Friday, May 30, 2008

Got this from a friend's blog... kind of fun.

Alter Ego's

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car) Fudge Saab

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie) Oreo pumpkin

3. YOUR 'FLY GIRL' NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) C-Fit

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal) Pink Dog

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born) Christie Westerly

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first) FitCa

7. SUPERHERO NAME: ("The" + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink) The Blue DC

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers) Warren Joe

9. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother's & father's middle names) Louise Arthur

10. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher's last name, a major city that starts with the same letter) Lasky Las Vegas

11. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower) Spring Tulips

12. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing your wearing right now + 'ie' or 'y') Apple Shirty

13. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree) Oatmeal Palm

14. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: ("the" + Your fave hobby/cract, fave weather element + 'tour") The Running Snow Tour

Monday, May 26, 2008

A memorable Memorial Day! And, Mr. Potato Head takes on a new occupation!

I am so fortunate to have my mom and little brother in town.

A three day weekend and beautiful weather in Boston (finally!) was the perfect combination for a trip to the North Shore (Cape Ann, specifically). The North Shore is the name given to an area north of Boston... and suprisingly right on the water :)

I'm sad to say that, yet again, in my four years here I have never been there. Little did I know what beautiful sites I was missing out on. We went to the farthest point on Cape Ann (Gloucester... pronounced Gloster... and Rockport... pronounced Rockport :)

For any movie buffs reading this, do you remember what movie was filmed in Gloucester. Here's a hint - Gloucester is famous for being a huge fishing town. Any guesses?

THE PERFECT STORM: (this is a combination of reports from Wikipedia and some of the official movie sites)
"A RECAP OF THE MOVIE - In October of 1991 a storm stronger than any in recorded history hit the coast off of Gloucester, Massachusetts. This "Perfect Storm" — so called because it was three storms combined into one — created an almost apocalyptic situation in the Atlantic ocean, where boats encountered waves of 100 feet (30 meters) — the equivalent of a ten-story building. These storms are some of the strongest and most terrifying manifestations of nature's strength."

"The ship, Andrea Gail, began her voyage on October 26, 1991. The last reported transmission from Andrea Gail was at about 6:00 p.m. on the evening of October 28, 1991. The Captain's final recorded words were, "She's comin' on, boys, and she's comin' on strong!" The storm created waves reported to exceed 100 feet in height, and these waves doomed the Andrea Gail and her crew of six somewhere along the continental shelf near Sable Island.

No further messages were heard from the vessel and no other ships reported hearing a distress call. On October 30, 1991, the vessel was reported overdue. An extensive air and sea search was launched.

On November 8, 1991, Andrea Gail's emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) was discovered washed up on the shore of Sable Island. The EPIRB was designed to automatically send out a distress signal upon contact with sea water, but the Canadian Coast Guard personnel who found the beacon indicated that it had not been properly armed, rendering it useless. That same day, authorities called off the search for the missing vessel."

Back to my blog: I remember watching this movie with my dad when it first came out because one of his patients had a family member die on the ship. It's a good movie if anyone hasn't seen it!

So, as part of our tour of Gloucester, we wanted to do the "Perfect Storm" tour as well and see some of the famous sites in the movie, etc. There's a cool statue of "the wives and children" saying good-bye to their husbands/fathers as they leave on fishing expeditions and there's another cool statue dedicated to all the fishermen who have lost their lives at sea. Very touching.

Gloucester itself is beautiful once you get away from the fishing boats :) Their are gorgeous houses and beaches. Just a cute town.

We then moved on to Rockport which is smaller than Gloucester, but just as beautiful... if not more so! When we got there it was CROWDED and no parking, but my mom had a brilliant idea to pull off on this tiny side street and see if we could fins a spot. And, we did in front of this nice old man's home. We chatted with him a bit and walked into town.

But, wait... what is this I see?

