Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Project

Have you ever taken on a project thinking it is going to be super awesome only to find that it is a lot harder than you thought it would be? Well that is where I find myself today...okay, the past several days. It is also the reason I haven't been writing on this blog as consistently this month.

A few weeks ago I was on the phone with my sister and asked her what she wanted for Christmas. Her answer: "You know when your on Broadway and you go backstage and have a mirror with lights all around it and a chair with your name on it and you put your make-up on and and have costumes and wigs and a script...Yeah, I want all that!" I hung up the phone wondering how in the world I was going to pull that one off!

I decided to ditch the idea of the lighted mirror and chair, she can pretend on those things. I didn't want to abandon the whole though, and spent a few days really thinking about what I could get her. One afternoon I was browsing the internet looking for inspiration and had a brilliant idea! I would write her a musical!!

What a super awesome idea right?!? I decided to write her a script that she could act out over and over in her room. It would be original so that will make it fun for her. I could download songs off of Itunes to fit with my script and make her a "soundtrack" that she can sing-a-long with as she acts  it out. I even thought that if I had time when I was all done I could go to the DI and look for costume ideas for the characters. It was brilliant and I was super excited about it.

Fast forward to today...It is eight days til Christmas and I am still working on the script. It has turned out to be a much bigger task than I had envisioned. Writing a script is a lot harder than simply writing a story. I have had to think differently than I am used to in order to convey my thoughts through the characters dialogue and actions. Oh and did I mention that my biggest weakness when it comes to writing is dialogue? I have always struggling with dialogue and a script is 99% dialogue!! Making it a musical is another new and difficult thing because I have to figure out how to transition my dialogue's into songs and then back to dialogue. Finding songs that perfectly fit into everything is another daunting part of this project.

While I am completely overwhelmed with this project I am also determined. I want to do this for her and for me. Trying new things is always hard, but that is how we learn and grow. Once I have completed this project my confidence in writing will increase. I will feel proud of myself for accomplishing something that really strained me and not quitting when the going got rough. It's things like this that push us to step out of the routine of our daily lives and discover the power that really lies within us. Projects like this can be difficult, but they can also be fun. Step outside of your comfort zone and do something that will stretch you. I promise there will be times when you'll  be just like me and want to shut off the computer and buy a gift card to the movie, but pressing forward will bring great rewards and you'll find you are capable of doing so much more than you ever thought you could.

Friday, December 7, 2012

You Are Intentional

I've been really bummed out this week. There are a number of reasons for this. It started out with some family drama. Then, I had the flu...spending three days in bed with aches and fevers would bum anyone out! Luckily, I got over that though and the family drama sort of worked itself out, but I still found myself sitting on the couch feeling down. 

I started thinking about all the things my life isn't and all the things I haven't done. I'm not as pretty as Betty*, as talented as Nancy, or as popular as Jane. I'm 31-years-old and don't have much to show for it. I haven't accomplished all the things I wish I had or that I see others around me doing. As these thoughts inched their way into my mind my mood spiraled downward. (*names have been changed to protect those who will probably never even read this)

Then I came across the following picture...

God's design of you is intentional. You aren't like your parents, siblings, or friends for a reason. And that's a good thing, because God doesn't want you to be like them. He wants you to be YOU. The challenge today is to release the expectations you've placed on yourself and explore God's amazing plan for you. You'll soon discover that everyone has something to offer!

Wow! Can we say tender mercy!?! Reading that felt like getting spiritually slapped upside the head! I was made to be ME, not Betty, Nancy, or Jane! God's design of me was intentional, I was not His first big oops! He does not see me sitting here on the couch accomplishing nothing with my life and say, "Yeah, not really sure what I was thinking on that one". I matter for one reason or another I matter.

I then started to wonder if me being me was so intentional...what was God thinking? What am I doing that I'm just not seeing right now?

I don't have a job like everyone else does, but because of that I am free to help out a friend with outfit changes at a photoshoot...not everyone else gets to do that. I'm also free to spend an afternoon visiting with my recently widowed landlady...not everyone has the time to serve like that. I may not be married and have children of my own, but because of that I get to be "the best cousin ever" to the most amazing kids I've ever met. I get to help out in Savannah's kindergarten class and play with the kids at the family gatherings while everyone else is busy screaming, "don't you dare touch that" for the hundredth time. I may not be the person with the most friends, but because of that I can be the best friend I know how to the ones I do have. I can send them a message to let them know they are thought about. I can include each and every one of them in my prayers. I can make sure they feel like friends and not just another person, not everyone gets to do that.

My life may not be all the things I wanted it to be. I might still have days where I run into Nancy and long for something a little more, but I will always know I matter. I was born with a purpose. I may not always know what that purpose is, but I know that if I keep doing my best with what I have been given God will find a way to use me for whatever he needs done.

Monday, December 3, 2012


As Christmas time approaches I find myself withdrawing a lot into my imagination as I dream of sugar plums dancing in my head. Christmastime is so full of magic and wonder that pulls at my heart strings and makes me feel just like a kid again.

When I was younger my parents did a lot to help keep the magic of Christmas alive for me. I remember one year I sat down on a night close to Christmas to write my letter to Santa. I wasn't quite finished with my letter when my mom came in telling me it was time for bed. I begged her to let me finish my letter first, but she insisted I get to bed and could finish it in the morning. I carefully folded the letter and put it in the envelope, and placed it in the center of the table where it would be safe til the next day. When morning came I ran to the kitchen to finish my letter so we could get it in the mail that day...Christmas was coming soon and I didn't have much time left to get it to Santa. I stopped dead in my tracks as I entered the kitchen to find the tabletop completely bare. Where was my letter?!? I frantically questioned my parents about it and neither had touched it. I was so upset. I looked everywhere for it and was so sad when I couldn't find it. I knew there was not enough time to write a new letter and get it to Santa in time for Christmas. I remember feeling so sad.

The following evening as I was watching tv I heard the ringing of Christmas bells just outside my house. I quickly shut off the television and listened intently, sure enough I heard them again. Running into the living room I heard a soft knock at the door and opened it to find Santa at my house!! He'd stopped by around Christmastime before, but I was still so happy to see him. As he settled down on the couch and my parents joined us. He said that he'd had his elves out and about helping him double check the naughty and nice list and one of them had brought something to him. He reached in his pocket and pulled out none other than my letter!! I almost started crying I was so excited!! I hadn't lost it after all, the elves saw me writing and thought they would save me the trouble of mailing it by delivering it themselves!! Santa said he'd noticed it wasn't quite finished and thought he would pop in and ask what it was I wanted for Christmas.

