Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sleepnessless, Squirrels, SEC, and Spooks

Earlier today (yesterday?), like usual, I got home from school, ate some food, goofed off on the Internet for a bit, then started some schoolwork.  Today it was Chinese, since there's homework due and a quiz on these words on Friday.  Unlike usual, as I was working on my homework I decided to take a short nap and finish it later.  And as what always happens when I decide to take a "short" nap, I wake up 4&1/2 hours later to find it's 10:15pm and barely any of my homework is finished.  Did this affect my ability to sleep tonight?  Yes.  Once 1:00am rolled around, I was still wide awake...ruh roh! So after and hour and a half of trying to go to sleep, I decided to just go sit on the futon and blog on my laptop.  It's now 3:00am.  Hopefully that 1/3 dose of NyQuil will kick in before too long.

Part of the reason I think for my nap is that we have a darn squirrel that decides right outside our bedroom window's the place to be.  We have an AC unit under our window that keeps our home relatively cool, but the way it's hooked up to the wall outside makes a prime place for a squirrel to make a lot of noise.  He gets right under it and scratches or something on the metal supports, which carries the sound throughout the entire unit and wakes us up at 7 in the morning (I know you probably get up then or earlier, but our first obligations are at 10:30, so you can see how this could bother us).  Every morning for the past week has been interrupted by our new neighbor!  I've started trying to scare it with loud noises and spray it with a water bottle.  I even bought a fake rat (half off after Halloween!) to put in the squirrel's favorite place to try to deter it, but to no avail.  The pesty creature must have figured out the rat's not alive or a threat because we still woke up to scratching sounds this morning.  Michael wants it dead--like, he wants to set a trap for it or put out poison for it to eat.  I don't want to kill it because I kind of like having squirrels and birds and other animals hanging around our apartment complex, but this is just bothersome.  We're considering calling up management to see if they can do anything about it.

Our "balcony" on our second-story apartment.  (note my use of a door stopper after searching all over for something wedge-like)
 The squirrel likes to, I think, break acorns on the supports, causing that awful scratching sound.
 And I often find him dashing into our little water heater closet outside.  Is he stockpiling acorns in this warm spot for "winter?"
The fake rat we bought!  I thought it would surely work, that he would be too afraid to encroach on this scary guy's territory, but I guess squirrels are smarter than we thought (but they STILL run the wrong way in traffic).

Another reason for my inability to sleep has to do with the fact that I got out of bed at 7:30 this morning to go hang out at Dr. Shea's Office.  "Why?" you might say, "Didn't you get fired?"  Well...yes.  I got let go because my school schedule just wasn't conducive to dental assisting, and it's too weird to be a part-time assistant.  BUT, I feel I'm still part of the practice!  They've invited me to still come and hang out when I want, this week especially because this Saturday is the LSU/Alabama game!  "What does a dentist's office have to do with football?" you might ask.  Well...Dr. Shea, while he went to the LSU dental school, got his undergrad from, you guessed it, Bama!!!!  The week these two school play, his dental office becomes a sea of Dr. Shea's crimson and white and every one else's purple and gold.  I went over there this morning for a couple hours to partake in the festivities, of course dressed in true Tiger Spirit.  I like that, even though I don't work there anymore, everything left off on a good note.  I enjoy those guys.

Me showing off my tiger hat and festive, heeled, Chuck-like Steve Madden boots.
There's an elephant in the room...literally.

In other news, my Halloween night was spent studying for we didn't do anything FUN or EXCITING for Halloween.  But I did dress up for class!  I figured, "It's Halloween, I'm sure a bunch of people are going to be dressed up today."  I also had items lying around my house to dress up like a girly Homestar Runner, so I also figured "Hey, I'll dress up like Homestar, and since people are my around age here tons of people will know who I am and tell me 'Hey, cool costume!'"  Both of these assumptions turned out to be FALSE.    I got comments like "Wow, what are you dressed up as?" and stares.  Even the girl in my Chinese class who I thought was WAY nerdier than me didn't recognize my guise.  I only saw three other people dressed up on campus, one being a ketchup bottle and the other two being Mario & Luigi.  Looks like I'm pretty dorky for dressing up like an online cartoon character that's little known in Baton Rouge.  But oh well!  At least I was extremely adorable!  I'm proud of my make shift costume, no matter what people say (or don't say, in this case because of the lack of comments...).
Homestaw Wunno!

Maybe I'll try to get some sleep now...we'll see how that works.

**update: I got to sleep, woke up at 7:10 to tell the squirrel to take a hike, then went back to sleep & got up at 10:40.  I feel pretty well rested!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I would have blogged about this earlier, but school got in the way.  Now I have this lovely Sunday afternoon to blog.

Our birthdays are very close to each other: Mike's is September 23rd and mine is October 10th.  With only a few weeks between them, it's a great time for us to do a bunch of partying!

Michael's Birthday
We didn't do all of the celebrating for Michael's birthday on just one day.  We would have had it not been for our school and work schedules: he goes to class before I do, I was at work before he came home, and I worked until 9 that night.  Instead of going somewhere and doing something then, we decided to just have a nice dinner the next day.  I wish I had pictures, but we were having too much fun to think about getting out the camera!

