Friday, November 18, 2011


I've been thinking a lot about Missions. It seems like all of my friends that are girls are either going on missions, or getting married about now. I guess it's that time of our lives, we're almost 21 after all. (21! we're babies!!)

4 out of the 6 of us roommates are determined to serve a mission, and 2 of them already have their calls! It really is wonderful. I am very proud of my dear friends. They want to dedicate 18 months to serving the Lord. They want to change people's lives. It's incredible.

My roommate just opened her mission call a few weeks ago to a very surprised crowd! We all expected somewhere spanish speaking, but the Lord had a different plan. The Philippines! wow. Awesome huh?

Also, we got to ride her horse, which was cool.

And last night Faith got her mission call. We had what seems like 50 people in our little living room. If there was a capacity limit, it would have been over. But it was great to feel our friend's support (well, her friend's). And her call was to......
Just what she wanted, and what everybody expected. I said either South American or Africa, and South America it was. In Faith's own words, "I just wanted to go somewhere Spanish speaking, warm, and with poor people! And Paraguay is one of the poorest countries in South America! I am so happy!"
I am glad she can find such great happiness in that. Really. She was glowing last night, it was great.

When I was little, I watched every single one of my siblings go on a mission. I always figured I would too, if I wasn't married. But then I wasn't sure. And then people started asking me about it. "I wonder where you're going to go?!" Just assuming that since I was a McDonald, I would be serving too. And I thought...who said I am going?! Just because all of my siblings have served doesn't mean I'm going to! But then I would still be good. Missions are good. Missions are GREAT! That's why everybody's going! But then it started getting closer to my turning 21, and I realized I had no idea what I wanted. 
Well, I am definitely not married, or anywhere near there. And I turn 21 in....2 months?

....So, what am I doing?

I don't know. I think serving a mission would be amazing. I think that I would love it. I love this gospel and I love sharing it. I love traveling and meeting other people. It seems like the perfect thing for why don't I feel like I need to go? 

I know this is probably completely wrong, but sometimes I feel like all those girls who want to go serve the Lord for 18 months are...better than me. Or more righteous, or more charitable, or whatever it may be. That's not right, but I still feel totally lame whenever anyone says, "Do all of your roommates want to serve?" And I pathetically answer, "I'm ...not really planning on it." Like I don't want to go serve the Lord......which isn't true, but that's what it sounds like to me.
At least my roommate Brooke isn't planning on it either. We feel lame together. 

I don't know. I've been praying about it and thinking about it, but I just haven't received an answer! So...if I haven't gotten a yes, does that mean no? Or does it mean...nothing? Am I just not being perceptive to the Spirit? Is he giving me an answer and I'm just not hearing it? 

It's kind of frustrating me. 
Also, I work at the MTC. So I see a MILLION missionaries every other day. It's kind of on my mind.

But maybe...i have a different mission in life. Or maybe I am just being lame. 

As of right now, I'm not planning on it. 
So i'll just go on living my life, going to school, watching all of my girl friends leave me to men or to the Lord. And I'll bide my time till ...something happens. 

On the bright side, Thanksgiving is in a week!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Preference Week?

So my Bishop declared this week "Preference Week" in the ward. What does that mean?? It means the girls are assigned to ask out 2 boys this week. blaaaahhhh

I don't like it.

I never like preference week.
SO, my roommates and I were complaining about it and sort of feeling guilty for not wanting to do it. Therefore, we decided to ask out an apartment of boys to dinner on Sunday.

I'm actually really excited. I love dinner parties. Especially when we cook good food.
Here is the menu so far:
Roast beef
Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Rolls
Some type of vegetable (probably green beans or carrots)
Pumpkin Cheesecake for dessert.

I think that looks awesome. Now, whether we can pull it off in the few hours we have after church will be the big question. But I have faith in myself.

But here's the thing. I always...take control, when it comes to dinner. I kind of planned the meal, and i'm planning on cooking the way I want to cook it....ha. At least I always want it to be the way that I'm used to. And sometimes I don't think that other people will make it taste as good, which is not true at all. I guess I am just biased. I believe that Mom's recipes are better than everyone else's, so my mashed potatoes will be better than your mashed potatoes because my mom taught me how to make them. .....I'm crazy. I know. My roommates make wonderful food. They really do. We have some great cooks in this apartment. I'm just weird.