The second Santa left my house that night I rushed to the phone to call everyone I knew and tell them the exciting tale of Santa and my letter.

I am extremely grateful for parents that loved me enough to do things like that! Experiences like this one are the foundation for my imagination. I have always believed that God blessed me with a creative mind, but it was the magical experiences my parents gave me each chance they could that fueled my creativity. Albert Einstein once said, "Logic will get you from A to Z, Imagination will get you everywhere." This has been true in my life. I am not a very logical person, I am terrible at math and logical things; but oh the things my imagination can unlock for me. Whenever life takes a toll on me and has me feeling really down the one sure fire thing I have to combat it is my imagination. I close my eyes and escape into a world of wonder and mystery. I imagine a day where everything in my life went perfectly and when I open my eyes I find a smile on my face. Does it change the fact that I still have to face the reality of my problems, no, but it does make it easier to bear.

Without imagination life is dull, boring, and can only take you so far. Imagination is the basis of every dream come true. Every famous actor started out as a child imagining themselves as a star. Every big music star began as a child imagining themselves on a stage with thousands of people screaming their name. Behind every technological breakthrough is someone with an imagination. Behind every major blockbuster is a person with an imagination.

If we learn to use our imagination the possibilities of our world become limitless. So, where will your imagination take you?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wandering Off

I really like this little cartoon. It perfectly describes where I am at in my life. I don't recall the exact moment I let go of the Saviors hands to explore my own paths, but not long ago I found myself looking around and realized just how far away from Him I really was.

This life is full of detours that look interesting to our mortal eyes. Each one of us have detours that look more appetizing than others. For some it is the allure of drugs and alcohol. Others may be enticed by the idea of power and wealth. I think my downfall was distraction. In the beginning it doesn't seem like a big deal, it starts out so small. One night of watching television rather than reading scriptures, going straight to sleep without saying prayers, choosing to miss church for a little bit of extra sleep. The next thing you know those small things have become habits.

I firmly believe in repentance, and that once you turn around and start heading back towards the Savior you are finally on the right path. However, repentance is not easy. When we stop doing the small and simple things it makes it easier to stop doing the bigger things too. It becomes much harder to resist even the smallest bit of temptation, and harder to feel the spirit when you do turn off the television and pick up your scriptures. I am on that path now and just like in the cartoon above it is a rocky one. It takes significant effort to do things that once were second nature to me. I find myself tripping over those rocks and wondering if I will ever make it back. During these parts of the journey it is easy to wonder if the Savior is still there or if He's given up hope on you. Yet, no matter what I have done or how far away I have wandered I cannot deny the fact that I know He will always be there waiting for me. He will never give up and leave, He can't, He loves me too much. This thought is extremely comforting as I fight my way back.

I am not a perfect person and I'm guessing you aren't either. We all have times when we wander off on our own. It's an uphill climb to get back, but it is always worth it. I know I still have some work ahead of me, but I know I can overcome and find myself once again encircled in the loving arms of my Savior...and so can you!

Luvs & Hugs

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Confession Time: I am 31-years-old and I enjoy watching cartoon movies.

Whew, it feels so good to get that out in the open! ;0)

I was recently watching the movie Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure with my sister. When I heard a short poem that really caught my attention. It read

The greatest treasures are not gold nor jewels nor works of art. 
They cannot be held in your hands, they are held within the heart. 
For worldly things will fade away and seasons come and go,
But the Treasure of True Friendship will never lose it's glow!!

I am lucky enough to have a few true friends. My friends aren't ones I see every day. In fact I very rarely see my friends, but I once read a saying that said, "Good friends are like stars. You don't always see them, but you know they're always there." This is how I feel about my friends. I don't have to see them often to know that if I were in trouble and needed them they would be there no matter what. My favorite thing about friends you don't see very often is that when you do see them, it feels like you just hung out yesterday! 

I have been working hard to be a more positive person lately and as I've changed I am noticing that I'm much more sensitive to negative people. I just don't have the tolerance for their negative energy that I used to. It seeps into me and then I start feeding off a negative energy, I don't like myself in those moments. I've been making more of an effort to surround myself with positive people, so we can feed off that positive energy rather than always dwelling in the negative. Having said that we all have bad days where we just want to scream at the world and run to our room crying. On those days it's the good friend who patiently lets us have our moment and then when the time is right swoops in and cheers us up. 

Friends are definitely a part of life that none of us can live without. We all need friends to spend time with, to cheer us up, to share exciting news with, etc. Great friends have many different characteristics, but one thing they all have in common is love. True friends love no matter what. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Music Lifts the Soul

Music plays a big role in my life. I am always listening to some kind of music. At home, in the car, when I first wake up, just before I go to sleep...all the time. It amazes me how putting on some music can be the thing that energizes me to wake up or get through a work out, and at the same time is the thing that relaxes me at night and helps me to sleep.

Music can have a huge impact on my mood. When I'm having a bad day and need some cheering up I can turn on something with a good tempo, dance around a bit, and it's like an instant mood changer. Sometimes on rough days I just need to cry it out rather than dance it out. I turn on some soft mellow music and the notes put me in just the right place for the water works to turn on and drown out whatever is bothering me. Sunday mornings I listen to music while getting ready that helps me feel the spirit and put me in the right mood for church. I love how it helps me feel closer to my Heavenly Father.

I love songs with lyrics that truly touch the soul; songs that make you stop, think, and feel. There are a lot of songs that I relate to so much it's almost like I could have written them. These are the songs that become more than just something to enjoy, they become a part of who I am. If you've ever heard a song and thought, "Yes! That's exactly how I feel", then you know what I'm talking about. Those songs will almost always have a special place in your heart because when you hear them you'll always remember the time in your life when you felt that way, when that was your song.

I'm thankful for the power of music in my life. I'm thankful for all those with the talent to make beautiful music. I don't have that talent and am happy that others do and are willing to share it with the rest of us. I'm thankful for the music that is always there for me, like a best friend, helping me through all my bad days and brightening up my already happy ones. I'm thankful God has blessed me with ears to hear the music. I would be so lost without it.

I have a good friend that is a person with the amazing talent of making beautiful music. I recently had the opportunity to be on set with her as she shot a music video for the song "Listen" from Dreamgirls. I don't want to detail all the reasons why I love this song because what you feel from it may be different from me, and in case you've never heard it I want you to experience it for yourself. I will say that I love it, and I love the way Jessie Funk sings it. She has a beautiful voice that perfectly brings out the emotion of this song. I want to share the video with you today and hope that whatever mood you are in this song will lift your soul.

