Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Tassel has been Turned

Ah yes - the moment after receiving my "diploma." Which is really only a cover with a sample inside. The real deal doesn't come for another 4-6 weeks. But still. What a cool feeling. Yay for gradumication.

I was really impressed with how quickly the ceremony went, especially considering how many names were read. It was just about 2 hours. I'm glad I decided to walk - it was a fun experience. I was lucky enough to sit next to one of my friends too, which was nice.

Graduation has come and gone. It's amazing how 4 years of class, homework, stress, frustrations, grades, tests, and relief is summed up in a piece of white paper. It's all kind of surreal - just that I could be done right now if I wanted to. But I do hope to go back to school in the next year or two. I really need to focus on what programs I would apply to, when I would need to take Graduate exams, and so forth. Oi. But for now, I am just going to take some time off, and be happy with the accomplishment I have achieved. It really is a rewarding feeling, and experience to have graduated from college. And I am so thankful that I have had such good support along the way. I honestly don't think I could have done it without my family, and Mark. My dad has always been so generous in paying my tuition (I would apply for scholarships every year - thankfully he had help 2 of the 4 years). And Mark and all of my family have always been so encouraging and supportive. I really am blessed to have them in my life, and to have had the opportunity to continue my education.

Okay, okay...the graduation posts should be pretty much over. Sorry for being so redundant the last few entries ;)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

...and something fun...

My dad took Mark, my sister Chrissy, and I around on Friday night to look for a new television - I had mentioned that as a possibility for a graduation gift, as the one Mark and I used was getting really blurry, and had been used for many years (it was his mom's before we got married). I thought it was something our parents could go in on together. Well, seeing as how we already have it, and Mark's mom isn't even here dad better be taking the money Mark's mom is giving us :P

Honestly, this is much nicer than what I was thinking about getting. Much. But my dad insisted on getting us a nice one, and well...let's just say he won't let you argue ;) But truly, I can't even tell my dad how much we appreciate it. Sometimes it feels like 'thank you' just doesn't cut it. To say I was overwhelmed when he bought it would be an understatement - just ask Mark sometime. But Mark and I are really excited for it, and plan to give my dad back that money from Jo. I just hope he takes it, he can be a stinker about that sometimes ;)

So uh...anyone up for a movie night/video game night sometime? Posted by Picasa

Pomp and Circumstance

So today marked the first step of graduation - Commencement. I thought I would post this cute picture of Mark and I from today (: Love the cap and gown (and comfy shoes...).

Commencement was good, despite the fact that this cold is still lingering (though less severe, thank goodness), and it was uncomfortably warm where I was sitting in the Marriot Center. Very much so - I had a bad headache during the whole thing because of the warmness/clogged up sinuses.

But it was a cool feeling to be there all dressed up in a cap and gown, and starting to realize that graduation really is happening. Though it officially doesn't happen until tomorrow (and we don't get our diplomas even for like, 8 weeks), there was definitely a feeling of excitement in the air amongst all of the students. And there were lots of us - 6, 401 graduates to be exact. Though probably not all of them were in attendance. But the entire Marriot Center was filled up with students and those there to support them. I was so glad my mom, dad, Chrissy, and Mark were there (: I wish I could have spotted them in the crowd, but that was like looking for a needle in the haystack.

Tomorrow, Mark and I go to pick up his mom from the airport, and I have my school's graduation ceremony. Mark's mom and my sister Liz will be there as well. Time to turn the tassel, and throw off my hat! (:

By the way, thank you guys for all of your nice comments again - I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to reply much recently. After this week, my life will become much more normal. But I really do appreciate it - it means a lot to me, to get all of your support (: I am so grateful that I have been able to continue my education, and come this far. I know not everyone has the opportunity to do so, and I know I am very blessed for it. Thank you all so much, really (: Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


So the previous post, I had written up yesterday - but couldn't publish it until now, as blogger was having issues.

In other news, I have a miserable cold. It seriously just slammed on me seemingly overnight. The pressure in my sinuses is what's killing me the most. I'm hoping this goes away before Thursday...

Alright, I need to hit the hay early tonight. I think that is part of my problem right there - I haven't been getting enough sleep.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Bad Blogger

Seriously...almost a week? Man, I suck.

But, it should be looking up from here on out. For today, I took my last final


Oh man, it feels so liberating. Granted I had to take it at 7AM which was awesome, but still. IT'S DONE. I just have a few little things left to do that are easy to do, just take a little time, and everything will be done and done except for the gradumication, which takes place on Friday.

