Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Ever since my post with the picture of my current roommates, I've been thinking about how lucky I have been to have had such wonderful roommates throughout the years. I also realized that I have moved at least once a year every year for the past 13 years. That's a lot of moves and a lot of roommates. So I thought that I would pay tribute to all these terrific women with a quick look to the past with pictures of all my roommates. Now, I THINK that I have remembered to include everyone. I will feel REALLY badly if I've left anyone out. Don't worry - I won't use last names. :)

My very first college roommate, Nancy.

Sally, Nancy, Sheila, and I were lucky enough to share a suite in the dorms and then an apartment. Two whole years of fun!

After Nancy and Sally got married, Sheila and I teamed up with Crystal and Natasha. We had many a night around an ice cream container.

Now, in 1999 I went on a study abroad to Zimbabwe. Technically I did not room with everyone in this picture (meaning the guys), but throughout the summer I think I managed to share a room, chalet, or tent with pretty much all of these gals. It was really an amazing summer!

Back in the States, I spent another year as a roommate with Natasha, and we added Rachel and Erin (sometimes known as Terry) to the apartment. And, yes, this was a posed picture. Get ready, there are more posed roommate pictures coming. We never did, however, frame them and hang them in the house or print them and send them in Christmas cards.

See! Here's another posed one. :) We took this just before I left for my mission. Here we've got Cindy, Tristen, Jen, Emily, Natasha, and me. These sweet girls signed the 8x10 of this picture and put it in a frame for me. Truly a treasure as I left for 18 months.

So, this is kind of a two-for-one picture. I figure that my mission companions count as roommates, and this picture has not only my MTC companion - Erin (far right) - but also my trainer - Michelle (next to me). This is at the train station in Hilversum just before we left to go to our separate areas.

I'm sorry this is so blurry! Ok - I'm tech deficient, and I took digital pictures of my regular pictures and then uploaded the digital ones. I didn't have a digital camera on my mission, OK? These are the sisters that lived with in my first apartment in Zoetermeer. Rebecca (who later was a comp), me, Michelle, and I don't know her first name. Shoot! Sorry Sister S.

Antwerpen, Belgium! The first group of gal: me, Kim, Jody, and Jen. Yes, we had a night when we put on mud masks. It helps keep your skin soft and supple. Missionaries still need to try. We may not have looked good, but we tried. Can I help it if this was the only picture I had with all four of us? :)

I promise - I could have done almost all of my mission roommate pictures with a food theme. But this one with Kim, me, Jen, and Jen is in front of our favorite Belgian waffle shop, Carpe Diem. They were SO good!

Still in Belgium. Yes, I had a lot of roommates there. Here I am with Amy and Jen. We had a vicious Sport Evening which ended in a mud fight. It was momentous.

OK - this is a little out of order, but I still not great at the blog-picture-upload thing. But later in my mission I was with Amy again. This time we were in Haarlem. This was a preparation day in January and it was VERY cold! We were at the North Sea in Scheveningen, just outside of The Hague.

The infamous CHiPs roommates. If you don't already know what that means, I'm sorry. It involves last names, and I have a thing about using last names on public internet things. So, just know that it was a cool nickname that we made up for ourselves. Below are Alicia, me, and Amber outside the temple in Zoetermeer. We really look like missionaries here, huh?

My Greenie! I trained Brittany in Rotterdam. We had a whirlwind of a time. This is out at Kinderdijk.

Oh, Jenn. We were roommates on two different continents. Here we are in Rotterdam wearing our gifts. Yes, tank tops that say, "I 'heart' my attitude problem." Love it!

And here's a nice one of me and Jenn. This is at Keukenhof. Nice display of flowers, huh?

Ok - we're now out of the mission years. Whew! These are the girls I was lucky enough to end up rooming with when I moved to Sacramento. Melissa, Laurel, Jenn, Alena, AmyAnn, Corrie, and Ariane. Yeah, we posed for this one too. You can't see it very well, but we were right next to a waterfall. Precious, huh? I do love these girls. We didn't actually all live in the same house at the same time, but I have lived with all of them at some point.

Then I moved to Utah. First I was just roommates with Melissa, but then I moved to Kari's house and got to live with (from left to right) Jenny, Melissa, and Kari. This was at our fancy Christmas party. Hooray for pretty dresses!

And, last but not least (and this was my only picture of her), we added Amanda to Kari's house just before I moved back to California. We were having a do-our-hair-and-watch-a-movie night.

