I have to admit that living away from home made it difficult to remember that it was Christmas time, so even though it felt like I literally blinked and Christmas was gone, it was a great holiday! I got so spend time with my family and dear friends. I also got EXACTLY what I wanted from Santa (yes Santa still delivers to me, I'm the lucky oldest and apparently Santa didn't mind sparing a few presents for me ;) ). I got a new digital camera!!! So here are some pictures with the old and new from the past few days :)
My grandmother's handmade Swedish decorations (I think).
My grandparents and I :)
A great opportunity to take an awesome picture wasn't wasted because I pretty much carry my camera around with me EVERYWHERE!
Kade is camera shy. Its really sad actually because he is such a stud!
Jake and Devin playing ping pong. Devin dominated. hehe
My baby girl :) Sweetest dog on the planet.
So every year we try our hardest to frost the reindeer cookies we make, but they always seem to fall apart mostly around the neck, so I decided to get a little creative.
Jake stuffing his face (old camera).
Jake's friend trying to be funny. It always works. (also old camera)
So all of the snow in Logan was pretty much gone by the time I drove home to Riverton. Sadly, Riverton doesn't really have any snow either. Thankfully it still feels like Christmas, Jake (my lil' bro) was just playing Christmas songs on the piano, the holiday decorations are perfectly displayed around the house, and I'm with my family which is the best thing of all. So to remind myself that there are even more snow storms to come and not be discouraged about the ugly brown and dead green lining the once beautifully white streets I am going to post some pictures I took the other day in Logan. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do :D
Life never seems to work out how I would like it to. Finals week is over and really thought that I did pretty good my first semester of college...until I looked at my final grades. I always knew that I would have to pay my own way through college and so I always counted on my grades to help me with getting scholarships, but reality hit me. I am in what I had always dreaded. I have no money for school and my mom, the most loving person on the planet, didn't want me to take a semester off to work so she is helping me out as much as she can. I let her down. I let myself down and I'm ashamed, disappointed, broken, embarrassed, ashamed. I can't go back and fix it and even if I get straight A's the rest of my freakin' life, there's no way I will ever reach what I expected from myself. I admit it is my fault. I should have worked harder; I had the time, means, and energy I just didn't use it and I regret it with all of my heart. I had this wonderful thing in my hands and just tossed it away. I am so blessed to live in this wonderful nation and I have the privilege to gain a higher education and as the Lord has asked us to do, but I blew it. I could tell myself that I'm only human, that this happens all of the time but the truth is I shattered so many dreams of mine and my loved ones. Nothing can change that.
All in all, I hoped that posting this for the world to see would help myself relieve from this heavy burden of guilt, but I know it won't.
But I can't leave you on a bad note so I will say that I do have something positive come from this experience, I know what I SHOULDN'T do and where my imperfections are. I have a lot of work to do.
Its Christmas Break! Finally a real break. It has been such an epic past week.
Sunday my roommate got confused on times and place for our ward's Sacrament because we were combined with 4 other singles wards and we missed it. I was kind of worried because I realize how important it is to take the Sacrament each week so to make a long story short, we ended up going to the deaf branch here in Logan. It was so cool. Don't worry though, the ward has someone talking and signing so we knew what was going on. Sitting in the chapel, yet again the truth of the gospel was confirmed to me. Even though we were attending a deaf branch, nothing was different than our own ward's Sacrament meetings and the Spirit was there too. For dinner that night we grilled two steaks! Keira, my roomie, and I have been so blessed with wonderful home teachers that not only teach us but ensure that we don't starve ;)
On Monday I went on a date to the Logan bowling alley (it was only like my 5th time bowling ever). Well my date and I did one round (I lost) and then for the second round we came up with rewards for if we won. Well Aaron, my date, decided that if he won I had to wear the same outfit for a whole week! Gross I know. Well I was not having a very creative day and I decided that if I won Aaron had to serenade and old lady of my choosing with his ukulele. There was no way that I was going to lose this round and I was pretty confident that I would win because at the beginning of the new round I had a double strike. Sadly this luck of mine ran out fast and Aaron caught up to me and passed me in no time. Alas I am yet to discover what week Aaron chooses for me to do the most repulsive thing of my life! Yuck, I have a feeling that I will be spending a lot of extra money multiple times in one week. I just hope and pray he forgets about it.
I have been working a lot more lately too, I take pretty much any of the other hostesses shifts that need it off since I am in Logan for most of the break. Well with Christmas so close, the restaurant has been super busy. I have definitely learned a lot about work in these past few weeks and I hope the owner and managers are pleased with my work.
Now to make this lovely month of complete freedom (almost) I am going to my very first USU sports event ever!!! The basketball game starts in the next little bit and I am super excited!!
