Thursday, December 6, 2012

New Updates!

If you are wanting any new updates on my life, visit Matthew and my blog at!

Love you all,


Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Good (Looking) Excuse

It has been almost exactly a year since I posted last.
I am a blog slacker, but I am not ashamed! I successfully made it through my junior year of college, became a musicianship tutor (love it!), learned to cook in a crock-pot, learned to dance, saw two of my closest friends leave on missions, saw one of my best friends get married, grew closer to my family through the death of my grandpa, lost weight, gained weight, lost weight, gained weight, etc. (you know how it goes), traveled (to the ocean!), and fell in love with my very best friend!

I met Matthew Paul Brownell at the very beginning of Spring semester 2011. He was roommates with one of my best friends from my first semester of college, Justin. It just so happened that my apartment and the boys' apartment clicked and hung out all the time! We played lava monster and other night games like Ultimate Frisbee, "blob" tag, and capture the flag and played board games (bang and the picture game [aka traveling pictionary]) almost every day of the week! That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
 After being friends for five-ish months and visiting each other over the summer, Matthew and I started going out on dates. One in particular, sums up how fun our relationship was and continues to be:

Matthew decided that we were going to make a sand-scape for my belated birthday present and we had gone out and bought all the necessary supplies (picture frame, 25 cent plastic placemat, gorilla glue, etc) except for the sand! Because we live so close to some sand dunes, we figured we'd make a date out of it! We drove out to the dunes, filled a plastic bag full of sand, put it in the car trunk and then ran around, rolled down dunes, star-gazed, and just played in the sand. When we decided to leave, it was dark and when we got back into the car, we realized Matthew had pulled too far into the sand and we were stuck! I started laughing so hard that I couldn't breathe. When Matthew figured out we weren't going to be able to get ourselves out, he couldn't hold in his laughter either. That's when I knew I was in trouble! (and by in trouble, I mean I really liked Matthew) That is the best part of the story. I suppose I should tell the ending as well though, so we ended up calling Aubrey and Kenny to come pull us out of the sand with their truck. They couldn't get to us for forty five minutes or so, so Matthew and I sat in the car and waited. (Which really means I told Matthew to tell me a story, which he did--and if I recall correctly it was about a ninja/samari duck?) I fell asleep during the story so Matthew watched Hercules on his phone until Aubrey and Kenny showed up. It really was one of the most memorable, fun dates I have ever been on.
Shortly after that, when we had been dating about two weeks (?), Matthew pulled a practical joke on a very naive Lacey.

 I had just finished auditions for the beginning of the semester and was having a celebratory dinner with my friend Courtney. We were eating when I received a text from Matthew who told me he had broken his nose! How shocked I was! I quickly got a to-go box for my dinner and ran over to Matthew's house (on the way, I picked up a delicious Cocoa Bean cupcake for Matthew) and when I got there I was so worried about Matthew that I didn't realize for, probably five minutes, that he had taped a paper towel to his face with scotch tape. Wowwwwww. Needless to say, I ended up eating that Cocoa Bean cupcake by myself! (mostly anyways)

Another fun thing Matthew and I did at the beginning of our relationship was we took a dance class together. I was more than a little apprehensive about it when we started, but as the semester went on, I enjoyed it more and more. We learned the foxtrot, cha-cha, waltz, and some type of swing. At the end of the semester, our "final" was that we had to attend a competition and compete. Matthew and I danced the cha-cha together and had a blast. The very first round we decided  that we weren't going to be upset if we got out because then we wouldn't have to dance in front of lots of people for long. Well, we made it through the first round, and after that I think we got a little competitive and really got into it. We were both enjoying ourselves so much that we barely realized we had made it to the final twelve couples (out of 200!). Sadly, we got out shortly after that and didn't get ribbons, but it was tons of fun regardless.

Our relationship hasn't been all fun and games, but dating your best friend definitely has its perks. There is no awkward "get-to-know-you" phase at the beginning of your relationship and both people already are used to the other person's sense of humor. Funny story: About two months after we had started dating, Matthew was talking to me and said, "I didn't know how weird you were when we started dating! You are weird!" I laughed and then realized, it takes me forever to leave my comfort shell! When Matthew continued to date me, I realized he must really like me if he still wants to date me even though I take up the whole couch, I can't help my stick my finger in his mouth when he yawns, and, as he stated, I truly am a weirdo.

