The Livingstons

The Livingstons

Friday, December 24, 2010

Finally Home!

Well, I had an extremely interesting time trying to get home for the holidays.

It all started out with me going to New York City to spend some time with my sister Steph, her husband Anthony, and their baby Benjamin. I drove the 4-5 hours down to Salt Lake (well, all the way down to the Provo area to have dinner with my friend Ryan's family with Leah and Sara), and then flew out of SLC at around 1:20 AM. My flight was supposed to leave at 11:15 PM on Friday, but got delayed until 1:20 AM Saturday morning. It was terrible. But, nevertheless, I made it to the JFK airport at 7:30 AM New York time. I made it to the hotel near Times Square at around 8 AM. I had a wonderful time in New York with my family. We went everywhere! My sister used to live there, so she knew where all of the great food places were, where the best stores were, and where the best places were to go to. It was awesome. Then it was time to go home on Tuesday afternoon.

We were running very late. My flight back home was at 5:20 PM, and Steph and Anth's flight was at 4:59 PM to go to Minneapolis (his family lives in Cincinnati, so they were going there for the holidays). It was about 3:30 by the time we were trying to catch a cab, which was not good because there was a lot of traffic, and no one wanted to drive to the La Guardia Airport which was located in Queens. I had anticipated getting in a mini-van cab together to drive to the airport because that's all that would fit all of our luggage together, but we couldn't find one in time, so we had to take two separate cabs. I was terrified; I HATE cabs, especially riding in them alone. There's just something about them that I get a little nervous about. So, Steph flags down one cab, they put all their stuff in it, and Anthony turns to me, tells me to go down the street a little bit to this movie theater and tells me I will be able to catch a cab down there. They got in the cab, left, and I walked down the street by myself. I was dead scared. It probably took me around 15 minutes to catch a cab, and even then, the cab driver was very reluctant to take me to the airport. I just basically looked at him and begged, "Pleeeaaasssee." So, the guy took me to La Guardia; I got there at about 4:20 PM. I hadn't printed out my boarding pass or anything, and I needed to check a bag on, so I stood in the line for about 20 minutes, got to the front, the lady printed out my boarding pass, started helping me with my bag, and then looked at the time. She told me I needed to HURRY through security, and run to my gate or else I might not make it. So I did just as she told me. Once I got to my gate, they were already boarding, so I just went straight on to the plane. It was around 5 PM when I sat down. The captain started talking to us a few minutes later and said that we were going to have to sit in the plane at the gate for another hour, and that even when we taxied out onto the tarmac, our expected departure time wasn't until 8 PM! It was horrible! I was worried about this because I had a layover at the Chicago Ohare airport. I was certain that I was going to miss it, and I was frantically on the phone with my family back at home trying to figure out what I was supposed to do. Mind you, this was my second time flying alone, and I was completely stressed out. So at about 6 PM, we started to taxi out. We sat out on the tarmac for another hour, and then we finally took off at 7:05 PM. I got to Chicago at 8:30 PM Chicago time, and while on the plane, heard that my flight to LAX had been delayed until 9:45 PM, rather than the original departure time of 8:25. I was soooo happy! So, once I got off the plane, I checked the board to see the status of my flight, and it had been delayed even more, until 11 PM. That was still alright with me, I was just happy to have made my flight. So I went to my gate, and sat there until 11. Finally, over the PA, the gate agent told us that our flight was going to be delayed until 11:50 PM because we were waiting for another flight to get in so we could use that crew to take us home. So they boarded us onto the plane. At 11:55, the gate agent came onto the plane and said, "Thank you for flying American Airlines. Unfortunately, I have some bad news. The captain and first mate of the other flight refused this flight, so you all are stuck here in Chicago for the night. We have voucher tickets for you, you can take a shuttle to a hotel that we will pay for you to stay in. Your flight leaves tomorrow morning at 8 AM, same gate." I was FURIOUS! And completely stressed out! I didn't have a clue what I was supposed to do, and I knew that I was totally on my own. I realized during this time that I do not do very well on my own. I stress out too much. But, I held myself together throughout this whole experience so far. I got off the plane, got my voucher ticket, and followed the signs to the bus shuttle, while on the phone with my mom explaining the situation. I found the shuttle, which surprisingly was pretty difficult to find. When I finally got to the hotel, I went to my room, threw my stuff down, closed the door, and immediately started bawling my eyes out. It was the first time I had broken down in the entire