What we did on his birthday:

  • I tried to make his day special by cooking him breakfast.  The day before, I bought potatoes, eggs, onions, a green bell pepper, bacon and orange juice so I could make him scrambled eggs with diced vegetables, hash browns (using our lovely America's Test Kitchen cookbook), and...well, bacon.  (I ended up making two batches of the hash browns because I didn't make the first one right and it burned, so it was quite icky.)
  • After we both were off of work, we went to Jacob and Jane's house, where Jane fed us a SUPERB steak dinner.  We were too full to eat the cake right afterwards, so we had to chill out for a while until our stomachs could fit it in.  How great it is to have family so close!  I love getting to hang out with Jane, listening to Jacob and Michael talk law and politics, and watching Halle jump around like a frog.
What we did the next day:
  • We wanted to go to our favorite Jamaican restaurant about half an hour from us (Michael served his mission in Jamaica, and this place had a Jamaican woman cook everything there), but when we called they didn't answer.  Mike told me that they weren't getting enough business and that they were going to close down, so we wondered if they were gone now.  (Their website is still up, though.  I thought we might try going to The Chimes ( because it's close and a big part of LSU culture, but there was an away LSU game that evening and we figured it would be PACKED with loud, drunk people watching the game on a Saturday night.  After asking Jane about her favorite places, we decided on a place called Zea Rotisserie & Grill (  It was a little bit expensive, but we sure got some amazing food.  I ordered a rotisserie chicken.  It was weird/funny to see half of a cooked chicken sitting on my plate.  Mike got this great salmon dish that was absolutely perfect.

Natalie's Birthday
Unfortunately midterms fell on the week of my birthday (but I got A's on all of them, so that's a nice birthday gift), which meant I had to do a bunch of studying on and around my b-day, but luckily Fall Break was at the end of that week!  Like Michael's, my birthday was spread out over a few days as well.
  • The first event of the day was dropping my car off at the local Campus Car Care to get an oil change!   Then started class, took my Speech midterm, came home, and then picked up my car.  After Mike and I got back from that, we heard a knocking on the door.  When I opened the curtains to see who it was, I saw that it was my Halle girl!  She gave me a rose she and Jane picked from the store.  It was so sweet!  Jane also gave me a tray of assorted cheesecakes and some left over groceries from her WIC benefits...namely a block of cheese and a dozen eggs!  I really was stoked to have them, which surprised me, but even more stoked that Jane and Halle took time out of their day to wish me a happy birthday.  After thy left, Michael went to a mock law class and informational session put on by the LSU Law School, and I studied for my Psychology midterm and quiz for the next day.
    When Michael came home, I looked over at the door, him dressed up all nice from his law thing, and he had a dozen red roses in his hand!  They were absolutely beautiful!  I put them in a vase and set them in a prominent spot in our home (namely, next to the computer).
    Then we went out to do our own celebrations.  I didn't really want to have an actual  cake, all I wanted were beignets, so we headed over to Coffee Call ( and ate our fill of those glorious fried, powdered delights and washed them down with hot chocolate.  I liked how it felt like a fun date, and the whole time Michael made me feel so pampered and so special.
    Our cute little Coffee Call in Baton Rouge.
    Hot chocolate and beignets! Yum!
    Michael got powdered sugar on his nice black pants.  Oh no!  We put the really flimsy napkins they provided on the table on his lap....I think it helped.
    The aftermath, plus the last beignet neither of us could finish. We put it in a bag and brought it home.

    The best part was when we came home.  Before we left, Michael ran back inside to "grab something." What he actually did was pull something up on the computer, so when I came home I saw this on the screen:

    IT WAS THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!!!!!!1111!1  :D  Oh man, I've been so excited to play this game.  I beat it yesterday.  What a masterpiece of gaming.  Great writing, funny/epic storyline, awesome characters, mind-boggling puzzles...   I feel enriched and satisfied.  I love my husband so much.
  • Fall Break started that Wednesday, October 12th, and we had the whole weekend off.  We went to Houston to spend time with my family.  While I was over there, we did a lot of relaxing, my mom and I did a lot of shopping at garage sales, and Jennifer did a lot of playing Zelda on our Nintendo 3DS... ;)  My parents were very kind to us!  They fed us yummy food, bought me a bunch of housewarming stuff, and made a chocolate "cupcake cake."

    A few of the fun things we got.  The red caddy, most of those utensils in it, cutting boards, and a blender I've been using a lot.

    We got this lovely thing at a garage sale. It ended up making my official "birthday cake."

    I had a great birthday week, but at the same time it's weird how different this birthday has been from how I viewed them as a kid.  22's really not an exciting number...  The past few years it's been "License!" "Voting!" "Not a teenager any more!" "Old enough to buy alcohol!"  Now it's like "Oh, I guess I'm older today."  That's how I felt the entire morning of my birthday.  It wasn't a bad thing, though.  It just seemed like a normal day.  And all I wanted were beignets.  BEIGNETS!  I didn't want prime rib or Melting Pot or diamonds or clothes or jewelry or a huge cake or a party or anything like that, I just wanted to be around the people I love.  I suppose that's how most of my birthdays will be for the rest of my life!  I'm lucky, though, to have friends and family who still make it special for me even when I feel like it's just any other day, and I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful husband who makes me feel like a princess not just when I'm a year older, but most days in general!

    Life's pretty good.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Slow cooking

I am absolutely in love with my slow cooker. (Sorry Michael....but you know you're in love with it, too.) One of my favorite wedding gifts is our huge, red Crock Pot. It makes life so convenient.

