Thursday, August 5, 2010

Four Years...

Four years ago, my darling nephew Colton passed away with injuries sustained in a tragic car accident. I can't believe it's been that long. At times it feels like it was just yesterday, and other times it feels like I haven't seen him forever! But of course we take comfort in knowing that families are forever and that we'll see him again someday. Rest in peace Colt, and save me a place in heaven!

"Missing someone gets easier everyday. Because even though it's one day further from the last time you saw each other, it's one day closer to the next time you will." -Author Unknown

In Loving Memory of Colton Cody Dyches
April 5, 1989-August 5, 2006

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What an Adventure!

Okay, so I guess my blogging hiatus was a bit longer than I expected, but this summer has been nuts, and I'm not gonna lie, blogging hasn't been on the top of my to-do list. But that's not the point...The point is, is that I'm back from Africa and back in action!
Anyway, as you can imagine, my African Adventure was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had, and as trite as it may sound, literally changed my life! And since it would be nearly impossible to write about all the meaningful experiences I had there and do them justice, I decided to compile a list of the Top 32 things I learned in Zambia, Africa that I didn't have to go to Africa to learn! Here goes...

1. God is in control...Trust Him

2. You become like those with whome you surround yourself

3. "Unconditional Love" is a redundant statement

4. Even though God is aware of us, he meets our needs through others

5. The fruits of our labors aren't always measurable and/or seen

6. It is possible to have a bucket bath and eat PB&J every single day for three weeks and still survive!

7. It's okay to cry in front of people

8. AIDS really is a modern day holocaust leading to 1 in 3 Zambian children orphaned

9. It's okay to wear brown and black together (i.e. black pants with a brown shoes) but only in the jungles of Africa!

10. My life in the U.C. really isn't that bad

11. Family is the most important thing in life

12. It really is possible to go more than two weeks without "technology" (cell phones, ipods, laptops, etc)

13. Petroleum jelly kills ticks better than just about anything else!

14. Living in the present is more difficult than it sounds

15. Love is an inexhaustible resource

16. Shopping and eating are truly my coping mechanisms

17. It's not things or possessions that create true happiness

18. Attitude is everything

19. The jungles of Africa are like a little slice of heaven on earth (especially when we have a handsome German tour guide named Mario ;)

20. I really miss my family when I'm away from them

21. Malaria pills and bug spray, and mosquito nets are absolute lifesavers

22. I'm not as much of a food snob as I thought

23. A single-roomed grass hut makes a perfectly good medical clinic/pharmacy

24. I'm capable of doing hard things

25. I admire those who exhibit grace amidst suffering

26. I really love my mom's cooking

27. The church is the same no matter where you go

28. It is possible to live out of carry-on for three weeks

29. Being a nurse really is my true passion in life

30. Zambians are Snow College Badger fans!

31. I'm capable of traveling for 44 hours straight without a shower, good sleep, and/or a change of clothes.

32. Blond, blue-eyed, curvy girls (that's me) really stand out in Africa!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

So I'm off for an adventure of a lifetime! Headed to Zambia, Africa to do some volunteer work at a village there. I have been planning this trip for over a year, and now that it's actually here, I must admit that besides being absolutely thrilled, I'm scared out of my mind! I've never left the country in my entire life, so I figure why not head to Africa to start?! But here's the thing...I am the worst overpacker in history! I mean when I go to visit my parents for the weekend, I bring like twelve shirts, five pair of jeans, several pair/types of shoes, a hoodie and a bathing suit (even if it's not hoodie/bathing suit season), and usually at least two dresses (ya know, just in case one isn't enough for a weekend in Sanpete county)! This is a little problem for me due to the fact that I am leaving the country for three weeks and all I'm allowed to take is a CARRY-ON with the dimensions of 22x18x10. And trust me people, that is not very big! But don't you worry, my sisters came to the rescue (again). We went shopping all over the valley looking for carry-on luggage to suit the restrictions, and of course found the best bargain at TJ Maxx (yes, I'm my mother's daughter...I can't help it)! Anyway, I'm officially done packing and miraculously I was able to fit everything I need in my bag! I have provided some photos of my suitcase just to prove that I'm actually capable of "packing light."

Alright, speaking of my that my trip is getting so close, a couple of my good friends have provided me with some "Africa Care Packages" complete with sugary treats (they know me well), figurines of jungle animals, a plethora of hand sanitizer, and you guessed it...condoms! Yep, thanks, to a trusty friend, I'm now the proud recipient of a giant box of contraceptives! He thinks he is so funny and is convinced that this single box will begin the quest to conquer the spread of AIDS in Africa! It's the thought that counts I guess, but it still made me feel a little comfortable!

Well people, I'm taking a temporary hiatus from the blogging world and completing a bucket listing adventure...Stay tuned for pics in about three weeks :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bend and Snap!

On a whim, my sisters and I decided to get tickets to Legally Blonde the musical...I thought it was rather fitting considering our circumstances! Anyway, we had a great time at the show and loved every minute of it. A few of the highlights from the show were the song "Is he gay or European?" and of course the classic "Bend and Snap" scene! However, I must confess my favorite part of the night came after the show when we had an encounter with an intoxicated homeless man on our walk back to the car.

This was the scenario (don't judge)...

Homeless Guy: "Hey ladies, do you have any spare cash?"

We blondes (and mom): "No sorry sir, we didn't bring our purses."

Homeless Guy: "Yeah, whatever...F*** you! (walks away)

Mari (Looking back at him in disgust): "Really dude? Get a job...A** hole!"

Jan and I : "You're gonna get us killed!"

Mari: "Whatever, he's old and scrawny, plus there's only one of him and three of us...We can totally take him. I'm so not worried!"

I must admit, at the moment, I was a little nervous thinking we were going to get attacked by a drunk homeless dude, but since we didn't, we have laughed about this ever since, and I'm sure it will become another family classic! Thanks Mari, for having our backs!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Super Seniors :)

Okay, so you know how I have old parents? Well I do. All three of us just happen to be seniors...I'm a senior at WSU working on my BSN and they're, well they're senior citizens. Anyway, I recently had the wonderful opportunity to be their designated driver for their twinner colonoscopies! Yep, you read it right...colonoscopies on the same day in the same room! How romantic right? I felt like it was my responsibility to get them to their appointment because I'm "the nurse" and I'm constantly hounding them to take care of themselves. But I always tell them, "You guys chose to have me when you were old, so you better choose to stay alive till I'm old!" Their reply is typically something like this, "We didn't choose to have you." But that's not my fault now is it?! I would like to think I'm a surprise not an accident...But that's beside the point. After all, growing up with old parents has its perks. Going to the movies was always economical... "One child, two seniors, thanks!" And as a teenager, I never had to worry about them hearing me come in late because they couldn't hear anyway. In all honesty, I really do love being the baby of the family and I couldn't ask for better parents...even if they are elderly!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Taking the Plunge

I have always believed that starting a blog coincided with getting hitched, selling Sentsy candles, and/or attending a monthly PTA meeting. But I am officially breaking my own rule and entering the blogging world as a single twenty-something juggling a full-time job, part time school, and a social life in the heart of happy valley. What in the world am I thinking? (PS...My sisters talked me into it!)