Bonjour & Welcome

LONDON!!!!!

Sorry it has been a little while since I posted. I have meant to get on here a lot sooner to post all of my stuff for my Europe Trip. I had such a blast on my trip. I have forever been changed! I am working on my next adventure to Europe I will go again next year don't know when or where yet.

I will do a post for each area I went to so I will have 4 posts. So for only a few days was I actually good at writing in a journal in Europe besides pictures. So I will share those tidbits and some other things from London. 

Day 1&2 
I'm sitting in my swat on the plane heading to Chicago. We haven't left quite yet but I'm sitting here fidgeting and bouncing my leg. I have a window seat, there are two windows for me to look out at and all I see is everything cold and wet. Not to concerning weather but enough to give a slight delay. I'm sitting next to a lady and sometimes when you look at someone you wonder what kind of life the live. She is dressed in black with multiple piercings, her hair is long and you can see just a kind of blue underneath her hair. I can imagine she has a cute tattoo that means something on one of her covered shoulders or arm. I picture her as a manager in a retail store maybe. She pulled out a notebook and is writing so maybe she is a freelance writer of some kind.

The lady next to her, is an older woman who is knitting. I imagine she is on her way to see a new gran-baby and is making a blanket. She doesn't look very old she reminds me of my mother in her physique. She has the big grandma bag full of different things like Mary Poppins might have. 

After a little while my neighbor and I started talking I found out she is an assistant manager for TJMax. The older lady had just been visiting her new gran-baby and was heading home. She was knitting a dishcloth. So I was pretty good at guessing a little bit of their lives. My neighbor we started talking and she told me she was writing a book with her husband. She told me a little bit about it and how he came up with the idea. 

We finally landed and my next flight was already starting to board. So I ran to the bathroom and then boarded. 

I am by a window again but I feel like my space is slightly smaller. I'm sitting next to a Jewish couple and it is interesting. They really don't have a desire to talk to me which is fine. This flight I have a screen in front of me and it has tons of movies to choose from. I ended up watching Collateral Beauty and Rogue One both of which I haven't seen. They served us dinner it came with the flight and it was pretty good. It was chicken and mashed potatoes. There was also a little brownie piece which was delicious lol. It has been a very long 7.5 hour flight. I only have an hour left I am currently flying over Ireland. I look down and can actually see the windmills turning. They gave us a "breakfast snack". I am now flying over England. I will be landing in about 38 mins. I am watching Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them to pass the time. Back home in Salt Lake it is 1 am. I haven't had a lot of sleep I am really tired but I won't be getting to my Hotel until 10 pm tonight. 

I landed at 11 am, I now just have to find something to do until my flight to London at 8 pm. 

So I walked around and found a quiet spot at the end of the airport and curled up and fell asleep on and off. Then I called my mom and talked to her for a while and went to a cafe and got a ham sandwich and a chocolate croissant. Then after a little while I went back to my little corner and actually fell asleep for about 3 hours. I woke up at 6 pm and got up and got ready to go find my terminal. Little did I know it would be more confusing than I was told. I ran around talking to one person to another worried and on the verge of tears. Finally found a security guard who spoke decent English that was able to help me. I had to run to catch the train to go to Terminal 3 and I was at 2. Caught the train then had to go out and follow the airport around and cross the road. Ran inside and had to go through customs for a second time in less than 10 mins. Then had to go through security for the 3rd time in 24 hours. I finally made it to my gate and had to take a bus to my plane. There isn't a lot of people on this flight so it's only an older gentleman and I in our row and he let me have the window seat when I was assigned the aisle seat. The flight is only an hour and I leave Paris time at 8:20 and will arrive in London at 8:20 it's almost like I never left 😉.  I am almost to the end of my traveling for a few days. 

I finally landed in London and now have to take the train to my hostel. On the platform I met two ladies that were kind to let me sit with them and talk. They were funny and gave some great tips about London and what I should do. When I was done riding the trains and was walking the little bit to my hotel it was very late but it was fun looking at everything that I passed. I can't believe I'm in London! I had the iconic red buses passing me and I just love it here. I also made it to my hostel just before 12 am.


