September 15, 2010

Oh School...

I have a love-hate relationship with school. I love learning. I love BYU's beautiful campus. I love music and I get to study it every day. I do not love never getting to see Alec for more than a minute or two between the hours of 6:45 AM and 7:00 PM. I do not love eating dinner at 8 PM because we didn't have time until then. I definitely do not love getting 4 hours of sleep a night due to the amount of homework I have. I am ready to be done... Too bad I still have another few semesters of this left, not including the one we just began.

Although I complain, I do feel so blessed to be able to study what I love. I am growing in ways I never would have dreamed and am associating with so many talented musicians who push me to be better. I never feel like the best or the smartest in ANY of my classes which motivates me to study harder and longer to become better. I know that one day I will look back and appreciate my time as a struggling student!

August 13, 2010

Our Trip to the Cabin

Man, this post has been a long time coming! In August, Alec and I met Erin, Corey and their girls at the Pratt Cabin in Navajo Lake. We had so much fun that weekend!

Here we are at the beginning of a hike to a waterfall!

Rowan learned how to stick out her tongue. I wonder where she learned that from...

This was our reward at the end of the beautiful hike.

Caught in the action. :)

Alec and I went to the cabin last summer with his parents and we carved this!

Corey built a tire swing for the kids, but we all played on it. :)

We can't wait to go back to the cabin!

August 5, 2010

My Honeymoon with Noteworthy

So Alec and I had a very interesting honeymoon. We spent it with Noteworthy, the a cappella group I was in at BYU. And I spent the majority of it at Warner Bros. Studios... I thought it was about time for me to tell that lengthy story.

There is so much that I could say about Noteworthy... Let's start with the fact that Noteworthy was my life my freshman year of college. Alec was pretty happy about that since it kept me busy... too busy to date a lot while he was still on his mission. :)

Last year, Alec really got to experience Noteworthy...

We got engaged on July 24th 2009 and we decided soon after that we would be married on November 28th. I warned Alec before fall semester started that the semester would be extremely busy especially considering the fact that Noteworthy's busiest month is December. I knew that it would be a struggle to set up our apartment in between the countless Christmas gigs Noteworthy would have. Never did I think that the Christmas gigs wouldn't be the reason why December would be busy...

In September 2009, Amy and Courtney (the directors last year) called an emergency meeting. They told me to bring Alec because the meeting would affect him.

They told us at the meeting that Noteworthy was invited to compete on a TV show called "The Sing Off" on NBC. We were all so excited!

Then Courtney revealed a big calendar with some dates marked on it. It showed when we would be in LA, when we would be traveling, when we would be taping, etc. Then I notice what the dates were...

Amy and Courtney looked at me and told me that we were supposed to report to NBC studios on... November 28th.

I stared at the calendar for a while and then Amy told us that we didn't have to make a decision right away. Then Alec nudged me and TOLD me I was going to do the show. He didn't want me and the rest of Noteworthy to miss out on that opportunity. I had my reservations, but Alec just told Amy that we were in!

We worked it out with the producers so that I could skip the first day of rehearsal, which was on our wedding day. They also agreed to let Alec stay with me in the hotel that first week of filming.

Then the day came! Our wedding went off without a hitch and the producers shuttled the rest of the group up to Wrightwood from Burbank so they could come to our reception! I felt so lucky to have them there. After the reception, we drove all the way back to the hotel in Burbank. When I checked in with the people from the show, they told me what time I had to meet in the lobby for rehearsal...
7 AM

Needless to say, I was very tired that first day of rehearsal. We spent most of the day rehearsing our joint song for the first episode and then spent some time rehearsing with the choreographers and had a little bit of free time in between. Unfortunately, Alec wasn't allowed on set, so he had to find ways to keep busy while I was rehearsing.

Most of the week, I left in the morning around 8 AM and returned to the hotel between 8 and 10 PM. The worst night was when we were on set from 8 AM until almost 2 AM the next morning... We did get a small break in the middle of the day where we got to go back to the hotel, but it wasn't enough to keep us from being completely exhausted.

Two days before the taping of the first episode, the "wranglers"(the people who made sure we were at the right place at the right time) took us to a Mexican food joint for dinner. I got a shrimp taco and then we headed back to the set. That would prove to be a huge mistake. By the time we got back to the set, I felt aweful. I asked to sit down while everyone else was rehearsing choreography. The rest of Noteworthy looked down into the stands a few minutes later and saw me bent over a trash can.

Yes. I got food poisoning. On my honeymoon.

I texted Alec and asked him to buy some 7-up and crackers. By the time we got back to the hotel, I was pretty green again... Alec put a movie on his laptop and we watched it in bed in hopes that it would distract me a little bit and maybe put me to sleep. Alec earned some major points that night. He was so sweet and did whatever he could to make me feel better.

While this seems like a sad and gross experience, I thought that it was a great way to jump into marriage! I was bound to have food poisoning or the stomach flu at some point in my married life. Why not get it over with at the beginning. :) By morning, my stomach was completely and utterly empty, but I felt much better.

The day after my night of food poisoning was our dress rehearsal for the first episode. I was so glad to have that experience behind me so I could enjoy my time there. Here are a couple of pictures of us before the taping of the first episode.

