Thursday, May 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, ME! :)

That's right! My birthday was a couple weeks ago! I can't believe I'm 24....I feel so old...

We did lots of fun things for my birthday, though! It kind of turned into a three day event...which of course, is fine with me! Ha! :)

The first celebration was while my mom and sister were here.

One of the missionaries birthdays is the day after mine, so we helped him celebrate too! His name is Elder Larsen and he is REALLY nice! He is writing letters to my sister now ;) Hopefully that works out! Heheh....

Anyway, we had Texas chocolate sheet cake and key lime pie! Sooooo yummmmyyy.....

Then we opened presents....


Hot damn! A WII!!!!! Wahoo!!!! So far the Wii experience has been lovely :) We have Guitar Hero, World Tour, and Tom got me a Wii Fit for my birthday! So yes....I have been excersizing! Weird, I know...

So that was the week before my birthday.

On my birthday, Tom helped me celebrate it in a very nice way! He made me breakfast: omelets and crepes! Yes, he made me crepes! Tom is a really good cook. He just says he doesn't like to cook because he doesn't like to "work for his food" Ha! I would rather cook than clean....so that's usually how it works out. I cook...Tom does the dishes. It's a good balance :)

Later that night we dropped Ella off at the potluck with Laura O. (Laura O. volunteered to babysit her! AAWWEESSOOMMEEE!!!!) and we went out to dinner! We ate at Bajatzu this SUPER yummy restaurant in Maho. Sooooo good!! I had to take a picture of how pretty the crab cakes were! And yes, I'm wearing a super cute dress ;)


So that was ON my birthday. THEN the next Tuesday (so two days ago) I had a double birthday party with Sharill, since her birthday was on the 13th and this month has been super busy! We decided to have a double party! We had a BIG dinner at Sopranos with everyone. It was really fun! It was so fun to be around so many adults! Haha! :) Even Ella behaved! They had us kind of in our own separate area and Ella only ran out of the area a couple times, which is pretty good for her :)


This is me with my birthday Tiramisu, which actually wasn't as good as most tiramisu. Too bad....oh well! :) It was still really fun to just hang out with people and have adult conversations that aren't all about diapers, teething, and babies in general! Ha! :)

It is weird turning 24. Next year I'll be a quarter of a century years old! Wow...It's funny to think that five years ago, I would have NEVER pictured myself 1. Married 2. with a kid 3. living in the middle of the Caribbean! It is so funny all the things life deals you. It is quite the experience though, let me tell you. Sometimes I wonder what I would be doing if I wasn't down here, especially when so many of my friends aren't married or anything, it kind of seems like a lot of them just never grow up. They are still so into the whole "college" life of partying, drinking, etc. I feel like when you get married and start having kids, you feel like you need to finally take charge and start living a life...instead of living a party.

Anyway....another year is done and gone! :) Happy Birthday to me!

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Day in the Life of....

My child.

Since my mom and sister were sleeping in Ella's room, we moved her crib into our room. We had it positioned in between the closet and the door....the furthest away from us we could get her. She is a VERY light sleeper and always wakes up if she is sleeping right next to me.

So we put her down for a nap and a couple minutes later we heard her giggling and laughing for a few minutes, then was silent. So I figured she finally went to sleep....

Two hours later....she woke up....

....starting crying to be taken out of her crib....

...and this is what I opened the door to.....


In case you can't tell....Ella had found a box of pens/markers/highlighters in the closet....pulled them out and proceeded to graffiti all over herself, her pillow, and her sheets!

An example of Ella Art....poop and markers....I think I would rather than markers...even though it stains! Ha!
Her legs were COVERED in brown marker, not poop, FYI. Her face was covered in orange high lighter....it was lovely. My mom and sister got a big kick out of it :)

Sometimes being a kid is just....messy! :)

Mom and Sister!

