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!!