Monday, December 31, 2012

the holidays and lots of baking

I thought I would be spending Christmas this year with my family, meaning my brother and his family, but they all went to Utah for Christmas. :( So instead Christmas morning was just me and my parents and grandpa. It was basically just like any other day for me. My parents don't really do all the celebrating Christmas festivities and what not. My mom woke me up early, I had my kale smoothie, and hopped in the car to go move some of my grandpa's furniture from his apartment to our house. Fun right? Definitely not a white Christmas this year. But at night I got to go to my cousins' house for Christmas dinner with my mom's side of the family. Also, not like your typical Christmas dinner. This consisted of the usual Vietnamese, Chinese, and American food. Weird I know. So to make it more Christmasy for everyone, I decided to bake a million treats for dessert since I knew there wouldn't be a huge selection. Christmas dinner with my cousins was super fun and it was nice to spend some time with everyone. And of course I couldn't forget the true meaning of Christmas. Love this time of year!

Some of the cousins!



I wanted a picture with the kiddos in front of the pretty tree before they left. 

Trying to copy this pinterest idea...didn't quite turn out. 

After being home for a few weeks, I have some time on my hands and all I want to do is bake! I keep finding these new vegan recipes and I just want to try them all! So far, I've made vegan lemon poppy seed bread, walnut thumbprint cookies, chocolate chip cookies, a berry crisp, basil flat bread, persimmon cornmeal pancakes, and whole wheat oatmeal almond pancakes. I should probably stop...but all the recipes look so good! I need to make sure they taste as good as they look too.

These vegan walnut thumbprint cookies were SO good. One of my favorites, but it is time consuming to make.

Basil flat bread! Mmmm...

goodbyes

I was going back to California for Christmas and staying there until I report to the MTC. I had to say goodbye to a few people before I left. It's so weird to me that I may never see some of these people again in my life. We might not ever even be friends again. They might be married or off with their lives somewhere else when I get back. Well I will surely miss these people and lots more while i'm in Taiwan. Good thing this isn't the final goodbye for a few people before I leave, assuming my plans of coming back to Utah a few days before I go into the MTC work out. 

I loved going to dinner every month with these ballerina friends of mine. I miss seeing their faces and spending countless hours everyday in ballet classes with them. 

We are just missing Sister Alex Jameson in this picture. I love these girls oh so much. Soon there will only be 2 left.

One thing i'll miss about Jay Tibbitts, his heytell messages to Meg and Jena. Yep.


These boys were basically the only guy friends we hung out with. 

So happy I got to see one of my best friends back from his mission hours before I had to leave. Wish I had more time with him! 

Alyssa dear, I'll see you soon!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

tis the season

I can't believe it's December already!!! Where did the time go? I only have about 2 weeks left in Provo....meaning not enough time to see everyone I want to see. My friend Matt Porter gets home in exactly 2 weeks from his mission in Toronto. I can't wait! I just need to survive one more week of school and one week of finals. Oh and packing up ALL my stuff and driving the dreaded 12 hours. But some things I am looking forward to this month: going home, spending Christmas with my nieces and nephews, going to the Nutcracker, eating lots of yummy asian food, San Francisco, seeing family, road trips and many more.


Some highlights from November:
- Thanksgiving with the Melendi family at the Stein Erekson and listening to some great jazz. It was a wonderful day. I am so grateful for the Melendi fam. Words can't express how much I love them.
- Turned in a massive 20 page paper.
- My sister-in-law came to Utah for Thanksgiving. Spent some time shopping for the mish and eating so much food. (I officially hate shopping. It's near impossible to find skirts long enough that don't look grandmaish and fit me)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

called to serve

Let's just say it has been the LONGEST two weeks of my life since my papers were submitted to the Church headquarters. It was submitted the Friday before General Conference (i didn't know i could put my availability date earlier, but that probably wouldn't have made a difference anyways). This Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday went by so slow! I think I was just super excited and antsy all week leading up to the opening of my call. I seriously could not concentrate on any homework or studying. I would just sit in my chair or lay in my bed and think about where I would be going (basically, I didn't get any sleep). After my classes on Wednesday, I hurried home and checked the mail and sure enough it was in there! I was so giddy and I just wanted to tear it open. However, I used all my self control to not open it until 7 p.m.


We had dinner at Megan's house and then everyone started coming over. I feel so blessed to have such awesome friends and family! Thanks for coming and supporting me! I skyped my siblings, but not my parents because they were on vacation to China and Taiwan. Lucky ducks. My dad just told me to email him. Here is a clip of what went down.

video


Well everyone, I've been called to the Taiwan Taipei Mission speaking Mandarin. I report to the MTC on February 20, 2013!!! I couldn't be any happier! My whole family guessed I would be going there, so it wasn't a huge surprise. It was my first choice if I had to choose. I'm so lucky I get to go there and learn Chinese and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. My aunt lives in Taipei and she asked my dad if she could take me out to dinner every month. haha. I love her so much. I talked to my oldest niece Kaitlin (who I'm super close with, we are only 10 years apart) and she kept saying how much she was going to miss me and that we should get matching CTR rings before I leave. That almost made me cry, but really. I think leaving her will be the hardest for me, but we will write so it's all okay. 

