Monday, December 12, 2011

One Amazing Girl!

I have had the amazing opportunity to be blessed with an incredible friend who has taught me so many amazing lessons. So I wanted to give you guys that same opportunity. Here is an article written by her mom about Allisa Berry's story.

“It’s a WHAT?!!!!”

Those were the first words my daughter Allisa heard from her mother as she entered into this mortal life. We had moved to a suburb of Little Rock Arkansas just 2 weeks before I was due to give birth to our fourth child, who according to my Dr.’s best guess, was going to be a little boy. We had chosen the name Michael Robert and I had made an adorable little quilt with choo choo trains and teddy bears to bring him home in.

The baby was due on my sister’s wedding anniversary,

July17, and all of my other babies had been born either on or close to their due dates. This baby was different! On the morning of July 17, right on schedule, I began to have contractions. My mother was flying out from Utah to help, as we had not lived in our new location long enough to even know anyone. My labor continued to progress and it seemed that we would pick Grandma up from the airport, take her and the children home, and go straight to the hospital. As we rounded the freeway and the airport came into view, my contractions suddenly stopped. After 6+ hours of labor, Nothing! We waited, and waited. We waited for days! We took a trip to Memphis and walked around Graceland in 95 degree heat…NOTHING!

After 10 days of waiting,

my mother had to return home. When she arrived she was met with some intense family drama and the next day my Grandfather called. He told me that I should not worry about my sweet baby being so late. “That little baby is in a place where she can not only be safe from the influence of the adversary, but where she can help to bless those who are having such a hard time in our family.” “She will come when she has done all that Heavenly Father needs her to do.” At the time, I didn’t pick up on the “she” part.

Allisa was born 17 days late,

exactly when she was ready, despite all that I could possibly do to encourage her otherwise, being born at exactly 7:00 am and weighing exactly 8lbs. This was the beginning of a lifetime of doing things exactly as she knew she should!

When Allisa was about 4 years old,

she had a very special experience that I have pondered on many times over the years. We had come home from church and the children had all gone down for a nap, but when the others kids woke up, Allisa would not. She napped for over 4 hours and no matter what I did to try to wake her, she simply would not wake up. Finally she dragged into the kitchen around 7:00 that night…her gaze was very contemplative and far away. I asked her if she was feeling OK and she replied that she had been having a dream. I asked her what the dream was about and she replied that she had been talking with Jesus. When I prodded for more details, she simply replied that they had been talking about “things” and that He had told her that He loved her very much.

Allisa has always been strong willed.

Once she makes her mind up about something, that is the way it is going to be. When she entered the Young Women’s program, she decided that she wanted to get her medallion by the time she was 14, and she did it. She also chose to receive her Patriarchal Blessing that same year. She ran long distance and participated at the State level when she was a Freshman. She always has had a high moral code for dress and behavior. Never has there been a time when as a parent I have had to remind her to pull up her tank or cover her back side. Never have I ever had to worry about who she was with or what she might be doing, because her standards were set so high and every one she associated with knew it.

Just before she began High School

we felt impressed to move our family to the town where we now reside. It was 45 miles further away from my husband’s work, but the impression came so strongly with a warning that “if we did not go then, it would be too late”.

The new High school proved to be anything but an easy adjustment.

On the first day of school I hugged Allisa and her older sister and enthusiastically asked how their first day had been, to which they both gloomily replied that not one soul had spoken to them. Being the eternal optimist I gave some promising remark that it would get better, and after a few weeks, Allisa’s cousin invited her to hang out with he and a few friends. I was relieved as friends are so important to kids at this age.

On Christmas night 2008,

just 3 weeks after taking her only brother to the MTC, Allisa became very ill. At first the symptoms seemed flu like and they came and went with varying rates of intensity, but after a few days it became apparent that there was something else wrong. We took her from one person to the next and after 3 weeks, the pain became nearly unbearable, and she would vomit several times a day. Though feeling literally like crud, Allisa never complained. When I would ask her how she was doing, she always replied, “I’m fine” or “I’m going to be fine”. On January 19, 2009, we discovered the first tumor. It was growing in the left frontal lobe of her brain and measured 7cm. She underwent 6 hours of surgery 2 days later, which revealed that the tumor was not only malignant, but was a glialblastoma…the most aggressive and deadly form of brain cancer.

Allisa’s first miracle came

in the form of no significant changes to her personality post surgery. We were so happy to still have the girl we knew and loved. The next few days she proved her power of determination and was climbing the stairs 2 days after surgery. We left the hospital just 3 days later.

After recovering,

Allisa began intensive Chemo and Radiation therapy. A side note here is that Allisa has ALWAYS had long beautiful hair, which she absolutely loved! Within a few weeks of treatment, her hair began to fall out by the handfuls. She was sad, but did not let it get her down. Instead she saved the strands and made a braid and sent it to her brother who was by now in Taiwan. It totally freaked him out, which was what she was hoping it would do! :0)

Allisa was in treatment for 3 months.

During that time, aside from the days immediately after she returned home from the hospital, not a single soul called or came to check on her. Days and then weeks passed and nothing. No one from her school, no one from her Young Women’s organization, no one. I felt varying emotions from being sad, to being frustrated to being plain out angry, but Allisa never said anything. She never complained. Instead, she became my best friend and reminded me that even Christ had times when He was deserted by His friends.

