Friday, November 18, 2011

I want...

to go back to this day!

life was easier and much less complicated!
if i close my eyes, it's almost like i'm back here.
Here, where the people in my life were my best friends, we shared everything, we shared our lives.
Here i was happy, so happy.
i went to school, i went to work, i went to the library (and laughed my head off in the library)!
Here i ate bagels and cheez its.
and just for tonight, i'm going back there!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I have a blog!

I haven't blogged in 6 months! I'd forgotten that i even had a blog!
The first 3 months of my blog hiatus were because i had nothing to blog about. i was getting ready to go back to school and really the only thing i would have written about were my anxious feelings about returning to school. The past 3 months I could have written about so many things- starting graduate school, my impressions of BYU, my new friends, ward, roommates, boys...but i've been busy doing all of those things to sit down and write about it!
But today i decided that i want to sit down and write about my cohort!
when i say "cohort", most people have no idea what on earth i am talking about- my cohort are the 9 (now 8) people that i take all of my classes with and will take all of my classes with for the next 2 years, but my cohort has now become the term that i use when i talk about my best friends. i love these people more than i thought i could love people after knowing them only 2 months!
This is my cohort!
We are goofy but i love us!
Erin, Hayley
Ben, Elizabeth, Victoria, Jason
Me, Alex, Danielle and Ruthann

I spend a good chunk of my time with these incredible people and i am so grateful for each and every one of them! We are all different which makes us such an incredible group, but i'm learning more and more that we are more alike than it seems.
i love these people!
and you should love them too!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


(thanks Shan'tel for the picture!)

Last weekend, a miracle happened!

5 years ago, i moved into an apartment full of wonderful girls! wonderful girls that became the best friends i've ever had! oh i love my 308 girls!

after we all lived together and went our separate ways, we promised that we would get together and see each other from time to time! at the time we said every year, but we realized that wasn't realistic! about 2 1/2 years ago, we all got together in Rexburg.

and the miracle is that last weekend, we were all going to be in the western United States!

Kayla moved to Virginia a year ago, but her and her family are in Boise for the summer!

Becca lives in Texas but was spending a few weeks in Utah.

that meant that we were all in Idaho or Utah!

that was too good a chance for us to pass up!

by some miracle, we made it possible to all get together in Utah for a day!!

and it was a wonderful day!

we met up in the morning and talked and caught up. we made some spaghetti for lunch and then spent the afternoon at the wetlands conservation...which was an incredibly special place to the experienced eye! it was mostly a wetlands with a boardwalk throughout. Tayler took care of the kids (thank you Tayler) so us girls got to just walk and talk and be together!

the rest of the afternoon was spent talking, napping and shopping. we made a bbq dinner and enjoyed the beautiful weather on the back porch! it was a lovely evening! it was so good to just all be together like old times!

we ended the evening with a trip to Dairy Queen for our roommate tradition of Blizzards! (p.s. I just joined the Blizzard Fan Club!) we have always loved Blizzards, and it was so great to get together in our favorite place! we ate Blizzards, laughed and cried while laughing! it was so like old times, i almost believed we were back in Rexburg and it was like we were still living together!

many years have passed, and we've had 3 marriages, 3 kids with 2 on the way, moved thousands of miles away but we are still wonderful friends! i am so grateful to have had Megan, Kayla, Shan'tel and Becca as my roommates and i'm so blessed that they are still my best friends!

i love you ladies!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Olsen 2!!

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Olsen!! another wedding! yes we've been doing weddings a lot around here! Taylor and Courtnie got married on May 21, 2011! happy day!! i now have sister #2!

I got to be a bridesmaid for my lovely new sister!
she picked the most beautiful colors- purple and gray! i loved it! everything was beautiful and she was the most beautiful of all!

look at me and my beautiful sisters!

we tramped out to this field to take pictures and although it was a little inconvenient, the pictures turned out amazing!! good thing Court had a helper!

i love this sister of mine!

and look at my studly brothers! dang, they are freaking handsome!

Taylor and Courtnie are one good looking couple! don't you think?

my family is growing! and we are loving it! and we are a good looking bunch of people! :)

me and Lindsey waiting while the boys take pictures! we took a lot of pictures, and Dallan smiled through them all, a great improvement from the last wedding!

the church looked really beautiful! the ceremony was lovely, and that little ringbearer was adorable! you rocked that bowtie Jack!

"I now pronounce you husband and wife!!"
they are one happy couple!

it was a great night and we had a blast celebrating wedding #2!

