Monday, December 28, 2009

Catching Up

Wow. I have a lot of catching up to do. I'm sorry it has been so long since I posted. Life somehow got very busy very fast. So much has happened that it would take me forever to post about it all. Here are a few highlights:

Thanksgiving was great fun! I found out my favorite auntie is pregnant again which was way exciting. This year was also my first year to do the all night shopping deal. We hit Fashion Place mall at 9:30pm, was at Park City by midnight, and at Walmart somewhere around 5am...we got home about 7am. It was a night of craziness and lots of laughs.

In the beginning of December two of my friends and I went on a trip to Moab. It was the first time I had ever been there. We had a blast! We spent some time in Arches National Park. Wow, what an amazing experience. I loved it! I also just loved hanging out with the girls we created some pretty great memories.

Finally there was Christmas. What a good Christmas this was. I was able to go home and spend some time with my family. Tara loved it and kept telling people I was her Christmas present. Thanks to my brother this year was the first year I have ever cried on Christmas morning. He gave me a tile with the phrase "First my Sister, Forever my Friend." Wow...that pulled at the heart strings! Tyson got an electric guitar for Christmas and that night we all sat around the Christmas tree as Ty played a few songs for us all. It was fun. My brother has such a talent for music and singing I could just sit and listen to him forever. It was a great way to end day.

Next up is New Years, I haven't decided yet what I'm going to do that night. Hopefully it will be one last party before I have to get back to hitting the books for school.

So, that is the update. Sorry for the readers digest version. I will try to be more diligent in updating things as they actually happen.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hip Hip Hooray!!!

About two months ago I noticed a strange feeling in my throat. I initially thought that I'd swallowed something wrong and it got stuck in my throat and that it would just go away. The problem came when it never went away...in fact it got worse. I finally made an appointment with an ENT to discover what the problem was.

During my appointment he found that I had a small growth on my vocal cords. He removed it and sent it away for a biopsy. Since it was on my vocal cords he told me not to talk for a few days in order for the cords themselves to have a chance to heal. I just have to say, not talking is very very exhausting. I have been writing down everything I needed to say. Communicating without a voice is quite difficult! However, I have pushed through the frustration and am now able to whisper..Yay! Tomorrow I actually get to try and talk out loud. I'm supposed to take it easy and go back to simply whispering if it hurts. So, far I am doing ok with the whispering so I am hoping talking aloud won't be too bad.

The biggest news of all is that I got a message from my doctor today that the biopsy on the growth and come back and the results were benign! I am so grateful for that!! I am here at the library doing my happy dance and cheering Hip Hip Hooray...in a whisper of course! LOL

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Highlights from Last Night's Girl's Night

I love Girl's Night. I love my friends. Last night we had a fun girls night where we all got together went to dinner and came back to my house for a movie. Here are some of the highlights of the night:

"Um, Sarah, I moved out a year and a half ago."

"Sometimes I think it would be really cool to be a ninja."

"Sign of the Ninja"

Lori: "Men are morons" Haylie: "What?"

"That guy just looked at us and judged us"

"We're 'bonding'"

Haha...I know that most of you won't get any of that, but It was a great night..very random..I LOVED it!

I am so blessed to have such great friends.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Out of Darkness Walk

First of all, I want to thank all of you that supported me in this cause with your financial donations. I know that you will be greatly blessed for your kind sacrifices. I also am very grateful to those of you that supported me in other ways.

The walk was GREAT! It was a beautiful morning both because the weather was so nice and also because so many people came out to support a very important cause. After getting myself all checked in I wandered around the different tables and booths they had set up. They had several sponsors that were there donating items and services to help support the cause. There was a memory table where people put up pictures and stories of loved ones they had lost.

As I walked around and mingled with a few of the people it was interesting for me to learn how everyone had different reasons for being a part of the walk. Yes, we were all there to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention. However, most everyone had another reason...a personal reason...for being there. For some it was a way of coping with the recent loss of a loved one. Others were there to meet and unite with people who were also struggling with depression and other mental illnesses. Many were there as a way of honoring the memory of those they had lost and vowing they would never be forgotten. I too had a personal reason for being there. This walk was a way for me to outwardly express my inner commitment to never, never give up. No matter how hard life gets suicide is never the answer, there is always hope if you just keep going, keep pressing forward.

One of the booths next to the memory table was full of balloons. Each balloon represented a loss or reason for walking: White=Loss of a Child, Red=Loss of a Spouse, Yellow=Loss of a Parent, Orange=Loss of a Sibling, Purple=Loss of a Relative or Friend, Green=Struggled Personally, Blue=Supporting the Cause. Prior to starting the walk we had a moment of silence and then launched the balloons. It was very interesting and yet sad to see the many different colors of balloons that filled the sky. Suicide affects everyone.


The last few feet of the walk had people lining both sides of the road, cheering you on as you approached. Walking through this cheering section people were constantly giving me high-fives and hugs. They also had "red tape" for each person that crossed the finish line. I liked the idea a lot because the winner was not just the first person to cross the finish line...everyone there that day was a winner.

This walk was one of the best things I have ever done. I learned a lot about myself both in the preparation for the walk and by actually walking. It is an experience I will never forget. It is a cause I will never stop fighting for. I am grateful to be alive and well today. I'm grateful to have a loving Heavenly Father that has brought me safely out of my darkest days. I love life and know that it is always worth living. Every day is a gift and a blessing. There is always a silver lining to the dark clouds, we just have to raise our head out of the darkness and look for the light.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Time Out Details

Ok, Since coming home from TOFW I've had some time to sit down with my notes and really process what I learned and what meant the most to me at this time in my life. I want to share just two of my most memorable moments with you.

