Wednesday, January 28, 2009

For Raquel

Today is my wonderful sister Raquel's 21st birthday and I wanted to wish her a

How about....GORGEOUS!?!?

Can I get an AMEN!?!

{Fellas. I know. Please leave your name and number in a comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can}

Kellbell. I love you so much. And on this special legalizing day of yours, here are 21 reasons why you're the best sista eva!

1. It was you and me girl. Growin' up together. It's you I have the most memories with.
2. Our sleeping beauty movie.
3. Staying up all night long playing barbies, school, bridge, house.
4. You're the only one that will ever make a booger wall with me.
5. Getting me into Elvis.
6. Letting me bully you around a LOT when we were little. Thanks for that. It made me who I am today.
7. Killing the spiders for me in the bathtub.
8. Drawing pictures to sell to raise money for a new trampoline.
9. " the children. Call 1-800-245-6767"
10. Our long talks about love and life and gas in bed.
11. You're coming to visit me in Africa. And you're staying for 6 months right?
12. Quoting Disney movies with you makes my life better.
13. I can beat you in anything :)
14. You're the best example to everything.
15. Your eye patch and your ridiculously cute big bangs that started half-way back on your head.
16. Who else is that perfectly skinny?
17. BOOOOOOO!! (said in Madame Mim's scary voice while shaking head and pulling hair)
18. "Who who? What what?"
19. You're the most spiritual, dedicated, motivated, driven, strong, perfect person I know.
20. Your smile, your laugh, you're a peacemaker.
21. Your love of kids. Your love of the gospel. Your love of our family.

I love this picture.

Fabulous June, I love the feathers.

Please bless I grow up to be like my little sister someday. Thanks Kell.

Friday, January 23, 2009


When Ben picked me up from the airport. I know...I look good right? 30 hours in an airplane good.

Our apartment at The Splice (fully furnished):



Upstairs guest bed (you're all coming to visit now ok?)

Our bedroom (upstairs):
I know right!?

By the way, we're feeling pretty safe...there are these ex-military 'policemen' called Tactical Units that monitor the streets in these intense black trucks. We've seen 4 or 5 so far around our neighborhood and yesterday passed a police dude with an AK-47 shoving a man around mad as heck. They've got our backs.

Our adapters aren't working as "converters" just yet....we plugged in our speakers to our computers and they blew up and started smoking. We tried to trim Ben's hott goatee today and the razor was about to explode. We've got some things to still work out...

Also, we met a man while we were getting a bunch of medical exams today to get our work visas that's lived here 3 years told us the area we're in is the best in all of Johannesburg as far as safety goes. Awesome right?

Now we've got to start planning our vacations and safari! The fun begins!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


2 layovers, 6 airplane meals, 5 movies, 1 crying baby, and 30 hours later.....I made it! So happy to be here. Some dude named Wesley was supposed to pick me up but Ben surprised me instead with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Will admit...I broke down:)

Our place is so POSH I love it. 2 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, large family room, dish satellite plasma tv, awesome gym, nice pool, complimentary massages, maid service...I can live here. No a/c though...oh well. It hasn't been bad yet and it's summer so we should be good! Someone said it's a lot like San Francisco, just more humid. Which has been true so far.

I'm learning Zulu from our maid. "Sawubona" is "hello" and "Ngiyabonga" (pronounced "Yibona") is "Thank you." A couple words a day and I should be fluent in a few months.

Jet lagged. 9 hours ahead of you guys. Tired. Hungry. I've got some weird milk and canned beans in the fridge.

Interesting food. Crazy tv channels. Unreliable internet. I can get to gmail just fine. Can't click on anything in Facebook. Can't get into Youtube or Wikipedia. Can't upload anything. So just be patient aight!?

Stores close at 6. Don't really know what I'M going to do here yet...photograpy, teach, waitress, join a gang, become a bum, model...

Pictures coming soon (hopefully....)

Feel like I've been hit by a train.

It really is exciting folks.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Acute Nostalgia

We loved being in California. It was such a great area and we met so many wonderful people. I loved being the laurel adviser and miss my girls! I loved being near my family, the Johansens and getting to know them so well. I loved everything. We definitely want to come back there after Africa to live for a while.

After tearfully saying goodbye to our friends and family in California...(our favorite Thomas families and these 2 cute bundles of joy whom we already miss SOOO much)...
Benny boy left to South Africa last Sunday afternoon and has been enjoying his time there working and getting settled. He's still experiencing the awful effects of suddenly being 9 hours ahead of usual with waking up at 4am every morning and wanting to CRASH around 3pm. He said the ward is nice, the weather is warm, and said that I'd love the place we're living. Yes! Good to hear. And this is the place!!!!
Whilst Ben was journeying across the world, I made my way to Utah in our car to leave it here while we're gone. What a drive. Yuck yuck yuck. Safe and sound though and was able to spend the whole week with my family hence the title of this post. It has seriously been such a fun week. The only thing that could have made it better was to have my other half here. This is the longest we have been apart and it's flippin' hard especially since we can't call each other whenever we want. I've had to suppress my loneliness and resort to mushy lengthy emails:)

I don't think I've been at home this long since high school! I went straight to college and then got married! So it was great to be able to spend such quality time with everyone. We did so much this week! (Pictures below leave out many ping pong rallys, Settlers, Rook, ROCKBAND!! Wow am I addicted. And good:) James and Brooke's basketball games, movie night with Haylie (Benjamin Button....weird movie), seeing Lisa & Kraig and Tom & Janet, walks with my mom, sleepovers, all-night talks with Raquel, and lots of errands getting things ready for the move).

The view from our family room. I wonder if Africa gets better than this?

Seeing the movie Marley and Me:

Cross-country skiing out on the lake behind our house. It was so fun! Wow was I sore the next day. It was awesome because you could hear the ice cracking and making gurgling sounds as we went...

Relaxing...sorry about the view. It seemed funny at the time.

We went to Lava hot springs for the weekend, played games, watched movies, ate pizza and talked about all our funniest memories growing up, and soaked in the minerals at the hot pots.


Love them so much. Thanks for the best week ever.

Well folks, I leave tomorrow morning to fly to South Africa! Finally! Can't wait to see the boy. Although I am not looking forward to 30 hours of travel time.........THE ADVENTURE BEGINS!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


What life is like now that we're home:
....a little stressful:) We've got to move our stuff out this Saturday and Ben flys to Africa on Sunday night! Ticket is bought. I'll be following shortly after driving our car back to Utah.

I'll tell ya what, it is HARD packing for a move across the world. I keep thinking it's just a year-long vacation; not knowing what to take, what not to take, and fitting it into 2 suitcases each. Yikes.

Wish us luck!