PS. Be sure to check out Jessie's other video's on her YouTube channel. She's got a dynamite voice that I know you'll love!

Luvs & Hugs

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Special Kindnesses

This past week I have been on vacation with my family. We had many moments of laughter, craziness, and special memories. I want to share one of those moments with you today. 

Tara, hates the ride Tower of Terror. She is pretty brave on most rides, but this one she just won't do. She will wait with us in the line, but then just as we go to get on the ride we have to leave her waiting with the cast member running the ride. We've done it before and they are always kind enough to let her just sit there and wait for us, so we all get a chance to ride without having to leave someone behind with her. This particular time we get up to the front of the line and talked to the cast member about her staying behind. He agreed she could wait with him and we all boarded the "elevator". When the ride was over the elevator doors opened and instead of us seeing the cast member running the ride standing there, it was Tara. She had on the workers hat, and when the doors opened she stood there with the biggest grin on her face! She looked at everyone and said, "Welcome back!" Everyone on the ride started cheering and clapping. It was awesome! As everyone got off the ride she pointed the way to the exit and told them all to "Have a great day at California Adventure". It was so great!!! I don't think the cast member had any idea how much she would play it up and do his job. He also had a big grin on his face as he watched her and commented about how she really could work there. Tara absolutely loved it! It was one of the best moments of the trip! 

It made me so thankful for people who show special kindnesses to those around them and make memorable moments for others. This was a simple little thing for the cast member, but was a great memory my family will hold on to forever. 

I believe that every one of us has the opportunity every day to perform a special kindness for someone in our life. It might be a close friend or family member, or it could be a complete stranger. I challenge you all to look for those opportunities. Be the one who does a simple act of kindness and gives someone a special smile. You never know how much your small and simple act could mean to someone else. 

Luvs & Hugs

Friday, November 9, 2012


I'm writing today to say that I am grateful for vacation!! I mean who isn't, right? Life is stressful and we all need a break from it now and again. I personally think vacations should be mandatory at least once a year.

My idea of the perfect vacation has nothing to do with destination and everything to do with who I am vacationing with. I used to work for a travel company and once a year we would close down the company and travel to our main selling destinations in order to familiarize ourselves with what we were selling. It was work, but we also got to do a lot of playing. Yet, it wasn't nearly as much fun as when I head to that exact same place with friends or family. People make the difference!

For someone who loves to travel I haven't been to many places, but I love to go where I can when I can. I love to fly, because it saves time. I can go from being stuck in my boring, lame, life to having a party at the beach in no time! However, road trips can add a lot of flavor to a vacation. Sometimes it is a bitter flavor, like if you're stuck in the car for hours and your legs get restless, but you have no room to stretch them out. It can also be sweet bonding time as you play the "movie line" game and pass around the fruit snacks! I recently went on a road trip with some friends and each time we stopped for gas we got out and did a 4-minute work-out in front of the car. It was fabulous!! Our bodies got stretched out, and we bonded while giggling through our jumping jacks.

The worst part of a vacation is having to come home. Nothing is more depressing than leaving sunny California to head back to wintry Utah. Bleh! No matter what the weather is like or where you are vacationing leaving the carefree lifestyle of vacation to head back to "real" life is just a super let down. Good thing vacations are mandatory and we get to go on another one next year! Right?

Luvs & Hugs

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I love my Mom!

My mom truly is the greatest. I know everyone says that about their mothers, but I really mean it!

She has done so much for me and continues to be there for me no matter what I am going through. She is a strength to me when I'm down and have no where else to go. She can always cheer me up and get my mind off of whatever is bother me. My mom is the one person on Earth who understands how hard on me my health issues really are. She has been by my side through every bit of it. She has nursed me through several surgeries, ER visits, and pass out spells. I know that watching me go through it has never been easy on her, but no matter how scary it gets for her she never stops taking care of me. In order to pay my medical bills my mom has had to declare bankruptcy twice, but she never made me feel like it was my fault. She just lovingly took care of what needed taking care of. I love her so much for that.

My mom is SUPER fun! I have so many memories of laughter and joy with her. All I have to do is think of one and I start laughing all over again. She is known for turning the simplest things into hilarious moments. If you know her then you know what I'm talking about. If not then you just need to meet her because describing how she does this is hard even for this wannabe writer. She just has a way about her that makes people feel good and generates laughter.

One thing my mom doesn't realize is that she is a great example to me. I have watched her struggle through extremely difficult things and always come out on top. I've watched her get laid off job after job, but push through anyway. After getting laid off once again from a job she really enjoyed, I watched my mom go back to school for a field she'd never worked in before. She studied harder than anyone there, graduated sooner than everyone, and quickly found a job working in that field. Now she teaches the very classes she sat in only a few short years ago. That takes guts! I've watched my mom deal with a number of life challenges dealing with finances, relationships, health, family, etc. I know she doesn't enjoy it, I know she hates the trials  life has thrown her way...but she never gives up, she never backs down, she doesn't sit around crying about it. She gets up and she pushes forward. She moves on and finds a way to make life bearable. I look up to her so much. I look at her and know that if she can do it, so can I.

I love her so much she is more than just my mother, she is my best friend.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Free Country

I am extremely grateful to live in a free country.

I am not one who is big on politics. Let me rephrase that...politics make me crazy! Since this is a presidential year the craziness is over the top. I watch the debates and can't help but think it is just like watching two toddlers fighting over a toy, breaking it, and then telling mom that the other one did it. Every commercial that you see isn't telling you why you should vote for a person, but why you shouldn't vote for their opponent. People who have never met either candidate are suddenly experts on them and will tell you everything they know whether you want to hear it or not. There are legitimate debates held on television and a million other debates held on Facebook. Only those debates don't have a moderator and turn into more of a boxing match. Meanwhile, I silently decide who I want to vote for and then spend the rest of the time counting down the days until the madness ends.

Having said that I am glad that all of this craziness happens because it means that we live in a free country. It means that I have the right to vote for my next president. I have opportunities given me that so many others in this world are denied. I have a right to choose who I will support. I have the freedom of speech to join in on the Facebook debates if I choose to. I even have the right to ignore these special opportunities and do nothing.

As much as politics make me crazy it also makes me grateful. I am so blessed to live in The United States of America

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lazy Sunday's

Today I am thankful for lazy Sunday's. I had one of my spells yesterday and spent today resting it off. I love days where I stay in my pj's, sipping apple cider, and watching Psych on Netflix. I know that is what I spend most of my days doing, but it just feels cozier on a Sunday afternoon...maybe because I feel like that is a day set aside for rest and staying in my pj's all day on a Wednesday feels like I'm just being a bum! Yes, Sunday is the perfect pj's all day kind of day.

