6.29.2013

i don't know about you, but i was definitely feeling 22.

so this one time when december 4th, 2012 came rollin' on around, i turned 22. and have never felt so loved before probably in my entire life. my inbox was full of emails from all kinds of different people + companies.

like my dentist for one!


and my gym.


and my favorite ice cream shop! note: ice cream and froyo are two totally different things. that's why it's okay to say that graeter's is my favorite ice cream place + yland is my fave for froyo. deal?


i managed to take a screenshot exactly at noon, so i could pretend i took this at midnight when it was actually officially my brithday. (:


i also started taking screenshots (for memory's sake) of the different people who wished me a happy birthday! like my bff sara,


roommate emily,


amigo from church, griffin...while simultaneously receiving a facebook notification of church friend michael wishing me a happy day, as well...which is the main reason i stopped taking screen shots of the birthday wishes - thanks to really awesome friends who actually remembered my birthday enough to send me a text (or at least saw it was my bday on facebook, and then texted me) + all my fb friends...my phone was buzzing like crazy all day long. add that to the phone calls i received from each of my family members throughout the day, and it was truly a very special day. i've never felt more loved!


AND to top it all off, one of my english professors has the same exact birthday as me, so we had a birthday celebration in class, complete with cake + happy bday napkins (and noisemakers! :)



another extra-special text message...from the mama of my missionary (: since micae + i have known each other (way back when in the fall of 2009 when we first met), we've made a great effort to make each other's bdays extra special, since we're both away from home during the school year (her bday in september, mine in december). this was our first bday year apart since we met, and i loved hearing from her mama wishing me well (: seriously, so much love.


AND THEN (seriously, this day just got better + better!!) roommate katherine made me pumpkin pancakes, with a side of apple juice (and PLENTY of whipped cream)! ah. the love. so so much.


AND THEN OF COURSE (did you really think my bday would be complete without this?)...a trip to yland to top off the evening with my roomies + also my running amigo jon!


yum yum yum yum yum.


oh my gosh and i almost forgot! once we got home, it was PRESENT TIME. thanks to my AMAZING family back in ohio who sent me a handful of delightful presents to make me feel doubly triply quadruple-y extra special. i have the best friends + family in the world, no questions asked!


and to top it all off, a few more email birthday wishes!





in retrospect, i don't think i used any of these offers (except for maybe the redbox one), but it is still nice to get these well wishes from companies who really have no idea who you are, but at least care enough about you to give you special offers on the anniversary of the day you were born. (:

and to top it all off, i took a solo drive up to the provo temple to think over a few things. when i receive my last text message of the day, just before midnight...


from no one other than my favorite church leader, bishop z. (: what a fabulous birthday. thanks again to everyone who made it extra special for me, i am so so blessed to have you all in my life! xox.

december: pre-winter break.

(december 1st thru approx. december 15th, 2012)

ahhhh. the semester is ending and my heart is yearning to finish up my finals + get home for winter break! plus it doesn't help curb my obsession with Christmas when i'm seeing lights like this on display in my bishop's neighborhood after an activity one night:


eek eek eek! CHRISTMAS SO SOON (: but we'll get to that holiday. you know, eventually. (:

in other news, my roommates whit, emily, + kat decided to go for a walk one night...and it started POURING RAIN. good thing they're still adorable, even when they're sopping wet as dogs. (;


ah. the night before my puppetry final. the night that i finally picked up the pace + finished my puppet...just a wee bit behind schedule, but hey. i finished! just needed a whole ton of this stuff for stuffing:


and a good movie to watch that could inspire me as i finished my sewing:


yep! the muppets. really an adorable movie. the soundtrack...oh boy. just look up "am i a man or am i a muppet?". easily the best/most catchy song from the film. love it.


so this is what i started that night with...just a head. lol.


and after finding a cute little outfit from my local thrift store (that i wish came in my own size)...


i got to work! for hours and hours and hours...until the next morning, when we had our puppetry final! just look at my bff from my major, laura, with her adorable robot puppet!


so cute, right? and then there was my twin...my alter ego...my finished product after weeks (hours) of work - my stella!


had to get a shot of just her shoes. so adorable. (:


still amazed i finished her in time for the final. phew. i definitely cut quite a few more corners than i probably should have (like hot-gluing certain parts of her outfit instead of cutting/sewing them to make them fit better...among other things. haha whoops), but she turned out great! so great, in fact, that my roommates really had a blast creeping one another out by hiding her around the apartment in all the creepiest ways possible those last few days we were all still living in skyview #1 for the semester....

such as this. laying in front of our downstairs window (right by the front door) to welcome me home late one night:

hilarious. more of those to come in a bit. BUT before that...it's been one too many posts since i've posted some pictures of my froyo outings, am i right or am i right? right-o. here we go:

froyo date with deb:


holy peppermint. haha. so yummy though!


+ me, proudly repping my chilean heritage (:


+ my crazy combinations of froyo toppings. #dontjudge


yum yum yummm. what was also yum? getting our church's christmas party catered by tucano's brazillian grill...YUM. no photos of the food, sadly, just one totally candid photo of my roomies + i in our sunday best. (:


oh. and more froyo. actually right after the above christmas party/dinner. i just can't stay away, okay?

cute bff emily:


yummmmm froyooo.


(: delish.


also, have you heard? i love to see the temple. i'm so lucky to live just a 3-minute drive from this gorgeous one out in provo!


and + i especially love the simple nativity scenes they have in front of all of the lds temples around Christmas time. doesn't get much better than that. (:


oh. also...microwaveable animals?? something about that just seems creepy to me. and uncomfortable. which is why i took a photo of it when i saw it at the grocery store and am now sharing this with all of you, six months later. you're welcome.