So that was only day one and two of just traveling 😄 

Day 3

So I got up at 6:30 and took a shower and felt much better after my day and a half of traveling. Afterwards I was trying to find some WiFi so I could get my phone working and find a Vodafone. So I went the only way I knew. Towards the station where I got off to go to my hostel. So I head over there and hop on the jubilee. There were several stops I knew only one of them and that was the one I got on at. So I'm looking at the stations it goes to and I feel like my best bet is getting of at Waterloo. So I did. I go upstairs and there is a McDonald's and since I used to work at a McDs I knew they had public WiFi. So I get a pasty from next door and sit in McDs and get on Citymapper and find the closest Vodafone which is in Covent Gardens Market. So I walk over there and they don't open until 10 and it is almost 9 am. So I go walking around and find lots of little stores. As it got closer to opening time I walk around by the store. There was a store across the street called Hobbs that was an expensive clothing store. There was a cute t-shirt dress that I loved but in American dollars it was 100. And I couldn't bring myself to pay that much so I left. I went across the street and did what I came to do. I went to Vodafone and talked with the employee and figured out what was the best thing for me to do plan wise. Payed 20€ and got a plan. I can't believe that is way less than what I spend on my phone plan at home and this plan gives me more! One reason to move to Europe 😆😉. After that was done I decided to go to Portobello road but the first place I clicked was the wrong one. But on my way there I rode a Double Decker bus for the first time. Got off and walked to where it said to go on my map and figured out then that I was at the wrong place 😆. Wasn't a bad neighborhood or anything just wasn't what I wanted. So I click the right place and find out that all of the neighborhood bus stops are closed because of the construction nearby. So I run up the hill to the next stop passing my bus on the way. Get on the bus and finally make it to where I wanted to go Portobello rd. I walk around and looked in some stores. I walk in one clothing store because there was a cute cherry dress that I wanted to look at and I go to leave and it is all of a sudden hailing!!!! It stops a few minutes later and I go walking around again. After a bit I decide I want to go see the London Eye. So I hop on the bus and ride over to Big Ben. Walk around there for a little bit then decide I need a nap lol. So I go back to the hostel and take a 2.5 hour nap. I get up and it's now 7pm so I go to find some dinner. I walk around the neighborhood of the hostel and find a grocery store and I buy a pasty for dinner and some cross buns for breakfast for less than 2€ I was quite pleased. I eat my dinner and meet a fellow traveler at the hostel named Amok. I go down to the bar to do my homework for my math class and he comes and joins me. Him and I talk a little bit he asked me about a website for a school helped him on that and then he told me a little bit about his life. Then I went to bed. 

Day 4

So I didn't write what I did in detail but these are the things I did.
Buckingham Palace, I was told if the flag was flying the Queen is home.
Borough market, this was Costco on steroids lol I loved walking around talking to the vendors and trying the food.
London eye, I took the cruise and didn't go on the London Eye I loved the cruise.
Pay for toilets, I have never seen this before and I was warned but thought it was funny yet annoying.
Harry Potter tour I loved going on this tour we saw the streets and buildings that inspired J.K. Rowling for different things in the books
Lego store, saw a huge Lego Big Ben and a Call Box

Day 5

Cereal killer cafe, I found it on a video from Insider travel and wanted to try it and it was delicious.
Camden market, This was the market that had the Cereal killer cafe
Abby road, this was fun to go to and see I love the Beatles and it was a busy road you had to be quick
Platform 9 3/4 kings cross, I stood in line for a while to take a picture and it was fun they did a trivia game while you waited and I won a ticket 😊
Sat in a cafe at a banana ice cream crepe, so my phone was dying so I found a cafe and sat and charged it and ate some good food and had a cup of tea

Here is a link to my London Photos

Planning and executing my trip to Europe!

On February 1st I decided I would take a trip to Europe! I was sitting at work at H&R Block and talking with a coworker and just randomly decided that I would go visit a friend in Spain.