Sunday's are a perfect day for catching up on missed TV shows, watching black and white movies, and taking extra long naps. Another thing I love doing on Sunday is curling up on the couch under a super cozy blanket and reading a book. Yes, Sunday is a good book reading kind of day.

Sunday is also a good day to get together with family. I love Sunday family dinners and conversation. Sometimes we even clear off the table and play a game, or watch a movie together. Yes, Sunday is a good family togetherness kind of day.

Sunday's are considered the Sabbath Day. Because I wasn't feeling well I wasn't able to attend church today, and there was definitely something missing from my day. I love going to church and feeling of the spirit. I love partaking of the sacrament and singing hymns. Yes, Sunday is a good fill your bucket for the rest of the week kind of day!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I'm sure I am not the only one who wishes money grew on trees. I'd plant me an orchard full of them if they did. A few rows for one's even more rows of twenty's, fifty's, and hundreds. I can picture myself walking through my lovely orchard each day admiring my foliage. I'm sure it would be kind of like an outdoor version of Scrooge McDuck swimming in his money on Ducktales. Ah...the image makes my heart smile. 

Unfortunately, this is the point where I wake up and face does not grow on trees. Despite that fact I am grateful for the money I do have. I'm may not have an orchard full of Benjamin's, but I have what I need to pay my bills each month. I have the money I need to put food on the table every day. Those are the things that matter. I'm so thankful I have that. I know there are many in this world who don't and I don't want to take what I do have for granted. I feel very lucky and blessed.  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Cute Couple

Today I have some very happy news to report. I got a call a little after 1:00 am from my brother's girlfriend telling me how he had just proposed! They're engaged!! 

I love my brother so much! He has always been such a light in our family. I have always been impressed by his carefree, happy, personality. He is one who definitely knows how to make the best out of any situation. He is always doing or saying something that makes me laugh. He's always there for me when I need him. He does so much to help our family with all the "manly" things that come up in life...and he very rarely complains. 

Ashley is an absolute doll! She is very much like my brother in the fun personality department. She is super sweet and thoughtful of others. I also love how smart and crafty she is. I am so excited to have her joining our family! I'm getting another sister!! 

These two are perfect for each other. Their personalities balance each other out nicely. It is definitely a match that was meant to be. The funny thing about these two is that they share the same birthday. They were born on the same day, in the same hospital, a few hours apart. They have often teased that they saw each other in the hospital nursery and made a plan then to meet and fall in love later down the road. :0)

Today I'm super grateful for this cute couple!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Beautiful Sister

It's November 1st, which means it's time to start my daily "thankful" posts. Each day I will post a little about something I am thankful for that day. This year I am going to try and include a picture with each day as well...I'm quickly becoming addicted to Instagram!

To start things off I have to say how grateful I am for my beautiful sister, Tara. She has been pretty sick this week, so I've spent the past few days hanging out with her. We all know being alone when you are sick is never any fun. We spent days watching Disney movies and reading stories. I love how even though she is sick Tara still has a smile on her face and does things to bring a smile to mine. 

Last year when Tara broke her ankle I bought her a Disney Fairy book and thought it would be fun to read it to her using voices to make it more entertaining. At the time I had no idea how much she would love it. It has now become almost a tradition that when she is sick I read her a fairy book using my fairy voices. I guess it is a secret talent I never knew I had! Monday we loaded a new fairy book onto her kindle, snuggled up on the couch, and I started reading. The second we came to the first bit of dialogue and I used my best fairy voice, she just started giggling. It made me giggle as well.

One night before going to bed the topic of Christmas came up and she proceeded to tell me that I was going to get a really nice gift from Santa because I had been a good girl by helping her when she was sick. Hearing such a sweet little "Tara-style" compliment from her just melted my heart. 

I could go on and on about all the things she does that make me smile and fill my heart with love. She is such a special person and I am more than thankful to have her as my sister and best friend!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Night

Halloween Night

The ghouls and goblins are out tonight
Visiting houses with scary sounds and spooky lights
Witches and warlocks all having a party
On the doorstep of Uncle Harvey
Superhero's and villains too
Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh
Fairies and clowns line the street
All screaming out "Trick or Treat!" 

-Tiffany Goodson

Thursday, October 25, 2012


It's a little after midnight and I can't sleep. I'm sitting in my room listening as a light rain falls outside my window. There is nothing more peaceful and calming to me than listening to the rain. The tiny pitter patter it makes as each drop hits the ground. The low rumbling of the thunder that makes it sound as if the sky is fasting. There is a soft wind whistling through the trees. Some drops land closer to the window sill making a louder splat than the others. One drop here, another there, it comes down slowly at first but is beginning to pick up speed. The constistency of the soft rain is soothing and as I sit with my eyes closed my mind slowly drifts off to sleep. The sudden grumblings of thunder bring me back to wakefulness only to leave me peacefully listening to the rain again.

The smell of rain is my favorite scent on earth. Everything smells fresh and clean; pure once again. In a world that is always moving and ever increasing in speed it's the smell of rain that brings me to a halt. It's as though the rain is begging me to stop and breathe it in deep. Inhaling al that freshness is invigorating and calming at the same time. It focuses my mind to the things that are truly important. Exhaling I can't help but smile as a sense of inner tranquility envelops me. At this moment all is right with my world. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Ahh...Sleep, what a wonderful thing it is to crawl into a nice warm bed, pull up the covers so you're snug as a bug, nestle into that fluffy pillow and just relax. You let every muscle in your body go loose, every bit of the days stress just releases into the covers surrounding you. You cuddle up in your favorite sleeping position, close your eyes, and try to picture a beautiful field of lush greenery, butterflies everywhere you look...but the image won't stick....your mind starts to wander...what time is my appointment tomorrow...did I lock the door...what am I going to do about this problem, and that problem? You toss and you turn, but the harder you try to fall asleep the more awake you are. Finally out of frustration you throw back the covers screaming, "I give up". Sleepily you wander into the kitchen to grab some cookies and milk, then you plop in front of the tv for some mindless entertainment until you finally drift off to sleep.

Am I the only one who goes through this? Sleep seems to be a precious commodity that I don't get much of anymore. As a teenager I had no problem functioning on very little sleep. I could easily stay up all night reading my favorite mystery novel then get up and go to school in the morning. Now, that I'm older I need every bit of sleep I can get. As a kid getting sent to bed early was a punishment, now I view it as a reward! I recently read a saying that said, "Adults without sleep become tall two-year-old's". How true is that!?! When I don't have the sleep I need I feel like a tall toddler who simply wants to be tucked into bed and left alone.