Mr. Potato Head is in control. Watch out! Evan and I couldn't figure it out if he was there just for a joke on memorial Day weekend... or if he was a permanent fixture... but it didn't matter. he made us all smile :)

Then on to town. And, yet again, what do I see?
It's hard to tell but this is "TOAD HALL" Bookstore!

For those of you who have read Wind and the Willows "Toad Hall" is the residence of Toad who is "rich, jovial and friendly, but conceited, and tends to become obsessed about things, only to dismiss them later. A bunch of events happen and in the end Toad makes up for his earlier wrongdoings by seeking out those he wronged and compensating them. Toad and his friends live out their lives happily ever after."

I remember my mom reading us this book a few times and I loved it :) Seeing this bookstore brought back fond memories!
Then, we walked down main street and just in time for the parade! Although, it was bizarre. All the bands and musicians left the parade on a side street a block behind this and all the people marching, kept on marching down main street. We couldn't figure it out.

We continued our walk along the main street and then ate lunch on the beach and walked along the rocks. It was a perfect day!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A New room... a new chair! (kind of...)

I have been meaning to rearrange my room for a while now and Saturday morning was the perfect day to do so. My mom was in town and I wanted to take advantage of the extra help as well as her suggestions on where things should go.

I have an incredibly small room. Smaller than some of the rooms I had when I was at BYU, but it works for me. You would think that with such a small room it wouldn't take very long to rearrange it. But, no. It took over three hours! This was for two reasons: 1. I have an incredible amount of stuff located in my incredibly small space; 2. Things moved from point A to point B and then back to A and then to point C and back to B before they finally ended up in point D!

I am very happy with the way it turned out and I took a one hour Sat afternoon nap as soon as the room was all in place :)

However, one of the reasons why I wanted to rearrange was because I have been checking everywhere for an arm chair to replace the papasan chair in my room. I never sat in the papsan chair. It's only purpose was a place for me to throw some pillows and my jacket in the winter time.

This is the time of year in Boston when you can find true gems on craigs list. All the students are moving out and they wait till the last minute to post their items for sale. And, because it's last minute they are usually pretty cheap.

On Friday, I found the chair I had been waiting for. And, for only $20!!!! (It's not new, but it's NEW to me)
Look at this gem! I love the color. It swivels around and it reclines. It's comfy and it only cost $20!!!! People name their cars... I am thinking of naming this chair because it's been a long time coming. I've been looking for one for about a year now. (My other problem in looking for a chair was its size. It's an incredibly small space it has to go through on two staircases. This chair BARELY fit. We SQUEEZED it through and even took off one of the doors to make it fit.

The most hilarious part was getting it home. I wish I had my camera. I only have a four-door car (sedan). My brother and I opened the trunk and put down the back seats. We put the top of the chair in first, so the bottom and last 12 inches of the chair were hanging off the end of my car. I ALSO didn't have any rope to tie down the trunk and the chair :)

So, Evan, being the nice brother that he is, rode in the back of my car holding in to the fabric at the top of the chair to keep the chair from falling out! We only had about 20 blocks to go... but it was quite a site. We had to go at a crawl pace because any sudden acceleration and the chair inched more and more out the back of the trunk. It arrived safely. Home, home at last.

Any suggestions for a name for it?! :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Saturday morning on a Sunday evening!

My friend, Peggy, had the fabulous idea to have a Saturday morning on a Sunday night. That way we could expand the weekend a little and be in denial that Monday was coming so quickly!

We gathered in our pjs and brought our favorite cereal boxes and enjoyed some snippets of our favorite Saturday morning cartoons from when we were little. Smurfs, anyone? Or Carebears? Or, what about Pop-eye?!


I debated between Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Reeses Puffs... it was a toss up. Love 'em both!

We didn't have "cereal straws" when we were younger... but can't eat cereal as a kid without them now!

Remember sitting this close to make sure no one walked in front of the tv and make you miss something important!

This is the life :) Let's do it more often.

Powder Puff Football

This might be my 2nd top favorite ward activity (after talent shows). Powder puff football! Last Saturday we got some fabulous women together to play and it was amazing. The New England Patriots have met their next competitors!

