Monday, December 31, 2012


*My youngest nephew, Kalanster, and his band performed at the House of Blues last night.  I was so proud of him.  I know he had a good time and they've come a long way.  Good for them!   

*Tonight's New Years Eve and my family & Levi are going out to dinner.  We're going to an ol' family fave.  It's pretty good Chinese food, but nothing like my beloved Wing Wah.

*Last night, on the way to Kalanster's gig, Levi & I were caught in the rain.  We were trying to locate Nicky Rottens, but ended up going to Panda Inn because of the rain AND it was A LOT closer.  I wouldn't have minded walking to find it, but barely getting over a cold and walking in the rain, doesn't make for a good combination.  I REALLY like Panda Inn.  Just walking in made me remember our Halloween date, when we ate there in our panda costumes.  Oh such a splendid evening, which makes me like Panda Inn more!  Besides, the food is SO good!! 

*I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty ecstatic to finally have my first NYE kiss at midnight.  It only took 32 years, but I'm excited.  

*Joz, my friend and previous Relief Society counselor-turned RS President, got her mission call to Florida.  I'm so excited for her.  I know that she will be a wonderful and uplifting missionary!! I will miss her greatly! 

*We went to watch Les Miserables.  I was a lil hesitant to see it because I had dreamed of finishing the book beforehand, but if its taken me a year and a half to try, I guess it would just be better to watch it.  Oh man, I wanted to cry.  Everything that Mr. Red had told me about it was true, it was beautiful...captivating and marvelous.  I loved it.  I wish there was more on the priest, because I loved reading about him, but Jean Valjean was magnificent.  I loved him.  All the songs make more sense and mean more now that I know the stories behind the songs.   I think the song I love the most is "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables".  When Marius sings it, you can just feel the loss and hurt in his voice--or maybe I can hear it more in the musical soundtrack.  I love that song, but I also love "Bring Him Home"!  So beautiful.  All in all, such a beautiful soundtrack! LOVE IT!!!!  I can't wait to finish the book now because I know there's so much to the story than what we saw in the movie.  

*Watching Les Mis made me miss Mr. Red.  I haven't seen him since my birthday and soon enough he'll be moving.  I miss our talks.  I miss hearing his enthusiasm for Les Mis.  Since Bugs has been extremely busy and I haven't seen her since summer, he's been the closest thing to a best friend.  I just miss having someone I can talk to about everything and anything, and knows my heart w/o any explanation.  I wish I knew what was going with Bugs.  Kinda sucks.  

*I'm excited for the new year.  I'm excited for a fresh start.  I've been thinking about a word/motto that I can focus on, for 2013.  There's some changes in my life that I need to make, things to improve and enrich my life.  I'm still deciding on my 'focus word', but whatever it is, I know it'll help better my {daily} life.  I'm optimistic on the good that this new year will bring.  

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas, with the fam!

My sweet, dear niece!
Oh how they love her so much!
Simi and some of his gifts.
Christmas was pretty fun with the kids.  I love spending Christmas with them, and it was particularly nice to also share it with Levi.  I'm glad the kids were happy with their gifts! I was completely happy with their gifts as well.  They were all SO perfect!  Christmas was a lil different this year, but I'm glad that love and togetherness still abound.  

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas gift.

For the last few weeks, Levi has been gushing about how AWESOME my Christmas present was going to be.  I begged for hints, secretly not wanting them but hoping for tiny hints....he didn't & wouldn't budge!  Every day, for two weeks, I would get a daily count down.  It was like throwing salt on a wound!  A couple days before Christmas, I started to get worried that my enthusiasm wouldn't match his enthusiasm. I didn't want him to think that I didn't appreciate his gift, but I was nervous over his excitement.  He gave me two gifts, one that I could open with my family, then one that I would open at his place.  With a box of chocolate turtles, I received a 32gb memory card.  I wasn't exactly sure what it could be for, so I kept an open mind.  
I was handed a small, yet heavy gift box, at his place.  I opened all of his family's gifts first, and kept his  last.  I was nervous. As I ripped the wrapping paper, I saw in bright red letters the word, "REBEL"...then I knew....
I immediately started crying.  How in the world could someone be this giving??  I just couldn't believe it!! I wasn't expecting anything like this, AT ALL!! Part of me was thinking it was going to be a tablet, but man, I was totally blown away.  I just (and still can't) believe it.  I've been wanting a new camera for a while and just haven't made it a priority.  
Later that night, we went to Coronado and I started to put my Rebel to use....

