EFY: Week 2 Fresno

Week 2 in Fresno was pretty hot! That first Sunday we were there, it was 108 degrees!! Luckily, the weather cooled down a little bit for us and we enjoyed our time. 
Remember how I just explained who Melissa was? We dubbed Monday's "Melissa Monday's" cause they truly are exhausting. This is how we felt after a long Melissa Monday was complete. 
As weeks go on and counselors continue to come to each session, we are able to become better friends and have a blast together at dances and such. 
Games Night is always exhausting as we scream to children (and counselors) non stop, but we always love when it comes to an end and we can relax and watch the cheers! 
These boys were the 'heart throbs' of our Variety Show this year as they sang... you guessed it, One Direction. These boys were hilarious. They called me Daisy or Jasmine all week long. 
Lucky for us, the temple was right outside of the church building we were at! We took a brief family photo shoot. 
and even after 2 weeks we loved each other lots 
Yet again, I had a killer BC group. Tara, Lauren, and Monica. They were rad. 
I also was in charge of the musical program that week. I had 2 fabulous helpers, Jessica and Sam, with me. Even though it can be stressful cause you want it to be perfect, I LOVE the musical program! Even in practices I forget about all my worries and stress and love the spirit that fills the room as the youth sing. It really is an incredible and rewarding experience. 
A few times this summer, kids would come up to me and ask me if I was in Palmyra last year. I have a special place in my heart for that session. And those kids. Well, Brielle, to my right, was there last summer as well! So we instantly connected and I loved that girl all week! (Carly, on the left, is such a babe too!)
Friday was a bit crazy as we were missing 2 of our boys, Logan and Jaron, who headed to Santa Barbara a day early to get things set up and ready! Somehow we managed! 
Our fabulous week 2 team! We were definitely smaller, but still had a fantastic week! 
And I loved our session directors, the Hawkins. They were so awesome and perfect for these kids! 
2 weeks down, 5 more to go! time was already flying!


efy: sacramento!

efy happened.
8 straight weeks (with a 1 week break in between). 
and it was such a blast, you guys. really. i have no regrets accepting that job this summer!
so since I love pictures, oh so much, and we traveled all around California... I'll give you week by week. (and if you hate my efy love, avoid the next 8 posts)
week 1 was in lovely Sacramento, California (not like I'd been there enough already this summer, right?) 
quick side note: i got home from lake powell 7 pm Friday night and left at 5 am for Sacramento the next day! talk about a non stop summer! so once we finally arrive in Sacramento, we are waiting for all of our bags and was still missing Logan's big red bag after 45 minutes! There was one bag going around the conveyer belt that looked like Logan's, but it had ribbons and a name tag that read "Melissa". I would jokingly yell, "Melissaaaa! Come get your bag!" Finally, we went to the services to report a missing bag and the lady said it had checked into Sacramento. As she was asking us if any bags looked alike on the belt still and we explained why there shouldn't be any confusion, we see a lady walk by with a red bag. Kelsey asked if she was Melissa and she said yes and that she had accidentally taken the wrong bag. HA! So from then on, whenever we were being negative or something wrong was going on we'd say, "Melisssssaaaa". Turned out to be quite the comic relief. It always turned negative into positive. 
oh, and i had to snap a picture of her leaving with her bag and you can see Logan's. 
anyways... got to California, finally met my entire team, and was pumped for a fun summer!
Our first week was a Stay at Home session so it was just 9-9 Monday-Friday. breeze.
And did I mention that Suzanne was my FC this summer! we win. love this woman and SO glad we got to work together all summer in a wonderful place!
 once the kiddies were gone at night, we partied just a little. aka getting treats. but we didn't do it most nights cause we would rather sleep. party poopers. 
 this outfit attire matchy-ness happened very often this summer and it all began week 1.
 games night was extremely hot so we felt it necessary to have squirt guns. they were cheap and didn't work very well, but it was fun while it lasted. 
 one afternoon, Tazia and I went to Goodwill to look for random findings and just happened to find 5 of these TMNT backpacks for $10 each, brand new! We were shocked and seriously so giddy. Clearly, we gave them to all of the girls and rocked them all summer (at least Taz and I did!) They were quite the hit all summer. 
 And like I said, i LOVED my team this summer. even at the beginning of week 1, I knew it was going to be a fun team and a fun trip ahead of us! 
 Our session directors were the Johnson's and they were INCREDIBLE! We loved them and their adorable family! 
 We even had the privilege of having Brian Rhoades come sing for us one night. Incredible.
 Because we were at church buildings for Stay at Homes, we had a lot of cleaning up to do, like putting away 100's of chairs. I was the chair holder once and it was quite the task trying to stay up. Those chairs get heavy!
 This was my first group of girls for the summer! they were all darling and so fun to get to know!
 and surprise! i got this goof to commit to work one week with me! we were needing quite a few counselors our first week so I asked him to come and was SO glad he did! It was fun getting to work a week with a best friend!
and before we knew it, week 1 was over. Here was our fantastic group of counselors! seriously loved each and every one of them for making it an awesome week and being such sports dealing with a team who was just getting into the swing of things! 
after the week ended, we spent the night at the Johnson's and had a blast talking till 2 am, waking up early, having a delicious breakfast, spending time at the pool with all the family, chatting some more, BC girls getting much needed pedicures, getting some Thrifty ice cream, and then headed out to our next session!
week 1 was crazy and we tried to figure out all the quirks, but all in all, we LOVED that week! 


