Monday, December 17, 2012

MY mission call :)

Life's been super crazy and I realized that I never announced where I was called to!!

So a couple weeks ago I was called to the Washington Spokane mission, Spanish speaking :D I leave for the MTC on March 27th. In preparation for my mission I get to go through the temple and that is one thing I am extremely excited about. Its been an amazing experience just in the few weeks of mission preparation. Although it has been a roller coaster of emotion and just pure craziness, I wouldn't trade if for anything.

I've had wonderful support from family and friends and honestly I don't think they realize how much that means to me. I've noticed that once I make a hard but important decision, Satan tries his hardest to keep me from fulfilling it. Well I don't know why Satan thinks he can keep me from serving, but he isn't messing with future missionary!

Here's some memories I've recently made :)

Ward Christmas Party Talent Show :)

 Hanging out because we can :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My (kinda) dating sabbatical

I went on a date the other night with another guy I knew from high school. We'll call him...Captain America. Like I said before, the captain and I went to high school together; he graduated the year before me. Although we had a lot of mutual friends, I didn't really know him. All I really knew was that he was a really good kid.

Semi-long story short, Captain America and I didn't really get a chance to chat during our date for multiple reasons. In fact, we only had the drive home, about 20 minutes, to really talk and get to know each other better.

I've had awkward or conflicting doorstep moments before but that night was pretty bad. I don't think Captain America thought so, but I did. He gave me a hug... :) ... and I told him thank you and that I had had a great time. Now in the past if I went on a date, enjoyed it, and wanted to go on another one I would say something like, "I'd love to do something again sometime." Ya know, just to let the guy know how I felt. So I'm on the doorstep with Captain America and I'm about to mention that I'd like to go out again, but I stop myself. I'm going on a mission, why would I suggest that we go out again if I'm just going to leave? And would he think it's weird that I'm encouraging it when I should be preparing for a mission and not marriage? Oh, but what if we ended up dating and then he wai-  I stopped my thought process there and said "see ya" instead.

Well the next morning my mom is full of questions as usual. Typically I have to ask her what her impression was of my date, but this time she brought it up. And Captain America had impressed her. Great, now that I've vowed to not date for 18 months I finally meet a guy my mom is sincerely impressed with.

I don't know what I was thinking, but I figured that once I handed in my papers and the mission plans were final that guys wouldn't ask me out anymore. Guys are a wonderful distraction I could do without for a while.

Well I was wrong. Well, wrong about thinking that the mission thing would keep guys away. And even though I have other things to be thinking about, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that somehow, someway Captain America will ask me out again.

Man, I'm already a horrible missionary.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Happiest Season of All

I'm always excited for the holidays, but this year is a little different.

For those who don't know, the LDS church changed the age young adults can leave to serve missions. Girls can leave as early as age 19 and boys at 18. This means Jake and I handed in our mission papers about 4 months earlier than we would have been able to previously and we could leave at any time.

Jake got his call a couple weeks ago and is leaving for Santiago, Chile on January 16th. I should receive my mission call in the next week or so.
(This is Jake's I'm-getting-emotional-but-can't-show-it face..hehe)

This will be the last holiday season I will spend with my entire family for 2 years. But as sad as that may sound, this will the last few months I have to prepare myself to share the true significance of the holidays with others around the world.

Thanksgiving was fantastic, but to be honest I was more excited for Friday. Jake went through the temple and what a Spirit that brought to our home. Saturday Jake took Kade and I to do baptisms and Jake got to do the ordinances. THAT was an amazing experience; one I know I will never ever forget.
I feel kind of bad because I noticed that I mostly took photos of my siblings and nieces and nephews. I guess subconsciously I realized that my sweet little nieces and nephews were going to be the ones who were going to change the most while I'm gone.

 OLIVIA! I haven't seen her in soooo long. She is the sweetest thing :)
 Kimmy and cute McKoy.

 Dev and Grandpa
 Bah! I love this picture. Jake mimicking Laina.
 Most of my nieces and nephews. Sadly we were missing a few :(
 Jake, Grandpa, and I
 Matt and Kimmy :)
 Oh and we got a musical number by Zach!

Jake after going through the temple. Gah I'm so proud of him!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hauntings from journals past...