I am so grateful to know that I have finished getting my Bachelor's Degree. I must admit, I am proud of myself for sticking with it, and doing my best in school. I want to go back to get my Master's, and I really hope I stick with that plan and am able to get into graduate school in the next couple of years. But having a B.S. is definitely a good start, and adds some credibility for sure. I have been so fortunate to have supportive parents and supportive husband who all worked hard to help me get through school.

My family came into town yesterday, and will be here all week for my graduation. Mark's mom gets here on Friday for the weekend. It will be so nice to spend time with them all.

I just had to give a little update to let you all know that I am still around, just have had an insane week. I look forward to *hopefully* having a little more creativity in my blog - focusing more on one or two things rather than always having "sum it up" posts. That's one thing about all of my friend's blogs that I read - you all have so many meaningful things to say. So we'll see what happens. Expressive writing isn't one of my fortes.

Alright, well, I better go get ready for the rest of the day. I'm going in to work here in a bit, after taking my sister to my other sister's house.

Oh, and thank you all for your comments - I apologize for not having been good about responding to them, but I do read them and love getting them (:

Now Playing: Burning Old Stories - The Snake The Cross The Crown Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Choir Concert

Tonight was my University Chorale concert. I think it went well, and it was a lot of fun (: I've enjoyed participating in choir again this past school year. In high school, I was really involved with it. I was in the school musical for two years (The Mother Abbess in Sound of Music and Mrs. Harcourt in Anything Goes!), and in basically every ensemble at some point. My senior year I was in the "Singers" which was a jazz group. That was awesome - it's a small group too, so we got to go around to jazz festivals. I also was in the Colorado All State Choir my Junior and Senior years of high school.

Since I came to BYU though, I never had the guts to try out for any of the audition choirs. I don't know why...looking back, I honestly think I would have had a good chance of at least getting into Women's Chorus. But BYU is so intimidating on so many levels, especially in the School of Music. That's part of the reason why I decided not to pursue a Piano Performance degree - I knew that I had a slim chance of being accepted, and I really didn't want to devote 4-6 hours of every day to practicing. That would probably kill the enjoyment I get from playing piano, really quickly.

So I have really been grateful to both be involved in a choir and taking piano lessons again this past year. I really don't feel like I am a very creative person in the artistic sense, but these are two outlets where I do feel I can express myself well, and feel more creative.

Today was also the last day of class, YAY! All I have left is to wrap up some things for a project, and study and take finals. Then it is gradumacation day. It hasn't really sunk in yet that I am at the very end of my undergraduate career. I know I have been talking about school a lot recently, but that's partly because it has been taking up a good portion of my time. So I apologize if you are getting bored with it, it will be over soon! ;) Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 17, 2006

Quick update

So quick I don't even have a picture.

These past few days have been crazy. Amazing how the last few days of class totally bust your energy. So many assignments/tests culminating within the same time period.

In other news, for the first time in my BYU career, a test was cancelled in one of my classes, due to technical difficulties. It is a listening test for my World Music Cultures class, and all of the computers/media stations were having issues. We even tried changing classrooms. It was pretty sweet - I so didn't feel well prepared for this exam. Though I did feel kind of bad for the Prof. - he seemed frustrated, more because he felt bad for us having put time into getting ready for the test. But really, I don't think any students minded.

I also got a parking ticket today. Amazing how for 3 days, I drove Mark's car to school (which has no parking pass of any BYU kind), and parked it - sometimes for 4+ hours in the student lots - without getting a ticket (which I do know they ticket in the student lots). Yet today, at 5PM as it is blizzarding outside and I am trying to get to my choir rehearsal, I decide to park in an employee lot close to the building (lots which generally open up to whoever at 6 or 7), rather than parking 10-15 minutes away in a student lot in the blowing snow and cold, and also which would cause me to be late. They even had to go to the effort of scraping snow off my windshield in the freezing cold to look at which parking pass I have. Awesome. Good thing tickets aren't that expensive ($20), and technically I did deserve it. Just somewhat ironic.

I don't think that last paragraph was grammatically all. Oh well, I am tired, and still have to study for a test tomorrow.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Easter Surprise

Mark is such a great husband. He often does fun, romantic things for me when I least expect it. We had talked about not doing Easter baskets this year, because our money is more tight (we did them last year). However, after we got home from celebrating my sister Liz's birthday, I went upstairs to change. When I came back down the stairs, sitting on our coffee table was this cute little basket, with a few yummy treats inside. Mark had also earlier in the day hidden a dozen plastic eggs around the house, filled with nerds, laffy taffy, or sweet tarts, and had me go on a little hunt for them. It was just a sweet, fun gesture. I was a little worried about the cost, but he assured me it was inexpensive. I really appreciate how thoughtful Mark is. So thank you sweetheart, and Happy Easter! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Fulton Mentored Student Research Conference

Today was the day my group had their poster in the research conference at BYU. I realized after the fact that I never posted the times on here...dang it. So sorry to those of you who were thinking of coming, it still means a lot that the thought was there - I'm just a loser on the update front.

