Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bus Love/Hate

A large portion of my life is spent waiting here for this beauty to pick me up and take me home

I have a love/hate relationship with the bus.

Hate about the bus:
-the bus only comes every half hour meaning I'm either really early or really late
-the bus arrival time is inconsistent - some days it comes 10 minutes late and other days it's right on time
-water of unknown cleanliness drips from the ceiling onto my lap during rainstorms - and unlike utah it actually rains heavily here
-the 4B bus takes at least 7 minutes longer than 4A or 4H - this is usually the bus that is running during my commuting hours. nice.
-one bus driver ignored my stop request because the turn light was green and he wanted to make the light...i reminded him to stop, he looked at me, ignored me and then stopped at the next stop saying "here you go". nice.
-it takes 25+ minutes to go 4 miles East to Rosslyn
-the bus doesn't go to Georgetown - i have to catch another bus from Rosslyn to get to campus
-i'm completely dependent on the bus. if it doesn't run because of snow (i heard that happened for a whole week last year) i'll be forced to drive and pay an exorbitant amount to park. it's a scary feeling.
-the drivers are sometimes scary. just sometimes but that's enough for me to be a little wary.

Love about the bus:
-the drivers and passengers are usually so friendly! it is unusual to watch a person just get on the bus and sit down - there is typically a warm and welcoming exchange from the bus driver like, "Good morning!" or "Hello" and as people get off at their stop they always thank the driver even if they have to yell it from the back of the bus "Thank you sir (or ma'am), have a great day!"
-it's inexpensive - $1.50 to ride wherever you need to go ($3 a day - not too shabby)
-they have cool SmarTrip cards that act like debit cards - you load money onto the card and then you pay your fare by placing the card near the reader - the fare is automatically subtracted from your balance. but wait, there's more, you don't even have to get the card out of your wallet - radio frequency senses your card even through a thick, leather wallet
-a cute older man sat next to me one day and told me that he makes a point to say good morning to someone on the bus every day - what a nice idea
-the stop is literally .17 miles from my doorstep - so close
-it's always a nice temperature inside the bus
-it's typically never - seats are almost always guaranteed
-i get to people watch like never before. interesting people in the area.
-the same homeless people at Rosslyn station now recognize me and say hello. neat.
-i get to see the Washington Memorial pierce into the sky every morning on the drive

ultimately the good outweighs the bad. i'm glad i have a reasonably convenient way to get home.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fall has Arrived

I went to the Falls Church Farmer's Market this morning with my roommate. It was cold and rainy - totally indicative of fall - and so much fun! Things added to my refrigerator: zucchini, apples, and basil. I was particularly excited about the apples because I haven't been able to find any good, crisp ones since I have been here.

After the market we stopped at a cute pumpkin patch. I love fall!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What Got Me Through

I saw this picture and it made me smile from ear to ear - something that has been hard to come by lately.

So the past 2 weeks have been rough ones - the ones where all I want to do is run home and snuggle with my mom and dad and tell them everything. Although I don't have my parents close, my sister Jamie and her husband Jon live about 5 hours away in CT. They were so gracious to come to D.C. last weekend to get my mind off of some things. I love what my remarkable family can to do lift and strengthen me.

While they were here we talked about life - we did other things but the details don't matter. What matters is that they were here for me when I needed them the most.

Thanks for coming Jamie and Jon. You two are wonderful.

We are nerds together. I love Jamie's face, Jon's prominent chin, and the fact that I look like I drooled onto my shirt. Best picture ever.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sour Milk

My brother Trevor (Mr. T) had to write a creative story about a topic assigned by his 5th grade teacher. He got sour milk. I have to remind you that he is 10 years old. Pretty sharp vocab for his age. He's adorable. Love him.

