Thursday, February 26, 2009

... and i LOVE disneyland

To members of my immediate family (and a few close friends), it is no secret that i harbor an absolutely ridiculous love for Disneyland. I am a firm believer that it is ACTUALLY the happiest place on earth, or at least it has always been that way for me. I sound like i have been there a million times. not true - i have only been twice. Once with my family years ago, and then last year.
And it didn't let me down either time (when i took the above picture)

Well i just had an AWESOME weekend. It was Corts Birthday. (there have been SO many lately). The whole weekend reminded me vaguely of a trip to Disneyland, or at least the way i felt inside did.
Friday night was kind of like being at Disneyland because we went out and got to hang out with the whole gang..
(and Maria from Maria Bonita's even jumped into the picture) The food here (Maria Bonita's) was delicious.

Saturday night was especially great to me. Its hard for me to really voice why this was so amazing to me, and why the feelings of excitement i had were JUST like the ones i have when i go to see these 2 friendly mice.

On Saturday Cort and I decided to go to dinner... i was ready for the night when he called me, and told me to dress a little more than casual. umm.. okay, that is fine, but WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? i had no idea. (a picture i took last year.. i felt this same fear in my wardrobe panic)
i kind of started freaking out a bit, but luckily my roommate sam was home to help me out. We came up with this.. the leather and earrings really pull it from casual to a little more than casual we decided.

Well cort got to my apartment, told me to change out of my heels because we were going on a walk first (i love walks). i was just in a great mood and we started walking. and i was talking a lot, and i didn't even realize where we were walking.. and then we ended up here:

Yepp.. the nicest restaurant in Provo.. and my heart started racing.. (taken on the jungle cruise in d-land)
i began to feel the disneyland excitement fill my bones. the "chef's table" has been the inside joke with me and some of my friends for a while. because its so nice and pricey we have always joked about going there.. and i really thought i would never go. but i guess i never knew cort then. he told me this is where we were eating. i think i said "shut up" a million times.

Wow, i just realized that this is sounding like some sort of romantic proposal story. let me assure you- there is none of that going on in my life right now. but what is going on is my infatuation with this classy ritzy lifestyle. that makes me sound materialistic. in the movies you always see people eating at these super nice places, and i had never been.. it was on all the lists in my head of things i wanted to do in my life, and i was so excited to finally make it all come to pass. it was like my life was a movie for a night.

of course; a restaurant like this needs good entertainment.
This guy could really play the piano. a true pianist. his music set the perfect atmosphere and i was jealous of his talent. he played everything from disney songs, billy joel, les mis, you name it he played it, even my personal favorite Bella's Lullaby from Twilight (actually the billy joel was pretty good too!)

this is me in all my excitement. i just didn't know what to do. It sounds crazy that i was so floored by the whole experience, we sat down and the server put the napkins on our laps for us (apparently when you are rich you no longer have to keep yourself clean, other people do that for you). this is so weird that was a milestone in my life, people go here ALL the time.

i didn't take any ACTUAL pictures of my food. but it was amazing, and plated to perfection (chef Gordon Ramsey would have been pleased), i couldn't take pictures because then everyone would have known my secret.. that it was my first time in a place like this.
That isn't an actual picture of the table setting, i didn't get a picture of that, but if i had it might have looked something like this.
We started with an appetizer: DUCK. it was my first time having duck, and it just seemed like the right thing to do.. when in rome. i liked the way it danced along my palate and the way the flavors came together to create a rainbow in my mouth. not really, but if i were on Iron Chef i might have said that.
My meal was also amazing.. prosciutto stuffed chicken or something. mmm.. delish.

here's the guy that made it all happen:

i think cort was probably embarassed of my excitement over everything. but it was a big deal to me for some odd reason that i can't quite explain. i am SO SOOOO grateful that this is what 'dinner' that night meant, and that my wardrobe choice was good for a little more than casual. the food was good, the view was amazing, the whole experience out of this world for me, but the company was the best part. he's cute, right?

we even got dessert. would you believe that places this nice even do a little free birthday dessert? only you get to pick the dessert you want. corts birthday pick was Creme Brulee. something else that i had not yet tried in my life. what a perfect way to finish a meal, i totally underestimated what greatness it could hold. mm.. the crystalized sugar on top, the creamy almost whipped creamy inside. it was love at first sight.

well.. the night was perfect. best night EVER! it was def a night to remember, or that i will at least remember. i don't see myself frequenting the chef's table anytime soon so i will just treasure this memory.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

at the gathers.. or at least eating with them

THis weekend was so good.. SO good! i love going to the Gathers.