I am not sure exactly when I fell in love, but I did. It could have been when we were at the dunes playing capture the flag and, because it was dark, we rolled down a hill, or maybe when we beat Super Mario Brothers on the wii, or maybe when Matthew and I went on walks and almost always ended up at the snow cone shack. When Matthew proposed to me on June 24, 2012, I couldn't have been happier. I have such a handsome, intelligent, caring, humorous man in my life and I can't believe how lucky I am! I am marrying my best friend at the end of this month and I can't help but countdown! Only 23 more days until I am Lacey Brownell and I can't wait!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

To Conquer or Accept?

I am a wimp.

I cried when I saw Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid at Disneyworld when I was little because I was so scared by the plays.
What a weenie.

Honestly though, this wimpiness has acted as a bit of a "sine wave" in my life. I started out wimpy, got crazy, and am back to being wimpy again!
So you already know I was scared of Disney princesses as a child, but here are some more things that freaked me out: the missionaries, history channel documentaries, and the monster under my bed.

Then I hit my teen years! Out comes crazy Lacey! I actually became quite the thrill seeker as a teenager. I realized I loved adrenaline rushes. Roller coasters, cliff jumping, white water river rafting, rock climbing, ghost riding, etc. I loved that kind of stuff.

This week I have been at the Holyoak family reunion. First off, I just need to say that I am so proud to call myself a Holyoak. I love these people with all my heart. Anyways, the Holyoaks have a tradition where we go to Spring Hollow (near Glendale, Utah) and climb up a 40 ft crevice to etch our names in the sandstone. We have done it at every Holyoak family reunion. I have been up twice. I remember going up the first time and it being a piece of cake!
This week it was different. I was nervous! Regardless of how wimpy I was feeling, I went up that crevice and I'm sure I will continue to do so until I am too old/smart to do them anymore. I continually force myself to do things I wouldn't do if other people weren't around. Must be a pride thing.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Networks

In 2005 social networking basically consisted of Myspace and YouTube. By 2006 there were more than 100 million Myspace users and more than 100 million videos on YouTube. Everyone knew Tom's name and had seen the video of the man lip-synching the Numa Numa song.
While Mark Zuckerberg created TheFacebook in 2004, it was, at first, restricted to Harvard students and membership was only available by means of an invite. By July 2010, almost 8% of the world population was connecting with friends and family through Facebook. (source) Social Networking has influenced American culture substantially: employers now use Facebook to gauge your hire-ability, Skype helps you stay in touch with friends and family from long distances, and Facebook helps you find classmates or stay connected to family (I sure am friends with my grandma, thank you.) New networking sites continue to pop up. For instance, Google just launched a new site called Google Plus. It is similar to Facebook, but it uses circles and allows you to video chat with friends (similar to Skype.) My dad works as a news anchor in MT and his employers actually asked him to branch out into social media by starting a blog, Facebook page, and Twitter account. (You can read his take on this here at his blog: On the Mark)
Skype, Facebook, Myspace, Google Plus, Skype, Blogger. It's all pretty overwhelming.
I am a pretty big Facebook user. I will sit down at school to start homework and check my Facebook to see if someone wants to be my friend, already is my friend and has something to say to me, or look at someone I wish was my friend :) at least once before my homework is finished.

I started my Facebook page my sophomore or junior year of high school, I think. I have 537 friends and am tagged in more than 700 pictures. To me, those statistics are pretty worthless. I started college in the Fall of 2009 and Facebook seemed like an integral part of college life. I am ashamed to admit that I played Farmville, tagged my friends in and posted every picture I took, and probably updated my status twice a day. Pathetic.

Social Networking websites make me very grateful for real-life socializing. In the past year I have realized a couple things: my life is not interesting enough to post about every day, nor do I have something to say everyday, life is better spent in the company of tangible friends, not online friends, and computers hurt your eyes if you look at the screen for too long.
Friends are the best. I am so happy with the "networks" I have through my friends. Having lived in four states in my life (so far), through being homeschooled and public schooled, and by attending college now, I am very happy with the networks I have started to build. My network started on August 31, 1991 with my parents and my sister Aubrey.
Since then it has expanded to my younger siblings, extended family, next-door neighbors, homeschool/public school friends, church friends, teachers, college friends, and many other circles.
"Life is partly what we make it, and partly what is made by the friends whom we choose."
~ Tehyi Hsieh

I have a great life :)

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Day with Wendy

Since I have been home my life has consisted of hanging with the fam (including my very good friend Tiffany who is living with my family until she gets married this spring,) working out (My YMCA membership has definitely been a big joy to me since I left Rexburg and the gym at the Hart,) and working at Wendy's. I figure I'm due for a blog and since my life is occupied by the above three things, Wendy's it is!
Wendy and I will reach our four year anniversary this July. When I was fifteen and needed a job, I waltzed right into the Wendys where my older sister Aubrey worked at the time, and basically got hired on the spot. (Having older sibling is a wonderful thing. Also, in the picture is my sister and her best friend Laura.)