We registered for it on our Target registry but didn't get it right away (but we DID have a Crock Pot cookbook...), so the first little while we were married I tried to feed both Michael and myself by cooking over the stove. While we had some good meals, it was so tedious to have to slice different vegetables in varying sizes, prepare meat, simmer sauce before anything cook be cooked, coordinate which vegetables to put in so each are cooked at the same time...ugh!!! It's fine every now and then, but trying to make a good meal a few times a week was difficult. To top it off, when I finally had the meal done, it wasn't enough to feed both of us and there would be no leftovers, so I would have to do all of that vegetable cutting AGAIN next time we wanted real food. It was more time than I wanted to spend with us both working full-time, so consequently we've had our fair share of pizza, bowls of cereal, oatmeal, PB&J's, Raising Cane's, and mac&cheese for dinner. One's body really notices that a few days of that just makes it feel BLEH. What could be done??

The glorious day came when we received our beautiful CROCK POT!!! Oh what a happy day that was. Since then, I've made four recipes that have each fed us for days and days, and each recipe increases in tastiness as I get better at the "art of slowcooking." I love being able to cut up a bunch of vegetables and meat once, then throw it in the pot and have it be cooking while I work, study, run errands, or clean. Then, when I'm done, we eat our fill and have PLENTY left. Bliss.

  1. Chicken Noodle Soup: Our first Crock Pot meal. This was the one I choose because it was the only one we actually had ingredients for. I say "had ingredients for" not really truthfully, though, because I didn't have chicken broth, egg noodles, or bouillon cubes. But I DID have a can of cream of chicken soup and a pack of ramen noodles with chicken seasoning! I used those instead. (It also needed chicken thighs and celery, but I didn't deem them completely necessary.) I was so excited to use my crock pot for the first time, I threw everything in the pot and plugged it in, but two hours later I realized...I forgot to turn the knob on. So we had soup at 10pm instead of 7:30... Once it was done, it made a yummy meal as well as leftovers for a few nights. Michael, who is kinda "eh" about chicken noodle soup, nommed it up and said it was the best chicken noodle soup he ever had.
  2. Cajun Beef Stew: Very yummy, and very Cajun! I didn't have a Cajun seasoning mix, but I had something better: TONY'S! I even remembered to turn on the crock pot that time. :) This time we had stew beef cut into cubes celery, carrots, onions, potatoes, and peas (it called for frozen, but I just used canned peas we already owned) in the mix. I had to go buy corn starch for this one and simmer it separately before adding it. Does it actually add to flavor, or does it only serve to make the juices pretty?
  3. Spin on Cajun Beef Stew: We had left over beef and vegetables from the last one since I cut up so much it wouldn't fit in the pot. I also had my family coming in to town for Labor Day, so I wanted to show off my apartment AND feed them a meal we bought and cooked ourselves. I opted out of using corn starch because I didn't feel like it, and I put in some balsamic dressing I made the other night as a glaze for some asparagus. Then I threw in brown rice...and lentils. I wasn't sure if it was going to be yummy or weird! My dad absolutely loved it, and my mom (who apparently wasn't hungry enough for a big bowl) went for seconds! Halle (my wonderful 2-year-old niece) loved it, too, and wanted to each not only the rice, but all of the meat and vegetables. William liked it, but didn't like the texture of the "beans" (the lentils). Great success that could have been an odd failure.
  4. Pork Ribs: Not in the Crock Pot cookbook, but in the America's Test Kitchen recipe book I own (which is amazing). This was the first time I bought a huge chunk of meat from the store (5 lbs!), and was kind of intimidated by it. I just cut the ribs apart like I'd seen anytime I'd eaten ribs before, but it was SO WEIRD to see this rack of ribs and imagining it as part of a pig that was once alive. It's different when you buy chicken breast or pre-cut cubes of beef. This time we used great northern beans, barbecue sauce, sausage, sage, thyme, bay leaves, onions, and a can of diced tomatoes. The recipe called for browning the meat, simmering the tomatoes and onions with white wine, and more work, but I was lazy and just threw it in. The result was perfectly seasoned, fall-of-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth style ribs and tasty soup on the side. We're still enjoying this now.
The best part about cooking is figuring out what tastes good together and what you can do to alter a recipe. Well...the best part is actually EATING what you make, and having your husband love it, too. :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Good bye summer, hello school

Sorry I haven't been blogging. It's all because both Mike and I haven't had interesting things to blog about. That and our lives for the past month has been working full time. We both have been so busy! We get home at the end of the day and just want to fuzz our brains sleeping/playing video games. He's working as a game tester for EA, but he's stuck there testing games he doesn't even want to play, so when he comes home he gets a bit of Left 4 Dead, Battlefield, or Civilization 5 in while I sleep on the couch or play Zelda (on the Nintendo 3DS we bought with wedding gift money...).

I like our little apartment. Yes, it's little, and kind of old, but all of our needs are met. The worst part about it is that it doesn't have a dishwasher. To compensate for that, though, at least we get HOT HOT water that (1) doesn't run out and (2) is included in our rent. This, I think, is the best part about our home. It's great for getting the dishes super clean, but also for taking long showers and boiling water fast. We bought a washer and a dryer, which makes washing clothes VERY convenient. Before, we had to go to the apartment complex's laundry center, which was full of junebugs and abandoned clothes. Yuck.

