went on a little photoshoot with aleisha this week to end the year.

sorry i'm not that good... but she still looks fly.


2013, the end.

2013 was a strange year. The hardest I've lived through.

But there were some lovely times. And it has ended really great. This fall has been awesome. It was hard to move away from home but it's been quite the blast, actually.

Though I did plan on getting married, bearing a child, and going on a cruise this year, as 13 is my lucky number, there were some other grand moments instead.

2013's Highlights...

// I threw a ballin MLK party to celebrate Martin himself.
// Lindsay graduated from chemotherapy. That was an exciting time for our family.
// I threw an even ballin-er fiesta with my roommate, Katie, and the boys.
// I did my first triathlon. It was the most horrible, fun time ever!
// I graduated from COLLEGE. How neat is that?
// I got to visit Logan a few times after I moved away.
// I hiked Mt Timp with my daddio
// I moved to WASHINGTON! And had a lovely road trip with my eldest seester to get there.
// One of my very best friends, Aleisha, came to visit me and we road tripped all around WashingtonCape Flattery was the winner of that trip.
// I went on a road trip to the beach with my Washington besties.
// Good old Elizabeth Carson came to visit and we had tons of fun in Seattle, especially on the Great Wheel! The best part of that trip is when we were waiting in line to use the bathroom. I was next in line, a lady was behind me, then Lizzie. When it was my turn I handed my purse to Lizzie and asked her to hold it. She said, "Um, ma'am, I don't know you..." I burst out laughing and the lady in between us did too.
// I also got to fly home for Thanksgiving and now for Christmas! Utah is great.

What a year it was.


that camera that was mine.

Last night, my friends Alyssa, Steph, Brendan, Coty, Taylor and I went to see the Columbia River Christmas Ship Parade. It was starting west and making its way toward the I-5 bridge. We were a bit early and the parade was a bit late. So we walked across the bridge, from Washington to Oregon. The first time I’ve ever actually walked into a different state! We walked under the bridge to cross to the other side and walk back because that side was the perfect ship viewing area. Brendan spotted a homeless man asleep in a camo sleeping bag 3 feet from us. He blended right in with the grass and shrubs! No kidding! On our way walking back to Washington we could see the ships coming in the distance. We waited for a long while and it was horribly cold. Due to the glacial temperatures, I was jumping up and down to get a little warm, when something jumped out of my pocket, bounced on the ground into a hole in the bridge and plunged into the frigid depths of the Columbia River. Can you guess what that object was?


I didn’t even get to say goodbye. I just felt it jump out of my pocket, heard it bounce on the ground, and by the time I looked, it was gone, gone, gone. 

I was in shock and figured that’s why I wasn’t upset yet. I’m still not upset; I’m just thanking the heavens that it wasn’t my phone. Or my friend.

I stood there wide eyed and I think we all laughed. But I was just in such a good mood that we just kept laughing about it and you know, what can you really do?

We joked that the camera could have landed on some part of the bridge and in 100 years someone will find it and it will be an ancient artifact and then I’ll be famous. So, hopefully that goes well for me… and my posterity will become rich since I’ll be dead by then.


all through the night.

You know the horrible feeling you go to bed at night and suddenly, 10 minutes later, your alarm goes off and it's 6am. It's the worst feeling ever. It's def not in my top ten.

The best thing is when you wake up in the middle of the night and look at your phone hoping you have at least another hour of sleep. And, what do you know! It's only 1am and the night is still young!

So, because I love that so much, I started setting my alarm for 4am and my second alarm for 6:15ish (when I actually have to get up), hoping that I would wake up at 4am and it would make my sleep time go by slower until I actually have to get up. It kind of works... I hear it go off at 4, turn the alarm off in a hasty fashion (I have a very fast reaction to alarms when I'm sleeping), and it's pretty much like I never woke up.

You can try this at home too! All you need is sleep and an alarm clock!


another visitor.

This weekend my friend, Lizzie, came to visit. 

On Friday, the snow hit bad and since it rains so much here, there's a layer of ice and then snow on top. I was supposed to go to work that day, but had a snow day! Hollerrrr. So we got some McSteven's hot chocolate and watched some Christmas movies. That night there were supposed to be Christmas ships sailing the Columbia river, but it was canceled. We found this out after walking up and down a road by the river freezing our butts off when someone told us from their car. 