When faced with the decision to continue

a second round of Chemo or not, we asked Allisa what she felt. Her Dr.’s had no conclusive evidence that further treatments would be of any benefit, but thought that it might be wise due to the nature of the tumor. We were concerned about the long term health issues. We sought guidance and she was blessed to received a powerful priesthood blessing from a member of our Stake Presidency in which she was promised that the Lord would let her know in no uncertain terms what course of action was the right one for her. After returning home from the stake center, she went downstairs and came back up some time later. Her eyes were tear stained and she said simply, “I asked Heavenly Father, and I don’t have to do any more chemo.” The Spirit bore a strong witness that this was true.

One day in August,

there was a knock at the door and when we answered it, we found a rose with a note indicating that it was for Allisa. There was no name to indicate who it was from, and this continued for the next several weeks. Sometimes the roses were obviously from a home garden, and sometimes the flowers were ones that I recognized as those that grow in our local mountain area. Finally Allisa figured out that the anonymous door ditcher was a boy in our ward. The two became good friends rather quickly as both it seemed were considered ‘odd ducks’ by their peers.

Allisa returned to school that fall wearing hats.

The dress code strictly forbids hats, and during the first week, despite my best efforts to inform administration about her condition, Allisa was cornered by the principle and ordered to take her hat off or leave the building. She just stood there somewhat confused and feeling totally humiliated until another administrator came to her rescue and informed the gentleman that “this is the girl I was telling you about!” This was unfortunately the beginning of a very hard time emotionally for her. The kids that she had met the year before suddenly did not recognize her. If she said hi in the halls, they would just turn and walk away. She sat alone at lunch much of the time, and on the days that she would go and sit with some of the kids she had known before, they would ignore her and talk about plans that did not include her. I know her heart hurt, but she never was angry. Instead she made up her mind that she was going to be the one to seek out someone who looked lonely. She made it a point to say hello and flash a big smile to every person whose gaze she caught.

Her classes also proved to be an up hill battle

as the tumor had caused her to lose much of her short term memory and both her science and math skills. Many days she came home exhausted from just trying to understand what was going on. Some of her teachers were helpful and understanding, and others treated her like she had just had a bad cold. They simply could not understand why she was struggling. After all, she looked just like any other high school kid except she wore a hat. She worked hard, sometimes for hours on a single subject. Her personal standard was so high, that she would not accept anything less than what she knew was her very best work.

One of her favorite school classes

was working with disabled kids. She was assigned to a boy named Kevin who had severe physical handicaps. His body was misshapen and he could not speak, and yet the two of them had a sweet connection. Her Seminary teacher asked if she might be willing to attend the special needs seminary class and help with the students there. This would mean that she would miss out on the deeper doctrinal discussions, as these kids were more at the level of a young primary child, but Allisa accepted the call with enthusiasm. She and the other kids each had a special needs student that they would go and get from their class room in the main school building and carefully walk with them outside to the seminary building. Then they would help them to hold their scriptures, or sing songs or say prayers. Most days, there would be some sort of challenge or interruption, but the spirit in that class of Celestial people was often tangible.

It always bothered Allisa

that kids were so caught up in the drama of high school and missed out on those things that really mattered that were of a more eternal nature. She made it a point to attend release time seminary even though she was so very behind in her schooling requirements.

As the school year wore on,

her friend from the ward who was by the way, home schooled, did his best to make her feel important. When it came time for one of the dances, he asked her to go…even though he was not even technically a student. He arranged for a group of other home school kids to go with them, and knowing that she would have to wear a hat, he wore one too. She looked like a princess, because she was treated like one.

She worked hard through two summers

and with the help of a couple of key administrators, Allisa graduated High School on time with a 3.8 GPA. While most kids have big plans for their graduation night, Allisa didn’t. Instead, she came home and watched a movie with her family.

Allisa has always had a bit of a feddish about cleaning.

It’s what she does when she gets stressed. Many were the times that a weekend would come and go and no invitations would be extended to join in…rather than grumbling or complaining, Allisa would start to clean the house. I’m not sure if she did it to blow off steam, or just to help me out, I rather think it may have been a combination of both.

Allisa got her driver’s license just 3 weeks before her 18th birthday.

She had been so busy the two summers before with her schooling, that there had not been time for her to take the classes offered at the high school. She was determined to get her license before she turned 18, and so she took night time driver’s ed classes. Whenever some one would ask her why she was so long in getting her license, she would smile big and say, “oh, I had a brain tumor”. She often laughs at people’s responses because she totally catches them off guard. No one seems to quite know how to respond to a brain tumor and a smile! Most people stumble over an awkward apology and she kindly assures them that, “it’s ok, I’m fine”.

Allisa and her Mom (that’s me) have been asked to speak

on several occasions to young women and their leaders about her challenge and how she overcame it. Every time she left one of these speaking assignments she always had a glow. “That is what I want to do with my life!” She has said that so many times! “I want to talk to people about the power of being positive and having faith in their Savior. I want them to know that they can accomplish anything with His help.”

On Nov 21, 2011, just 2 weeks after starting her first real job,

Allisa was diagnosed with another tumor. This one being inoperable and with little hope for treatment options being offered by the medical community. Her Dr.’s predictions are bleak at best, but her attitude has not changed one bit. “we just press forward” she says to people who ask how she is handling the news. She accepts with peace and humility that her time here on earth could be coming to a close, but at the same time she looks forward with incredible faith that if it is His will, that the Lord can heal her of this trial and work a miracle.

Just 4 days ago,

Allisa was blessed to receive special permission to enter the temple and receive her own endowment. Though young in years, her spiritual maturity is astounding. She simply understands the Plan and her role in it. Triviality of the world does not phase her. Hers is the bigger picture of the returning of the Savior and being ready for Him is all that matters to her. She talks of her future as though it is a given, though the reality is that it may not be so. We speak openly about the possibility that she may be called home and she is so at peace. At the same time, she is ready to do what ever it may take in order to stay if that is His will.