the facts.

I have now been living in Arizona for almost a week (whatttt) and here are the things I've learned...

1. If you didn't already guess it, Arizona has tons of Cactus! And did you know it takes 75 years to grow ONE arm on a cactus? K, so maybe I already knew that one. But on top of that, it is illegal to even cut one down if it's already starting to fall. People will put wood against them to support them so they will stay up. So crazy. I've seen a few cacti that have arms on arms... they must be REALLYYY old. And, they are filled with water! I don't even know how they can stay up because they have to be super heavy.
Here is my lovely cactus in the backyard. Definitely over 75 years old.
2. According to my uncle there is LOTS of wildlife in this desert. For instance, I took my little 5 year old cousin to school one day with my Aunt and on our street we saw this baby coyote! He was calm and just casually was walking alongside the road. What the?! Thought it was some sort of ugly dog. Nope. First wildlife sighting? check. Now I just need to find the bobcats, snakes, deathly lizards, and other random things. hooray! Advice from the Uncle: when I do encounter such animals, don't acknowledge them or get close to them. They won't bother me if I don't bother them. easy enough?
I wish I was quick enough to take a picture, but this is pretty much like the one I saw!
3. Friends, it is possible to burn your feet just by walking barefoot on pavement. (what a 'duh' statement) Learned that painful mistake on Saturday when I wanted to run to my friends car. My feet have been hurting a little the past few days. I would compare it to walking on coal. That's probably why Arizona people do so well in those competitions. I'll get up there I'm sure. Lesson learned: always wear sandals when walking on pavement in the middle of the day! it is hot!
4. Every house should have a pool. Thankfully my Aunt and Uncle do! It is the ONLY way to enjoy the heat. Not to mention, I love my pool time! Win, win? I think so.
5. It's crazy to hear people say that it's nice weather when it is 100 degrees outside! I'm pretty much used to the hot weather thanks to Georgia and it's humidity, but it's still so hot here! Apparently I came at the WORST time to be here. oops. Good thing I can handle it. And I guess it isn't as bad this week because the week before I got here is was about 115 degrees every day. woof. Good news is that fall will be a dream! Can't wait for that perfect weather! 
6. Every car needs to have a car visor. Getting in your car during the day is like stepping into a sauna. Not to mention, it even takes a few minutes to get the A/C working full time. I'm hoping my new investment in this visor will not only protect my car from sun damage, but will keep things a little cooler before using it. (I am now one of those people I used to think were so ridiculous for using one of those things. Wait till you move to Arizona and you'd understand)
7. Sunsets can be absolutely GORGEOUS here! I witnessed my first one a few nights ago and was blown away! I'm obsessed with sunsets and I wish I could've captured the entire thing. It was amazing. I'm hoping to see another one like that soon!
8. Arizona likes to have speeding cameras and will take pictures of your license plate if you choose to speed. lazy police. There is a chance I learned that mistake my very first night when I wondered if there was lightning. Guess I'll find out soon if I get some mail. dangit. fingers crossed it was just my imagination. 
9. If you happen to go to Scottsdale Fashion Square to do a little shopping, be prepared to get lost and get a work out. I didn't remember where I parked my car and it maybe took me an extra 15 minutes to get out of the mall trying to find stairs and escalators to take me to my car. I feel accomplished that I made it out alive.
10. Good news for me, Arizona has things that remind me of home such as: Bluebell Ice Cream, Waffle House, and legit thunderstorms (when they rarely happen even though it's monsoon season... whatever). Just a piece of the south and I'm in heaven.

So those are just the 10 quick facts I've learned while being in Arizona for almost a week!
If you feel inspired to now come visit me and experience the excitement yourself, I'd be more than happy to show you around!
I think I'm really going to like this place. 


is this real life?

