Saturday, December 10, 2011

90's Child

Last weekend was - as most weekends days tend to be - out-of-control busy.
With the semester quickly winding to a close, my friends and I seem to have
taken up permanent residence in the library.
(3rd floor. Snack zone. Feel free to come say hi.)
So by the time the weekend rolled around, we were ready to hit the town.
The perfect solution was to hit up the 90's dance party at the apartment complex down the street.
Of course we had to go all out and raided our closets to dig out
the best 90's clothes we could find.
As you can tell from the picture at the top of this post,
we basically looked like the cast of Saved By The Bell.
My favorite part of my outfit was definitely my neon pink MC Hammer pants.
If I could rock those pants every single day, I totally would...
We eventually got to the party and spent hours rocking out
to everything from old school NSYNC, Britney, and BSB
 to Blink-182, MC Hammer and Sir Mix-a-Lot.
The party was the funnest thing I've done in a long time
and we all left asking the same question:
Why did we ever stop listening to this music?
I've been on a serious 90's kick ever since.
The other highlight of the weekend was a quick trip to Salt Lake.
I've always loved Temple Square during Christmas 
and it had been years since I'd been there,
so it seemed like the perfect place and time for a double date.
First, Emily and I met Christopher and Nancy for dinner here:

And then it was on to here:
Photo via lds.org
We took so long enjoying dinner that by the time we got
to Temple Square, the lights were only on for about 15 more minutes. 
But despite the time limit (and the FREEZING cold)
we made the best of it and had a great time.  
I love this time of year and being able to visit Temple Square
made me feel especially grateful to live close to so many temples.
Now, with one week left of the semester,
it's on to finals and then Christmas break!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Trip Down Extremely Recent Memory Lane

Life seems to be moving at light-speed these days. And with the semester quickly coming to a close (thank goodness), I realized there have been a few things I've neglected to blog about recently. There is just so much constantly going on, I am perpetually behind. But these are things I really don't want to forget, so just enjoy this stroll down (extremely recent) memory lane:
The Sunday before Thanksgiving break, Julia had a bunch of people
over to her incredibly spacious apartment (I'm still trying to figure out why
we don't spend more time there...) for a Thanksgiving Before Thanksgiving
aka Friendsgiving, since we would all be spending the holiday in dozens of places.
You weren't allowed in the door without food in your hands
so we ended up with a gigantic feast that included grilled chicken, ravioli,
casserole, mashed potatoes, WAY too many delectable desserts and so much more.
And of course, there was plenty of picture-taking...
Todd, Tyler
Jake and I
Julia, Michele
Boy Band
Nancy, Emily, Ben and Cory. With Andrew and Mark awkwardly on top of them...
Stuffed.
I was really glad I had a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving early with 
this crew because over the past six months, I've never been more 
grateful to have found such good friends here in Provo. 

A few of us also had the chance to go to the Lighting of the Riverwoods 
a couple of weeks ago. Even though it was before Thanksgiving, the event 
was a great way to get a headstart on feeling the Christmas spirit. 
The Riverwoods is one of my favorite places in Provo and all the lights, 
ice sculptures, music and shops made for an especially festive atmosphere.
John Schmidt even came to give a free concert, and of course with all
this Christmas music, we couldn't possibly keep from dancing. This
picture captures it kind of perfectly.

And finally...
Some pictures from the camping trip we took up Provo Canyon
way back in September were recently discovered and I
can't resist posting some of them...
We all look so tan! And strangely younger, even though it was only 3 months ago...
And now that this novel-of-a-post is finished...
It's on to the next adventure!
The perfect college experience? Yep, definitely having it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving Highlights

Again, I managed to forget my camera in Provo, so I don't have a single picture from Thanksgiving
But here are some of the things I definitely don't want to forget from the holiday:
  • Pie Night. My favorite part of Thanksgiving. 31 pies for dinner the night before Thanksgiving...
  • Specifically sour cream apple pie.
  • Homemade gnocchi. My favorite food on the face of this planet.
  • Ruining my sweater/jeans/shirt when the above-mentioned gnocchi exploded all over me.
  • Ruining my phone in the washing machine.
  • Thankfully, all the sauce came out....
  • Watching Memphis: The Musical after Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Santa's Workshop at the Dixie Center.
  • Meeting President and Sister Uchtdorf at Santa's Workshop...Crazy!
  • Durango's. Durango's. Durango's.
  • Cuddling with Sierra and Buddy every time I sat down.
  • Watching my grandpa hopelessly try to lead the discussion about next summer's family reunion.
  • Electing chairmen and sub-committees for said family reunion. It was very serious.
  • THE MUPPET MOVIE.
  • Singing along with the rest of the theater during "Rainbow Connection."
  • Getting to spend the afternoon with Monkey.
  • Drink runs with Shelley and Gramma.
  • Mom's birthday!
  • Dad's homemade ice cream.
  • Christmas lights at the temple.
  • The welcome home I got when I got back to 91.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thankful