We went to Texas Roadhouse.. mmm i was very happy with it.

I know Auntie Wilma laughs when nicole and i just fall asleep after 5 minutes together, but we both enjoy and treasure that time we spend together asleep on the couch and love sac.

I love being at their house, because Auntie Wilma is sometimes so much like my dad i feel like i am at home (in a good way).

Chay kept us busy playing lots of games. He of course won Apples to Apples which always seems funny to everyone cause he never knows what exactly the cards say or mean.

This game was new to me. It was a lot of fun. like Japanese Jenga.. only i don't think they would find it very fun in Japan. You think that it would have been easy for all of us, but i am someone who doesn't use chopsticks because i am not very good with them, and i feel ridiculous being half-japanese and not being very good with chopsticks, i think people assume i would just be a natural.

thanks again for a great weekend Gathers. I can't wait to see you guys again soon!

confessions of a school-aholic

School has possessed my life. School and work. My name is Alana Takahashi, and i am a school-aholic. I find that i get to school around at least 8:30-9 everyday, and i don't end up leaving til at least 8:30-9 every night, sometimes, like tonight, i stay later. My classes are tough, the workload is insane. But i do like being kept busy. i really do. And.. over the past little bit.. here are some things i have been up to.

Sam and i went and watched cort in a ping pong tournament. We made this sign for him, the reverse side said "de-fense". Ping pong fans aren't really that active, our attempt at doing the wave didn't go very far with the other 3 people in the crowd, and they didn't really approve of our cheering. We had even looked up ping pong lingo to sound like we did this all the time. "YA.. SKUNK IT!!"

I also successfully pulled off a surprise party for Samantha's 23rd birthday... with lots of help from kaiti and AJ. As roommates we went for dinner and amused her at the mall while everyone was gathering.

We rented out the clubhouse.. and a lot of people came. It was a fun night. and she was oh so surprised.

there was cake

chocolate fountain and chips and salsa

rockband and boys

a lot of my girl friends

and some kissing rugby. yeah.. looks dangerous, and it was. (check out the cast on the guy in the rights hand... jk.. he already had that)

i made these cookies for a friend (and never got them to him and his wife) but i wanted to say:

to Angie and Erika for helping make my birthday SO much more amazing. these girls amaze me.

i guess that doesn't seem like much other than school. but i am trying to find more balance in my life....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

we can do ANYTHING

if you want to see how i spent a lot of my weekend (when i wasn't at the Gathers.. which has a post coming... )

please see HERE


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

better late than never. some lessons learned in 2008

This is an insanely long post. there are lots of pictures, but many have appeared on here already. this is more for me than for anyone else. but if you want to read it. i won't stop you.

Life is crazy.. its unpredictable.. it keeps on going, even when sometimes we aren't ready for it to. Sometimes we can wonder why things happen that happen, but there are always lessons to be learned in the good and the bad, Simple lessons and sometimes more complex ones. But 2008 was a big growing year for me (although i am still 5'3).

Here are some of the highlights and the simpler things i learned (in order of happenings):

Lessons 1 & 2: Time doesn't have to change things and sometimes the plans you make as kids can really happen. Sara joined me at BYU in January and finally we went to the same school, something we had planned since before she moved. And.. we were still best friends even after all the years in different countries. :)

Lesson 3: If you don't enjoy a movie, ask for a refund. i guess cloverfield and me weren't meant to be.

Lesson 4: Bonfires on the beach are as good as i had hoped they would be. it was always my dream to have a bonfire on a beach like on TV. and i did. and expectations were exceeded.

Lesson 5: There are places in the world that you can go outside without a jacket on in January and not be cold. Trip 1 to California in January, and we were on the beach. i didn't know this could happen.

Lesson 6: My dad is awesome (okay i already knew this.. but so many more reasons of this became apparent this year)

Lesson 7: I love visits and being a lacrosse mom wannabe.