Well, if you've made it to the end of this EXTREMELY long post, you're a trooper. Because really, this was a LONG post. But even if you didn't enjoy it, I sure enjoyed going through all my pictures and reliving a lot of memories. And, all of you roommates should say thank you. There were some VERY embarrassing pictures that I could have used instead. :) Love you all!

If You Were My Niece...'d be getting this pretty ghetto awesome Christmas card in the mail in a couple of days.

I know you're seriously jealous. There are only two of these in the whole world. The other one is making its way to my cousin in Boston. Now if only I could get the pipe cleaner to stay on the tree...And, yes, this was all done free-hand. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Das Vedanya

After two and a half years, I am finally bidding farewell to this book:

Yes, it took me THAT long to finish Anna Karenina. Perhaps I'm not cut out to read much Russian writing. I think I put it down for an entire year before I started reading it again. But now that I'm done I'm glad that I read it. My first Tolstoy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Primary Program

Today in church we had the annual Primary Presentation. Having not been in a ward with a Primary for many years, I had forgotten how much I LOVE the Primary Presentation Sunday. Those kids are so stinkin' cute. And funny. Here was my favorite line, delivered by a girl who looked to be about four years old.

"Heavenly Father has given us lots of good foods. Like hot dogs. . . and apples."

I think her mom probably made her toss in the "and apples." So funny.

Welcome to the New Roommates

Yes, my friends, here we are. Me, Alicia, Ariane, and Heather. Believe it or not, this is the first time that Ari and I have actually been roommates. We're definitely having fun though! Please be warned that we don't have a ton of furniture yet, so if anyone comes for a visit, you may have to sit on a camping chair. But come anyway. We love visitors. And don't you love the pretty lights along our backyard fence?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

We Lost a Tree

We had a HUGE storm here on Tuesday. Seriously. I haven't seen wind like we had since I lived in the Netherlands. We used to talk about the horizontal rainfall in Holland, and that's what we had on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, that means that we had a casualty in the backyard. Our poor tree, which we now know was a fruitless plum (thanks Steven) couldn't handle the rain and wind and completely tipped over.

A big thanks goes out to Pablo and his buddy who came to cut it down on Thursday. We still miss our purple tree though.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Some 'Splainin' To Do

I feel like I want to explain a little bit about why I’ve called this blog “The Adventures of Jenn” (emphasis on Adventures). I’ve realized lately that lots of people say on their blogs that their lives are adventures, but I really do have a good reason behind my titling. I’m not just trying to be like everyone else.

You see, you don’t get to be 31 and single without having been on a good number of bad dates. Especially bad first dates. Bad blind first dates. Now, not all first dates or first blind dates are bad. And sometimes a bad first date can blossom into a good second date. Not always, but I digress…

After extensive research, I have found that there’s one question that – when asked during the course of a date - almost always indicates that things are going sour. I can tell when it’s coming. There will be an awkward and uncomfortable pause in conversation. A little cough here. A head scratch there. Eye contact is averted. Both of us know that there aren’t many more easy avenues of conversation, and we’re hunting for something to bring up. Coming from a professional small-talker, if we get too far into the pause, I know that there are very few ways out without coming to The Question. It’s every bad date’s back-up. I start to panic a little, racking my brain for some topic to introduce before he utters the words. But I’m not fast enough. He opens his mouth and begins, “So, what are…” In my head I start yelling, “No! Danger! Danger! Abort! Don’t do it! Please – ANY OTHER QUESTION!” But before I can cut him off he finishes, “…your hobbies?” Long sigh.

My hobbies? That question is my nemesis. It haunts me. Why though? It’s not an uncommon question. People have hobbies, right? Wrong! I’ve realized that the reason I don’t like this question is mostly because I don’t have many traditional hobbies. Therefore, I have no good answer for this question. Sure I read. I like sports. My grandma’s teaching me to quilt. I definitely do NOT scrapbook. But that tends to be where the list ends, because I don’t think I can count watching TV. Pathetic in the world of hobbies. So, if you ask me this question, I just end up feeling like a loser who doesn’t do anything and the date conversation dies again. Maybe I should refer all potential dates to this post so they can avoid the question-of-death.

Anyway, after many hours (or at least a few minutes) of contemplating my lack of hobbies, I have come to a conclusion. I may not have many hobbies, but it’s because most of all I like to have ADVENTURES! I do like to do things! I like to try new things, go new places, and learn new stuff. Really my biggest hobby is adventuring. Is that a word? Today it is. And I like adventuring.

My roommates and I once made a list of adventures and put it on the fridge. The adventures ranged from going to Peach Days to snowshoeing to taking a tour of a chocolate factory to going to the MoTab Christmas concert.