I have hardly touched the surface

of what an amazing life my sweet daughter has led. She hasn’t been the most popular kid in the school, but she has changed lives for the better by keeping her standards high and staying positive. Regardless of what The Lord may choose, we are blessed to know that we will always be a family, and I am honored that Heavenly Father would trust me with one of His most choice daughters. She is not only my daughter, she is my friend and a true example of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.


If you want to here more about this incredible girl and her amazing life click here

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Challenge!

Not going to lie this has been a pretty hard sunday for me. One of my really good friends Allisa Berry has been given one week to live because a tumor has spread too big too fast in her brain. A week?!  Isn't that crazy. The worst part is she gets to spend the last week in pain with terrible headaches. I feel really bad for her. I have never lost someone I have been close to before. But you know? It is an amazing time to think about what the plan of salvation really means to me. And if I really believe it. Do I think that there really is a life after death? Or that it is a loving place? Or that this is the true gospel? I may not know everything but the peace I feel tells me that there is life after we die. And the place that we go is going to be a place of love, a kind of love that you have never felt before. You may have gotten sneak peeks at that love with amazing family moments or profound spiritual experience but just wait until you feel all the love that Christ has to offer. And I know that this gospel is true. I also know that we were each given a plan before we came on this earth. A loving Heavenly Father loved us so much that he put so much time and effort into this plan. Christ, our loving older brother was willing to sacrifice himself so that that plan could bring us back to his and our Father's presence. So this Christmas season lets remember everything Christ has done for us. I would also like to challenge you to think of something that we can give Christ for Christmas. After all isn't it his birthday? It could be a habit that we are going to give up, or maybe a new one that we are going to start, or maybe serving someone in need. I challenge you think of something. I promise it will make your Christmas more meaningful. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Light Bulb!

So I had another amazing Light Bulb moment this weekend. You know when something all of the sudden just hits you or you just realized something and wonder why the heck you didn't realize this sooner? Well I had that... But... before I tell you all about my amazing new insight I am going to catch you up with college.
I have had a great couple of weeks! I am meeting TONS of fun new people. The last weekends I have gone to an ugly sweater party, had girl talk with these fun new friends, went to an Acrobat show, and then remade the acrobat show with my roomie.Camped out for the BYU vs. Utah State game. Utah State dominated! Yes. It has been a great couple of weeks.
So now for my new insight.. So ever since I have moved out for college I have had the hardest time comparing myself to others.Well, I was at an amazing Utah State game and all of the sudden it just hit me like a rock as I was cheering on the Aggies. Do I really want to spend the rest of my life wishing I was someone else? Wishing that I was more beautiful, skinnier, had longer legs, or longer hair. Or wishing that I was peppier, or funnier, or more outgoing? Is this really how I want it to be the rest of my life? No. Definitely not. Why do we compare ourselves to others so much? I think everyone would be so much happier if they started accepting themselves for who they are and just worked to be the best they could be. So lets all stop comparing. Be proud of who you are :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

SWEET TRI!

Yes. Everyone.. I did a Triathlon! And.. It was.... AMAZING!!!! And I have to thank my amazing sister for convincing me into it. I have always wanted to do some kind of "athlon". But I think that I am madly in love with Triathlons. They are SO much fun.
Our Triathlon was in Snowflake Arizona. Never heard of it? Well it is the cutest little town in Arizona. One of those towns where everyone knows everyone. My sister's brother in law was the chairman of that race so that is why we decided to take a little trip to Arizona to do a Tri.
It was a sprint distance Triathlon.. Which pretty much means it isn't as long as normal ones.. It was a 525 yd swim (10.5 laps I think.. But 525 yds sounds further), 13 mile bike ride, and a 5k run. I have never really swam before this at all, but the swimming was actually my favorite part. The bike ride was ok... there was just a lot of hills... Who likes hills when they are riding a bike? Not me. But the city was beautiful! And we rode past the Snowflake temple.That was neat! The run.. sucked. Legs do not like to switch from biking to running. They were screaming at me to stop the first mile, which I triumphantly told them to SHUSH and kept running.... And running... I definitely decided that I never want to run a Marathon... But I finished! And it felt so great. Life goal accomplished! I decided to make a goal on trying to do one a year :) And someday maybe I will get the guts to attempt a half marathon, and a full triathlon :)
Me and My sissy :) 

Yup... That is the finish line! Sadly I didn't get any pictures during the race.... :(

My body markings.. I felt so legit with these. 18 is my age and 28 is my number :) 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Why can't we just be happy?

So life as an Aggie is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Not going to lie it is UBER stressful. It is full of reading textbooks... bleh.. Not the funnest thing in the world. Especially when it is a science text book- but to give some credit to the author he really does try to make things interesting.He says things like "more to come in chapter 6 about the birth of our beloved beam of energy we call our son". I came up with that line by myself but I am not lying there are many lines like that in this amazingly wonderful textbook which i LOVE to read. NOT. But College really is great. I am learning a ton and even though I do not find pleasure in reading textbooks I do find myself loving how much knowledge I am gaining. And Roomies are great :) But I have this hunch that they are trying to fatten me up... They bake sweets SO much.. And I can't stop myself from eating them. Oh well though :) My room mate Amber always says that all the fat people are happy. So if I get fat from eating yumminess then I have no doubt I will be a happy fat person. So there is some updates on college but lets get back to the title of this post.. Why can't we just be happy? I have asked myself this so much lately. I realized that I have always been one to wait on my happiness. Saying things like "when I am 16 and can drive and date I will be happy" and then when I was 16 I said "when I am 18 and partying in college I will be happy". Well I didn't think there was anything wrong with that until I started college and I started thinking "when I graduate college and am married I will be happy". Well I realized that this needed to come to an end. I was going to be happy with my life here and now. Why am I in such a rush? I am in college baby! It was also cool because a couple days after I set my goal on being happy NOW I listened to Elder Uchtodorf's talk in the Relief Society broadcast. Which was GREAT. If you haven't read it-read it here. (That is the first time I have done a connection to a link! Happy day! I am going to be the best blogger someday) haha
Temple day :) 

First Utah state game as an AGGIE

Before the Paint Dance for Homecoming week. 