Yesterday Mike and I were officially initiated into the Baton Rouge 2nd ward: we gave talks in sacrament meeting! We were asked to speak on strengthening testimonies. I went before Mike and took as much time as I could so he would have to talk less. Apparently I spoke long enough that Mike had to give only the bare-bones, bullet points of his talk full of quotes and the like. I don't know if he was thankful for that or not! Hahaha.

Today was the first day of school. We're interested to see how classes affect our lives together. It seems like he'll be done with class and work at 7:45pm on weekdays (or later if EA's shift schedule changes), and I'll be done with my Raising Cane's shifts some nights at 9pm. We'll just have to make the most of our mornings and Saturdays. But yeah, class...I'm both excited for and dreading the semester. I feel like my summer hasn't been "lazy" enough, but I guess that's life now! Now I'm in the world of work, responsibility and adulthood, where lazy moments are few and far-between.

We're excited for our holidays this year! For Thanksgiving, we are flying out to Logan, UT to see Mike's mom, then at Christmas all of the Egan kids are going to my parents' house! And hopefully Elder Nick-o will come home early to make it for Christmas. (If not, we're thinking of just delaying our own Christmas celebration for when he does come home.) Not sure what we're doing for our Labor Day weekend, but we're planning on either having my parents come in to town or heading to Destin. We'll decide.

Now a headache is bidding me to stop here and take a I'll do what it says. Bye!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Married life and chronicling the last lil while

So it's been a while... Lots of my life has gone unsaid for the past months. Here's a post to tell yall about the main updates of my life.

  • As of June 10, 2001, I am a married woman! Michael and I, after a three year courtship, finally tied the knot. It's kind of fun looking back on our dating years.
    After meeting again at Jane's house in the summer of 2008, we had a long-distance thing going on, since he lived in Logan, UT and I was in Baton Rouge, LA. I remember lots of texts, late-night Skype calls, telling him about all the silly things boys that were into me did to try to win me over (which never worked because I liked Mike WAY more), and his trips to Baton Rouge to see me. One one such trip, we shared our first kiss with each other just after my birthday in October 2008. He came with me to see my family in Houston that Christmas, too. For Valentine's Day, though he wasn't able to fly down, I found a surprise bouquet of roses on my doorstep. We liked each each other more and more as time progressed, which also made it harder and harder to be living so far away.
    The next summer, the summer of 2009, Mike moved to Baton Rouge. (He always wanted to move back to Louisiana, but I'm quite sure his decision to transfer to LSU was influenced by a certain girl he knew.) How nice it was to have my boyfriend around! Skype went from my most-used program to my least. Whenever studying or work wasn't in the way, we were hanging out. We went to all the Single's Ward dances together, did double dates, He always accompanied me to Houston whenever I made the trip over. Life was going good, our relationship progressed well, and at the start of 2010 I was definitely wanting to spend the rest of my life with him.
    The rest of 2010, however, presented its bumps and challenges. In June, I for a study abroad to Beijing, China. Since our relationship was as serious as it was and also since we never exclusively dated anyone else, we came to a mutual decision that we would break up for the summer. I would concentrate on my adventure, he would ask a few girls out, and when I returned we would see how we felt about each other. After my trip ended, we made another mutual decision that we would stay single for a while still. I felt like I needed more time to grow up before I got married, and both he and I felt we needed to date more. This lasted only until just before Thanksgiving: we went on a few dates with other people, and ultimately came to the conclusion that we had eyes for none else. His father, Thorsell Rougeau, died early November. In this event, all I wanted to do was help and support Michael in his time of need. Our love was realized for each other like never before, and we were quickly an item again.
    On March 5, 2011, Mike and I watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon at his house since I had never seen it. Halfway through he "went to the bathroom." After our movie, he walked me to my car, I told him good night, and opened the door to find.....a small box on the seat! I turned around, crying happy tears as I gave him the box. He asked me to marry him after showing me the diamond ring that was inside. (Then his crazy neighbor walked up and, rather upset, told us about how his car broke down.)
    We were married and sealed in the Baton Rouge Temple in the morning of June 10.

  • For the entire past month, we've been trying to get stuff done, but the items on our list are quite the formidable opponent! Another agency with which I need to get my name changed as soon as I get one done. Our new apartment, which is in the married student housing at LSU, can never get clean because of unpacking, wedding gifts that keep coming in the mail, not knowing where to store big stuff, LAUNDRY, and DISHES! They just pile up! Is this going to be the rest of my life? Hahaha. Also, cooking for two is something I'm getting used to. Luckily Michael likes to snack on available food and $5 pizzas from Little Caesar's, so I haven't had to cook extensively. However, a lot of times I'll cook something up, split it down the middle, and Michael's still hungry afterward. Cooking twice as much as I would normally eat isn't enough, apparently!
    We also really need to get our thank you cards done. We have been getting some GREAT wedding gifts. All of our friends and family have been so generous! Life's been busy, though... It's gonna get done THIS WEEK, I promise!

