Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Part II

To start off the holiday, Annie and I ran a 5k in Draper!

 in the car before the race...

Mandy and Chantelle joined us!

AFTER the race! excited about Annie's first 5k!!

Then off to the Glenns' for wonderful food and fun company :) here we are with Grandma Glenn!

And more of the group! (missing a lot...)

Annie and I then went over to say hi to the Stonemans! They fed us wonderful pie and we had fun visiting and joining in a Christmas sing-a-long with the whole group! Highlights:
*the grandsons getting super excited when they heard annie and I were there! Then some confusion...turned out they heard "a lizard is here!" Turns out cousin Liz is NOT as exciting as a real lizard.
*Calvin's dance during the group's rendition of "Feliz Navidad"
*Gunther requesting an encore of "Feliz Navidad"
*Little Kayla correcting Uncle Augie's confusion with the page numbers again and again
*Playing football with Grahamburger :)

OTHER WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS:
-> Fun shopping day getting Josh's Christmas package all put together with Annie.  Now today we'll get it shipped off to Mexico!
-> A fun visit with Michelle! (and a repeat of our favorite past time: singing at the piano! it'd been way too long!)
-> Michelle and I headed over to Lori's house for a visit with the whole Riches family! love that house. intense mario kart tourney.  reminiscing. teasing kristin. the usual.
-> movie marathons with annie! holiday inn, random chick flicks on TV while waiting for our jello creation to set up, anne of green gables AND anne of avonlea (the gilbert version...where you skip any part without gilbert in it), and the music man!

Annie and I were so grateful to our extended family for making us feel so welcome! We missed mom and dad in Russia, the Bosters in Texas, the Shawcrofts in Colorado, and Josh in Mexcio...but we are certainly grateful for skype this year!! technology is a great blessing in my life as my family is scattered around the world.  I'm also very grateful for my dear sister Annie holding down fort here in the family home so I have a place to come home to :)

More than anything, I am thankful for the Atonement of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am grateful for His ability to do it, His willingness to do it, and His love for each of us that motivated Him to do it.  I am grateful that it makes it possible for me to enjoy peace, healing, and progression. I'm grateful He never gives up on me :) He is my truest friend.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

loved this youtube video on modesty!

loved this video..
(1) because i totally agree
(2) because they added lots of nerdy science stuff to prove it :-) haha! pretty legit

Monday, November 21, 2011

happy thanksgibbons! :)

so abby and ryan are headed to colorado for thanksgiving...so we decided to have our thanksgibbons feast on saturday before they left. this was our first time without mama to be the master chef! in annie's words, "not bad for some snot-nosed kids!"


Annie: Turkey and Rolls
Abby: Pumpkin Pie and Gravy
Liz: Mashed Potatoes and Corn
Ryan: Turkey Carving (by the way...check out that smolder)
Group Effort: Stuffing 



our spread!


Then...keeping with gibbons tradition, we opened up the Christmas season with WHITE CHRISTMAS!!

WELCOME CHRISTMAS TIME!!
  

so this one time it was halloween

so i just realized i never posted about halloween!

A) by some miracle, i won 6 free tickets to lagoon's Frightmares from the radio by submitting THIS PHOTO as a "scary costume picture"


 yup that's what happens when you get the family costume box out at the gibbons house. good times! so this was my first time at frightmares and i didn't know there was going to be random scary people roaming around. k so we'd just gotten off the wild mouse (rollercoaster) and i glanced over at a bench and saw this creepy looking girl sitting on it. k so i couldn't figure out if she was a statue or what so i kept staring at her. so of course when she notices me with the scared look on my face, she comes RIGHT for me and it was the freakiest moment of my life. they could smell my fear!! so i of course acted like a 5 year old and hid behind the guys we were with. then of course the rest of the night, all the scary people would come right for me! so my roommates taught me how to play it cool haha...i got better... so yeah, definitely the roller coasters were my favorite part!! i'd forgotten how much i LOVE rollercoasters. this is the group right before one of the haunted houses:



B) my friend josh had the coolest idea for a costume ever! we rented waders and nets from the life sciences stockroom in our research building.  who knew how fun it is to dance in waders?? you should have seen me bust a move.