(Excuse the title; just trying to get in the Halloween spirit.)

One thing that I like to do is read past journal entries. Typically I read entries from about a year before.

Tonight was one of those nights that I looked over at my collection of journals and decided to take a peek at what things were like a year ago.

Journal entry: October 26, 2011

"...there is this guy, -blank-, who has some interest in me. He is a very attractive man..."

Originally I had written up a pretty detailed story about this "very attractive man" (and I guess if you want it I can write about it), but I decided that it was better to just cut to the "chase" (bahaha-sorry my roommates are the only ones who will understand) than make you read a super long blog post.

 So there was this super attractive guy; and I mean like the kind of guy you try not to stare at as he walks by, would make you faint if he smiled too big, and would never talk to a girl like me unless I had season tickets to his favorite basketball team.Well this guy,..Mr. Gorgeous (yes I'm shallow, but we'll get to that), turned out to be interested in ME. It was probably the most bizarre and confusing thing I had ever experienced.

So like any girl, I was completely flattered at the attention and pleasantly confused. However, over a short period of time I noticed that I had lost all of that attraction and didn't care if I ever saw "Mr. Gorgeous" ever again. Dating this beautiful man was changing me in all the wrong ways. When I got ready for a date with him I focused more on what clothes I had that made me look really thin and was really fashionable (not that I had a lot to work with). I found myself constantly thinking about whether I looked thin, if my clothes seemed...well expensive enough. It just wasn't me. Ya I like to look nice for a date, but this was totally different. All of this made me look down on myself, think negatively and unrealistically.

I learned a very valuable lesson then. All that immature daydreaming of dating a super gorgeous guy that all the girls drooled over wasn't fun at all. Looks only took a potential dating relationship so far. I felt very out of place when I was around Mr. Gorgeous and his friends and that's not what I wanted.

So the point of all this...well I guess I read the short bit about it in my journal and giggled a little. But my biggest advice to you would be to be careful what you wish for. Gorgeous men are not always what they seem.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Yesterday I was honored to have some very famous guests at my house...

 Jesse from Toy Story...

 the cutest lion I had ever seen (Simba maybe?)...
and Woody :) 

Other guests included...
 an adorable clown who didn't want to wear her costume...
and the cutest and cuddliest bunny. 

Halloween is so much better with nieces and nephews!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Turlock, CA

Turlock, California is this cute little farming town just outside of Oakland. Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting such a place and best of all I got to see my dear cousin after he had been gone for 2 years :) Tyler served his mission in South Africa and returned to the U.S. just a couple weeks ago.
Just a brief summary of Tyler and I, we actually didn't become good friends until about 3 years ago or maybe a little longer. He's lived in Cali my whole life and so I didn't see him much growing up. But I have to say that I am so glad he is my friend now. Visiting Tyler in Cali and listening to him talk about his mission has made me even more excited about when I get to go. Tyler has grown so much in so many ways. He was a good kid before he left and he came back a great and spiritual man.
Because it cost so much to bring any extra luggage on the flight I packed 3 days worth of stuff into my backpack. I'm surprised it didn't rip during the trip. Tips for packing light: wear what layers you can on the airplane ride, try not to buy too much on your trip, share a piece of luggage with someone and split the cost, buy mini hairspray and other products (it saves TONS of room), and don't fold your clothes-roll them up tight.

 View of Idaho from the plane. I have to admit that I pretty much acted like a 6 year old once we took off. My face print was all over the window.
 We eventually flew up into the clouds and that was probably the most beautiful view of the whole trip.

 Bayler and Camia. Aren't they adorable?!
 Tyler and I.
 Ya, we're goofs. I love it :) Miss Tyler so much!
 Grandma and Tyler. Bahaha!

Aunt Jeanine, Tyler, Uncle David, and Mallory. We missed Lauren (Tyler's other sister-my cousin) a lot; sadly she couldn't make it.

It was an awesome trip and definitely worth all the sacrifices I made :) I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cecret Lake

Fall break was this week and it was so good to wake up and realize that I had ALL day to do whatever I wanted.

Once my lil' bro got home from school we went with my mom to Cecret Lake. I wanted a chance to take pictures of the gorgeous fall colors before they were gone. I was a little late for the really bright ones, but once we got all the way up the canyon, there were some amazing views.