I went home to sunny St. George for Thanksgiving.
And unfortunately forgot my camera back in the 801
and have no pictures to show for it.
I really love this time of year.
It's always beneficial to sit back and take stock of
how much you have to be grateful for.

November marked one year since I came home from my mission.
In a lot of ways, it's been completely different than I ever thought it would be.
But that's kind of what life is, right?
The past year has been filled with
highs and lows, successes and triumphs,
obstacles and challenges, hellos and goodbyes
and in the end, I re-learned what seems to be a constant lesson in my life:

You never know what's coming next.

I didn't do the blog challenge I've seen a lot of people do this month -
blogging every single day about something you're grateful for -
so I wanted to take this time at the end of the month to remind myself
I have so much more than 30 days' worth of things to be grateful for...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Won't Grow Up

Spending as much time as I do with these crazies
you never really know what's going to happen next.
For example.
Last week, Mickey and I decided to build a fort
in the living room.
We pretty much became a tornado of creativity...
flipping tables on their sides,
hijacking two apartments' worth of blankets
and using a mess of duct tape, golf clubs, books and 20 lb. weights
to construct the most epic fort you've ever seen.
We dragged mattresses out of bedrooms,
managed to incorporate the TV into the fort
and the end product was the coolest thing
I've ever built with my two hands
watched Mickey build while handing him duct tape.
Prepare to be amazed...
Then, our "build a fort" goal turned into a three-day sleepover...
We watched plenty of this:
Played enough of this to satisfy the rest of my life:
(and by 'played' I really mean Glenn ran around and died while everyone else played...
I don't do video games...)
And ate way too much of this:
After three days, we finally - and sadly - knocked it down.
Sometimes the best thing to do is to live in a blanket fort
and just act like kids again...
Mission accomplished. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

All Hallows' Eve

After the Parachute concert, 
the Halloween festivities officially began.
This year was the first year I'd been home for the holiday since 2007...
I went into the MTC two days before Halloween in '08.
and didn't get home until the beginning of November in 2010.
So, after three years of dressing up as a missionary, I was determined to celebrate.

As it turns out, I ended up celebrating mostly 
during the weekend before Halloween.
Once we drove home, Emily and I met up with 
a bunch of friends at the Alpine dance party.
Alpine is a little notorious for throwing epically raging parties.
To be honest, I don't really know how Karly managed 
to live there as long as she did with all the craziness...
The party was definitely fun.
But I'm pretty sure we were by far the 
most-clothed people in the whole shin-dig.
Another reason I was glad to be with a big group
was because we were also the only people in
the whole party who weren't there to dance dirty...
Keep it clean people!
But we made our own fun and ended up having a great time.
(Dysfunctional Couple of the Year Award goes to Michele and Caleb!
Her shirt says "All I Wanted Was a Backrub"...)

The next night, the party kept going
and we went to a house party on University.
Despite my excitement over this year's Halloween
I ended up procrastinating on finding a costume.
So I ended up throwing on a cowboy hat and owned my last-minute costume.
The house party was much less crowded and 
much less dirty than the night before.
Since it was outside, it was also much more freezing.
But I managed.
 I swore after two years in Canada,
I would never complain about the cold in Provo again...
For the record, I'm really trying...
And with this post, October is officially over.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