It went pretty well - there was around 150 posters. This is me with 2 of the 3 others in our group, Lynn and Nyssa. Brian (the 4th person) couldn't come until the afternoon session. Lynn (the lady on the left) is the one heading up the project - she's this way cool lady, an older student, but definitely young at heart. Lots of people came through looking at the posters - not a whole lot of people would stop to read or ask questions though. But it was a good first conference experience. Hopefully, as we expand upon the research over the summer, we will be able to attend the ISTSS conference in the fall, in Hollywood.

We also had a lunch - yay for free lunch! Pres. Samuelson was there too - he seems so cool. Yay for having GA's as School Presidents.

AND I got my car back this afternoon. It looks great! They even repainted the stripe on there, and everything blends together perfectly. Really, it looks as though nothing happened to it, with the exception of us not having the clear bra put back on that little section. I'm really happy with it. And its great to have another car - I really appreciated how willing Mark was to let me borrow his this week, as I typically am running around a lot during the day. (:

Hopefully once school is all over, my blogging will be much more frequent. Just 3 more days of class!! Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 10, 2006

Update on the Car Situation

Took it in to the body shop for an estimate - just shy of $900. Oh yeah.

Mark and I decided to go ahead and do it through our insurance for a few reasons. 1) Our rate won't be affected, so we just have to pay the deductible, and not an increased monthly rate the rest of our lives. 2) Since my car has basically been living out in the sun the past 4 years, the paint has faded some. So even if we got the exact same shade, it still wouldn't blend in. They'll take care of all those kinds of details that, doing it ourselves, would be much harder to take care of. 3) Personally, I feel better having it professionally done. And I know my dad does as well - and considering he is the one who paid for the car, and has taught all of us kids to take good care of them, that's important to me. 4) My dad is going to help us cover the costs, which is awesome. I always feel really bad asking my parents for money - I just don't want to be one of those kids who is always leeching off of their parents. But considering that Mark and I are really in a bind right now, and my dad has offered to help, we could definitely use it. Again, I know he would want it done right, and would rather help us pay for it then to have a "half-assed" job done. Yes, that is a direct quote from my dad. (:

Overall, it will just be nice to have it taken care of, and right away. So I am car-less for the next few days - I'll just be taking over Mark's car, and dropping him off at work in the mornings. I would have him drop me off, but considering that I go from school to American Fork at random times during the day, amongst other random appts., it works out better for me to have the car. Let's just hope no random, rampaging animals decide to take the CRV out.

I must admit, it can be hard to keep things in perspective when bad thing after bad thing seems to happen. But really, I need to remember all the great things I have going in my life. Sure, we owe a LOT of money for various things right now, money we don't have, and have had a mean streak of bad luck. But I have a great husband, who I can be myself around, and who is always striving to make himself and our marriage better. He does so many little things for me. We have a comfortable place to live, good jobs, good families. We have the Gospel in our lives. I really need to take a step back sometimes and look at all the great things we have going. Especially when I am in a funk, like I have been the past few days. So I am hoping I can keep an optimistic outlook - soon I will be working full time, and we can slowly work towards having all of our debts paid.

Now Playing: Pont des Arts - St. GermainPosted by Picasa

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Beware of Animal Phantoms in the Night

Cause...they can seriously take your car out.

I was driving last night around 9PM to drop off my sister after going to a concert at school, and literally less than a block away from her house, we feel/hear this huge *SMASH* against the passenger side of my car. Needless to say, we were aghast. Neither of us saw anything, and feared it might have been the neighbor's dog (thankfully it wasn't). We turned around and drove back up the street to see if we could see anything - no animal to be found. We park under a streetlight down the street, as my sister notices a little piece of 'metal' (turned out to actually be a piece of paint, just seemed like metal in the dark light) and wants to see if something was done to my car. As she went to open the door, she noticed it would not open more than enough for her to squeeze out. Bad sign #1. As she is out of the car and looks, I hear her say something along the lines of "Oh my gosh Robin, this is really bad..." Bad sign #2. So I hop out, and see what is posted above. Whatever the animal was, it was big. Needless to say, I was pretty upset. This is exactly what Mark and I need right now.