  • I just decided a couple days ago that I am going to pursue a dental hygiene degree instead of going to dental school. It seems more conducive to life as a mom, which I ultimately want to be. I've been working as a dental assistant since January, and what I've learned from observing both the dentist and the hygienist there is that hygiene is what I want to do. There's always time to finish my Biological Sciences degree in the future if I decide to, and I'll have a career in 3 years instead of a residency in 5.
    The good part about this is that I DON'T HAVE TO TAKE SCIENCE CLASSES IN THE FALL!!! So excited about that!! Almost my entire three years at LSU so far has been science science science. I get to take psychology, speech, a computer class, more Chinese (just for fun), and NO SCIENCE. What a nice break this will be.
    This also means I dropped my class for the summer. It was Parasitology. It's the kind of stuff you might like to see on the Discovery Channel, but only as something interesting. Memorizing huge nasty names and prescriptions just isn't my idea of a fun class.

  • We spent last weekend in Bartlesville, OK to spend the 4th of July with family. Bartlesville is my mom's hometown and where I spend most of my childhood years. We went to see the Vaclaw Family Fireworks, a simply fantastic firework show put on by all the Vaclaws in the area. We also did a lot of swimming and hanging out with the Ahlerts, my aunt's family. Getting to see my grandparents was wonderful, too. I've missed all of them, even though a lot of them came to my wedding a month before.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading! I'm going to try (keyword: TRY) to update shorter posts more frequently, and post more pictures for sure.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blessings amid affliction

I apologize for not posting since forever! School has been difficult and demanding, and now that school is out, I can finally take a breath and update my blog.

I have been meaning to update about all of the wedding planning, the obstacles I've endured in applying for dental school, how I managed to make a 4.0 this semester, my dieting & weight loss involved in fitting in my wedding dress, etc., but right now I need to blog about the scary experience from last night.

I left for Houston after church on Sunday to coordinate wedding things with family, and also to get to hang out with them one last time as an unmarried woman. It was a great few days to relax and plan. I started my journey back to Baton Rouge yesterday at 7pm so I could get back and be well rested enough to go to my good friend Kharis Veazey's Bridesmaid Luncheon this afternoon.

The drive was going great! I was making good time, I wasn't tired, I didn't need to stop or anything. However, there was an area where I didn't know the speed limit, so I just decided to follow someone who was going 80 in the leftmost lane. I passed signs for Vidor, then...I see red and blue flashing lights behind me! Yikes!! I was getting pulled over for speeding for the first time ever!!! I made my way to the rightmost lane and was slowing down when suddenly...the lane ended. My car took a dip into the overgrown grass and the underside of the front of my car took a hit on the edge of the concrete. Immediately the oil light came on and I could smell transmission fluid.

I got back onto the shoulder of the road, and the officer came up to my window and told me to shut off the car, which I did. He asked me why I was speeding, yadda ya, and I sort of mustered out that I was just following traffic. I was so jolted. I guess I looked alone and helpless enough that he decided not to write me a ticket, just a warning (blessing!). He called a wrecker service while I called my dad and told him what happened. Luckily my dad knows someone in our church who is from Vidor, so he gave him a call and arranged a home for me to stay at for the night (blessing!). The tower came within minutes, and he told me it would be a courteousy tow. Again, I probably looked alone and helpless enough for him to not charge me for towing (blessing!). Also, the family I was staying with knows a mechanic in the local congregation, so the car was delivered to the home of a sweet older couple who are now doing all they can for my car (blessing!). My dad's friend's sister came to pick me up and take me to their home. My phone, which was on the verge of running out of battery throughout the entire process of making phone calls and coordinating things, also didn't die until I was safe in a comfy bed last night (blessing!)

So now I am in the Crowly home. They are so hospitable and accommodating. I am so thankful that this experience is not what it could have been--the cop writing me up for speeding (and also for my license plate lights being out! didn't know that!), the tower charging me for a tow (could have been $125), my car being taken to an expensive mechanic (beaucoup dollars and beaucoup cents), and me staying at a hotel. Not to mention how I'd ever find my way around in a strange city.

I am so extremely blessed and well taken care of. I received a lot of comfort from the scriptures as I lay in the big comfortable bed that was provided for me last night. I read in 1 Nephi 17:1-2, which says:

  1. And it came to pass that we did again take our journey in the wilderness; and we did travel nearly eastward from that time forth. And we did travel and awade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our bwomen did bear children in the wilderness.
  2. And so great were the ablessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon braw cmeat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.

How great are the blessings of the Lord! Nephi and his family, though struggling with their trials in the wilderness, still recognized their blessings and thanked the Lord for what He had provided them. I am blessed.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I have a Beyoncé!!!

Wait. That's not the right word. I know it rhymes with that.



OH! The work I'm looking for is...fiancé. :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Report on Life

Don't plan on this post being wholly coherent. I'm just typing stuff as I think of it. It may be kinda long, too.

So my laptop is dead. This is inconvenient. I have to go to the library or use my apartment's computer lab to check email/check teachers' websites for homework assignments (I actually found out in class that I had an assignment due online before that class started)/do homework (three classes of mine post homework/parts of homework online)/etc etc. Maybe this will help me use my time better, though. I used all the time that I WOULD have been on Facebook last night cleaning my room. Having my room clean made me feel WAY better than I would have felt after just checking Facebook. And now that my room's clean(er), I can think and study better. There are still stacks of paper I need to sort through, trash to be taken out, and a basket full of clothes that need to get on hangers, but for the most part it's helping my mind. I guess not having a computer always next to me will be a good thing. (everything's what you make it out to be, after all.)