On Saturday, we drove up to Seattle, but not before stopping in Kalama to see the high school where Twilight was filmed. We also visited the Cullen's house. It's in Portland!
We walked around Pike's Market, of course, and to the gum wall.

We rode the Great Wheel on the pier. We got there at the perfect time because the sun was setting and the city lights were coming on. We could see the whole city, the pier, and the ocean with the sunset! 

 On our way back, we tried to find our friend who's on a mission in Federal Way. We found her house and talked to another companionship who are her housemates, but not her. How disappointing! I think that was God's way of telling us not to break the rules.

It was frigid all weekend, but alas, it is December.



My best friend since pretty much the beginning of time, Megan, just had a baby! I can't wait to meet this little tyke. He's the closest thing I have to a nephew right now! 
His name is Franz Oliver Swenson. And what a chunker he is.
It's seriously so weird. I have other good friends who have babies, but it's different this time since Megan is my best friend. We texted during the day yesterday when she was in labor. She asked me if I had to work because she needed someone to text!
Thankfully I get to go home for Thanksgiving so I can see this little man!


pacific city.

This weekend was a roadtrip to Pacific City, Oregon!
Coty, Josh, me, Alyssa, and Jamie on top of the mountain of sand!
Coty, Josh, Steph, Alyssa, Jamie and I all drove the few hours down to the Oregon Coast to the small town of Pac City. It gets dark at 4:30, so when we got there it was pitch black. We got a motel and walked over to the beach. All you could see was the moon behind the clouds. You couldn't even see the water! As we walked in the sand, it would light up around our feet. It was cray! If you don't believe me, look it up. It's a real thing!

In the morning, we got up early and set up a fire on the beach. It was so cozy and I loved it. I could do it all day! And so I did! We climbed up the huge sand hill and later ran down it. Coty and I went and explored the cliff over the water. It was sweet. I was barefoot, but luckily it was clay and not rock.
Them boyz.
Our little campfire setup.
I sat up there for a while, just looking at the ocean and the beach. There were even surfers! I've never seen them doing their thing in real life! It was another successful road trip. Hoorah.


awkward foot.

I've noticed a common theme in most pictures I'm in. I have an awkward foot.
It's like, I just don't know what to do with my feet in pictures. Heaven forbid I just plant them both on the ground.

 Seriously?! This looks ridiculous.

I'm working on it.



So, as most of you may know, last night was Halloween.
 The girls and I dressed up as the one and only...

Not too shabby, considering not too much work was put into these costumes. Our Halloween plans to hang out in Portland fell through due to people being late and such. So we ended up just dressing up, taking pictures, then dressing back down into sweats, eating pizza and apple juice, going trick or treating at one house, going to Walmart to buy candy, and playing some games.
 We had Mr. Fed Ex, Alice in Wonderland, Mean Girls, a football player, and a ref. Pretty neat stuff.

We all piled in Taylor's van to go to Walmart. Josh, Brendan, Jamie, and I sat in the back, seatless. It was a party. We played Down by the Banks but it didn't work because no one would admit to getting out. But it was a partee, nonetheless.


eight weeks.

I've been in Washington for 8 weeks. EIGHT WEEKS. It's crayzeh. I've never been away from home for this long without visiting. And I've never been away from Utah for this long. I miss Utah a smidge. But the other day my friend told me that it was snowing in Logan and I was like, "I don't miss Utah today."

And ya know, I don't really have much time to miss Utah, anyways. A: Because I like this place and B: I'm always doing stuff. Twice this week I've left my house at 8:00 a.m. and returned at 10:30 p.m. Cause it's like, I gotta work and play, ya know? And then I have to sleep right when I get home because I've been exhausted from the moment I woke up that morning.

My friends are pretty cool here, too. We hang out 6 out of 7 nights of the week on average. And then if we don't hang out... well I honestly can't remember the last night we didn't. So maybs 7 out of 7.

We do things like karaoke at a bar, eat, go to institute, make cookies, jam, play volleyball, have bonfires galore...