As those of you who watched the show know, we were kicked of on the second episode so we were only there for a week. We had a great time there and were able to meet so many other great groups and perform for so many people! While I was sad that we were out of the competition, I was SO happy to go home to my new home!

And that's the story. The story of our crazy, eventful honeymoon with Noteworthy.

August 3, 2010

Vacation with the Raps Family

I love vacations, even if they are short. We were able to go on vacation with my side of the family a couple of weeks ago. We had so much fun! We stayed in a cabin in Island Park, ID and spent a day in Yellowstone and spent time together as a family. This was the first time my entire side of the family has been together since our wedding. Here are some pictures from the trip!

Two of the funniest moments of our day in Yellowstone:
1. Ava (my niece) was asking about some of the animals and Lauren (my sister) said "Yeah I think they're cantaloupe!!"
2. Ava saw some animals again (the animals in the picture above) and she said "Those are scary kitty-cats!!"
I love my family. :)

Old Faithful!

This is what my mom's face looks like when you pull her ear...

We found some more hot spings and geysers after we saw Old Faithful.

Then we found a hike! It was just a mile up to this beautiful waterfall! Here's our family at the end of the hike. I would like to note that both Lauren and Ava made it to the waterfall in flip-flops. Ava was living the lap of luxury though since the men took turns carrying her on their shoulders.

We went to Johnny Sack's cabin near Island Park and took a quick tour. This is a life-size carving of good ol' Johnny Sack. He was only 4'11"!!

Alec had to duck in the cabin whenever he went through doorways or went up the stairs. Oh the pains of being tall!

The water was so clear in the stream near the cabin!

We found this phone booth at a gas station in Island Park. I couldn't resist...

Yes, this is a bear... And where did we find it?... In a gas station... Only in Idaho.

The trip was so fun! I just wish it could have lasted longer! We also took family pictures when we all went back down to Provo! Stay tuned for the pictures!

July 14, 2010

Hong Kong!

So, I had the opportunity to go to Hong Kong in April with Noteworthy, the a cappella group I have been in for two years at BYU. This was my first time out of the country and it was such a cool experience! We spent the week there performing and experiencing the culture and shopping... boy did we shop!

We were invited by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups to perform in a Festival there. We had to miss the last week of winter semester classes... again. We had to miss the last week of fall semester classes because of The Sing Off. That's another post for another day.

It's been a long time coming, but I wanted to post some pictures from our trip to Hong Kong! We left on a Tuesday morning and flew to San Fransisco. I was almost stuck in the airport because of some issues with my ticket. It was issued using my maiden name, but my passport had my married name on it. Luckily, we were able to get it fixed with a monstrous fee for the name change. We were able to make it to San Fran and then we left for our 14 hour flight to Hong Kong. We arrived on Tuesday morning. Weird, I know. The jet lag was aweful!

This was my way of communicating with Alec. I love Skype. :) It was a lot harder leaving him than I thought it would be!

This is the view from our hostel. We were on the 12th floor. Every building in Hong Kong is huge!! The area of the island isn't very big so they just build up.

These are some of the girls who hung out with us and showed us around during our free time. You can kind of see the lobby of the hostel in the background. The hostel was amazing!! We had a huge room with 6 beds (which were hard as a rock) and a wall that was just a huge window! There were 7 of us there so Amy and I ended up having to share a bed. We didn't mind because we were always so tired we just crashed as soon as we laid down.

Here's the group with Kenneth. He is awesome! He was the one who originally contacted us about coming to Hong Kong.

Notice my hair in this picture? This was my hairstyle the ENTIRE week. It is extremely humid in Hong Kong, so my hair did not survive when it was down. The last few mornings in Hong Kong, I went out in the lobby and the painted concrete floors were covered in a thick layer of dew. Our floor had an open deck so we could feel the humidity as soon as we left the room.

We went shopping in this outdoor market place and parts of it was a little bit creepy. This is an ally way outside one of the shops.

For some weird reason, a bunch of clothing makers in China felt that cats and music go together. I found so many shirts and purses and little toys that had cats and music notes on them!

You don't want to know what was in this store...

All of the scaffolding in Hong Kong is made out of bamboo. I think it's a lot prettier than the scaffolding they have in the states. Our tour guide said that it is extremely strong too.

We were walking down the street and we passed by this lady walking with her little son. He was so cute and the lady saw us looking at him. She was really nice and she spoke English. She stopped and talked to us for a while. She told us his name was Fong Fong. I know it must have seemed a little creepy but I HAD to take a picture!

On Sunday, we went to a church building to try to go to sacrament meeting, but we found out it was General Conference that day. Since Hong Kong is half a day ahead of the America, they show general conference in the church buildings the week after. We went to a session and then we went to the Hong Kong temple. It is such a cool temple! The property is not very big so they built the temple straight up. Our tour guide had to go across the street to get a picture of the whole temple.

This says The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Hong Kong Temple.

I have to say, I was pretty proud of these temple pictures. Alec usually makes fun of my pictures because they're either not centered or out of focus.

My guess is that this means Holiness to the Lord the House of the Lord...

This is one of our amazing tour guides. She is the one that took us around on Sunday. She was so sweet and we had so much fun with her!

We had such and amazing time and were able to perform for so many people. I was excited to get home to my hubby and get my sleeping schedule in check, but I definitely missed all of the great people!