Freakin' huge snowbanks out here...they're as tall as I am. That hole at the end of the driveway is one of our entrances into the fort.
I was diggin' away on one end of the fort...
While Trav took over the other side
We worked on the fort for about an hour and a half - finally meeting up in the middle of the snowbank. We had to stop after because I was frozen. I honestly couldn't feel my legs or feet.
Trav and Nolan decided to get as much done on the fort as possible the next day. They opened it up and found our grassy carpet.
You can't get the full idea of how long the tunnel was (before it was made into a "fort") but this shot gives you an idea.
Aw, Brothers :) Nolan was chiseling away with a hammer while Trav used the shovel. This snow fort was awesome!
Inside the snow fort.
We were going to do more throughout the week but found out it was supposed to rain. And as we know, rain melts the snow. So we decided to stop and keep it as it was. Sure enough, the rains came down and the fort collapsed. But it was fun and TOTALLY worth it!
Go figure. As soon as I publish my last post, I check (to reconfirm I passed!!) and my GPA is posted now. So, here they are:
Instructional Media (2 credit hours) A- Curriculum, Instruct, & Assess (4 credit hours) A- Private Oboe Lessons (1 credit hour) A Group Vocal Class (1 credit hour) A String Practicum (1 credit hour) B Chamber choir (1 credit hour) A Women's Choir (1 credit hour) A Music History & Lit (3 credit hours) B Small Ensembles (1 credit hour) A Private Vocal Lessons (1 credit hour) A Advanced Independent Study (2 credit hours) A
I passed all my classes! I took 18 credit hours (and worked part-time) this semester. I honestly didn't know if I was going to pass one or two of my classes. They were a little more demanding than I'm used to. So, yes. I was honestly, truly worried. I will post my grades as soon as I can. I'm waiting to get the word on my GPA. I'm sooooooo happy! Oh my goodness! It feels like a weight has been lifted.
Also, in a little over 24 hours Trav and I will be on our way out to Minnesota to spend Christmas with his family. This is the first year we've done this, so we're pretty excited. Travis' parents usually come out to Utah but since they're serving a local mission they're not able to this year. We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to spend Christmas in Minnesota. It's been nearly 8 or 9 years (I believe) since Trav has been home for the holidays. So, here's to hoping I don't freeze to death out there!
Burned down this morning. As far as I've heard, it's a total loss. I'm sick about it. This building is absolutely gorgeous, inside and out. I had always dreamed of performing in it. It has been used for LDS church meetings, choir performances, and many more activities. This is so awful. Click here to read an article and see pictures.
Hopefully the church will reconstruct it. Everyone is in shock. This is so sad.
I pulled these pictures (below) from the Salt Lake Tribune webpage (the link I created at the beginning of this post). There are more pictures posted on their site.
I look at these pictures and I can't help but to cry.
What's harder is this building has sentimental value. We took family pictures here, in November 2008, before Mercydez passed away. This building's grounds and beautiful architecture can be seen behind my family as we surrounded our precious Mercydez.
Yes, we're alive!!!!!! I took my last final today and I can't even begin to express the relief I'm feeling. This horrid semester is DONE!!! I made it!
Trav has been awesome the last few weeks. To say I've been stressed is a HUGE understatement. I've been up late, getting up as early as I can (sometimes sleeping longer than I should), stuck to a computer or in the piano room practicing. We haven't had a lot of time together. In fact, this entire week I've only seen him on average 5 minutes each day. He's usually up and gone before I get up each morning - and in bed fast asleep when I get home. It's sucked. Big time.
So, we hope to make up for it this coming week by doing whatever we want in the evenings. He has to work through Wednesday (as do I) so we can only take advantage of our evening hours. But I'll gladly take what I can get! We'll watch movies, do a little shopping, eat nummy food, and waste time. It sounds marvelous!
We were able to sneak in a little fun during the last week, thankfully. We had a extended family Christmas party and had a ginger house decorating competition. Here are a few pictures:
The finished gingerbread village
It was a straight up tie...hard to imagine why! They're all so beautiful! Hehe.
A cute story though (if I have my information correct): apparently after we separated into teams, Grayson went into a corner of the house and prayed that his team would win. Isn't that stinkin' cute?!
from now I'll be in the middle of finals. This may ring true to many and may confuse the rest, but I CAN'T WAIT! This has been a hard semester, emotionally. I haven't felt the drive I usually have. For example, I usually push for a 4.0 each semester, making sure to stay ahead in all my classes (yes, ahead. Not just caught up..AHEAD). This semester I'm struggling to stay above water. I feel like I've barely made it through each week. I've struggled with wanting to quit and give up. Just walk away. I haven't felt like I have in the past where all I want is to take advantage of my educational opportunities. It's really weird and it's not me.
I've just been struggling and I'm not sure why.
So, even though I have a crap-load of stuff to do from now until finals, I'm extremely grateful the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. Hopefully I can stick with it for the next two weeks and finish with my head held high.
...and then it's off to Minnesota we go for Christmas! It will be a much needed and very welcomed vacation!