After the Paint Dance which was a BLAST

I may or may not have smooched this babe to become a True Aggie ;)

Me and My Best Friend/Roomie- We are matching! Cute huh? 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A shout out to all the Bloggers! :)

 I was reading President Uchdorf's talk from last conference Waiting on the Road to Damascus- Amazing talk. I love listening to him speak. But as I was reading I came across this quote which I thought was fantastic and cool for all you bloggers out there. 
"With so many social media resources and a multitude of more or less useful gadgets at our disposal, sharing the good news of the gospel is easier and the effects more far-reaching than ever before. In fact, I am almost afraid that some listening have already sent text messages like “He’s been speaking for 10 minutes and still no aviation analogy!” My dear young friends, perhaps the Lord’s encouragement to “open [your] mouths” 9 might today include “use your hands” to blog and text message the gospel to all the world! But please remember, all at the right time and at the right place."
As I have read a lot of my friends blogs and others I realized just how amazing this is. I know I have been inspired by all your guys's blogs. So I wanted to thank everyone out there for their fantastic blogs and for the testimony's that they bear in them! You really are spreading the gospel and changing life's even if that isn't even what you are trying to do.

Sometimes you just got to Plank...

Well I am in college! And I am just loving it! I went to my first frat party tonight... wow... It was um.. interesting. Me and my roomies got there at like 920 ish and left at 10.. we figured that planking around campus would be more uplifting. Don't know what planking is??? Well... You are definitely missing out then! Pretty much you just go on some random object and balance with you stomach putting your feet up and your hands to your sides. It was pretty fun! And very uplifting.





Sorry guys! I meant to post this about a month ago and forgot! Hopefully you enjoy! More to come on college soon :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Never Grow Up!

Never Grow Up- Taylor Swift 
Your little hands wrapped around my finger
And it's so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter 'cause you're dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light

To you, everything's funny
You got nothing to regret
I'd give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that

Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
It could stay this simple

I won't let nobody hurt you
Won't let no one break your heart
No, no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, never grow up

You're in the car on the way to the movies
And you're mortified your mom's dropping you off
At 14, there's just so much you can't do
And you can't wait to move out someday and call your own shots

But don't make her drop you off around the block
Remember that she's getting older, too
And don't lose the way that you dance around
In your PJs getting ready for school

Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up


No one's ever burned you
Nothing's ever left you scarred
And even though you want to
Just try to never grow up

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room
Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home
Remember the footsteps, remember the words said
And all your little brother's favorite songs

I just realized everything I have
Is someday gonna be gone

So here I am in my new apartment
In a big city, they just dropped me off
It's so much colder than I thought it would be
So I tuck myself in and turn my night light on

Wish I'd never grown up
I wish I'd never grown up

Oh, I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up
Could still be little
Oh, I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up
It could still be simple

Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
It could stay this simple

Won't let nobody hurt you
Won't let no one break your heart
And even through to you want to
Please try to never grow up

Don't you ever grow up
(Never grow up)
Just never grow up

Well.. This song pretty much sums up what I am feeling right now! I am really excited to move out and for this next year and all the new experiences that I am going to have but WOW I am nervous. And I do still wish in some ways that I will still a little girl. I am going to miss my family so much. I realize now as I am getting ready to leave how much they really do mean to me. I am so lucky to have them! They are not perfect, but hey! What family is? My family has always been perfect in one way though, and that is making sure I know how much I am loved! And I have never doubted that I was loved and that I had someone to turn too. They made me into the person I am today and I am so grateful for them. So world here I come.. I am not a little girl anymore... haha This should be fun! :) 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

UPDATES ON COLLEGE :)


Well... I have a month left before I am moved out! Holy cow isn't that crazy. I am so excited to start talking about college life. And to say that I am officially a hot college woman. That is right, once you enter college you are a woman. haha But I got some fun things for the apartment today :) So it just got me thinking about it. Well.. I guess you couldn't say fun but I got some organizers and such. Want me to tell you everything I have for my cute little apartment? Ok, I will! I now have a laundry basket, a cool baggy to put underwear and such in and you put it in the washer inside that bag and you don't lose your underwear and socks in the washer! I have a nifty bag to wash shoes in too. Pretty sweet, Thank you Walmart. I also have a lovely shoe hanger that can hold 20 pairs of shoes and takes up very little space in a closet. You are welcome Amber :) and I got a cool 6 shelf thingy for the closet as well. I also have a lime green rug with peace signs.  I am not much of a hippie but the selling point was the lime green. I have a cute, very cute, picture frame, a TV stand (hopefully we have a TV....), a frying pan, spatula, dish towels, iron, electric can opener, and make up holder thingy. I still have many more things left to buy but man this is fun! The next thing I plan on buying is this amazing lounge chair from Kohls. Roomies... You are going to be SO jealous of my lounge chair... Just sayin.
Sweet huh? It just needs to go on sale for like 15 bucks.. haha