I trudged up the long, steep hill that led to my house. After a long grueling day in Mr. Malmrose’s classroom, the thought of a tall, cool glass of chocolate milk filled my mind. I took the last step, opened the door and excitedly sprinted toward the fridge. I opened the fridge and grabbed the milk and Hershey’s Chocolate syrup. Once I grabbed the cup, I carefully poured the milk into the glass. Then I added the delectable chocolate syrup to the perfect amount. I raced to the cupboard that held the spoons and grabbed one. Then I vigorously stirred, making sure that the chocolate was completely mixed in. I lifted the glass to my lips and took a huge gulp. Immediately my taste buds sounded an alarm saying, “This tastes dreadfully wrong!” Could this milk be rotten? I looked at the expiration date and, sure enough, the milk had expired two weeks ago. To make sure, I took a long whiff of that putrid gallon of milk. My nose hairs curled at the terrible stench of sour milk. After dreaming of chocolate milk, my expectations went down the drain, just as that sour milk did.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Morning Run

Although I haven't been exercising regularly recently, I had the chance to get a morning run in last Friday.

Most clinical mornings (Fridays) go like this:

-wake up at 4:45, 50, 55 - 5:00 can't wait any longer
-shower and get ready
-pack a lunch for my long day
-catch my bus at 6:15 am
-read scriptures while riding for 25 minutes
-run across campus to the hospital
-start clinical at 7 am

A run before clinical sounds so refreshing right? SO - you're probably thinking that I was a maniac and got up even earlier to get a run in before clinical. If you were thinking that I actually did that, you apparently don't know me that well (but we should be friends because you have great expectations).

Last Friday I was taking my time getting ready and realized it was time to go. Thankfully I still had PLENTY of time before my bus was supposed to come (about 3 minutes). Most of the time they are late so that left me even more time.

As I meandered out of my apartment I looked down the hill and noticed that my 6:15 bus was already at the stop. My stomach dropped. The next bus wasn't scheduled to come until 6:45 and I would definitely be late for clinical if I waited and caught the later bus. Shoot. SO, backpack and all, I started to sprint. I J-walked/ran dangerously through the busy Patrick Henry & Leesburg Pike intersection and ALMOST caught my bus. I was about a half block away when it pulled away. BAH!

At that point I almost gave up. I thought about just paying $25 to park my car at Georgetown for the day or to just catch the later bus. Then I realized that with option a) I would lose $25 b) I would be extremely late for clinical - neither option I really wanted to occur.

So, I continued to run. And run. And run. My legs were wobbly from muscle fatigue and I felt my knee cap play with the idea of dislocating a few times. I was scared but I just couldn't stop. Apparently money and time are great motivators for me (my weakness is exposed - you can manipulate me later). I said a fervent but not very reverent prayer as I was sprinting to catch the bus. I asked Heavenly Father to allow me to catch the bus and for my knee to cooperate in the process. Thankfully my knee cap stayed in and the Arlington Blvd traffic light kept the bus waiting for a solid 5 minutes just in time for me to catch up with the bus. I knocked on the door and the bus driver was kind enough to let me in. Prayers are answered! Even if what you are asking for seems dumb. If it is important to me it's important to the Lord. Blessings.

You bet your bottom dollar I studied my scriptures for that whole bus ride while trying to catch my breath.

The irony behind this whole story - there was road construction on Arlington and so our bus sat in construction traffic for about 5 minutes. We finally got going again but were forced to take a random detour that added another 5-7 minutes to the bus ride. 12 extra minutes on the bus. Great. I got to Rosslyn station at 6:55 and had to catch another bus from Rosslyn to Georgetown (about a 7 minute bus ride). Guess who was late for clinical anyway? Me.

I should have waited for the 6:45 bus. The end.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


If I had a dollar for every pair of men's chino shorts I have seen on Georgetown's campus I would probably be approaching millionaire status.
Welcome to the land of well-dressed boys. Georgetown boys A) know what chino shorts are B) wear chinos regularly C) have chino shorts in every color - I have seen mint green, green, sea foam green, emerald, butter yellow, bright yellow, purple, navy, baby blue, white, pink, salmon, orange, and EVEN seer-sucker D) on occasion have their shorts embroidered with sail boats, anchors, or anything preppy E) wear belts, watches, and Sperry's to match these chinos.
To top it all off, their hair looks like this:

For all of you Bachelorette lovers, Ames would fit perfectly here

It's a different world over here in the Eastern part of the globe.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


This is where I go to school. It's neat. I kind of like it.