day, although there were times where I felt like I wanted to earlier. I guess I just needed to get it all out. I cried for probably a few minutes, and then immediately called my mom. She told me she felt so helpless because all she could do was listen to me. She couldn't really help me, and I was so upset because I knew I was all on my own. She kept telling me I wasn't really alone, and that I needed to pray for comfort. I knew she was right, and after about 20 minutes on the phone, I hung up and got into the big King-size bed waiting for me. But now, I was really alone in this big city. No one to talk to now, and now I had my thoughts haunting me basically. I started worrying that I was going to either not wake up in time, or miss my flight or something along those lines. So I said a prayer. It comforted me a little bit. I started to fall asleep when Greg Livingston called me. It was the first time I'd talked to him on the phone since we had left Rexburg. He was on a cruise in Hawaii, and I was so happy to hear from him! He got my mind off of my situation, and I started to be happy again. We talked for a while, and then I finally got to sleep at around 3 AM. I woke up at 5 AM, and got to the airport at about 5:45. When I got to my gate, I went up to the lady at the counter and asked her if I was in the right place. She told me that my flight was at a different gate, across terminals. I thought this strange, but followed what she said. When I got to the other gate, I asked if I was now in the right place. The guy told me I had to go back to the original gate. So, as I headed back over there, I went up to another gate agent and asked where my flight was. He directed me to the other gate, not the original one. I explained to him my situation, and he got on the phone, and figured out that I needed to go back to the original gate. Apparently the airport made a new flight with the same number as mine for the next day, because they assumed that my flight was already gone. So basically, my morning flight that was rescheduled just wasn't known about, and there was a new flight already created, if that makes sense. So I went back to the original gate, and some random 30-something year old guy came and sat next to me. He was nice enough, but kind of weirded me out a little. He was... I guess you could say flirty? But it wasn't over-kill. It was actually really nice to have someone lighten the mood. I felt more comfortable after the fiasco I had been through. Our flight left on time, and I got to LAX at 10:30 AM. I was sooo happy to see my mom, dad, and sister when the picked me up. It was a loooong and overwhelming process, but I made it home!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Well, I went to the temple today with Greg. We make an effort to go together every week. It is so awesome. I love it there. I feel the most peace than ever when I am inside those walls. Lately, I haven't been feeling comforted, to be blunt. I have not been happy the past few days and honestly, I guess I haven't been as in tune with the Spirit as I could be. I haven't been doing anything wrong, but haven't been making a very good effort to keep the Spirit with me. But I went into the temple today with a hope that I would be able to feel better and to be comforted during the things that I am going through in my life right now. I picked up an article out of the Ensign while we were waiting to go into the confirmation room. The article was about a woman who lost her husband when she was 36 years old because he drowned. She said that she was angry that he left her, but instead of asking the Lord "Why?" she asked "How?" How was she going to get through this difficult time and keep the Spirit with her? This lady was very inspiring and basically, just reading makes you feel pumped up and ready to face anything. Heavenly Father isn't going to just give us everything without an effort on our part first. We need to prove that we really do want what we are asking for. The article really opened my eyes on the matter; it is the same principle with everything we do in our lives. In order to get good grades, we must actively study first and then take a test. To go out on the weekends as a teenager, we must follow our parents rules and do our chores (or whatever else we need to do) first. Our Father in Heaven expects nothing less than our best when he is testing us, and then if we endure it well, we will gain all the blessings He has in store for us.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cute, huh?

Greg, Lauren, and me

Sam Livingston and Sam Lee

Lauren, Sam, and me

It Has Been a While!

I definitely have not written for about 2 months now.. I'm laggin' it. I don't even know where to begin! So much has happened these past few months while I've been at college. It has been awesome and exciting, but also stressful and crazy! Basically, life has been good. Better than it had been previous to my college experience. I still love it here at BYU Idaho, and my roommates and I have grown pretty close. But also, Greg and I have been pretty close as well. Since I can't think of anything super specific to write about that happened right after Conference weekend in October, I'll just start from Thanksgiving Break and go from there.

