Friday, November 4, 2011

Hello 23

I started this post a week before I turned 23, now almost 2 months later I'm finally getting around to finishing it.

Per request of my big sister Valeri, a birthday interview with yours truly. I'm sure no one will be interested in reading this besides Valeri, so my dear, this is dedicated to you. Feel free to stop reading and come back later when I've posted more pictures if you get bored. I will take no offense to that.

Favorite thing to eat: Pizza. Any kind. All kinds. Every day. All day. All-time favorite - Mellow Mushroom. Brad definitely never caught the pizza bug, and unfortunately probably never will. He'll put up with it and eat it when I cook it or when I beg to go get some, but if I give him more of a choice he'll always choose something else. I love to save a few pieces and stash them in the refrigerator and eat them COLD in the morning. There's just nothing quite like cold pizza for breakfast.
I also love pasta. Recently I've been on a baked ziti kick. And before that it was cajun chicken pasta.
And you can never go wrong with bread. Sometimes I'll just pull a few pieces from the loaf and chow down. I don't put anything on it or toast it. I love rolls, homemade bread, pumpkin rolls (probably not considered a bread since it doesn't have yeast, but it does have flour - so I'm counting it), French bread, bread sticks, cheese sticks, pretzels, pretty anything with tons of carbs.

Favorite TV shows: The Bacherlorette/The Bachelor. Don't judge. I never really cared for these shows until my best friend Sara introduced me to them. On the night of the season finale, one of our roommates was having a church meeting in our living room, so Sara couldn't use the TV to watch The Bachelor. She decided that she would go accomonder her now husband Steve's TV. And since I didn't want to wait by myself up in my room until the meeting was over downstairs I went with her. And I've never looked back. Yes, it's overly dramatic. Yes, it's completely ridiculous. And yes, it's lame reality TV. But I love it.

We also like to watch Glee. It used to be really good when they would write the storyline and then find songs that fit into want they wanted to show, but now that they're writing more and more episodes around particular songs or artists we don't like it so much.
Raising Hope is a show that we accidentally stumbled upon. Back when we had cable and watched Glee on our TV and not through the internet, we left it on after Glee was over. Raising Hope comes on right after. It's absolutely hilarious, and we got sucked in. We love it because there's no bad language, no innuendos, no sex. It's just a good sitcom about an unusual family.

We also loved the show Outsourced on NBC, but apparently no one else did because it got cancelled.
Again don't judge, but we definitely love us some reality TV. Teen Mom (Brad actually hates this show and leaves the room when I turn it on), and MTV's The Challenge.

Favorite movies: If you know me and are a movie critic, you've learned to not listen to me in the least bit when I talk about movies I like. Why? Because I honestly like everything I see. Granted over the years there are definitely been movies I haven't cared for and haven't even finished watching. But I totally get sucked into everything else. I've only ever met one other person like this - my dear friend Steve. Actually for his birthday, Sara said he wanted some new movies and asked me to pick them out because we liked the same kinds of things. Unless I absolutely LOVE a movie I won't watch it twice. I find no joy in watching something where I already know the ending and how the characters made it there. My all-time favorite movie is The Boondock Saints. I could watch this movie everyday for the rest of my life and never get bored.
Actors I love: Hugh Jackman, Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Gerard Butler, Liam Neeson

Musical artists I love: Relient K has always been a favorite of mine since high school.

I also love Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Van Halen, Journey, Boston Metallica, Breaking Benjamin, Alkaline Trio, Bowling for Soup, Cher, Josh Turner, and Nickleback. As evident from this short list of my favorites, I will listen to almost anything and love it. But if I don't absolutely love it, I'll never listen to it again. What can I say, I know what I like, and I stick with it.

Favorite Christmas song: Without a doubt, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." Every version I'd heard is just as great as the last. A new favorite (as of last year) is "A Baby Changes Everything." I heard it while watching Faith Hill's Christmas program on PBS at my in-laws on Christmas Eve.