Taylor and Courtnie are happily married and off on their honeymoon! thankfully they are going to live close by for a while, so we still get to see them! love you two! :)

Congrats my brother and new sister!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


This weekend i got to go see Wicked!!

for the second time!

It only gets better the second time!

3 years ago, we saved up our money and Shan'tel, Heather, Jessica, Ryan and I made a long trip to LA to see Wicked! it was the best trip ever! totally worth every cent!

about a year ago, we found out that Wicked was coming to Boise! the fact that a Broadway touring company was coming to Boise was huge! so my parents, my neighbors and everyone i know rushed to get tickets. i was dumb and didn't get a ticket because i thought to myself,

"self, you've already seen Wicked, you can't really justify spending $80 to $100 on a ticket, you've already seen it, you don't need to see it again."

so time passes, and Wicked comes to town last weekend. i babysat for my neighbors while they went to Wicked and i was more jealous than i've ever been!! green with envy you might say!

i didn't have a ticket and i wanted one!! but the show had been sold out for weeks- what is a girl to do!?!? thankfully, i didn't have to do a thing!

a week before, my friend Dustin texted me and told me that his mom and sisters were going to Boise to see Wicked. i told him i was super jealous and that his mom and sisters should sneak me forward a couple of days...Dustin's sister Kati texts me and tells me that they have an extra ticket, and it's mine if i want it!! HECK YES I WANT IT!! it was the best news i heard all day, all week even. maybe the best news all month!

as it turned out, the Peters sisters had ordered tickets a year ago, like so many smart people had done, but they had never received their tickets in the mail. they called the company, the company apologized and offered to upgrade their tickets to the 11th row and to give them an extra ticket at half price!!! AHHHH!


the girls mentioned to Dustin they had an extra ticket, thank heavens he didn't want to go and thank my lucky stars that he knew i wanted to go!!

so not only did i get a ticket to Wicked, i got an 11th row ticket at half price!!!

The show was spectacular!! i had forgot how truly breathtaking it is!! when Elphaba sings Defying Gravity, it took my breath away!


next time i have a chance to see it, i'm not wasting time getting my ticket!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Olsen!

Saturday, April 16, 2011 was an exciting day!Brenen Thomas Olsen and Lindsey Renae Despain were married for time and all eternity!

my little brother is a married man!

They are darling and i'm so happy for them!

I'm happy for my brother and so happy to now have a sister!! The almost newlyweds! Taylor and Courtnie are getting married in 5 weeks, my 22 year old and 18 year old brothers getting married 5 weeks apart- who would have thought?
Oh how i love my siblings!! (and my new sisters)!

sorry Court, the dang photographer got in the way and hid you in the picture!

SOOO glad my Vegas cousins came to visit!

I love you Linz and Paige!

i'm so glad i got to see you

and even more glad i get to see you soon! :)

my studly brothers!

look how grown up they are!
the cake!
Me and Courtnie, my soon to be sister!
It was a long day, and Dallan had had enough! although, this was his face for most of the day!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's official...

I'm going to Brigham Young University!!

i officially accepted the offer to attend on Sunday!

i'm going to BYU in the school psychology program!

i'm going to become a school psychologist!

oh my heck, oh my heck, oh my heck!

it's real now.

for the past year, i've been in the process of applying and getting ready for graduate school, but now it's done. I'M IN!

and now the hard part, actually going back to school!


but the good news is- i have a plan for my life and it's looking good!

i've applied to graduate school and i got into a great one!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Utah Trip!