Okay, so my pictures are all out of order and I don't want to try and get them in order, so you'll just have to deal with them being out of order! :)

My mom and sister, Angela, were here a couple weeks ago for my concert. Not only is this super cool the fact they were actually down here, but I actually got to see Angela before she left on her mission (four days after they got back from St. Maarten! Ha!) I didn't think I would get a chance to see her, but she came down! YAY!!!! :) Happy day!

While they were here, we didn't do too many exciting things because Tom was in school and I was trying to do a lot of concert prep, but we still got in a few exciting things :)

Here are our activities in no particular order:


We ate at the restaurant Le MontMarte, which was SUPER yummy...oh my goodness, they had WONDERFUL french onion soup....mmmmm......the meal was very good. My adventurous sister decided that since she had never seen Kangaroo on a menu...that she would try it! So above is a picture of her meal of Kangaroo :) It actually wasnt' too bad. It was a dark meat that was kind of gamey. I'm thinking it was kind of like venison? Not too bad :)

Of course we went to the beach! It had been cloudy and rainy and the day we decided to go was a little overcast, but it made it nice! It wasn't a bazillion degrees outside and the beach wasn't that crowded! I've decided the beach is MUCH easier with 1. a child that doesn't eat the sand 2. other people there to help you watch your child 3. a big umbrella. Things that would make it even easier 1. having a child that was a little afraid of the water so she doesn't get swept out to sea with a smile on her face.... 2. a child that could swim

Angela had these cool camera effects that she kept testing on Ella :) It was pretty sweet...

Out to lunch at SkipJacks for our last lunch *sniff*. The food was good, the company excellent, the following hour...sad...... :(

Dad and baby walking down Front Street! So CUTE! :) My mom got my grandma the coolest Mothers Day present. My great-grandma had this pearl ring, but the pearl was broken, so my mom had it replaced, polished, and all gussied up for my grandma! :) Very sweet....

Ready to go shopping!

Such an intellectual....
Oh dear...no more pasta sauce for babies! :)

I love this picture. It just looks so sweet and innocent....and then she empties the laundry basket all over the floor....and empties out my wallet all over the floor....plays in the toilet...and purposely spills her sippie cup and plays in the water on the floor!

Beautiful beach shot!

Reading a story with Grandma!


Another beach shot! :)

Off to the beach!

I wish I had some pictures with Angela, except she was always the one taking the pictures! :( Oh well...next time I guess!

Anyway, it was a WONDERFUL week having them there! The concert was a success and it was so fun playing Shanghai with them all week! :) I miss them LOTS already!!!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More Book Reviews!

Well, it's been a while since my last book review section :) So here are my most recent reads! There will be more coming shortly, since my grandma sent with my Mom a HUGE bag of books! Yay! :)

Red Azalea. Very odd book. I didn't realize it was non-fiction until I had finished it, so that probably would have made a difference. It was really interesting, but very unsettling. It is about a young girl in Communist China. She is trying to make a name for herself, but at the same time, not dishonoring her family. She lives on a work farm and for the movie companies and ends up being a lesbian somewhere in the midst of all that. VERY deep and somewhat graphic book. Probably not one of my favorites, but interesting none-the-less.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. Our most recent book club book! It is a sci-fi that takes place 100 years in the future. It is about a guy living at Disneyland who wants to maintain things the way they are, which is against the general populations ideas. It is a really short book, and the author definitely doesn't take the time to explain things to you, like the new vocabulary. Quick and easy read. Kind of makes you think about society and what it holds important and what it doesn't. I do like the idea of "Wufi", though (read the book). Ya know...since I'm so awesome, I think I'd be pretty well off... :) hehehe...

Time Traveler's Wife. WOAH. Talk about a wild ride! It is all about time travel. The main character time travels, but he doesn't have control over it. So sometimes he just bounces around through his entire life and sees his younger self and his older self. It is a love story between him and his girlfriend and there are some pretty graphic scenes and some very vulgar language. Aside from that it was REALLY interesting and a very intriguing read.

This book was okay. It kind of seemed like the author was trying a little too hard. Sort of a "Da-Vinci-esque" book, but not as good. *shrug* Good for a beach read, I guess.

