Monday, March 30, 2009

Decision Time for Graduate School!

First thing I want to say, "I'm leaving for Iceland tomorrow morning!"

Xan and I have a tough decision ahead of us. We are trying to decide whether he will accept Berkeley University in California or Cornell University in New York. Both have pros and cons and we just have to sort them out and find the best match for us. Cornell is the cheaper place to live and is offering us the best financial package (a pretty good one), but Berkeley has some language programs that are not found at Cornell. I could go on with the list of pros and cons but it basically comes out divided. Anyone know the areas and have advice, suggestions, opinions?

Last thing I want to say is, "I'll be in Iceland in some 27 odd hours!"

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My baby snake is growing up!

I am a creature of distraction. I do well to keep daily habits going when I am on some sort of consistent schedule but all this traveling is making me me all the more distracted and unorganized. :) Some habits I am proud to say I have been able to keep. I am on week 5 of actually exercising and building up my endurance. Today, for example, I learned how to do a front and back arms stroke and the breast stroke. Thanks so much for helping, Crystal Leonard!

Okay, so here is a picture of my friend Tiffany who I stayed with for a few days in San Antonio. We are doing the cheesy Chinese pose for good old times. :) It was so much fun to speak Chinese with her!

I'm back in South Jordan and yesterday, I drove to Orem to visit my friend Emily. She's taking care of my baby ball python while Xan and I are away in Iceland. She's super nice and has a lot of other pets. Here's a picture of her.

I was shocked to find my baby is no longer a little baby. She's grown so much! Oh... how I miss her!

Here's a bit of a close up picture of her so you can see her a bit better. Her name is Aakash and she is a year and a few months old.

To illustrate how much she has grown, she was about the size below when we surrendered her to Emily's care last October or November.

I'll be back from Iceland in July and will be able to have my baby with me again. :) She'll grow to be about 5 feet long maximum. They live to be about 20 years old.

That's the update. Xan hasn't heard from anymore schools. We are still anxious to hear back from Texas A&M and Hawaii to know if he got in. I'm learning patience... again. We'll have to make a decision in the next month because deadlines to accept a graduate school are April 15. Xan did break his toe playing soccer the other day. He can still walk on it and has it all taped up but he might have to take it easy for the next couple of weeks. Other than that, he's just keeping busy and doing his studies.

I leave for Iceland this upcoming Tuesday. In about 5 days. I'll see him in 6 days. Can't say I'm looking forward to the flights back but I'm really excited to return to Iceland, my home, and my husband. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Coming to the last couple of weeks of vacation time

Life has been hectic traveling around and visiting people but it has also been so much fun! I stayed with my new sister-in-law, Kressyda, and her family in Laredo for about 3 weeks. Loved my time there! They are an awesome family and I'm really glad I was able to get to know them better.

Right now I am in San Antonio visiting Tiffany. She was one of my roommates from the Chinese house in the Foreign Language Student Residency. Love her! She also has an old friend from high school living here with her. She is really nice and luckily, we both like each other, too. :) Yesterday, Tiffany and I took a trip to downtown San Antonio and visited the Street Market. It is basically a flea market type place with all sorts of beautiful Mexican crafts. It was so much fun to wander through the small shops and look at all the wonderful things. Tiffany and I indulged in our ability to speak Chinese and loved knowing that no one else around us could understand us, let alone even guess what language we were speaking. In the evenings, we have been spending our time watching either Bollywood or Korean TV dramas. In only two or three days here, I am already realizing how much I miss studying Chinese and being involved in studying Asian Studies.

I fly back to Utah on Thursday and have a lot more to fit into my short week and a half there. I have a few more people to see and things to do. I fly out of Salt Lake on March 31st and arrive in Iceland April 1st. I am so excited!

Update on Xan and graduate school: He is doing really well and keeps busy with all of his school and church responsibilities. He's heard back from all but two of the schools he applied to.

Accepted: BYU, UCLA, Berkeley, University of Indianna in Bloomington
Wait-listed: Cornell
Rejected: Harvard, Yale

We are still waiting to hear from Texas A&M and University of Hawaii. I'm getting pretty anxious to find out where we will be living this fall. The suspense just keeps building. But, I'll let you all know as soon as we know all the options and make a final decision.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My first week in Laredo

Texas is awesome, in case anyone was wondering. At least, its really nice in February when the temperature is more like a Utah May and June. LOL! There is so much sun, fresh fruit, and blue skies. I am loving my time here.

And, the most exciting news that I have to tell everyone is that for the first time in my life, I have worked out (like seriously sweated and perservered for a whole 45+ min) five consecutive days last week. It has been wonderful! Kressyda is such a big help. We go to the gym every morning Monday through Friday. The gym is pretty cool. It is a women's only gym and has a day care for Kress and other moms to drop their kids off. I got a month's membership for while I am here. I am really hoping to keep up the habit after I leave.

Xan's sister Kressyda lives in Laredo, Texas with her husband Cameron, and her two kids, Eliot and Olive. His parents were out visiting them at the time and I met up with the whole group in San Antonio. While we were in San Antonio, we went to see the Alamo and the River Walk.

First set of pictures is of the Alamo. Here is Eliot playing

This is me, Kressyda, Olive, Cameron, and Eliot.

Here is Kressyda and her mom.

This monument was built in front of the Alamo to honor all of those who died defending it.

Here are a ton of pictures I took while we road around the river walk. It is really beautiful and has a lot of things to do down there. If anyone is looking for a cool place to go, check San Antonio out!

Here is Eliot riding on the carousel.

Xan hasn't heard back from any other schools yet. We are still waiting on BYU, Texas A&M, Cornell, and Hawaii. He has some great news, though. He's been able to find people in Iceland to play football and soccer with. He's really enjoying that. I get to see him in 1 month!!!