Dec 21, 2011

Dear Sister Christensen...

You have hereby been called to serve in the ITALY ROME MISSION!!!!!!!!!

(I added all the exclaimation points. But they might as well have been in the letter)

So... I'm going back to Italy! I'M GOING HOME! On a mission. With a purpose. And a smile. I leave March 28th. Until then, let's party like Mormons.

Dec 3, 2011

One step closer to figuring me out

One of the things that still amazes me is how much I crave this family.
I have the opportunity to be in Seattle for the next little while, and from the moment I got here, I haven't been able to wipe the smile off my face.
Something inside me (that I deny daily) comes alive when I am around these silly little peeps. Waking up at all hours, making four different breakfasts, changing the poopoos, grocery shopping, conquering mountains of laundry, and turning off the TV to push them out the door ("pushing" aka not being able to open the door fast enough because they can't wait to get outside) just makes me feel so wonderful. It's the sweetest kind of exhaustion.
I don't think their parents truly realize how much I really do love the time I get to spend with all of these crazy munchkins.
Feeling like you are absolutely in the right place, at the right time, making little mistakes but always moving forward, is such an incredibly wonderful feeling.

Nov 28, 2011

Hey, I'm finally blogging about Italy... (insert clapping sounds here)... 
I took hundreds of pictures, but a lot of them wouldn't mean anything to you at all, so I'll just stick some of the more interesting parts on here. (You may clap again, if you so desire. Clapping is fun, don't let anyone make you feel weird about it).
Here we are, eating one of our first pizza meals. (Are you diggin the fake smiles? It's called Jetlag.)
I know I already put pictures of Mount Vesuvius on here, but it is just so cool to look at. I like.
Here we are night shopping in Stabbia.
Breakfast usually consists of a small pastry and coffee, but they make it all look so pretty. This hotel wasn't all that fantastic, but the breakfast room was AMAZING. I love pretty things.
Hanna and I found this hot guy, Salvatore, who seemed to like us even though we looked and smelled like traveling Americans. (He later professed his undying love to me, and is planning on moving here in a couple years. Oh crap.)
Did ya'll know my sister is stronger than Chuck Norris? She can hold up volcanos. It's kind of a big deal.
The guy that owns this teensie weensie caffetteria is somehow linked to the mofia (or at least claims he is) and he gives free drinks to the missionaries. (and their families, it turns out).

The awesome Amendolas
This is the road to one of our hotels... It wasn't wide enough to open the car doors, so the hotel manager opened the door to his hotel and we pulled up and opened our doors into the lobby. So classy.
I can't imagine how annoying it would be to travel with our family if you hadn't already spent many patient years with us. Most of the time we are laughing histerically at something incredibly stupid. Here we are walking out of an ancient ruin, laughing our jetlagged heads off. I think it had something to do with dad diagnosing me with "breath cancer".
This is what we do to Hanna when she won't shut up.
Amalfi coast
This is down on the southern tip of Italy, and the land across the water is the island of Sicily. I think dad and CJ are doing Yoga?
Asp Salute!
Hanna in a Fiat 500 (or Cinquecento)
Enjoying a sunny Sunday in Sciacca, Sicily
Is dad seriously smiling?
Some tasty restaurant on the coast in Sciacca
Hanna and I escaped to the beach
Twas a glorious occasion
Hanna celebrated by planking the ocean
No one was home
Us and the old ship captain in Sciacca
Skipping a lot of the more boring part of the trip... (driving across Sicily, feeling like we were going to get shot by the mafia in Corleone, taking an overnight ferry back up to Naples, then driving about 100mph up to Tuscany, shopping at the outlets, visiting a couple old friends, etc.) we made it back to Montepulciano and visited Hanna's old bestie Oerta. She is the coolest Albanian chica ever. 
(also I think no one will protest when I say this picture makes me look fat).
And finally I ate a crepe. And it was divine. And I really was fat after it.

Nov 2, 2011

What just happened?

Tuesday morning, 5am - Wake up in Rome, drive to the airport.
24 hours later (about 11pm) - Go to sleep in MY bed.
Wednesday morning, 5am - Wake up in Utah, can't sleep. Make bean burritos with Hanna. Go back to bed.

I promise I'll get around to blogging more than "day one" of that trip, but... Give me a minute. Thanks!

Oct 20, 2011

Italia - Day One

So I guess I'm in Italy now... Kinda weird... But it's still exactly as awesome as last year! 
Hanna was a little excited to get off the plane.
This is mom and I waiting for dad to find the rental car. We are pretending to be bored, but we were actually too tired to be anything.
But somehow mom found enough energy to climb up onto this thing at the airport... and guess what?! She didn't get gunned down!
We went straight to the beach in Ostia
And within minutes, dad found gelato
We found these two guys, Osvaldo and Carmello (of course) who CJ knew from his mission. They were so great. I'm sure you can tell from the picture :)
Then we found Carmell's Mamma and she told us lots of stories.

All in all, it was a great first day. We were all a little delirious. Good thing I wrote it all down, because I don't even remember it now. 
Then we found a hotel! And SLEPT!

Oct 19, 2011

Monte Vesuvio

I have SO MUCH to blog about, but my computer is dying and I can't find my power converter.... So here is the view out my hotel window. If you don't hear from me again, it's because this puppy decided to blow again and my body is now under a few hundred feet of ash.