Call me a baby but this humidity + heat is just killing me. Sure I am inside most of the time but when I'm running to class because my bus is 15 minutes late I'm sticky and sweaty by the time I reach St. Mary's Hall. Sick.

My hair has also been a victim of this weather. When I first moved here in August I tried to do my hair every morning. I would blow it dry, straighten it, and even put a little hairspray in it. Then I would walk outside and the humidity would undo all of my work. I learned my lesson quickly. Just over a month later my blowdryer has become obsolete and hair elastics and bobby pins have become my NEW best friends. Here's the morning process: I let it air dry, it becomes wavy, I pin my bangs back, and if it looks too horrible [notice: too horrible, not horrible, too horrible] I pull it up. Ethan even commented about it one night...he said, "Marie your hair looks good." Me, "Really?" [E starts snickering] "It just looks like you have been walking outside in the humidity all day." It's sad when an unobservant boy starts noticing. My hair = beast that cannot be tamed.

So for all of you reading this blog - I haven't let myself go yet [I still shower regularly]. I just blame the humidity.

Apparently your skin doesn't age as quickly with the humidity though so - CHEERS to horrible hair but absolutely NO wrinkles!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Things I'm currently putting off:

-Online Hospital Training

-studying for clinical tomorrow (7-5 tomorrow)

-studying for Pathophysiology (Professor suggests 15 hrs/week)

-making dinner

-writing my talk for Church on Sunday – Topic: Importance of Living Prophets – any ideas for me?

-coordinating the cleaning of our Church House (my new calling)

-studying for my test on Monday

I'm busy in school and I love it!

Disaster Response

I got a “HoyAlert” text message 30 minutes after the earthquake. It read, “It has been confirmed that there was an earthquake about 30 minutes ago.” Love it. I felt much safer after reading that! Phew!

There are 4 of these holes in my wall now because of the earthquake

Hurricane Irene came next – Saturday afternoon to be precise. The wind howled all night. Church meetings were cancelled for precautionary purposes and the store shelves were emptied. I was lucky to snag one of the last cases of water after waiting in an hour-long grocery line. Although the hurricane ended up simply exhibiting as a tropical storm, there were some damages in the surrounding areas of D.C. Big branches and leaves plagued the streets around Alexandria, a transformer blew, and a tree in my apartment complex was ripped from the ground. Yikes. I’m glad I was tucked safely in bed. I’m also glad that I was inland. Sure it was only a “Cat 1” (Ethan was teasing me because he said “Cat 1” and I didn’t know what he was talking about – I’m from Utah, we don’t get hurricanes. How am I supposed to know that “cat” is short for category? Gimme a break ok?) but the winds were still really strong and I’m counting my lucky stars that they weren’t any stronger.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Catch Up

I'm so behind in updating this blog...the last time I posted was near the end of June. BAH! That leaves all of July and August to play catch up on! Since I'm stuck inside with the hurricane warning I figure that now is the best time to "write up a storm". Get it? I'm funny. Let's start with July.

July: Jamie, Ethan, and I went to Utah for the 4th of July weekend. It was so much fun to finally be back home with friends and family.

On our trip we went boating. We were having so much fun that I failed to get my camera out for most of the outing. It was Ethan's first time and he was seriously a rockstar on the wakeboard; by the end of his turn he was "popping" off of the wake and getting some serious air.

Later that night we went to the Stadium of Fire featuring Brad Paisley and David Archuleta. I am always so impressed with "Archie"'s humility and adorable personality. He seems like such a sweet and down to earth person. Love him. Brad Paisley was wonderful too but of course you already knew that.