Bedtime is upon me and the tossing and turning has commenced. I'm sitting here eyes half closed, wanting nothing more than to slip away to dream land. Hopefully I will get a bit of this precious gift tonight, but if not there's always the cookies and milk!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Clearing out the Negative

Have you ever had one of those days where all you wanted to do was cry? Maybe something super sad happened like the death of a loved one or loss of a job. Perhaps you simply saw a sad movie, stepped on a lego, or ran out of chocolate. No matter the reason for them, tears can be very cathartic.

Life is full of it's up's and down's and I often have days where I just feel like curling up in a ball and crying. I want to cry out all my anger, fear, frustration, worry, and stress. Society tends to look upon tears as a bad thing, a sign of weakness; I disagree. Experience has taught me that tears are the bodies cleansing our hearts. They free us from all those negative emotions we are feeling and bring us to a place where we can begin to feel peace.

One of my all time favorite TV shows is One Tree Hill. It is full of amazing quotes about life. Here is one of my favorites:

"...cry out all their tears to make room for a heart full of smiles" How precious is that!! It's totally true! When your heart is heavy and weighed down by sorrow tears release the pressure of that weight and make room for  a heart of smiles, sunshine, peace, and hope.

Next time you feel like sobbing into the closest pillow don't hold back. Let it all go, let the tears flow, and free yourself from the negative emotions that are closing in on you. Give yourself a break, we all deserve one now and then! Have a good cry, eat your favorite dessert, and then move on with the hope that tomorrow will be a brighter day.

Luvs & Hugs

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fear Erased

It's natural that each of us have things we fear. It's simply part of our nature. We're all different so things I'm afraid of may not be a problem for you at all and visa versa. We have small fears and we have big fears, but no matter the size they hold us back. The person whose always afraid of making a mistake may never find success. The one whose afraid of being ugly may never realize how beautiful they are.

I instantly fell in love with this picture the moment I saw it. How wonderful would it be if you could write down all of your fears and then just erase them never having to worry about them again? Which fears would you put on the wall? What would you do with your life if you weren't afraid any more?

One thing I know about fear is that it can be overcome. Fears are nasty little tricks our minds play on us but the courage in our hearts can be stronger. It requires taking a step into the darkness and taking a chance that your fears will come true, but if you don't take the chance you can never prove them wrong. In my experience once I've looked fear in the face and taken that first step my heart does a little victory dance because I discovered things aren't as bad as I thought they would be.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


"There comes a moment in everyone's life where you stop wondering and begin to believe" 

Do you have a bucket list? I have a bucket list; a long list of things I would like to do before I die. I also like to call this my dream list; a list of all the things I dream of doing. Things on my bucket list range from visiting Ireland to finishing an entire coloring book. Every day I add something new onto my bucket list, probably because I am always dreaming, wishing, and hoping. Life is full of so many amazing places to see, people to meet, and experiences to have. The unfortunate thing is that life is short, and so there is no way I'm going to be able to accomplish every single thing on my bucket list. For example I have a dream of going on a no budget shopping spree, but I highly doubt I will live long enough to make enough money for that to ever happen! (unless I marry Adam Levine, which is also on my dream list!!) I don't see anything wrong with having a dream of doing something that is probably impossible. From the time I was a little girl I have been taught that dreams can come true and to never stop dreaming no matter what. 

Alongside my bucket list I have what I call my been there, done that list. This is a list of all the things that were on my bucket list, that I have actually done. Things on this list range from donating blood to petting a giraffe. I absolutely love the feeling I get when I get to move something from my bucket list to my been there, done that list. The best feeling in the world is making dreams come true. 

Throughout my life I have found that the above quote is true, we all have moments in our lives where we stop wondering if our dreams are going to come true and we begin to believe that they will. When that belief in ourselves as well as our dreams is strong enough we can accomplish anything no matter how big or small. The power to make our dreams come true does not lie in riches or fate, it lies within ourselves. 

Go take a look at your bucket list and choose your next dream come true!

Loves & Hugs!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said,  "We cannot and we must not allow ourselves to get distracted from our sacred duty. We cannot and we must not lose focus on the things that matter most." 

Where is your focus? Is your mind distracted? 

The internet can be a very useful tool. We can communicate with friends and family instantly, even reconnecting with people we may have lost contact with over the years. We can use the vast amount of information available to us to learn a new skill or study up on any topic of interest to us. I personally use the internet every day. I talk with family, share photos of fun events with those that weren't able to make it, watch tv (I'm too poor to pay for cable and the internet), chat with friends around the world, get all sorts of new writing ideas, take online classes to increase my knowledge of things, etc. The internet is a big part of my life, but it can also be a huge distraction. I am amazed at how easy it is to lose track of time when checking email, Facebook, and browsing Pinterest. These sites are thieves of time and productivity. Once lost you can never regain the time you wasted pinning a recipe you're probably never going to make or Facebook stalking that cute boy in your ward. 

This doesn't mean these sites are horribly bad and to always be avoided, but they are to be used sparingly. I'm reminded of the scripture in Luke chapter 10 verse 42; "But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken from her". We need to chose the things that are better! Communicating with friends and family face to face is much better than through email and Facebook. Playing a game as a family is better than pinning ideas of games to play with your family. Writing in your journal is better than updating your Facebook status. Reading your scriptures is better than reading your email. 

In this world full of distraction we must be far more vigilant on how we spend our time, and where we place priorities. We cannot afford to lose focus on the things that matter most. Distraction is one of Satans greatest tools. The more distracted we are the more he can get us to forget who we really are and what our purpose really is. Let's take a stand, refine our focus, and vow never to forget!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Down Syndrome Awareness

October is Down Syndrome Awareness month and in looking at beautiful children with Down Syndrome on Pinterest I stumbled upon a fabulous you tube video. The little girl in this video is adorable, I just love her facial expressions! It reminds me a lot of Tara at that age. The video has a powerful message and is wonderfully presented. I am sharing it with all of you in hopes that you will take a minute to really think about Down Syndrome and truly become more aware of how amazing these extraordinary people are. Let's all re-think the amount of love we can give them.

My sister is my best friend. When I was in second grade I wrote a story for the reflections contest about how proud I was to be the sister of a child with Down Syndrome. I am happy to say that I am still proud of that fact today. I'm also very humbled by it. Tara has taught me so much through her fun personality and example. I know I would not be the person I am today without her influence in my life. She is the source of my joy and is my rock when I really need someone to lean on. I love her more than words can express.

Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lessons from the Playground

Saturday night I walked over to the park with my mom and sister. I had not been on a swing for years and thought it would be fun. As I slowly started going up and down I found I loved feeling the wind through my hair. I started going higher and higher and found that I loved that "butterflies in my stomach" feeling as I would get really high and then quickly swing back down. I started to laugh at how much silly fun I was having...then I started to get motion sick and realized I was too old to be swinging, time to try out the slides!! I spent the next few minutes racing my sister up the stairs and down the slides. It was thrilling!

Life is full of up's and down's, so why don't we enjoy them just like we enjoy the up's and down's at the playground? From the time we are a toddler we are drawn to the up's and down's of swings and slides. We love the feeling we get as we soar through the air or speed towards the ground. Do we lose this love of adventure as we grow older? I don't think we do. You don't find many adults running around at the park, but go to Disneyland and you'll see plenty of adults experiencing these same thrills on fast moving roller coasters.So how do these adventures differ from the ones we experience in our daily living?

Each day we are faced with new high's and lo's. Each day is an adventure. Each day we get to choose how we are going to react to it. We love life when things are looking up. Sometimes we love going up so much that we take advantage of it and miss the opportunities to be grateful for the good times. When we realize that life is starting to pull us downward it can be scary. It's easy to want to curl up in a ball and never get out of bed. We don't like to face the down side of life and often cry out that it's too hard or too scary. We get those nervous butterflies in the stomach and wonder why we have to go through this. However, I believe that if we could take a lesson from the playground we can discover the thrill of going down in life as well. When you start going down in a swing or a roller coaster, and you get those butterflies in your stomach what do most people do? Laugh. Kids laugh the hardest as they swing down, all over amusement parks you hear the laughter as people raise their arms up and head downward. Is it scary? Yeah it can be, but when we laugh our way through the fear we find joy in the journey. When we laugh at the hard stuff we find our burdens become a little lighter.

The next time you find yourself experiencing the up's and down's of your life, I encourage you to appreciate the up's and laugh through the down's. I promise you will find life to be much more enjoyable when you treat it like a day at the park!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Slaying Dragons

"Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten." G.K. Chesterton

Dragons, evil witches, magic spells, and curses all plague our fairy tales and give the prince and/or princess something to fight against. These stories are always a battle between good versus evil. Life is the same way. We may not run around talking to animals and singing our innermost thoughts, but we are all waging a battle with some sort of dragon.

Snow White had the evil queen, Prince Philip battled the dragon, Cinderella had an evil step-mother, and The Beast struggled with a life long curse. Just as each character has it's own specific foe our battles are very specific to us as well. You may be fighting a chronic illness, struggling to find your true love, or even dealing with tough family issues. No matter what you are going through isn't it comforting to know that good always triumphs, the hero always wins.

Is the battle always an easy one? No. In stories and in life all battles take a great deal of hard work, courage, perseverance, and faith. As we approach our inner dragons we must be properly armed, we need to have our sword and our shield. We need to have a belief in ourselves and our ability to overcome anything that comes our way. When we stand strong with a firm determination to never give up no matter how hard life gets we arm ourselves with a power that is extremely difficult to beat.

So, let us take a lesson from the stories we grew up with as children...we can win! Is life always going to be  sunshine and rainbows? No, but just as every life has struggles and dark times; every life has victories. Don't give up the fight and one day you will slay a dragon of your own.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Everyday Blessings

I saw a quote on pinterest one day that stopped me in my tracks and really got me thinking. It said, "God gave you 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say thank you?" I wake up every morning and kneel to pray. In that prayer I thank Heavenly Father for bringing me safely through the night, but after reading this quote I had to stop and think; what had I thanked Him for throughout my day?

Here is another quote I love about gratitude:

"The Prophet Joseph said at one time that one of the greatest sins of which the Latter-day Saints would be guilty is the sin of ingratitude. I presume most of us have not thought of that as a great sin. There is a great tendency for us in our prayers and in our pleadings with the Lord to ask for additional blessings. But sometimes I feel we need to devote more of our prayers to expressions of gratitude and thanksgiving for blessings already received. We enjoy so much." -Pres. Ezra Taft Benson (God,Family,Country, Salt Lake City. Deseret BookCo., 1974, p.199)

Everyday we are blessed with so many things that even if we used every one of our 86,400 seconds to say thank you it would never be enough. It is important that we take time to say thank you anyway!

Here are a few of the things I am grateful for today:

  • My Family
  • A Living Prophet
  • Temples
  • Friends
  • Sunsets
  • My Home
  • Scriptures
What would be on your list right now?

Peter Breinholt sings a song on the topic of gratitude that I love! As you watch this clip I hope you hear a few things you could add to your list of everyday blessings to be thankful for. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chronic Illness

I know that for the most part people mean well when they say things like in the picture above, but really it doesn't help. I've pretty much heard them all and it quite literally stabs you in the heart. Being sick is the last thing anyone with a chronic illness wants, I guarantee they've already tried getting rest, exercise, and taken every medication out there with a possibility of helping. We already know about everyone who has similar conditions who are either better or worse than we seem to be. Oh and just because we look good, doesn't mean we feel good.

I have struggled with illness most of my life. My illnesses are not ones you can see by looking at me, unless you happen to see me during one of spells. I have good days and bad days. I also have days that aren't that great, but I have to push through and find a way to live anyway. If you were to run into me at the grocery store on that day you wouldn't know the battle I'm fighting inside. You wouldn't be able to see how badly my body just wants to lie down, or how much pain I'm in. You wouldn't see how heavy my heart is because all I want is to feel better. I'm kind of a stubborn person and I don't like asking for help, so even if you were to come over on one of my really bad days you would still see a smile on my face and me acting as normal as possible; after you left I would crawl into bed and cry.

So, if you are a well-meaning person who knows someone with chronic illness you may be wondering,  what kind of things are okay to say? What kind of things do help? In my experience the thing that helps the most is just knowing you're not alone. Having a friend that comes over on a rough day and watches a movie with you, or calls to let you know you're on their mind. Those are things that help. Be thoughtful, think of things you don't like doing when you're sick and do that for someone else. On my bad days I absolutely hate cooking, so having someone bring me dinner is a huge help. I also hate having a dirty house, but I don't always feel well enough to clean it, so when a friend stops by to help wash my dishes I am overwhelmed with gratitude. There are ways to help without using any of the phrases above.