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Oh Sweet Dreams. :)

Dreams... Wow. That is all I can say. Why do we have them? Honestly I think God was giving us some extra help with conversation starters. I can always get a good conversation going about dreams. Especially with me because my dreams are CRAZY........ One time I dreamt I got pregnant from touching a table, everyone accused me of being naughty but all I did was touch a table. It was a life changing dream. Or I have had nightmares about the scary dude from Aladdin, I still to this day can't watch that movie the same. That is why I do not know his name because I haven't watched it since that nightmare. Oh man! I hate the dreams where you dream about someone chasing you and you can't run for the life of you! Or when you get into your house and the lock on your door just keeps spinning.... brr... It makes me cringe. Or the dreams where you have no pants on or shirts. I have had those quite a few times. One time I had no shirt on and was in Seminary and I was trying to use my hair to cover me up like little mermaid does, which by the way really doesn't work at all. Or I have had dreams of going to Lagoon and I forgot to put on a bra and I went on cliff hanger and got soaked... That dream was awful. And I couldn't find a flippin bra anywhere! Dreams are just so silly. I honestly am so glad that I do dream though. I feel so bad for all of you out there who don't have interesting dreams. You are seriously missing out. Mine are so real but SO random. I love it! I was just thinking about this because I have had some CRAZY dreams everyday this week. But sometimes my dreams actually can ruin my day. Like if I have an especially sad one I feel sad the rest of the day... Or they can make me miss someone... But they can also make my day! Like if I were to dream that I married Josh Duhamel.... mmmm BABY! That would make my day! (No, sadly I haven't dreamt of that yet)  If you don't know who he is look him up in google, You won't regret it. I would just like to Thank you dreams for spicing up my life!
I couldn't resist I had to look him up right now... ah.... Don't be afraid to drool ;) 
Last one I promise. That is right ladies I think that is an 8 pack ;) Nice. 

Confessions of a shopaholic...

Ok People…. I am seriously having major problems… I need some serious help. NOW. I can’t stop thinking about shopping. It is no bueno. Have you seen the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic? Well everyone, My name is Shaundra and I am a shopaholic. I have been on the wagon for over a year now ever since I spent 400+ on back to school clothes. That was seriously a dangerous time. I thought I wouldn’t be able to stop. But I have done so SO good. I have been saving over 80% of my paycheck trying to save up for an education.. bleh… Why is it SO expensive.. Welcome to reality! But for the last month I have gotten sudden urges inside to go shop! I just want to buy everything-Shoes, jewelry, clothes, d├ęcor for my apartment, comfy chairs, you name it and I guarantee I have dreamt at night of buying it. Oh how I wish I was rich! I need to stop this! I am thinking maybe it is hitting so strongly because I haven’t allowed myself any fun money…. My money goes to tithing, savings, and gas and that is it. So maybe I need to set aside some fun money? I just feel guilty when I spend…. But when I am not spending I just want too many things…. Wowy… I need so figure something out.  I am thinking I am going to set aside $120.00 Just for spending on whatever my heart desires. Good idea? I think so!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Stand Ye in Holy Places! Trek 2011

Yes. I went on Trek. Yes. It was amazing. Yes. It was long! This is actually my second Trek. I recommend it to anyone. It is tough and tiresome though. And be prepared to go to bed with your feet dirty and your skin slimy from sunscreen and mosquito repellent. But also be prepared to learn amazing lessons from the pioneers and the people in your family. Here is what I learned on this Trek, I hope you enjoy!
1. I am so happy for amazing friends! :) Me, Amber Jo, and Shelbi had so much fun together. They are all so amazing and they strengthen my testimony so much. I am so grateful for them!
Aren't we adorable? We had a blast! Yes. We did go to the bathroom together. Often. haha 
2. I learned am so excited to have my own family some day! I had the opportunity to be a Ma on this trip and it was so much fun! I loved bonding with my family. And it made me so excited for when I get to have my own family. I am going to be an amazing mom! 
The Rocketeers was our family name! That is what the flag says in the back! :) 
3. I have wondered many times why the pioneers traveled many miles to Salt Lake City. The answer should've been obvious, but I always thought it was just so the Saints could gather, and that was a big part of it. But the bigger part of it was for the Temple. And for the first time I realized that I would travel many of hundreds of miles like the pioneers for the blessing of the temple as well. I am so grateful that I live so close to a temple!
                                            Wouldn't you walk thousands of miles for this?? 

4. I learned that arranged marriages could work out but I am very glad that we don't do it like that and we are able to fall in love and get married. But it was cool to see all the Ma's and Pa's getting along and talking. There was a few that didn't really bond at all but I think you had to try pretty hard not to bond with your Pa. 
This is me and my Pa. Isn't he a stud? 
5. I learned how important journal writing was. There was so many amazing stories that we were told on Trek and we wouldn't have any of those if those amazing pioneers didn't keep a journal. I am so grateful they did! Isn't it weird to think some day someone could be reading your journal and be touched? So cool! 
6. I learned that I love sharing the gospel! I had one member in my family that was a non member and one night he started asking me and a few others in our family about the gospel. The spirit was so strong! I loved answering his questions and feeling the spirit manifesting himself to him. He may not get baptized any time soon or even in this life time but we definitely planted a seed and it was great to be apart of that! 
7. I learned that I could do hard things! We had a women's pull where the men left and the women in the family had to pull the wagon for a little bit. I didn't expect it to be too hard but it started to rain and the wind was going like crazy and my back started spazzing so bad half way through that I could barely breathe. It was very hard. But us girls in my family were tough and we kept pushing. And we made it! I have no idea how those amazing pioneers did it every day. 
We had more people pushing then that and it was still hard, they were amazing! 