Michael Mclean was one of the presenters and I learned something about him that I would never have supposed. He shared with us that he suffers from clinical depression. As he told his story and then sang songs about being on a mission to be happy, it really touched me. I have depression as well and being able to relate to much of what Michael was saying made his message that much more meaningful to me. Michael is a very famous musician in the LDS community. He is known for his inspiring music and spunky personality. I know from personal experience how hard it is to have depression and a spunky attitude like his. I sat there listening to his music and story thinking...if he can do then so can I! He sang a song called You Don't Know, it referred to the trials in our lives and served as a reminder that you don't know how long they will last, how long until "this too shall pass", whose love is going to intervene, how heavens going to turn it around, or what lessons there are that you can't see. I realized how important it is to keep these things in mind because they are the kind of things that can help bring hope during the challenging times. Speaking of hope, Michael sang another song that I truly felt was just for me. As he sang it I literally felt like he could read my mind and knew exactly how I felt on my bad days and gave me a lesson to look for hope until I find it and then let it pull me through. Here are the lyrics to that song: (I also put this song on the little IPod to the side if you want to listen along with the lyrics)

Hope Hiding

Whatever you do don't look down
That's all the advice they can give
But you keep looking down
'Cause you think that's where everything is
It's harder to see things can change
That night can be conquered with dawn
'Cause the darkness you feel is unbearably real and strong
It's just how it goes, No matter what you do
The way through the fog has been hidden from view

But around every corner
Though your unaware
Protected by grace in the face of despair
There is hope hiding there

You might think it's strange hope would hide
It seems like a cowardly deed
But it's saving it's power for your desperate hour of need
And all of that strength and good it can do
Awaits being found safe and sound just for you

'Cause around every corner
Though your unaware
Protected by grace in the face of despair
There is hope hiding there

Words cannot explain how much this song touched me. I literally felt as though the Savior was holding me in His arms as this song was sung.

The other thing I really want to share with you comes from Mary Ellen Edmunds. She told us about a place called Death Valley, CA. It is the lowest, hottest, and driest place in the United States. It is a deep bowl about 156 miles long and 292 feet below sea level. The depression works like a convection oven, recirculating hot air and making the valley one of the hottest places on earth, with ground-level temperatures that can reach 200 degrees in summer. It's also extremely dry, with less than 2 inches of rainfall a year. Then came the rains of 2005. Winter storms that brought mudslides to Southern California dropped 6 inches of rain on this thirsty desert and a miracle happened. Flower seeds that had been in hibernation for decades sprouted to life. A rare burst of color filled the area and Death Valley became a beautiful Garden of Eden. Seeds had waited for hundreds of years in hundred degree weather to bloom in beautiful colors. She told this story and then she asked...Have you ever gone through a trial that seemed to never end? Have you ever wondered if God knows who you are or if He has completely forgotten about you? You may be a seed, a seed waiting for a little bit of rain, but keep the faith, keep the hope. You are a child of God. He loves you and He will bring you the rain.

I am once again in tears as I recount these two beautiful moments for me. They are definite reminders that I am not alone in this world. Heavenly Father is watching over me and loves me more than I will ever understand.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Time Out For Women

Wow, I learned so much from TOFW this year! I love the feeling in my heart when I return from one of these events. I love how strong the spirit is there, and how close I feel to my Heavenly Father. I think every single speaker said at least one thing that was meant just for me, if not many more than that. I also know that the singers were truly inspired and I am so grateful for that. One song in particular was a HUGE blessing for me in my life right now. Only my Heavenly Father would have known how much I needed to hear it.

I sit here wanting to share all of what I learned and how it affected me. Yet, I am kind of at a loss. There is so much I could say that I don't know where to start. There is so much I want to share that strengthened my testimony, but it feels almost too sacred and personal to share with everyone. I took pages and pages of notes, and I wish I could sit here and type it all out to share it with those of you who may be reading this. I think it may take me days to really process all I have learned and then apply it to my life.

All I can really say about this weekend is that I know that God lives. I know He loves His children. I know I am His daughter and that every person on this earth is my brother or sister. I know that life isn't always easy, but that the light of the gospel can conquer any darkness we may feel. I know that if we trust in Heavenly Father he will prepare and lead us to a life of happiness and purpose. I know that our prayers may not always be answered in the ways we want, but that doesn't diminish the love God has for us. I know that when we feel as though we don't know where to turn we can turn to Him and He will be there waiting with open arms to take time just for us.

I know this CHURCH IS TRUE!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Attitude

I've been thinking a lot lately about attitudes. What is a good attitude? What is a bad attitude? What role does your attitude play in your daily life? How do you change your attitude?

I did a little research and found many dictionaries defined an attitude as an opinion or general feel about something. Another common definition was; a manner of acting, feeling, or thinking that shows one's disposition, opinion, etc. I like how the second definition point out that an attitude is a manner of action, that places the responsibility regarding the type of attitude we have on ourselves.No one can grumpily sit around and say, "He made me be in a bad mood because he ate all the dessert without sharing!" No one can force your mood upon you, only you can determine what type of mood you will be in.