I know everyone is unique when it comes to facing trials, but I honestly don't think I'm all that different from someone else who suffers from a chronic illness. So, next time you come in contact with a friend or family member who is struggling please think before you speak. Do something that will actually help them. Let them feel your love.

For my friends who also suffer through chronic illness, let's remember that people do mean well and give them a break. I'm sure they are doing the best they know how.

Luvs & Hugs

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


What inspires you? Do you have a go to thing or person that you turn to when you feel the need for a bit of a lift? What is it about your "go to thing" that inspires you?

Let me share with you a few things that inspire me.

I love to surround myself with people who inspire me to be the best me I can be. They bring out a side of me that I love to see. When I am around certain people I feel better about myself. I feel confident, happy, and carefree. I don't worry about what they are thinking of me, or acting a certain way around them. I simply know that I can be myself. There are people I look up to and strive to be like. It's not that I want to be who they are, because I like being me. However, there are certain qualities that I see in others that I would like to bring out more in myself. I believe that everyone has some good in them, but there are certain people that no matter how hard I try, it is difficult to stay true to yourself when I am around them. They seem to suck the life out of me, and make my heart feel so heavy. Then there are those who make me feel light, happy, and comfortable. These are the people who inspire me.

Music is a very strong avenue for inspiration to me. Depending on the song music can inspire me to clean my house, write, sing, dance, cry, and simply feel. I believe there is a perfect song for every moment if you listen for it. As an example, I'm currently listening to a beautiful piece of piano music by Jim Brickman. The melody is so peaceful and inspires me to ponder. This pondering mood helps me to write the thoughts that are flowing through my mind. It helps me tap into that creative center somewhere inside and bring it out into the light. When I get ready in the mornings I turn on music with a beat. My hairbrush and I have a blast jamming out to the latest hits! Music is more than just notes strung together; music is the language of my soul.

I believe that the closer one gets to God the more inspired they will be in all aspects of life. I have found there are two specific places that I can go to feel close to God and the inspiration I seek. One is the temple, the house of the Lord. I love to spend time just sitting in the celestial room pondering on life. I can come here with questions regarding what I should be doing with my life, or how to work through specific problems and leave with the answers I needed. I always leave the temple with a cup brimming with peace, happiness, and inspiration to accomplish all my righteous desires. There is no better place on Earth to feel close to heaven. My second go to place for inspiration is nature Anywhere I can be alone with the sun, trees, and a gentle breeze are perfect. I've found inspiration while sitting on the beach listening to the waves rolling in, sitting on a rock listening to the wind in the trees, sitting next to a brook listening as the water runs over the rocks. Nature is such a powerful inspiration to me. I feel so close to God as I surround myself with His creations. I feel something so magical in these places that I find it hard to leave. The hustle and bustle of city living is gone and with it the stress of daily of living, all that is left is peace and tranquility.

We all have need for inspiration in our lives, whether it be to make changes in our lives help someone in need, or just get through the day with a smile on our face. I know that at the moment, I'm feeling really inspired to go eat a cookie and watch a chick flick!

Luvs & Hugs

Monday, September 17, 2012

Back in the Swing of Things

Hello everyone! I know it has been a while since I have posted anything here. I have been dealing with some issues with my health that have really needed my attention as well as working on a few other projects that took priority over posting to this blog. However, that is all changing right NOW. I have taken the time to set some things up so that I will be posting to this blog at least every other day.

I'll start off, by giving a quick update on where I'm at in life. My health has been pretty bad for a while now. However, about six months ago things got even worse. I've spent most of that time in and out of the hospital for a variety of tests including a spinal tap, and several injections into my neck. During this time I temporarily moved back in with my mom, so that she could help take care of me. To make a long story short, I am now at a point where I am feeling much better and was able to make back home a little over a week ago. It feels nice to be home, but I do miss being able to see my family every day.

Life moves on and time passes faster than I would like. On August 5th, I turned 31 and was therefore asked to leave my singles ward and start attending a family ward. This change hasn't been too big of a significance yet because I've been so sick that I haven't been able to attend church that much, but now that I am home and my records will be transferred to the family ward here things are going to start getting interesting. I'm praying for a smooth transition. I'm sure I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

Although it's been a long time since I posted on this blog, there really haven't been any major changes in my life. I still get up everyday hoping for the best, and go to bed each night doing the same. I strive day in and day out to find things to fill my time, bring me happiness, and help others any way I can. I waste more time than I should checking facebook, browsing pinterest, and watching tv. I'm still the same me I have always been. So, if you haven't given up on me yet and are still reading this I hope you will continue to stick around and together we will share some thoughts along this journey we call life!

Luvs & Hugs,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Balancing Act

My entire life has been one big balancing act. I try hard to stay on the Well side of this scale, but too often find myself teetering between the two...or all the way on the Sick side.
Today I feel like I'm right in the middle. I have a sore throat, ear that slightly aches, and a mild headache. I don't feel on my deathbed sick, but I'm not feeling healthy as an ox either. At times like this it's hard to know how to react. Any one thing could tip the scale one way or another. If I try to do too much I could find myself sliding towards illness. If I go to the doctor and catch an illness before it hits to hard I would be headed for healthier days. However, I am not one to go to the doctor unless I really feel like there is something they could do for me. So, for now I will spend my time right in the middle of the scale. I will drink lots of OJ, spend all day on the couch watching movies, take some ibuprofen, and hope things get better before they get worse.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Strengths and Weaknesses

Have you ever been sitting in an interview and been asked to tell them some of your strengths and some of your weaknesses? I have and I struggle with finding an answer every time. Why is it so difficult to admit our weaknesses and to acknowledge our strengths? This question applies to all of life as well, not just in an interview.

I believe we all need to take a step back and really own up to our weaknesses. We need to clean out the closet and humble ourselves enough to realize that we aren't perfect and that's okay, we weren't meant to be. Once we humbly admit our weaknesses we can find a way to push past them, work around them, and most importantly let God turn them into strengths. As I talk about recognizing our weaknesses I do not mean that we nit pick every little thing we don't like about ourselves and end up with a list a mile long and still growing. This is not a productive recognition of weakness, it is a way of beating ourselves up and will ultimately only drag us down emotionally.

A few of the weaknesses I see in myself are the fact that I am very shy when I first meet people. I don't like to be the center of attention. When I'm in large groups of people, especially ones I don't know very well, I would much rather sit back and observe everyone rather than get up and participate in whatever is going on. Because of this I tend to miss out on a lot of the fun. I am easily overlooked and forgotten about because I kept myself on the sidelines and not in the limelight. Another weaknesses of mine is that I am constantly worried about what others are thinking of me. I worry that I will do something stupid and everyone will make fun of me. I worry about being criticized or judged by my peers. I don't live the life most people think I should be living at my age and since I criticize myself for that I imagine that everyone else is as well.

