35 Weeks

35 Weeks

Here’s 35 weeks!

It has become pretty uncomfortable trying to walk to/from school. As a result, people give me what I call “the smile”. The smile is people’s way of saying, “wow, you look ridiculous waddling around and trying to walk up those stairs, but keep up the good work.” Or at least that’s how I interpret it. People have been smiling at me way more than usual at BYU (which is saying something because people smile a lot at BYU already).

Speaking of, I am now an official BYU alumna!!! I took my last final two hours ago. To be honest, I’m kinda sad. I’m going to miss BYU and the opportunity to formally learn. I really enjoyed being a college student. Thankfully, I am able to work at my job during the Christmas break still (3 weeks people! And since I finished my finals early, it’s more like 4!). I’ll be working until January 4 (but we’ll see if that actually happens since I am due January 13).

It’s really weird that two big pieces of my life are coming to a close. I have been going to school since I was 3 (JoySchool! woohoo!), and I got my first job(s) when I was 12 (referring soccer and teaching dance/gymnastics). I know I am going to miss work, too.

Oh well! Something better is coming along! :)

Front Row Seats!

One of the perks working for BYU admissions? Getting front row seats at the BYU basketball game!

Above is a picture of the tip-off. The two rows in front of us were reporters . . . but we totally got more comfy seats than them, and these days I am all about the comfy, so I was okay with it.

We got to sit front center next to the president of the university. Unfortunately, he wasn’t there, but we did end up sitting by two General Authorities still.

There were rules that we had to follow, though. We had to arrive early, we had to “dress up”, and we had to behave. Let me tell you, that last rule was really hard for Kenneth. :) Ha, I kid.

We were on the Kiss Camera, though. They were scanning the audience, picking random couples to show on the jumbotron,  and then they focused in on Ken and I and the couple behind us. We didn’t know which couple they wanted, but then they zoomed in on the couple behind us. I made sure to lean back and get in the shot still, though.

So BYU ended up winning, and Ken and I briefly ended up on TV. Successful night.

Oh, and on a related note, Jabari Parker came to our ward on Sunday. Pretty legit.

27 Weeks

Here I am at 27 weeks. (Do you like my slippers?)

Things that have been happening recently:

  1. Little Kenny has started hiccuping. So cute! It makes it hard to stay focused in class.
  2. Free KSL is the best thing ever! I got some awesome baby stuff for free yesterday that I am so excited about.
  3. Kenny loves to stick his head out over on my right side. I still find it so weird to watch my stomach move when I have no control over it.
  4. Kenny loves to do jumping jacks (at least it feels like it) every night at 10:30. He is pretty consistent about it.
  5. I’ve been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a little over a month now. It took me a while to figure out what the awful pain was, but eventually I realized what it was after reading the symptoms online. Apparently they are worse the more dehydrated you are, so next time you see me, order me to drink a whole bottle of water (as long as there is a bathroom nearby).
  6. It has officially become hard to bend over to get things. Whenever I try, it is usually accompanied with a grunt . . . or the sound of ripping pants. (Yeah, that happened the other day. Super embarrassing.)
  7. We are officially halfway through the semester! Man, it’s so easy to keep track of how many weeks of school are left when I constantly count the weeks of my pregnancy. The end of the semester definitely won’t sneak up on me. :)
  8. Ken went to Dallas for an on-site interview a couple of weeks ago. When he got back, he brought these home to me-

I married a great man, but we all knew that already. :)

Also, the biggest news for last . . . Ken got offered a job (with the company he had an on-site interview with), so we will be moving to SOUTH CAROLINA next year! We are so excited and feel really good about our decision to accept the offer in South Carolina, but we will miss all y’all living in Utah. (I’m already practicing my southern accent.) Kind of crazy. Between graduating college, having a baby, moving to South Carolina, and starting a real job, we’ve got big changes within the next year or so. :)

Ken’s Internship

Warning: Ken is writing this post so it probably won’t be nearly as witty and entertaining as one of Rachel’s posts…

Rachel’s been bugging me since my internship started to write a post about it. She very politely just told me, “you could write a blog post about your internship, since it ended yesterday,” (hint hint).

Anyway, for the past twelve weeks I’ve been working at IM Flash Technologies in Lehi, UT. IM Flash is a joint venture of Intel and Micron and has been around since 2006. They manufacture NAND flash memory on silicon wafers, which end up in things like iPhones, iPads, iPods, (insert future apple product name here), and so forth. If you can’t tell, Apple is one of the biggest customers of our products.