i feel like that is the title of more of my posts than any other, maybe i just love Utah and never knew it....or maybe i'm Mormon! :)
This past week i went to Idaho and Utah, but since i live in Idaho i don't think that state can really be included in my blog post title.
Anyways...i set off Tuesday night for Rexburg! I was so excited to go to Rexburg, i miss my little college town and couldn't wait to be there again and see all of the changes- and there were a ton!
Upon my arrival, i drove around campus a little just to get a glimpse of the place. There were new buildings, new apartment complexes being built, the new Auditorium!! Hogi Yogi is gone- how can that be? it was such a landmark. Craigos isn't called Craigos anymore- oh the humanity!! Pizza Pie Cafe...not as cool in my opinion. so many things have changed and i have only been gone for a year!
I stayed with my aunt and uncle and got to see Brenen and Lindsey that night, which was great!! on Wednesday, i went to Paul Mitchell to have Lindsey cut my hair! i've always gone to Paul Mitchell and have loved it-especially the Lather Lounge- but having someone you know cut your hair is better! you wouldn't think so, but i guess it's a trust thing! i trust my (almost) sister-in-law to give me amazing hair!! and she did! afterward, i went to see my old roommate- Laura Beth McKeen!! we spent one of the best semesters of my college career together and i haven't seen her in over a year! it's about time we got to be together again! it was a little strange at first because it's been so long but it was just great to see her!! i then went to lunch with Rachel Minor at New Fongs! i don't know what it is about Fongs but i just love it! and Rachel is one of the few people i know who loves it as much as me! we just love those random Chinese places- New Fongs and Mongolian all the way, those are our places! New Fongs was delicious!! i know it's not gourmet by any means but we still love it!! we ate and talked and just had a great time! now hurry home Rachel so we can do the same at Mongolian! i spent the rest of the afternoon walking around campus and seeing all of the new changes- the auditorium is beautiful and those sky walks are cool!! i went to visit my old teachers and bosses at the math lab and had a wonderful time seeing them. i told them all about applying and interviewing for graduate schools and they all had something wonderfully inspiring to say, i got some great peptalks and felt all the more ready for my final 2 grad school inteviews! i saw my dear old roommate Heather Aulick Smith for just a little while while we were both on campus! love that girl!! i spent the next part of my afternoon visiting my old friend Dustin- we have always liked to suprise visit each other- i have done a remarkable job at surprise visits but he hasn't done as remarkable a job because his sister has a big mouth! but lately he's been winning, but not anymore! totally got in a surprise visit- go me! we just sat in his apartment and talked, and then talked while he watched the Jazz game, which was less successful because how many guys do you know who can carry on a conversation and watch sports at the same time? i had dinner with my Riviera roommates Laura and McKenzie!! i love you two! we went and had dinner at Gator Jack's and it felt like old times! i miss those good days! when then randomly ended up at Walmart because McKenzie and I didn't believe Laura when she told us about butt paste...she was right, there is such a thing as butt paste for babies! weird, i know! we also randomly ended up in the easter candy aisle and had to buy some peeps to blow up in the microwave like old times- peeps and some chocolate milk made the rest of our evening! i spent the last part of my day in Rexburg with Brenen and Lindsey, talking wedding stuff and just feeling familial! so excited for my brother and (almost) sister-in-law!!!
Thursday i left Rexburg bright and early to go to Pocatello for a graduate school interview at Idaho State University! the interview went well, i don't think i'm a shoe in but i thought it went well. i wasn't thrilled by the interview by any means and i was quite turned off when everyone i asked about whether they liked Pocatello said, "ummmm..... (silence)" not a good sign! after the interview, i hopped back in the car and drove my butt down to Provo! by some miracle, the best kind of miracle, my best friend Shantal was in Provo that weekend!! she's currently living in Chicago, so what are the chances we would both be in Provo on the same weekend! Thank you Heavenly Father for making that possible, that's the only explanation! we met up at the mall and went shopping and then spent the rest of our afternoon at her brother and sister-in-law's house, helping her nephew with his math homework and playing 5 minutes of about 3 different games! in all honesty, i just love being with my best friend- Shantal Leslie Cropper Moody- I HAVE MISSED YOU!! i spent my night in American Fork with my best friend Shan'tel!! (as a side note- what are the odds that my two best friends have almost the same name?! crazy i know!) we went out to get some food and then went to Walmart to get craft supplies!! :) the thing i love about being with my best friends is it seems like we've never been apart- there's no awkwardness, there's no lenghty pauses because we don't know what to say to each other, we're just still best friends even though time has gone by! that's why we're best friends, Shan'tel/Shantal!! Shan'tel and i picked Andy up from school and then we went back home and made smoothies! and it kind of turned into a disaster! Shan'tel and i should not cook together because we always mess something up- it all started with the cool whip fruit salad of Mother's Weekend 2006? 2007? and continued with the oreo frosting of Utah Visit 2010, and culminated with the leaking smoothie blender of Utah Visit 2011! thankfully Andy is around to save the day!! he saved our rainbow smoothie which turned out pretty well and was a great refreshment while we watched Kid History on youtube! good times Christensens!!
early morning Friday, i drove to Provo for a graduate school interview at BYU and thankfully my last interview!! save the best for last they say, and that was absolutely the case!! i have never really loved Provo and never really wanted to go to BYU, but today i did!! i loved the interview, it was stressfree and pleasant, the faculty were funny and friendly, everyone who interviewed were nice and smart and i loved everything about it!! I REALLY WANT TO GO TO BYU! i've never really been able to say that, but on that day it was true! i sat in that interview and really wanted it to go well- i can't say that for any of my other interviews! i did my best and now just had to wait!! i spent the rest of the afternoon on campus, just walking around and exploring! i went to the Creamery to get ice cream with the Moodys and their niece Katie- yum!! we hung out at the Bookstore, surrounded by Cougars and Jimmer paraphernalia. that night, i hung out with Shan'tel and Andy! Shan'tel took me to this bakery that is decorated in teal- if you know Shan'tel, you know she loves teal!! LOVES!! we went to the Sticky Shoe movie theater that night and saw Tangled- cute movie!!! we spent the rest of our night in craft mode!! we made these crepe paper roses to decorate balls with to hang from her ceiling! it turned out really cute even though i think we were a little retarded while trying to make them...we need some practice because they never looked great. i found out that same night that I WAS ACCEPTED TO BYU!! the same day!! holy excitement! i've never been so excited before! Shannie was excited for me, Andy too, but Shannie was more excited because that means i'd be 20 minutes away!! best news of my life!! i get to live near my best friend again...if i go to BYU!'s about 99% sure!!
Saturday was full of goodbyes, good bye to the Moodys whom i hope to see this summer! can you say "tax returns"!!?? and good bye to the Christensens, whom i hope to live close to!! goodbye to Utah, hope to see you again real soon!!!
and thanks to Glee albums 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 for entertaining me on my 6 hour drive home!! yeah that's right, made it through all 5 albums!! it was a great trip!!!
p.s. i wish i had pictures from my trip but i didn't take any, bad move on my part!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Washington DC!