Lesson 8: Seaworld and Disneyland = LOVE LOVE LOVE. but in that order. if not in that order, than i fear seaworld wouldn't be so good.

Lesson 9: California where have you been all my life? I went twice last winter semester. and i loved it.

Lesson 10: I take after my dad and i hate needles. I laughed, i cried, i may never volunteer for this again.
Lesson 11: Candi will be a great nurse

Lesson 12: Even little sisters grow up and graduate from highschool and go to university

Lesson 13: Sometimes it feels like the world is falling, but maybe we've just put ourselves in a place where we can't see the 'bigger picture'

Lesson 14: My Dad is a Rockstar. bahaha. Brylie always says, "did you know your dad is a rockstar?"

Lesson 15: Nothing beats the blue skies of Calgary. Nothing. And pictures of such always bring a smile to my face.

Lesson 16: I can set up a tent (with help my sister and friends) and Lesson 17: I love an adventure. on this trip we went and explored this creeped out empty house. i was scared, but i loved the adrenaline rush.

Lesson 17: As practical as they are, water-shoes just aren't a great fashion statement.

Lesson 18: We all hit bumps in the road, but sometimes do we create the bumps for others on their journey through life? maybe we do. I am also grateful that Jamie didn't die while these pictures were being taken.

Lesson 19: I LOVE THE JONAS BROTHERS. Especially Joe. <3 <3 <3. Lovebug will be on my wedding slideshow someday.

Lesson 20: I have the funnest cousins ever. This summer we got to meet and hang out with cousins from Arizona, it was SO much fun. we miss them!

Lesson 21: Sometimes you have to just do things that scare you. This summer Erika, Craig, KC and i all rode the skyscraper. Erika was really scared to go (okay i was too) but she didn't regret it for a second after we went.

Lesson 22: Radio life is cool, its fun, its interesting- its not for me.

Lesson 23: Even younger cousins grow up and go on missions. Dallin left this summer - i think missions are awesome. i think i might just have to serve one...

Lesson 24: I probably actually don't want to be a vampire. Twilights 4th book came out, as much as i love twilight.. all that blood sucking and fighting just seems like it would be too much for me.

Lesson 25: Just as Elder Uchtdorf said in his address to the Relief Society, i need to be more artistic.. creativity in all forms is my form of release, it does bring me joy.

Lesson 26: Make do with what you have available. Sometimes we can't have things in the circumstances we want, but we just need to accept things as they come and make it work.

Lesson 27: Headlamps are useful, but i still don't think i would want one as a christmas present.

Lesson 28: Its easier to do the right thing when everyone is doing it with you, AKA.. I have the best friends ever.

Lesson 29: Everyone looks better in a tux

Lesson 30: I have so much to be thankful for. SO MUCH! one thing to be thankful for, is that i was able to pull off this thanksgiving dinner.

Lesson 31: I have so much left to learn about the world, and lots to learn from those i love. I love going to Auntie Wilma's because i always learn something useful (it usually involves food). I am grateful for her patience with me always wanting to make something and i am grateful grandma could come visit and i could learn from her too.

Lesson 32: Don't take yourself too seriously. This guy was awesome, he was hilarious and was able to laugh at himself. I love that.

Lesson 33: Hawaii is the perfect place to fall in love. And i did... with Hawaii and all the time i was able to hang out with my sisters that i miss all the time SO much!
Lesson 34: i look better with a tan.

Lesson 35: My family contains some of my best friends. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful family. we had so much fun together, we always do.
Lesson 36: My sisters are amazing, they can picture something in their mind and then make it happen. Take this cake for example. I think i need to learn something from them.

Lesson 37: My friends are starting to get married.. which means my day is getting closer.

Lesson 38: This guy does a lot. He just wears himself out.. and so then he falls asleep anywhere.. and snores, i am grateful for all he does (minus the snoring)

Lesson 39: Proper preparation does pay off. Whether it is dressing warm so you don't freeze or studying for quizzes and tests. it all pays off.

Lesson 40: I love puzzles. my life is a puzzle.. i keep just putting little pieces together with that image of what i want things to look like when i am done. SOmetimes the pieces dont' fit right and it gets frustrating, but it feels so good when i get a little section done.