C) Stephanie needed a good costume for her school's parade (she teaches 6th grade) and we thought rapunzel was perfect. but of course we didn't start putting it together until 8:00 the night before! good thing i am a DI master and spotted this top (made for an 8 year old) and snagged it before anyone else did.  marissa was a genius and cut it so we could lace it up with pink ribbon.  the dirty, $0.25 lizard we found at DI makes a pretty good pascal don't you think?? we are good.

Friday, November 18, 2011

the boot

so sometimes i think i'm invincible:

1) like that one time i ran a red light at 4:00 am on my way to a half marathon because there wasn't another car in sight for MILES

2) like that one time i parked in the A lot (for faculty and staff) because i was late to class and that parking lot ALWAYS had extra spots open anyway

3) like tonight. when i parked in old academy's parking lot because there were like 50 bajillion open spots.

and sometimes i am sorely disappointed when i'm not invincible:

1) i got pulled over. he thought i was a drunk driver. i sweet-talked my way out of the ticket

2) i got a $30 parking ticket

3) MY CAR GOT BOOTED!!! i was so depressed. $50 down the drain. let's make myself more miserable by thinking of all the things i could have bought with $50
*6 pork salads from cafe rio
*5 pairs of boots (that is if you find them on sale for $10 a pair at plato's closet like i did last month! bam!)
*8 caesar wraps from L&T
*12 nights of bliss (aka country dancing)

....yep it's working...misery is setting in...


but i'll say this...the boot was worth it...had a blast with chelsea tonight!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

who knew i'd become so international?

well i just had to share because i realized that in the last 12 hours, i've chatted with korea, mongolia, japan, and hong kong!! now if i talk to my parents in the morning i could make it 5 asian countries in 24 hours! who knew little liz would end up with friends from all over the world? it makes me happy! you know what else makes me happy? my good friend SISTER LEE finished her mission this week and is now home in korea so we can skype!!

here's a walk down memory lane: sister lee teaching me korean! (i got better, but this is the only time we videoed it!)
video

Monday, November 14, 2011

ONE YEAR!

well this is slightly overdue, but i had to give a shout out to SEATTLE because i arrived home from my mission one year ago on november 1!!  wow.  i can hardly believe it!! just a little over a year ago, this was me:


i still miss that tag!! i was skyping with my mom tonight, and she got a phone call and said, "Hi this is Sister Gibbons" and even THAT made me mission sick. haha.  I'M sister gibbons! haha.  it really is so fun to read my parents' emails and live vicariously through them.

anyway, i felt really nostalgic on november 1st and it made me think of a list i made throughout my mission of all the things i learned. it's super long but here's a small taste

*how to cook salmon
*how to plan
*that obedience brings freedom, peace, and happiness
*how to check my tire pressure
*i am imperfect, weak, prideful, and selfish, but i am improving through the atonement of Jesus Christ.  He never gives up on me.
*the world is FULL of good people
*the gospel of Jesus Christ can heal ANY heartache
*how to wax a car
*God knows and loves little Sister Gibbons
*how to speak a little cantonese, spanish, korean, samoan, kiribati, japanese, and mongolian
*how to take care of someone else when  you yourself are sick
*how to plant a garden
*it's not always about me.  in fact, it's rarely about me.
*how to work, even when you're exhausted
*i'm only the instrument
*how to make mongolian food
*how to eat with chopsticks
*how to live with someone 24/7 and love them, even with my flaws and their flaws
*i have many beams in my eyes (even ones i'm not aware of)...and i always will in this life! so i have no right to pick at other's motes
*"truth, tis the fairest gem"
*it's easier to weed when the ground is moist
*how to serve a volleyball overhand
*how to throw a spiral and catch a football
*"in the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can't see"
*that forgetting myself is a decision, one i must make daily
*the only prerequisites to being a good missionary are commitment, desire, humility, and diligence.  age, looks, education, and personality are irrelevant.
*anchovies really are disgusting
*all things are made fair through the atonement
*my stewardship is very overwhelming, but the Lord can do all things through me if i rely on HIM rather than my own abilities
*what the scriptures mean when they say we must lose our lives in order to find them
*patience
*that the gospel is for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, background, or personality
*that agency is the key to the plan
*you can't do the Lord's work without charity. it's the purest motivation
*faith has more power than i realize
*how to strike up a conversation with ANYONE
*FPF: follow promptings fearlessly (bro sim)
*the spirit crosses language barriers
*that everyone has an interesting life story. if you take the time to listen and learn it, you will love them
*other cultures are different than mine, but neither is better than the other
*you could see miracles "if only you believed" - elder kikuchi
*we each have a divine gift: our capacity to love is infinite...we never run out of space...we can always love more people more deeply
*i'm not always right (actually i'm rarely right)
*how to truly recognize the spirit
*the spirit can give you very specific guidance when you ask for it, listen, and if you need it
*that the more i learn, the more i feel i know nothing!