Oct 15, 2011

I love it when life happens. The secret is out.

Before mom wets her pants, I'll tell you I'm not getting married. Calm down. Believe me, I wouldn't keep that a secret. Unless I were marrying James McAvoy, because then his publicity manager would probably make me keep it a secret so our lives aren't bombarded by the media trying to get a shot at our hott faces. I mean his hott face, what was I thinking?

Eh Hem.

Where was I? Oh yes, my non-secret.

I just put my papers in.

Awesome, right?! 

I know. I'm stoked. Please be stoked with me? Thanks. The funniest part was whenever I would go to the doctor, someone would ask me where I'm going. And they were all Mormons, it's not like they don't know the system... I'm not judging them or anything, but they were filling out my medical papers while they were asking when I put them in! I love doctor people.

I'm not gunna lie, I had some major moments of doubt. I almost moved so many places in the past month. I almost pursued so many non-mission type things. (Not bad things, calm down mom). 

I love this song! Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers....  Mmmmm.... Delicious.

Oh yeah. Going on a mission. I almost pursued stuff like school, and other stuff, but at the end of the day I always feel like going on a mission is just the coolest and bestest and mostest wonderfulets (yes, wonderfulets) opportunity I could ever be given. What could be better than only having one focus in life, and that focus being serving the Lord? I don't have to worry about making enough money for a ski pass and gas and food (but a ski pass first!). I don't have to worry about finding the cheapest insurance. I don't have to go shopping for jeans. I don't have to find a new job when I hate mine, because I will have the best job ever, and it's all I need to think about. I will be able to study my scriptures and not be so rushed. I will meet amazing people. But mostly I'm just excited to watch those people change, and to work hard. I want to work hard sharing the one thing in my life that matters most. I love working hard for a good cause, but this isn't just a good cause. It is something that has changed me.

I'm hoping that in 2 years all those reasons will feel weaksauce because I'll find the real purpose. Please bless.

To put things lightly, I have been a little stressed out lately. My lame work is eating me alive, and making these life decisions is something that I cannot take lightly, even if I sometimes should. I feel like running away to Italy tomorrow. Hm, there's a thought.

I'll keep you posted. Thanks for reading.

I'm so flawed :(

Sep 29, 2011

Summery Stuff Part One

This summer has been perfectly exquisite.
MY BLONDE FAMILY CAME TO UTAH!!! I love these girls. We got pedicures in Park City :)
I went with them to get their family pics taken. It was gorgeous. Plus I love them.
Whilst walking through a parking garage in the big SLC, I came across the most beautiful sight I had ever seen in a parking garage in the the big SLC.
(This was before I got lost in the same garage trying to find Mora, then found out I was in the wrong Marriot Garage. I only had to walk 6 blocks to the right one, no big deal).
One thing I love about summers is spontaneity. I love when my dad says, "I just bought a machine on Ebay, it's in California, who wants to come?" 
And the next morning (or sometimes within the next couple hours) we are on the road. This time we got a late start, so we stayed in Vegas at my cousin's wonderful abode. Did I already blog about this? Huh. I'm loosing it.
It wouldn't be a road trip without carefully carving out the bean dip.
Haps Births, CJ! We celebrated with the Kloepfers in SoCal. Mmmm :) 
(What shirt am I wearing? I don't remember that one).
One word, folks. Potato Tacos. On the beach. It's like a fluffy dream of amazingness.
Beth has this new way of playing in the sand. She carves stuff. Not only does she look super hawt doing it (as does she in all things), but it turned out uber sweet! Plus it was a heart. And those are sweet. Or somethin.
JoJo and Babo on the rocks.
Someone invent a drink.
Moving on...
One morning my oldest friend DJ (or Daniel or Deej) called me up and invited me to go to Lagoon. Um, yes. Why not.
We are kinda twins. We met in nursury when both of us were too whiny to let our moms out of the room, and we have looked exactly alike ever since. Except he's 14 inches taller than me. But that's all!
Also this summer I got called into the Young Womans Presidency, so now I got to Mutual! Again! Mutual is so much cooler than any YSA event, and I still get hit on.
This summer, within two short rainy games, I discovered I like baseball.

A nice guy in front of me explained the rules, so I'm kind of American now. 
I said kind of.
(awful picture) I got to meet Olya and her friend Natasha from Ukraine. She is amazing. I hope we stay friends for a long time. She is going to BYU, and told me she won't go back to Ukraine till she's done with school, probably in 4 or 5 years. She's 18. This is an amazing chika.
Before your eyes pop out of your head, WE ARE IN SWIM SUITS. I wouldn't have posted this, but it's just too hilarious. Dad found us this sweet deal to stay at the Stein Erikson Lodge in Park City, and it was ridiculous. We pretended to be fancy, but failed. 
Hanna and I took a 2 hour bath, ate almost an entire package of Oreos, and played Battleship on our phones (complete with live splashing whenever a ship was sunk). It was like we got 10 years younger just by stepping into that tub of bubbly bliss.
Also in PC, we discovered that our dear parents are bigger hippies than we ever imagined. You should have seen them on that slackline. 

This is only part one because I can't find my camera and all these crapollas came off my phone. 
Don't get too excited for part two, ok? 
Now go take a bubblebath, I know you want one.