Monday, September 23, 2013

I stand all amazed.

I went home today, for the first time in what seems like forever--and luckily for me, it was our ward's primary program. 
Don't get me wrong, I love every Sunday. But there's something so special about the primary program I can't even handle it. 
My three-year-old sister Mary was the first talk, and to say that she blew me away would be an understatement. Not many kids her age can memorize a three minute talk, and give it as well as she did. 
One of the last parts of her talk had her saying, "I know..." and I don't think I've ever been so profoundly impacted by a child's testimony. Miss Mary knows that her Heavenly Father loves her, and she's not afraid to share her testimony...and I love that. 

Then in Relief Society, we talked about how our words influence those around us--mainly our children--and how important it is to be kind. It reminded me of this quote:
I think that sometimes, it's easy to forget how wonderful people can be. We get hung up on the snarky comments, the gossip, and the belittlement that happens--and forget entirely about the compliments, service, and kindness that the people around us share. 
That reminded me of this quote [welcome to my brain. Moving at a million miles a second, in seven thousand different directions].
I have never seen my Heavenly Father, but I do know Him--because of the people around me and the things they do. 
I see Him in the way Mary read me a book before I took a nap today. 
I see Him in the way Braxton will drive around with me for hours trying to calm me down and alleviate stress. 
I see Him in the way Hillary is always ready and willing to help, listen, and give her all. 
I see Him in the way Jon goes out of his way to make sure I'm okay. 
I see Him in the way my mom still texts me every time I drove home from Kaysville to make sure I made it to Logan safe. 
I see Him in the way Rachelle has dinner with my great-grandparents every week.
I see Him in the way people like the Smith's, Brimley's, Frodsham's, Fife's, and so many others have-maybe unknowingly-stepped in to fill the void left by family members. 
I see Him in the way Carrie and Clint come to Logan and visit with their boys when Clint has to work up here. 
I see Him in the way Bronson and Emily know exactly what I need to hear, even after 6+ months of not seeing each other. 
I've never seen my Heavenly Father, but He is familiar to me; and like Mary, I know he loves me. 
I'm blessed to be surrounded by so many good people--people who help me forget that not-so-good things that happen, and who truly amaze me on a regular basis. 
To say that I'm an incredibly lucky girl would be an understatement.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Falling to pieces.

Every semester, I try and take one class that is solely for enjoyment. 
It might have nothing to do with my major, might be a credit I don't necessarily need, or it might just be fun. 
This semester, I'm taking a class called Dress and Humanity--that's basically 50 minutes of discussion about fashion, style, and clothes. 
Probably the most interesting class I've ever taken. 
Our first project was to design an article of clothing for a "Recycle & Redesign" fashion show. 
So naturally, Hayley and I bought 3,500 puzzle pieces from the DI, a $6 dress, 100 hot glue sticks, and what seemed like a million feet of fishing line. 
We spent three days gluing puzzle pieces to said fishing line--while singing along to High School Musical--and decided we never want to see another puzzle piece as long as we live. 
But after winning BEST IN SHOW, we may rethink that. Out of 70 entries, ours got the top award. 
And here's us in the Statesman this morning. 
For a Plant Science major and an English Literature major, we felt pretty cool to win a fashion design show. 
But really, I'd be perfectly alright if I never saw a puzzle piece again. And my hands will thank me if I don't use a hot glue gun for a while. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

On the move.

Boots + scarves + tights + sweaters. 
Hot chocolate + rainstorms + fireplaces + hoodies.
Football games + changing leaves + thunderstorms + canyon drives.
Pumpkin spice everything + apple cider.
There's a couple dozen cliche reasons why I'm in love with fall--I'm not ashamed to admit I got overly excited when they told us peppermint hot chocolate was back on the menu at work. 
Don't get me wrong, I live for the summer: the sunshine, the water, the freedom, the adventures. 
But I thrive on the cozy comfort of the routine that comes in the fall.
Summer brings tan lines and snow cones and lake trips. 
But fall brings a set schedule, a routine, and a way to make organize the chaos that is life. 
And as much as I love the greens that come out in the spring, I'm in love with the changing leaves and stormy nights that fall brings. 
We're lucky that we basically get two starts to every year. 
January brings about change, but it's too cold and dark to hold any promises. 
Autumn's new start comes with a new schedule, new people, and in some cases, new places. 