Ok, I had to get that off my chest. But really, I am done with tests and papers until finals. So I just feel free (except for the man's shirt that i'm sewing in class that I'm always behind on). It's great.
Happy soon to be holidays.

AND Happy Veteran's day! Let us not forget the wonderful veterans of our country that have served us so well. Thanks to my Father, who served in the Navy for many years. I am very grateful to be living in such an amazing country. Living in the Middle East for 4 months teaches you to be grateful for what we are blessed with as Americans. Don't take it for granted.
God Bless America.

Also, you should watch this to get in the patriotic mood. I was bawling my eyes out. If you're anything like me, you will too.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Spooktacular update

Well, I have been a bad blogger. I apologize. October is a busy month, it is also probably my favorite months (besides December of course).

Come October 1st, the Halloween decorations were up. I tried to warn my roommates, but I think they were still a little in shock. The apartment was transformed into a spooky autumnal wonderland. It made me happy. The first weekend, General Conference weekend, we made Pumpkin pancakes with out FHE brothers.  A great way to start off the month.

Then stress ensued. Unfortunately October is the month of midterms. But I've made it through those.

This month was just so fun! I finally convinced a few of my roommates that Halloween is an awesome holiday, thanks to my endless enthusiasm. We went to Cornbelly's Corn Maze at Thanksgiving Point. That was a blast.

Nicolle, Me, Jamie, and Brooke on the Hay Ride! Aren't we cute?

Corn Mazin It

We are so naughty.

I've always wanted to milk a cow! I almost did. 

And we got to jump on a pillow thing.

We watched Hocus Pocus. We carved pumpkins while watching A Disney Halloween Treat. We ate our annual Halloween meal with toasted cheese sandwiches on hamburger buns that look like jack-o-lanterns. Basically my roommates bent under my every whim and fancy. They're great.
Did I mention how much I love my roommates? Cause I LOVE my roommates. They are the best.

So for Halloween the 6 of us dressed up as Disney Princesses. It was a hit! People loved us! Our costumes were legit. And basically I want to wear mine every day of my life...but that could be overkill.
Faith: Sleeping Beauty
Jamie: Belle
Brooke: Rapunzel
Nicolle: Cinderella
Ashling: Mulan
Me?.......OHH GISELLE!

Yes that's right. From Enchanted. And my wonderful and oh so talented mother sewed it from 2 states away! She's awesome.

Mulan not pictured.
My hair. Yes there is a bird on my head and on my shoulder. Best part of the costume in my opinion.
So It was a very fun month. The actual day of Halloween was a little anticlimactic, considering how much we did all month, but it was great anyway. I wore my princess dress all night, unwilling to let Halloween go. But then I had to go to bed.

And now it is November! How time flies. It should be a great month since, guess what? I don't have any tests till finals!! I don't know how that miracle happened, but I'm happy. I am sewing a man's tailored shirt for my sewing class. That is pretty much as much work as 3 tests. But its ok. Its pretty fun and satisfying. And Matt will get to wear the finished product!

Here are the things I'm looking forward to:
This weekend my roommate Nicolle is getting her mission call, and we are having a party because it is also her 21st birthday.
My roommate Faith should be getting her mission call in about 2 weeks!
Thanksgiving is in 3 weeks! And then it's almost Christmas!
We have good times ahead people.

Remember to be grateful this month!! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Hard Core Life

I feel like I've done more awesome things in the last 3 weeks than i did all summer. And it's time to blog about it, even though I have a million other things that I need to do.

Lets go over the events of my life since school started.
1. School started
2. I found a job! MTC Cafeteria baby
3. I went on a camping trip with a few awesome Jerusalem friends
4. More school
5. I had an awesome Jerusalem Reunion at the Muhesltein's (my New Testament teacher)
6. I went on an awesome hike up Mount Timpanogos to see the sunrise
7. More school
8. I ran the Red Rock Relay!!!!!
9. And now I am very behind in school.

Let me elaborate on said activities.

