Saturday, December 24, 2011

London in the USA

This Christmas has been a good one and I am sure they will only get better, But this year was different. As many of you know, my sister and her family (the Wheelers) moved to London. This year she sent us gifts from London and some of the places they have visited while living in London. The Wheelers sent us Scottish shortbread, Kade received a "puzzling" puzzle, Jake received a game that we played almost as soon as he opened it, I received the "quintessential British gift"-a cross-stitch bookmark-, we also received the most amazing pop up book I have ever seen (and I can't wait to spend hours exploring all of the small flaps and read inside opera house), and my dad received the...most interesting gift of all. Take a look.

Would you believe me if I told you they were...chocolate?

Of course before we open the presents from family members we read about why we have Christmas. Jake put together our own Jackson Family Christmas Devotional. It was great and I love the tradition. I have hardly spent any time away from my family this break and I wouldn't have had it any other way. My little brothers have changed so much over the past year and a half (since I moved out of the house). They are both becoming amazing young men that I look up to. We also frosted cookies, another family tradition we have had for as long as I can remember.

I read a whole book! In four days! I haven't sat down and read a novel in so long!

I wish I was better with words tonight and could describe the happiness I feel and how thankful I am to have a Savior that is the reason for the season.

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope its been your best Christmas yet :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dreaming of Beaches

I LOVE Logan! It has become my new home, its where I feel the most myself, and I just love it! Don't get me wrong, I love going home-home in SLC with my family, but I love Logan!

Well tonight I feel slightly torn. Right now my family is in California. In a nice hotel. By the beach. In the warmth. Going to go to Disneyland. And I'm kind of jealous. Okay I'm a lot jealous.

(These are actual pictures of the hotel they are staying at this week.)

But then as I look at it if I was in the warm California sun I would be missing a lot of wonderful things here in Logan. This week has been honestly stressful, but its been a great week. On Monday I made an amazing, new friend and it gets me so excited to spend more time with him. Justin, my really close friend, got his mission call and it has been phenomenal to see him start to get the missionary mentality. Yesterday I was home to help my roommate (she really needed support and we'll leave it at that). This morning topped it all though. My new friend and I went to Special Olympics and it was AMAZING!!! I haven't felt like I was doing something to make a difference in someone else's life like I did this morning in a long time. I did Special Needs Mutual in high school and I can't believe I forgot how amazing it was and waited this long to get involved in Special Olympics. Now tonight, right this second actually, I am jamming out to music and giggling with my roommates. I probably should be studying but I haven't really taken the time to get to know my roommates other than Brittney. Tomorrow is my ward's Christmas Devotional as well and I hate missing stuff going on in my own ward.

I feel so torn. I'm growing up...well I hope I am maturing haha...anyway! I think I am truly transitioning into adulthood. But I will always be Mommy's little girl :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thanksgiving with the Family

Last year I had to work on Thanksgiving but this year I chose to go home and spend the entire time with my family. It was really nice to go and get out of Cache Valley for a few days. Now remember I am camera shy around people so this is one of very few pictures that I took on Thanksgiving. My dear father and my niece. Love them both so very much. So after an amazingly filling meal we had an awesome tournament of dodgeball. This is the first year we have ever done this but honestly I think it would be a sweet tradition to start, just as long as we had better rules so no one got hurt.

I got to see some old friends over the break and my brothers and I made gingerbread houses! Jake and I shared one and Kade made his own. I must say that I had forgotten how much creativity was in our family.

Oh and I cut my hair...its now an asymmetrical A-line again :)

I promise you that the whole mistletoe thing was Jake's idea. Cross my heart! Isn't it cute though?

Kade, with his infinite genius, wouldn't let me take very many pictures of his amazingly awesome and epic gingerbread house so I'll have to describe it I guess. He made the roof out of cereal (Cinnamon Toast Crunch) and gave the house an overall lodge feel. He used pretzels for logs and gave it some bricks using pieces of pink gum. He did an awesome job and did it all by himself.

I can't wait to see what we do over Christmas break!!!!


First of all Happy Thanksgiving!!! I'll be sure to update you all soon. I've honestly just been busy/lazy/unmotivated to write.

So everyone has that one place that they have always wanted to go to. Mine is Austria. Ya there are a lot of other places I'd like to go, but I've always really wanted to go to Austria. It has been fun to hear about my sister's adventures in Austria for this past little while and then I found out that part of Jacob's (my Logan brother) mission was in Austria.

