The Ultimate Utah Bucket List

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I lived in Utah for  4 years during college and started thinking about all the fun and adventures I had!. Utah really was a wonderful place to live and go to school and as it got closer to moving day  I decided to make a list of some of the activities I enjoyed that are native or well known to the Beehive State!

Top 10 Outdoor Adventures:

1. Festival of Colors – Hare Krishna in Spanish Fork
2. Zion’s National Park
3. Paragliding Point of the Mountain
4. Hiking The ‘Y’ – Provo
5. Young Living Lavender Run – 5K
6. Mona Rope Swing
7. Arches National Park
8. Soldier Hollow Snow Tubing
9. Brighton Ski Resort
10. Natural Hot Springs

Top 10 Activities:

1. LDS Conference & Temple Square
2. City Creek Shopping Center
3. The Great Salt Lake Salt Flats
4. Park City Film Festival
5. 7 Peaks
6. Thanksgiving Point
7. Summer Movies in the Park
8. BYU Sports
9. Provo July 4th Parade
10. Alpine Coaster

Top 10 Must Eats:

1. J Dawgs
2. The Chocolate
3. Terra Mia
4. The Mayan
5. Cafe Rio
6. The Sweet Tooth Fairy
7. Blue Lemon
8. Brick Oven
9. BYU Creamery
10. Swig

xoxo

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I Just Graduated From College! …NOW WHAT?

So the Hubbs and I finally did it four years down, well six for Cam but he took a 2 year break to well you know Tour Italy and serve the Lord, and we graduated from Brigham Young University!  Cam got a Bachelors of Science in Physiology and Developmental Biology and I got my Bachelors of Arts in Dance!

Whoohoo we are so excited to be done, well at least until we get our Doctorate and other degrees in the fall.  But let’s not go there yet, let’s talk about all the fun we had with our family coming in from all over the country.  You see, I am the first generation to graduate from college in my family and Cam is the first of his siblings to get a degree (although a lot of people in both our families are working on degrees and training certificates! yay them!) but we are kind of a big deal :) or so we like to think!

An amazing gift from my favorite professor! He painted this
gorgeous picture of the Manti (my favorite) Temple!

So we finished up the dreadful finals week and pulled through the end of the semester together with A’s and B’s, I won’t tell you who did better or who had harder classes ;)

Cam’s parents and younger sister flew in from Arizona, my parents from South Carolina, and my aunt from Florida all came in for the ceremony!

We were so excited to start the festivities of family fun! Thursday was University Commencement in the Marriott Center! Talk about being overwhelmed by people!  We had a fun day and got to sit with our friends and even cousin Chelsea which in makes my day whenever I get to see her gorgeous self!

That night we decided to play it low key since everyone and their uncle (literally) would be out to dinner in Provo to celebrate.
We went to Grandma and Grandpa’s who weren’t home but let us crash their damper crib for a family celebration. Cam and I had so much fun cooking out with hot dogs and hamburgers and yummy desserts!  Even got to see my baby “sisters”!
Friday we had individual graduation ceremonies for the college we graduated from and Cam and I had decided to not walk together because we had so many close friends in our departments we wanted to see and say goodbye to.
My graduation was first at 11:00am and we went over to the BYU sign to take some fun pictures!
My graduation from Fine Arts and Communications was a huge success and I didn’t trip or anything! We had amazing musical performances in the de Jong concert hall! I loved our student and guest speakers!  The main speaker spoke on what he wished he knew then that he knows now.
A few thoughts:
*The place to be happy is here.
*The time to be happy is now.
*The way to be happy is to make others happy.
*Those that are most miserable are those wrapped up with themselves.
*Life is not always a bed of roses.
*What was the best day? What advice do I have for graduates?
*If you want to be happy you must serve others.  Not want to but DO!
He then gave each graduate ten $1 bills to go out and make 10 people happy!
Then we ran over to Cameron’s graduation in the Marriott Center for Life Sciences!
He was amazing and looking like a stud as always and he graduated between two of his best friends!
That night we went out to one of our favorite restaurants, Gloria’s Little Italy, to continuing celebrating my graduation AND my 22nd birthday! (new post to come later)
This guy was awesome and sang to us and was super funny!
We had an amazing time with our family and we are so grateful for their love and support through school and our lives! We are happy to be done and move on to the next chapter in our adventure guide! So now what? I guess we will head off to Dental School in sunny Arizona in June and just wait and see what else life has planned for the adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Smith!
Please check this little gem out that we recorded in our excitement of the 
LAST DAY OF FINALS!

Stripes and Starzzzzz

Easter weekend was BYU Ballroom Dance Company in concert!  Wow what a long week filled with late nights. We basically move into the Marriott Center for the week with set-up, rehearsals, shows, and strike.  But how worth it every year!  I think I tried to notice the small details this year knowing that it would be my last with the company and it was pretty bitter sweet, so cliche…geeze katie.
Anyways,  the three shows of a basically sold out performances all received standing ovations and was one of the many times I will truly remember that “being on stage” feeling that is so hard to describe.
I had a blast with my whole team but especially my latin girls and our quirky moments in the locker room, tanning, gossiping, and of course eating.  Yeah, we danced too! I always wish that concert was at the beginning of the year because it really brings the team together with inside jokes and sharing so much time with each other.  Our director is a star and always makes us cry with her thoughts on the year together.
Our “Stripes and Starz” theme went over great with the audience and we had so much fun learning and performing our Paso Doble to a live guitarist.  Lots of positive feedback on that number! Yay us! 
I even got to put that lovely Mrs. Provo title to use in the parade as the shows Beauty Queen. How fitting ;) (which in my opinion I looked crazy with a crown on slicked hair) 
Sappy thanks to Husband for always “slicking” my hair for ballroom shows and to all my friends for continuing to come “watch me dance”! Love y’all <3
 
Husband and I had a fun time at the Ballroom Company Banquet. 
 I am sure gonna miss y’all!