ParaKate

A couple weeks ago, Emily and I drove up to SLC
for the Parachute & Kate Voegele concert at In The Venue.
Despite being stuck in traffic for roughly 5 centuries, we were able to 
only miss the opening band. Thankfully, we had Sweet Tooth Fairy
to keep us satisfied on the way up...
(The entire concert, I was basically incapable of
making any faces other than this...)
This show was a dream come true for me.
After all, what are the chances that two of your favorite artists will ever
go on tour together???
I had missed the chance to see Parachute several times
over the summer - I even almost drove all the way to Zion's
with my dad to see them in July.
AND, I also missed Kate Voegele over the summer 
on Natasha Bedingfield's Less is More Tour.
SO, when I found out they were planning their joint ParaKate tour,
(Thank you Twitter...)
I knew I had to go.
We showed up right in time for Kate's set.
I've loved Kate and her music ever since I discovered her back in 2007.
(I'd actually done an entire post on her on my music blog the week before,
as part of my 20 Artists You Need to Know series 
check it out here.)
So even though not too many people in the crowd seemed
familiar with her music
you know I was singing along 
at the top of my lungs
in heaven.
Her set was awesome.
Since she obviously planned it just for me,
it happened to include most of my favorite songs.
She also played a cover of "The Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars,
a amazing new song of hers called "Blue Sky Beautiful"
and closed with an awesome rock cover of Britney Spears' "Till The World Ends."
Then Parachute was up.
And as much as I love Kate,
there was absolutely no comparison.
From the second they started playing,
the room was filled with electricity.
Screaming.
Jumping.
Singing along at the top of our lungs.
The energy level never calmed down.
I told my parents the next day that Parachute's albums
just aren't ever going to cut it for me anymore.
They were THAT amazing live.
In between the sets, we bought t-shirts.
(I have this rule where I have to buy a shirt at every concert I go to...
when I'm old my wife can make a blanket or something...)
And, because I bought a KV shirt, we scored exclusive wristbands
for the meet-and-greet with her after the show.
I was speechless.
And probably almost passed out.
I was amazed at how tiny and beautiful and sweet she was.
Seriously, you have no reason to thank me 5 times for coming to YOUR concert.
She signed my shirt.
And even initiated a hug goodbye.
I drove home in complete bliss.
Babbling on and on and on.
Poor Em could hardly get a word in...
Nothing beats an amazing live show.
Music=Life

Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Mickey

I've been waiting for a couple weeks to write this post
because I didn't have any pictures and we all know how much fun
it is to read picture-less posts...
But they finally got put on FB, so here we go!
Two weeks ago it was Mickey's birthday.
He turned 27
He'll tell you he turned 24 but he's clearly lying...
Normally, Mickey says he doesn't care at all about his birthday.
"It's just another day" is his yearly excuse.
But since he has a particular friend who loves birthdays
more than anything on the face of this planet,
his friend forced him to celebrate all day long
and the Crew threw an awesome party.

Heres how you can throw an awesome party in 7 easy steps!

STEP 1: CROWN
Because wearing a crown obviously makes your birthday better...
Plus you can walk around and make everyone bow to you.

STEP 2: FRIENDS
Because it's never fun to throw a birthday party for yourself.
Alone.
Luckily, with this group that's never really an option.

STEP 3: DECOR
Every good party needs a theme.
As seen in the above picture,
this particular party's theme was "Festive Balloons and Streamers"
Emily was the self-appointed Decorations Committee Chairperson

STEP 4: CAKE
One of the whole reasons birthdays were invented
was to eat cake.
The cake should also be decorate to reflect
the interests of the birthday king/queen.
Hence the snowboarder.
Julia was an expert Cake Creator.

STEP 5: BIRTHDAY SONG/WISH
This step is essential.
The song needs to be as off-key and loud as humanly possible.
And when you blow out the candles, never reveal your wish.
Under any circumstances.

STEP 6: KISSES
Birthday kisses were a long-standing tradition
 enjoyed by our ward during Spring/Summer.
Everyone got them.
Everyone gave them.
But apparently this tradition is something many of the
new additions to the ward since Fall started
don't seem to support....
Luckily Mickey still got a few from the old-timers...

STEP 7: PINATA
In order for the party to be a smashing success,
the pinata either needs to be REALLY cool
or REALLY embarrassing.
All I could find was Spongebob
and a Disney Princess Castle.
Naturally, I went with the Disney Princess Castle.
Another important pinata rule is that it needs to be filled
to the brim with the birthday boy/girl's favorite candy.
In this case, peanut butter M&Ms.
A note to future party-throwers:
Have the birthday boy/girl swing AWAY from the crowd.
Mild to severe candy-related injuries
will be avoided that way.
And for those of you wondering, 
yes that is my crutch in Mickey's hand.

Happy Birthday Troy
-Abed.