*** Just a hint to my future husband (whoever you might be). It wouldn't be such a bad idea to maybe plan our honeymoon in Austria ;) You know... if you were debating where we should go.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Grace is a subject that I think a lot of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints misunderstand. I know that I have misunderstood it for a very long time at least. I got an email from the Logan Institute with this link

It is a talk by Brad Wilcox at a BYU Devotional this past July. It is an amazing talk and has helped me understand Christ's grace so much better. I encourage you all to listen to it. You might be surprised at how much you learn :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

If you were wondering, I'm still doing well. Thanks for...wondering.

Halloween weekend was great! I really wish that Halloween was on Friday or Saturday instead of on a Monday though. I honestly miss helping hand out candy and watching Wait Until Dark and Arsenic and Old Lace with my brothers, but it was still fun celebrating the holiday here in Logan.

Friday I went on a date with a guy that I had no idea was even interested in me, so that was a pleasant surprise! I also set up two of my cousins, Sam and Charlie, with some of my friends and luckily they all had a good time, well we all had a good time. We all went to the Haunted Labs up on campus, its like a haunted house just in the Engineering Research Lab. I am very jumpy and even jumped when a camera man was standing behind me. Luckily my date didn't mind me grabbing onto his arm for "protection" when I got nervous.

Saturday was epic as well. I got some homework done and then went shopping for jeans with Jacob (neighbor). I got lucky and found some for an amazing price, but I have to say that my DI find Friday afternoon was even better. My cousins and I had just finished lunch at an Indian restaurant here in Logan and they were off to find some tacky Halloween costumes so I decided to join them.

I found this backpack...

...for a dollar :D Yes just ONE American dollar and its genuine leather. I love it.

So back to Saturday. I found jeans and then we went to watch Brittney perform. She is on USU's My Bad  dance team and was performing during the annual Halloween party, the Howl. Jacob and I both weren't going to the Howl so Brittney invited us to watch her dance right before the Howl started. The theme was something like a creepy carnival so everyone dressed up as creepy clowns for the dance. I liked the dance for the most part but its hard to just sit back and enjoy a performance since I have been dancing for so long because I just critique everything. 

Ya... I didn't even recognize her at first. It was cool.

And then to discuss today. Today was awesome! After hearing President Monson speak for Regional Stake Conference I went to a missionary fireside at the institute. The conversion stories and music was phenomenal. I cried when the choir sang Come Thou Fount; the Spirit was just so strong I couldn't hold it in. That fireside was just what I needed. Lately Satan has really been working on me by putting negative thoughts about the Gospel in my head and there have been times when I have thought about if I KNOW the church is true. Well I can assure you that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true and the song helped confirm that. The times when I am the happiest is when I am living by the teachings of the church and doing my best to keep the covenants I make.

Halloween isn't over, but I figured I'd give you an update. 

P.S. I forgot to tell you about FHE the other night. Jacob, Daniel, Brittney, and I carved an awesome pumpkin!
The picture came off of my phone so its not fabulous but it works.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Immediate Answers

I've been guilty of praying for immediate patience on more than one occasion, I'm guilty of being frustrated because I can't see the road ahead of me clearly, and I often complain about my situation even though deep down I know the solution or the source to what will help me be happier.
Yet again I have come to a crossroads. Actually everyday for the past while I have awoken with a crossroads that was once easy to take on. Some mornings I fight in bed, deciding whether or not to even wake up and go to class or my meeting or whatever it might be. More than once I have given into Satan's whisperings and crawled back into a ball under my warm covers to hide myself from all the difficulties and challenges in life.
I went to the temple today on kind of a spur of the moment in between two of my classes. I was hoping for some miraculous peace or an answer, but came home with just the impression that I've received so many times before; "everything is going to turn out okay." My temple visit was a bit of a selfish one. I tried with all my might to focus on the names of the women that I was being confirmed and baptized for, but I could only think of all the road blocks I have been experiencing and, in some cases, probably creating. I looked back to the beginning of September when I felt like life was falling apart, but I seemed to find true happiness so much easier and thought about why I was having such a hard time now. Why was I not interested in the things I usually loved to do? What was wrong with me? I was reading my scriptures, going to church, going to institute, trying to be friendly, practically doing everything I had always been doing, BUT I wasn't doing them whole heartedly, I was just dragging myself through it all, putting on a face like everything was okay. Its funny though because it took me a while to realize this and it will take me a while to realize this every time this happens.

Yet again my prayers have been heard and once I was ready to hear the answer, it came...well just a little bit of it. I was supposed to go to a poetry reading but my friend said that we should try next month and it opened up a time that my visiting teachers wanted to come over and I knew that they were my answer. One of my visiting teachers talked about a BYUI devotional she watched the other day that greatly helped her in her life and I decided to watch it once they left. It was exactly what I needed. In fact I listened to parts of it twice or three times because they were so powerful to me. It not only helped relieve me in stressing over school degrees, but just worrying about the future.