As part of my research I went to askjeeves.com and asked, "What is a good attitude?" There were several sites that came up. Some had definitions, some had quotes, and one even had an attitude quiz you could take. I won't tell you what my score was. :0) As I browsed over these sites I found lots of good advice and awesome little one-liner type quotes. One in particular that I loved said, "A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, actions, and outcomes." This quote reminded me of a scripture in the Book of Mormon...Mosiah 4:30 "But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe to keep the commandments of God and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember and perish not." Our attitude towards life is important because our thoughts lead to our words, which lead to our deeds. Positive deeds lead to positive outcomes! Studies have shown that people with a positive attitude have greater success in the workplace, in friendships, in relationships, and in life over all..they are even said to live longer.

When you have a positive attitude everything in life seems to go a little better. It truly does cause a chain reaction and it goes both ways..if you have a bad attitude about one thing you'll find that nothing seems to go well. It's really all a matter of your perspective. A speaker I love, Mary Ellen Edmunds, was once giving a talk on optimism and said that two men approached the giant Goliath. The first one said, "Man he's so big I'll never be able to beat him!" The second man said, "He's so big, I'll never miss!" I love that! Perspective is key!

My favorite thing about the sites that came up with my question to askjeeves.com what that the third site on the list was to mormon.org with the title "Faith in God". It is a three word answer to the question, but the best answer of all. I recently was reading in a book called LYFSGUD: If God Sent You a Text Message and in it the author, Laurel Christensen, says; "Life really is good. And it's not good because I've been blessed with a perfect family or perfect friends. And it's not good because every Sunday is perfect at Church or everything goes right with work or school...or BOYS. But it's good - really, really good - because of this simple truth: I, Laurel Christensen, am a daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me...and I LOVE HIM!" Faith in God truly is the best way to be happy and have a positive attitude about life. God is the one who gave us life. I do not believe that He sent us down here to be miserable grumps on a log. He wants us to be happy, to enjoy life, to count our blessings and realize all the good around us. I firmly believe this with all my heart!

Through all of these sites I came to my own conclusion of what I think a good attitude is, to me it's a way of thinking positively that says: I can control my life and achieve my goals. I am responsible for my choices. My past does not matter because I can change my future. I cannot control what happens to me in my day to day life, but I can control my attitude toward whatever happens and in doing that I can master the trials rather than allowing them to master me. Where ever I go, no matter what the weather I can bring my own sunshine because I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father and He truly does love me!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Crazy Dream

Ok, I know I take medications at night that make me pretty loopy and out of it. I know I dream when I’m on these meds, but I usually don’t recall my dreams in the morning. Today was a bit of a different story. I remembered my dream and I am very curious to see if anyone can tell me what it means.

In my dream I was sitting in a large field of grass. I’m not quite sure what I was doing there other than sitting and playing with the grass. I started to hear a low rumbling noise. I looked around and off in the distance I could see something large was approaching me, but I couldn’t tell what it was. As it got closer I realized it looked like an army. They were marching in straight lines about ten across and at least fifty back. I was so in awe as to what they were doing that I

continued to just sit there. As they got closer my astonishment grew because I realized this was not an army of people…they were giant teddy bears! They carried swords and wore dark brown sashes across their chests. Once again I was too overcome with awe and wonder to move out of their way. They kept coming closer and stopped when they were about five feet away. They stood for quite a while just glaring at me. I finally started to feel very uncomfortable and cautiously stood to leave. As I got to my feet and turned to run away I was shocked to find that standing behind me was another army of teddy bears; they had about the same number of bears each carrying a sword similar to Brown Bear’s army only this army of teddy bears wore bright blue sashes. For some reason, looking at this army gave me the feeling that they were there to protect me. Without saying a word I walked to the sidelines of the field where I found a bench, almost immediately after I sat down the two bear armies began to fight. The fight itself is a blur in my dream; it went by very quickly and I don’t recall any details of what happened. The next thing I really remember is looking out over the field that was once a luscious green and was now covered in white fluff, almost resembling a field after a winter a storm. Three of the bears wearing the blue sashes approached me, the one in the middle looked at me and said, “You will be alright now.” Then I woke up.

Is that weird or what?!? Anyone want to try and explain that one? LOL!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Week of Contrrasts


Last week after getting jumped I spent a few days feeling more alone than I have felt in a long time. It was a time I was in need of a shoulder to cry on and I didn't have anyone I could turn to. I moped around in kind of a depressed state for a few days wallowing in how alone I felt. Then one night I was feeling particularly alone...sitting on the bed almost in tears I reached for my scriptures. I'm reading the Book of Mormon right now, but this night I decided to open up the Bible. I turned to the chapter in Matthew where the Savior is in Gethsemane. As I read and pondered on the Atonement I found myself contemplating my personal testimony of the Atonement. I realized that I understand the Atonement I know what happened in Gethsemane and on the cross. I know about the Ressurection. I know that Christ suffered for my sins and because of that I can repent and be clean again. I know that He suffered more than just sins and knows what I'm going through on my bad days. He knows what it's like to be sick or afraid. The thing that hit me differently as I sat there reading and contemplating was that I knew all of this...but...I didn't live it. I didn't rely on it. I spend a lot of my time trying to fix things myself. I look around for someone to help me feel better. I text my friends looking for someone to talk to about my struggles..someone who will listen with a loving heart. I wish certain people were flies on the walls of my life so they truly knew what I was going through at times. I waste time and energy doing all of this when the Savior is standing at the door just waiting for me to let Him in so He can take care of all these things. He can be the one to lovingly listen. He can see all I'm going through and understand how I feel. He can heal my pains and broken hearts. I rely on myself and those around me for these things and forget to rely on the Lord.