The other day, we went to Killer Burger. They're famous for their peanut butter burger. It's a hamburger with peanut butter, pickles, onions, and etc. And it was divine. Sersly. It's a thing that every burger joint should do.

I've checked off a lot of my Washington Bucket List. Going to Forks, Seattle, the coast, bonfire on the beach.  

And tonight it's Halloween! Portland, look out!

My Halloween costume... well it's pretty good. So stay tuned.



My current favorite things...

1. Sleep.
2. Sitting around a fire.
3. Rapping.
4. M&M's will be the death of me.
5. Taco Bell. Oh dear.
6. Long conversations with friends.
7. Phone chats with my sisters.
8. Earrings are starting to make their way back into my life.
9. Mellow music.
10. Dance parties.


fb friends.

Something I don't care for:

When you are starting to become goodish friends with someone and they ask you either of the following:
A: "Are we Facebook friends?"
B: "Why aren't we Facebook friends?!"

This usually happens with a member of the opposite gender.

To answer question A, if you don't know whether or not we're Facebook friends then obviously it's not that important. But then you probably really do know that we're not Facebook friends so you're just acting stupid for whatever reason. You really could just send a request and bypass the asking stupid questions, because it's obvious that you've already stalked me (Because that's just what people do in our day and age).

For question B, the answer is simple. Because you didn't add me. We're not Facebook friends because you didn't add me. So, now that we've got that cleared up. 


what's in a name?

pretty much... everything.

the name someone gives their child determines their destiny.

for example, if you name your kid angel, she will automatically be weird.

if you name your kid emily, she will turn out pretty neat.

if you name your kid stephanie, but spell it steffineigh, people will be confused about her race.

speaking of race, if you're black, you can name your kid whatever you want.

if you name your kid an old person name like roger or deborah, they probably won't ever get married. unless they find each other. but, then again, that's not really saying much because i have a nice name and i'm not even close to married... so roger, you might be my only hope.

if your last name has to do with nature, don't make your child's first name naturey too. like... if your last name is wood, don't name your kid autumn. or if your last name is meadows, don't name your kid crystal. maybe don't ever name your kid crystal though.

the other thing is though, that if you name your kid a popular name, like emily, there will be a billion other emily's. and then at school they won't go by emily. they'll go by emily j. and who wants to be called emily j? 

it's all very stressful.


multnomah falls.

On the last day of my excursion with Aleisha we went to church for an hour and bounced to go to the lovely Multnomah Falls. It was gorgeous.
Photos by Aleisha.

 We walked up to the bridge, a leisurely 0.2 mile hike.

 We took some videos and pictures and enjoyed the spray from the waterfall in our faces. But then it was like, really cold.

It was such a fun trip with such a fun friend! It was so great to see Aleisha when I haven't seen a familiar Utahn face for almost two months! In all the hours of driving (over 12) I talked that girl's ear off, so, sorry Aleisha! It was a ball.

Also, to see Aleisha's documentary of the trip, go here, here, here, and here. She has way more pictures and just has a better way with words.



Yep. We went to Forks. Haters, back off. It was pretty lame, actually. Thank heavens we're not Twilight junkies because I would have been heartbroken. Bella's house wasn't even Bella's house! The Cullen's house was definitely not the Cullen's house! And the high school was new! NOT the right high school. Luckily La Push beach was gorgeous and not government owned. We couldn't get into two different beaches because the daggum government barricaded them. They're the worst

La Push Beach
Daggum government ruining our day.
Me and the boys. They're lucky to have me.
 Some more La Push.

 Bella's truck, ya'll.

by Aleisha.

Thank heavens Aleisha has a good camera and skills.


i'm flattered.


On Saturday morning, we made it to Cape Flattery, the most northwestern point in the continental United States! How neat is that?!

It was a long and windy road (windy as in curvy, not wind) to get there. We got to the parking lot, walked in the forest for a while until we got to the water. We could even see Canada! So, it's basically like I've been there since I saw it.

by Aleisha

Getting there and back we had to drive through an Indian reservation and we made a couple friends, as you can see.
Of course, we continued to sing and jam out in the car to various artists including Backstreet Boys, One Direction, and Katy Perry. It was a party.