There are no immediate answers in life. Its like what Elder Bednar talked about answers coming like a sunset, a little at a time, and my mom telling me just to worry about a day at a time.

I guess I need to start writing my blessings for each day because once I begin to forget all that I have I start to let Satan in little by little whispering to me all that I don't have and all that I am not. I am truly blessed. I have my two neighbors, Jacob and Daniel, that have literally become family to me. Brittney and I do something with them every week just as friends. They honestly care and are so willing to help me. I have Brittney, the "girlfriend" I have never really felt like I had, someone I can be a complete idiot with and is more than willing to join in with me. I have a mom who is always worrying about me and making sure that I am okay, helps me financially even though I am an adult and should be taking care of myself. And then there are those acquaintances, you know the people you kind of know or meet one day and never see again, but say something so profound you swear they know everything about you. And last but certainly not least, I have a Savior that I am coming to know a little more everyday. A man I really don't feel like I have begun to know until this year. I feel like I have always had a good relationship with Heavenly Father, but with Christ it has been different and I know I can't get any closer to Heavenly Father until I truly know Christ. I know that the people in my life have been placed there to help me.

I know, with all of my heart, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only thing that can bring anyone true and everlasting happiness.

So if you're not happy, I challenge you to start on your quest today. And as my friend Justin told me today, "When you receive a prompting don't wait. Act on it...and smile."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Unbeatable Breaks

So last weekend was Utah State's Fall Break. Did I catch up with sleep? Did I do school work? Did I exercise? Did I clean? Was I productive at all? Nope. But I did accomplish the main focus of what 'break' means to me. I did whatever I wanted. Again, I didn't spend enough time with my family, but hopefully this time I really learned my lesson.
My break was crazy! I did a million things! Thursday night I watched Sherlock Holmes with friends and family, Friday I hung out with my family and two of my nieces, and before Brittney and I went to a wedding reception we visited a house built just five minutes from my house that is supposed to be identical to the house from the movie UP.

Obviously not all of the rooms could be the same from the movie because the movie doesn't show all of the rooms but they made the mantel the same!
I also went to the dentists that morning and they found my first cavity! It was just a baby one, but boy did the numbing stuff last a long time. The left side of my mouth didn't function for hours and hours, I couldn't even smile normally!

Go ahead, you can laugh at me. I did! :)

After the wedding reception Brittney and I met up with Layten and went to Thanksgiving Point where the three of us went crazy! It was like going back to childhood; hayrides, tractor rides, corn mazes, bounce houses, and more. Afterwards we had a fire and roasted mallows.
Saturday Brittney left me for her home further south and I helped my neighbors with some yard work (I probably should have helped my own family with work but it never occurs to me until after the fact), went to the temple with my little brother, and then went on my first motorcycle ride! That was probably the highlight of my weekend. We rode up close to the foot of the mountains to see all the trees that were changing colors, it was incredible. I am so excited to go on another ride but it probably won't be for a really long time.
Sunday was amazing as well. It was my family's regional conference and I have to say that the broadcast of Elder Bednar's talk was my favorite. He did such a great job and touched on some points that I needed to hear. (I am off to work soon or I would go into detail.)

I still haven't quite figured out why I am in such a weird mood and have hardly any desire to do anything I am normal interested in, but I'm working on it. I figured updating my blog, somewhat, would be nice especially since this weekend, being Halloween, will be pretty epic.

I have been taking a few pictures here and there for the past couple weeks of things that catch my eye.
Enjoy :)

I wish so badly that I could capture the breathtaking beauty of Logan during the fall with all of the leaves changing and falling off the trees. They are everywhere.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Believe That We Will Win!

I know, another post, but I am so behind in telling you all the exciting stuff that has been going on in my life!

Last weekend was General Conference and boy was it amazing! Like I have said before, I didn't feel like there was any talk in particular that answered any of my prayers but the experience as a whole was one that has greatly blessed me life.

First there was the Relief Society Meeting. I have never felt so apart of something than that meeting. I knew I was supposed to be there! I was so lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing women. They seemed to flood into the conference center and you could feel the excitement all around you.

During General Conference there I was something that came to me that I had never really realized. There is so much work that goes into General Conference twice a year. In Institute Choir (the one time I went) the instructor told us how the music is separately inspired from the talks. The music directors have no idea what the speakers are going to talk about, they are completely dependent on the Lord on what music to have during conference just like the speakers are dependent on the Lord to know what they should share with members from all around the world. This is God's church! He is the head of it and He loves all so much that He gives us leaders to "put together" a meeting twice a year to give us guidance as to how to come closer to Him. What an amazing Father we have!

