Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The little things.

Somedays, it's just so easy to be happy. 
Because even in the middle of tests, work, essays, and a to-do list that is longer than you are tall, you have the chance to see how absolutely incredible your life is.
There's no better way to celebrate your best friend's birthday than by smashing a homemade cake in his face. Tennessee orange looks real good in our hair and on the floor of SigEp. So glad this kid and his camo-loving Southern charm are such a big part of my life. Thanks for being born, Brian. 
Went to Frightmares for the first time for SigEp's informal, and had the best date in the group. 
My big is better than your big. We're so alike--even have the same name--and she keeps my head screwed on straight. I honestly don't know what I'd do without Ash, Liz and Judy--even though sometimes I have three extra mothers lecturing me and making sure I make good decisions. 
I'd do just about anything for these boys, and there's nothing better after a long day than a note like this and Dirty Dr. Peppers with two of my favorite boys. 
You can't fake a love like this. Honestly, this is sheer adoration in it's simplest form. 
As Winnie the Pooh said, "sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart." There isn't a thing on this planet I wouldn't do for this little girl. 

Everywhere I look, in every aspect of my life, I'm blessed. 
My calendar may be jam-packed with a million big ideas and huge deadlines, but it's the little things in the spare seconds that make everything worth it. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The skin I'm in.

Back-to-back SOAR days.
Dance parties.
Cliff jumping.
13-hour serving shifts.

These are just a few of the things my body allows me to do--and I'm sure there's a thousand others we're able to do I haven't even tried yet.
That's why it doesn't make sense to hate on the skin you're in.

My body may not be capable of making a three-point shot, scoring a field goal, or climbing Mt. Everest--but it can do a whole lot. And I'm grateful for it everyday.

Today is National Love Your Body Day.

I think it's time we all took a second and appreciated what we have--instead of focusing on what we don't.
Remember this post?  Still true.
When I was in junior high and high school, I watched multiple friends struggle with various eating disorders--and it wasn't fun.
It's hard to watch someone you care about become completely dissatisfied with themselves and not be able to do a thing about it.
I have four little sisters, and I don't want any of them to have to deal with that.

We live in a very material world; where image is everything and possessions reign supreme.
We spend a lot of time comparing what we have and who we are to other people, and that's not fair.

Society has warped and twisted the way girls see themselves, and I think it's important that we make an effort to change that. 
Not everyone can be super-model tall, with a Barbie's figure, crystal blue eyes and blonde hair. 
Not everyone is a size 0, has perfectly shaped eyebrows, or Angelina Jolie lips. 
Not everyone wears designer clothing, can walk in high heels like a pro, or pull off the latest fashion trends. 
I'm never going to be six feet tall or wear anything labeled "extra small."
I'm never going to rock a leather mini skirt, or have the bright green eyes I long for. 
I don't have perfectly defined cheek bones or a perfect "bikini body."
But that's okay. 
I love the fact that my hair has a crazy kind of curl to it. 
I love that my eyelashes are almost as thick as my little brothers. 
I love that I don't have to wear heels to be average height.
I love that I can run Ragnar and hold my own on a snowboard.
I love the body I have--and everything I'm able to do with it. 

The beauty of being a girl is that you're never going to be exactly the same as somebody else, no matter how hard you try. Accept that. 
Because if we're being honest, it's hard to be happy when someone is being mean to you all the time. 
Become your own biggest fan. 
Learn to love the skin you're in, be nice to yourself & love your body; because it does a lot for you.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

In the open.