ALSO, one of my best friends, Elder Braithwaite, is currently serving in Taipei right now. He doesn't get home until the end of June in 2013, so I will see him there. Crazy! It will be weird seeing him for the first time in almost 2 years and not be able to give him a hug. We will both be missionaries. Weird. 

Okay. . . so now for a little advertising. Since I will be leaving in February, I need to sell my contract for Winter semester. So if anyone who reads this blog knows anyone who is interested in buying my contract, please let me know!!! Here is a link for more information about it: http://provo.craigslist.org/roo/3350671636.html

Monday, October 8, 2012

live in the moment

September was definitely a month with ups and downs. Probably one of the best yet hardest months. I've met some pretty awesome people. I love my roommates and the drives up the canyon late at night. Something about those millions of stars just relaxes us when we feel stressed or sad. How can Heavenly Father not love all his children!? He created this beautiful world for us to live in. I've learned a lot about myself and how the Spirit works in my life. Even though those lessons can be hard to learn, I've noticed a common theme in my life recently and that is...

faith and trust in the Lord's timing. 

Every talk I've heard or read this past month and in General Conference has been about faith and trust. When I was talking to my bishop one day (who is truly an amazing person), all he kept saying was to have faith and trust. One of my favorite talks from this past General Conference was by President Uchtdorf. He pretty much nailed what I've been going through. He talked about enjoying the journey and not dwelling on the finish line. Basically, find joy in what you are going through now and just trust in the Lord's timing that everything else will work out according to His plan. We just need to have faith! I'm grateful for the experiences I had because now I have such a strong testimony of that. I love the feeling of peace the Spirit brings when you are unsure about the future. It's pretty great. 

It was fun to have my brother and my nephews come to Utah for conference. It was the boys' first time going to the conference center. We got to go to the Saturday morning session where President Monson unleashed the new changes happening with missionary work. Boys can now go at 18 and girls at 19. CRAZY. I loved how my nephews were so excited about serving a mission. I'm just a little jealous that these 19 year old girls get to go when I've been waiting patiently, but it's okay... the Lord's timing is key right? My brother and the boys were only here for that session, then they headed back to California. I wish they could have stayed longer, it was nice having family here. 

Two most handsome future missionaries!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

highlights.

Just a few highlights from the past couple of days...
1. Hip hop class at ODC in San Francisco. Times like these I wish I lived in the city!
2. Dinner with most of the cousins in SF. It was so great to finally get us together and just catch up on life. I love my cousins!
3. My cousin's wedding. Loved having the family together and breaking it down on the dance floor!
4. Stargazing and saw a shooting star!
5. Last day of work. Bittersweet.
6. Had a farewell party for Rachel Tan and her family. I love them. She was my very first ballet teacher. I had a good time catching up with some ladies in the ward. I'm going to miss them. I like how all my LDS friends here are married and have children.
7. Lunch with Heathyr and Tamir at Sala Thai! Again...the only one single.
8. Hsiung family spur of the moment surprise visit.
9. HeyTell messages from Megan and Alyssa. Seriously the funniest messages I have ever heard. I even re-listened to them today when I was bored and needed a good laugh. I miss them so much!
10. BEST phone call from SISTER CAMILLE LEE! She is home from her mission. She served in Taiwan and her Chinese is profesh. It was really embarrassing to talk to her because I'm not so good in Chinese.

Just a few more days until I go back to Provo. Wow did summer fly by!!! I'm NOT ready to go back to school at all!!! But I am excited to see people!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

food Q&A.

I randomly found this and thought it would be fun to fill it out since I just love food.


What is the best food on a hot summer day?
- cold fruit
What is the worst flavor of ice cream?
- cottoncandy? I'm not a big fan of ice cream in general.
What is your favorite condiment?
- bbq sauce...also, does salt count? 
What is the ideal comfort food?
- 72% dark chocolate
What is the most important meal of the day?
- breakfast of course!
What do you do for exercise?
- step aerobics, weights, running, p90x
What Olympic sport would you like to try?
- I've always wished I could be a gymnast.
What was the first thing you learned to cook?
- maybe fried rice
What is your favorite dessert?
- It's a tie between apple crisp and thai sweet rice with mango.
What is your favorite salty snack?
- Currently....KALE chips with sea salt!! I just made them and ate the whole pan. Soo addicting! 
What vegetable do you hate?
- cucumbers.
What is the worst physical pain you have ever been in?
- stomach pains from having too much dairy.
Who taught you to cook?
- my mom
What food would you starve without?
- kale smoothies
What restaurant do you love even though you know you shouldn't?
- Sala Thai, it's just too delicious! 
What goals do you have for your health?
- I guess just to try to eat healthy. More fruits and vegetables, no meat. 
What food makes you think of Christmas?
- coffee cake! the Melendi tradition! i love it!
What is your favorite fruit?
- Mango and papaya
What is your favorite vegetable?
- Some chinese leafy vegetable that I don't know how to write.
What is something sweet you crave?
- anything with dark chocolate and peanut butter!