6 years. 
i can't believe i've lived in Provo 6 whole years. and i'm leaving in the morning. 
it's been quite the adventure to say the least.
and it's weird to say that i'm leaving this place. 
it's been my home. i've met incredible people. i attended the best university. i have grown up a lot and have learned who i am while i've been here. 
it's been a good run, but i am ready for a new adventure to begin in Arizona! 
i will miss this place. 
dear provo, 
i know that i said i hated you some days. but i really have loved you. thanks for all the good times and good memories. i hope to see you again soon.
love, the future az girl 


Lake Powell Time.

Lake Powell was such a dream!
It all happened pretty last minute, but we managed to round up some good people and had a GREAT week! I was so happy to be back on 'Something Divine'. 
i got to bring along 2 of the boys- Kyle and Carter, Tay brought his bestie Bubba, Lexie got to bring her friend, Sydney who used to live in Georgia but now lives in Utah, and then it was my Dad and Cody. It was the elite selection of people (besides the fact that we were missing Mom, Callie, and Brandon). 
at 7 am Friday morning, I got Bubba, Carter, Kyle, and Syd piled in my car to head down. We had to wait a little longer than expected for the rest of the crew to arrive from AZ so we tried to get things situated. Once we were all there, boats and jet skis working, bags loaded, food purchased, we headed out and were pumped!
We always love our leisurely hikes and relaxing Sundays. It's been a few years since we've gone to Rainbow Bridge so we decided to venture back over there this year and enjoyed taking some pictures!
According to Carter, if we made a sharpee heart on our bodies and kept it there all week, we would have a tan line from it. so we became the heart crew. (and maybe it didn't really work but we still looked cool) 
i was so happy 2 of my best friends were able to join me for another epic vacation! it was such a last minute decision for all of us, but totally something all of us wouldn't pass up! so thankful for that! it wouldn't have been as great of a week without these crazies! 
morning ski runs were some of my favorite times. we would wake up, put on our suits, and head out. one colder morning, i decided to wear a hat that of course fell when i turned my head to look ahead. so we turned back around to get it and i was sure it would be gone. by some miracle it was still floating so I had to dive in and get it. it was SO cold that morning so I wasn't happy about it, but worth the lifeguard sacrifice. 
it was weird that we were the only 2 Sant girls on the boat, but I loved every second I got to spend with this sweet baby sister of mine! i hate that she is just growing up so much!
i loved the days where we could go exploring. my dad LOVES it. we found some really cool coves to climb and cliffs to jump off of. 

good thing Syd brought up a flashlight our last night or we wouldn't have seen this bad boy. maybe we all screamed like little girls when we saw it (yes, including the boys)
and who could forget Taylor's epic story telling. This was Carter's first experience. 
i always love the moments I took out the jet ski and just ventured around the lake. it was one of my favorite times to reflect and realize how much I love that place. 
intense rounds of tubing happened,
i loved spending the week with this studly brother of mine who is growing up WAY too much. he's such a blast to hang out with.
adventures of washing our hair and shaving our legs among the fish,
of course the tanning sessions on the top of the boat happened frequently, 
and everyone enjoyed skiing and wakeboarding- some of them had their first experiences of doing one or the other. we were quite the support system through it all. 
the water was absolutely gorgeous each morning. we were basically the only ones around in our canyon so it was perfect for our skiing and wakeboarding needs. talk about being spoiled.
this was my cleaning crew. we each had teams and rotated days to clean after meals. we rocked it. 
somehow my life always seems to go back to 'me and the boys'. good thing it's something i'm used to and something i enjoy!
it was fun spending time with the fam before my crazy summer of EFY was beginning. if only Mom, Cal, and Brandon could've joined us, it would've been an even better vacation. 
and sometimes I enjoyed being the flag girl. just sometimes.
the sun was setting one ski run and so of course I was obsessed and took more pictures of that than the people in the water. oops? i love this place so much and never wanted to leave.
my brothers and I are fully aware of our good looks.
i don't know why it took years for Bubbs and I to become good friends. Better late than never right? Love this kid.
i'm so glad Sydney was able to come spend the week with us! we enjoyed having her around to make us laugh! she is such a riot! 
we enjoyed our last morning eating cereal in cups on the way back to the marina. 
and yet another great vacation with these 2 goes down in the books! we got a little spoiled our first month of summer on boats and getting to spend time with one another. it was a great last hoorah together before our lives really started changing. 
My Dad is an incredible person! This trip wouldn't have been possible without him! He was the only "adult" on the boat and was such a blast to be around! He always had a smile on his face and made the best food! I love this man! 
and of course, it's always fun to be with the siblings. 
after an epic week, we decided to buy these bracelets to keep us together to remember our fun week! (at least most of us)
Lake Powell 2012, thanks for being good to us. See ya next summer!