Overall, the internship has been a great experience. I never thought I would work for a semiconductor manufacturing company, but I’m glad I’ve had this short glimpse into this industry. There are a lot of different departments at IM Flash, called “areas,” and I worked with the wet process area. The link below is to a Wikipedia article about etching processes, in case you have a hankering to be nerded out by chemistry stuff.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etching_(microfabrication)

Some of my favorite parts about working there have been

  • The people. Everyone that works there is really helpful and they were all very patient with my constant questions.
  • The culture. IM Flash has a great set of values (Integrity, Commitment, Execution, Teamwork) that aren’t just words posted on a wall in conference rooms. Everyone that works there strives for excellence by living those values.
  • My carpool. I rode with some other BYU Chem Eng students and it was a lot of fun to get to know them better and have some good times talking about the most random things to/from work.
  • Free stuff. They treated us like kings. We went to Lagoon, out for dinner/lunch, and were given gifts. Living the life as a college student trying to bum as many free meals as possible.
  • The cleanroom. I got to work inside of the cleanroom for a few weeks and got to wear these bad boys everyday.

Above is a picture of Conan O’Brien when he visited Intel. Here’s a link to the Youtube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMT9Obytq2I. It is very funny.

Not sure if I’ll end up working here full-time after graduation, but I’m very grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to be a part of the worldwide leader in flash memory manufacturing (did I mention that IM Flash won the Semiconductor of the year award this year, and also has the smallest transistor size in the entire world right now? It’s 20 nanometers!).

Fires 2012

Have you ever seen smoke forecasted in the weather? Pretty weird, right? Well, it was definitely smoky here in Provo (and a lot of Utah County) yesterday.

This is what it looked like outside-

Kind of looks like it is going to rain. Or like it’s fog maybe. Nope. It was thick smoke. The other side of the sky was very blue and sunny.

At my job, we give tours of campus. Luckily, I didn’t have to give any tours yesterday in the gross smoke. The poor tour guides who did came in smelling like they had been out camping. Their throats were very sore as well since they had to talk and breathe in so much smoke. Ash was falling from the sky as well and getting in everyone’s eyes.

So why so much smoke?

Because currently we have 3 fires burning south of us right now.

Got to say, I am so thankful for all of the firefighters who have been working so hard across our state as well as in other states. I am grateful for the resources we have here in America to be able to try to fight these fires, and I am especially grateful that my family and I have been safe. Hopefully these fires will be contained soon.

Dream time, internship style!

“Revelation can also be given in a dream when there is an almost imperceptible transition from sleep to wakefulness.” Elder Richard G. Scott – April 2012 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

As you can imagine, this quote stuck out to me while listening to General Conference a few weeks ago because I often have peculiar experiences when I sleep. Most of the time I wouldn’t consider them revelatory – dinosaurs chasing me, being shot at by terrorists and taking refuge in the bathtub, swatting at imaginary spiders above Rachel’s head with my pillow, and the list goes on. To quote Elder Scott again, “If you strive to capture the content immediately [from your dreams], you can record great detail, but otherwise it fades rapidly.” A few nights after conference I had a dream about my upcoming internship and took the chance to write down what I dreamed about when I woke up and the following story is from those notes. Enjoy

We were having an orientation at IM Flash and I was given the wonderful task of observing many of the departments and processes that occur there. How would I travel you ask? By foot, Segway, pogo stick, other? No my friends, I got to travel by a hand-held helicopter. Think of something with two handles attached to helicopter blades. I would hold on and zoom around the production floor, narrowly dodging pipes and other obstructions, as I went around talking with the full-time employees. After some time of flying around I saw a long hallway with a light in the distance and asked one of the full timers what was down the hallway. He said, “That’s the hallway to intern land.” It seemed to invite and call out to me, but unfortunately I awoke before visiting intern land.

Am I excited for my internship? Of course! Do I think it’ll be cool to work in the production facility of the leading manufacturer and innovator of NAND flash? Oh yeah. But am I disappointed that there won’t be any hand-held helicopters? Big time. Hopefully there will still be a sweet “intern land.”

Internship!

Thanks to Rachel’s frequent pleadings, I’m finally writing this post…two and a half months after the fact. I’m not the best about writing blog posts, in case you couldn’t tell. Anyway, I have an internship offer with IM Flash Technologies in Lehi, UT!!

The internship will start the 21st of May and will go about half way through August. IM Flash is a joint venture company between Intel and Micron that manufactures Nand flash (semi-conductors). The semi-conductor wafers that they manufacture are used in lots of things like thumb drives, iPod/iPads, and SSD drives. I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing for the 12 weeks, but I know that I’ll be working with the Wet Etch process department. There are hundreds of processes involved in the manufacturing of semi-conductor wafers. A typical production time from Silicon wafer to finished product is a few weeks. If you’re actually interested in wet etch processes I recommend this Wikipedia article.

I’m very grateful for the BYU career fair that made it possible for me to meet HR reps and engineers from IM Flash, the interview that I had back in November, and the internship offer I received in December.

Rachel and I are really excited to be staying in Utah for the summer for a number of reasons. Mainly so that we don’t have to pack up all our junk and move somewhere for 3 months, but also to enjoy family close by, the great ward we’re a part of now, so Rachel can take some classes during spring term and keep her job, and to enjoy the many outdoor adventures that Utah has to offer. We plan on going camping once or twice a month, so if anyone wants to join us just let us know!