Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Free Lemons

You know the quote "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"? Of course you do. I've heard this many times, and I knew exactly what it meant..or so I thought. 

Sometimes you just go through a chunk of time where things are just hard. One thing after another, and you start to think you have bad luck or something. Yes, there are happy times in the middle of the hard things but they don't seem big enough to make up a difference.

That has been my life the past two years. I could do a whole article on the great things that have happened to me during this time, but I'm pretty sure I could write a short story book on the hard times. When the first trial begin almost two years ago I was told if I was just grateful for it it wouldn't be as difficult to get through. I tried, thought I was and then moved on. Then the next rough patch came, and the next, and the next.

Needless to say this whole being grateful thing just wasn't working for me. Now I'm not saying don't be grateful, not at all. Gratitude daily is so important, but being grateful for trials wasn't seeming to click.

Until last week. Like I mentioned here my world was rocked, something I'll talk about in the future when I feel that I can. Initially I was a mess, but then I saw what came of it and how it will help me become stronger.

One day someone close to me asked how I was doing and I thought about it for a second and I realized I was doing really well considering the situation. I was shocked! How in the world was this possible?! 

This above quote is exactly what happened. It wasn't that I turned my rough patch into "lemonade", like the old saying goes but that I realized hey this is a hard patch. I've got this. It is going to hurt, but hey I'm going to grow! So I didn't necessarily turn it into some huge grand positive experience or some tasty lemonade, but I saw it for face value, for exactly what it was.

Am I making any sense? It is all new to me. But I'm excited to have finally grasped this. I always thought this quote, "If life gives you lemons keep them because, hey, free lemons!" was just a funny quote but now I'm starting to think there is much more to it. 

Instead of putting pressure on myself to create this lemonade I just saw it, didn't get angry, and moved forward. I saw what I would gain from it, no matter how painful, and kept on trucking. 

Friday, September 26, 2014


Found here.

Watching: Foyle's War on BBC. Sounds nerdy but I really love it! 

Loving: That my football team, BYU is 4-0 and ranked at #20! Seriously I don't remember the last time BYU was ranked. You could say I'm loving this A LOT!

Anticipating: My two trips to Utah in November. I'm excited to see friends I haven't seen in over a year, meet my "new" niece and nephew, and take some steps towards my future!

Listening to: I'm never listening to just one genre. But lately I've been listening to more classical and instrumental to help me focus during my GRE study sessions. You can actually find my study playlist on Spotify!

Thinking about: What the next year holds for me. I've been undergoing a lot of personal change and growth as well as taking steps towards some big goals of mine. I'm nervous but excited to see what is going to happen over the next year.

Feeling thankful for: My family. End of story. Okay I'll say more. They are absolutely the best. Anything happens for me and they are the first ones there for me, they pray for me, support me, make me laugh and remind me I can get through anything!

Enjoying: Lunch breaks with just me and my book. I work near a Panera Bread and I thought I'd get tired of it after a while but I haven't. I love that I can go there during my hour and just sit by myself and read a book. 

Wondering: If I'll survive this winter. I know it sounds dramatic but I really hate being cold. So far I've enjoyed the transition into fall but it still makes me nervous when I see temperatures start to drop. So if you have any extra space heaters, heating pads, or anything send them my way!

Wearing: All things warm! I love summer clothes, but I can't get enough of sweaters and scarves right now. Is my fear of winter getting to be a bit much??

Feeling: Tired but exhilarated. That is pretty opposite isn't it? I'll have moments of pure exhaustion but then I'll have a solid study session, or have a great lesson and all this energy will come flying through me that I didn't know I had left. Which leads to what I've really been feeling...Blessed. I have gone through a lot lately yet I have felt so much strength. I know I'm being carried by my Savior and my family. So you could so overall I'm feeling pretty awesome when I probably shouldn't be. 

Found here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


For my birthday my sister (two years older then me) and brother-in-law gave me an all expenses paid trip to come and spend a weekend with them and their boys in Portland. This trip came two days after my world got rocked by some unpleasant news. Lets just say this trip became more then just a present, it became a blessing.

There was an air show going on all weekend about 10 min from their house so we started out with that Friday night. 

This picture does not convey how much we enjoyed it.

The night ended with a firework show! Seriously its almost the end of September and we got to watch fireworks, not to mention the fantastic weather. It felt like it was still summer!
So happy!

And then we went back the next day. This time we biked there, it was so great! 

This is my brother-in-law with their youngest Vincent.

And the one and only studly man, Luke!

Then the trip ended with the beginning of fall desserts, Caramel Apples! The recipe will soon be posted here.

This weekend was distracting, fulfilling and full of happy good times. The weather was in the upper 80's and it was a great way to officially end summer.

My sister and her husband have lived out on the east coast since about a year after they got married, so for about five or six years. They moved to Portland last summer. I can't even say in words how grateful I am to have them so close. It truly is a blessing to have them back on the west coast and close.