It's also amazing how a clean room can have an affect on your well being! Since my room's been disorganized, I've been disorganized. It's like the state of your room is the state of your brain. And boy would I like to sort through my thoughts and goals. Lately I've been scatterbrained and unmotivated in just about everything, or my mind will dwell on the negative and confusing aspects of life, which is NOT conducive to making good grades, being active in organizations, and keeping a boyfriend happy. Maybe having a clean room will help with this. Scripture study and prayer is also a daily must to get me out of this funk.

My job as a dental assistant's still going good. There are a lot of instruments and procedures I still don't know, but I've only been there just more than a month and working only five hours a week, so that seems pretty understandable. Some things are becoming natural to me, like sterilizing instruments, cleaning rooms, and taking out the high suction tube when Dr. Shea grabs a drill. I just need to get setting rooms up, knowing where instruments are located, and anticipating what the dentist will need next before he asks for it down. I'm really so blessed to have this job. I like it a lot.

I also love my job at Cane's. I would describe is as way fun. I'm comfortable with it for sure. There are a couple managers that I get a little awkward working around, and so I get really self-conscious and consequently start messing up, but the other three are so positive. I feel like I do my job so well when they're working. One in particular is my age, takes a bunch of the same classes I do, and likes a lot of the same stuff I do/did (video games in particular, and he likes anime/manga, too, something I used to be WAY into but not so much now) so we always have something to talk about. He's definitely my favorite manager to work with. Also, you know how on some shifts you work, all your favorite people are there, and everything runs just so smoothly? I love those days.

Speaking of being awkward around people... I'm feeling kind of alone in school lately. I don't know many people in my classes, and the people I DO know tend to want to gab with each other. I'm not so much a gabber. Sometimes I wish I was, but that's just not something I enjoy or am good at. The whole "omg i have a test today, barf!" and "heeeyy, how are you??" thing is so boring to me. Can I find someone to talk about real things to? Things of substance, value? I'm tired of being "in" a conversation with cheerleadery people and I say something incredibly dorky
and feel stupid. For example:
"Me and my boyfriend are going to Gulf Shores for Spring Break! We're gonna get so drunk, it's gonna be awesome. What are you doing?"
"Well, I'm staying in Baton Rouge and studying for the DAT."
"Oh. Okay."
I have far better conversations with professors than I do with other students. I thought college wasn't supposed to be high school. I'm just not like most people, I suppose. Or maybe I just haven't met the right people. Meh, I dunno.

There's at least one person I'm bonding pretty well with. My Chinese teacher is taking some anthropology courses with LSU, and has to do some field research on a group of people. She picked the Mormons! hahaha. She learned I was Mormon when I told her I went to China with a BYU Study Abroad. She's actually been to Temple Square and knew a lot of Mormons when she lived in California. So, she's been coming to Institute and church with me. It's way cool. It's weird, too, just that she's one of my I'm on a hugging basis with the person who grades my work. But it's still awesome.

Class starts in half an hour, and I have some studying to do. Peace out.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Death of a Laptop

So my laptop's been on the decline. The CD drive stopped working, sometimes it doesn't want to connect to my printer, the quickplay buttons stopped working, and the screen got really weird. It would be normal and fine until a few minutes later it would either black out (but programs would still be running--I could hear sounds coming from the speakers) or the display would go the whole screen would turn yellowy, then reddish, then switch to black lines about two pixels apart from each other. The black lines are what it eventually settled on, so reading text was really hard. I had to change the screen resolution or zoom in a ton to be able to read or type stuff.

Last Monday night, though, I get home and my computer won't start at all! After much talking with HP, I find out my computer is kaput and needs a new motherboard, which to replace it would cost more than I bought the laptop itself for two years ago.

I'll explain more later. Now I need to go to class. Long story short, though, now I don't have a computer. I'm resorting to hanging out in the library whenever I need to do something online, and when the library's closed, I use the computer lab in my apartment complex. We'll see how this affects my blogging resolution...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

100% chance of freezing rain

School's cancelled tomorrow!

It was supposed to cancel today, but it didn't get "inclement" enough until 4:3o, which is well after my classes are over. But hey, I get to skip out on four classes tomorrow. Sweet!!
(That probably means I can't do anything fun, though. Driving around tomorrow may not be a smart idea. I guess I'm stuck in the house... I'll just study. And make jewelery.)

I have an interesting experience from a few days ago which taught me a good lesson on not being quick to assume.

I was getting a little bit tired of being the only one who would take out the trash, refill the paper towels, and load the dishwasher, so instead of confronting my roommates, I left a couple harmless sticky notes in the kitchen. On the paper towels I left "You kill it, you fill it" and on the trashcan "You fill it, you kill it."

I wake up the next morning to find that (1) the paper towels were empty and the note gone, and (2) the "You kill it, you fill it" note on the dishwasher. "WHOAH. Is someone giving me attitude??" I thought. I was livid. I've been doing the dishes, putting other peoples' dirty plates in the washer and taking them out when they were clean. Who's saying that I don't do the dishes??? "Surely it was Zatabia," I thought, "she knows how to dish out an attitude. Heather's too cool/chill to do something like that." Zatabia once put a note on the fridge about not crowding the sink with dirty dishes, so I assumed she was making a fuss again.. I fumed for a while, thinking about how I could dish it back out (get it? dish? nyar nyar).