3. Camping Trip
The weekend before school started, a few of my Jerusalem friends and I decided to go out into the mountains. So Faith, Nathanael, and I joined Austen and some of his friends on a nice little weekend trip into the Uinta's. Austen and his friends mostly just fished, but Faith Nathanael and I had a wonderful time hiking around all the beautiful lakes in the area. 
Also, Faith and I made awesome Foil Dinners, and I made homemade rolls, and we brought up freshly made strawberry freezer jam. Needless to say, the boys loved us. 
Also, Nathanael brought up a monster tent. The biggest tent I have ever seen, slept in by me and Faith on one side and Nathanael on the other (don't worry, there was a separation barrier). 

The view from our campsite

Monster tent. Dwarfing all others.

Butterfly Lake

Austen Fishing

Me and Faith!

5 and 6. Jerusalem Reunion and Timp Hike
The next weekend, we all had a wonderful reunion at the Muhelstein's house in Pleasant Grove. They had been home from Israel, for about 2 weeks. It was a dream come true. So many people were able to make it! There was so much love going around. So many hugs. So many people with significant others. So much food. It was good. 
To finish off the night, Faith, Nathanael, and some other friends and I met up with my brother Matt and a million of his friends to embark on the annual beginning-of -the-school-year sunrise Timpanogos hike! It was great. I was hoping that I'd be in good enough shape so the beastly 14 mile hike wouldn't get the best of me. And I was! Well, mostly. 
We began at 1:11 a.m. and my friends and I ended up separating from Matt's large group. I led the way up, hoping that I wouldn't lead my friends astray, since those switchbacks can get confusing in the dark. But we successfully made it all the way up, traversing through a field of snow/ice, and making the final climb to the shack, just in time for a beautiful sunrise! Only 7 of the 18 of us made it to the top. Booyah!

Matt and I on the top!

View of the saddle. Gorgeous!

Oh man, guys. This is honestly one of my favorite things to do. This was my second year doing the relay and I just absolutely love it. Here's how it goes: 
187 miles
Brian Head Ski Resort to Zion National Park
12 people on each team
2 vans, 6 runners in each
3 legs per runner
Team Tortoise!!!
My brothers and I were in the the second van, the Sun Van and we ROCKED it! Well, I was proud of how I did at least. I ran the last leg of the second van, which was a 5.4 miler down out of the mountains to Cedar City. I did pretty good. I ran it in 47 min, which is under a 10 minute mile, so I was happy. 
Then our van drove over to Enterprise, UT (it's ok if you've never heard of it) and stayed at our teammate's in-laws house. They were so nice! They made us dinner and let us sleep there for a few hours, and then it was our turn to run again. But this time, it was night. Very late, or early, depending on how you look at it. I was the last runner for our van again, a whopping 7 miles between 4 and 5 a.m. and to my pleasant surprise, i did quite well. I ran it in an hour, and it felt great! There's something about running at night, when you can see anything but what the headlight shows in front of you and the faint outline of trees or mountains in the distance. And we were in the middle of nowhere. There's something very liberating about running in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.....try it sometime.
Well we took off to Washington, UT (it's ok if you've never heard of it) and fell asleep in some gym facility that they provided for us, while the other van finished their last run. That meant that we were up, to finish the relay in the hot sun of southern Utah. yay. 
The last leg is always the worst. The courses are all long and difficult, and hot, and they basically push your body to its very limit. About three miles into my five mile run, i hit a wall. My exhausted body was telling me that it didn't want to run anymore. My aching legs were telling me that they didn't want to move anymore. My heaving lungs were telling me they didn't want to heave anymore. And my side ache was telling me to walk.
So I did. 
And it was the sweetest relief I could ask for. But then I still had to run. I still had another 2 miles to go. And let me tell you, they were the longest 2 miles of my life. 
But hey, I am alive and well, and i finished that awful 5 mile run to hand the stick to my brother who had to do some 6. something run up a longer hill than I'll stop complaining.
But our team was awesome. And i ran a total of 17.4 miles. Yay me! 

The Monster 15 seater.

It rained.

Ready to Run!

Matt going for the hand-off.
Now I have to do a lot of homework.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Guess who's back? I am!!

Provo is a good place to be. Especially right now. I forget how lucky I am to be going to this school sometimes. I mean really. What if I didn't get in?? My life would be.....I don't really want to think about it.

I wouldn't have gone to Jerusalem. yikes.

