Monday, June 22, 2009

¡Feliz Dia del Padre!

I love you dad! You're the best dad anyone could ask for. I am who I am because of this man. And what a great man he is. Probably the best in the whole wide world.

I'll save the things I love about him for his upcoming birthday (and I better get on that, 52 reasons is a lot of things to think of!)....until then, TE AMO PADRE!

Also to this man:

Happy Father's Day to Kraig Earl, Grandpa Johansen, Grandpa Bert, Grandad Garrison, and Pa! We love you SO MUCH!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Back in Utah!!! I made it through the flight, with special thanks to Bride Wars, New in Town, He's Just Not That Into You, Slumdog Millionaire, The Incredible Hulk, Two Lovers, Baby Mama, some TV shows and music videos, a curry chicken meal, apple juice, 3 stops to the bathroom, chutney pretzels, 1 hour of sleep, gourmet eggs, Edward, Bella and Jacob, a micro-thin blanket, thoughts of Air France, and the man sitting next to me, who unfortunately decided his feet needed some of my fresh air for the entire 16 hour leg of the flight, proceeding to onset my gag reflexes every 5 minutes...that's 192 times...

FYI: It's really not as bad as I make it out to be.

Landing at noon, we proceeded directly to CAFE RIO with my mom and sister, Brooke. Best welcome home treat ever. Thanks Mom. It's a crime that this blessing hasn't touched other states. Someday.

Second thing I did when I got home was get my wedding ring. Oh how I missed my diamond. I was counseled not to take it, and have had a decoy in it's place for the last 6 months. I'm excited to be wearing it for the next month. It's back where it belongs.

On being back:
Touching down in Utah I got a little teary. It happens every time I have been in another country for an extended period of time. America is amazing. There's nothing like it and we are so blessed.
There is a distinct "feeling" since I've been here...and it's not the fact that I'm back in Mormonville, it's called relaxation, where I don't have to lock my doors the second I get in, cling tightly to my purse, hide my things in the trunk, worry subconsciously that someone selling things in every intersection will shatter my window.
I also might be a little more rude since South Africa. I'm so used to people being everywhere begging or trying to sell me things, coming up to my window when I'm stopped, knocking on my window. In South Africa I know that if I turn to look at them and say "No," that simple acknowledgment will spur them into a frenzy where they won't leave you alone. But if you look straight ahead and ignore them completely, they move on. That flight attendant probably thought "Who does this lady think she is?" as I proceeded to "ignore her completely looking straight ahead" instead of politely saying, "No thank you" when she asked me if I wanted anything from the Sky Magazine.
4) It's a good thing I'm not driving yet. Or you would find me in head-on traffic yelling "EVERYONE IS GOING THE WRONG WAY!!!"
5) I love cereal. If you asked me what I would be eating if I knew I was dying in 10 minutes, it would be cereal. I am enjoying have 2 or 3 bowls of different cereals every morning. There are 2 types of cereals in South Africa, Corn Flakes and Frosties. Oh how I have missed Golden Grahams, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Honey Bunches of Oats, and Frosted Mini Wheats.
6) I love looking out the window of my parent's place right now, watching the colors of the sunrise on the mountains of the canyon, the snow on Snow Basin, the green, and all the boaters pulling the skiers on that perfect glass. Oh this valley.

The first exciting event was seeing my best friend from high school, jr. high, elementary: Sarah Allen, who just returned home from her mission to Oregon. We picked up right where we left off as two goofy immature 18 year olds. It was wonderful.

I was super excited for yesterday, the 19th because it was one of my best friend Haylie Cox's birthday. I told her I wasn't coming in until the 23rd. She was planning a big Hogle Zoo trip with a bunch of friends, so I (with Sarah's help), went early and hid by the lion drinking fountain. Thanks to Sarah who "needed to get a picture drinking out of this fountain," I jumped out and surprised Haylie for her birthday. Totally awesome.

I will admit. I will never be satisfied by a "zoo" again :)

Haylie while we were singing to her at PF Changs:

Love ya Haylie!

It's great that I've been so busy running around all day because when the 2-4am South Africa time hits (around 5-7pm Utah time)....I haven't been near a bed yet. I'm waking up at 5am, but doing pretty well!

My other best friend (I know...I have many) is having her baby girl TODAY! I can't wait to meet the little lady. I told her to wait for me to come in to come out of her mama and man she loves me already. I was able to take Lyndee's preggo pictures yesterday which turned out SUPER cute. Please bless I'm this cute with a baby inside me someday.

Her sister Kara brought her handsome little guy Colin along and we got some of his 18 month pictures too. What a cutie (pictures coming soon).

Well--I'm off to do some chores! I guess I gotta help around the house since I'm living here again!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

USA vs. Italy and New Pad

No fair.

Ben was invited by some of the "guys" to go to the USA vs. Italy Confederations Cup game here in Pretoria. "We're leaving the wives at home," his friend said. WHAT?! Not a happy camper :) Oh well. Ben had a blast. He said it was loud and lively (and man did he smell like beer and cigarettes when he got back). Too bad USA lost! He's probably going to the USA vs. Brazil game this Thursday with some office buddies. Way cool that we're right here where the action is happenin'.

We moved apartments this week too. Four floors up. That's what I got to do while he was at the game. We loved our old place...a lot, and there were many conveniences we had to forgo, but this place was cheaper for the company so we made the move. Click here to see our last apartment.

It's still 2 bedroom, which rocks, especially since I'm bringing 3 buddies back with me from the States (Haylie, Sarah, and Bekah!):

It's still way nice and we'll enjoy the change!