After spending some time coming to this conclusion I got on my knees and I said one of the most heartfelt prayers I think I've said in quite a while. I told Him of my problems, my fears, and my need for friendship. I apologized for rejecting His presence in my life and trying to replace Him with others around me. I promised to work harder and do better at letting Him into my life. It has not been an easy thing...just becasue I've realized this doesn't mean that I easily open the door without even a second thought. Yet, I have found that as I have conciously put forth an effort to invite Him in, the sun has started peeking through the clouds in my life one little ray at a time. I had a friend text me and ask if there was anything she could do to help me. I went to reply with my usual "no", but instead said "yes, I could use a fun night with friends to get my mind off things". The next thing I know she has set up a party for Friday night. I went and had a great time. Afterward this friend texted me to make sure I had a good night. It made me feel so good inside, because I realized the power of friends and how much people really do care.

Saturday I had tickets to a concert, but couldn't find anyone who wanted to go with me. I'd asked my mom to come and she had agreed...but I could tell she was only agreeing because she knew I wanted to go; she had no desire to attend. I told her it was ok, that we didn't have to go. Then for some reason Saturday afternoon things changed and she wanted to go. We were lucky enough to find an extra ticket and we brought Tara with us. We had a great time at the concert and were able to live carefree for a few hours. It was so much fun and a huge blessing. It made me grateful for my family and reminded me of how much I love them.

These are just two simple little changes I have seen in my life since I got on my knees that night. There are many others. I started off the week feeling scared and alone. I have spent the last few days surrounded by family and friends. I feel safer and more confident than I did before. I know that all of this is a result of relying more on my Savior. I am so grateful for the scriptures and the power of prayer. I know that my prayers are heard and answered. I know that as we let the Lord into our lives blessings flow. I am so grateful for my testimony and for the love of a Father in Heaven and His son, Jesus Christ.

Just for fun, here are a few photos of Tara and I at the concert.



Thursday, September 3, 2009

Submitting Cheerfully

I have been wanting to write a lot this week, but everytime I have sat down to type a post I realized pretty much everything I had to say was negative and I didn't want my post to be that way. I'm hoping today I can write about my experiences, but in a more positive way.

Last Thursday night I was coming home from a wonderful ward activity as I stood at my door getting my keys out and ready to open the door someone jumped out from the back of the house and grabbed me. The two thugs told me the message they had been sent to convey and then for emphasis they threw me to the ground and roughed me up a bit. It was quite a scary experience.

My mind has been so muddled lately that it has been very hard to focus on things like school and my various other responsibilities. I've spent a lot of time just kind of hiding away both physically and mentally. I feel kind of like a butterfly that went back in the cocoon for a while. However, I am now working hard at getting back out of the cocoon and getting back in to the swing of my normal life. It's not easy and I really wish I could just go home and go to bed right now, but I am at school trying to hang on and combat those lazy feelings.

I read a quote by President Hinckley last night that I really loved. He said, "All of us have problems. We face them every day. How grateful I am that we have difficult things to wrestle with. They keep us young, if that is possible. They keep us alive. They keep us going. They keep us humble. They pull us down to our knees to ask the God of Heaven for help in solving them. Be grateful for your problems, and know that somehow there will come a solution." As I read this I realized that in order for us to find the solutions to our problems we need to show God that we are grateful for them and prove to Him that we trust in His plan. It is only after the trial of our faith that the blessings come. I honestly can't think of much to be grateful for out of what has happened to me recently, but I do know that somewhere in all of this there is a beautiful lesson that the Lord is trying to teach me. I just have to do the very best I can to trust in Him until I see it, and in the meantime submit cheerfully to the testing. This is my goal.



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rollercoast Life

So I find it interesting as I sit here and think of all that has happened in my life lately. I have felt like I've been on a rollercoaster, like life was forcing me to make all kinds of twists and turns at full speed and my stomach falls to my feet every time. Just when I think I have got settled in for a nice little ride I realize how grateful I am that I buckled up because that last turn almost sent me flying right out of my seat! I still feel like I'm on this rollercoaster and I have no idea whether the next twist will take me left, right, or completely upside down; but I am glad to be here for the ride. Every rollercoaster I've been on may have had twists and turns that scared the bageebies out of me or made me feel like vomiting, but I almost always get off thinking, "that was fun". I'm sure that is how the ride of life will be as well. I just went through a turn that was a bit rough, but I'm learning and growing from it. I am so thankful for the people in my life that I can turn to when the ride gets too scary. I have friends that I know will be there for me day or night whenever I need them. Riding this rollercoaster is so much more fun when you have good friends to ride it with.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I NEED YOUR SUPPORT

Dear Friends and Family:

Hello, I hope this letter finds all of you happy and well. I am writing this letter to share a story with you…my story.

I suffer from severe depression. Last October the pain from that depression got to be more than I could handle. I felt alone and couldn’t see a way out, so I tried to take my own life. I was lucky enough to have a good friend who called 911 and got me to a hospital in time. I was then admitted to the psych ward at McKay-Dee Hospital for a little over a week. While I was there, I was able to meet with the right kind of doctors and get on the right kind of medications to help me. I also was taught some very important life-saving principles through different group and one- on-one therapy sessions. I tried very hard to keep what I had done a secret. I didn’t want people to know I had attempted suicide. I felt ashamed and thought others would judge me because of it. Then I heard about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, AFSP, and their Out of the Darkness Awareness program. I realized that there is nothing to be ashamed about and that by sharing my story I may be able to help others who are struggling.

