Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Best. Present. Ever.

Christmas couldn't come fast enough this year. After a long 13.5 months of not speaking to my brother face to face, I got to Skype him!

There he is, the best big brother in the world. I couldn't ask for a better example. Rickey left November 9, 2011, for the Provo MTC. He was supposed to be there for 11 weeks before heading out to Ukraine. However, the Lord works in mysterious ways. None of the Ukrainian missionaries' visas went through, so at the end of the 11 weeks, Rickey was sent to Chicago. He was there for 6 weeks before the visa finally went through and he could go to Ukriaine.
This was the first time we had Skyped him. We've talked to him on the phone several times--more than most people, in fact. He was able to call to tell us what was going on with the visa, and we got 15 minutes then. This time, we got an hour. He was in an internet club in Lutsk, and we all crowded around Mom's laptop.

Rickey had us worried for a while. He was about half an hour late getting onto Skype. Turns out that he and his companion had a little bit of trouble getting a computer; after all, they were just in a public club. There were several interruptions. First, we got to meet some of the missionaries in his district. (According to one elder, Rickey is a beautiful person and the best elder in the district. I can believe that. :D) Then partway through, a man came up and started talking to him in Ukrainian. I guess Rickey and his companion had talked to him a while back. He showed Rickey the pamphlet they had given him and told Rickey that he would be coming to church on Sunday! So we got to witness missionary work firsthand.
I've always taken my family and friends for granted. Now, with so many missionaries heading out, I recognize just how much I rely on all of you to make it through each and every day. Thank you so much for all of the support that you give me. My life is made up of wonderful moments with all of you, and I'm so thankful for that. I love you all. Merry Christmas! :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I went to Maceys last night, grabbed my food, and went to the register. The cashier looked at me (in my pajamas), looked at my food (chips, popcorn, ice cream, and frozen pizza), and said, "Well, you've got the essentials."

Don't judge me, buddy. It's finals week.

I always believed my friends when they told the horror stories about finals. I really did. It's just...well, you never really understand until you're living through it. Yesterday, my brain shut down. All I wanted to do was watch a movie. So yes, I went to Redbox and Maceys and had a movie night with some friends. And then crammed in a final paper in beween classes this morning. Was it smart? Not really. Was my best night ever? Nope. But man, I will always love The Amazing Spider-Man, if only because it saved my sanity for a night.

To give you high school students an idea of what finals week is like: imagine studying for 6 AP tests, while still doing homework, papers, and studying for said AP tests. Then throw a part-time job in there. Oh, let's not forget about end-of-semester cleaning checks. Then, just for kicks and giggles, let's add a church calling and a social life, and you've got the average college student's life right about now.

In Sociology, we're talking about roles. Role conflict is when a person has two or more conflicting roles. For example, you can be a student and a friend. When faced with the decision of studying or watching a movie with friends, which do you choose? That, my friends, is the choice that college students make everyday. But you know what, that isn't a bad thing. We choose it, and we love it. Some days. Others, not so much. But for all of our complaining, we love it. I love it. College is wonderful. It's just that, right now, prayers would be much appreciated.

Have I scared you yet? Good. :) Just kidding. But seriously, don't stress. College is hard, yeah. But life is meant to be hard. We all have our own kinds of challenges at certain points in our lives, and finals are only a week long. To be honest, they're really not even that bad, not if you've studied. Plus, there's a light at the end of the tunnel--I go home in a week, and I'll be there for 3 weeks! It'll be grand. :)

I love you all! Good luck to everybody who has crazy end-of-semester stuff! :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Christmas Music

Warning: the following contains a long-contained rant. It may or may not be worth your time.
What is up with the hype over Christmas music? Seriously, people. I listen to Christmas music year round--whenever I happen to be in the mood. What in the world is wrong with listening to music about our Savior? With listening to music that reminds us of the joy of the Christmas season? This isn't a bad thing, folks.
I understand that many people are concerned over the loss of Thanksgiving spirit. This is a real concern and quite frankly, maybe Thanksgiving is overlooked. But for me, Thanksgiving is like a preview for Christmas. People are reminded of the thanks they should be giving year round, which leads to a remembrance of the spirit we should have with us year round. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that!
The whole point of Christmas music is to get you in the holiday spirit. It helps you remember the best part in each of us--the part where we love and accept others, where we help and serve and give, because that's what our Savior would do. This contention over Christmas music is completely contradictory to what it's trying to accomplish.
So please, back off of my Christmas music. I'm going to listen whether you like it or not--before Thanksgiving, after Thanksgiving, and the rest of the year, too. Don't waste your breath telling me otherwise.