They make me laugh, make me feel loved and I'm grateful to call them my family and my friends. Not to mention they have two of the cutest boys, but then again I might be a little biased.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Believe in Good Things to Come"

It was ten-o-clock at the end of my 25th birthday and I was sitting in the corner of my mom's closet while she packs to go out of town for the next eight days. It is tradition for my mom to wait till the night before a trip to pack and for me to sit in her closet and help her out.

This time I wasn't much of a help to her but her more of a help to me. I was exhausted. My family had filled my weekend with a lot of fun for my birthday and I pushed through despite a migraine and a really bad chest cold. Not to mention I had woken up at 6:30 that morning to prepare to speak at church in a different congregation/ward then my usual. So by this time on Sunday night I was done. Not to mention I hate when my mom goes out of town. As a kid I use to always get sick when she'd leave, luckily I've mostly outgrown that. 

As I was sitting there "helping" my mom I just broke down into tears. I was frustrated with some of my friendships, exhausted and not super excited about my mom going out of town. These friendships seemed to be taking a tole on me and my health was doing a number on me as well. 

My mom's flight was at 6:00 am the next day, yet she sat there with me and just let me vent. Once I got it all out she gave me a big hug and reminded me of what I had spoken about that morning in my talk. The reason I spoke in a different congregation/ward is because as a returned missionary for my church they are having me go around and share all that I learned from my mission. It has been quite a blessing to me to remind myself what I gained from a very important part of my life. I talked about three things I learned/gained on my mission.

The most important thing I gained was a deep love/appreciation for the Atonement of Jesus Christ as well as his love for me. Knowing that I was never alone in my sorrows and in my pain, just as I had promised the members of this congregation that morning. My mom reminded me of this. 

Whenever I teach a lesson or speak about a certain topic, I seem to go through something immediately after to see if I really believed what I was preaching to many people. Sunday night I knew I believed what I spoke was true. I knew that my Savior had given me my mom to help me through that exact moment, one of the many ways he was proving his love to me. And also gave me strength to then get up from the floor in my mom's closet and move forward. 

Quote found here.

This quote perfectly describes what I was reminded of on Sunday night in my mothers closet. I think it is okay to have a good cry sometimes, in fact I really needed to let all of that frustration out. But then after a big hug from my mom I got and kept walking. I knew it would all work out! But I didn't walk away alone, my Savior was right beside me as I moved forward. I know sometimes he is even carrying me when I can't do it alone. 

You might ask how can you possibly know he is carrying you. 

I know because I've had my pain taken away even just for an hour so I can accomplish something extremely important. 

I've gone through trials that there is no way I could have made it through on my own. 

I felt peace when I should have felt grief and sadness. 

I have felt hope when it would seem as though there wasn't any in sight. 

And the only thing that could have made all of this possible is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

I'm so grateful for this knowledge and I'm so grateful for my Savior who was willing to die for me, and for you, so that you and I could live, and not just live but thrive! Life is hard and it is really easy to just push through life with out truly living, hence "Enjoy to the End". This quote, the inspiration behind my blog, helps remind me to enjoy life not just live it. But this quote only does so much, I know its because of the Atonement that I can learn, grow, laugh, cry and keep my chin up!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I AM....

Last Sunday in church we talked about honesty. And of course we discussed lying, stealing, cheating...with others. But we didn't really talk about lying to ourselves, we touched on it briefly and it got me seriously thinking.

The lies I've told myself in the past month:

- I'm not ambitious enough.
- I can sing, but I'm not as good as I should be.
- I'm not creative enough.
- I'll never get a high enough score on the GRE to get into the program I want.
- I'm not smart enough.
- I'm not funny enough.
- My body is a mess. It will never be healthy.

I could keep going but I really don't want to, plus I think you get the picture. All of those are lies I've told myself in moments of low self esteem and guess what?! It is lying! We are taught growing up to be honest. We teach our children, our students, everyone, to be honest. Yet we lie to ourselves constantly. We feel pretty bad when we lie to someone we care about right? I'm no rocket scientist but I think that means telling a lie to ourselves is going to make us feel pretty bad as well.

Because of the I am beautiful challenge I've taken from my dear friend Sister Julie Anderson (Found here) I've been working on this exact thing this week. Not saying any negative comments to myself. Instead of being saying positive "I am" statements.

For example last night I came down with a sore throat and woke up with a runny nose. My birthday is in three days and my family and I have a fun filled weekend planned. So as my mom walked me through everything I needed to do all day to get better fast she said to me, "All day you need to be telling yourself 'I am well' etc.". Instead of the usually I hate my body, I've been telling myself all morning "I am going to get better fast. I am strong and healthy." Let me tell you I've felt much better.