I will admit that I get a little sleeping during conference and in the past I haven't tried as hard as I could to stay awake, but this year was different. I did not fall asleep or close my eyes for a second! There was no way that I could sleep during someone's talk or a song that could potentially be an answer to my prayers or miss any direction that Heavenly Father was giving me. I know I can always go back and read conference or watch it but there is just something so special about watching it live.

When President Monson spoke to us I was overwhelmed by his love. It was hard when President Hinckley died, but this time when President Monson stood up and spoke to us I knew that he was a prophet of God and called to guide us to our Heavenly Father. I love that man!

This week continued to be epic! I went country dancing, watched movies, played games and did school work of course! Institute was especially amazing. In one of my classes we talked about Jessie Evans Smith. There is a quote by her that I absolutely love, "Happiness isn't always doing what you want to do. Sometimes it's doing what you don't want to do and being glad you did." I am super excited for this coming week because we will be talking about the life of Sister Hinckley! Studying on virtue in my scriptures I came across Proverbs 12:4 which told me that the greatest thing I can give to my husband is to be a virtuous woman just like all of the women of the church that I have been learning about.

Sunday after conference I went with some new friends up to Tony's Grove, just up the canyon, where we had dinner. It was beautiful and testified, yet again, of God's love for His children.

The colors are beginning to change! I love fall :)

And the last thing that I will share with you is something that is close and dear to my heart, Aggie football. Last night I went to my first Aggie football game! I didn't get to go last year because I worked on game nights but this year I will be able to go to several, hopefully. It was so much fun to be surrounded by fellow Aggies and cheer for our football team. I love school spirit! One of the beginning cheers was one that is just simply, "I believe that we will win!" And we just continue to chant that over and over again. But something occurred to me about the phrase, "I believe that we will win." We shouldn't just have that attitude when we go to sporting events, but just about life in general. We should be shouting that from the rooftops, cheering on our brothers and sisters as we all battle Satan and the evil all around us. We should all stand united and shout for joy when God's children win battles and be there to continue to support each other when we come a little short. Imagine how much stronger we would all be if we could be that united as we are at a football, soccer, baseball, basketball, rugby, or volleyball game! But in a way that's how I feel conference kind of is. Its our pep talk before we go back to life to face war again.

After every touchdown a group of boys would toss someone in the air for every point we had. This is my friend, but when I volunteered to be tossed we had 50-something points. It was so scary and so fun at the same time to be thrown into the air so many times!

I believe that we will win! I believe that we will win! I believe that we will win!
We did and we will.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I am a precious daughter of the most wonderful Father. He loves me so much and I KNOW that. I know that He hears my prayers and answers them in the way that I will learn the most from. I know that He cares about me and so He appoints prophets to receive revelation to share with us, His children, so that we might know what it is we need to do to grow closer to Him and when our time is up, return to His open arms. Return home. I know that Christ is the one who made it possible for me to return home and that He loves me as well. I know that I was sent at this time for a great purpose, to make a difference if I seek the right guidance and act on it. I know that there are wonderful things to come in my life even if I can't see it now.

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I want the world to know it too.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Prophet's Voice

GAH! Conference was so amazing! I am so excited for tomorrow too. The four hours just flew by so fast, I was so surprised. Something I noticed is that the speakers mentioned charity and serving our fellow men a lot. I honestly can't pick a favorite speaker from today, but I can say that I love President Monson. Today he didn't speak to us for very long but his talk stood out to me. For the first time I REALLY felt like he was a prophet of God. Its not like I never believed he was but I didn't feel that connection to him like I did with President Hinckley, but now I do.

Before conference I had a lot of questions to hopefully have answered and although conference isn't over, I didn't feel like I got anything really answered. I was a little disappointed, but then I read an email that Jake, my brother, sent me that had some quotes in it and those held some powerful answers to my questions.
“It is a serious thing, to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no 'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.”
 - C. S. Lewis
“It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It all works out in the end. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers.”
 - Gordon B. Hinckley
“As we got closer to marriage, I felt completely confident that Gordon loved me. But I also knew somehow that I would never come first with him. I knew I was going to be second in his life and that the Lord was going to be first. And that was okay. It seemed to me that if you understood the gospel and the purpose of our being here, you would want a husband who put the Lord first.”
 - Marjorie Pay Hinckley

The Lord works in ways we don't expect and I'm just one step closer to healing, but it seems like I've made a large step. My life is in His hands and now I can't go wrong. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sleep Laughing and Butterflies