So I moved in last week! The Riviera. My 3 wonderful friends Faith, Jamie, and Ashling from Jerusalem are my roommates, as well as 2 great girls Nicolle and Brooke. I am happy here. My ward seems awesome, though I still have to get to know everyone a lot better.

Unfortunately, I care less about my new ward and more about hanging out with all my Jerusalem friends. We've had several reunions, get-togethers, and camping trips the past week and it's been so wonderful! It feels so great to be back with these kindred spirits, these bosom friends. Every time I see someone on campus my heart leaps for joy!

So I guess I'm going make some goals this year.

  • Scripture reading a priority. 
  • Temple attendance...once a week?
  • Stay on top of homework and reading
  • Try to stay caught up in my sewing class (this will be difficult)
  • Eat healthier/less
  • Exercise
  • Date boys
  • Be happy. I suppose that should be at the top of the list.
BUT two weeks ago, I spent the most wonderful time at my family's cabin with everyone but Matt! (Sorry Matt). I will show you some pictures of my beautiful cabin, family, and nephew.

A jolly baby indeed!

Monday, August 15, 2011


This past week has been fun. And kind of crazy.

I just packed. You know those packs. When you have to pick up your life and transport it across several states. Its kinda stressful.  And two nights ago i got 2 hours of sleep. So...It hasn't been a very energetic pack.

But i'm pretty much done now, and I just want to collapse into bed. And it's only 8:30.

But I'm excited because (after a 13 hour road trip) I'm going to spend one gloriously fun and relaxing week at the cabin. Hanging with my incredibly awesome family. And then I get to move into my apartment and start school! Weird....

So goodbye Summer, almost. Goodbye Bothell.

I kind of hate saying goodbye. I had to say goodbye to my Preservation Kitchen coworkers last night. I was sad to leave some, not others. I had to say goodbye to the Branch today. That was sad. Mostly I was sad to say goodbye to Jamie. One of my best friends.

Farewell Bothell. Till Christmas!

Hello Utah.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Independence Day Weekend

So last weekend my brother Jeff and his wife Kira and their incredibly adorable and amazing baby Jeffrey (the second) visited us! It was such a fun weekend. Mom, Dad, and I were all freaking out about seeing baby Jeff because....well who wouldn't be? The first grandchild/nephew in the family, perfect in every way, cutest baby ever, and we never see him. So we were EXCITED. And of course we were excited to hang out with Jeff and Kira too.

Coming home from the airport. He is a jolly baby!

Cutest baby ever? I think so.

Saturday was kind of lame because they all went to Leavenworth, but I had to stay home so I could get to work. :(

Sunday we had an amazing dinner and invited Jeff's old friend to dine with us.

Monday was the 4th of July! It was the best! We went on a hike to Barclay Lake. But we had to carry the baby because we didn't have a backpack...and he got a little fussy the last 20 min. Oh well. We went home and watched a movie and ate a BBQ feast, and lit off fireworks! (because its legal in Snohomish County ;).

Jeffrey's gangsta hiking attire.

Barclay Lake

A little tired and hungry :(

Tuesday we drove into Seattle and went to Pike Place market and got Dicks. Who wouldn't love that?

Pike Place Market

Having fun in the stroller. 
So that was my weekend. It may look like I'm an obsessed Aunt....because I am. And why shouldn't I be? :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kangaroos in the Great Northwest

Last week Jamie's friend Nichole was in town so they were doing a bunch of fun things visitors to Washington just HAVE to do. Well I've lived here my entire life and I've never been up to Kangaroo Farm in Arlington, so they invited me! It was super fun, though it did start raining. But this is Washington....

The Kangaroo Farm called "The Outback" includes dozens of Kangaroos and Wallabys (and apparently Wallaroos too...??), several Tortoises, Donkeys, Llamas, a Miniature Horse, Emus, and an Ostrich. And I can't forget the Lemurs, and all of the poultry: chickens, roosters, a turkey, peacock, and strange mutated ducks.

Enjoy the pictures!

Outside the cute Cabin where we bought our tickets

Lemur! Everyone who danced like they do in "Madagascar" got to feed them. That was us and the children.


Kangaroo trying to take shelter from the rain

It is fuzzy, but this wallaby has a little Joey in her pouch!

Miniature Horse, apparently he's a little aggressive cause they didn't let us near him

First Kiss :)
Actually, I'm feeding him.