As time went on I didn't know if it would be possible but I was determined. I decided I would go donate plasma to help earn money. I donated once and it was an interesting experience. The following week on Feb 9 I got a letter from them telling me I couldn't donate plasma anymore because I got a false positive for a test, so they couldn't trust my blood. I was super bummed about it, but I was still determined.


I was constantly looking at flights and playing around with dates, departure cities, and arriving cities. On February 11 I found a great flight to Paris on April 24 and coming back on May 25, so round trip for only 420$! For that price I can fly to my family in GA round trip! So I pulled the money together that day and I bought it! I just made a life long dream a reality.


I also wanted to visit friends in Germany and go to other destinations. So I started to look at flights from Paris to London. I had always wanted to go so why not. I found a ticket on Vueling airlines for about 35$ on April 25, the day I arrive in Europe. So I bought it.


Next, I correlated with some friends in Germany and asked if maybe I could stay with them and such. They said I could so the next step was to find a good ticket to Frankfurt, Germany. I found one through Ryanair for 23$ leaving on May 3, I got it.


I then correlated with my friend in Spain who inspired my trip. I asked her if arriving on May 9th at around 2pm was ok. She was so excited and said yes! So I bought my ticket from Frankfurt, Germany to Barcelona, Spain for about 60$!


So I had one more ticket to buy. I had to get a ticket back to Paris from Barcelona so when the time came I could go home. I found a ticket for about 23$ on May 19. I wanted to be able to go to the Paris Temple Dedication on May 21. I also wanted to be able to spend some time in Paris and see some of the sights.


The final count and total for all of my plane tickets is just under 560$!


I am super impressed with myself for being able to pull it off! The tips and tricks I learned to be able to finagle those good deals I learned from thebudgetmindedtraveler. I love her blog and I am still learning from it.

Just a little story

It has been a while since I have been on here. I didn't mean for that to happen it just did. So I have gone through a lot since the last time I posted. I wrote a short little story on my point of view and thoughts. I am not trying to point fingers or anything like that. Hope it just helps you understand a little bit of what I went through.

There once was a girl who believed in princes and princesses, who believed in happily ever after. She thought she had done right and was following her heart. She fell in love with a man who in the end didn’t love her the same.

He loved the idea of having a wife who took care of the things he didn’t want to anymore. He had been married before and had two beautiful children who were his world. She wasn’t the awful stepmother as the fairy tales portray. She loved them as her own. She gave them everything she was capable of. Some would say, she loved the kids first and the man second. That could very well be true since the kids were easy to love. The man on the other hand wasn’t. He had walls and guards up. He wasn’t an easy person. He had an opinion and it was always heard. He had a small world and didn’t wonder far from it. He said he did but he really didn’t.

The girl, who felt ugly, unwanted and was desperate for love. She had thought she had found love in this man. He made her feel good, wanted, she didn’t mind how he already had kids. She felt the pieces falling into place on her list of things. She wanted to be a mother and wanted to be married and here she could have it all so easily, or so she thought.

After the wedding bells had rung, tragedy hit. The man never really considered the kids theirs; they were just his, his son and his daughter. Nonetheless she worked hard to prove she loved the kids and him no matter what.

The son got sick beyond measure and was slowly dying. In an attempt to help and in a small way to prove her love she willingly gave a piece of herself to the son, who she always considered her own. The miracle was it worked he was slowly getting better.

But as time went and the pressure of constantly having a sick son it wore down the girl but, she trudged on. She loved him. The man grew distant he didn’t share things with his new wife. She grew depressed of her situation. She didn’t know what to do; she was doing everything she could. She wasn’t herself anymore. She was a shell of who she used to be. She gave the man more of her love and attention thinking it would help. He just got more distant and unhappy.

She finally sought help from the counselor. The counselor listened and saw the problem. The man let her into the gate of his world but made her stay in the yard never daring to open the door to let her in. He was scared. He said he loved her but in the end they were just words. So, she left the little kingdom, she left behind the children who had become her world. She closed the door on her heart. She is now hesitant and nervous of princes who come knocking.