Because I was the oldest child and also the only daughter in the house growing up, I got my own room sooner than my brothers did. I had my own room until I got to college and even though it would be super nice to have a room to myself, it is cheaper to share a room. I don't mind sharing and I haven't had any problems with the roommates I've shared rooms with, I just think it would be nice to have a room to myself. Anyway, moving on. So my new roommate is a party animal! Seriously. You thought I liked to party, socialize, stay up late or whatever, well you should meet Jessy. She's the queen of the night scene. She goes to bed a lot later than I do and lately she's been telling me some pretty creepy stuff. First it started when she told me that she heard me talking (or mumbling) in my sleep but the only thing she could understand that I said was a name. That's not the best part, even more recently she said that I've been laughing in my sleep! Not a giggle or a chuckle, full on laughing! I honestly would be a little creeped out if I walked into a room and someone was laughing in their sleep. But at least I'm not crying, right? I'm thinking about investing in some kind of recording device and recording myself while I sleep just to see what I say. I don't remember my dreams and most of the time I wake up and couldn't even tell you if I had a dream or not so I have no idea what I am laughing about.

I've been kind of nervous with all of this sleep talk and laughing because its not uncommon for me to fall asleep while studying in the library or during a break in between two of my classes. Can you imagine what it would be like if I started talking in my sleep in the library?! Ya, kinda scary.

So the other day I was walking out of the ag science building and there was a butterfly just chillin' on the steps. Luckily I always have my camera with me so I took my first pictures of a butterfly!

Sadly this is the only one that really turned out, but its decent enough :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Celebrities and Mood Swings

This all started about 7 years ago when my family flew into Atlanta, Georgia and went to a Wendy's (it occurs to me that this happened a long time ago and with my bad memory I could be getting the story wrong, but this is just how I remember it). Anyway, we were leaving and a lady approached me and  told me that she thought I looked like Gwyneth Paltrow. I didn't even know who Ms. Paltrow was!
So lets compare:

Um...Maybe? I don't have many pictures of when I was that age so this is as good as it gets.

Well today I was in my poetry class when my classmate told me that she had repeated thought that I looked like Mia Farrow. First of all, I had NO idea of who that is until she mentioned she was in the movie, The Great Gatsby.

Maybe... I don't know! Tell me what you think :)

Oh and that's not all! One of my older brothers is actually Matt Damon ;)

Can you see it?? Oh and my dad is Michael Jackson.

So onto more important things. So lately I have been frustrated because one day I feel so inspired and optimistic and the next day I am down in the dumps, at the lowest low I've ever experienced. I wanted so badly to keep my emotions under control and consistent, so I prayed. A lot. As usual my answer was...patience. So I just did what I knew I needed to be continually doing; praying as much as possible, keeping a positive view on everything, studying my scriptures, and a few other things. And guess what? It worked. Today I was sitting in the institute building in between my classes, studying my scriptures and I read 1 Nephi 20. In that chapter our Father in Heaven made it very clear as to what he expected from me. I didn't have to wait that long, I just needed to be patient and as we speak other prayers I've had are being answered. :)

So don't give up. Heavenly Father DOES answer our time and probably in ways we never expected, but I promise they will be answered.

Monday, September 12, 2011

You've Got Mail

I LOVE mail! I love letters the very most even if its just a short note that someone sticks on my door. I love the character of it with the unique handwriting everyone has and there's just something about the fact that there person took the time to WRITE it not just type it and send it off into cyberspace. I'm not saying that I don't love emails too, I just love written letters more.

Until recently, I never really wrote many letters or got a ton of letters. Of course there were the sparkly birthday cards and a letter from my cousin, Mikel, with stickers all over it, but I never really got mail. I had 4 brothers that went on missions but I don't ever really remember writing them much to either. (Ya I am a pretty lame sister ;) ) But now I write like crazy! I write just for fun, but nearly every single day I write a letter. On Mondays I get 3 emails from my cousins that are on missions (I LOVE Mondays for that) and then the rest of the days of the week its a letter to a dear friend, to 2 friends on missions, an email to my sister, or something like that. I love it!

I have especially loved writing missionaries. It has been amazing to see the change that two of my cousins have gone through and how much they have grown spiritually in such a short amount of time. I love sharing spiritual things with them and I also love hearing about their experiences (though I wish they had time to share more). One of my cousins shared something really profound with me today. He said, "but Jesus Christ loves us all, his atonement not only for forgiveness of sins when we repent but also healing our bodies minds and spirits and making us so much better than we even dreamed we could be. Broken things can mend through Jesus Christ." Of course I knew that the atonement wasn't just for our sins, but I loved the say he said, "broken things can mend through Jesus Christ." In that line he meant himself. My cousin went through a time in his life that he felt bruised, lost, and broken and because of some people that were living the gospel befriended him he pulled through and changed to be the amazing young man he is now and he is serving a mission and changing so many other lives.