Many people are embarassed of working fast food. I suppose looking back I wasn't especially proud of working there at the age of 15 or 16, but I soon realized a few things: 1) a job is a job. 2) you get out of work what you put into it. and 3) if you stay positive, you can make anything a good thing.
Now, while I don't especially love coming home smelling like burgers and fries (or as Tiffany says, funnel cakes,) feeling like I am grease covered, or being constantly tempted to eat endless amounts of delicious frosty, I am grateful for the opportunities Wendy's has supplied me with.
Because of Wendy's I have met people and become friends with people I would have never met otherwise-- My managers and co-workers all have such different stories and life experiences.
I have learned to interact with strangers even when they are sassy and rude (because the customer is always right, right?) Wendy's has helped me further my education by giving me a scholarship! My boss is wonderful for working around my crazy school schedule and managing to give me forty hours a week every time I need to work! Also, I have learned to interact with coworkers as they come and go.

Sometimes I wonder why I stay with Wendy... We have had quite an abusive relationship. I can't count the number of times I have gotten cut, burnt, or slipped. Overall we have a good thing going and while I know it won't last forever, for now, Wendy is good in my book!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Importance of Good Music

Today, as I sat parked in front of the movie theater to pick up Hallie from the new Justin Bieber movie, I had to give my dad props for teaching me how to appreciate a good classic rock song.
I remember growing up listening to The Beach Boys, the soundtrack from Stand By Me, the Top Gun soundtrack, and many of my dad's old classic rock mix tapes containing Aerosmith, The Cars, AC/DC, and Van Halen. My sister and I can probably sing along to every song from the Beach Boys' album Still Cruisin' (and sing it proudly as well.)

I rarely listen to the radio anymore. One reason for this could be because the stereo in my car is broken, (now my only source of music is from the "ghetto blaster" which consists of my ipod plugged into a little speaker. It's awesome) but another reason could be because when I turn to the "new music" stations all that greets me are robot voices, trashy rap about sketchy endeavors, and techno beats. Whatever happened to making it because of talent? What happened to good tone and timbre? I don't know who was more embarrassed about the Super Bowl halftime show this year, the viewers or the Black Eyed Peas themselves?

Some of the people at my work make fun of me for liking the Beatles. It's crazy talk! They would rather be listening to some techno/robotic beat or cringe-worthy screamo than listening to the natural voice and harmonies of classic artists?! How silly.
Long live the greats! The people who people loved because of the ways they could manipulate their voices and instruments in ways that stirred something inside of everyone listening. The ones who sang about experiences in a way that was respectful and made sense: musically and otherwise. Thank goodness for those people and the music they created and shared.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

No Place Like Home

Throughout my life I have lived in many houses, but have been blessed to have just one home.

Never have I felt like my home life was crumbling or even shaky.
My parents have always been incredible examples of making my home life very stable.
I moved when I was seven years old to Washington and then to Montana when I was eleven. Funny thing is, while it was hard to leave my friends, it was always exciting to go somewhere new with my family knowing I would never have to leave the feeling of "home" behind. Even now, when I spend eight of the twelve months in a year at school, I look forward to the holidays and breaks where I get to see my family and go home.

When I was little I used to get homesick just spending the night at a friend's house or spending a week at Girl's Camp during the summer. Funny now that I am in college, I don't really feel homesick ever. Not saying, I don't miss my family because I think about them daily and keep up to date by talking on the phone or through Skype (I'm pretty blessed to have my sister and brother-in-law living nearby when I am at school, so if I need a dose of home I just go visit them.)
I think the reason I don't get "homesick" anymore is because I keep that feeling of home close to my heart at all times. I'm not saying my college apartment isn't homey because we are a family in a sense. We fight and laugh together constantly, just like ordinary families do, but I know there is a reason I am a Holyoak.

One of my favorite memories of family vacations (besides Jace's rendition of "On The Road Again") occurred when returning home from vacations when I was young. When we would get close, my dad would always say this chant/song and it always pops in my mind when I think of home. It goes: "H-O-M-E, HOME!, HOME!, HOME!" and I can remember us all saying it together. I don't know why I remember that memory exactly, but I love it.

So, in summary, I love home. Dorothy couldn't have said it better, there truly is no place like home. Amen sister!