Jerusalem Part II

I didn't want to overwhelm one post with a million pictures, so here is part II of our trip.
After a few days in Jerusalem, we crossed the wall and spent the rest of the trip in Bethlehem. Being in Palestine is so completely different than Jerusalem and the one word I would use to describe it is hard. The people I was working with at my hospital were extremely generous and nice, but their lives are much more difficult than anything I will ever face. We spent a morning going with the Mobile Van into the desert to do prenatal screenings and another morning touring through the hospital facilities and neo-natal unit. My mom spent a lot of her time in the nursery rocking the newborns while their mothers slept. All the nurses and doctors loved her! 

On Saturday we took a day trip back to Jerusalem to go to church at the BYU Center. We showed up and to our surprise, President Uchtdorf was there with his wife for a regional conference. Sitting in that chapel overlooking the city was one of the best moments of the entire trip. I know I've said it before, but I'm so grateful I was able to go back to my favorite city and share it with my mom! 


Jerusalem Part I

I've been putting off blogging about this trip for over a month! Jerusalem is incredibly special to me, and I never feel like I do it justice when I talk about it. Either way,  it was quite possibly one of the most amazing trips I've been on. Lucky for me, my wonderful mother came with, so together we got lost wandered around the Old City, ate lots and lots of hummus, and braved the cold to see all the major churches and sites! 

The first three days of the trip we stayed in Jerusalem near the Old City and spent most of the time walking and walking and walking. Wandering around the Muslim Quarter of the city is probably of my favorite things to do and I loved that it hadn't changed one bit in the five years since I was last there. Nearly every place we visited brought back funny memories with Bekah and my mom was nice enough to never complain when I talked and talked about the good old days. After almost running to my favorite restaurant on the first day, we also visited the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Garden Tomb, and walked the walls of the Old City. Besides the unexpected cold weather and rain, the city was just as perfect (and crazy) as I remembered, and I loved every single minute of it! 


suddenly spring has arrived

"I know today is Monday and you assume it's going to suck, but according to statistics, there will be over 5,000 weddings, 10,000 childbirths, and 42 million hugs occurring throughout the United States. Also today there will be at least 4 people that will win the multi-million dollar lotteries, and 600 people will get promotions at work. There will also be 600 dogs adopted, 35,000 balloons sold, and 800,000 skittles eaten. Plus, the words "I love you," will be said over 9 million times. So again, I know today is Monday and you assume it's going to suck, but just smile, because according to statistics, it should actually be a really nice day." ~via


a very good friday

A good friend of mine recently told me that I need to blog more about all of the random things I know. I read a lot of current events online, which means I know enough about subjects to make it look like I know a lot more. But today is Good Friday, a much needed break from work, and the start of a three day weekend. So in honor of all of those good things, here are a few random things I've been thinking about lately...

1. Sisters are the best. I am lucky enough to have the two best ones on the planet. I think growing up and being subjected to my parents intense love for Wilson Phillips and Peter Cetera really bonded us together for life. If we can get through that, we can get through anything. 
Christmas 2011

2. Amanda Knox. I can't believe she's going on trial again. She and I are basically the same age and we went abroad a semester apart, so I've always thought a lot about her situation. What if I just never came home from India and was stuck in a prison there for FOUR YEARS. The thought is mind boggling. Granted, I never put myself in a really sketchy situation like she did, nor could I ever live up to a nickname like Foxy Knoxy, but can we all just admit her book coming out in a few months is going to be crazy? I'm pretty sure I'll support it and actually pay for it. 

3. Audiobooks. Speaking of books, audiobooks have been blowing my mind lately. One day I realized I spend so much time in my car, I might as well listen to something interesting. Now I drive realllllly slowly to work and when I get stuff in traffic, I'm ok with it. This one has been my favorite listen so far.

4. Jerusalem. My trip has been consuming my thoughts. I keep asking people who studied abroad with me what they would do if they had 24 hours to go back. Besides all the normal sites, I'm already dreaming about the hummus and chocolate milk. I'm so worried I'm going to forget to go see something and then be forever disappointed. Suggestions are welcomed! 

And last but not least...

5. Tax season. Is it April 15th yet? Mike has been working so hard and he seriously never complains, even when he's in the office almost double the amount I am. I'm looking forward to spending some real, non work email interrupted time together!
(Post kayaking in the fall)

PS-This is my jam right now.


Spring Break and World Travels

Right now I'm really wishing my spring break looked something like this...

But alas, instead of soaking the sun, my view today looks something a little more like this...