Merry Christmas all! I hope you've been able to enjoy this time of year as much as I have!
Its funny the twist and turns that life takes you through, but its all for the best.
This past week had its plenty of twists and turns you could say. One moment I'm set on one thing and the next I'm not so sure. The usual frustration sets in and the doubts creep through the cracks of the undecided. These are the times where I really begin to realize how much I rely on the Lord and our Father to help me.
Carrie, my roomie, and I went to the temple yesterday afternoon just like every other Tuesday. This time the experience was sweeter. There was a special feeling of peace, but mostly calming reverence in the baptismal room. I believe we both took advantage of the feeling and I can definitely say that it brought upon an amazing spiritual experience I hope to never forget. To make things even better last night reading my scriptures another miracle occurred.
We all go through a change of heart in our lives and I can say that the past couple days have been a testament to me of how I should be living life. Sadly enough, I am not perfect and although I will falter and stubble through life atleast I will have these special memories with me to remind me of what life could and should be like. Hopefully those memories will motivation enough to get back on track.
“Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but also as a determination to live decently. A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove or laugh. Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well.” -President Monson “The battle for self-discipline may leave you a bit bruised and battered but always a better person. Self-discipline is a rigorous process at best; too many of us want it to be effortless and painless. Should temporary setbacks afflict us, a very significant part of our struggle for self-discipline is the determination and the courage to try again....Eternal life in the kingdom of our Father is your goal, and self-discipline will surely be required if you are to achieve it.” -President Monson :)
I almost vowed to put my thoughts and discussion on boys to a minimum, but I had to share this little tidbit before I continue my studies. So as you all know, dating in college is a totally different world than it was in high school. Well the other night I was discussing life with our Father and He helped me realized that I am NOT ready for a relationship right now. I am ONLY 18 (for some reason I forget that), I am still adjusting to college, and learning how to balance school, work, church, and play. I don't know where I would be able to fit much "boy" time in of that sort right now. To be honest, I'm not so sure if I really know what I want, I'm still testing the waters you could say. So for now I am completely happy, cross my heart, being single. In fact I feel better about everything already. :D
You could definitely say that stress has been the main theme in my life for the past week or so. I have had a couple people actually ask me if I was stressed because I seemed a little tense. I could blame it all on the final exams that are coming up in less than 2 weeks, the fact that I am losing muscle but gaining weight, I bombed my last exam, didn't spend enough time on my last paper (I know it could have been so much better than it really was), or all of these things together. But to be honest I think that there is one other resent drama in my life that is stressing me out the most. I went in to talk to my adviser the other day and she suggested (for various reasons) that I not go into the field that I am currently majoring in. I understood her reasoning and agreed to an extent, but to be honest it kind of hurt. I mostly felt bad for letting my parents down. In high school I always envisioned myself as the perfect college student with my head deep in my books...but that's not how things turned out. SO I am in the process of deciding what I am going to be "when I grow up." I am a girl who likes to have a plan and so not even having a solid backup plan really is stressing me out. I have thought about going into photography and my mother and I both agree that I would do well in some type of counseling, but to be honest I really don't know what to do! So for all of those ever-so-much-wiser people out there, I would love to hear your suggestions!
And for those that live in the barren desert, don't freeze out there ;)
Working at a restaurant you have to sacrifice a lot of holiday family time to work, but I must say I am thankful that I didn't get my name drawn to work Thanksgiving. Going off to college I have really learned how much you appreciate your family and realize how much you really love them. I'm not saying that all of the sudden I am the perfect daughter and treat my family as I probably should, but I do try to take advantage of the moments I have with my family and I listen to conversations differently.
Driving to Idaho Falls was one of the scariest experiences of my life. Driving from Salt Lake the roads weren't too bad, but once we got into Cache Valley you couldn't avoid the ice. Once into Idaho and the Shelley area it was the same thing. I actually witnessed so many 'almost accidents.' There was a car that spun out of control and did a 180 degree turn into the metal barrier on the side of the road and then the truck hauling an overloaded trailer started fishtailing across all four lanes of traffic. I actually almost hit a car that wanted to turn left and then changed back into my lane right in front of me and I tried to stop on the ice, but that never works. God was definitely looking over my dad and I.