Well here is my "letter" to you today.

Dear Friend,
Be that person! I believe that there are people out there that each one of us is supposed to personally help because we will understand their situation the best or whatever other reason. You could be that one person that changes someones life around, you could be the one to save someone. Remember that there are people out there that want to help you. We all go through hard times, but we are never alone and I promise you that there is someone out there that knows that you are hurting and wants to help! So let them. Holding it all in isn't going to fix anything. Remember to be the good influence that people need especially in the world today and remember to set an example because there is always someone watching you. So stay positive, work hard, and show your beautiful smile to the world as much as you can.
With love,

Sunday, September 11, 2011


A positive attitude is something to easily have during the "smoother" times in our lives and, in my mind, I start to wonder why I ever have a hard time being positive because it seemed like such an easy and simple thing to do.

Since I was very little, I have had the desire to get married and have a family. This has been a very strong desire and at times it was extremely hard to deal with when there seemed like there was nothing I could do with the feeling. I mean imagine being a girl at 12 who is just dying to get married and have children when she isn't even old enough to date! That was me. It seemed even more difficult when I was 16 and 17 and I knew that as much as I longed to have a boyfriend and just feel ONE step closer to my wanting, I needed to heed to the counsel of the Lord and my leaders and get to know a lot of people really well. I think the worst was my freshman year of college, mostly because it is my most recent experience. You see, before I left for Logan my younger brother, his friends, and even my mom all made "bets" as to when I would be married or at least engaged; there was 2 weeks, 2 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, 18 months, and then my mom (the only wise one in the group) who said 1 or 2 years. So I headed to college with the idea that during my 18th year I would meet a fabulous guy that I would learn to love with all my heart and get married, just like that. It didn't happen. Fall semester passed and going into the spring semester I thought, "it will happen this semester", and it didn't then either.  In fact, there are only 2 or 3 people that can still win the bet and I have a feeling that none of them may win. I remember after that first year ended and thinking that I was so old and there had to be something wrong with me because I still hadn't found a young man who was what I wanted in a husband. I know, you're thinking "wow Alex, you're only 19! You're not old at all!" but remember that I have been having this intense desire basically since birth. Waiting for 19 years feels like a really, really, really long time.

Well the Lord works in mysterious ways. Summer happened, the best summer of my life, and then I was again thinking about why things never happen the way I plan them to. One of my roommates told me that she thinks that God laughs at our plans and I can imagine that He laughs at mine, but that doesn't mean that He does not care about our desires, it just means that He knows what we really need in our lives and if our desires match those needs THEN things somehow work out. I know I will eventually get married, it just isn't going to happen in the way I expect it to.

I also believe there are moments in our lives when we can feel ourselves changing and growing. This can be in a good direction or in a different direction, but I believe we can "see" it happen if we take the time to sit back and watch. I felt myself grow this past week. I can feel myself getting a little wiser and laugh if you will, but I promise that it's possible to be a little blonde and a little wise at the same time. I am still single and no where near marriage but I'm happy about it. I still have a strong desire to know the feeling of kneeling at the alter across from my eternal companion, holding my first born child, growing my first garden, serving a couples mission, and all of those wonderful experiences we have after we are married, but it will come in time. I still need to experience the single college life a little longer.

A man I look up to a lot, my institute teacher, told me that there are young men that I still need to meet and that need to learn from me and that I need to learn from, that there are young men that need to feel my light. Dating, for the first time, isn't something that I am necessarily looking forward to, but instead I'm excited to just get to know a lot of people, develop the relationships I have now, travel to far away places, watch my little brothers grow into men, learn to write like I have always wanted, learn how to cook many amazing meals, read and read a lot, and more importantly develop my relationship with my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. Although I could do all of these things while I am married, there is something different about doing it while I am still single. I am also excited to do all of the things I didn't do that I wanted to do last year. I'm excited to experience being 19. No more wishing for the next step in life to come, I am enjoying where I am at now! And I can use these feelings of intense desire to motivate me to develop myself for when the time does come.

You're probably wondering what happened that caused all of this inspiration to come and for the positive side of me to dig itself out, well I am a very blessed individual. I have a family that loves me unconditionally, I have amazing friends that stick with me, and (what you least expected) I just watched the movie Soul Surfer. During the movie, there were things said that I needed to hear, to boost me up to research subjects to help me see the bigger picture. So, for probably the only time in my life, I am going to say, thank you Hollywood, you did some good in my life.

So I read up on "patience" on and this is what I came accross that inspired me.