The whole WWJD loomed on my mind, too. I was angry, but I knew I had to do the right thing...namely, to be a peacemaker. I filled the paper towels again and took the trash out (but in the new bag I threw the sticky note in it in plain sight...). I decided I'd kindly ask Zatabia if she moved the note, and if there's a problem, what can I do to resolve it? She comes home, and I ask her about the note. "What note?" she replies. OH NO! I felt really bad for assuming it was her. But then I was baffled. Did Heather REALLY do that? HEATHER?? No way! Is Heather really not as cool & passive as I thought she was? So I was brought kind of low at this point. I misjudged Zatabia, assuming she did something that Heather did. I would have to approach Heather now.

Heather came home. I asked her about the note. "Huh? Oh, I found it on the floor, and I was in a rush to go and couldn't remember where it was, so I just stuck it on the dishwasher. Wasn't it there before?" Ouch. I was brought WAY low at this point. I made these terrible assumptions about these girls, while this mess was all in my head. I almost started drama for NO REASON.

Don't assume! Because, as we all know, it makes an... (you can finish the sentence).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bride's maid dress!

So it came in the mail today.

And guess what?

It fits me perfectly.

That's a good thing, because I guess I'm a six when I'm overweight (dang I'm petite), and also a bad thing as far as my resolution is concerned.

That, and it shows more cleavage than the picture suggests.

Uh oh.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Adventures in Dentistry, Lord of the Rings, and School

Be prepared for kind of a long blog post.

So many of you know that I'm interested in going into dentistry. I want to go to dental school and will start the application process this summer to get in for Fall 2012. I've been to school-sponsored pre-dental informational meetings, a pre-dental conference at the LSU School of Dentistry in New Orleans, and reading up on what I need to do to attain this goal. Some of the things I need to do are to prepare for and take the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) before May, keep up my good grades, get letters of recommendation from professors, do service for my community, and shadow at dental offices.

I've done a bit of all of these over the break, since having all of this free time makes is easier to get these done, especially shadowing dentists. Early last week, I googled "dentists in Baton Rouge" and found a few that are within a few miles of where I live. I called a few of them, telling them my name and that I want to go to dental school so could I come observe and gain some experience. The first two I called, the receptionists were very professional and brisk, saying "Well, I'll have to run it by Dr. So-and-so. What is your number? I'll ask him and we'll call you back." This seemed reasonable, so I did so and kept calling. The third that I called, however, was WAY different! The receptionist told me after I asked to shadow "Oh sure! How about you come in tomorrow morning just to meet Dr. Shea, and you can shadow on Thursday?" I was shocked! I guess he must have people come shadow enough that the receptionist scheduled me to come shadow before asking him... (I found out later that he had taught at the LSU School of Dentistry before, so I suppose that explains him not being abject to people coming in.)

Last Thursday, observing Dr. Shea was my first time shadowing a dentist. It was a much easier ordeal than I had imagined. Their office is very modern (unlike the office I shadowed earlier this week. I got spoiled at Dr. Shea's!). I got to see some fillings, an extraction, a crown prep, your basic check-up, take some x-rays, hold the suction tube in someone's mouth, and more. The people who work there are also very easy to get along with. Dr. Shea, the receptionist Ashley, the hygienist Renee, and the assistant Erin are so easygoing and friendly! To top is off, at the end of the day....I WAS OFFERED A JOB!!! Holy cow! They were so impressed with me and how I just jumped right into it on my first day ever observing that they wanted me to train as a dental assistant and work for them a couple days a week. Wow. So great. :)

On Wednesday, two days ago, I came in after lunch and Erin gave me some basic training--what instruments are which, how to set up a room for different procedures, how to use the computers, how to sterilize instruments, how to take down a room after a patient leaves, how to close up for the day, and more. It was a little overwhelming, but luckily Dr. Shea has easy names for all of the instruments he uses, most of which either depend on its shape or color. I start work on Monday.

Now that I'll be working in a dental office, I'm going to be working less at Raising Cane's. It's making me kind of sad in a way. It hit me that eventually I'm going to leave Cane's. It's kind of obvious that I'll have to leave some day since I want to be a dentist and working at a dental office prepares me more for my future than a quick-service restaurant (Cane's is not "fast food," my manager will correct you if you call it that!) will. I never expected that I was going to work there as long as I have, though--I've been there for almost a year and a half now. I've so enjoyed working at that chicken joint. Mostly I love the people I work with. Being part of the Raising Cane's crew has been so much fun and is the best part about working there. That'll be the worst part about leaving: having to tell these people good bye. I will miss the days of making lemonade, grilling toast, cleaning up after a game day, prepping Cane's Sauce cups, mixing coleslaw, trying not to burn yourself when putting hot food into boxes...but most importantly, it'll be making customers and fellow crew members smile. So will I be out of Cane's by the end of the semester and working exclusively for Dr. Shea? Or will I keep Cane's as my weekend job for a while longer while still working most days a week as a dental assistant? I don't know yet.

