24 August 2010


5 years ago I embarked on an adventure of a lifetime. It was 5 years ago that I said goodbye to my family and friends and ventured into a big unknown world. A world where I knew no one, didn't know the language, and certainly not the culture. It was 5 years ago that I left my home and went to Kiev, Ukraine - an experience I wouldn't trade for anything! And this weekend they will be dedicating the Kiev, Ukraine temple! I am so excited for the people there -- they have been waiting FOREVER for it!
I went to Ukraine to teach English. It was an absolutely incredible experience. The best moments were when you could see a light bulb go off in their heads and then they started talking your ears off. I just love those kids.
I love the teachers/friends I got to know while I was there. I have not been good at keeping touch with most of them but each of them forced me to really take life by the horns and live it! It didnt' matter if we were lost on the metro, surrounded by drunk men, or walking through a beautiful cathedral or park we were always laughing -- yes we were THOSE Americans.
Sometimes I wonder what the family I lived with is up to. They don't speak hardly any English so most of our communication was pantomime. I love that Lina (my host mom) taught me how to make all kinds of yummy food and Volodia (my host dad) played his accordion while we danced and laughed. Natasha and Sofia were the best host sisters you could ask for. I loved helping Natasha with her English homework.
I miss the beautiful churches. I miss living the 'big city' life! I miss wearing a big fur lined coat and totally fitting in. I miss the high-fashion of the women there. I really miss that pink purse that I brought home totally black...I miss it all - but I am extremely grateful for what I learned there. It makes me proud to live where I live, and extremely thankful for everything that I do have.

I just can't believe it's been 5 years.

17 August 2010

One Mans Trash...

Is another dog's treasure... or so it is at our house.

Last night I was making dinner and threw some fatty, vein filled pieces of chicken in a box I was going to take to the trash. I turned around to see this little love wagging her tail and enjoying my garbage.

16 August 2010

Lake of the Bear

This past weekend we went to Bear Lake with my extended family. It is always delightful to hang out with the cousins and just relax. Our family is quite large (my mom is 1 of 7) so there is never a lack of fun when we are all together. Here is a little breakdown of the fun

Friday: Arrived at the house mid-afternoon. Got our tent pitched (because of said family size we opted to sleep outside instead of fighting for an attic bed). Then went to a real live cowboy rodeo. This rodeo is nothing like the ones we experience at home - lets say we were a little out of place in our t-shirts. We had some family that barrel raced and steer wrestled.

I didn't take a single photo.

Saturday: Played at the lake. Oh what fun it is. Nothing is better than hanging out with your family on the sandy shore sunburningbathing. And the fact that we had 2 boats, jet ski, wave runner, and water scooter made for plenty of fun on the lake. Shane, the mad man, decided to try out wakeboarding. He popped right up his first try. Proceeded to cut in and out of the wake, did a little jump coming back in, and to make us all feel better about his natural ability gracefully face planted after doing a little out-of-control number. We also had tube wars and plenty of fun.

Sunday: We caught a little church, then enjoyed an extended family reunion.. So extended that I didn't know a single soul (except my own cousins). But the food was delish. Then Shane and I packed up and headed home so we could be back to the grind Monday.

I didn't take a single photo of this day.