A year I never expected

I can hardly believe it has been a year since returning home from my mission. Technically it is tomorrow the 29th but today a year ago I said my testimony for the last time as a full time missionary.

A year ago on Christmas I officially met my husband Cody. He apparently saw something in me that when I got home to my family in Georgia he messaged me on Facebook and we started to talk. :)

I never saw what has happened in that year coming. I have done a lot of things in one year that have been challenging but have made me grow as a better person and I wouldn't change them.

My mother says I didn't just change my life I leaped and bounded into it. And I did and have no regrets :) I couldn't have imagined my life any better.

I loved my mission and I do occasionally find myself missing aspects of it but I am happy to be living in what used to be my mission a place I fell in love with too.

I am so grateful that the Lord inspired me to go on a mission. If I hadn't I wouldn't have met the awesome people I did. Everyone I taught in someway taught me in another. It is weird to think if I hadn't gone I wouldn't have met my husband! lol So I'm glad when the time came that we did we were ready for each other.


Christmas time!

So it's the holiday season :) I love Christmas time. At first the beginning of this month didn't feel like December yet because I was in the hospital with Austin. We are now home and I've been getting stuff for Christmas so it feels like it now.

Last week was our ward Christmas party and Santa made a special visit :) it was cute watching Des wait her turn to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what she wanted for Christmas. Here are some pics


 

So I decided I would make a wreath for Christmas since Cody doesn't really have decorations and I've always wanted to try my hand at it. So today was my first time and I think it turned out great :)




Post Surgery

So I didn't post a pre surgery but I'll at least do a post surgery.

On Friday this week it will have been a month since I donated my kidney to my stepson, Austin. I can't believe it has only been a month.

Austin is doing great! On Tuesday he got his staples out and is doing better than ever. He is happier than I've ever seen him and it is fantastic! His incision is looking good so far.So here is some news on his progress since surgery. He used to be fed through his J-port but now he is being fed through his G which is straight to his stomach. He is starting to taste food more. We found he likes salty better than sweet. Since the staples are out we are going to start putting him on his stomach so he can learn to crawl. :) We can't wait until he can start going on his own. He is also starting to say different sounds he has a new one and it is the letter "B". It is just great to see him progress when before he really couldn't. Here is what it looks like now and then to compare.
Now:
Then:



I am also doing great. I am healing very well and now I only have a red line on my stomach. Everyone asks how I'm doing and such. I have almost no pain now every once in a while if I have done a little to much I ache but it's nothing that I can't handle, and yes I am being careful :). The only thing that was a bother for a while and I mean up until last weekend I really couldn't wear pants! lol My pants button would rub against my incision when I would sit so it was a little uncomfortable. So when I actually left my house I'd wear pants but when I was at home and most of the time I was I would wear sweats. But now I'm good and can wear all my normal clothes again. Here is a pic from now and then for me. 
Now:

Then:

To all who paid a visit, prayed or was just an uplifting support during this process, I couldn't thank you enough. :)





Thanksgiving

Holidays a time usually spent with family and friends. 

I've got to say I am a bit nervous about the Holidays. Nothing bad just trying to figure out how we can combine what my family did while I was growing up and adding Cody's family stuff too. For Thanksgiving I think we've got it figured out. Since my family is back in GA and just going through surgery for Austin and I we aren't going. Next year we will hopefully go for Thanksgiving or Christmas. But for Cody's big family Thanksgiving dinner I've made my moms sweet potato casserole, homemade pumpkin pie and my pecan pie. But nonetheless it will be interesting spending the Holidays with my new family.

I've got to say I don't think I ever realized how much work goes into doing the Holidays lol. I am just glad I am not doing the Turkey that just seems daunting. One day I'll do it but not anytime soon. I can cook simple things, I'm still learning how to cook meals constantly for my family and I. I cooked my first Salmon like a week ago the recipe I used wasn't the best so I'll have to try again but it wasn't to bad cooking it. I just need practice and to continue finding recipes.

Well Happy Thanksgiving!