Autumn is the like the world's last chance to prove itself before the cold settles in for months--especially in Logan. 

Football season has started, and it's almost time to make sure you have a jacket with you everywhere you go.
Hot chocolate sounds appealing again, and everything is pumpkin flavored. 
Tights aren't crazy anymore, and swimming is becoming a distant memory. 

Driving through Sardine Canyon yesterday on my way to Brigham City, you could feel a change in the air. The leaves are beginning to change color, and the sun isn't quite as intense. 
So as the greens and pinks fade to reds and golds, hold on to the memories that summer gave you--
but fall in love with autumn. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Take a breath.

I'm an English major, with an emphasis in Literary Studies. 
Which basically means that for 80% of my classes, I read a book, and then either write an essay about how I felt about said book or talk about it in class. 
I get to read, write, and talk for my homework. 
It's wonderful. 
But even with all the new material I get to read, nothing makes me happier than being able to sit down on the couch in my pajamas, and read my favorite book on the planet: Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo.
I read this book as a sophomore in high school, and have read it repeatedly since--and I mean the full, unabridged version. I'm that girl. 
I fall more and more in love with the Count every time. 
I want to be Mercedes, and I want a love like her and Edmond's. 
And I cry every single time I get to this letter. 
Sometimes I feel like my life is a constant battle between two extremes--much like Edmond mentions here. 
Attitude changes everything. 
We're all going to have bad days. But rather than throwing a tantrum (my usual method of coping), look at it this way. You're having a bad day, yes. But how lucky are we to know that it's bad, because we have something equally as good to compare it to. 
You're going to be lonely sometimes, it happens. But think about all the friends you've spent time with that you're missing in that moment. 
Some days, you're going to be so busy you don't have a single minute to yourself. In the seconds between running out the door and starting your car, consider yourself lucky to be active, and look forward to the breathing time you'll get eventually. 
Life sucks sometimes, it really does. You get pushed around, kicked while you're down, and don't seem to have time to recover. But you wouldn't know how bad that felt unless you'd experienced the other end of the spectrum: the moments you laughed until you cried, that time you watched the sunset with your best friends, or that ice cream cone that just made your week. 
Life is all about balance; weighing the good against the bad, and vice versa. 

This morning, I was scheduled to work at 5:30 a.m. If that wasn't bad enough, I slept through my alarms, and woke up to a call from one of my coworkers asking if I was coming. 
I got to work completely flustered, and feeling like I was never going to catch up--and it wasn't even 6 a.m!
Then they informed us that a tour bus of 45 people was coming in--in the middle of the lunch rush. They needed me to stay until 1:30 or so...and I had a speech to give at 2:30. 
I got home from work at 1:45, submitted my less-than-stellar outline in record time, and sped up to my class as fast as possible.
I gave my speech, and came home, relieved that I'd survived that part of my day. 

This morning was crazy, and I could barely stand on my own two feet by this afternoon. 
But then I got to watch the KD's play football in the rain, worked on a fashion design project with miss Hayley (while we watched High School Musical), and then got to relax and watch part of Hercules with one of my best friends. 
By the time I got into bed a little while ago, the good things had almost completely overshadowed the longer parts of my day, and everything was OK again.

Balance, people. It's important. 
Next time you're running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, you can't seem to catch a break, or when you want to move to a cave in Siberia...remember how lucky you are to be as happy as you were. Not many people get to experience such a wide range of emotions. 
And like the Count said, Wait, and hope.
The bad days won't last forever--and the good days will make everything worth it. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Never saw it coming.