Au revoir!

Monday, June 15, 2009


We had such a great weekend down in Durban. It's about a 6 hour drive south to the coast so we left Thursday night. We stayed at a fun backpackers place in Drakensberg and then left early Friday to get to the beach. The beaches were beautiful. We walked forever along the beach, chilled, and read New Moon. I only had about 3 or 4 chapters left at this time but I had told Ben what was happening. Don't tell him I wrote this but he wanted me to read the last of the book outloud! Isn't he a great husband?

This was a big sand creation that a dude was making. I love Jesus:

I decided that a 'kissing picture' was long overdue:

We stayed at the BEST little B&B called the Manaar House in Umhlanga Friday night, it was so cozy and cute and had a hot tub!! That is the first hot tub we've seen here in South Africa. They are definitely few and far between. It was so nice to relax in after a day at the beach. We had such great weather too, and it's winter here!

Saturday we slept in, had an awesome breakfast, and enjoyed some more time on the beach before headed up 30 minutes north to Ballito.

We stayed at another nice B&B here in Ballito. We walked along the beach and had yummy pizza for dinner. They don't have pepperoni here, which is my favorite, so ham had to do:)

Saturday night we went to "the biggest mall in the Southern Hemisphere," called The Gateway in Umhlanga. It was massive. Our feet killed after walking around the entire thing.

Sunday we went to the beach in Ballito and the beaches were the BOMB! They were covered in these cool rocks and ruins. It was fun to explore, catch crabs, and watch the surfers.Surfing is HUGE here in South Africa along the Durban coast, down to Jeffrey's Bay. There were so many and they were so good! The waves were enormous.

Ben's cold face:

That's Ben in there:

Anyway--we're sad to be back because it means that we only have 3 more days together before we're separated for a MONTH. I'm super sad but being home will help mucho. Can't wait to see everyone! Too bad I barely missed my 5-year high school reunion....oh well. How was it those of you who went?

Oh and my thoughts on New Moon: It was better than I thought it would be. Not as depressing as I'd anticipated. I liked getting to know Jacob and I really liked having Edward gone so they could build their friendship. I actually didn't want Edward to come back. I think I like Jacob more! She was just really happy with him and I felt like they had a real relationship and connection, instead of just this serious mystery and intrigue, the fantasy with Edward's "perfect face, marble skin, velvet voice, and golden eyes"...which I'm getting tired of hearing about. I also felt like the book was way too long and drawn out. She writes way too much information instead of just getting to the point. But I did enjoy it and I've got Eclipse to read on the flight home.

Also, we're moving today. Same building, just different room. We have mixed feelings about it because we absolutely love our apartment now. I'll get some pics of it up soon. Ok. I'm out!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Title Unknown

We went to a Rugby game here in Joburg...must say that it wasn't too fun or interesting. I'm sure it would be if I knew what the heck was going on and why they dance around in a huddle and stuff, also I'm sure it would be better if we didn't lose 10 to 70! But oh well, it was with all the Monitor people which is always fun.

I had this fabulous photo shoot over the weekend. All the pictures turned out stunning. (Ya, she's 17!). Click on picture:

I also did all the bio pictures for Ben's office 2 days ago. That was fun.

I'm going home soon which I'm STOKED about. Not so stoked about being away from Ben though...FOR A WHOLE MONTH. Oh please bless me. That will not be fun. Then when I get back, we have 10 days together before he leaves me for 6 weeks....heaven help me.

It's officially freezing here in Joburg. Good thing we're headed to Durban for the weekend! It's right on the coast with amazing weather! We can't wait! Especially to have some quality time together before I'm a widow for 3 months.

P.S. I love this. I want to be like this when I'm 90. Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 1, 2009


So I'm on this CHANGE kick. First, I caved in and decided to read New Moon, mostly just to have the whole 'the book is better than the movie' feeling when I see the movie, cause I'm sure I will. I cut bangs on myself. Which I haven't had since I was probably 7. And over the weekend, went DARK! I like it. I always like to change my hair, and why not? What do you think?

The Scoop:

  • Ben got on a new case that involves over 13 countries in Africa. Sa-weet. The good news is that he'll be making the world a better place and "saving Africa" with his work. And he'll also be able to spend 3-4 weeks in his favorite country, Mozambique....the bad news is that there will be a lot of travel. Multiple weeks at a time. Maybe even up to 6 weeks in September. No bueno. We're trying to figure out what to do with little miss me...since I can't come along and don't want to stay here by myself...I could develop some of my skills, like I would love to become a professional whistler. I'm pretty amazing at it right now, but I want to get even better.
  • Speaking of Mozambique. I'm sure you've all heard the news: Can't believe we were just there a few weeks ago. Staying in that exact house with the Packards. We have received a couple emails from President Packard with updates and reports of the incident. The news has it mostly correct. President Packard did say, "Elder & Sister Nelson were not specifically targeted or that this was any act against the Church. This was most likely an isolated armed robbery and we happened to be their target this particular night." Also that the guards were not involved. During the meeting with the missionaries, Elder Nelson said that 'this type of thing happens all over the world. It is not unique to Africa as some might assume.' Our thoughts and prayers go out to them, their family, and the mission of Mozambique.
  • I'm coming home to Utah at the end of June! I can't wait. And it falls perfectly when Ben leaves for 3 weeks to work in Mozambique. Let me know if you want any pictures done while I'm there!
  • So Mensa. Since we're all into it. And Ben and I are math nerds. Take the official Mensa Quiz. I got 17/30 and Ben got 23/30. See what you get!
  • OK. That's all. Can't think of anything else. Peace out.