On September 26, 2009, I will be joining with hundreds of people nationwide to walk in AFSPs Out of the Darkness Community Walk in Salt Lake City. The AFSP is at the forefront of research, education, and prevention initiatives designed to reduce loss of life from suicide. With more than 33,000 lives lost each year in the U.S. and over one million worldwide, the importance of this work has never been greater or more urgent. I am participating in this walk to help raise suicide awareness in the community. I know there are many others out there suffering from depression and other similar issues that may still be hiding in the darkness of their own pain and need the help of others to reach out to them and bring them into the light of healing. I would not be here today without the help of family, friends, and competent doctors. My hope is that through education and awareness we can erase the stigma surrounding suicide and its causes, and encourage those suffering with a mental illness to seek help.

Many of us have been affected by suicide in some way whether it is a family member, friend, co-worker, classmate, or ourselves. I would appreciate any support that you can give me for this worthwhile cause. Any contribution will help the work of AFSP, and all donations are 100% tax deductible. You may either donate online, or you may send a check (made payable to AFSP) to: AFSP, 120 Wall Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY 10005. Please write my name and walk city (Salt Lake City) in the memo line of all checks. If you would like you may also send the check to me and I can mail it into to AFSP for you. To make an online donation please click the link below and you will be taken to my fundraising page. For more information you can contact me at elmozgroovy@yahoo.com or by phone at (801) 645-6112.

Thank you for your support!

Tiffany Goodson

http://afsp.donordrive.com/participant/tiffanygoodson

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Days



This summer I crossed a few things off of my bucket list. I went to Flaming Gorge for the first time ever. I have always heard people talk about the gorge and how gorgeous it is (no pun intended haha). This summer I got to see that for myself. I actually had the opportunity to go twice! The first time I went with my family and my aunt and uncle's family. It was a lot of fun. We spent a lot of time around camp playing games and stuff. Some of the fam all went fishing and had fun doing that. I didn't get a chance to fish during this first trip, but I did have fun riding the tube with my brother. While we were out in the boat it started to storm. We decided to head back in, but my uncles boat overheated and died on us. We were stuck in the boat on the lake in the pouring rain watching the lightning get closer and closer to us. It was quite an adventure. We were bored in the boat so I pulled out my camera and we made a video to pass on to others in case we died in the storm. Here it is for you viewing pleasure.


Also, here are some pics from the trip:






My second trip to the gorge was for a family reunion. It was fun to see uncles and cousins that I had not seen for a really long time. This trip also had it's share of adventures. Savannah fell onto a cactus and had a million little cacti sticks in her hands. We tried to pull them out with some tweezers but it was literally like a rug on her hands. It was awful. We ended up driving to Vernal and taking her to the emergency room. It was so hard watching her cry and scream and knowing there was nothing we could do about it. Luckily the doctor was able to get them all out and help her feel better.
During this trip I was able to cross one more thing off my bucket list and that is that I caught my first fish! I had never been fishing before. It was just a little baby fish, but I caught it!! I don't think fishing is my sport though. It took me forever to catch a fish when everyone around me was catching them left and right. I finally ended up catching two, but they were both pretty small. My favorite part of fishing was the scenery. The little coves where we would go to fish were absolutely beautiful. I enjoyed taking pictures of the area more than I did fishing, but at least it is something I can know say I have done.
I learned something new about myself during this last trip. My uncle Mike brought up his boat and a new tube. My brother and I were the first to try it out. It was pretty much just a big round thing with a few handles to hang on to. It was quite a workout trying to hang on while they were whipping us all over the lake. I fell off three times before I finally climbed back into the boat. When I got in the boat my uncles were just laughing as they told me that every time I fell off the tube I literally skipped across the lake like a smooth rock! My uncle John told me I skipped better than any rock he had ever seen! I could kinda feel it as I fell off, but not in the way they described. I wish someone would have got a video of it becuase I would have loved to see what I actually looked like. I do recall the last time I fell off though. I went in pretty much face first and my head was tucked down just enough that when I hit the water I did a sumersault and then skidded across the lake on my back. It felt pretty funny! So, I now know that even if I never end up making something out of myself at least I know I make a good skipping rock!! Wahoo!! :0)
Here are some pics from this trip:







Monday, July 27, 2009

The Passing of a Friend

A good friend of my family, Orelene Mikesell, passed away yesterday. She has been sick for a while and we knew this day was coming, but it is still very sad and difficult. Orlene was an amazing person who did a lot of good in this world. She was always very bubbly and happy despite whatever she may have been going through. I believe she was smiling even up to her very last breath. She was a great friend and always full of kindness towards others. In memory of her I want to share some of my favorite memories that I will keep with me forever.

Orelene was my piano teacher. I was like most young kids and didn’t really enjoy practicing the piano, but I did love going to my lessons. She made sure that there were always treats for us there. I recall sitting in her kitchen snacking away on donuts, cookies, cake, candy, and all sorts of drinks while my brother and sister were in getting their lesson. It was always a highlight to see what sort of treats were in store for us each day.

I recall times when she would come over to our house and we would all sit around with my parents and talk and tell stories and just laugh and laugh. She always brightened up a room with her cheerfulness and had a gift for making those around her smile.

