Sunday, October 28, 2012


Good day good friends.

Lakewood Ranch is one of those places that you can't fully describe.... words just don't do her justice. You just have to be here and experience it. I am in love with everything here. Especially my husband :]. His birthday was a wonderful one! We ate our favorite breakfast...and dinner...and desert, opened a billion gifts, partied and watched one of Zane's favorite films. [I used the word film and not movie so that I sound fancy] We had a great little party [oxymoron, I know. Don't even try to usurp.] Foods, beach volleyball, ping pong, sweet tunes; need I say more? Hah well, probably. But I don't have time. I did, however, find enough time to go to an amazing Relief Society event with Malori. Not gonna lie, I've never been an RS enthusiast [yes, I can feel the flames of purgatory]. I got to know a lot of true women really well, had mind blowing curry soup and this thang had quite the party favors. Everyone brought things from home that they didn't want or use anymore. I felt like I was inside a Pintrest world. Except, instead of thinking to myself, "I wish I could have that," I COULD ACTUALLY HAVE IT. Everything I brought home was anthroworthy, in my humble opinion. Mustard flower stems, dark espresso wooden vase, black cherry wood bench, LOFT skirt, and a black wooden coat hanger [that we transformed into a tie hanger]. Jeffrey R. Holland's General Conference talk was indescribable. It was, without a doubt, one of the greatest sermons ever given. [He is my favorite. Can I have favorites? Can I call him Jeffrey? Why does everyone have to use an initial with their name?] Every single time he speaks I feel every fiber in my being strengthening. I love this gospel. Let's fast forward to the end of this month with a visit from Dad and my anniversary of birth. So lucky that I could show my dad this paradisaical place that I love. It worked out so perfectly; he had a business trip to Orlando just a few days before my birthday! We saw Argo; that thing better win some awards. We had many delicious meals and went to the greatest beaches. Zane, Dad and I went to the Sidewalk Astronomer event on Main Street and it was such a cool experience! Never thought I could be nerdy enough to enjoy it :]. I love my dad so much; his visit was a priceless gift. Zane, amid medical school, made my [actual] birthday such a special day. For some must needed celebration, we went with our closest friends to the Boo Fest on Main Street. WOW. Talk about a partay. There were like thousands of people there! It was such a great Halloween night! Costume parade, booths up the ying, haunted house, jam sesh, etc. After such madness, the gang came back to our apartment [yes, so that they could appreciate my cheap Halloween decor] for games and desert. I made a little festive game called Witch Pitch.       I felt like I was back in fourth grade, with all of the glue, construction paper and candy. :] It was, in a sense, a success. Well, the fete days are over and it's back to the books. Wish Zane and I the best [and most necessary] of luck on our up-and-coming tests.                

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Turtles, Mothers and Food.

Greetings, friends.