 I took a ton of pictures of this blue jay but I couldn't stop from shaking so its a little blurry.
 I absolutely love quakies :) Probably my favorite to see in the fall.

 Kade found some sap :)
 Gorgeous reflection of the dark clouds in the sky.

Kade was being a goof and meditating on a rock. My mom started to cry because she was laughing so hard. Love that kid :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I hope they call me on a mission

(I wanted to wait to share this with everyone, but I just can't hold it in any longer :D  )

I had to work during conference today and it was a real bummer. I couldn't get conference off my mind all day.

Around 9:30 a.m. I got a text from my little brother that said, "President Monson announced that guys can leave (on their missions) when they are 18 now! And girls when they're 19!" As I read the screen I almost started to cry. I KNEW that that was the answer to so many prayers.

There have been a lot of events that led me to make the decision to serve a mission. It all seemed to start this past summer. Like I mentioned in a previous blogpost (And they left me for a mission), I have a lot of girl friends leaving or on their missions. I have friends serving in Europe, Russia, Phillipines, Australia, and a lot of other places I can't think of at the moment.

Time went by after I had heard about the large group of friends leaving on missions and I didn't think much about serving myself, but I was having a lot of missionary opportunities and spending time with friends who talked about their missions often. That began to redirect my thoughts...should I go?

A dear friend left a couple weeks ago on her mission to Arizona. When I saw my friend dressed in her missionary attire, I fell to pieces; this overwhelming desire to serve and to share the Gospel swept over me. I thought again to myself, "should I really go?" But fear got in the way and I thought about how scary it would be if I got sent to a country I had never been to to speak a language that I had never heard and thrown into a culture I didn't understand.

As conference grew near I decided I needed to pick a question that had been on my mind to focus on and would hopefully be answered during conference. I fasted and didn't really feel like I got an answer. My mom and I went downtown for the General Relief Society Meeting and afterwards walked around Temple Square. We crossed paths with some sister missionaries and began to talk with them. Within minutes I knew that this wasn't going to be just a causal conversation. After chatting for a bit Sister Felsted, a sister from Atlanta, Georgia, she told me that she had prayed to see me that day. When I asked her to explain Sister Felsted told me that she loved her mission so much and wanted to meet a girl that day that was "on the fence" about serving a mission. And Sister Felsted hoped to convince this girl to go serve a mission. As I told her my thoughts about serving a mission, tears came to my eyes. While I spoke with them I could feel my face glowing with happiness and again the feeling came, that overwhelming peace and happiness, the feeling that I knew I had to act upon.

So I started to think more seriously about a mission and realized that it would be 6 months or so until I could actually hand in my papers and I had just met a great guy, Herbert. I didn't totally dismiss the idea of serving, but just set it to the side to ponder when it was closer to the time I could actually leave.

Then this morning happened. Sadly I was at work so I couldn't hear the news first hand, but I still knew, the Lord wanted me to serve.

Now I haven't officially started my papers let alone talked to the bishop about all of this, but I've taken the first step and decided what I WANT to do and what I feel is right. And hopefully in the next little while I'll have more exciting news to share with you. :)

But as of now, I've never been so happy in my entire life.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Herbert, the amazing Spiderman

Herbert is exactly what I need right now. (I'll eventually get a visual for you.) I haven't had a guy treat me so good for over a year. When you look at me you may just see a twiggy (as Uncle Keith would say) blonde, but Herbert makes me feel like so much more.
Not only does Herbert treat me like a princess, but he is sweet to his mom, which says a lot.
Herbert makes me laugh 95% of the time I'm with him, the other 5% I'm rolling my eyes.
Although he may not resemble a physical giant, it's the giant inside Herbert that truly impresses me.
And it's the little things (frequently visiting the temple, writing in a journal, constant and steady improvement) that gets me thinking, how was I lucky enough to be the one sitting next to an empty chair?

A Logan Visit

I love Logan. The beautiful trees, cool weather, infinite canyon adventures, and the "small" college town feel.

I was lucky enough to visit such a place not too long ago (I know, I know I haven't really been keeping everyone up to date). My dear friend, Krystal, was kind enough to join me, we met in Salt Lake and then were off to the land up North.