My brother in law and sister went looking around the neighborhood to see if they could find any sign of the animal - and it still remains an Unsolved Mystery. Was it a ghost? Who knows. Or maybe after plowing straight into my car, it disappeared behind us in what must have been a SERIOUS stupor. But my sister nor I never saw anything - we just felt its impact. It didn't run in front of the car, just INTO the car. From the side. On a dark night. And disappeared.

I must say I am thankful it did no damage to the door - that would have made a HUGE difference in terms of repairs. And my car is still driveable - no damage to the axle or anything. But still, this was a pretty freak accident. So bizarre. I even found several short, whiteish and tanish hairs on my car where it hit.

So yeah...that was awesome. I at least got to go unwind at game night for a while - which helped a lot. And Mike and Liz helped a lot too - poor Liz felt so bad.

Now I have to go get dressed and work at Meier and Frank until after midnight. Do you sense the joy dripping in my words. Oh. so. excited.

Bleah. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 06, 2006

First Day of Work

Today was my first day of work at Qing Mei, Inc., and I think I am really going to enjoy it there. A few of you were wondering what it is, and I'm not surprised you don't know - it just barely started up last Fall. Our product is a liquid supplement, based around the Qing Mei fruit in China (pictured). Seriously - the stuff is LOADED with "good for you" stuff. So rather than taking pill upon pill of vitamin supplements, you take 1-2 oz. of this stuff a day, and get everything you need. If any of you are interested in a better explanation, you can check out the website
  • here.
  • I'm still learning. (: I love working in a close environment again, and I can tell already that I will like working with everyone there. I already know I enjoy working with 3 of the employees, and the others all seem great. I'm basically their customer service, but I'm sure I will be helping with a variety of things, including shipping, assembling, projects, contacting vendors, etc. etc.

    Man, the weather here today was CRAZY. Snowing and rainy all day. Made for a fun drive on the freeway.

    Today I am totally feeling like its a boring blog today. Sorry I don't have anything more insightful - tis one of those "minutiae" post days (as Jessie would call it). I hope to get more creative soon, I think I am just going to be overwhelmed the next couple of weeks.

    Now Playing: Mark playing Kingdom Hearts II

    Wednesday, April 05, 2006

    Almost Forgot!

    I also have to mention that today (well, technically yesterday...the 4th) was my nephew Christopher's 15th birthday. Holy crap! He's the tallest one in this picture (keep in mind this was from 2004. Again, I really need to be better at actually taking photos).

    I can't believe how fast he is growing up. He was born when I was in 1st grade - I can remember how exciting it was to become an "aunt." He is such a good kid. (: Posted by Picasa

    2 Weeks Notice

    So I turned in my 2 weeks notice to Meier and Frank (soon to be Macy's) today. Things happened pretty fast these past few days, but I am going to go work for Qing Mei (where my brother in law started working a few months ago) part time until the end of the month (while I finish out at M&F), then full time after that.

    I must admit, I have enjoyed the people I have worked with at Meier and Frank. I have gotten to know a few well, and will miss working with them. But working nights and weekends was definitely not my favorite; neither was the whole "competitive" aspect of having to meet so many sales, sign up so many credit cards, etc. It was also hard in that I didn't get to know many people - there were so many employees, and so much changeover. I may still take a part time position (10 hrs. or so) a few nights a week in the Gift Wrap area in May, we'll have to see what happens.

    I am really excited to start up at Qing Mei though. It's a brand new company, so I will get to be a part of a lot of the "groundwork." I will also be working with several people I already know I enjoy working with, and the others whom I have met seem very cool as well. It will be a great new experience.

    Alright, I really need to finish this homework...just had to take a break to update you all on my news!

    Now Playing: Remember - Groove Armada

    Monday, April 03, 2006

    Back in business

    I have returned to more consistent blogging...I hope. This month is a crazy one for sure, so I will definitely be doing my best.

    My family left town this morning - it's always sad to see them go. However, they will be back out here around the 23rd, so I will be seeing them again soon. Yay! They stayed a couple of days longer than planned, which worked out well since I was generally working or at school a lot of the time.

    As I mentioned in my last post, my mom celebrated her birthday this last Tuesday. Each time I see her, I am still amazed at how strong of a woman she is. For those of you who don't know, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2004. It was quite advanced - a Stage 3B out of a possible 4 stages in terms of intensity. Needless to say, our family was thrown for a loop. I can distinctly remember while I was home for Christmas Break before then, she was a bit nervous about what felt like a cyst in her breast. For some reason at that time, I remember being more concerned for her than usual (she has had them in the past), and on several occasions told her I thought she ought to get it checked out. Others in the family felt the same way. The tumor found was rather unusual - rather than being a solid mass, it was more like lots of clusters in the same area. She underwent a full masectomy early in February, and went through intense chemotherapy treatments, followed by radiation.