I had a wonderful visit from my nurse, broker, motivational speaker, P.I.C., best friend, therapist, batman... and most importantly, mom. She helped me accomplish so many things! [I'm not entirely domestic savvy yet :].] We had a cornucopia [yep. I used it.] of fun each day. We went to so many beaches that are so close to home! We found AMAZING restaurants right on the waterfronts, swam with sting rays and insane little fish, watched The Office [what else?], spent time with Zane, had ice cream every day, shell hunted, woke up and went asleep to the greatest weather... aaaand the list goes on. We LOVED Siesta Key, as it is the #1 beach in this nation. You heard me CA and HI.... deal with it. We ate at The Cottage twice... because it was so necessary. Greatest restaurant in these here parts. Anna Maria Island was like a dream; Mom and I both felt like we were on a far off, pristine, celestial island [we were 25 minutes from home]. We ate at The Waterfront [literally] twice. AMAZING ribs and Wahoo. We ate at both restaurants twice because, they were so frigging glorious, we demanded that Zane experience said bliss. Ordering at The Waterfront was identical to the Portlandians ordering at The Gilt. [If you haven't the foggiest, you must watch]. I loved showing off our amazing ward to Mom! I got two callings; nursery teacher and chorister. [Should be called nursery drill sergeant.] While at church, a 15 year-old boy gave a wonderful talk on the importance of attending church.                             Mom looked at the program and saw that this boy's brother is serving his mission in St. Petersburg, where Dad and Thomas were vactioning! He has an amazing story. He was adopted [along with his older brother] from Russia when he was three. He and his brother joined the church about five years ago. They are the only two members of their family that are LDS; he now goes to church, by himself, every Sunday. His brother joined the Air Force and was studying Russian when he got his LDS mission call to Russia! This young boy hopes that his brother will somehow find his biological parents and teach them. Mom's visit was so amazing, can't wait 'til she comes back. How can she stay away from paradise? Zane and I are having the greatest times with our favorites [Kristian and Malori and Dawson!]. Games, ping pong, swimming, dinners, desserts, church. et cetera. Malori and I are so elated! We've got doggone Great Escape customers!! It's a glorious opportunity. More time together, more time with adorable animals, more time with our neighbors, more time outside. While on the subject, I wish I had a bit more of it. Time, that is. Sometimes I look at the clock with a Kristen Wiig stink eye and think it's just picking on me. [haha just kidding. can you imagine if you saw me doing that? weird.] I spend almost all day with Zane in our cozy apartment studying the crap out of my Sports Medicine book. I have the utmost respect and empathy for Zane, Catherine, Kristian... and anyone else on the planet who studies anything medical, scientific, chemistryish, and the like. Catherine and Zane have been doing so much to help me study and learn, I can never thank them enough. The other day, Zane and I were outside minding our own business [aka talking in baby voices and quoting The Office] when we spotted a woman screaming, "They're biting me!" First of all, WHO WOULD WANT TO GET NEAR SOMEONE SCREAMING THAT?? Zane forced me to growapair and see what was up. There was a parade of newborn snapping turtles! So many of them were hit by cars on their first quest to the water :[. We did all we could to search for more of them and take the survivors to the lake. I am officially, a turtlehugger. It's Zane's birthday month! Each day, from the 4th to the 29th [exactly, and including, 26 days until his big day], he wakes up to two small boxes and picks a piece of paper out of each. One box is filled with reasons why I love him and the other has things I will do for him that day. :]. I wanted him to have a wonderful birthday month, not just a wonderful birthday. Back to studying, dog walking and birthday party planning :].

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Of Roaches and Anniversaries

Well. It has been a busy but wonderful few weeks! I never want Washington trips to end, but they always end so well :]. Although it's many the miles, being with family is priceless. The weather was beautiful and it's even better in Florida! Perfect weather comes naturally here in the Sunshine State, as well as roaches. I found my first roach the other day. I was always told the terrible tales of cockroaches before moving here. The size. Their speediness. The fact that they have infinity lives [aka: you can't kill them]. And this one was, drum roll, DEAD. It was a Christmas miracle. And you know, they're not too shabby. I had a successful first impression of the roaches. While on the subject of impressions, our ward is nothing short of amazing. The people are so young, funny, welcoming, and, real. Everyone is just being themselves and I love it. Nothing to try and live up to here. These people are [already] true friends. Our Bishop is the cat's pajamas. And tux. And speedo. He played guitar with John Denver, has a butterfly farm and sang with the MoTabs. You heard me; the MoTabs. The list goes on and on with him and we LOVE it! He lives on six beautiful acres, filled with plots for families in the ward to grow delicious and nutritious foods! Isn't that wonderful? Every day is an adventure here. Kristian and Zane battle on the ping pong table fortnightly while Malori and I plan our dog walking metier :]. [Check out our FB page listed below]. We love every minute we get to spend with them. And we love every minute we spend together. Our one year anniversary [on Monday the 13th] went swimmingly. We both woke up to notes from each other and studied together in the afternoon. Once he got back from his exam, we ate our f a v o r i t e homemade BBQ chicken pizza!We then opened our little gifts while watching our wedding DVD. I gave him a tiny mac photo book filled with pictures from our peachy first year of eternal marriage :]. He gave me a popcorn maker!!!! Sweet victory. And, beautiful flowers. We then outed to Cold Stone [staple diet] and returned home to an amazing film; The Prestige. Couldn't have been a better day for us out here in paradise! Can't wait until Mom gets here Wednesday!