I'm just going to go right ahead and say it:
I hate pink. 
It's nothing personal, it just ruins my favorite month of the year. 
October is the most beautiful month--right when fall hits it's prime. 
But it's also Breast Cancer Awareness month; and nothing makes my blood pressure skyrocket faster than those three words. 
October has been deemed "Pinktober" in recent years, and consumers are victim to what is now known as "pinkwashing."
For some absurd reason, people think that things like pink Tupperware, pink lights on the White House and pink ribbons on their favorite NFL team's gear are going to cure breast cancer. 
Newsflash: it's not. Sorry about it. 
When I was in 8th grade, my grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer. 
For the next two and a half years, I watched her endure dozens of rounds of chemo and radiation, deal with the debilitating side effects of multiple brain tumors, and spend countless days in the hospital and ICU. 
When my grandma passed away my sophomore year of high school, I was devastated. 
Everybody dreads the word "cancer" and all that it entails, but for me? It became a nightmarish reality. 
So when people/companies/brands start monopolizing on the natural sympathetic tendencies humans have, and paint their entire brand pink for a month...I get really frustrated. 
It all comes down to what's known as "cause marketing," which is basically manufacturers exploiting what seems like a worthy cause for their own benefit--they know we're sympathetic to cancer victims, and they use that to their advantage. 
Don't get me wrong--I'm all for funding cancer research. 
I've seen the effects cancer + chemo + radiation have, not only on those with cancer, but also on their friends, family, and everybody else surrounding them.
It sucks--and I wish breast cancer, or cancer in any form for that matter, didn't exist. 
But buying hairspray that comes in a pink container, or wrapping your leftovers in pink Saran Wrap isn't doing anybody any good. 
For one of my English classes last year, we had to write a "persuasive research essay," and I chose to do mine on the idea of pinkwashing, and how it needs to end. 

During October, pink becomes the end-all for questions. 
It doesn't matter how much money goes to cancer research, if you slap a pink ribbon on your product you're good! That's not the way it should be. 
 Because in reality, most of the companies that are supposedly "supporting" cancer research are actually taking most of the money for themselves and donating a minimal amount to research. 
There's an organization out there called "Think Before You Pink" who's goal is to promote those companies who actually help with cancer research, and dissuade consumers from supporting those who don't. 

I know I'm just a 19-year-old girl who may have a slight conflict of interest with this whole thing. 
But I know for a fact that a lot more good would be done if instead of buying a pink pair of pliers, we donated our money directly to an organization devoted to finding a cure. 
A news reporter by the name of Gayle Sulik said it best, "If you're going to eat a pink bagel because you like it, eat a pink bagel. But if you're going to eat a pink bagel because you think it's going to cure cancer, think again."

The fact of the matter is, no amount of pink rubber ducks, pink make up brushes, or pink gift wrap is going to cure cancer--or more personally, bring my Grandma back. 
That's the truth. 
And in reality, we could all be doing a lot more good with the money we're spending on those products.

[Okay. Rant over.]

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Don't slow down.

As I was going through my countdown app today looking at my many reminders, I realized something. 
Tomorrow? Miss Emily will have been Sister Elliott for six whole months. 
Which means....I GET TO SEE MY BEST FRIEND IN 365 DAYS. 
There'll be a whole lot more of this ^^^^ sooner than you think, but not soon enough for me to handle. 
She's my best friend, my honorary twin, and my adopted sister. 
And having her across the ocean in Paris has just about killed me. 

She's a whole year out, which got me thinking about how much can change in a year. 
Last year at this time: 
-I was still a journalism major
-We said goodbye to Sam and sent him off to Guam
-President Monson made the announcement of the missionary age change that has rocked every aspect of most of our world's for the last little while
-I was still going home on the weekends to work at a little Mexican restaurant

Now? I've changed my major twice, Sam's (and everybody else and their dog) is creeping up on his year mark, and I've worked at the same restaurant for almost a year.
I've worked an entire summer as an A-Teamer, joined a sorority, been in two other singles' wards,  and moved three times. 
If you'd told me a year ago--the me that didn't leave the apartment building or do anything with anyone other than her roommates--that I'd be juggling two jobs, 15 credits, and the friends I have all over campus, I probably would have laughed in your face. 

But time changes thing, and we learn things about ourselves we never would have without that change. 
Without change, I never would have found the second home I have in Logan, or the adopted families I have in Kappa Delta, A-Team, or my favorite SigEp boys. 
Without change, I'd still be hating my classes and not looking forward to school. 
Without change, I wouldn't have started talking to my friends from high school again and wouldn't have Sam, Jackson, Jared, Jon and Bronson as close as I do. 
Without change, I'd probably still be sitting on my couch in my apartment, associating only with the people I went to high school with, and not doing anything to get involved at Utah State. 
The moral of the story is, a lot can change in a year, and change isn't always bad. It can actually be a really good thing. 

Em's been gone six months, and I already know we're both growing in ways we never imagined. 
She's still got a year left, and who know's what will be different by the time she gets home. 
All I know is that I'm happy with where I'm headed and with the person I'm becoming.......but mostly I just can't wait to have my best friend home. 
Let the countdown begin!