Monday, July 23, 2012

Quarter of a Century

Well, friends, I am now 25 years old. And let me tell you, the prospect of this birthday was not happy for me. For some reason, 25 just felt old. Which is ridiculous, I know. When people tell me that they're 25, my first thought is never, "Holy cow, that is super old." My first thought is actually something along the lines of, "Sweet! Someone my age!" But when it came time for me to turn 25, it felt old.

But I have to say that the five days I have been 25 have been kind of awesome. I have incredible friends, an incredible family, and an incredible boyfriend who helped me forget that 25 felt old and mostly just made me feel loved.

Brittany heart attacked my mirror. Someone heart attacked our apartment door. My boss decorated my desk and gave me banana bread. While I was at work, Brittany decorated our living room. (Did I mention that Brittany is probably the sweetest person I know? No? Well, she is.) Andrew took me out to a wonderful dinner.

And that was just my birthday itself. Can I brag a little bit about how amazing my boyfriend is? Let me chronicle everything Andrew did for me last week. Monday: Took me mini golfing and bought me ice cream. Tuesday: Gave me Batman Begins and The Dark Knight on blu-ray because he couldn't wait one more day to give me my present. Wednesday: Took me out to a nice restaurant and then gave me ice cream while we watched The Dark Knight. Thursday: Took me to see The Dark Knight Rises and bought me a bunch of movie snacks. Friday: Made me dinner (which is a regular occurrence). Saturday: Bought me a smoothie and took me shooting (though admittedly, I was a little tired, ornery, and whiney and didn't shoot much). And he can't stop talking about the other birthday present that he's going to make me (yes, make) that will be a little late because he doesn't have all the supplies yet. Does anyone else think I'm a little bit spoiled? Andrew treats me far better than I deserve. He's basically the best boyfriend ever.

In addition to all of that, my family had a little party for me on Saturday. Everyone but one sick nephew and his mom were there, including Cora, Jamie, and Andrew. I got presents and food, and we had fun talking and simply enjoying one another's company.

The whole week of my birthday was pretty awesome. My life is so good right now. It's such a nice change of pace after expending so much energy complaining about the things that I didn't have before. It wasn't that I wasn't happy; I was just frustrated about things. But as of right now, this very second, I am happy. So happy. I'm so incredibly blessed.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I Like Lists

10 things in 2012
1. Lose those last pesky 8 pounds to finally hit my goal
2. Keep the weight that I've already lost off
3. Cook more often
4. Continue to be social in my ward (even after getting a boyfriend)
5. Figure out how to be in a relationship (I still don't really know what I'm doing)
6. Be happy
7. Not stress too much about the future
8. Be more open
10. Enjoy life

9 things i enjoy
1. Music
2. Books
3. Sleep
4. Cuddling with Andrew
5. Movies
6. TV shows
7. Shoes
8. Concerts
9. Rain

8 things i do everyday
1. Listen to music
2. Read
3. Sing
4. Chew gum
5. Check Facebook (unfortunately)
6. Put on makeup
7. Text someone
8. Think of Andrew (Cheesy, I know, but true. I'm honestly still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I have a boyfriend at all.)

7 musicians i like
1. The Civil Wars
2. The Black Keys
3. The Avett Brothers
4. Mumford & Sons
5. Cold War Kids
6. Adele
7. The Beatles

6 things that will always win my heart
1. Sense of humor
2. Chivalry 
3. Sweetness
4. Masculinity
5. A good kiss
6. Being held

5 favorite things
1. Book: The Chaos Walking series.
2. Movie: Oh geez . . . let's say The Avengers for right now because I've been itching to see it again.
3. Song: Right this moment, I'll say "Roll Away Your Stone" by Mumford & Sons.
4. Food: Anything Italian or Hawaiian.
5. Season: Fall—you can't beat jacket weather and football season.

4 smells i enjoy
1. Andrew's good boy smell
2. Baking bread
3. Brand new books
4. Rain

3 places i want to go
1. England
2. Italy
3. Germany

2 favorite holidays
1. Christmas
2. Thanksgiving

1 person i'd marry on the spot
1. Robert Downey, Jr. I don't care that he's old enough to be my dad.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How Things Change

A few years ago, I took a test to see my strengths and weaknesses. I then wrote this blog post detailing the results of said test. After running across this post today, I decided to take the test again to see if things have changed. They have shifted some, and I think it's interesting.