this post contains an exorbitant amount of photographs!
the best way i knew to document my trip to the Nation's capital was with my camera!
and i did :)
Hello Washington DC! It's me, Jesika! the girl who has never been west of Yellowstone National Park- this is my biggest adventure to date! and you showed me a great time! i don't know if i want to live with you, but visiting was a blast!!
My "I'm in DC" picture!
First order of business- graduate school interview at George Washington University! this is an excellent school, and i was quite impressed with the interview, the students and the faculty. the interview went really well and i really loved being on a campus again! i'm excited to be a student again. Although i loved this school, there are two drawbacks- 1) it's RIDICULOUSLY expensive and 2) it's really really far away from home! other than that, i loved the school and really enjoyed my time there!

As a side note, I just received a letter of acceptance today from George Washington University! this school is so prestigious i didn't even think i'd get an interview, but i not only got an interview but i was given a spot in their school counseling program! i am so proud of myself! even if i don't attend, the fact that i got in is HUGE!

Beginning of my sightseeing tour of the District of Columbia!
After my interview on Friday afternoon, i got to spend the rest of my time in DC just being a tourist and seeing all of the sites!
First stop- the Washington Monument!
I got there right before sunset so it looked beautiful! i love this picture! besides the beauty of the sunset, this monument is gigantic and the utter size of it is remarkable! it's a beautiful momument you can see almost everywhere you go in DC!

These are my walking shoes...i'm not big on the practical footwear, and i walked a bagillion miles that weekend in these shoes! what can i say, i love my flats!
I was so lucky to get to stay with Heather Hughes, my dear old roommate, while i was in DC. she's lived there for about 2 years and was nice enough to let me stay and show me some of the sites! i love Heather! i haven't seen her in a year and a half, and i've missed her dearly. She hasn't had the easiest year of her life, so it was good to see her and to remember and relive some of the better times in our lives.
Here we are at the Lincoln Memorial!
Can i just say how much i loved the Lincoln Memorial? It is enchanting at night, so i was so glad we got to see it at night! Lincoln is a very imposing figure at this memorial, and you can just feel the granduer of the things he did and accomplished with his life and during his terms as president! i was so impressed! i loved loved loved this place! I grew kind of fond of Abraham Lincoln on my trip!

The view from the Lincoln Memorial that night was also incredible! The Lincoln Memorial is at one end of the National Mall, so from its steps you can look out on the mall and see the Washington Monument in the middle and the US Capitol on the other end. That night was especially cool because there was a full moon and we looked out and saw this...
This picture DOES NOT do the scene justice, but just know it was incredible!
We met up with Heather's friend Brad and those two crazy kids decided that they wanted to walk home that night. It was a beautiful night, it was windy but it wasn't cold, so we thought it would be a pleasant walk. It was but it was LONG! it was a 3+ miles walk! whew!
but we did see some cool things along the way!
we walked by the Pentagon and stopped to see the Pentagon Memorial. it's a memorial dedicated to all those who died on September 11th either in the Pentagon or the plane that hit it. It was beautiful, but it's incredible how close you can get to the Pentagon! we were about 20 yards from the Pentagon! so close!