After we arrived safely at my grandmother's I forgot how much I miss my extended family. I love sitting back and seeing my mom and my grandmother (my mom's mom) interact and talk and think about what its going to be like when I am my mom's age and how we will interact. I also had the wonderful privilege of seeing my uncle Keith and aunt Jan. We have been talking for years about making arrangements for me to come live with them for a while. Keith suggested that I get a job over in Jackson Hole which is fairly close to where they live. I am taking that suggestion seriously. I mean just imagine working in an area where there is beautiful wilderness all around you and everyone is there to have a good time. It would be the first time that I personally saw the Teton Mountains. I have been dying to climb those beauties for so long and I might even get my chance to do just that. Keith is also a huge tease and of course knowing that I am boy crazy he has to ask about the boys in Logan. He also brought up an analogy that he tells the missionaries right when they come home. Its something along the lines of, "you have been in the desert for a very long time (referring to being away from girls), but don't get too anxious and drink out of the first mud hole you find, look for the most pure and clear water." Well I figure I can use that analogy in my anxiousness to get married.
Thanksgiving dinner was super grand! We even had pumpkin pie, well actually I thought it was pumpkin, but it was squash! It was so good.
Another wonderful thing that I am excited about is that my best friend will be back from Virginia on TUESDAY!!! Sadly I will not be at the airport to see him, but I dream about how it would be if I was there. And while we are on the subject, God bless the armed forces out there protecting my rights and my future family's rights.
Well I have to admit that it is really, really, really, really cold. I forgot how cold it gets and I am very envious of my friend who is in Arizona right now in 65 degree weather. In northern Utah and Idaho we barely reached double digits.
"If my world were to cave in tomorrow, I would look back on all the pleasures, excitements and worthwhilenesses I have been lucky enough to have had. Not the sadness, not my miscarriages or my father leaving home, but the joy of everything else. It will have been enough."
I have to admit that Sundays are what keep me sane up here. I remember a talk in stake conference last week by Sister Hamilton (bless her heart) that completely summed up my feelings about Sundays. She described our lives as a series of rapids and calm water. The Sabbath should be a day to restore our souls, a day for calmed water. I loved that message. Here at Utah State everyone is preparing for the semester to end and finals are going to be here in just a couple of weeks. Our lives are so busy and some days I don't find any time to study or do homework no matter how hard I try. I can say that it is so nice to have a day of rest and a time to sit back and reevaluate everything that is going on in our lives. Even though I have a ton of studying to do, two papers to write, and a project to do, I know that by listening to the prophets and keeping the Sabbath day holy that I will be blessed.
So to be honest I wasn't going to post anything for a while or get on until I had all of my work done, but I am all alone in my apartment waiting for 8:30 to roll around for ward prayer and I thought that I would get on to see if anyone had actually read my blog or anything and to just reread what I had posted last night since it was really late. Well lucky for my I have a wonderful sister who loves me and read my blog :) but I after I read my post I thought, "wow.... my life sounds like it revolves around purely boys. No wonder my mom worries about me like crazy." So all I have left to say is that I love boys, but I promise that they are not the only things on my mind! In fact with everything I have going on like my job, my calling in church, my studies, and everything else I don't have much time to think about boys too much (which in my case is probably a good thing).
So I figure I'm going to get a lot of crap (sorry mom, but I couldn't think of a better word) for creating a blog when I deleted my facebook, but I'm doing it anyways.
I have to say that college was nothing like what I expected. I have had such a wonderfully hard time. Everyday things get a little better and a little worse, but I have to say that I am excited that this semester is almost over. I got into a ballroom class and I am super excited! Its sad to discover that there really aren't that many guys out there that know social dance, even swing! I mean seriously, who doesn't know the basic swing?
Speaking of boys, this week I discovered that my most recent "crush" really wasn't interested in me and I just read him wrong (I love that I can talk about this and not feel weird because I know he won't read it). This was more of a bummer for me than a major heartbreak. I was frustrated though because I got my hopes up as usual and one night I was over at Krystal's apartment venting when I made this comment, "He can just sit on a log for all I care. And I hope the red ants come and eat his butt." (Again, sorry mom, I guess I need to work on my language more than I thought.) Well Krystal thought that this was absolutely hilarious and she even put it on her quote wall. I have to say that this is quite the accomplishment.
Well before I hit the sack and start another fabulous Sunday, I have to admit that I think winter is probably one of the most romantic seasons. Just the other day I was thinking about how miserably cold I was and how nice it would be to have a special someone to be there to hold me close and keep me warm (another note to mom: I hope the posts on this blog don't worry you more than you already do). I kept my thoughts going and realized how cute it would be to fall in love in the winter time. I mean think about it, you can start spontaneous snowball fights, go see the lights on temple square or even just the decorations, after a long day playing out in the snow you can cuddle up by the fire (or your heater) and sip on hot chocolate and candy canes (that was for you Cody), and of course you have an excuse to have a guy hold you tight because he's "trying to keep you warm." If you're lucky and catch a real gentleman he may even give you the coat off his own back if you're seriously cold.
Anyway, I'm sick and I really should get some sleep. Happy holidays everyone! I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving this week!