dirty sad hospital.
Here's to hoping things look up from now on :)

Sea Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recently I made sea salted chocolate chip cookies that were so so mouthwatering delicious that I thought I'd share them. They're so easy and fast to make, too. The whole batch took me 40 tops to whip up, bake, and clean up the mess. Now that's my kind of cookie making. (Adapted from the recipe of The Little Red House )

Sea Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies:

2 sticks of butter (1c), at room temp
1/2 c white sugar
1 3/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 lb chocolate chips/chunks

Cream the butter and the sugars until light. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Continue mixing while adding the eggs one at time. Make sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Combine the flour, soda and salt in another bowl. With a whisk, stir to combine. With the machine on low, slowly add the flour. Mix until just combined, taking care not to over mix. With a spatula fold in the chocolate.

Drop by spoonful onto parchment lined cookie sheet.

Give a little sprinkle of sea salt before you pop them in the oven......DELICIOUS!

Bake at 350° for 11-13 minutes. They should be lightly golden on the outside but still look gooey on the inside. Let them cool slightly on the baking sheet and then move them to the cooling racks.


Happy February! It's been a long month, but I made it through and now can think about all of the exciting things coming my way!

1. I'll be fiddling my in first PAID concert! About a year ago I took a job at a local violin/fiddle shoppe teaching lots of little kids how to fiddle. And boy-it has brought more opportunities to me then I ever thought would have come my way!

2. My friend and I are opening our own fiddle studio. It's been a lot of work, but we are excited to get things going in the Spring. Come visit us when we open!

3. I'm moving to Ukraine for 3.5 months! I applied for a graphic design internship and found out a few weeks after the New Year that I had been accepted! I can't wait for this new adventure in particular. It's going to be a lot of hard work getting there; learning Russian, packing, figuring out flights, money etc.  I've been assigned to work with a company that designs calendars, business cards, logos, and works closely with the design work for the Ukraine Temple.  I'll also get to travel to 15 other countries while I'm there. HOORAY! I can't wait to go back to Europe.

4. I've been on so many dates recently that my head is spinning... Maybe ONE of them will work out ;)

5. Being outdoors has been my saving grace. If you know me, you'll be surprised to hear that I wish winter was over (maybe I should have spent more time skiing) .. I am looking forward to summer :) It's been a cold long winter

Image via

Remember that one time I said I would post the Canada pictures, eh? Oops...that never happened.  Be prepared for picture OVERLOAD now! A lot of good memories and friendships were solidified during the trip. Deciding to visit Canada was spontaneous; We were all in the living room chatting and telling stories when we had the bright idea to take a road trip to Alberta Canada to see Tiffany & Alex's wedding. I am so glad we chose to go, even though we had only known her for a few weeks :) They probably thought we were crazy and not completely serious about actually going, but little did they know....

We learned a lot about each other on during the 24 hours we spent in the car. Many Disney songs were sung, stories were told (mostly in a Cascade Montana accents haha), and lots of pictures were taken. It's a miracle we're all still friends :) Thanks to our many Canadian friends that showed us hospitality, took us to Canadian malls, fed us Canadian food, introduced us to Canadian men (my favorite!), became Canadian tour guides in that beautiful land, and of course, fed us toooo much Canadian candy.

Pit-stop in Cascade, Montana! On a side note, the bathroom is behind the meat department.. kinda creepy
Wedding Day!

These photos are taken from inside Waterton National Park, which is like heaven if you ask me. I would gladly live inside the park :) It has a European feel; Green waters, quaint little shops, and rolling hills for miles. It was super windy and cold when we got to the top of Bears Hump, but it was so beautiful!! I could use a good hard hike through the mountains right now. Nothing is better than the smell of pine trees and dirt.

At the top of Bears Hump

Can't wait to go back!

It is dang cold here in Rexburg! And when I say cold, I mean "It feels like -30 outside, folks. You better dress warm!" My toes are cold, my nose hairs are freezing, and sometimes my car wont start. I wish I could stay snuggled in bed all day and sip hot cocoa, but I can't, so I'll look at these cute pictures that my sister sent of herself enjoying the warm sunny weather in Hawaii. Lucky duck. Maybe I should consider moving?
Hope you're staying warm, wherever you might be!

I'm glad we're completely ourselves in this photo :)