Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Best Week Ever: Dates After Marriage, Graduation, and Family!

I can't believe it. I'm graduated. And not only that, but I have a job all lined up! Sometimes I definitely feel like I'm in the prospering part of the Pride Cycle. I've got to make sure I keep that ego of mine in check.

From left to right: graduated student, one-point-five-more-years-to-go student.

Anyway, it was an eventful week. Brandon took me on two days worth of fun dates, my great-grandma Winnie, Grandma Joan, and Poppy all came down from California to watch my graduation, and tomorrow my family, Brandon, and I are leaving for California for an almost two week vacation (which includes kayaking, beaching, hiking, reading, writing, photographing, running, Disneylanding, and yummy food!)

Because this is kind of a long post, I am going to section everything.

Tuesday Date:

I really feel like good dates come from having good attitudes. If you really want to have a good date and your spouse really wants to have a good date and you are both there to make each other happy, then you will have a good date. Brandon and I usually have good dates when Brandon is in charge because he is not rushed and he doesn't over-schedule us.

On Tuesday, Brandon took me out for a simple dinner at Wendy's and then said I had $30 to spend however I wanted. At first I thought I would like a couple of books to read on our upcoming trip. However, when we got to Barnes and Noble, I realized that unless I brought back the whole Middle Readers Section with me, I wouldn't be happy with what I got (good thing we have libraries). I then decided what I really wanted from Brandon was jewelry. We drove to Macy's and I showed Brandon a section of the store that had a bunch of earrings I liked. I asked him to pick out which pair he thought I would like the most. He chose these semi-large cubic zirconium studs that I was checking out earlier. Whoo! Plus, they only cost $17.

Brandon then had me decide where I wanted to go after Macy's. I chose a place that has go-carts since we have year-long passes to it. While we were waiting in the long line, I overheard a conversation between a mom and her son. It went like this:

Son: Mom, you NEED to buy me new deodorant. I have been sweating!
Mom (rolling her eyes): Sshh! Jared!

(Son continues talking about how he has been sweating)

Mom (looking around at everybody in line): Boys will be boys.
Son (throws his hands up in the air and acts like he is dying): It smehhhhhhlls!

I resisted the urge to laugh like a hyena.

When it was finally about Brandon's and my turn to drive on the track, the guy who was running it said that the couple in front of us were going to use the faster cars and if we would like to go with them. I quickly said yes. Who would pass up an opportunity to drive in faster go-carts?

I was amazed with how fast the carts could go. You couldn't even push the gas all the way down when you went around the corners or you would end up turned around 180 degrees. At first I was beating everybody, but then I decided to test the car's ability to zip back and forth and lost my first place. When we got done, Brandon was shaking all over, saying that he thought his hands were bruised, although he did seem excited that he got to go. I guess the speed scared him!

Wednesday Date:

Wednesday's date was to the zoo. I loved it! There were monkeys making funny noises. We watched an aviary show that was out of this world (doves and hawks and eagles flew right over our heads!) There was also this funny raven that wasn't doing what he was supposed to. His name is Jarrell and he is the bomb. I think my favorite animal during this visit was an adult Siamese crocodile. He was just sitting there with his mouth open when we saw him, he was in the same spot when we passed by later, and the third time we passed by, he was in the water with his mouth still open. He reminded me of my brother, Justin, when we watched tv together as kids.

I used the rest of my $13 to buy notepaper made from elephant poop in Africa. Yup. They collect, sanitize, and press the elephant droppings to create paper. Marvelous recycling idea! :)

Zoo Photos:

A favorite photo of mine.

Brandon on a wolf.

Riding a leopard seal.


Commencement was really fun. I liked the talks and had fun meeting some neat women who were also graduating while we were waiting in the burning sun to begin the processional. I also made some people in the lines laugh when I professed that I looked like an angel with my poofy robe.

Just call me Miss Exercise Science, B.S.


On convocation morning, Brandon and I went to meet the Alumni Association president and President and Sister Cecil Samuelson. They are such happy people!

President Cecil and Sister Sharon Samuelson along with us less famous folk.

Those were real flowers. They were awesome!

Convocation was definitely part of the highlight of my graduation. I felt like my heels were knocking together as I waited for my name to be called out. They pronounced it correctly and I tried my best to walk across the stage in unrehearsed four inch heels. I noticed that at the end of the line, Dr. Mack, chairman of the Exercise Science department and also my former lab mentor was shaking the graduates hands and handing them their diploma covers. As he tried to shake my hand, I said, "No, Dr. Mack. You've got to give me a high five." I grinned when he gave me one and then began to walk back to my chair, when Dr. Hunter (a biomechanics professor) stopped and congratulated me. I know Dr. Hunter from coaching his kids in cross-country. They are an awesome family. I know it doesn't seem much, but those two interactions made my day. I felt really accomplished and smart. :)

Right after I high-fived Dr. Mack and talked with Dr. Hunter.

Surrounded by people I love!


On Saturday morning, Dad, Brandon, Julie, and I decided to run the Salem Days 5K. Great-grandma, Grandma, Mom, and Poppy were all there to watch the start and the end of the race. Dad came in at about 24 minutes, winning 2nd place in his age/gender division. Brandon placed first in his age/gender division with about 23 minutes. Julie finished the race and I broke my goal of 27 minutes, getting 6th place in my age/gender division. It was fun and we won prizes afterward. Dad got a gym membership and t-shirt, Brandon got a fluffy blue pillow he gave to Julie, I got a $10 Wal-Mart gift card, and Julie got a box of Roll-Ups she gave to Brandon and me.

Later that day, everybody except Jessica and Brandon went up to Snowbird and rode the tram and ate ice cream. It was gorgeous up there! My mom and I want to hike it soon.


I think what I got most out of this Sunday was this saying: Dare to be different. You can figure out what that means for you. :)

More Pictures:

An old picture I found on my parents' computer. We're in Oregon so the frizz is on! From left to right: The Lion, The Singer, The Bum, and The Poor Dude Stuck With Us. 

Another picture I found! Brandon and me at Goblin Valley.

Pre-Justin's mission to Budapest, Hungary.

After the College of Life Sciences Convocation: Dad, Grandma, Brandon, Me, Jessica making a weird face, Mom, Julie, Poppy, and GGma Winnie.

Ashlyn, Marissa, Brandon, Me, Mom, and Dad.
 The rest of the photos are pretty self-explanatory.

Except this one. No, I am not pregnant.