This year's contest was the Sisters of Relief against the powerhouse Patriettes (who won last year.)

There was also some smack talk between the two coaches:
"There will be no relief for the Patriettes from these sisters."
- Dave Alba, Sisters of Relief head coach
"Not only can these girls play football, they all, every one of them, can play it better than Dave Alba can."
-Kodie Bennion, Patriettes head coach

Although I wasn't able to play because of competing events that day, I was able to stop by and watch for two quarters. It was a beautiful spring day. I was in awe of the talent and skill on both teams.

Look at that throw!!

The Champs

Team Photos

Coach Dave with Chelsea and Carolina

Coach Kodie

Well, as it turned out the Patriettes won, yet again, and by a large margin! There's already talk of the next match-up... :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Mother...

This blog would not be complete without a post to my mom! She's the most fabulous woman I have ever met and she ceases to amaze me. Everything I am and ever will be I owe to her... and that is the honest truth :)



Mom's smiles can brighten any moment,
Mom's hugs put joy in all our days,
Mom's love will stay with us forever
and touch our lives in precious ways...

The values you've taught,
the care you've given,
and the wonderful love you've shown,
have enriched my life
in more ways than I can count.

I Love you Mom!

Lilac Sunday

Lilac Sunday is one of my favorite things about Boston. It's held at the Arnold Arboretum which is located in South Boston.

I took this picture!!! Pretty, huh! And they smell good too :)

Here's some info on Lilac Sunday:
There are over 422 lilac plants of approximately 194 different kinds in the Arnold Arboretum collections. They provide a season of color and scent that extends over five weeks each spring.
The lilac is singled out each year for a daylong celebration. On Lilac Sunday (which is always Mother's Day), garden enthusiasts (and people like me!!) from all over New England gather at the Arboretum to picnic, watch Morris dancing, and tour the lilac collection.

I've been for the past four years, and yes, I've even gone in the rain! It's just so beautiful and fun to walk through their garden paths. But, it's even better when you can picnic there. You're only allowed to bring food in and picnic on Lilac Sunday... so that's why it's even more popular. And, mother's day (lilac Sunday) was the PERFECT day for this!!

Here's my friends and I after our little picnic.... soaking it in. I could have stayed there forever!
My friend, Meredith, and I walking amongst the lilacs
More friends came to join us, and two of my roommates... and again, more eating after our nap!
Aleigh, Shelly, Michelle, Andrea and Mark
Linda, Leah and Seth

I had such a wonderful afternoon. If I couldn't be with my mom on Mother's day... this is where I wanted to be!

93 and still counting!!

Can you imagine being 93 years old? Wow. Nope, I surely can't. But this fabulous man can!

Joseph A. Rider turned 93 years old on May 11, 2008

I am so fortunate to have my grandfather living in an assisted living facility ten minutes away from me. I get to visit him every week, hear continuous advice about what I should do with my life, and enjoy learning about his past. I LOVE IT! (And, if I was to be totally honest, he is one of the few reasons I still call Boston “home”.)

So, to celebrate this event, as well as my uncle's birthday on May 12th, I joined my uncle Don, uncle Peter (and his family, Debbie, Matthew and Danny), and my grandfather for dinner on Saturday night at the CHART HOUSE, which is a very nice restaurant in the city by on the water. (I forget that Boston is located literally on the water's edge. Pictures below)
So, here's all of us. I just have to comment... I am not a huge fan of the outfit I am wearing with this necklace/earrings, but I was dying to wear my new "seashell neckless" and it was really cold to wear anything "summery"! I found this cute necklace at a little boutique that came into our gym last Wednesday and I splurged! I've just got to find the right outfit for it now :)
Here's the man of the hour... blowing out his candles! Happy BIRTHDAY Pop-Pop!

It was great to get together with my uncles, aunt and cousins because I don't see them very often. And, it was also fun to spend some time by the water waiting for everyone to arrive. I get so caught up in my life on the west side of the city I forget how close we are to the water!