Secret Life of Bees. Loved it. Definately a "Woman Power" book. :) It was a really quick read and there were some really sad parts, but overall it was a pretty feel good book :) Reading about the black women in this book was what I thought living in the Caribbean would be like....it's not.

Six Wives of Henry VII. AWESOME BOOK. This is my first REAL non-fiction historical book I have read and it was WONDERFUL. It reads like a novel and goes through each of Henry VII's wives. It gives their entire historical background, their reign as Queen, and their fall. Almost every line has some sort of historical reference given in the back of the book and it is just wonderful! The author REALLY captures what each of these women were like and what a giant jerk the king was! I really, really recommend this book to ANYONE. It was SO COOL! I was reading it while my mom was down and kept saying, "oh man! did you know that his second wife...." or "Ohmygosh! Guess what! His fourth wife...." :) very good book.

The Judas Strain. Another beach read. A murder mystery...sort of. It was going really well and was really interesting until the last 30 pages or so, then it got really sci-fi all of a sudden. Maybe the author just had a hard time trying to decide how to end it? It's kind of like reading a history book, and then all of a sudden aliens take over and kill everyone. Really bizarre. It was good until the end though :)

Well, that's about all for now. I will have more in a month or so! Hope you enjoy!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Concert


I gave a concert last week here on the island. I didn't think it was going to be a very big deal, but it kind of turned into one! :)

I accompanied a soprano and a violinist and played some of my own pieces. It was quite the concert. I felt like a rockstar! Haha! Here is a publicity flyer we posted up all over the island

The posters turned out really well, except when I put this one up at Food Express, one of the workers came out to look at it and said to me, "This isn't you, is it?" I said, "Yes, that is me." She said, "Oh, 'cause you look really big in this picture. You know....like big." I was like, "oh...um...." Yeah....a little upsetting that a random person thinks I look fat in a flyer that is being put up all over the place! Ha! Oh well....


Here is a copy of the program! We had quite the variety of pieces. Everything from Mozart to Leonard Bernstein. It was really fun! The whole concert lasted about an hour and twenty minutes, which I think is a good length.
Here we are - all nice and pretty! We had a babysitter for Ella that night, thank goodness!!!!

Here is the Belair Community Center where the concert took place.

This is intermission. The place totally sold out! Normally they have between 50-100 people. Like...75 people is a really good turn out. We had over 200 people! I think somewhere around 250! They had to bring it extra chairs and squeeze chairs in between people! Yes...I definitely felt like a rockstar :)
Here is me at intermission. My mom brought down the dress :) It is pretty much awesome.
I'm trying to put a video up of our "encore" piece. We performed Ave Maria in the first set, and used it as an encore piece because none of us had one prepared! Haha! :)

After the concert we went for a "night cap" with St. Maarten's cultural elite. We went up to Almond Grove to the owner of the Daily Heralds home. It was quite the house with quite the view! It was funny being around St. Maarten's upper crust and listening to them talk about what wealthy land owners should build a theater on their property and what not. It was very entertaining :) I was thinking, "Hm...I had no idea these kind of people lived on St. Maarten...and on the Dutch side even!" Hahha! :) Good times. The Daily Herald guy even had a servant! She brought us drinks and took our plates and everything. Very sheek. :)

Thank you Ang and Angela for taking these pictures!! :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mothers Day...

We didn't really celebrate Mothers Day this year. My mom was in town, so instead we just slept in and went to church instead of making a big breakfast or anything. Mother's Day kind of snuck up on us...

Anyway, we went to church at 9:00. We were a little worried because we thought we were going to be late. We pulled up to the church around 9:05 and everyone was outside in the parking lot. We were thinking, "Weird...did someone forget the keys to unlock the building?"

As we parked, we noticed that the parking lot was wet....but it hadn't been raining...then we looked inside the building!

Oh goodness! A FLOOD! INSIDE THE CHURCH!!

The entire church building was FLOODED! We're talking INCHES of water filling the entire church building. Good thing it is tile, right??