I couldn't be more grateful for Levi being so understanding of my love of photography.  Ever since our 2nd date, he's been totally supportive of me always bring along my camera to take photos of our dates and adventures.  My heart is so full love and adoration for this sincerely thoughtful gift.  I don't know if I could ever adequately express my appreciation for this gift.  I feel like I can explore my talent of photography again and I couldn't be more thankful.  
Thank you Levi for giving me the tools to express myself artistically again.  I love you so much.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lunch date at Mimi's with Mama!

Yesterday, I went out to lunch with Mama McK, to Mimi's Cafe [super delicious, by the way].  Oh man, I love her so much!  It was so good to have her heart here with me.  I love, appreciate and cherish our sweet relationship.  She's the mother heart that I greatly desire to have in my life.  I love the conversations that we have.  I miss our times at the Institute....her baking in the kitchen and me playing the piano (which reminded her of home).  Those were some of my most favorite times, aside from our long Tuesday afternoon conversations in the kitchen.  I miss her when she's not here, but I'm grateful for her handmade cards and texts.  
I don't exactly know how or why we have such a beautiful relationship, but I couldn't be more grateful for it.  I enjoyed our lunch together and just the in depth, heart-to-heart talk we had.  She asked some hard questions, but reassured me that it's because she loves me. I know she does...but I also know that Heavenly Father loves me, because He sent her to me. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

As of late, in mid December...

*Mama McK is in town. Oh how I love this woman! I'm so excited to introduce her to my sweetheart!

*I need to finish my Christmas shopping this week. Man, oh man.... and then start my parents' Christmas shopping, too.  Oh man...

*I went to see The Hobbit yesterday.  Kinda interesting.  Something I wouldn't have seen on my own, but I'm glad I went to see it.  Kinda makes me want to watch Lord of the Ring now.

*My ward Christmas party was on Friday. It was nice to share it with Levi.  I'm thankful for this past year of being able to become better friends with those in my ward.  They are great people with kind hearts.  It was hard to see that at first, because I had (still have) such a great love for my friends back at CVYSA ward.  I'm grateful for the friends I have in PB!  I couldn't be happier!

*My heart hurts for those families affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. How very sad and heart wrenching that they have lost a loved one, during this time of year.  What a selfish and evil act by this heartless individual!

*Today in church, a woman shared her experience as an occupational therapist for the military.  She shared the downside of her job, and all the horror stories she hears from soldiers who come back from war.  Tears flowed down her face as she expressed the hardship of hearing such terrible experiences.  It made my heart sad and grateful for those willing soldiers who leave the comfort of home, family & safety so that we can enjoy our freedom.  

*While singing in ward choir today, I became more grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Sometimes, I have to concentrate a lil harder on not crying while singing, because I just can't help but be touched by the lyrics.  
I have a great love for Jesus Christ.  I have come to know Him as my Savior and my dear friend.  When my grandmother passed away, while on my mission, and I was far from home, I didn't feel alone.  I knew that I had someone that knew exactly how I felt.  That was when I gained my testimony of the Atonement and Jesus Christ as my Savior. I'll always be grateful for that experience and the way I was able to grow at such a low moment in my life.  I'm truly thankful for this time of year that we, as a world, get to reflect on our Savior's birth.  Because He lived, we can all live again.  This I know to be true. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The best part of coming home...

All I wanted for the entire week I was in Seattle, was to be home with Levi.  It was closing in on a month of being apart, and my heart couldn't stand it any longer!  I asked him to pick me up from the airport, and he was more than willing to do so.  He was the first person I wanted to see as soon as I landed in San Diego.
Never in my life had I ever wanted to be on a plane as badly as I did!  My flight didn't leave until 6pm this past Sunday and I wanted the time to fly by quickly!  My 2 hour and 40 minute flight was cut down to 2 hours and 9 minutes. My heart skipped a beat!! I was restless on the plane! I was so nervous, too!  It had been a month since we last saw each other and all the butterflies had built up.... "Would he still think I was cute?" "Did I look different since he last saw me?"  "Out of sight, out of mind?"  I have no idea why I had such crazy thoughts, the anticipation had built up so much!
Ideally, as soon as I got off the plane, I wanted to duck into a restroom to refresh myself.  However, as soon as I started to walk away from the gate, as badly as I need to use the restroom, I just wanted to see him!  My backpack was bulky and heavy and my purse seemed to be about the same.  As I passed security, I saw him leaning against the wall, at the end of the hallway.  I couldn't stop the huge smile from stretching across my face!! I was ecstatic to see him!  He looked cuter than ever!  My heart wanted to burst! I walked faster towards him and then threw my arms around him and hugged him ever so tightly!! Everything felt the same....and my heart felt complete once again!  We went to get my suitcase, then headed back to the restroom.  He was the perfect gentleman and carried my backpack, suitcase and peacoat.  We went to get a bite to eat, since I only ate breakfast that day, and then he dropped me off at my place.
I never, ever, EVER want to spend that much time away from Levi, ever again.  It was hard and at times, it seriously sucked.  I was blessed to spend the next evening with him & my family as we walked around Christmas Circle in Chula Vista and then bowling.  I always have the best of times with him.
I love him dearly.  I'm so glad that I could spend the evening with him and my sister's family.  I'm especially glad that I could finally be open with my parents about our relationship.  My parents can be a lil overprotective/crazy and I needed to time it just right.  I'm so grateful that Levi was understanding through it all.  My Dad just wanted to know that Levi loved me and treated me right.  As far as that goes, my Dad has nothing to worry about....I'm the luckiest girl in the world. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Starbucks City: Seattle.