OH! also in december...right before finals week hit...guess who came out to utah to visit me!??!


yessssssssss my #1 favorite zupa's-loving mama!!!


nothing better than lunch/dinner dates with her. i am so so lucky she was able to come and visit to help me do some church-related shopping as i prepared to go through the temple out in ohio to receive my endowment (special lds/mormon ceremony that takes place inside the temple). how lucky am i to have a mama like her!?



we loved getting to hang out, drive around, shop around, and just spend time together. she's the BEST (:


however, our visits together are never quite long enough, because before i knew it, i was getting up in the early AM to give her a ride back to the airport! good thing i just had a week of finals to finish up + then i'd be heading back home to spend winter break with her or else i wouldn't have let her leave so quickly (:


ah. and then we were back to this. my coming back mega late from work at the testing center after finals one night = this waiting for me right inside our front door. #socreepy #butalsohilarious


oh. and the hfac had just about the coolest exhibit on display in its main lobby! it was all about facebook/social media/networking/etc. very cool. as you can tell from one piece of it in the below photo:


love it. i also had to sometimes get up crazy early in the morning during finals week, so i could open the testing center in the wilk (where the religion tests are given). yeesh. but seeing a sight like this as i walked across campus when there was hardly anyone else stirring on campus just kind of made it totally worth it. simply gorgeous.


and then...we waited. and waited for the students to arrive. looks like a lot of them decided to sleep in this particular morning (;


so we did what any normal testing center employees would do...


have a mini photo shoot inside the testing room with the Christmas decor!


also...yikes. these pre-recorded test scores weren't looking too good...so maybe it was a good thing a bunch of people slept in a little extra (;


oh my gosh. how could i forget? that one time when one of the freshman tc employees told us he had so much money left on his signature card and offered to buy us all jamba juice! um, yes please.


 little did i know that as soon as he handed me mine, across the table, the bottom of my cup would literally fall off (don't ask me how, none of us could figure out why), and proceed to get ALL OVER me, the table, the computer, AND the scanner.


yikes. i don't look very strawberry smoothie-ified in the below photo, but trust me. it was ALL OVER my pants. and i smelled like strawberry for a good long while (til i got someone to cover for me so i could run home + change...yum).


phew. after that disaster in the morning, it was nice to head on over to my home (aka the hfac) in the evening for my scenic art/painting final. thank goodness we got to do these as a group, otherwise heaven knows it wouldn't have turned out quite this nice.


so prettyy. thank goodness for artistically-skilled bffs from my major (:


giselle, laura, me + kyle:


...and an awkward photo that is much more like ourselves (:


as i was in the basement of the jfsb taking another final this particular week, i found this little stress reduction kit hanging above a water fountain. #hilarious #mightneedtotrythatsometime


oh finals week. no one likes you very much, except for maybe us testing center employees. but that's okay because there are kind people in the world (at byu, at least) who leave nice treats + encouraging messages to students finishing their tests:


adorable. just adorable.


+ not only do we have kind students here at byu...we also have a few witty ones who tape photos like this one to the front door of the testing center so you can see it as you walk in...


ryan gosling. you make everything better.


when i got home another day this week...i was pleased to see that my roommates had started to attempt to scare one another (instead of just me), like by propping stella up on roommate emily's bed with the attached sign:


hahahahaa.


oh boyyy. and of course, as with any finals week, i took many a late-night trip to smith's. where i found out they had done some reorganizing of a few products. heaven knows all you need in life is some paper towels + beer #amiright?


i don't know why i found that to be so funny. haha. anyway. i also was more than pleased to find this little ziplock baggie of like, literally the world's BEST peppermint hot cocoa (homemade!) waiting on my doorstep another night when i was on my way home from a late night at the tc. thank goodness for awesome friends like kyle chapman (and his mama that makes the best hot cocoa mix in the world). love it.


oh yes, the puppet creeping continued. this time when i was headed up the stairs to bed one late night post-finals...she was just waiting there at the top of the first flight.


"i've been expecting you." doesn't get much creepier than that. hahaha.


ohhhhhhhhh BOY. okay. also...a nice reprieve from the insanity of finals week was ]getting a letter from my missionary in taiwan! wheeeee! still in the mtc (so not technically taiwan yet), but still the best day ever, every day.


 just look at her (: SO HAPPY AND MISSIONARY-LIKE in the mtc! so proud (:


also...having roommates that love you is always a good thing. like when they know that your favorite treat ever is dark chocolate-covered raisins, and they buy you some and nonchalantly put a little baggie filled with them on top of some of your food in the kitchen cupboard. #ilovemyroommates


also...totally loved when my friend elise sent me this photo, saying she thought me as soon as she saw it on pinterest. you're right elise, if i ever got a tattoo, this is 100% exactly what it would be. #beatleslover4life #seriouslythough


oh, and don't worry. the puppet creeping hadn't ended quite yet. though i believe this was the last one for the  semester, hiding (hanging?) out in debbie's closet...


"well hello debbie. it's nice to see you." lol my roommates are crazy. glad they got some fun out of my puppet though. (:

+ last but not least...i really started to snapchat my life away. even when i was working as a supervisor at the testing center during finals week. especially when i was trying to coerce some of my favorite people to come visit my fellow employee andie + i at work during an especially long shift.


phew. okay, that was a lot. so in case you missed that, let's do a lightning-speed recap, courtesy of my instagram photos from the month. ready?

church christmas party with the roomies:


hanging out in utah with the world's best mama for a few days:


rocking out my (our) scenic art/paiting final:


working my life away at the testing center:


enjoying the things that brightened my days during the long, seemingly never-ending finals week:


+ of course, stella creeping everyone in my apartment out, on the daily.


(: now on to CHRISTMAS BREAK!
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