My point is that adventures are everywhere, and at least a portion of this blog will walk you through some of my favorite current adventures. And every time you read about an adventure, you can know that I’m just keeping up with my favorite non-hobby. Thus, The Adventures of Jenn.

Enough ‘splainin’ Lucy.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Summer Recap

In honor of it officially being Fall but officially still being as hot as mid-summer, I have decided to give my readers (all five of you) a quick summary of my summer highlights. In essence, I will paint a picture using words and…well, pictures. Here goes!

This year summer started way back in, I think, February when we went to the S.F. Giants Fan Fest. I got to actually WALK ON THE FIELD! And I saw Will Clark, my favorite Giant from my younger days.

The next important summer event was a little thing we (I) like to call "Friendrichment." You know - friends getting together to learn something or do something productive. In this episode we made 72 hour emergency kits. Thanks AmyAnn for putting this together!

This is a picture of AmyAnn running the half marathon that I was supposed to run with her. We signed up for the American River Parkway half marathon, but I pulled a dumb muscle in my leg so badly that I wasn't able to run with her. Instead, Jenn and I were the cheerleaders of the race. It was rainy and so much fun. Way to go runners! I'll be there next year (hopefully!).

Ariane joined my Stockton ward on a day trip to Big Trees. It was absolutely beautiful, but we did spend a bit of time looking at the map...lost. But we always found our way back.

June was actually a super busy month. Our big family trip this year was to San Diego, where all four of us kids took surfing lessons. Now, are we "surfers?" I'd say no, but we sure had a lot of fun. Here's the land portion of our lesson. David, my mom, and I all got spray tans for the trip. :) Totally worth it.

We totally look like locals, huh? Here's Danny, David, Kari, and me.

Perhaps the fact that I struggled to even pull the WETSUIT on was a precursor of how well I'd actually do in the water. In my defense, it was a new suit and it was very tight.

Shoot! I did have a picture of me looking like I was standing up and really surfing, but I forgot to upload it. I'm also not blog-savvy enough to add it in now.'s me kind of surfing.

And then fully wiping out. I have to say that surfing was so much fun and I'd totally try it again. I'm an excellent boogie boarder, so I'm sure that I could eventually get the hang of this. :) Definitely a fun day with the fam!

We also went to Legoland! We really did have a couple of kids with us even though you haven't seen pictures of them yet. We didn't really go to Legoland with just adults. This is Kari, Mollie (my sis-in-law) and me.

Ok - so this may seem silly, but this was one of my favorite parts of the week in San Diego. My mom and I took my niece, Kallie, and my cousin, Emma, and we went to La Jolla for a couple of hours. On the way there, we somehow decided that the girls were part of the "Miss Nancy's Bucket-of-Fun Tour" and Mom and I were the guides. We pointed out silly things all along the drive and our walk, and the girls would just "ooh" and "aah" like we were showing them priceless works of art or something. It was great! We looked at the seals, climbed trees, watched kayakers (our family), and walked out on the rocks along the shore. We'll be taking bookings for tours again next summer. :)

On the rocks.

In the trees.

Toward the end of June, Jenn, AmyAnn, Ariane, and I finally got the chance to see Wicked in San Francisco. Oh, how I loved it! Anyone want to go again?

Outside the Orpheum Theater with Lindsey and John.

The last major event in June was our good friend Jenn getting married to Chad. Hooray!

In honor of her wedding, we made the cupcakes for her reception. I think that learning this new skill also falls into the Friendrichment category. So, we made cupcakes...

...and cupcakes...

...and more cupcakes...

...and even more cupcakes.

Eventually we had 400 cupcakes! Yum!

Then we attempted a cake topper. This is me with my first cake with fondant. And, thanks to KB, the fondant actually tasted good! Homemade is the only way to go.

Here's the finished cupcake tower. The top kind of looks like a hat, but that's ok.

The friends at the temple.
And, yes, I caught the bouquet. What can I say? They asked who really wanted it. So I fought Ariane (I did some classic boxing out. Thanks Dad.), and I won! But I did share the flowers with others. We all deserve them, right? :)
And I got to finish the night with a dance with Jenn's little brother, Brady. So cute!

Ok - This post is probably FAR too long, but brevity's not my thing. I'll try to be shorter in the future. Just as a final update, I did finish the summer with a move back to the Sacramento area, and the start of a new job.

That's the update of my summer. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle. G.I. Joe, right? I wasn't allowed to watch that cartoon.