Let's just be honest here....  Seattle's definitely NOT a place I ever plan on going back to.  I was NOT a fan of the weather.  I mean, I always heard that it rained and at one point, I had the crazy idea of moving up there.


I wasn't a fan of Seattle. The weather sucked. It was ALWAYS grey and the sun only came out twice, in the middle of the day.  Coming from San Diego, I was NOT use to that AT ALL.

I love airplane photos!

The view from the [office] suite @ the Westin Seattle. 

The view from my suite. 

I was in Seattle for an Association of Moving Images Archivist (AMIA) conference. I was helping some friends out, so I got a very small glimpse into what the conference was about.  In the course of the week, I had a few hours to see Seattle.  I had about 2 hours to check out Pikes Place, which reminded me a lot of Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia.  It was nice, but so damn cold.

Basically, Seattle was so damn cold!! I wore my pea coat 80% of the time.  I wish I packed thermals.  Who knew it would be so cold?!?!

All in all, it was kinda fun.  But the entire time, I just wanted to be home with my sweetheart who was away for 3 weeks and came home the day after I left for Seattle.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A letter to Levi

Dear Levi,
Happy 2 Months! I wish I could do something more special than this, but unfortunately I'm in Seattle and you are in San Diego....1,269 miles apart {yep, I mapped it}. I hope we don't spend our next anniversary apart, especially since it'll be your birthday! 
I am immensely grateful that you are patient and do so well at communicating, with me.  I tend to fail at those, but I'm glad you pick up the slack.  I always hope that I make you as happy as you make me. 
I can't wait to see you on Sunday! You will be the very best part about coming home! I've always wanted to be picked up from the airport, by someone special and I'm so glad you could be that for me.  Prepare to be smothered, because I don't plan on letting you go for a very long time!  
I love you so much.  You reassure me when I feel inadequate and make me feel special on so many levels.  I know it's only been two months, but I'm thankful for every single minute that you are mine.  


Saturday, December 1, 2012

A letter, to the North Pole!

Dear Santa,
My niece has been telling me that I need to put my Christmas wish list together.  I haven't done one of these lists since I was in the single digit ages.  It's not that I don't necessarily believe in you in anymore, it's just that I hardly get the Christmas gifts that I hope for.  In fact, unless I buy my own gift for myself, I'm usually disappointed.  In the last decade, I've stopped getting my hopes up for Christmas gifts, which has put a damper on my Christmas spirit.  I know that's not good, so I'm sorry Santa for not having the Christmas spirit as much as I should. 
So to comply with my niece's desire, here is my Christmas wish list for this year....

Isn't she pretty? Oh I would love to get my hands on a DSLR again!

I think this would totally help me enjoy baking more.
It doesn't necessarily have to be an Apple, but I sure love the camera option.

 I just love cardigans and I've been wanting a dark purple & mustard cardigans.

I've finally come to realize that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth! I can't help but grin, ear to ear! 

I just love the heart pendants from Tiffany, especially this one!
Well Santa, those are most of the items on my Christmas wish list.  I know some items are a bit much, but I'm pretty sure I've been a good girl, this year.  I won't be disappointed if I don't get anything on this list.  This past month, I've come to learn that gifts aren't necessarily something I choose, but something I accept as a token of love and consideration.  Santa, whatever I find under my Christmas tree this year, I'll be grateful, because I've already received the best Christmas present ever - Jesus Christ.


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