Top 5 Strengths:

  1. Appreciation of beauty and excellence
  2. Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith
  3. Curiosity and interest in the world
  4. Gratitude
  5. Zest, enthusiasm, and energy
Bottom 5 Weaknesses:
  1. Kindness and generosity
  2. Leadership
  3. Industry, diligence, and perseverance
  4. Self-control and self-regulation
  5. Modesty and humility
Some things dropped out of my top five completely. Other things jumped up from the bottom. Yet other things changed position within the top or bottom five. I did my best to be brutally honest with myself when taking this test because I wanted real results. I don't think the results are perfect, but it's pretty uncanny how well it pegs me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Random Music Moment

I'm bored. So here's a little music moment. These are the next twenty songs that come on my iPod. It's on shuffle, and I am playing my "Car Tunes" playlist, which basically excludes all of my instrumental music and soundtracks and any crappy music I may have.
  1. "My Father's Father" by the Civil Wars, Barton Hollow
  2. "Last Beautiful Girl" by Matchbox Twenty, Mad Season
  3. "God's Been Good to Me" by Keith Urban, Be Here (Holy crap! Country! This is my iPod, right?)
  4. "Sad Song" by Christina Perri, Lovestrong.
  5. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" by the Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  6. "Better Life" by Keith Urban, Be Here
  7. "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson, HIStory: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
  8. "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise" by the Avett Brothers, I and Love and You
  9. "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles, Little Voice
  10. "Call and Answer" by Barenaked Ladies, Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits
  11. "What Am I to You?" by Norah Jones, Feels Like Home
  12. "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie, Classic Queen
  13. "Little Lion Man" by Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More
  14. "The Only Exception" by Paramore, Brand New Eyes
  15. "I Came Here to Get Over You" by Brandon Flowers, Flamingo
  16. "Humble Me" by Norah Jones, Feels Like Home
  17. "Either Way" by Guster, Lost and Gone Forever
  18. "Cecilia" by Simon & Garfield, Greatest Hits
  19. "Cold as Stone" by Lady Antebellum, Own the Night
  20. "You Can't Do That" by the Beatles, A Hard Day's Night
And there you have it. A glimpse into my everyday musical life. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Summer of Concerts

This summer has officially become a celebration of ridiculously awesome bands that I am more than willing to drop some cash on to see live. We all know I'm a giant fan of concerts, and this summer has only solidified that fandom. For the reals, people, there's nothing like seeing a good band live.

Concert #1: The Black Keys. May 3.

I didn't know all of the Black Keys' music, but I loved what I did know, so I thought, hey? Why not go to their concert? Cora and I had a blast. This was some serious dance music that got me movin' and groovin', despite my obvious lack of rhythm.

And here is a video (I apologize for poor quality—I had no wi-fi when I uploaded this from my phone):

Concert #2: The Civil Wars. May 24.

One of my favorite. bands. ever. And they did not disappoint live. They were incredible. Who knew that two people and a guitar could be so bloody awesome? But they were. I loved every second of that concert, and was quite sad that it didn't last longer. I sang myself hoarse and had a grand time with Cora, Aaron, and Roxanne.

And another video (one of five that I took, and I would have taken more if my arms hadn't gotten tired):

Concert #3: The Avett Brothers. June 28.

My sister and brother-in-law introduced me to the Avett Brothers, so it was only fitting that Cora and I attended the concert with them. It was outside, and it was a beautiful night in downtown Salt Lake with the sunset reflecting off the glass in the buildings surrounding us. And boy, do the Avett Brothers put on a show! It was so upbeat and fun, and they did a lot to get the crowd involved, which is always fun. They played for nearly two hours, and I loved every second of it.

No video here. I was enjoying myself too much to hold my phone up for an entire song. Kind of regretting that now, but oh well.

And there is more exciting news on the concert front. On Friday, tickets went on sale for a band that I very much enjoy listening to. And I just went ahead bought me some tickets.

Concert #4: Mumford & Sons. August 22.

Here's the thing: Mumford & Sons is a British band. They don't make it to the US very often, so when I saw that they had a tour coming up, I had little hope that they would play in Utah. Sure enough, the closest concert was in California. So I resigned myself to my fate of not seeing them live anytime soon.

And then I got an email from a website I belong to that tracks your favorite bands and lets you know when bands are playing near you. When I saw "Mumford & Sons" in the subject line, I assumed it would be a Nevada or another California show. Imagine my shock when I opened it up and saw Magna, Utah, listed there. That's right, folks—not only is Mumford & Sons playing in Utah, but they are playing IN MY HOMETOWN. In little ol' Magna, out in the middle of nowhere. At the Great Saltair, right on the lake. Could this get any cooler?! I submit that it could not.

So on August 22, I will be jumping up and down like a maniac to Mumford & Sons and relishing summer concert #4. And this time, I will actually take my boyfriend with me, instead of leaving him at home while I go off and do my thing.

Basically, this has already been the best. summer. ever., and the awesome just keeps on giving.