Favorite hymn: I've been told that when I was a baby my grandmother would rock me to sleep while singing "While of These Emblems We Partake," and I've always loved that song. I can just picture my wonderful grandmother lovingly rocking her first grandbaby to sleep and already instilling in her a love of music and the gospel. In fact, that very song was the first hymn I ever learned to play on the piano. And I get giddy when I see 174 on the second row of the hymn number holder by the organ in the chapel on Sunday mornings. As I gotten older and gone over bumps in the road that have seemed to try me to my very core I've developed a new but just as meaningful relationship with the hymn "Be Still, My Soul."

Be still, my soul: The Lord is on they side;
With patience bear they cross of grief or pain.
Leave to they God to order and provide;
In every change he faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul: Thy best, they heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: Thy God doth understake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

The topics listed for this hymn are assurance, comfort, encouragement, faith, guidance, hope, patience, peace, and trials. It's amazing how quickly this song seems to pop into my head and how almost instantaneously I feel assured, comforted, encouraged, faithful, guided, hopeful, patient, and my now still soul is filled with peace.

Favorite primary song: "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus"

Favorite scripture story: The brother of Jared. When I was younger my parents taught me that if I had enough faith in God I could literally move mountains. Oh, how I tried to move mountains. I honestly thought in my 5 year old mind that if I just believed hard enough that I could do it, the mountains would move at my command. It wasn't until I few years later when I was old enough to fully comprehend the story of the brother of Jared that I realized not only did I have to believe in myself, but I had to believe in God. I knew I wouldn't be able to move a mountain just for the heck of it, Heavenly Father would need that mountain to be moved and perhaps one day He would entrust me to do it. Only after I thought of that solution on my own, of course. :-) Just like the brother of Jared.

Current church calling: Second counselor in the Young Women's Presidency. This is beyond a shadow of doubt the hardest calling I have ever had. In my home ward we had a good 25-30 young women the whole time I was there, and they still do now. I've always wanted to be part of the young women's organization, because of how much I loved it growing up. We had wonderful activities that taught us valuable lessons. The ward we're currently in is unlike any other ward I've ever been a part of. Only about half of the ward members have jobs, and only 1/3 have cars. Most Sundays we barely fill the chapel and most members have at least 2 callings because of the sheer number of people who attend church but are unable to hold callings. We have 40 kids in primary - all home schooled or enrolled in private elementary schools (most likely paid for with scholarship money). We have ... drum roll, please ... 4 young women. We only had 2 for the longest time, but we just had 2 convert baptisms. There are about 3 young men. The school systems around here are pretty terrible, so as soon as kids turn school age most parents up and move to a different district. Leaving us with no youth. Many Sundays we come to church with a wonderful lesson planned and no girls to teach. When Wednesday comes around we have spent hours planning a fun activity and no way shows. I hate to say it, but I developed an apathy for my calling. Not for the girls. I would do anything to help them out whenever they needed it, but it's hard to constantly care when it seems no one else does.

A calling I would enjoy: Young Women's in a ward with a large[r] youth group.

Favorite holiday: Honestly, it's Halloween. No joke. I love dressing up as someone else and pretending to live in their shoes for a night. I love planning my costume, putting in lots of effort, and having people admire what a great job I did. Egotistical? Yes. True? Absolutely. And let's face the facts, I'm pretty much addicted to candy. So there's no better holiday for me in that aspect. I also love that Halloween is centered around children (if you don't account for the "sexy" [aka. slutty] adult drinking parties). It is a holiday where adults focus on the children in their home and those coming to their home. The children pick their costumes and get to be whatever they want to be for one magical night. Adults carefully pick out candy and treats for the little ones visiting their doorstep during the night. How wonderful! And here's a sneak peak of our fabulous Halloween (stay tuned for a whole post dedicated my favorite holiday):

Favorite candy: Sour Patch Kids and Now and Laters (only the red one though).

Favorite smells: Nutmeg, ginger, and pumpkin (reminds me of Thanksgiving). Nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and apples (reminds me of Christmas).