Not long ago a good friend and I were discussing the topic of personal strengths and he asked me to tell him a few that I saw in myself. I struggled to come up with some. After seeing my struggle he gave me an assignment to go home and list as many personal strengths I could come up with. Then ask two of my family members to give me two strengths that they saw in me. After talking with family I was then to ask two of my closest friends to also tell me a few strengths they saw in me. When I was all done I was supposed to send him the list of what everyone had said.

I found it very interesting that my friends and family came up with things I had not thought of myself. Why is it that others can see the good in us that we don't see in ourselves? I learned a lot from this experience as I pondered on the things they had said and spent a lot of time praying for the ability to recognize those strengths in myself. It took some time, but I am proud to say that I found those strengths. I saw them and was grateful for them.

I am a loving person full of kindness for others. I am very non-judgmental of others and accept them as they are. I'm a good listener and am always there for others when they need me. I'm very thoughtful of others and spend time planning and executing ways that I can cheer someone up or help them get through a rough time. I have very vivid mind and a talent for writing. I communicate much better through writing than any other form of communication. When writing I am truly able to express my thoughts and feelings in a way that makes sense. I also have a deep and abiding testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This gives me the ability to remain strong in life and faith even when life seems to hit me hard and throws challenges my way that seem impossible to overcome.

Owning up to my weaknesses and recognizing my strengths helps me to understand myself a little bit better. I can't think of a better person to get to know better than myself. That may sound like a very conceited thing to say, but I firmly believe it is true. Once we come to know who we really are we are able to face life with a sense of confidence and purpose. We are able to see the good in others just as we see it in ourselves. We are able to love ourselves the way our Heavenly Father loves us. Knowing what makes us who were are gives us a special kind of power to face life head on and enjoy every minute of it.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Looking Forward

This is a time of year where many people start looking forward as they set goals for things they want to accomplish, and changes they want to make. I do this as well to an extent. I plan goals and imagine what I would like my life to be like a year from now. However, at this point is is easy for me to stop, turn around, and look back at where I've been and where I am right now. I know the things I want to change and accomplish but I inadvertently end up allowing the past to rule my future. I let the mistakes and failures of my past tell me that I won't be able to make the changes I wish to make in the days ahead. Once this thought is placed in my mind I lose my gusto to start any new goals.

This is where I have to take the time to get on my knees and pour my sorrow and frustration out to the Lord. I know that on my own I probably will not be able to change the things I'd like to change...but...with the Lord by my side I can do ANYTHING!

In order to make sure I have the Lord's guiding hand in all I do I know I must always do the basics. I must study my scriptures daily, pray daily, serve others, attend my meetings, etc. If I don't exercise my faith in Him then His hands are tied and He can not bless me the way I need Him to. He stands ready and waiting for me to come to him. It's all up to me, it's all my choice.

Here's to a great New Year!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Ending of a Year

Even though we are all probably still writing 2011 down when we have to date something and may do so for another week or two, the year 2011 is officially over. I sat down earlier today to just ponder and reflect on what 2011 brought to my life. I hope you don't mind if I start of the first post of the new year by taking a little trip down memory lane...

I had a lot of fun times in 2011, crossed a few things off my bucket list, and made a bunch of awesome memories. Here are some of the things I did this past year:
  1. Spent an awesome night with my brother going to dinner and then going to see Brian Regan perform live. It was epic!
  2. I was able to go with my sister when she received her patriarchal blessing. What an amazing experience that was! She has such a strong spirit and is so loved by her Heavenly Father. I am very lucky to have her as my sister and best friend.
  3. I was given a new calling that was fun but also stretched me to my limits. I learned that it's not as easy to plan ward activities as it may seem. I also learned that the Lord gives us callings to help us grow and develop not because we are perfect at the task he's asking us to do.
  4. I yelled at an ER worker at Ogden Regional Hospital when they wouldn't let me in to see my sister who had just been brought in by ambulance after falling and breaking her ankle. I'm usually not the aggressive type but when you come between me and my family the claws come out and I will do whatever it takes to take care of my family. It was actually kind of fun, and taught me that the "stand up to anyone, no matter what" part of me is in there when I need it.
  5. Stayed at my mom's house to help my sister with her broken ankle. Despite the difficult situation we all had a lot of fun together. I even discovered I have a hidden talent! It is probably one that will stay hidden except to family and very close friends. haha!
  6. I went cliff jumping for the first time this summer. I know with my health jumping off cliffs probably isn't the smartest thing I've ever done, but I really wanted to do it. Now, I can cross that off my bucket list! It was an exhilarating experience. Scary and fun all at the same time. In doing this I learned a little bit more about overcoming my fears and jumping into life with all I have. I also learned the power of friends. The first time I jumped I was quite nervous but a good friend of mine stepped up and jumped with me. She didn't come up and push me off, or tease me until I jumped out of spite. She simply stepped forward as a support helping me to do it on my own. I love her for that.
  7. I got to go on a small vacation to St. George to see a few plays at the Tuachan and spend some quality time with my mom and sister. We had such a great time! It was the perfect end to a less than ideal summer.
  8. I had the opportunity to volunteer with an amazing organization for teen girls called The Ivy Girl Academy. It was a wonderful event and I know it blessed the lives of the girls that were there as well as my own. I hope to be able to work with this wonderful organization again. PS. If you have teen girls and live in Utah, Idaho, or Arizona check out this link and get your girls involved in this program...
  9. I was able to meet three wonderful Aussie women and attend a Time Out For Women event with them. It was great fun and very spiritually uplifting.
  10. I developed a few new obsessions such as Pinterest, One Tree Hill, and Swagbucks.
Life is a bumpy road and the past year had plenty of up's and down's. As I look back though, I am just as grateful for the nights I stayed up all night laughing my head off, as I am the nights I cried myself to sleep because life was just too hard. Each of those moments brought something into my life. They brought joy and growth. I learned how wonderful it feels to let go of the stress and have fun. I also learned that I am stronger than I thought I was. I can do hard things.

Now I look ahead to 2012 and wonder what is in store. I wonder how many times my heart will break and how many times it will smile. I wonder what grand adventures are in store for me and those I love. I wonder what new memories I will make and treasure for the rest of my life. I look forward to whatever is headed my way; to the good times I smile in anticipation, to the bad times I say "Bring it on!"

I hope you all have a wonderful year ahead of you as well!