This is the motto of Kappa Delta, my newest love and the letters I now wear proudly. 
After a summer of debating, a week of convincing, and a night filled with the "go for it" mindset, I officially made this place my home. 
I never saw myself joining a sorority--we all know the stereotypes involved here. But after associating myself with Utah State's Greek community all summer, I knew I wanted to be involved..but I didn't realize that's what I wanted until I listened to Kappa Delta's purpose and philanthropy. 
As fate would have it, Kappa Delta's philanthropy includes the Girl Scouts, and a program called the Confidence Coalition. This program was founded to help young girls and women develop self confidence and a healthy body image, as well as find healthy, lasting relationships and love themselves and their bodies. 
By working with the local girl scouts and hosting events like Healthy Relationships Week, Kappa Delta works to inspire confidence in girls and women alike. 
I already knew I was passionate about the cause, so I decided I had a decision to make. 
I don't fit the stereotype for a sorority girl. 
I don't wear high heels--in fact, I'm pretty sure it's physically impossible for me to walk in them. 
I don't like Starbucks. 
There are few things on this planet I hate more than Diet Coke. 
Walking into the KD house on Preference night, I knew I'd fit in there. 
We're all different; we're studying different things, going different places, and we're all from different backgrounds. 
But we all have goals, dreams, and plans. We all want to make a difference. We all stand for something. 
KD just gives us a common foundation, a home away from home, and the confidence to stand on our own two feet--backed by dozens of sisters that will stand by us til the end. 
So here's to the green and the pearls...because I'm now a Kappa Delta girl. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Just like you.

When it comes to my mom, I think Abraham Lincoln said it best: 
"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." 
I may be my father's daughter, but I'm just like my mom. 
We look alike, we talk alike, and we love the same things. 
It took me a long time to realize how much I needed her--18 years, actually. 
I used to laugh when my aunts would call my grandma dozens of times, every single day. 
Now, my siblings probably make fun of me for doing the same thing. 
She's basically both of the angels on my shoulders. 
She knows exactly what I need to hear, and helps me decide what to do--whether I agree with it or not. 
She's the one telling me to try whatever it is I'm debating; and she's the one telling me to wear longer dresses and different shirts. 
She's the one keeping my head screwed on straight when I want to strangle a friend/roommate/boy/coworker/sibling, and the one that constantly offers support and input in everything I do. 
She gets my obsession Audrey Hepburn and Michael Buble, and understands my love for the heel of the bread loaf. 
She's the reason I love music, Broadway, and baking cupcakes.
She makes my favorite foods (sometimes even lets me get away with not drinking my milk), and makes sure I'm getting enough sleep. 
She never questions my decisions, but she's always there to offer help when the decisions I make aren't exactly the best. 
She knows how I feel about being ignored by people I care about, and continually feeds the army of people I always seem to bring home with me. 
But most importantly, she gets me. 
She didn't question me when I wanted to fly to a national convention in Anaheim, or when I decided to play lacrosse two days after the season started. She didn't discourage me when I applied for A-Team, a job neither of us knew nothing about, and she doesn't try and talk me out of the various adventures I tell her I want to go on. 
She makes a point to get to know all of my friends and then takes care of them like they're another one of my siblings.
In the face of many family issues the last few years, she's made a special effort to make everything easier for the rest of us: helping us build relationships to replace family members who have abandoned us, emphasized the doctrine of eternal families after my grandma passed away, and making an effort to teach us the importance of not holding grudges, Christ-like service, and learning to forgive. My mom's testimony has been a vital part of the last decade of my life, and I don't know where I'd be without it.
I don't know where I'd be without her, either. 
She's ambitious, dedicated, and passionate. She's patient, honest, and caring. 
And someday, if I can be half the mom that she is, I'll know I've done something right. 
Happy Birthday, Mom. :)