Monday, November 5, 2012


     So I was talking to my good friend Shelby today, and we started talking about friends. Why we make the friends we do, etc. I mean, one of my best friends and I didn't like each other at all when we were little. (Of course, the way she tells the story, I'm not convinced that has changed...haha.) But really. My friends are basically the best people on the face of the planet. So this is a shout-out to some of my best friends ever. :)
     Oh boy...um, I'm not quite sure what to say about this girl. We've been through basically everything together. The best things about this friendship? We laugh. A lot. And then some. I think I've laughed more with this girl than I have with anyone else, except maybe my family. She keeps my head on straight. Our friendship has survived junior high, high school, and is still going strong in college. It's been halfway across the world and back. We've danced in parking lots, sung at the top of our lungs, jumped off of cliffs, and talked through the night. We've climbed mountains, watched movies, and shared clothes. It's been amazing. :)
     Haha. Haha...I have done some crazy things with this next girl. Oh gosh. Fffaaacccttt...we quote Kid History all the time. My face never looks normal in her pictures. Dancing in the rain is normal for us. We want to go boyfriend shopping at the mall. We make summer bucket lists that only get halfway done (next summer, we will finish). We love music, Disney movies, and Chinese food. She keeps my head from going on straight, which is great, because sometimes it's just more fun that way. The randomness never ends when we get together!
     Next comes my little gnome friend. She has seen more sides of me, more quickly than anyone else. She's suffered through my low points, my high points, and my really high Pringle points at 2 in the morning. She's gotten me to tell you more about myself in a shorter amount of time than I would usually tell. We share a love for manatees. We're friends even though she doesn't like flip-flops, which I'm pretty sure is up there with not liking sunshine, ponies, or happiness. I can always count on miu. ;) She save me when I desperately need sarcasm in my life, because I'm convinced that without sarcasm, we wouldn't be friends. We're proof that friendships can survive long distances.
     Last but not least, there's you. That's right, you. Because my life wouldn't be the same without any of you--my Harry Potter fanatics, my musical friends, and my coffi buddies. My roommates, my brothers and sisters, my fellow Vikings. My friends, new and old, who keep me going through all of the trials that life throws at me. Friendships are miracles--wonders, if you will. So here's a Rob Thomas song about the little wonders in life. :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012


(Warning: unintentional spoilers may appear. I'll do my best to avoid them.)
So...I watched the third Batman movie yesterday. Oh. My. Goodness.
So good.
It was easily my favorite of The Dark Knight trilogy. (Did you know that it's The Dark Knight trilogy, not the Batman trilogy? I learned that yesterday.) The other two were good. Incredible, even. And as much as I love Inception, Christopher Nolan outdid himself this time. I even enjoyed watching Anne Hathaway, which doesn't happen very often. (Sorry, Anne Hathaway.)
The reason I loved the movie so much wasn't because of incredible filming--although that was part of it--or that there were amazing actors--which there were--but because it was so inspirational. Don't believe me? Here's one of my favorite lines from the movie.
"A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a little boy's shoulders to let him know that the world hadn't ended." --Batman
I mean, the whole movie is about ordinary people who make a huge difference in saving thousands, even millions, of lives. There's nothing particularly special about Batman. He's just like you and me. (Well, except for the money. And the cars. And...okay, so maybe he's not exactly like you and me.) But sometimes, he messed up. He fell. From which came another one of my favorite lines:
"Why do we fall, son? So we can learn to pick ourselves up." --Thomas Wayne
One of my favorite parts in the third movie was (spoiler alert) when Batman is trying to climb out of the pit. The men are chanting, "Deshi basara! Deshi basara!", and you think that they want to see him fail. Rather, you discover that the chant actually means, "Rise! Rise!"
How many times have you fallen into your own personal pit? How many times have you been in such despair that you think you'll never be able to make the jump and find your world again? When you find yourself in a pit, remember the words of President Gordon B. Hinckley.
"You did not come into the world to fail. You came into the world to succeed. You have accomplished much so far. It is only the beginning. As you move forward on the trail of life, keep the banner of faith in self ever before you. You may not be a genius. You may not be exceptionally smart. But you can be good, and you can try. And you will be amazed at what might happen when in faith you take a step forward."
There are so many challenges in this world. There are so many pits for us to fall into. It will never be easy to rise out of these pits. But it's possible. There are people around you, cheering for you, and they want you to succeed. I love this video of the 2012 Mutual theme song, Arise:

For me, The Dark Knight Rises was so much more than the last movie in the trilogy. It was a reminder that no matter how far I fall, I can always rise.
Arise and bring in the new day. :) 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Space Center

     No. No, no, no, no, no.
     I'm really trying hard not to be overdramatic here, but this is one of the worst things that I can remember happening.
For those of you who haven't heard my rants on Facebook, text, or in person, the Christa McAuliffe Space Center is closed for good. I can't really express very well how I feel about this. The Space Center has played a huge role in my life. I've been going on missions since fourth grade and volunteering since fifth. Every single one of the kids in my family has taken pre-algebra from Mr. Williamson. 
      What the district needs to realize is that the Space Center is more than just simulations. It's more than Star Trek or aliens or missions. It's team building. It's working under pressure. It's the childhood of over 300,000 people. Yes, the electricity is a problem. I realize that. But do they really honestly believe that it's not worth every penny? The Space Center may not teach kids to be geniuses; it teaches much more important things than that. The Space Center taught me more about hard work, communication, and good morals than any other place I can think of (beside my home, of course).
     There is nothing to stop me right now from ripping the world apart to keep the Space Center alive. It means so much to the community as well as thousands of others, and I won't let it go this easily.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