One night my parents went out on a date and I was babysitting my brother and sister when I got a call from my friend that they were having a big party. I wanted so badly to go to the party. I knew my parents had plans to stop by Orelene’s house on their way home, so I called her and asked if I could drop the kids of at her house and go to the party and my parents could bring the kids home with them. She said that was fine and so I loaded up the kids and headed to her house. On the way I made a bad turn and we ended up in a ditch. By the time I arrived at Orelene’s house my parents were there waiting for me…needless to say I had a lot of explaining to do…I remember thinking I was grateful we were at Orelene’s house instead of at mine because I would probably have gotten in a lot more trouble at home, but Orelene helped my parents to just laugh about the whole situation and all ended well.

One of my favorite memories comes from just two years ago. Orelene was very sick and had been confined to a chair in her home. My family and I decided to make Thanksgiving dinner and take it over there and spend the day with her and her family. It turned out to be the best Thanksgiving ever!! After we initially called them and asked if we could do this for them they were so excited. They said they were not even looking forward to the holiday. It wasn't going to be any different for them than any other day of the year. The day went perfectly! We arrived at their home about ten and my mom and I started on the cooking. We then played a game while we waited for things to cook. Afterward we ate and visited and talked about all the things we had to be thankful for. Following dinner my mom, brother, and I cleaned everything up. Then we played more games, watched the movie "The Ultimate Gift, and visited more. At one point my mom pulled our friends husband aside and asked if we were staying too long and wearing her out to let us know and we would leave. His response was that we were fine to stay, and that he had not seen his wife this happy in a long time. Later, as we were leaving she stopped us and with tears in her eyes said, "If we were to list what we are thankful for now, I would say I am thankful for this day" It was tender!! On the way home my family and I discussed how much fun we had and how warm and fuzzy we all felt inside.

Orelene was an amazing friend. I am grateful to have known her. She has been a positive influence in my life. I know that she is happy and at peace where she is now. She will be greatly missed, but I know we will be able to see her again. I look forward to that day. LOVE YOU ORELENE!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

First of all I want to thank my Aunt Lana for loving me so much that she gave up her ticket to a private premiere of the new Harry Potter movie so I could attend! Now, I have to say that I absolutely LOVED it!!! I think it followed the book pretty well. Obviously the book provides more details on certain things and there are parts that you may be a bit confused in if you haven't read the book, but either way it's a very good flick. I've heard people say they didn't like the ending...but if they read the book the movie ended exactly like the book ended! It does leave you hanging a bit, but it just increases the anticipation for the next one. The special effects were awesome! I don't want to spoil anything for any of you that may not have read the books, so I won't go into detail on my favorite parts or anything. Suffice it so say there are lots of funny parts regarding the love triangles and various other things. Then there are the parts that make you jump out of your seat, and the parts that make you cry. I thought it was done very well! It makes me want to go and read the books all over again, too bad I'm way too busy to have time to do that!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weekend with the Girls!

This past weekend was lots of fun! My mom went fishing with my aunt and uncle so Tara came and stayed with me. Then on Friday I picked up Savannah and watched her for the weekend while her parents went to celebrate John's birthday. We had SO much fun! We went to dinner and then to see Ice Age 3. The movie was very funny and kept Savvy's attention pretty well. Sav did get scared of the big dinosaur though, when it came on screen she would jump into my lap and then after a minute would proclaim that she wasn't scared anymore and she would go back to her seat. It was cute! We also went to the park where we had a blast swinging, going down the slides, and even petting the horses!

Here are some pictures from our fun adventures:











Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July

Ok, so one reason I have not been posting too much lately is becuase my camera has acting strangely and not working very well for me. Good news is that I got a new one over the weekend and so I hope to be posting more often and showing you pictures of all the goofy and fun things I do.

I'll start of by telling how much fun I had celebrating our Independance Day. I started off the day by going to the parade. It was lots of fun, but it could have used more floats..I think there might have been one in the entire thing! My friend and I told our bishop that we think our ward should do a float for next years parade so they will at least have two! :)

After the parade I spent the day doing various things... One- I went and bought my camera, Two-I went and walked around all the booths at Cherry Days. It was fun, but way too much temptation to buy little things I didn't need. Last, but not least I went up in the mid-afternoon to lay down our blanket and secure our spot for the fireworks. As I was walking along the field heading back down to the parking lot I was startled when a bee flew in my mouth! I tried spitting it out, but when I did the bee just flew further down my throat. I tried gagging it out, but in the process of doing that the bee stung me and out of instinct from the pain I swallowed! Pain is a very difficult thing to describe but if I were to use the rating system of Brian Regan I would give this level of pain two very enthusiastic thumbs up!! It burned!! I tried drinking water at first and it seemed to help to keep my throat wet, however the pain was still really bad. It hurt to even take a breath. I realized this was becuase the stinger was still stuck in my throat. I went home and ate a few pieces of bread and luckily the stinger loosened and went down with one of the pieces. I then ate a big bowl a rainbow sherbet to try and soothe the pain. This brought a bit of relief, but not enough. My throat still hurts today if I swallow something hard or talk too much. However, I can't help but laugh at the whole story...I mean really...who swallows a bee! Ugh!

Despite the pain in my throat I went to the fireworks with a few friends and we had a good time. As we waited for the fireworks my friends played games while I played with my new camera and sat on my blanket reading my book (I'm addicted to Fablehaven). As I was playing around with my camera I noticed it has a special setting just for fireworks. This made me very happy and I got really excited to try it out. You'll find some of my favorites below. The fireworks were great and all in all it was a good day.


Waiting for the fireworks


I love this picture!!




Look at the clarity of these photos!
I love my new camera!!