    It was during this time that Mark and I were engaged, and our wedding happened to fall during the "break" from finishing chemotherapy, before beginning radiation. Despite what she was going through, she was still a tremendous help to me, and was able to attend all of the wedding, ring ceremony, and reception.

    I had the opportunity to go with her to a few of her chemo treatments after I got home from school. I would go sit with her, and we would talk, or read books/magazines. She always had such a great attitude, and formed good relationships with her doctor/nurses, and other patients. Mark and I were both able to be there with her when she graduated from her treatments - it was such a happy day.

    She has since battled cancer again - this past summer - and underwent radiation treatments and chemotherapy (this time in pill form) again. The doctors have kept her on the pills, to hopefully help prevent it from coming back a third time.

    Throughout all of this, my mom has always been a shining example of a faithful, optimistic, charitable woman. Truly, her attitude and take on the situation has been remarkable. I know at times it has been extremely painful and scary for her, for all of us - but seldomly would she ever complain. She would always say "I'm going to lick this thing!," and was a tremendous support to others suffering. She was always faithful in her calling at church, and would always attend when she was physically able to. Her testimony of Christ, her faith, her dedication has always been so consistent and strong.

    I am so thankful for my mom. Sometimes I wish I better showed, and expressed to her just how much she means to me. But I don't even know if that is possible. I can only hope that as I continue to grow, that I develop these wonderful attributes of hers.

    Even though it's nearly a week past, Happy Birthday to my Mom. (: Posted by Picasa

    Saturday, April 01, 2006

    Busy Week blog has been so neglected. For which I am so sorry.

    But, I have a few moments right now, so I thought I would grace you all with an update (finally). My mom, dad, and sister all came into town on Monday. I unfortunately didn't get to see much of them that day, as I had to work that night. Though Chrissy and my dad did come by work to see me, yay. My dad also had some last minute shopping to do for my mom for her birthday. ;)

    Tuesday was my mom and nephew Brady's (the cute kid pictured) birthday. One thing I really need to get better at is remembering my camera for such occassions. Because I would have loved to have taken pictures of my family that night. Curses! I always seem to forget the camera. I was able to trade my work shift, and spend essentially the whole day with my family, which was awesome. My only class is over at 9 AM, so I just went over to my sisters' and hung out. We had dinner at Mel and Chad's, making "Chicken Cooker" chicken and potatoes, amongst other delectable delights (such as this salad Liz made - holy crap!). Really, I can't explain it better than that - you just have to see the actual cooker to understand. It's basically friend chicken, but yummier. Somehow. We also had birthday cake, and presents of course. Brady turned 3, and got a Power Wheels Jeep - THAT would have been a great photo op. He was so excited.

    Wednesday I ditched class (oops), spent time with the family, went visiting teaching, and of course, went to work. Joy.

    Thursday was fairly low key for me - my mom, dad, and Chrissy went up to Ogden, and since I don't have class until 4, I just worked on homework and such. After class, I came back and had dinner with Mark, after which we went to meet up with the family for a little while. We've been doing that a lot this week ;)

    Today, I had class, a nearly 3 hour research meeting immediately following (bleah), had time to grab Taco Bell and spend about 45 minutes at my sisters, then went to work. The worst part of today though, was missing game night. I heard all about it from Mark - sounds like it was awesome! I was bummed I couldn't make it, but I'm glad all of you involved had lots of fun with your marathon game of Munchkin ;). Hopefully I can make it soon!!

    I was looking in my planner, and realized there is only 2 1/2 weeks of class left. I am so excited about this - but also pretty nervous. I have a lot to get done between now and the end of finals, and I'm honestly kind of nervous about graduating. It's just a weird feeling to know that I will be done with school - I've spent every year of my life since Kindergarten in school. And suddenly it's all over (at least until I go back for my Master's)? It just seems like "real life" is rushing at me really fast, and I hope I have the gumption to be aggressive in pursuing a worthwhile job - both for me, and financially. I also have this irrational fear that like, the day of Graduation I will find out I missed a credit somewhere and can't graduate. That would suck.

    I apologize if this is somewhat of a boring post - just trying to do a brief recap on the week. It just goes to show the value of journaling on a daily basis - instead of going more into depth on the little things that add up to make life interesting, you have to make a rushed, "outline" style entry that doesn't carry the same feelings or meaning. I'm glad I have been consistent thus far with my blog - it has honestly been rewarding for me, and I really want to be more consistent with a paper journal as well, for my more inward thoughts if that makes sense. Hopefully I can keep this habit up!

    Now Playing: Better Things - Massive Attack Posted by Picasa