I went to Park City, Utah with Greg to meet his family and spend Thanksgiving with them. Let me tell you, I was pretty nervous the entire week leading up to it. I don't really even know why because his family is AWESOME. We left on Friday, and drove down with Greg's friend Doug. We made it there pretty quickly, and then Greg's mom picked us up from Salt Lake and we drove to their house. It was dark outside, so at that time I couldn't really see where we were or the scenery around us, but just as a side note: it is extremely nice there. Greg's family lives up in the mountains with trees and snow all around, and they have the most beautiful house too! It is super nice and honestly the perfect place to live. His family itself is just so great and righteous. His dad is hilarious, even though sometimes I don't think he really means to be. It comes naturally. He is truly an amazing man and I know he cares so much about his family. His mom is one of the most caring women I have ever met. She has so much going on in her life and still found the time to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for us and on top of that, keep her house looking perfect and beautiful. I can definitely say that I want to be like her when I am a mother. He has an older brother named Chris, who came over for Sunday dinner with his girlfriend and also spent Wednesday through Saturday with us. He is a way cool guy and is really into DJing. I heard some of his music and it actually sounds really good. He also is super funny and a very like-able person. Greg has another brother that is on his mission right now. His name is Shaun, but I didn't meet him for obvious reasons. Greg's little sister, Alisa, is 16 years old. To be honest, I think I was most afraid of meeting her because I was afraid of what she would think. This was because I remember when my brothers brought girls home and the way I felt about it. I didn't want the girls to take my brothers away, you know, the kinds of things a sister thinks about when change is happening. Or maybe that's just me. Either way, I was still pretty nervous about it, but she ended up being a really incredible girl. I really admire her because she doesn't really care that much about what other people think. I wish I could be more like that. Greg's other sister, Lauren, is 13 years old. She is the cutest girl I've ever met! She wears these big glasses that just add to how cute she is. I loved it. She is super fun to be around; Greg and I went and watched her play soccer a few times at a nearby indoor facility. She totally almost scored twice. It was a lot of fun! Then, last but not least, we have Greg's little brother Sam. He is 6 years old and pretty much the cutest little boy I've ever met. He was always just cracking up at the littlest things and wanted to play all the time, which I loved. He is a little ham, steals the spotlight, and he cracked ME up all week! We got along pretty well. I really admire the fact that Greg plays and messes around with him a lot. It shows how much he cares, and I know that Sam is going to want to be just like Greg when he grows up.

While in Park City, we went to a ward Turkey Shoot. At this time, I give much credit to Greg's dad for all the teasing he did on the way to this event. He got me to believe that we were actually going to go shoot live turkeys. Heck, I'd never been to a Turkey Shoot before! And the worst part was that Greg was in on the little joke too. Much to my surprise, there were no real turkeys (thank heavens) but man, I definitely felt stupid! But it was all in good fun, so I was cracking up at myself for believing that. Let's just say that I caught on really fast to not believe everything his dad said, even though it was all in good fun. He made me laugh all week because of his sarcasm and jokes. Among the turkey shoot, Greg and I did a lot of other things as well. We went to see the ski resorts in Park City, went to Main Street, saw Lauren play soccer, went sledding, shoveled some snow off the deck, made cookies and dessert, drove through a snow storm to pick up Lauren from her friend's house, and other fun things like that. I had a really great time there.

On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, all of us drove back up to Rexburg to spend the holiday with their cousins and aunt and uncle. They were very hospitable and allowed me to stay at their house as well, even though my apartment was only about 10 minutes away. Thanksgiving day was a blast; all of the kids helped make dinner and dessert. Alisa and I made a homemade Lemon Meringue pie from scratch. It was a lot of fun making it together. The food was delicious, as well as the dessert! It was very nice to be with such a great family during that holiday. I did miss my family back at home at one point during the day, but I know I will see them soon. The rest of that weekend, we ended up seeing the new Harry Potter movie, hanging out at the house, went to the temple with everyone who was old enough, played laser tag, and played board and card games. It was the perfect ending to a perfect week. I'm very grateful for the family that Greg has and for their welcoming hearts and loving hospitality. I really enjoyed the time that I spent with all of them, and honestly, I miss them a lot. I hope I get to see them again.