The best part about he whole evening was the entrance of the American flag into the stadium. The event planners were creative this year and decided that bringing the flag in by land was too boring. Skydivers bringing the flag = way cooler. I'm sure the skydivers practiced several times to get their timing and accuracy in alignment. A few skydivers landed representing one color (red, white, and blue). The last skydiver was carrying the actual flag. As he came in for the landing he whacked a cameraman with the flag. EMTs arrived to assist this poor man photographing the event. Watch it here. I love that everyone performing around just pretended like nothing happened..."if we ignore the problem everything will be ok". Best. Jamie couldn't stop laughing about it. When I glanced at her several times throughout the event I saw her snickering to herself Admittedly she was still laughing about the crash. The cameraman was fine - not his ego but physically - fine.
Jamie infiltrating my picture of the stage. This was her smile all night. Hilarious.

After all of the fun and fireworks Jamie had to return to real life in the city that never sleeps while Ethan and I took off for his family reunion in Georgia. It was gorgeous in Georgia! We stayed in a cute cabin tucked away in the woods with Ethan's family (his parents, brother Joseph and wife Anna, their little girls Kiya, Andrea, Haley, and Callie, and Ethan's younger sister Jenica). We played on the lake in paddle boats and canoes and made our way over to a really cool rock slide. Very fun! The little girls were so entertaining because of their cute personalities and excitement towards every activity. The best part was spending every evening looking for fireflies, eating yummy food, and enjoying one another's company. His family is really great!

Right when that was over I flew back to Utah for some Lake Powell action. Amazing. This was our first year on our houseboat so we were on a pretty steep learning curve. The toilets kept clogging leaving 34 people with sometimes only 1 working toilet (the boys finally took the toilet apart and found 60+ cherry pits in the "cookie monster" grinder). I will never eat cherries again. Nasty. Also, the generators kept vapor locking so the thrusters weren't working. The kicker, as we returned from an outing we found our houseboat pulling away from the anchors. No damage was done but boy was it stressful!!

Other exciting events: Laurena's toenail was ripped off by the bathroom door at Dangling Rope Marina - now dubbed "Dangling Toenail Laurena", Grandpa and Grandma wee darling on the WaveRunner - it tipped over as Grandma got on and Grandpa just giggled. Kyle landed 7 backflips. We pulled 6 wakeboarders at one time. We hiked up "Hole in the Rock". Sammy finally confronted his fear of ducks. Kyle shot a carp with his bow and arrow. Rachel and Sammy cleared the wake.
Grandpa and Grandma on the WaveRunner :) Adorable
Rainbow Bridge

Houseboat Location. Gorgeous!
Jack and Marie

That is all for now!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Chocopologie is a cute little dessert cafe located on historic Main Street of Norwalk, CT. The owner has competed on a Food Network program several times. Maybe Iron Chef? I'm not sure. What I am sure of is how delicious all of the desserts were. Ahh. We enjoyed chocolate lava cake, cookies & milk, and a frozen hot chocolate. So good!

Jamie's Summer

This is how Jamie is spending her summer. Thankfully technology is proving to be very useful while these two lovebirds are spending their summer apart. How adorable are they? They are so in love. I believe it's 45 more days until they reunite in Ghana! So exciting!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Buffalo, NY

Ethan, or E as I call him, is working in Buffalo, NY for the entire month of June so I went to spend the weekend with him in upstate NY.

Friday: I flew in around 3:30. E still had to finish some work up so I read until he finished. We picked up the rental car and drove around (it's so green it's beautiful), checked into my hotel, got pizza and called it a night!

Saturday: It was rainy all morning so we just had a lazy Saturday morning. After the storm subsided a little we went to Niagara Falls (New York side). Unfortunately we didn't have our passports so we couldn't see the Falls from the Canadian side (they are supposed to have a better view) but we still loved it. I made E pretend to be enthused (it was his 3rd time seeing them).
He's such a good sport to put up with my insanity - you can see my neck muscles. Neat.

Niagara Falls - there were boats down there giving tours. SCARY!

A cute foreigner offered to take this for us. He didn't ask but just motioned to take it for us.
I couldn't keep my eyes open for the pictures either - it was so bright!