On our way we stopped in a small town just before the great Sardine and with many others of our faith, we walked through a glorious house of the Lord.
 There was a collage at the end of the tour that I loved.

In Logan, Krystal and I visited our dear friends we hadn't seen in long time. I visited some family and went to a wedding reception too.
We spent the night with the new Mrs. Cluff. 

All in all, it was worth every ridiculous amount of gas.
And even though I love Logan and miss it, I was glad to come home because I know that's where I need to be.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dates? Yes :)

I guess you could say I went on two dates last weekend. Crazy, I know.

The first one was with 'R'town Wardie. Although I wouldn't be interested in going out again, he had some good qualities.
-Returned missionary
-Active in the church
-Knowledgeable about music
-Working towards a degree

Saturday I went a little out of town to go dancing and it was totally worth it! I went with a guy I just met. I asked him what he wanted his code name to be and he said Herbert. I was thinking something more like Peter Parker, but he picked Herbert so there ya go.
So Herbert and I went dancing and he paid for all of it, to some that would be considered a date, so I guess I'll give him a little spotlight.
-Returned missionary
-Active in the Gospel
-plays the piano
-Makes me laugh...hard
-Likes to go dancing
-Listens to good music
-Kind to everyone

We have a date coming up and there are a million other things I like about him so you may hear a little more about him later.

It was so great to go dancing! I miss it so much. My sophomore year of college I went a lot, well and my freshman year, and I've missed it a lot lately.

Hope ya'll had a good weekend. :)Mine was quite the adventure.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

"LOL smiley face"

One thing I loved about Spiritual Hunk was that he was always quoting movies and one of those was Megamind.

There are a lot of things that I love about Spiritual Hunk in fact I have a list of 79 things... Don't worry, I won't overwhelm you with the whole list. Here's just maybe the top 10 ...or maybe 15 that I would love to see in my future husband.

1. Returned missionary (and he LOVED his mission and talked about it all of the time)
2. Loves his family
3. Makes me laugh
4. Happy and positive
5. Very kind and kind to everyone
6. Worthy priesthood holder
7. Physically active (takes good care of his body, a gift from God)
8. Works very hard in all that he does
9. Determined
10. Dedicated
11. Close to the Spirit and follows the Spirit's promptings
12. Great listener
13. Patient (and amazingly patient with me!)
14. Great teacher
15. Gives me that extra push to do things I never thought I could do (helps me see the great potential I have)

It's great to have a good friend who is such a great influence.

And I'm just another step closer to meeting the one I'll have forever...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dream Big

Frankly it has taken me way too long to figure out what it meant to work for a dream.

Life never seems to go as planned, but I like it that way. It keeps me on my toes and helps me to really figure out where my priorities are. In the past I didn't really push myself. Ya I dreamed big, but they were dreams; I never planned to do anything except keep them as simply dreams. Well I'm 20 now and I'm sick of cutting myself short. I CAN do great things, I CAN dream big, and I CAN achieve those dreams and more. I'm not going to justify myself in taking the easy route and I'm just not going to justify really anything anymore. I know my worth and I know I have a lot more potential than I give myself credit for.

So I guess what I'm saying is, dream big people!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Photo Shoot Practice 1 - Whit

Not long ago I discovered that photography was something that I loved a lot. Most of the pictures that I take are of nature, things that catch my eye. I have noticed, however, that I am very camera shy, but not camera shy in a way that I don't like getting my photo taken I get shy about taking pictures when people are around. In some situations I get over my "shyness" and end up taking some fun photos of friends and family but for the most part I don't pull out my camera a whole lot when people are around. Well as a "growing" amateur photographer I know I need to make this weakness a strength so I decided to start asking friends if I could take formal photos of them so I could improve. Selfish, I know, but hopefully they will have a fun time too so it will be good for all of us :)

This morning I had a "photo shoot" with my dear friend, Whitney. She is super gorgeous so it wasn't very hard to take pictures of her and with Jake around to make her laugh and remind her of how beautiful she was, I got a handful of great photos. Take a look and please critique! I want to improve! If you have suggestions or ideas for me let me know.

Thanks Whit!