8. I learned that I am so grateful for the power of the priesthood. When all the men left for the women's pull you could feel there power leave. And you almost felt desperate for a little bit. And when you walked past them you got so much strength just from feeling there amazing power. I am so grateful for the men in my life and how they honor their priesthood power. I also grateful that Heavenly Father entrusted these incredible men with such a precious gift. 
9. I learned that miracles happen in each one of our life's daily. We just need to be looking for them. Sometimes they don't come in the way we expected but they do come. One of my miracles on this Trek was the women's pull. Right before one of my kids  asked if we could say a prayer for strength. I was hoping that would make it easier but it didn't. And that was my miracle as weird as that sounds. Because of how hard it was I was able to feel for a brief moment how the pioneers must have felt and how difficult it was for them. Another one was being able to share the gospel with the boy in my family. I will treasure these miracles for the rest of my life!
10. We had a support crew that would always have a yummy dinner made and they would help set up our camp and put down the camp. I learned that we all have our support crews in our life. Sometimes they change and some of us have many of them. The biggest support crew I have in my life is My Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. They provide me with all the support I need including one of my other support crews which is my family! I am so thankful to them for the support that they have given me through out my life. I am also grateful for the support my family has given me as well. I am so blessed! 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

My New Love

I am officially in love. In fact I am madly in love. WITH running. haha I know this sounds silly but holy cow it is seriously the best thing ever. Those of you who don't run really need to try it. I love the very beginning where you ask yourself "WHY AM I DOING THIS?!" And you think ok I will just run a half a mile and then you start running and you think "ok, I can do this, lets go a mile in a half, I am out here anyways." So you keep running. I love the point where you are a little bit half way through your run and you just want to die and give up and then BAM your second wind hits you. And I love the very end where you are SUPER tired but somehow you can sprint the rest of the way. AH..... It is just so great. I have never felt this way about anything in my WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE. And my body loves me when I run, It is just so happy. I am not chowing down food, I sleep A TON better, and I just feel better about myself.
So.. If you are looking for that little something extra in your life then plan a date with running! You will definitely fall in love.





Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lightbulb Moment! :)

Well I thought that I might do this every week but how about just whenever I have them. This weeks lightbulb moment is inspired by me. Why do you think we have embarrassing moments? I was pondering this the other day. Do you know what I think? We have embarrassing moments to share them! Life would be so dull if all of us were smart and refined at all times and never made any weird mistakes. Personally I love embarrassing moments. It is a great conversation starter on dates... "So... last summer I peed my pants" that one always gets a good conversation rolling. Maybe I am just weird but I love sharing my embarrassing moments with people, in fact maybe they shouldn't even be called that because they are embarrassing for a little bit but after awhile they just turn into funny moments. So I am going to share a couple of mine.
- Yes. I really did pee my pants last summer. I was at Youth Conference and some boys thought it would be funny to be a bear outside our tent. Well I already was about to go walk to the restroom when we thought we heard something. And then when the guy made an AMAZINGLY real sounding bear grunt right outside our tent there was no hope, I just couldn't hold it, I was too busy screaming "BEAR! HELP!"
- I have stolen a man's water bottle right out of his hands at Lagoon before because I thought the guy was my dad. When he said "Hey, that is my water bottle." I laughed and walked away. Oops. Sorry dad lookalike.
- This one isn't too embarrassing just dumb.... In Washington at this fish market they had a bunch of jelly and jams you could sample. You sample them with little sticks on the side. Well after about my 5th sample I realized I was pulling out of the used sticks... Surprisingly I am still healthy.
- I totally forgot about this one but Brooklyn reminded me! So Junior Prom last year we went to The Lion House Pantry..(I think that is what it is called) It is really yummy! But anyway you stand in a line to get your food kind of like you did at school lunch except it is a lot better. Well I was pretty hungry and I saw these lovely mint chocolates. And I thought "oh, how nice complimentary mints, I will just take mine before dinner rather then after." So I took a mint, and I ate the delicious mint. Well as I was enjoying my mint I saw a sign next to the mints that was facing the other way so I turned it to see what it said. Well it said "Mints: $0.25 each." Crap.... I just stole a mint on temple grounds! And I didn't know what to do because I didn't have any money... and I felt bad making my date pay for a mint that he didn't even offer me. Well I was standing there sweating from my guilt and hiding the rapper and this girl in my group wouldn't stop staring at me. I thought, "She totally knows what I just did." and we stared at each other. FINALLY I did the right thing and told my date and told him I would pay him back (which he didn't make me do, he was more then happy to buy me a mint) So I am happy to say that I am not going to you know where for a twenty-five cent mint because I confessed!
So! Don't be embarrassed of your embarrassing moments! It makes life more exciting.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sometimes it is just the chair.... hehe

Well I don't have much to blog about this week so I decided to share an experience I had this lovely Sunday. I am a bit embarrassed I must say... and I just want to tell everyone that sometimes when there is a loud farting noise it is really just the chair! I was in singles ward which means there is many good looking men ;) haha and I got a HUGE wedgy. I can honestly say I have never been that uncomfortable in my life. Well wait. No. I lied. I have, but it was still extremely uncomfortable. And I was trying to pick it discreetly and gracefully when my leg scraped against the chair and made an awful farting noise... oops... Then I guess I wasn't thinking but right after that I decided the wedgy had to go so I walked out of the room to pick it. And I guess all my friends thought I just walked out of the room to fart because I wasn't gone long. It isn't my fault that I wanted to get back in so I could here the amazing lesson. It crossed my mind that I needed to be a little longer and go to the bathroom or something so it didn't look weird but I was like nah.. no one will think that. Psh! So everyone sometimes it is just a chair instead of a fart, and sometimes people leave the room for a very brief times for other things besides farting in the hall. So next time someone does that I will not be quick to judge her/him as a farter. And even if they did fart who really cares! Everyone farts!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Presenting the Serve Team!!!