“Indeed, we cannot have true faith in the Lord without also having complete trust in the Lord’s will and in the Lord’s timing."
"We prepare in the way the Lord has directed. We hold ourselves in readiness to act on the Lord’s timing. He will tell us when the time is right to take the next step. For now, we simply concentrate on our own assignments and on what we have been asked to do today. In this we are also mindful of the Lord’s assurance: “I will hasten my work in its time” (D&C 88:73)."
Elder Dallin H. Oaks- Timing Oct. 2003 
**I HIGHLY recommend you read the whole talk. It was amazing and applies to anyone's situation. Come on, read it now. You know you want to!

"As I read, the message for me became strikingly clear: the purposes...can be likened to His purposes in directing my life. He would have me experience “a little season” of waiting before I marry, that I may be prepared to do what is required of me and have experiences that promote learning and growth."
Sister Brooke Ann Smith - Waiting a Little Season July 2008

“Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace.”
Elder Uchtdorf

I feel like I've just driven around a round-about, finished a lap around the track, I feel like I am back where I started last school year. But this time its different. Now I know that there is a young man out there who is waiting anxiously for our time to united in the eyes of God, I know that that time will not come any sooner just by wanting it to, I know that being single isn't a terrible thing as long as you are striving to better yourself and setting goals to get to the next step, I know that I am loved more deeply than I know, and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God does NOT leave His children to go through life on their own, there are people all around us that are reaching out to help us and befriend us. There are people that need us as much just as we need them and together we stand even stronger and learn even more. I cannot agree with President Hinckley more when he said, "life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."

May you all enjoy your journey, wherever you may be. And let the Lord show you all the change that will better us in ways we never imagined. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Our Own Pie Day:)

Okay, so I realize that this pie day thing with my friends has been a tradition for them for a while, but I was only included in this grand occasion one other time than today. In the past we made rhubarb pie, but today it was banana cream! Boy, it was good. To be honest it wasn't the pie that made my night, it was the people I was spending my time with. Layten, a dear friend of mine, moved to Salt Lake and I haven't seen him in months so that was awesome! Andrew I haven't seen for a long time either and of course Brittney, my amazing roommate! We had a grand 'ol time and by the end of our delicious gathering, my side and cheeks hurt (Layten was mostly to blame).

 Brittney and I made faces at the camera while the boys looked up a song that Layten felt related to what we were talking about (Easy by Rascal Flatts, I think).
Yummy pie. And I finally used the timer setting on my camera. Ya I know you're jealous ;)


Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Anti-Laboring Weekend

Friday night was epic! The institute dance was probably the funnest dance I have been to in my life! I mean high school dances were fun, but college is just 100 times better in general. Instititute dances are nice because the music is clean and fun, the dress is appropriate, the dancing is clean (crazy but clean), and it was just nice to dance to my hearts content without worrying about my date or friends seeing something they didn't want to. My friends and I were on top of the world doing crazy, weird dance moves and eating free food. It was also really nice to see all of my old friends from last year and catch up. Half are engaged and a few got married over the summer, but luckily there is still a handful that are still single and let me tag along with them. I got to see my awesome cousins too! Katie, Megan (well she's a 2nd cousin), Spencer and I even have a 3rd cousin up here! Its crazy, all my relatives, distant and close, are going to school in Logan. I love it!

Saturday was supposed to be a productive day, but after trying everything to get me to concentrate, I gave up and reorganized my room and organized the kitchen instead.

Today was probably the best day this whole weekend. After an inspiring morning at church I wandered around the temple to kill time before I went to a baby blessing. To see the gates at the temple open and welcoming was a comfort to me.

It was amazing to see all of the families that seemed to flood to the temple. There were a lot of people taking pictures and kids running around. I'm so excited for the day that I can take my kids to the temple on a Sunday afternoon and teach them about how sacred and wonderful it is.

Again I was surrounded by children at the baby blessing. My brother, Kip, had his first little girl and she is beautiful! I also got to see a new nephew of mine, Isaac. I got so caught up in talking to my siblings, eating, and holding Isaac that I didn't get to hold little Nora, Kip's little girl, or get a picture! She seemed to disappear whenever I had my hands free.

Hey, its hard to take a picture and hold a baby at the same time! This is Isaac. I believe he is only like... a month or month and a half old. Cute huh?
 This is my madre holding Isaac, a much better picture of him. I love his bright blue eyes and red hair!
Jake, my not-so-little bro, was playing with Laila, a niece of mine.
 What a stud.
 This is Ethan, my eldest nephew, Teos is to the right (and his lil' sister and Isaac's older sister), and Natalia is in the front (Laila's older sister). Somehow Jer, my older brother, got the kids to sit still for a second to take a decent picture.
This is Laila again. I love this picture! Her hair has gotten so light and long. Pretty much I have the cutest nieces and nephews EVER! And this is only half of them!