I also started a big project this week and it is something I'm very scared of doing. But each time I sit down to work on it I've told myself, "I am smart, I can do this. I will succeed at this". Each time I finish for the night I feel like I've done so much!

It is amazing how big of a difference being honest with ourselves can make. We will feel better about ourselves and we will accomplish so much more!

Truth's I will tell myself:

- I am strong.
- I am smart.
- I am funny.
- I am healthy.
- I will rock the GRE!
- I can be creative if I want to be.
- I love my voice.

Found here. 

By building ourselves up and being positive we will not only empower ourselves, but we will also empower others!

I know for a fact that our Heavenly Father doesn't believe the lies we tell our self. He created us, why would he create something that wasn't good. All good things come from God, which in my mind means that we are good. When I tell myself truths, and build myself up I feel closer to Him.

What lies do you tell yourself? And what do you do to break the habit?

Now that you've thought about the lies you tell yourself, I challenge you to get rid of those thoughts and write down truth's about yourself. How did it feel?

Monday, September 8, 2014

One Year Older....

As I mentioned in my last post on Sunday, September 14th I turn the big 25! A lot has happened since I turned 24. I'm sure everyone says that but it is true. I've had years where it was a good year but not a ton happened, this year everything happened. So buckle your seat belts ladies and gentlemen and get ready for a ride!

About two weeks after my 24th birthday I feel in love with this guy....

In October I was hit with a new medical problem....

I was adventurous at Thanksgiving and made the coolest pie ever....

Celebrated Christmas with my wonderful family and boyfriend....

Spent January helping this guy prepare for his mission and doing everything possible on our bucket list....

In February said one of the hardest see you soon's that I've ever said to this guy for two years......

In March I got a new, great job as an Event Coordinator for the Lacey Chamber of Commerce....

In June I threw my first big event in this job, the 26th Annual Golf Classic....

In July I threw the biggest event I've ever done for 15,000 people, the South Sound BBQ Festival...

In July I also celebrated Sydney's six months of being gone, and apparently he did also....

Went on a great vacation with my family and my Brazilians....

I also learned a lot.

I learned that no matter how much pain I am in I can still be positive....

I learned that I really can do hard things.

I learned that I am strong.

I was reminded that my Savior loves me and that he will always provide a way for me.

I learned that friends come and go but the best ones no matter how distant they feel will always be there....

I reminded that these two below rock and love me so much.

And finally I learned that no matter what age I'm turning it is up to me to decide whether or not it is going to be great. It is my choice to be positive. And guess what? I choose that 25 is going to be FANTASTIC.

Full of adventures, hard moments, growth and fun! Are you ready?!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Farewell Summer - It Has Been Real.

What a solid month. It was sunny, it was fabulous and full of good times. It was rough as well, but I learned a lot and it helped me prepare to turn the big 25 this month! 

I went to the fair! We rode on rides, ate fritters, took group selfies, acted like we had no cares in the world and just loved summer. 

I want you to just look at each individual in this picture. I still have no idea what was going on.... 
What a fantastic group!

I had my first real surgery (I don't count my wisdom teeth). I had a deviated septum, basically I couldn't breath out of my nose. 

I was excited to have my mom record me when I was waking up hoping to get some viral worthy footage. Turns out I just kept saying how much I hated how I felt. Turns out I hate medication even when I'm half awake and under the influence of a lot of drugs.

On August 11th three of my students gave their farewells for their mission. It was a very emotional day for me. I love each of these kids so much, they are going to be amazing missionaries! I've been blessed to teach them and also learn from them.

Elder David Wolf - El Salvador San Salvador West Belize Mission
Elder Hensley - Philippines Laoag Mission 
Sister Bourque - Peru

 I went to the Ape Caves at Mt Saint Helens with my family. I wish we had pictures of inside the cave, so cool. It was the weirdest sensation to come up out of the caves where it had been 42 degrees to a 80 degree day outside.

My favorite part was when we'd do "blackouts" and turn off all our lights. Every time one of us would scream and pretend like we were being attacked and someone would sneak up on someone. But good times were had by all. Even the five boys who range from 1 year old - 10 years old were champs the whole time!

Then the month ended perfectly, with Mariners tickets in the Diamond Club (behind home plate)!!

I had so much fun teaching my mom all about baseball. I knew I loved baseball but this night truly confirmed it!
So lucky to have great parents who will take me to do things they know I love. They even stayed till the end of the game for me!
Check out this guys pockets. I know baseball players are superstitious but is this really necessary?

August you'll be missed, but I'm excited to see what adventures come with the change in weather.

September is my birthday month and I've been dreading it all year, but I've learned so much this month that I've decided to embrace it with my arms open wide and a smile on my face. I've learned to be more positive, to always assume the best, to serve/love others more, I am blessed with a loving supportive family and that I am strong!          
So bring it on 25!