The next day was tourist day!
It was a windy day, so most of my pictures of me from that day look like this!
I started off my day on the East side of the Mall! Here's a pic of the US Capitol, wish i could have gone inside, but i only got to see the outside. no doubt there were exciting things going on in this building!
I first went to the place i was most excited to see! i just couldn't wait!
The Library of Congress!
This building has more books than any other library...i didn't see any of them but still the thought is daunting! I would have loved to spend all day at this place. i love books, so i guess i just loved this library! besides being the house of a million books, it is a beautiful building!! just stunning!

I WANT TO GO HERE SOMEDAY! this is the Main Reading Room and it's only for researchers! i only got to look inside. someday i'm going to go inside and read and read for hours!
The Thomas Jefferson Library Exhibit!
Someday i'm going to have a library as coveted as this ones :) ha ha, i can dream can't i?

Next stop on my windy walk...
The Smithsonian is actually 16 buildings so there is no way that any one person could visit all of them in one day, in one week even. So I had to pick and choose which ones i would tackle in my day on the National Mall.
First stop- The Air and Space Museum
Amelia Earhart's plane!
when i was little i did a report on Amelia Earhart, and i've been fascinated with her ever since.
Wilbur and Orville's bicycle!
The Wright Brothers- Wilbur and Orville- two of the coolest guys on the National Mall!
Next stop- the Museum of Natural History!
This is the elephant in the rotunda of the museum...i guess i just assumed it would be a T-Rex, Night at the Museum can be quite misleading.
This is a coral reef, made exclusively out of yarn. Of all of the cool things to see in this museum, i still think it's odd that this is the thing i found to be the most fascinating!
Last stop on my Smithsonian adventure- The Museum of American History
This is Michelle Obama's dress she wore to the Presidential Inauguration.
These are Dorothy's ruby red slippers!

And who could visit Washington DC without seeing the White House!? You can't get very close to it, for obvious reasons, but i wish i could have taken a tour inside. i saw pictures of the inside but it's not the same. Wonder what Obama is doing right this minute?
Me at the White House!
(some very nice lady took my picture, going on vacation by yourself has the drawback of very few pictures of yourself, because there's no one around to take your picture)
Sunday was my last day in DC! I was planning on going to church and going to see the temple, because we all know the temple is GORGEOUS! but getting there would mean taking the metro on the red line, and that weekend the red line was all sorts of messed up. i didn't want to get stranded somewhere so i opted to spend my Sabbath a different way.
At Arlington National Cemetery
I chose the right!
Tomb of the Unknown Solider! Really cool experience, very neat ceremony, very somber spirit here! it was a great thing to see, full of respect and admiration for those who have sacrificed their life for our country.
Changing of the GuardMe on a beautiful Sunday! the sun was shining, the wind was minimal, it was a gorgeous day to be out walking around the city. although i would not recommend carrying a duffel bag with you as you walk around Arlington National Cemetery. that cemetery has hills and you will be huffing and puffing by the time you get to the top ;)
this is the Metro, just wanted to throw in a picture of my transportation around the District, i think since i mastered the metro i can consider myself a city girl!
The National Archives!!
i could not leave DC without visiting the National Archives
this building houses the Charters of Freedom- the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights!
Most amazing three documents i've seen in my life!
On Sunday, i took the train to Virginia for another graduate school interview and to spend some time with the Tibbitts! here i am on the train, eating my pizza for dinner. i have been avoiding eating carbs and sugars, so i couldn't eat the crust from the pizza, so i ate the toppings off and this is what was left! scrumptous!
My interview at James Madison in Harrisonburg was an hour away from Kayla and Tayler in Charlottesville! They were so kind to put me up for the night and drive me to Harrisonburg for the interview from HECK! i hated the interview, but loved my time with Kayla!! i missed you so much Kay! it was so good to see Tayler again and get to talk with him and Kay! I loved seeing Luke again, he's gotten so big, and although it looks like he doesn't like me he really did! okay, so it took him a while to warm up to me, but i think he finally came around!
and i got to meet baby Eli Wayne Tibbitts!!
I can't believe my friend and old roommate is a mother of two! but she is and she's a wonderful mother! Kay, you've always been a wonderful example to me and now you're teaching me even more! i am so glad that i got to see Kayla! can't wait for you to come to Boise :)
After my time in Virginia, i headed back to DC to say my goodbyes to Heather, who was gracious enough to take me to the airport at 4am! at 6am i was on a plane and on my way home!! i was so excited to go back to Idaho! i loved my time on the East coast, but i have to admit, i'm pretty fond of my West coast!
if you made it through all of that, you're a trooper!
now the only question is,
where to visit next??!!