Well, sorry Kip and Alisha... I still can't believe I didn't get a picture of you and Nora... Next time I will for sure! I love my family!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

London Anyone?

As many of you know, my sister and her family moved to London recently. While I was still working at RHR I was talking to a guest about it and she asked me what I was going to go visit my sister there. I have dreamed about visiting New York again and London would be fun but I always thought "I'm in school and I'm tight with money as it is" so I never seriously thought about it. I have thought a lot about London since that conversation at RHR and decided that I am going to London sometime in the next 2 years. I am still single and that would probably be the best time to go.

Well I don't know anything about London, well flying to London, cost, the best (or cheapest) time to go, and all that jazz. So if you have any tips to give me from your experiences or some traveling suggestions, even if its about places I should visit there, PLEASE share! My mentality has changed a bit I guess. I just remember when a dear friend told me, "its not about how much you have but what you can do with what you have."

Friday, September 2, 2011

Survival of the Unfit

So this week has been a realization of a lot of things. One, I am a million times more relaxed without a job. I wasn't planning on being unemployed during school but it just happened that way and so far I love it! For some reason my body goes into a panic when I have work and limited time to get homework done and then all I can think about is how stressed I feel, not concentrating on what I can get done in the time I have. Two, I am very much out of shape. I always knew that I had minimal strength in my upper body, even for a girl, but after riding my dad's 1988 Huffy up 4th North my quads seemed to scream, "why are you making us work all of the sudden?" So just because I am "smaller" than I was in high school I am a wimp compared to what I was then. Third, I realized that my memory is worse than I thought. In fact as I was about to write this sentence I was wondering what on earth the point was to this post-and I couldn't remember. So after realizing all of these things I counted myself eternally blessed that humans don't follow the survival of the fittest "rule" as much as the rest of God's creations do.

Another thing that I realized was how much I love to write. A lot of you probably could guess that, aren't surprised or just knew, but this week it occurred to me how much I love it. I don't remember a day that has gone by that I haven't written in some form or another. I don't mean like assignments, but for my own enjoyment if it is writing in my journal, a letter (I love those probably the most), a thought or description of a memory or a poem-ish thing. English and writing doesn't seem to be as admired as other fields like medicine, engineering (I admire engineers at least), and others, but it is a passion of mine that I plan to turn into a talent. I don't have the best grammar and you can especially tell by the way I talk. For some odd reason I write with better English than I talk, go figure.

Another wonderful thing I learned this week is how much I am loved. I always knew that I was a bit obnoxiously friendly and loud so a lot of people knew who I was, but I didn't realize how many people actually cared, who would yell across the way to just say hi, knock me down to give me a hug, or call me wondering the soonest time we could hang out. It really amazes me. I could never feel alone living here in Logan because I bump into cousins, second cousins, friends from high school, past home teachers and visiting teachers, friends from my past classes, new and old roommates, dear friends, and those guys that seem to think that rekindling whatever flame they thought we had was a good idea. All in all, this week has been a brighter experience than I imagined it would be.

Now its off to more good times. There's a dance tonight! And I should probably eat...

So I leave you with some words from a lady that I greatly admire (even though she smoked-Jaiden :P).

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."
-Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Butlers

In February started the beginning of a companionship that is going to last forever and ever. Amy and JJ went on their first date. I have to say that I do take some credit in this wonderful union, but I was mostly just encouraging Amy to ask JJ to this institute dance. Now, they are very happily married.

The reception was wonderful. The couple was so incredibly happy that it radiated from them and many times I found myself nearly in tears, grateful for their happiness. They danced at the end of the reception and it was even a more tender moment. The smiling never ceased and was partnered with a lot of hugs and kisses. Its a moment I will remember for a very long time. I wouldn't want to be any less happy at my own wedding reception (when that day finally comes) than they were.

Sadly most of the pictures I took did not turn out but here are some that I found decent enough to share.

These were fun! Displayed on a table were pictures and the sweet Valentine's cards they made for each other.
A mutual friend and Amy's sister sang for the first 2 songs. I had never seen them kiss before! 
I was so happy to see old friends at the reception! Ya, we are kinda goofy sometimes.
I love JJ's cowboy hat!
 This was a picture taken of Amy and I at the luncheon (the day after the reception) they had after they were married in the temple.
I think its safe to say that they like each other.
I also got to decorate their car! My friend, Annalee, thought of a cute poem and wrote it on a window.
"Roses are red, lemons are yellow, Amy just married a charming young fellow."
Good byes before the honeymoon.

I am so happy for them!