In other news, yesterday was incredibly awesome. We finally got around to our Lord of the Rings extended edition marathon!! Last year we wanted to do it, but people's schedules never matched up, so only a few people got together for it. The others who couldn't (myself included) so wanted to be part of it, though, so all of Fall 2010, we tried to coordinate a day to do it. Never found a good day: I usually worked on the weekends, and the Saturdays I was free someone else wasn't, or I had tests I needed to study for, and yadda yadda... We put it off for Winter Break. It almost didn't happen, even over the break! Work schedules conflicted, but yesterday everyone was good except for me. I ended up finding someone to take my shift (even though I wanted the money--watching Lord of the Rings before Spring semester starts is worth it), and the movie-ing commenced. What an awesome trilogy! Peter Jackson directed a work of art. Those movies are so good. I understood more of the story and the depth of the characters than I ever have. (This makes me want to read the books now.) I can't wait for the two Hobbit movies to come out, so we can have our "pentalogy" marathon. :) That won't be for another two years or so...but it's something to look forward to! (and as a side note, if I'm going to end up with Michael, I'm going to eventually know everything about LotR. He's so obsessed with it. bahahah.)

School starts on Tuesday. This break has been really long and also incredibly short at the same time. I wish I had another week. I've got to study up on my Chinese before the semester starts. My room needs to get clean. I don't want to start studying again! booooo. Some good news, though. At first this was unpleasant news. I ordered my textbooks two weeks ago, expecting that they'd be here for the start of the semester. One of my books, a $75 book for Cell Biology, was refunded a few days ago!! My point of buying books two weeks ago was to get them cheaper and not have to scramble to buy them when classes started. The cheapest cell bio book I found was $92. Ick, almost $20 more! That $20 could pay for other school supplies. Luckily, my roommate, who is also a biology major, had this book. And gave it to me. For free!! I offered to pay her, and she wouldn't take it. How nice!! So I have an extra $75 that I'm using to buy ink for my printer, get a Physics lab notebook, and do something EXTREMELY nice for my roommate.

That's all I have for now, other than the fact that Mike & I are going on a date to the zoo today. :D I haven't been to the zoo in ages! I love that kid. I also had a dream last night that Square Enix and Nintendo were mortal enemies in this movie that came out in theaters, with Square being the "bad guy" and Nintendo the "good guy." Then there was something about Homestar Runner. Why are all my dreams so nerdy? :P Ciao!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another resolution

My best friend from high school, Kharis Veazey, is getting married in May! It's so exciting. She's found the perfect guy for her, and they love each other so much. She asked me to be her bridesmaid, too. What an honor!

So I was looking at bridesmaid dresses on the David's Bridal website. She wants the dresses to be from here, because they have the fabric and color she wants for her bridesmaids: short, cotton sateen, and their color "Watermelon." As I was looking through them, though, my thought was: "HOLY COW!" These are expensive!! I mean, I'm sure they are reasonably priced. They're signature dresses and made very well, but still, yikes. To top that, most dresses are sleeveless or strapless, and to stay modest, I'd need to get a shrug or bolero. $139 for the dress I liked + $49 for the bolero = $188. I'm working part-time at Raising Cane's... Where am I going to come up with that money?? I wish I wasn't a poor college student and had to make hard decisions like this, but unfortunately, I am...

Modest, but out of my price range...

I kept searching, though. I looked under sale, but there were no cotton sateens that I liked there, or if I did like them, they weren't available in Watermelon. Then I stumbled upon the Outlet dresses. There was still little selection, and only three cotton sateen dresses were available. Two were only available in plus size and in one or two colors, but the third caught my eye. It was modest, so I didn't need to buy the bolero, and was available in watermelon! And it was listed for $59.99! Blessings!! They were out of size 8's and 10's, but had a 6 and some 12's. I figured I'd get the won't be too hard to lose weight and fit into that. And hey, David's Bridal does online returns in case it's too small. I bought the dress. After shipping and tax, it ended up being $79.51. A little pricey, but that's still $100 less than what I would have originally had to have paid. And I can pay that so Kharis can have the wedding she wants. So, perfect.

Modest, cute, and reasonably affordable!

Slight problem, though. I tell Kharis about the dress I bought, and she tells me that (1) I can't return it, and (2) that David's Bridal dresses run small. I check back online at the return policy, and lo and behold, outlet dress sales are FINAL. I can't return it. And if the dress runs small, that means I may have to fit into smaller than a 6...

Now I have another goal: by May 22, I am going to fit into a size 6 (or smaller) dress. I need to lose two dress sizes. Is that a reasonable goal to attain in 4 months?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year's Resolution

Now it is 2011. 2010 has passed. 2009 has, too, and I haven't posted a single blog entry. Reading other people's blogs brings so much joy to my life, though. I love reading about the experiences of my sisters and friends, because I feel like I'm closer to them. It's also just plain ol' fun to read about what they've been up to.

But you know how the saying goes: "If you want a Christmas card, you got to send one." I may be stretching it a bit, but if I want my friends to blog about their lives, I suppose I have to blog about mine, too. There's the classic "I'm terrible at keeping a journal" excuse, and also the "Nothing exciting happens in my life." Maybe most people feel that way about their own lives. However, I like reading the mundane "I'm-posting-because-I-have-to" blog entries. Maybe someone will like to read mine, too (which will be almost every post...). As far as the "terrible at keeping a journal" excuse? I'm sure a blogpost once a week isn't too hard to keep up with. I may be pleased in a few month's time that I've kept this simple record of my life.

So here is my New Year's Resolution: to keep up with a blog, and to post in it at least once a week, even if I never get any comments, and even if it's a "I'm-posting-because-I-have-to" entry.

Happy New Year!