Places I'd love to go: Check out my Pinterest board dedicated solely to the places I WILL one day visit.

What I want to be when I grow up: Oh, this has been a long road. After changing my college major no short of 5 times and finally receiving my degree in Human Development, I decided I didn't want to do anything with it. Now that I've been a college grad for over a year and a half, I've finally realized what I want to be when I grow up - an occupational therapist. If you don't know what that is, look it up. I have one semester of per-requistes left to take (because I graduated not knowing what I wanted to do with my life and therefore, not having all the classes I needed) and one huge test left to take (ahhh, the dreaded GRE), and I'll be ready to apply to grad school. And yes, you will have to call me Master Andersen when I'm finished.

Biggest pet peeves: All have to do with driving. I don't use the word "hate" loosely here. I hate when people neglect to turn their blinkers off. It seriously drives me insane. I have to speed up and get around them or I literally will go crazy. Do they not hear the blinking sound constantly going off in their car? Or the signal still flashing on their dashboard? And along those same lines, I hate when people don't use their signals at all. How in the world am I supposed to know that you're planning on cutting me off by jumping into my lane while I'm driving 70 miles an hour if you don't signal? People in Atlanta must not know how to use their signals because everyone either has them on constantly or never uses them at all. Some days I seriously yell at people in my car because I get so frustrated.

What I hope to accomplish in the coming year: I WILL run a 5K. My sister, Brittney and I are planning on signing up for one around Christmas time. I WILL apply to graduate school and get accepted. I WILL spend everyday loving my husband even more than the day before. I (hopefully) will develop a better sense of interior decorating. I WILL makes some of the crafts/clothing/home decor that I pin everyday on Pinterest.


So what did I actually do for my birthday? Well it was wonderful as usual. Brad knows how much I love birthdays (not just mine, but eveyone's) and always tries to make 9-14 extra special for me.
Brad came home from work for lunch and surprised me with Chick-fil-A, one of my favorites. But not so much a favorite for him, so we don't get it that often. He also graciously wrapped a cell phone cover I bought for myself and totally blew me away when I opened a brand new iPod Touch! My 5 year old iPod died just days before and my wonderful husband had already bought me this new one, which turned out to be a fantastic coincidence. The opening night of Wicked also happened to be on my birthday, and knowing how incredibly obsessed I am with it, Brad told me he would be a horrible husband if he didn't take me to see it ON MY BIRTHDAY. It was wonderful.
My mother-in-law, Susie surprised me with some awesome capris, new cutting boards, and new turbie twists. For those of you who don't know what those are, they're small towels with an elastic loop on the back so you put your hair in it, twist and loop it in the back. I can't live without them. You can learn everything you every wanted to know about them and more on their website.

 Brad and I also stopped by the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield. They covered a field in American flags, each one representing someone who had died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was quite the sight to see.

Love, Courtney


  1. love the post :) love the skirt :) lets plan some of those trips together...and i think you have completed step 1 in the carbaholics anonymous group--admitting you have a problem (i share the same problem....) LOVE YOU! MISS YOU! WE ARE COMING TO GEORGIA SOMETIME NEXT YEAR ON SOUTHWEST :)

  2. Oh, 23. I remember you. It's been a long time! Sheesh, you're young! But you'd never know with the depth of this (and all other) post(s).

    Loved reading about you, Courtney, dear. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is also my dad's favorite Christmas song and he plays a wonderful rendition of it on the piano. And "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus" is Chloe's favorite Primary song. She sang it as a duet in the Primary program in September. I wish you could have heard it. I also love "Be Still, My Soul" and your sweet story behind "While of These Emblems We Partake." Fun to read all about you. Glad you had a happy birthday. I haven't forgotten about your birthday post.

  3. I literally have tears running down my face right now. I love you, and I love reading about your life, the sweet love and family you've made with Brad. Your life is so filled with the Spirit and with happiness. I want to be like my big sister when I grow up.