So wish me luck. I'll let you know if I'm still alive come December 17th (The official last day of the semester).
I've had a lot weighing on my mind lately. Since I've had a little more time than usual to "think" I'm just wanting to put a few things out there.
1) "Knowledge comes from experience. Everything else is just information." (Einstein) Life isn't a text book.
2) "Your abilities don't define your character. Your choices do." (Dumbledor) Typically those who claim to be open-minded are some of the most narrow-minded I know.
3) "The best way out is through." (Anonymous) I have no problem admitting or attempting to persuade those I know and love to see a therapist. I recently started seeing one and I'm so grateful I made this choice (thanks to Ashley persuading me). There's nothing wrong with doing all one can to heal properly.
4) "Make the most of yourself for that is all there is of you." (Emerson) I may not be the best musician out there. But I don't care. I love my music and will keep doing all I can to develop musically.
5) "If we judge, we have no time to love." (Mother Teresa) People are the way they are for a reason. I may not know why so-and-so is the way they are, but there's usually a [good] reason. It's very humbling to be, repeatedly, reminded of this.
6) I mourn because I love. My Angel Mercydez and my Angel Grandmother (Ruby)...What can I say? I refuse to "forget". I love these two elect ladies. I am so grateful for them.
7) "The good man is the friend of all living things." (Ghandi) This is my husband. Wow. Did I luck out or what? Honestly. I don't think Travis has a single fault or character flaw. Truly. And that's been on my mind for a while now. I love my husband.
8) "Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” (Aristotle) School is hard. Sometimes I just want to quit. Pull the plug. Flip the switch. Go back to the ease of work only. No homework. No school drama. No am-I-failing-this-class drama. No annoying class mates (I told you I'm judgmental. urg!). No late nights doing homework. No nightmares about memorizing music. No anxiety about performance. But if I quit now I know I'll regret it for the rest of my life. Excellence is attainable.
I can do this, right?!
9) "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it." (Ghandi) Secrets and privacy are polar opposites. If the understanding is they are one and the same, there's a rather large misunderstanding taking place. I'll just leave it at that.
10) "Just because you feel it doesn't mean it's true." (Steve Eastmond) Emotion is merely that. Emotion. Nothing more, nothing less. Really think about that quote. I have. Just because I feel angry or hurt doesn't mean so-and-so intentionally meant to make me angry or hurt. Just because I feel guilty doesn't mean I SHOULD.
11) "You become what you habitually admire." (Pres. Thompson) Our thoughts stem from our beliefs. Our thoughts and our beliefs are not the same thing. One is nearly ingrained in our souls. The other is the offspring of it. To truly change a thought we must dig deeper and change our beliefs. But to do that takes incredible determination, discipline and work. It's completely possible. With patience.
12) "Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment." (Oprah) Time, yes time, is a gift.
13) "Every soul is precious." (Joseph Fielding Smith) Families are forever. Thank goodness.
14) "Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." (Oprah) Things happen for a reason. I need to remember this. Sometimes people choose to end relationships. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere and other times it's completely expected. It's been hard to watch those I care about hurt. It's also been hard to deal with my own "issues" as I feel I've been treated wrongly. When one door closes another opens - and if it doesn't - look for an open window.
15) "Be the change you wish to see..." (Ghandi) To be genuinely good, through and through, is a worthwhile goal.
16) "Without fear, courage could not exist." (Unknown) Fear is crippling. And I'm determined to fight mine.
17) "I'm [_________], I don't feel burdened by it and I don't think it's a huge responsibility. It's part of who I am. It does not define me." (Oprah) I am fiercely loyal. I had no idea I could snap so quickly when it comes to certain things until recently: my husband, my family, my religion, my country, my God.
Oprah filled in the blank with "black". I could fill it in with: a wife, a sister/daughter, a future mother, a Mormon, an American, a believer...and so much more. These descriptions alone do not define me. No, they merely create my being. They are a part of who I am.
We recently did family pictures with my side of the fam. We had a lot of fun with this project, as you'll quickly see. I included more formal pictures as well as natural pictures because they all turned out great. I posted a lot of 'em and didn't really organize them the way they should be. Ah well. You get the idea... :)
I love this shot. It's soooo eye catching. And, of course my husband is the king of the hill! Boo yeah!
The boys being dorks
The girls did it first so we're cooler.
The whole family
My boy. What can I say?? He's the "life of the party". hehe.
I honestly don't remember this ugly moment. ;)
My beautiful parents (I really like this shot. It's very gentle.)
Auriel & Maggie
Mom with her children (Dad had to leave before we took this picture, darn it.)
The boys being boys
Kacey being Kacey...these pictures make me laugh soooo hard!
Kade & Megan
I really like this picture of Kade and Megan. It's naturally beautiful, I think.
Kacey & Nic trying to jump on the tramp. It didn't last long. Don't worry.
Nic & Ashley
Kolton & Kacey
The two red heads of the family
I'm also pleased to say that NONE of these pictures have been altered in any way. Photoshop?? NOPE. Nothin'. Not bad, eh??