This was on the intersection of Wall Ave. and 12th street. 



Isn't this so cool!? I was just on 12th street and I saw this. At first it scared me... I just saw a bunch of people going up to cars and I thought that maybe they were selling things... or something weird. So I sadly admit that I locked my car.... but they were just going around to cars and giving people water bottles. Their shirts said Serve Team. Cute huh? And it was amazing to look around and see all the drivers smiling. Even though it was just a simple act of service like giving people water bottles it still brightened up peoples day. Now I have no idea why these people were doing this but it inspired me to join my own kind of "Serve Team" and start doing simple acts of service that brighten others days. Hope you enjoy this! :)  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Scripture Answer!

I can't take any credit for this at all, President Chang from the YSA stake president did this but I just loved it so much and wanted to share!
So here are some common problems/emotions that we all feel and scriptures that can help you with them.  It is like a doctors prescription for your problem! haha Anyone seen best two years where the mission president gives the prescription of scriptures to read and how often to apply them? That is what this reminded me of!

"It's impossible"
Luke 18:27

"I am to tired"
Matthew 11:28-30

"I can't go on."
2 cor. 12:9

"I can't do it"
Phillipians 4:13

"I am not able"
2 cor 9:8

"I am not worth it"
Romans 8:20

"I can't manage"
Phillipians 4:19

"I can't figure things out"
Proverbs 3:5-6

"I am not smart"
1 cor. 1:30

"No one loves me."
John 3:16

"I'm afraid"
2 Timothy 1:7

"I am always worried/frustrated."
1 Peter 5:7

"I can't forgive"
1 John 1:9

"I don't have enough faith"
Romans 12:3

"I feel alone"
Hebrews 13:5

Saturday, June 11, 2011

This weeks "lightbulb" moment!

Remember on Despicable Me where he says "Lightbulb" when he has a realization. Well it has come time for me to say "Lightbulb!" haha 

I swear I have these once a week so I am going to try and post one once a week. But this week is inspired by my sweet missionary Elder Pratt. It is so amazing writing a missionary! Some days are so hard because you miss them so much but then once you get a letter you forget all about it. Well in this weeks letter he challenged me to do 3 things every night. Now this may sound sort of preachy but I want to challenge all of you to do this because it has really helped me so much just in these last couple days.
1. Study your scriptures every night- enjoy reading and learning from the scriptures. Don't just read but STUDY them. A quote that I love is "When we want to speak to God, we pray. When we want him to speak to us, we study the scriptures." So take the time to love your study time.
2. Write in your journal- now any of you that knows Blake can probably testify to the fact that he is not a journal writing boy. I honestly thought he would maybe write in his journal once a week if that because he always thought it was a girl thing. But I underestimated him. He started to write in his journal EVERY night. He says that he takes the time to write at least one way Heavenly Father has touched his life. So set a goal to write in your journal a specific amount of times- it doesn't have to be every day but it is really amazing how it changes your perspective if you do take that time to write once a day.
3. Pray out loud-  Elder Pratt told a story that Richard G. Scott told the MTC when he came and spoke to them. He said that on his mission in one of his first areas his Senior Companion liked to kneel on a pillow for companionship prayer and then stay there for personal prayers. Richard G. Scott didn't like this because it kept him from speaking his prayers. And when he just thought his prayers his mind would often wonder. So ever since Blake heard that he has started to saying his prayers aloud. I wish all of you could read the letter but it made me want to try it. And it is incredible! It is a whole different feeling. So I challenge you to just try it at least once.
Well enough preaching! I guess I was just so surprised and how much happier these things have made me. I challenge you to just do these 3 things for a week and I promise you will be so much happier. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Singles Ward here I come!

Well... I am growing up... haha. I am moving on to bigger and better things. That is right.. I am going to start attending.... SINGLES WARD... haha. I am a little bit nervous. All those older people are a little bit intimidating. But you know what I found weird? Is that after 18 all the sudden age doesn't matter so much. Like and 18 year old can date a 22 year old, or hang out with a bunch of 20 year olds.. I dunno i guess it just surprised me. I went to their break the fast dinner though and it was so yummy :) But the best part was the fireside after. President Chang from the Singles Ward Stake Presidency spoke with his wife. His wife was so sweet. She said that sometimes your trials are like you are looking on one side of a hill and all you can see is all these thorns and then when you get through that trial and you are on the other side of the hill you look back and see all the roses. That is so true. Then President Chang got up and said that he feels like running in the streets and saying "I'm in love, I'm in love! And I don't care who knows it!" That is how much he loves his wife. haha It was so cute. He was so funny and he had some amazing things in his talk. I loved listening to him. One thing that I liked that he said was to not let anyone besides God define us. I will be completely honest I have let other people besides my Heavenly Father define me before. Isn't that what you do when you are comparing yourself to others? But he just said to stop comparing and to just let God define us and he will define us to our true potential or to our true definition. And it will be ten times better then the way that you or anyone else would define you. He also did a cool scripture answer like thing... I will post that on sunday.. So that is coming soon! :) You will love it!