"Hmmm… OhKay" I’ll be a Dance Major

*Titled for Kira :)

This post is a couple weeks behind but I know that you will forgive me.  It’s been a hectic life at the Smith household as we are in the thick of finals and all the family is flying in for graduation this weekend.  I am stoked to see the fam and dying to graduate!

So March 23 and 24 I had my Senior Project Showcase!!! Basically, all the graduating seniors in Dance or Dance Ed have to comprise a project about Pedagogy (that’s “teaching” for us with a southern education), Research, Performance, or Choreography.  I chose choreography and made a dance about domestic violence.  Yup, I made it.  Insert one tall strong man, one dainty gorgeous girl, add a punch, some cool music and *POOF* ten minutes of genius A+ quality performance.
Um… not quite.
This project took me over forty hours to get music composed and recorded (so I wouldn’t have copyright to deal with), choreograph, teach, rehearse, costume, and perform.  Let’s just say that weeknights were out of the question for anything besides dance and I rarely saw Husband.  If you would like to see what the dance is about and based on check out my other blog and read my Dance Diary.
So the tech week came and I was so nervous.  One costume didn’t work right, my dancer had another sweet audition to attend and as a fellow performer I didn’t want to hold her back, but I was still antsy about her making the last show.  But alas everything worked out amazing.
I had wonderful input from the dance faculty (well minus one but who cares) and was overwhelmed with positive feedback even still since the performances.  Some people didn’t understand the story but honestly I just believe some people are not good audience members or have not had a lot of experiences in life.  My choreography wasn’t about an experience I personally had.  People do not always need to understand or have experienced the art to appreciate it.  I was so grateful for the love and support that my adviser, faculty, friends and family gave to me during this process.
A week and half later we had our dance major banquet and heard some wonderful thoughts and stories from dancers and faculty about their experiences at BYU.  I can’t believe that I am already able to take that look back at my undergrad education and see all these journeys I have been through in dance.  Geez I feel old and I’m barely in my twenties.  I guess that feeling will never go away.  I see all these cute incoming freshies and I just want to grab them and fill them with knowledge about where to go and make sure to do this and audition for that, but I know they will carve their own path and have fun doing it.

Some National Ballroom Blitz

As you most know, this is my senior year dancing at BYU and that means a lot of “lasts.”  I guess this post is about my “last” BYU Dancesport…

I honestly hope that one day I will be able to come back up and keep competing ballroom, but you never know what the future has to hold. :)
 I would say that is was a great way to end it and I loved that I was still able to compete at the U.S. National Amateur Dancesport!

What a great week & as always the sweet hubby was my biggest fan <3
 I competed with Brian and got 7th in Novice American Smooth 
Check out my awesome hair done by Krista Derington 
I also met the Professional Smooth beauty Michelle Officer! Check out her dancing with Mayo Alanen!
Great Week!!!

The Final Week

Alright, so it’s begun.  The dreaded finals week kicked off with an early start in the Smith household.  Cam had his first exam at 7am this morning! Then I finished two of my exams which were turning in papers which is always nice.  Tomorrow is we have BioChem, Sculpture, Gold 2 Latin, History of Creativity and a paper for my internship.  Not as bad as it seems actually but we are going to be ready for this week to be over very soon indeed.

We had a great break last night at a Christmas dinner get together with some of our friends mostly from Cam’s freshman year of school.  We each made something to bring so our dinner began with chicken pesto rolls for hors d’oeuvres, salad, mashed potatoes, chicken salad rolls for dinner and peach cobbler and sugar cookies for dessert! So yummy! It was great to laugh and catch up with friends before the holiday kicks into full swing.  We were a little sad though because we think it might be the last time for a while that we all get to have our holiday dinner!

Parking Lot Stalking: Volume 1

First off, I HATE the BYU parking situation, they do not have enough place for all of the students to park and it is crazy.  Basically, if you get to school past 8am you will not get a spot for 30 minutes if you’re lucky.  I have a great friend that comes to school an hour early to park and then sit in her car until it’s time for her class. Parking is that tight.  Anyways, this morning Cam picked me up to take me to school.  Every day I park in the RB parking lot because that is where I start and finish classes.  Cameron usually parks over by the science and lab buildings.  I have mastered the art of stalking people on the way to their cars.  Creepy… sure, yes it is.  But a necessity to get a spot before all the other eager drivers.  Usually I park and wait in the motorcycle lot and right on the students way to their car, I ask 3 questions.
1. Are you parked in here?
2. Are you leaving?
3. Would you like me to take you to your car so you don’t have to walk in the cold?

Yes, I mostly get guys and a little smile and flirtation can go a long way to get a parking spot.  
Works. Like. A. Charm.
So this morning, it’s 9:52am. Classes just let out and we see the parking lot starting to fill with people looking for spots.  I warn Cameron of this battle we are about to fight.  It goes something like this.

Cam and I enter the RB parking lot and of course… there are no spots open :( but luckily we see people starting to walk to their cars!
I start yelling at Cam to go grab the spots! We have to find a person to stalk and fast! I might have been a little of a backseat driver and cam may have been a little irritated…   :/
“Katie, I have parked once or twice before”
We thought we had found a great spot, and then we saw the evil blue car with their blinker flashing away.
Less people walked to their cars, more drivers filled the parking lot, and we always got there a second too late.  There were those stupid blinkers.
Finally I decided to work the stalker magic and pick up a girl.  Luckily she answered questions one and two in the affirmative but denied a ride to her car but said we could follow her.  So we inched along behind her and finally go a spot at 10:11am.