And finally the grand finale!

Enjoy!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bring On The Rain

For those of you who live iin Utah you will understand what I mean when I say we have had some strange weather lately. One minute it's raining like crazy and the next the sun is shining. It seems like my life has been pretty similar lately. One minute things are going well and the next it's raining. The good thing about it is that I know somewhere past all the dark clouds the sun is shining again. Thinking about this reminded me of a song I love by the christian band called Mercy Me. The song is called Bring The Rain. I love the message it teaches that many times it's through our rainy days our struggles and trials that we grow closer to God. If our lives were only filled with sunshine and no sorrow we wouldn't have chances to call upon Him for help and grow as we feel His love and comfort in our lives. If I had the choice to have a life full of sunny days and no problems or a life with rain and sunshine and more opportunities to turn to God. I would shout...Bring Me The Rain!! I'll list the lyrics below the video clip. Enjoy!



Bring The Rain
by Mercy Me

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that
I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings
You glory And I know there'll
be days When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to
praise You Jesus, bring the rain

I am yours regardless of the clouds that may
loom above because you are much greater than
my pain you who made a way for me suffering
your destiny so tell me whats a little rain

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A friend tagged this to me on her blog so here ya go...hope it's not too boring.

ABC Tag-


A- Addiction - Internet. I have a hard time going a day without checking my email, facebook, etc...

B- Breakfast (what you eat) - When I have time I usually eat Cocoa Puffs or Captain Crunch, when Im in a hurry usually a glass of juice.

C- Chocolate or Chips - Depends on the day
D- Dessert or Appetizers - mm..usually dessert
E- Essential Items- My scriptures, my phone, and my meds

F- Favorite Color -  Purple all the way!

G- Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms - Gotta be the worms they are just plain funner to eat!

H- Hometown – Good ole Roy

I- Indulgence - Reeses Fast Break
J- January or July - July, I hate January its  just cold with icky ugly snow. July is full of sunshine and fun all around!

K- Kids - I love em all !!

L- Life isn’t complete without- My sister

M- Most exciting memory - mm..thats a tough one. I get excited over lots of little things. Its hard to say which one was the most exciting. I guess the most exciting thing right now would be if I actually remembered m most exciting memory!

N- Number of brothers & sisters - One sister and One brother

O- Oranges or Apples - Apples for sure, Im not a citrus girl at all.
P- Phobias or Fears - I have way too many of them to name.. but I am very afraid of the dark.
Q- Quote - Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

R- Reading currently -.Finding Peace Happiness and Joy by Elder Richard G. Scott
S- Summer or Spring - Summer... my birthday isnt in the spring

T- Toenail color: Currently purple but outside in the sun it changes to pink.. hehe
U- Unknown fact about me - One of my favorite things to do is run and jump through puddles.

V- Vacation I want to go on - Church History Tour

W- Walking or Running - Walking..Im not a very pretty runner... been told I look like Elmo when I run
X- XRay or Ultrasound - Ultrasound they are more fun

Y- Your favorite Food - Cheese Enchiladas with chips and guacamole

Z- Zoo or Bowling - Bowling!! I love bowling!! Wish I was bowling right now!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bummer

Well, I had another of my fainting spells yesterday. I went almost three months without having one! It was a bit of a bummer when I woke up and realized I'd gone down, but at the same time I am very blessed that I did go so long in between this episode and my last one. I can't complain about going down yesterday, even though I was really hoping that my spells were over for good. I can only thank my Heavenly Father for the time I had without going down. It has been so nice, and I can only hope it's a while before my next one. I don't know what the Lord has in store for the future of my health, but I do know that it is in His hands and it will work out the way He wants it to. 

In other news...after being in school since she was just a baby my sweet sister graduates this Friday. She is SO excited! We are all very happy and proud of her. We're not sure what she is going to do with her time now, but she is excited to get out of school.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tara Turns 22!!

Wow, time flies so fast. My cute little sister turned 22 yesterday. I was only 6 when she was born, but I remember that day like it was yesterday. It seems so strange to think that she is 22 already.

She had a fun filled day...other than the fact she had to go to school...hehe. She did take some treats to school though and loved having the whole school sing happy birthday to her during lunch. Just before she came home from school my mom and I went outside and hung a big happy birthday sign on the garage so she would see it when she got off the bus. As soon as the bus pulled up we ran outside to see her reaction. She got off the bus with a huge smile on her face and walked right up to the garage just giggling and smiling. She read the sign out loud and said, "Sweet! I just got a garage door for my birthday!" Mom and I busted up laughing, it was classic Tara!

As she walked in the house the first thing she noticed was the smell of cake in the air and that again fueled the giggling laughter. The second thing she did was glance at the piano bench (the "present place" in our house) and was in awe of all the gifts lined up waiting to be opened. After presents we went to Applebees for dinner and so they could sing to her, and then we went to the movie 17 Again. It was fun. After the movie we went back and played with her gifts.

All in all it was a great day!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Paul Cardall

I just have to get on today and talk about what a wonderful experience I had last night. I had the opportunity to attend a benefit concert held for popular pianist Paul Cardall. It was absolutely amazing. For any of you who don't know, Paul has a congenital heart defect and is in need of a heart transplant. The concert last night was to help raise money for Paul and his family. I know I bought a ticket and that I was there to support Paul, but it didn't feel like that last night. Last night there was a very special spirit that filled the room. I felt so honored to be able to be in attendance.

