Monday, July 21, 2014


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I don't know if it is just because I am an Aunt. But when I hear the sweet voices of my nieces and nephew's I just melt. Our smart little Henry had this book memorized two weeks after checking it out from the Library. He doesn't even know how to read!!!! This video is a bit long... but it is a good book. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Charmed and Enchanted with the streets of Alexandria

I have been in love with this city from day one. The more that I explore and discover the more I feel that Washington D.C. and the surrounding areas are under-appreciated.

I am on the home stretch of my first full year in D.C. and my first full tourist season. As I watch the tourists file on and off busses , I can't help think that they are missing the charm that is D.C. They do get to see some amazing attractions; namely the Smithsonians, the monuments and the Capital building. However, they don't get to absorb the relaxing tranquility that can be found in unsuspecting neighborhoods or parks.

Today I spent almost 3 hours in Old Town Alexandria. There is a neighborhood a few blocks east of King Street that has been masterfully preserved. I can't express how much I love walking these streets. I know I haven't been to Paris or Prague, but I must say that my walk here could easily rival the streets of Europe. No, not every street is paved with cobble stones and yes the buildings are comparatively younger than Europe (Alexandria was founded in 1749). Maybe it is because I am still on a patriotic high after the 4th of July, but there is something about how American Alexandria is that has placed it high on my list of favorites. I have decided to dedicate more time to this area. I want to discover it all.

Here are some of the pictures I took while one my stroll.

Many of the porch lights are still flame

I have dubbed these benches my new spot. I mentioned that I was in Old Town for 3 hours... well most of it was spent here. You can't see it in the picture, but just across the Potomac is downtown DC. These benches are a perfect spot for writing in your journal while you admire the capital building at sun set.

As you can tell I was really happy to see our flag everywhere. I love the 4th of July and I LOVE America!:)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I want to dedicate this post to one of my best friends Jesse. We are about to part ways, I am staying in DC and he is moving to Vegas. We'll always be friends but when moves like this happen things can't stay the same.

I don't think I can begin to explain what an awesome person Jesse is. I have often told him that he is my hero. He is an amazing example of what it is to live the American dream. He is such an example to me of what it means to work hard. If only all of you could get to know him and his amazing story. You would all become better people, like myself, for having known him.

Jesse and I have a special bond. We first met while we were serving our missions in Argentina. We had both been assigned to a small charming town 3 hours west of Buenos Aires. Our mission president put Jesse and his companion in charge of watching out for my comp and I. Typically, you don't stay in one area for more that 3 or 4 months. However, Jesse and I were both in Mercedes for 7 months. We overlapped 5 of those months. During that time we were able to teach together and care for the same families. We gave all we had to those people. I know serving a mission is nothing like the military, but I feel like I understand the bond that soldiers have with their comrades.

Since our friendship had such a spiritual foundation, there is also a great deal of respect between us. At some point, everyone we know has thought that we were a couple. We have never been a couple. We have been constant and loyal friends. I love that throughout the last 4 years I have been confident in our unbreakable platonic affection for each other. He has been a constant in my life.

Jesse, I know things are going to change when you leave DC. This had to happen eventually, but I didn't want you to leave without knowing how glad I am that you have been a part of my life. Looking back I am amazed at all of the things we have been through together. Thank you for being such a great friend. Thank you for being patient with me when I get bratty, thank you for making me feel special, thank you for being who you are. Having you out here in DC with me has made the transition from college life to the great beyond so much smoother. Thank you for being that support. I don't know what I would have done with out you.

I am so proud of you for getting into Teach For America! I know you will be great and that you will change the lives of the children you teach.

Here are some of the highlights of the past 4 years:

Making food for a family we taught in Mercedes

One of our favorite families

Picnic at rock canyon park

Niagra Falls

watching the Chicago Cubs play at Wrigley Field

at the Lebanese restaurant. One of many amazing restaurants we found in DC!

At the movies

Surprise flowers for my Birthday

Weekend in New York

Seeing Wicked on Broadway

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tin Foil Chef

I have started a dinner group for C1 called 'Tin Foil' Chef. How it works: Each month there will be a key ingredient.
For example, this month the ingredient was lime. Each person needed to prepare one item that contained the key ingredient. It could have been a drink, side dish, main course or a dessert. They could have cooked on their own or have teamed up with some friends. Once we all had sampled the different delectable delights, we had an anonymous vote to see who would be awarded Tin Foil Chef title. The winner won the amazing trophy pictured above and they got to choose what the key ingredient will be for next month.

I am happy to say we had a great turn out and great competition. The winners on this month cooked a Key Lime Pie. It was delicious. They were pretty excited to take home the Tin Foil Chef trophy/title. As promised they were able to choose the ingredient for next month. They chose cream cheese. Next month they will have to bring the Tin Foil Chef trophy back and defend their title.