Senior Trip :)

I got back from my Senior Trip to St. George last friday. It was so so so great. :) I love all my friends so much. It is sort of sad to think that most of us are separating. It was fun to spend the week with them. We have been there for each other all through high school. Sure we had our disagreements over the years and boyfriends and other things that made it harder to get together but we still all were still close and had so much to talk about the whole week. And the best part was..... NO DRAMA! Not even one single little fight.. :) Pretty amazing huh? Especially since we had to share 1 shower..... It was a blast though. The first day was all driving... :/ It wasn't to bad though. Amber was handy and brought To The Rescue-Thomas S. Monson's Biography. She read it to us :) Fantastic book! Then we arrived at Tyley's Grandma's house and ate some delicious lasagna and had a movie night. Then it was separation of the guys and gals to go to bed. EXCEPT.... The girls NEVER went to bed. :) haha We just had so much to catch up on. There was no time for sleep. We stayed up until 5 and realized we might as well run to Walmart to pick up all the food before the men woke up.
Aren't we all gorgeous?? :) 

We finally fell asleep around 7 and when we woke up we all went cliff diving at Sand Hollow. That is seriously the coolest place. :) So fantastic. They have a bunch of red rocks for the beach where you can get a great tan and then really pretty blue water. The cliffs range in sizes too- from smaller then a low dive to ten times bigger then a high dive... well.. not really but it seemed like it. I only was brave enough to go off the medium which was about the same size as a high dive. But it is still scary because you feel like you might hit the rocks. The next day was one of my favorites :) We went boating! We got to tube and drive wave runners. It was so much fun. I actually drove a wave runner as well and I wasn't to shabby at it. But NEVER EVER ride with Jake Yeagley or Tyler Powers. I have never been so terrified in my life. In fact don't ride with any boys EVER they are all crazy. The next day was hiking at Zion's National Park. It is so pretty there. I love hiking. And it was the perfect day to hike too. There was a nice breeze and it was a little cloudy. That is my kind of hiking weather.
Look at these amazing girls! This is Marina, Sinikka, Amber, and Me


Zions is so pretty! It is one of my favorite places. 

Aren't we buff? 

This is the whole gang! We had a blast. 

I should be a nature photographer huh? 


This is the amazing shoe tree that we found right outside of Zions.

 The last day we just decided to go shopping and go back and do some more cliff diving. I just laid out and tanned on the rocks. It was so fantastic. Funnest trip ever! I am going to miss all my friends so much. They are all so incredible. But I am excited for my future roomies! We are going to have so much fun next year. Utah State here we come :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

So Long Roy High!

Dear Roy High,
Thanks for all the memories. We had some great times didn't we? Thanks for being the place where I could grow from the awkward/obnoxious tenth grader to a refined (sort of) Senior. In your halls I developed amazing friendships with friends that I am sure I will be friends with for the rest of my life. In your halls I found out who I really was and to not compare myself to other people, to be happy with who I am and to believe that I was beautiful. In your halls I learned how to flirt with cute boys and then eventually I learned how to be friends with boys and from that I have made some of the best guy friends ever. In your classrooms I learned that I could do hard things. I could pass Math 1050 and I could get a 4 on an AP test. In your classrooms I learned to value learning, I also learned that there was a time where you needed to buckle down and pay attention to the teacher and a time where you could take funky pictures with Amber Jo :) In your classrooms I learned that "your mom" and "that's what she said" jokes could be said to many other things and not be naughty. In your seminary I learned that I love the gospel! I learned that I do have my own testimony and how to strengthen it. In your seminary I learned that there were places I could go where I could get away from the world and feel peace.  On your sports fields I learned that it wasn't all about winning, sometimes it was just about being with friends. Football games were always so amazingly fun even if we were being slaughtered. In your commons I learned that sometimes if you are lucky after drivers ed the janitors play funky beats and you can dance with one of your best friends until your ride comes :)  In your dark corners I learned that I do NOT like PDA. It is actually disgusting. On your stage I learned that I love to dance, even if I am not very good at it. In your lunch room I learned how important friends were and to reach out to others that looked lonely. I have learned so many amazing lessons from you Roy High. Thanks for all of them. So long Roy High!

royhigh.gif

Friday, May 20, 2011

Travel Log :)



Rome, Italy
In this hotel room :)

Hotel Splendide Royal, Rome, Italy
I would take all my baths in roses in this tub.


Australia



I would stay in Four Seasons Sydney Hotel

In a Suite like this :)
I would relax with my feet up with this amazing view! And i would go see Opera's in the cool Sydney Opera House.
Paris, France

This is the Hotel Plaza Athenee

I would eat yumminess here :)

This would be my suite
or this one...

Hawaii :)
In the Hilton Hawaiin Village

I would attend a luau and then go on a date with the babe in the front :)

In this room.
Jamaica

I would stay in The Rockhouse Hotel

This would be where I would sleep.


Bahamas

grand-isle-resort-and-spa emerald-bay-bahamas
I would stay in this resort :)

grand-isle-resort-and-spa emerald-bay-bahamas
In this pent house :)
grand-isle-resort-and-spa emerald-bay-bahamas
With this view every morning...


Phillipines

In this hotel :) Cool name huh?
It is a hotel + a water world!

And I would have my very own aquarium in my room! And I am guessing that the bed is a water bed. I love water beds :)
New York 
                                                  
I would stay in the Peninsula New York
Go to the spa EVERY morning AND night.

And I would sleep in this comfy suite :)

Well that is the first part of my travel log. I need more money! I wish that I was rich and I could travel the world and stay in luxurious places... someday :) haha I will do another post sometime where I talk about all the places I want to see in these places. But the first part of traveling is knowing where you are going to sleep, at least it is for me :)