There were many great performances during the concert. Kurt Bestor started off with some beautiful and touching pieces, including a performance of Prayer of the Children. It was awesome. Then there were some fun performances by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband, they were a hoot to watch on stage! Peter Brienholt sang some beautiful and fun songs. Colors (pretty much my favorite band ever!!) played some songs and Russ did his traditional rap. It was a great concert. There were times you were laughing, dancing, pondering and crying. The highlight of the night was when Paul and his family came up on stage and thanked everyone for coming, then Paul took a seat at the piano and played one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. I was bawling by the time he finished.

It was the best concert I've ever attended. The spirit of love that was there was undeniable. It felt so good to be there and doing good for someone else. Listening to everyone talk about Paul's condition and the other "cardiac kids" at Primary Children's Hospital just solidified that I want to go into the field of pediatric cardiology. If I could help one child to feel any better, or ease the pain of one physical or emotional heartache, it would all be worth it.

Thank you Paul for your example. You are in my prayers. May God bless you and your family.

Monday, March 30, 2009

General Conference

I'm so excited that it is now conference time again!! I love listening to the Brethren!! I love how every conference it seems like there is always that one talk that was meant just for you. I am looking forward to hearing what the Lord has to say to us at this time.

Just for fun I thought I'd post this fun video/song to get into the conference spirit.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Life is Simply Beautiful

Yep, this is my outtake on life at the moment, life is simply beautiful. It's a bit hard to explain all that has happend in my life lately, but I can say that I am very happy. I have kind of found a new niche with my friends and it's freakishly cool. I have been loving every minute I've spent hanging out with them recently. I am forging strong bonds with people who used to be just "church friends". It feels great.

I've met a good guy who makes me laugh and really makes me feel good about myself and life in general. I've spent a lot of time with him lately and once again I have been loving every minute of it. It makes me so happy. I am really enjoying getting to know him better and just plain spending time with him.

Spring is here and the temperature is warming up which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside as well. I love the sunshine, it just makes me happy all over. I went to the park the other day and had a blast just swinging and feeling the warmth and freshness of the air. It was simply wonderful.

I will be starting back to school the first of April and I am super excited about that. I love learning and am excited to get back to expanding my knowledge as well as being able to keep busy with something a bit more productive than what I've been spending my days doing lately.

So all in all life is simply beautiful right now. I'm not sure it could get much better. I love life!!

Tagged by Me

I just visited my friend's website, and she had this fabulous "tag" on her blog. I love it because it is a "tag yourself if you want to be tagged" so no pressure for anyone who doesn't want to do it!! How great is that?!So here are the rules: The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2- What I create will be just for you.
3- It'll be done this year.
4- You have no clue what it's going to be.

The catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me! Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!!!So there you have it! If you want me to make something for you...hmm, what could it be? Just leave me a message.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Good Times


Wow, the past week or so has been so much fun. I just have to say that I LOVE my friends.

First of all last Friday I had to the opportunity to attend the Draper Temple open house with some friends. It was amazing. I loved the temple, it was beyond beautiful!! We had a group of about 9 of us that went and it was so much fun. Poor Bonnie was starving though and was super excited when she found out that after the temple tour they were serving light refreshments in the adjacent church. Wow, we had to hold her back once she spotted the adjacent church!! Good times, good times.

Then that night I had a girls movie night at my place with a few of my fave people on earth. Just before starting the movie we decided to run to Smiths for some yummy snacks. We quickly discovered that Smiths late at night is a very fun place to be. We started playing around in, on, and around the cart snapping pictures left and right....becuase everyone always takes thier cameras to Smiths with them! LOL As we were goofing off and taking pictures I noticed a lady working in the deli that kept looking at us strangely. I thought she was going to call security on us and tried to suggest we move our goofy fanatics to the juice isle, when she walked up to Lisa and asked for the camera. We all immediately thought we were busted and she was going to confiscate all of our awesome photos, then as a shock to all of us she looked at Lisa and said, "Get in", YAY!! Lisa jumped in the cart with Shina and she started taking our pictures for us. It was so fun. As she handed the cameras back to us she told us never to forget that our picture was taken by Faye in the Deli. So this is my shout out to our new friend Faye!! We love you Faye!!

Last night I once again had the opportunity to attend the Draper Temple open house with some friends. We had a few new people in the group and we soon found that it added up to way too much sarcasm in one group. Oh man, was it fun though!! I will always look at that night with lots of funny memories. Thanks Seth and Lori!! It was also a very fun night for me because I had Tara with me. It was her first time to ever see the inside of a temple. She was very touched by the spirit there and so was I. It was incredible to me as I listened to her describe how she felt standing in the Celestial Room. It was an experience I won't soon forget. I love my Tara!!

Good times for sure!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Minor Surgery

Ok, for those of you who have been wondering where I've been the last few weeks. I had to have a little mild surgery. I had an MRI and dr's found that I had inflammed tissue that was forming a pocket where some spinal fluid that was pooling up. It was causing me a lot of pain so the dr's went in and drained the fluid as well as gave me some shots into the tissue to help reduce the inflammation. It was a very painful procedure to say the least! It was basically like having a spinal tap only in my neck. I had to be awake for the entire procedure, so they couldn't give me anything of the pain until afterward. The change in my spinal fluid level made me pretty dizzy and nauseated for a few days. However, I am feeling much better now. The release of the pressure from the fluid has really made my head feel better. It feels nice to be back up and at it. Now if only the hair they had to shave would grow back faster!! I hate the little prickly pokes in the back of my neck! :0)