And, this is my favorite picture of all... there's the boats and there is the city right behind it!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Off to the island...

This post has been a few weeks in the making but only because I’ve been waiting for more of the pictures to come my way. Thank you Becca and Evan!

This post is part of my week-long adventures… I was sooooo fortunate to be able to travel to Whidbey Island, WA for my grandparents 65th (!!!!!!!!!!!) wedding anniversary. 65 years. WOW. I can’t believe it and neither could my grandparents!

Marian and Warren Fitzpatrick, Married May 15, 1943. (Little side note - I learned on this trip that my grandfather was in the service for a greater part of their early married days and that he wasn't even able to be present for my father's birth!)

This trip had been in the works all year. Justin, Becca and the boys were flying in from CO, me and Evan from UT, and my dad from RI. I was pretty impressed with the timing of all our flights. We all arrived within one hour of each other. (and for once none of us got held us by delayed airplanes or lost luggage!) Other guests were my grandmother’s sister (Aunt Jewel) and her daughter/daughter’s family who already live on the island.

Whidbey Island is unique. I have memories of visiting in when I was little. The big thriller was driving to the ferry and taking it over to the island. (I always thought it was funny when my grandparents said they “went oversees” one day to go shopping (they love Costco), etc.) The ferry ride takes about 25 minutes and you can get out and walk up to the top to see the view.

Well, Evan and I arrived together and met up with my dad. We got our rental car and drove to the nearest restaurant for lunch. This restaurant didn’t have a normal menu. It seemed to be famous for its cornbread and pulled meat (pork and chicken). I got what I thought was a simple salad… the meat was a bit strange but I was hungry. Unfortunately, it came back to haunt me later (details below).

We started our drive to the ferry and even though it was a Friday afternoon, we were impressed by the lack of traffic. That is, until we got to the ferry line. It was CRAZY long (over 1 hr 15 min wait). So, I decided to get out and explore. I wanted to get a great view of the island since it was a clear day so I hiked up some mini hills and probably trespassed on some people’s property, but no one seemed to care. Seattle habitants are MUCH more laid back than Bostonians. On every corner there’s a coffee shop and the local people just hangin’ out. They’re on a different time schedule than a typical easterner. I’m not saying that’s bad or good. I am just saying it.

Here's a few pictures from my hike...
Here's the ferry!
So, I got back to the car just in time to board the ferry and as luck would have it Justin and his family were the 2nd to last car to get on as well! I was excited to see Riley and Jace (my nephews) because it’s been about 18 months since I had last seen them. Riley is 5 and Jace will be 2 in July.
Evan and Riley

When we got to the island we went straight to my grandparents house which is about 5 minutes from the ferry. They live along one of the peaks and their backyard faces out onto the water. Since the weather was beautiful out the grandkids and the great-grandkids went out to play some soccer in the backyard before dinner (which was my grandparents favorite – Costco Lasagna).

There were too man of us to stay at my grandparents, so Justin and his family stayed there and my dad, Evan and I had reservations at the local motel. Initially I was surprised the island even had a motel since I had never seen one before. My expectations for what this hotel would be like were pretty low, but I was blown away! It actually had cute rooms, a microwave, little fridge, cable tv, comfy beds, and free WI-FI!! WOW. But, here’s where the story gets miserable. I was pretty tired because of the time changes and all the traveling in the past few days… and around 9:30 PM I started to feel really sick. I thought I could just sleep through it but little did I realize I was about to have the most miserable night I can remember in a LONG time. I’ll spare you the details, but I wouldn’t wish what I experienced on anyone! I almost never get sick, but when I do get sick, I GET SICK. Ugh… I still tremble from the memories of it. And, even thought I was in a room by myself and in a comfy bed, I was miserable (to put it mildly).

In the morning I hobbled over to the phone to call my dad’s room and give them the bad news. I didn’t want them to wait around for me, but they were so patient and concerned! My dad went to the store to get me some water, gingerale and saltines. Then, Evan gave me a blessing. It was wonderful to have the priesthood so close by! Normally, I would have had to call someone if I had been in Boston, but it meant a lot to me to have my little brother there to give me a blessing although I was too weak to acknowledge it at the time.