wow sorry i just couldn't stop! and there's still so much more. so as i thought of this list and i thought of what i'm learned since i've gotten home, i felt like i've accomplished nothing in the past year!!! talk about missing the mission. then it started to rain!! once it rains i'm lost in my seattle thoughts :)  but then i got out my journal for the past year and started reading about my adventures since i've been home. i realized i have grown and i have learned things. i've decided i need to start writing them down.  here's a start:

*how to drop your parents off at the MTC, instead of the other way around :)
*how to be a grown-up (aka have a lot of BILLS and pay them all)
*i already had a testimony of tithing...but now i REALLY have a testimony of tithing. when we obey the law of tithing, we ALWAYS have enough money (i even ended up with some of those miracle stories. i didn't need them to believe, but wow it fills me with awe)
*i've learned a HECK of a lot about apoptosis, differential equations, fluorescence, molecular biology, developmental biology, and scientific writing
*waking up early really does make you happier (sadly i learned this from NOT doing it all the time like i did on my mission)
*the Lord always brings the people we need into our lives
*winning on the radio is actually possible (especially when you're stephanie buhler) and doing fun stuff for free makes it even more fun
*how patient the Lord is
*when we have the desire to serve and share the gospel of Jesus Christ, we ask for opportunities, and we listen to the Spirit, the Lord will provide us with small miraculous opportunities to be His instrument...no matter HOW busy we are.
*how to use touch screens (i'm getting better haha)
*i learned to be a runner!! who knew little liz could run half marathons?? people if i can do it, anyone can do it

wow i'm actually thinking of a lot of things! but i'll stop so you don't have to be dragged along liz's pensive parade any longer. i feel a lot less depressed now haha!! i also have learned a lot more about my weaknesses, but i guess that is a positive thing because i'm working on them right? so here's to another year of growth!! i think november 1st will always be a day of pondering for me, the rest of my life....a time to think about where i am and where i've been and where i'm going... and of course, the Lord's hand in my life.  it's so prevalent.  it's comforting to look back and see how He's guided me because it strengthens my trust in Him that He will continue to do so.

(sorry that was kind of deep and boring. i'll try to be funny next time haha!)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

thoughts

Well i mentioned i was reading "the book thief" right?  well it's day 4 and I'm 208 pages in.  it's amazing.  it has me really emotional. (secret confession...i cried tonight.  i mean that in and of itself is not that much of a surprise because i'm kind of a crier.  but usually if i cry in books it's because of some big obvious event that made me cry.  this time, it was brought on gradually and subtlely [aside - that is a really weird word to spell and i'm still not sure if it's right] and i still can't really put words to why).  my thoughts:

(1) how blessed i am...and how little i know about suffering
(2) the power of love...and how it can be found/created in the darkest circumstances
(3) the power of words...written words...reading those words...wow

i wish i were a gifted writer (like my dad) and could somehow fully express my feelings and thoughts which would then elicit those same feelings in you. but i'm not a gifted writer. so all i can say is, read "the book thief" and then let's talk about it :)

well that's my random blog post for the day. yay for blogs where you can send out random thoughts! ooh that makes me think of a quote from you've got mail. my friend jane and i are slightly obsessed with the movie you've got mail. kathleen kelly says, "i don't really want an answer.  I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void." ditto meg ryan! good night, dear void!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

getting excited for . . .


THANKSGIVING!!! 
i'm getting excited already :) is it weird that i've been listening to josh groban's song "thankful" on repeat for the past 45 min?  if you haven't heard it, look it up. amazing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

a whole new world!

i just discovered the world of podcasts! now i know they've been around for quite some time, but i'm a little slow. better late than never! and they're F.R.E.E. free.  love free.  so far i've been listening to 3 minute recaps of the top stories in the new york times, election updates, and 1 minute russian lessons (to prep for my trip to russia next summer).  lovin' it!