Apparently, someone forgot to turn off the baptismal font the night before and it had been running all night! It was quite the adventure, so all the men started mopping and sweeping the water out the front door. We ended up starting church around 9:45 and just had shorter classes. I guess we didn't need to be worried about being late after all ;)

I wish I had pictures, but of course it was the one day I don't have my camera on me. Hopefully I can get some from Sister Oliver, though. :) Pictures to come hopefully...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Video of when we were stuck in the rain!

video
Here is a video of all the cars trying to get up the road! It was pretty crazy....

Trip to St. Lucia!

Our semester break was these last two weeks, and instead of going to the States, we decided to hang on the island for a week and go to St. Lucia the second. Unfortunately, we had NO money to spend while on St. Maarten...so we pretty much just hung out at home watching Law and Order and playing World of Warcraft. I know...we are SO lame! :)

Tom's mom moved to St. Lucia to go to medical school, so we figured we would go help her set up house! Plus, we figured it would be fun to go to another island! So on the plane we jumped!


Ella was trying to help me pack, except everything I put IN the suitcase, she would take OUT and throw it all over the apartment. I'm pretty sure I packed that same suitcase probably three or four times! Ha!

Here she is trying to help again....too bad we couldn't check her! Haha! :) Ella doesn't fly very well. She can handle about four hours on a plane and NO time with a layover. Our flight to San Juan was okay, she was busy, but tolerable. Of course she fell asleep RIGHT when the plane was landing. We had a four hour layover in San Juan, which sucked bad. The terminal didn't have ANY good restaurants....*sniff*. So close to America, but so far away...Then we had an hour flight to St. Lucia. I can't remember if Ella slept through that or not? Maybe I just blocked the memory out??? :)

When we landed, Tom's mom picked us up with Dr. Newman, one of her professors who has been helping her on the island. Our plane landed in Castries, but we had to go to all the way to Vieux Fort, which is an hour and a half drive! It was already 10:00! Ella fell asleep on the car ride, thank goodness! And so did I! :)

We spent the first couple of days in a little motel while Tom's mom looked for a car and apartment. She finally found a car...


Yeeeaaaaahhhh for the Naggin' Wagon. If you would like to know what a naggin' wagon is, you'll have to ask.

They drive on the other side of the road there, so Cheri was a little nervous at first, but she did REALLY well! We didn't have any REALLY scary driving incidences or anything! :)

We decided to go grocery shopping to help her set up "house".

Ella wasn't very excited...

We found some interesting grocery items, though...

Coke flavored capri suns....er, Capri-sonnes....

A GIANT BAG of ketchup...

and some other scary stuff that I didn't put pictures of on here: cow parts, turkey parts, lamb parts, salted meat, etc....ew.... :)


Here is Cheri's new apartment! Cute little kitchen...her kitchen is bigger than mine! :) It was a cute little one bedroom apartment. We spent the rest of the trip there with her.

Here is the outside! It looks like Greece!

Near the end of the trip we went on a Rainforest tour up at Baboneux (sp?) pronounced 'BA-ba-no'. We rode one of those open gondola thingies that was WAY up above the ground! The highest point is 120 feet above ground! It was a little scary, but VERY beautiful...
We had to all wear ponchos because it was going to rain...AND IT DID! It poured for the majority of the tour. The tour is a little over an hour and a half and we were SOAKED after five minutes of rain! I know, i know.....it is a rainforest. :)

The tour was very beautiful. We also went to the Sulphur Fields since St. Lucia is a volcanic island and is still very active. It smelled really bad, but it was still cool :)

So that was our trip to St. Lucia! Now we are back on St. Maarten. It is funny how you learn to appreciate the things you are used to. St. Lucia is A LOT prettier than St. Maarten, but we were definately excited to go back to St. Maarten where we know the ropes!

Also, St. Maarten gave us a very nice "welcome home" afternoon. Our plane landed....they lost some of our luggage....our car wasn't at the airport, so we had to wait half an hour for Arthur to drop it off....and there was LOTS of traffic going through Maho. Good times.... :)