After an hour I felt my fever start to break and I was able to get the strength to take a shower and get dressed. I was so slow, but I did it! Then, my dad grabbed anything I would need for the day and I fell into the backseat of the car. We drove to my grandparents and I walked in and fell on their couch, which is where I spent the majority of the day! It was beautiful out, but walking more than 5 feet was miserable.

My family’s activities that day revolved around me (at least this is what it felt like to me!) and what I was able to do. We all hung out in the living room while I laid on the couch and when I felt a little better we got in the car to go to the park. I just wanted to be around everyone, so I laid down on the park bench and watched the action take place.

Jace and Riley
My brother and sister-in-law introduced me to a new game. They had this moving bar at the playground. It’s about a foot off the ground, but moves back and forth. Two people stand on it and move their bodies around to shake the bar and try to knock the other one off. Hilarious! Of course, I didn’t do it, but here are some pics. Justin seemed to have practiced and was the champion, but Becca didn’t let him win too easily!
Justin and Becca trying it out
Justin won
Evan and Justin... yet again, Justin won
Then it was back to the house for lunch and back to the couch for me. Everyone chilled again for a while, but then decided to go to town to see the boats and the shops. I opted out of this one and slept for about 3 hours. I have never moved less or slept more in one day in my life.

Here's Riley playing my dad in chess. He's so smart! At five years old he knows his multiplication tables. We asked him 4 x 3 and he said out loud "That's 4 + 4 +4. 12" WOWZERS!! And, he starts Kindergarten in the Fall!
Pictures of their trip to the town
Evan... he's the shining star in the family :)

Fortunately, by 5 PM, I was feeling able to at least sit up for a while. This was a good thing, because we had to leave for the big dinner at the only restaurant on the island. A Chinese restaurant! So, that’s where we all gathered to celebrate their anniversary! I look pretty normal in these pictures… but you would not believe how un-normal I felt!
Me and Jace
Evan, Riley and I
Justin, Evan, Riley and I

Not a great picture of all of us! But, the only one I had with my dad and sister-in-law.
This is outside after dinner... with Lynn, Roger, their son Alex, and Aunt Jewel... with my family (minus me)The same group... this time with me minus my dad

After dinner it was back to the hotel room for me and I crashed. So much for enjoying the hotel’s amenities! I finally was able to sleep for longer periods of time and was able to keep the saltines down. I was so nervous about flying back the next day and being stuck on a plane for hours and hours, but fortunately, I was able to again sleep almost all the way back!

Sunday AM I did feel better but still very weak in my muscles. I was able to pack my things and shower, etc, but still couldn’t carry anything (thank you Evan!) We met up with Justin and his family at the Ferry for final good-byes as we traveled overseas to the airport.

As luck would have it, just as their car was pulling in behind ours at the rental car place at the airport Riley got sick from being in the car and Justin and Becca had to drive out of the airport to a gas station to clean it up! POOR THEM! But, fortunately, we were all able to meet up again in the airport playroom while we waited for our flights.

The trip home was uneventful except for the bible basher who sat next to me on the first part of the trip. At first he seemed interested in talking to me about the church since he noticed me reading my scriptures, but then he just wanted to argue with me. It was terrible! If there had been another free seat on the plane, I would have moved!

Upon leaving the island I reflected on whether I could ever live on one... and the answer was no, or at least not now. It's a little too remote for my liking, too quiet, and too far from things I love. But, it is a great place to visit, to rest, to relax, to get away from the 'hustle and bustle'... and for me this time around, it was a great place to sleep!

And, I just have to give a 'shout-out' to my dad because he really did watch over me every step of the way and made sure I was as comfortable and as cared for as possible. THANK YOU!!!!

OVERALL, the trip was fabulous, and I only have happy memories of spending time with my family. I wish we could get together more often, but I’ll savor what I can get! ☺