Postscript: I totally forget to mention [in my first post] a glorious success while en route to Florida. Our goal was to find a license plate from every state. End result = 41. Namely: Iowa, Wyoming, New York, Minnesota, Idaho, Utah, Washington, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Connecticut, North Dakota, Oklahoma, California, South Carolina, Texas, Oregon, Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, South Dakota, Massachusetts, Indiana, Tennessee, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Maine, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Maryland, Virginia, Montana, Alaska, Louisiana, Delaware. Nailed it.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Destination: Bliss.

 I believe that towing a U-Haul trailer with a little Honda for 2500 miles defines a "road trip." It was, in a word, awesome. Departed from Provo at 5:00AM [funny thing; we got lost before we left] on the 16th; arrived in Lakewood Ranch on the 18th. Only 2.5 days! We went through 10 states
[utahwyomingnebraskaiowamissouriillinoiskentuckytennesseegeorgiaflorida] the majority of which we had never been to. The east is beautiful! Minus the large black beetles that crawled up my leg at a gas station in Nebraska. No spank you. Silly Zane left the gas tank open in Iowa :].
At the same station he had an interesting encounter with a 6 year-old boy who thought Zane was his Nana. The cheapest station we filled up at was $3.09/gallon! [How sad that I'm elated about t h a t.] [I'm doing a lot of the whole.... parenthesis thing...] We stayed overnight in Kansas City, MO [you have to say "MO" a lieu de Missouri. You just have to.] and were welcomed by bed bugs. Interesting things we came across included: a giant Abraham Lincoln head, Kauffman Stadium, a ginormous Superman statue in Metropolis, a b e a utiful LDS temple near St. Louis, the biggest lightning/monsoon storm known to man, aaaaand a massively kick-a car chase.  Driving through Georgia would've been complete if I had a slow rocking chair and glass o' lemonade. Listen here, now; ain't nothin' like listenin' to Mistuh Ray Chaaawles in Geooowwguh. Our final hotel was in Macon, Georgia; late to bed, early to rise. Crossing the last border and driving into Florida was amazing! I could not be farther from home [quite literally]. Everything is so different and exciting.  Always something new; always something to do. Our perfect voyage ended in a quick and easy move in. We had help from our new best friend Kristian Balle [baal luh] and LDS missionaries. Let me know expound on our best friendship with the Balles. In Zane's last week at BYU, he was approached by fellow graduate Kristian. Both were accepted to and headed for the same medical school; LECOM! The icing on the cupcake [I prefer cupcakes to cake. Notice that cupcake is plural :]] was that Kristian, his wife Malori and baby Dawson were headed for the same apartment [Lost Creek]! Thanks to our friendship with the Balles, all the planning, preparations, journeys and adjustments have not only been easier but funner. [Yep. It's a word. Look it up.] It is a true blessing to have them in our lives. It seems that every decision made was meant to bring our two little families together in this downright adventure. We all wanted to have some fun before Kristian and Zane started school. We went to Siesta Key [unequaled in mindblowingness] and Waffle House, played games and had Sunday dinner together. We also ran into each other on our Walmart excursions! The night before I left for the Goodwin Family reunion, Zane and I went to Miami for dinner and his first MLB game! Dinner at Salsa Fiesta was deelish. Zane is a Braves devout and was squealing like a little school girl the entire time :]. Braves won, which was awesome. Goodwin family reunions are far and few that always prove wonderful when followed through. [I'm a poet.] It was great to see cousins, siblings, nephew, parents, uncles, aunts and grandparents. We had a hoot and a half playing horseshoe, hiking, swimming, cooking and gaming. The trip ended perfectly when, in pitch black, our Nana and Grandpa turned into glowstickstickfigures and surprised us at a bonfire. My description is exact. I'm now having fun in Washington with my family, albeit missing my husband terribly. He just started school; wish him success!