Honorable mentions: Chili Mac and cheese bake, Holy Guacamole, Lime Popcorn and those cool lettuce thingys (I wish I could remember what they were called!)

I am looking forward to this monthly tradition :) Good food and great people.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Phasing out...

Little by little the west is phasing out of my life.


after :(

I will admit, loosing my Colorado plates was hard.... I registered Faris (yes, that is my car's name) the Focus in Virginia over a month ago... and I just barely changed the plates over. I really do love the Colorado license plates. Now it sucks bc the Colorado mountains were the only way I would spot my car from across the parking lot. A lot of people have Ford Focuses and sometimes it can get a bit difficult to pick Faris out from sea of red four door sedans.

I also had to get a new license.... :( I was bummed by that bc it was the one photo ID I had where I actually liked how the picture turned out. I am waiting to get my new drivers license in the mail. I already know I am going to hate the picture. It was raining that day and for some reason I never feel nor look cute on rainy days.
Lets hope the license is not as boring as the VA plates... if so, I might suggest they start personalizing driver's licenses like they do credit cards and license plates. If that were the case I would have them put the "Virginia is for lovers" slogan with a big heart in the background. Maybe that will improve my chances of finding a lover ;) You know... maybe some cute guy will need to check my ID and realize he needs a lover (and when I say lover, I mean it in the long-term-boyfriend sense of the word) and there I will be. Subliminal messaging works...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The end of an eventful decade

I haven't been the best in keeping a journal. Nor have I been good at scrap-booking... but I guess that is what I use my blog for! As 2010 draws to a close I have been spending a lot of time reflecting on my life thus far. You know how some novels are divided into chapters and then the chapters are divided into even bigger sections called books? Well I feel like the end of this decade is the end of book two of my life. Book one was the '90s... growing up in C. Springs. The 2000's have been some of the most formative years of my life (Ages 15 to 25).
I have had a lot of ups and downs and there have been a lot of lonely and hard times. However, after time passes all of the negative memories lose their sting. They serve as important memories of lessons learned. On the flip side, I am glad that my positive memories are like wine and cheese, they grow in value and have better flavor with time.
If you are here bc I tagged you, tt is because you were part of some of the best parts of this last decade. I wanted to let you know that I am so happy you are in my life and that we were able to have good moments together. Our memories will always be important to me.

For record's sake here are some of the happy chapters of BOOK TWO, the 2000's.

I moved home from Guatemala,

This is a picture with a lot of friends from my high school in Guatemala. I loved that place!

I graduated high school,

I started collage,

This is from one of many prank wars I got in.... I feel like it is a very fitting representation of the early college experience.

I had some amazing adventures during my semester on Vashon Island (off the coast of Seattle)

and my semester teaching English in China.

Me on the Great Wall of China

A picture I took while we were backpacking the holy Buddhist mountain Emei Shan

I went on a mission to Argentina and lived among some of the most amazing people I have ever met.

Here I am in my favorite area. With two of my favorite girls from that area

My family away from home
(mi segunda familia)

I found the perfect major and fully enjoyed my classes and made some great friends with classmates and professors.

I got to take some of my closest friends back to Guatemala for some of the best 10 vacation days I have ever had.

We went zip-lining outside of Tikal

me and the best friend I have ever had kayaking in Rio Dulce

The water was amazing. We swam all day.

I was able watch my sisters go through major life changes as they got married and had THE MOST AMAZING CHILDREN ON THE PLANET. I love being aunt! My family is amazing!

The Pulsiphers

The Cherrys

The Palmers

I was able to work at ILP and made some lifelong friends.

I had the blessing to teach Spanish at the MTC. I will never forget how happy I was there!

This is a district I taught. They were so great!

I was able to get a grant and do research on my own in Bolivia.

Typical clothing for Bolivian women

Copacabana, the location of my ethnography

The extended family that let me spend the majority of my time with them

I went to Machu Picchu

Hannah and I met in Bolivia. She and I clicked right away! We had an amazing time at Machu Picchu

I Went to Italy

Andrew my LITTLE brother and I ;) on a Gondola ride in Venice

Mom, Dad and I in Sienna. Very Charming!

My new paradise! The Mediterranean coast. I LOVED IT!

I finished my capstone paper and GRADUATED COLLEGE!!

my parents took me to the Broadmoor to celebrate

I moved to the most amazing city, made some AMAZING friends and got a GREAT JOB!

Just a few of the amazing friends I have made here in D.C.

The next decade (Book), will definitely have a different feel. By 2020 I am going to be 35! I am going to make sure that it is full of adventure. I am excited to see what happens :)