Sunday: We went to the Buffalo family ward at 10 and it was so cute. They have so many young families with small children so it was noisy but so adorable. I loved it! After church we headed to Palmyra to see Joseph Smith's house and farm, the Sacred Grove, Alvin Smith's house, and Hill Cumorah. It was really neat to be in the heart of church history. The Sacred Grove was my favorite. Right when I walked into the grove I was overcome with peace and serenity. I know Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in that place and because of that the world has been forever changed. I know Joseph was a prophet and I'm grateful for all of the sacrifices he and his family made to restore the true gospel in this dispensation.

E walking into the Sacred Grove

Pondering (I was trying to be a cool photographer - it never really works)

The Palmyra Temple hiding

In the Sacred Grove

Monday: E had to work so I laid by the pool all day and got my first sunburn of the year. I reapplied sunscreen frequently but the rays must have been pretty strong. It's not too bad of a burn but I can definitely feel it. Then I took the Marriott (love Mormons) airport shuttle to head back for NYC. I met up with Jamie in the city and we had BLTs from Grand Central Station and caught our train. The whole train ride was so much fun! We saw a lady eating pecans or some kind of nut out of an old orange prescription bottle with a childproof cap. That is the most creative tupperware I have ever seen! Then we just chatted about life and it took be back to the old days when we were roommates in college. It was so great and I feel so lucky to be spending time with her in Connecticut.

My weekend was lovely! Life is good!

South Norwalk, CT

Ok, how cute is the Curtis apartment (my home for June)? I feel like I stepped into a Pottery Barn show room. So adorable! The hardwood floor, cute stove, spiral staircase, and simple but classic decor make it a cute and cozy little place!

View upon entering

Dining Room to the right of the entry way

Darling stove right behind the couch - love the brick under it!

Close-up of the spiral stairs - I feel like a princess using them

Cute decorations

Pottery Barn

Upstairs bedroom

New York Air

Dr. Cole, a very brilliant BYU professor, is a little extreme in teaching style. I believe SCARING his students is his motivation for change. I took numerous classes from him during my BYU adventure, my favorite being infectious diseases. Although it was a great class, I am now paranoid about little intricate details found in everyday life that potentially pose risk.

Airplanes. Most people are afraid of airplanes because, let's be real, flying doesn't really make sense unless you are a physics master (ahem Joe Bond). So, let's take a very large cylindrical object that weighs thousands of pounds and stick some wings on it. The wings will be attached with some bolts that are durable and can withstand HOPEFULLY a lot of force. Then we will make this baby go hundreds of miles per hour to hoist it into the air magically (thousands of feet into the air actually, above pointy mountains and chilling seas). Sounds neat. And safe right? Am I afraid of airplanes?

Yes! BUT Not because I am flying in a heavy object that has the potential of crashing into land or sea - heavens no, that's nothing to be afraid of, well, most certainly less frightening than what Dr. Cole offered in lecture! Did you know that you are exposed to hundreds of infectious diseases (including TB, SARS, bird flu, swine flu, and many more) by riding on an airplane? Imagine this - sitting in a confined space with recycled air and infected strangers surrounding you. Gives you the warm fuzzies huh? Me too. Thanks Dr. Cole. I'm not really THAT afraid (at least not enough to get a Hello Kitty mask to wear on the airplane) but I think about it every time I step foot onto an aircraft. Anyway, because of my infectious disease knowledge I was really excited to exit the airplane, step onto the New York soil and fill my lungs with the "fresh" air.

Unfortunately fresh air in New York during the summer doesn't really exist. Well, I don't know that fresh air EVER exists in New York but the humidity and heat reminded me of this very quickly. My body is trained to cope with the Utah mountain air that holds close to 0% humidity. Needless to say, New York was 80 degrees with what felt like 99% humidity. Mmm. It's like a warm blanket of stickiness everywhere I go. Can I say claustrophobia?

Jonathan greeted me at JFK with his hip and trendy glasses with his matching hip and trendy Subaru. Despite all of my existing concerns about flying in the yucky air, I finally felt like I was in good hands. This is my home for the next month.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Things in Common

What do these things have in common?

Me! I'm going to switch from the feline family to the canine family and become a nurse at a wonderful school in a beautiful city. Go Bulldogs!
Georgetown. I'm in.