The Beauty of Paris and London by Krista Boivie

Earlier this month, my best friend Chandra and I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Paris and London during my Spring Break. It has been a few years since I've been to Europe and I was excited to visit again.  Paris is one of my favorite cities and I was thrilled that I could share it with Chandra.  Here is a small selection of some of my favorite images.  

near our hotel in the St. Germain neighborhood

near our hotel in the St. Germain neighborhood

We took a Chocolate and Pastry tour of Paris and these were my favorite treats. Yummy chou from La Maison du Chou

We took a Chocolate and Pastry tour of Paris and these were my favorite treats. Yummy chou from La Maison du Chou

There is something magical about the Eiffel Tower at night.  We enjoyed wandering around after a relaxing dinner cruise along the Seine.

There is something magical about the Eiffel Tower at night.  We enjoyed wandering around after a relaxing dinner cruise along the Seine.

We were the fifth people in line to enter Versailles and so I was able to capture this stunning picture of the Hall of Mirrors.  When I was last in Paris 10 years ago, they were doing reconstruction work in this room and everything was covered up--so it was exciting to spend some quiet time alone in the room before the crowds of people arrived.

We were the fifth people in line to enter Versailles and so I was able to capture this stunning picture of the Hall of Mirrors.  When I was last in Paris 10 years ago, they were doing reconstruction work in this room and everything was covered up--so it was exciting to spend some quiet time alone in the room before the crowds of people arrived.

One of the fountains in the gardens of Versailles

One of the fountains in the gardens of Versailles

Gardens of Versailles

Gardens of Versailles

Palais Garnier...even though the legend of the Phantom of the Opera isn't real, it was on my mind the whole time we were wandering this beautiful building.

Palais Garnier...even though the legend of the Phantom of the Opera isn't real, it was on my mind the whole time we were wandering this beautiful building.

Basilica du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre

Interior shot of Notre Dame

Interior shot of Notre Dame

One of the most interesting subway lines we rode while in Paris

One of the most interesting subway lines we rode while in Paris

View of the Tower Bridge in London from the Tower of London

View of the Tower Bridge in London from the Tower of London

Parliament, Big Ben and Elizabeth 2 Tower

Parliament, Big Ben and Elizabeth 2 Tower

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle

Amazing sunset view of London from our hotel room

Amazing sunset view of London from our hotel room

Thailand in 6 Shots by Krista Boivie

For Thanksgiving, I traveled with my friend Jen to Thailand and enjoyed some amazing beaches, beautiful scenery and the most delicious meal.  Here are my five favorite pictures of the trip.

Near Phi Phi Island

Near Phi Phi Island

The beach from "The Beach" photo by Jen C.

The beach from "The Beach" photo by Jen C.

The view from our elephant ride

The view from our elephant ride

A few furry friends we made

A few furry friends we made

Buddhist Shrine

Buddhist Shrine

Gorgeous sunset view at our resort.

Gorgeous sunset view at our resort.

Holy Land in Photos by Krista Boivie

I recently completed my photo book about my trip to the Holy Land and in completing the book, I realized that I never showcased some of my favorite images from my trip.  Below are my 10 favorite pictures.  Enjoy!

Statue on top of the Wedding Church in Cana

Statue on top of the Wedding Church in Cana

Baha'i Gardens in Haifa

Baha'i Gardens in Haifa

in Jaffa along the oceanside

in Jaffa along the oceanside

Border wall in Bethlehem, this was the saddest thing I witnessed on the trip.

Border wall in Bethlehem, this was the saddest thing I witnessed on the trip.

Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Two holy men outside of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Two holy men outside of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

View of the Western Wall as you enter the Temple Mount

View of the Western Wall as you enter the Temple Mount

The ancient olive trees at the Garden of Gethsemane

The ancient olive trees at the Garden of Gethsemane

Street market in Jerusalem

Street market in Jerusalem

Street market in Jerusalem

Street market in Jerusalem

Now for a bonus image.  The day we went to visit the Temple Mount was a complete surprise and therefore I was not dressed appropriately and shortly after we entered I was kicked out.  Before I left I gave my camera to Marci W. and she took this great shot below.

Dome of the Rock

Dome of the Rock

Welcome 2017 by Krista Boivie

2016 proved to be a daunting and stressful year for many reasons, but as a whole, it was a good year. In planning for this post, it became very clear how blessed I've been this past year.  There were many times when the Lord's tender mercies have provided protection, given me strength and enabled me to grow. Before I reveal my goals for 2017, I wanted to recap the highlights from 2016 and the biggest lesson I learned.

Highlights from 2016

  1. I was able to travel to a handful of new destinations: Glacier National Park, State Fair of Texas, Nashville, Tennesee, Jordan, Israel, and Thailand.
  2. I navigated the longest road trip of my life driving with my parents from Dallas to Canada and then onto Denver.  Along the way, we saw Mount Rushmore and Glacier National Park and spent some much needed quality time with my mom's family. 
  3. I was fortunate enough to see Hamilton twice on Broadway.  The first time was with the original cast in March and then again this past December on a trip with my parents and brother. The show was tremendous and I'm completely obsessed with the music.
  4. My parent's celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and we had our first family reunion. After spending the last couple of years organizing the event, I was thrilled with how smoothly everything came together.  I loved spending time with my family and laughing at everyone's stories.
  5. I have continued to grow my leadership skills as a department chair and instructional coach. I also successfully concluded my first year teaching Gifted and Talented Humanities with my co-teacher.  We are now almost halfway through year two and although we've had some challenges, it has been a rewarding teaching experience. 

Lesson Learned:

If I haven't clearly communicated my expectations with someone then I have no right to blame, be angry, hold grudges or feel hurt by their actions. Therefore, I must be brave enough to address critical issues and communicate with honesty and kindness.  Also, if I'm not willing to bring something up--then I must let it go.


Goals for 2017:

  1. I plan to improve my communication skills, most specifically in the realm of critical conversations (see lesson I learned) and my flirting/charisma skills. The events this past year that were the most frustrating were all a result of my inability to properly communicate what I needed/expected.
  2. Although I didn't intend to have my focus in 2016 be my work, that is what happened. Therefore, my second goal is to work on strengthening my personal relationships. This goal has two parts. The first part is to reach out more to my friends/family (letters, phone calls, texting, inviting people over, etc.) The second part is to actively work towards finding a boyfriend. It is very easy for me to be alone, in fact, most of the time I prefer it (one of the side effects of being an introvert). However, life is richer with deep intimate relationships and I don't want to forgo that part of my life anymore. As you can see my communication goal should help with this task as well.  So...if you know anyone that's single--let me know!
  3. I would like to visit 5 places I've never seen before. This should be easy because I already have a few trips planned.
  4. My final goal is to read the entire Bible (Old and New sections) this year.  I haven't read it from cover to cover since I was in high school--I've mostly focused my scripture study on the Book of Mormon, so it's time to revisit the Bible.

What are your goals for  2017?