The one and only thing that is getting me through this day is some recent news my boss delivered to me. In five short weeks, I'm heading back to Jerusalem!!!

I work with an organization based in Bethlehem (which is only five miles from Jerusalem), so I'm spending a week at our hospital helping with an event and overseeing some of the programs we recently funded. It's almost too good to be true, but since my ticket was purchased this weekend, I think I can finally believe that it's going to happen. Jerusalem is one of those cities you dream about, it gets inside your soul. Suddenly, the dark cold days of winter seem long gone and all I can focus on is eating humus, sunny Middle Eastern days, and lots and lots of falafels!


Winter Happiness

Winter has been bleak around here. Luckily for me, I have a lot of family just a few hours away from me. All of us east coasters hadn't really gotten together in a while but in the past few weeks, we all kind of realized how close we really are. I'm so incredibly lucky to absolutely love my cousins and their spouses, we Huishs tend to stick together.

Anyway, Tyler and Kim came down for a weekend with their two kids, and I decided to tag along on their family vacation for two days. I dragged them to all my favorite restaurants and became best friends with their kids. I was SO sad to see them go home!

In fact I was so sad, that I invited myself on their next trip, which happened to be the next weekend. We all met in Philly at our other cousins house with Victoria who came down from NYC. It's only a two hour drive, but I had a pretty epic drive up when my phone/GPS died and I had no idea what their address was. After a detour through a sketchy neighborhood, I did eventually make it. I love my family, and love that hanging out on a Saturday night and catching up made the dark month of February SO much better!


A (late) Valentines Day Recap

The past few weeks have been kind of foggy. I've gotten sick with just about anything you can get sick with during the winter. Unfortunately Valentines Day fell during one of my worst weeks, so Mike and I had planned to have a low key night. 

I made him dinner and brought it over to his house when he got home from work. After we ate we were just settling in to watch some Parks and Rec, when he said he had something for me. He paced around the room for a second and moved the coffee table away so nothing was in front of me. Then he grabbed a shoe box and got down on one knee. 

I'll admit, my mind was racing. He was looking really uncomfortable and finally said that he loved me a lot and the gift was to show me how much he loved me he had something that he knew I'd been wanting for a long time. I opened the box....

and saw an ipad mini!!

He started dancing around, so proud of another surprise and I freaked out, so incredibly excited about the ipad. It was a great moment, and a perfect Valentines Day!!


recently in my life

  • Just last week, my kind parents emailed me this picture from their hotel room in Mexico....
They were just saying hello, and reminding me that while it was a constant 84 degrees there, it was around 15 degrees in DC. I've officially thrown fashion to the wind and pulled my ski coat out of storage. I look like a marshmallow but at least that half of my body is warm.
  •  The boundaries of my ward were changed yesterday which caused panic and hysteria to flow through the pews. I'm pretty lucky that Mike and most of my girl friends all managed to stay in the same ward, so it has very little affect on me, but I'm sure more than one person is contemplating going inactive in protest. 
  • I have started going to Zumba. You will never see picture evidence, and this will probably be the one and only time I admit to it, but it's happening, and I like it.
  • My last full semester of grad school started on Tuesday! There is light at the end of the tunnel!  I technically still have a semester and a spring term, so I won't be done until June, but this semester is going to be crazy busy, so I'm anxious to have it behind me. 
  • Last week was birthday week! Happy (late) birthday to my wonderful father! And best friend Abbey! 
  • And lastly, I  just want to publicly state that I refuse to believe that Beyonce lip synced last week.  She wouldn't do that to me.


For the record

I cut bangs....

a full 24 hours before Michelle did.

Now that that's out of the way, yesterday's festivities were incredible.
Lots of people, miles of walking, and spending the day with some pretty great girls all equals out to one of my favorite DC days. Pictures to come!


Inauguration 2013

Today, with a few million other people, I am spending the day watching the President getting sworn in. [Let's get real, Beyonce singing the national anthem is at least 70% of why I'm attending.] Luckily, I have friends in high places, and was able to snag a ticket so I can watch the events up close on the Capitol grounds instead of with the masses of people on the National Mall! In honor of the big day, I found a few really great mementos that I'm considering buying and passing on to posterity...

An incredibly creepy/overwhelming David Bowie/Obama t-shirt that was made for the 2009 inauguration. 

A really great shirt that confuses Obama with Jay-Z. 

And last but certainly not least, an Obama on a Unicorn mug for which I literally have no words. 

All links and even more great inaugural gear found here.