Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

After Thanksgiving, I brought a small (like 12") tree back to the apartment. I just had to have a Christmas tree. Plus it was free. Well, our little tree was very bare. We thought about getting little ornaments from the dollar store, but then I had a brilliant idea. What's that quote, "brilliancy comes from desperation" or "out of desperate situations..." Something like that. Anywho, so when you're a poor college student and in an apartment full of girls....there is one thing you're bound to have. JEWELRY! Yes, that's right. We used dangle earrings as ornaments (perfect size!) and necklaces as garlands. We still might add lights. Oh! And a star-shaped barrette for the star on top! (I would have a close-up of the star, but it wouldn't load.)

Thankful For:

The reason I have it all, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Temple:
My Mom and best friend:
My hero, my Dad:
My brother, and laughter:
My sister, and best friend:
Extended family:

Friends, where would I be without them?
My education:

My computer:
The mountains:
My dogs:
Modern conveniences:
A warm bed to sleep in, and a roof over my head:
Clothes to wear:
And cars to drive:
and so, so much more.

Whole Lotta Pictures...

And now the moment you've all been waiting for! Here's the weekend of the 31st of October through the 2nd of November. First, the YSA Halloween dance themed "Haunted Prom." And if you're wondering about my costume, I was "Batman's #1 Fan" because being Batman would've been cross-dressing.

Our loverly faces:

This was after the dance: (from L to R, Preston Tenney, Cory Cluff, and Aubree)

Ok, so the pics got out of order as I uploaded. This is me and Trevor Rasmussen messing with shadows:

Trevor and Kates on the jungle gym:

Another from the Halloween dance, this is John Dirlam (our bishop's son) aka Wolverine:

Now for a little story time. Jessica, Kathe, Thomas, and Trevor all drove up on Saturday morning to spend the day with us. We weren't sure if Jess was coming and I was SOOO excited when she woke me up that morning. Then they surprised us bringing Trevor out of the kitchen. We spent the day playing pool, playing on the playground, going to Jamba, playing games, singing and listening to guitar playing (courtesy of Thomas), and watching "Penelope." BTW, if you haven't seen Penelope I would highly recommend it. The story line is like a reverse Beauty and the Beast and it has an amazing kiss at the end. 

Then, we were looking at the stars, wishing they didn't have to leave, when they thought, "Hey, maybe we CAN stay." So all four called their parents to ask permission, which all acquired, and we all cheered.  Then we had to figure out sleeping arrangements (the boys slept in the living room of our apt and we had a sleepover at Amy and Lauri's) and Sunday clothes for all. We made a last minute Wal-Mart run to get some toiletries and food for breakfast. The next day, we made French Toast, played games, and attended the broadcasted Regional Conference together. Oh and that morning Nick Johnson, Becky Frye, Jared, and Chandler Dugger came up too! It was ca-razy and there were SOO many people in our tiny apartment. But it was crazy fun. I love my friends and miss them all so much!

Catey graciously agreed to take some group pictures of us before the Thomas-mobile left:

The lovely photog herself:

Y'know how I said we took pictures? Well, a majority of them were actually fake engagements. FAKE. I am not engaged or anywhere close. And neither is Aubree. Both of these fine gentlemen are going on missions. Trevor actually has his call to Mexico City and has gone through the Temple. I'm so proud of them both!

Oh and Catey took all the ones of me and Trev. The reason I'm upside down is because we were doing a "lift" or swing-dance move.

Now for Thomas and Aubree! Catey was kind enough to allow me to exercise my interest--OK, obsession--with photography, and let me use her camera and gave me a few pointers. (In case you're wondering, Catey is Rachel's roomie and a jr. Photography was a major she tried out, so she has a professional camera.) There are random shopping carts right behind our complex, and I couldn't resist using one.

OK, and Rachel. Doesn't she look adorable in that hat?

And my other bestest friend EV-ER. Did I mention how absolutely over-joyed I was that she was there?

Aubree...being Aubree. I love the light.

Candidity. It's a word. Love it! I think Catey took this one...

Thomas and Aubree. I love the semi-silhouette and sun-flare.

World's cutest couple:

So that was our weekend. And I don't know why the computer is making this a link. It's not. I know I'm an education major, but I really love photography and the way you can capture moments forever. So I'm thinking that when I have money again, I'm gonna get me a nice camera. And I want to take some classes, maybe a couple of workshops. Photography is an expensive hobby, but I think I could be good at it. I 'pologize for my ramblings. Have a wonderful day!

Fall Colors

Well, my mom has been asking for pictures of the beautiful fall colors, because Mesa kinda skips fall. So, here are some pictures from the hike the YSAs went on a couple of weeks ago. It was freezing cold and the wind was merciless. As you'll see in some pics, there was a light dusting of snow on top of the Peaks.

This is what I saw when I woke up that Saturday morning:
The trail:
Aubree attempting to keep her face warm:

Trail of gold:

The view:
These next two are just from around the neighborhood:

Just a quick side note. I absolutely love Aspen trees. Their white bark contrasted by dark "eyes" and cheerful yellow and green leaves are a beautiful picture. And the sound they make when the wind rustles the dry leaves sounds like small applause. I heard this after a long day and the tree seemed to be saying, "You can do it! Yay for another day done!" [wow that was cheesy!] I also love the pines. They smell so wonderful and just lift me when I ponder their beauty. The sound of wind rushing through pines has got to be one of my favorite sounds in the world! It's so powerful and soothing. The sky here is also amazing! It is so clear blue and the clouds so close and white and big. I even decided that I like the sun. The way it filters through the trees and bursts around clouds is truly awe-inspiring. And at night, a billion stars greet me, each so bright and so glorious it fills me with wonder. I echo the words of Hymn #86: 

"O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy pow'r thru-out the universe displayed;

"When thru the woods and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze,

"Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
How great thou art! How great thou art!"