Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We had a great Thanksgiving here in Cebu.  We were lucky enough to be invited over to John and Stephanie Lowry's house for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was a great day with good food, coversation, fun and football.  John had a great little program where we discussed the first Thanksgiving and the history of this holiday.  We then all went around the table and talked about what we were thankful for.  Each of us had a long list.  We proceeded to eat the yummy turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, rolls and pies of course.  It really was just like a Thanksgiving dinner at home.  After dinner there was a football game and running around and then back to the house for more dessert and just hanging out.  It was a great day and we are so glad we could spend our first Thanksgiving here with good friends like the Lowry's and the Knowltons.

The day after Thanksgiving just made this year even better because we had the chance to get on the computer and skype with my entire family.  All of the kids were together at my parents house and they brought us up on the big screen tv.  We got to be there to pick names for Christmas as well as do a little program with the Johnson family.  My dad had us come up with something we are thankful for that we never thought we would be thankful for.  That was an interesting list and we had some good laughs (I was thankful to not live on the beach anymore).  It was amazing to be there with them even while being so far away.  It was so fun to see all the neices and nephews, the dog and of course all of the adults.  We love our families and missing out on the holidays is hard, but skype makes it a LOT better than it could be. 

This little boy came out to watch the football game with us and brought with him his American flag.  It was fitting considering the day. 

The whole group after eating
Ciara Lowry brought her dog over from the made me miss Archie so I took a lot of pictures of her.

Our own little Filipino Turkey Bowl

Skype with my whole family on their Thanksgiving day.  Gotta love technology.

This year we have so much to be thankful for.  We are so very blessed and we are reminded of that daily.  Thanksgiving definitely made us SO excited to be coming home in just three weeks for the holidays!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Funny" Things We Have Seen While Driving

I put funny in quotes in case people think I am making fun of the Philippines, cause that is not what I am doing and I wouldn't want to offend anyone.

Yes, this guy is sitting on the back of a bike, facing backwards, holding a box. At least he's wearing a helmet, cause I don't think that's extra safe.

Gotta get the balloons to the party somehow. I have driven with balloons in a car and I know they can get in the way, I can only imagine how it works on a bike.
I was pretty impressed with this dog sitting on top of the truck. I can't imagine there is a lot to grab onto, but he seems fine.

Just taking a break on the way home from work.

Now this is what you call eating on the go.

I have an awesome video I wanted to post here as well! This guy had a dog on the back of his bike, holding on all by himself and then one sitting on the front as well. I am not sure if I should be more impressed with the dogs or the guy for training them. Either way, it was amazing. I cant figure out how to post it, but when I do I will:).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

To My Best Friend (other than Ben)

Happy 30th birthday yesterday to my best friend, Kimberly Harrison Williams (or as I like to call her, Kimmie). As I was laying in bed last night I felt very strongly that I needed to blog about her. I am sure she is going to hate me for doing this, but that's ok. She will get over it. I think we all, myself included, can take more time and really express to the people in our lives how much they really mean to us. I lost my Grandma two months ago, wonderful things were said and written about her after she passed away and I don't doubt that she knew she was loved, but why don't we say all the wonderful things while we are all still here? I talk to Kimmie, we chat and laugh and hang out (well we did before I moved across the world), but I don't know that I have ever had the chance to really tell her what she means to me. For some reason, I felt the need to blog about it, so here goes.

Kimmie and I met in 2000 while both of us were going to BYU. We lived together at the Jolley House where I was even lucky enough to be her actual "room roommate" and get to see all the "interesting" ways she liked to sleep, haha. We had great roomates that we are still best friends today. For our first few years as friends I don't know that we would have considered each other "BEST friends", but through time and experience that was what developed. In 2003 both of us moved to Los Angeles, where she always liked to remind me that she lived on the "cool" side of the hill while I lived in the "valley". I know at first she actually was not that happy that I was moving to L.A at the same time as her. She had been accepted to UCLA to do her MSW (did I mention she is like genius joke) and was planning to move out there long before me and start a new life. But my nephew got sick and I was in a position where I could go out there and help, so I did. Soon after she arrived I think we both realized how very lucky we were to have each other out there. It was the perfect situation. We lived close enough that we could see eachother and spend time together and have someone that really knew us already there, but far enough away that we had separate lives and separate friends. It actually created a much more exciting social life for both of us (definitely for me).

She has seen me through the hardest things of my life, as well as the greatest things in my life. She has been there for me through the death of loved ones, dating, breaking up, heartaches. She was with me when I got the call telling me I had got my "dream job" and she was with me through the ups and downs of that job. She was there through Ben and I dating, getting engaged, me postponing the wedding, getting married, surgeries, infertility, and so on and so forth. She is the person I turn to when I just need to talk or laugh or cry or just need someone to make me feel better.

When Ben and I first got married there was an evening where he and I were hanging out together just watching Arrested Development and eating junkfood (Kimmie and I LOVE eating junk food together and watching great TV shows until ALL hours of the night) and I said to him, "I am having as much fun with you as I do with Kimmie". It was then that I realized how VERY happy I was to be married to him, haha. That may sound crazy to most of you, but he had a very HIGH standard to live up to. Before him, I would have preferred to hang out with no one more than her.

Ben makes fun of me because I literally have something we call "Kimmie withdrawels". When she and I were both living in L.A. I would see her about once a week. If it was longer than that I would start to feel just off, something didn't feel right. I am not sure when I realized that was what was happenening, but at some point I realized that I literally NEEDED Kimmie time for things to feel right and good in my world. After Ben and I moved back to Utah, we talked on the phone a lot and saw each other every few months. If not, the withdrawels would set in. Maybe that is why I felt the need to write this post...maybe they are setting in and this is the only "fix" I have.

I have a perfect example of Kimmie truly being my BEST friend. The week before we were leaving for the Philippines Ben and I were driving down to Provo to get some of our immunizations. On the way down there I was telling him how I was just feeling overly stressed and frustrated and I couldn't figure out why. As we were talking I said to him, "I think I am going to drive to Vegas to see Kimmie tonight"(she had just moved there). I had to work the next day, but I was totally serious. I realized I was having "withdrawels" and I just needed my best friend. We went into the office to get our shots and as we were walking out my phone started to ring. Kimmie was calling. I answered the phone, and before I had the chance to tell her my plan she said "Guess where I am?"......"I am on the road to Utah, coming to see you". I am not sure how to even explain to you the emotions that I felt when I heard that, even now I get teary eyed about it. She said she had just felt like she should come, she talked to Byron (her awesome husband) and he agreed. The Lord knew and let her know that I needed her. I spent the next two days hanging out with her and getting my Kimmie time, since who knows when will be the next chance we get. (I do live in the Philippines plus she is having a baby any day now and won't be in Utah for Christmas).

I hope that all of you are lucky enough to have a Kimmie in your life, because I don't know what I would do without her. Kimmie, since I know you will read this at some point, don't be mad or embarrassed. I had to do it! I love you, you are the very best friend a girl could have. I cannot wait to see you....whenever that may be!

She's gorgeous too, did I already mention that?