If there's one thing I've learned from college, it's that people say the darndest things. I think I've heard more hilarious things at BYU than I have anywhere in  my life...except maybe AP Stats. So today, in an attempt to make you smile, I'm posting some of the funny things I've heard in my month and a half at college.  
“I’ll do Ryan Lochte’s tattoo…this is a new one I found today.” –Shawntel

“Our ceiling carpet is squeaky.” –Shawntel

“Let’s go creeptastic all over the place!” –Hayden

(Directed at myself) "Sometimes, you’re a good replacement for a boyfriend. You’re warm, you text me, you cook…” –Margo

“Oh, my hormones!” –Amy

“I want to grab a random guy off of the street and make out with him.” –Amy

“Nothing’s better than cuddling. It’s like kissing with your body.” –Amy

“It’s Kathy’s cake?!!!” –Chelsea

“I didn’t know my hair was long enough to whip her face!” –Chelsea

“Why are you asking me about church when there’s a boy involved?!” –Martha

“I think you two should just get together.” “But it’s almost curfew…” –Emily and Martha

“Have I married anyone yet?” –Emily

“Once he gets married, he’ll be fine.” –Anonymous

“I want to be blind. Not really, I just think it would be cool to learn sign language.” –Margo

“Am I in the lust stage?” –Tyler

“This song is so angry. I love it!” –Martha

“That makes more senseful.” –Margo

“I love when people wear…bananas.” –Jeanine

“That’s what you get for leaving your bum in the doorway.” –Shawntel

“I didn’t say spooning, I said playing spoons!” –Margo

“If you’re going to be fat, you might as well do it right…” -Audrey

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Spirit of God

            I can’t even begin to describe the feeling that came over me when we sang “The Spirit of God” at the Brigham City temple dedication today. I had the wonderful opportunity to go to the Marriott Center with the BYU wards, and it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. I’ve never had so many chills in my life. At the beginning of the second verse of “The Spirit of God”, I had the feeling to stand up. I shook it off, thinking no, they didn’t tell us to stand. Luckily, someone else followed the impression, because people started standing up. I stood with the armies of heaven today, and I don’t think I can ever forget that. As I looked around the room, I saw my brothers and sisters, my fellow soldiers, and I knew that I could never be alone in my life. These wonderful, good people would always stand with me. There was no doubt in my mind that Satan will lose. If you could have seen the youth of Zion stand up and say, “Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!” then you would have felt the exact same thing that I did. You would never again doubt the youth of the Church, because even the angels were with us today. I felt them everywhere, surrounding us, standing with the future of the world. Never doubt your own divinity. Sing and shout with the armies of heaven. Satan will lose, and Christ will be victorious. Amen, and amen.

Monday, July 30, 2012

London 2012

I'm totally in love with the Olympics.
And don't even get me started on the athletes. I'm amazed by their dedication...and their good looks. (Yes, Ryan Lochte and the US men's gymnastics team, that's you.)
But seriously.
I've done lots of things in my life. I've dabbled in a few different sports, a couple of instruments...you get the idea. To spend your entire life training for the Olympics is...astounding. Incredible. That amount of dedication and hard work just blows my mind.
Now don't get me wrong, I know that plenty of people spend their lives working for something they love, and it's not just athletes. Musician, scholars, they all do it. Everybody has their own talents that make them special and unique. Something that only they can bring to the table in their own way. Nobody does you like you do. But I deeply admire their devotion and commitment to their sport.
Now here's a few pictures for your enjoyment. Some of my favorite moments from the 2012 London Games so far. Okay, so they're mostly for my enjoyment. But you can look too. :)
 Ryan Lochte with his gold medal from the 400  IM.

Cute girl's gymnastics team.
Yes. I love USA gymnastics!
The stadium.
Missy Franklin and her first Olympic medal!

Loving the Olympics! :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer Lovin'

Here you go Margo. :)
Summer summer summer. Where would I be without you? It's been a crazy, work-filled couple of months. Right now I'm in California, thank heavens. It's been a great break already.

Meet my cousins. They're so awesome! One of my favorite families of all time. We got here on Friday night. We went swimming with the cousins and had dinner at the pool. The next day, we went to the beach!

Can I just say how much I love the beach? It's fabulous. We spent the afternoon at the beach, then went to Cafe Rio for dinner.
Sunday we went to church, then hung out for a little while, ate lunch, packed up, and left! We got to Indio around 7. The fam got together for ping-pong. It was just Kyle (my little brother) and I with some of the extended family. Where did the other members of my family go, you may ask? Well, the answer is simple.
I found them watching the season finale of The Bachelorette with cousins.
Oh boy.
I've never seen The Bachelorette before, but let me tell you--it's a dramatic event with my family. For example:
Naturally, Sam was so distraught over the possibility that Emily MIGHT pick Arie over Jef that she had her knees to her chest in the fetal position. I think she was also on the verge of tears.
By the time I got to bed, Rachel had already shut and locked the door to the room we're sharing. Yes folks, I said locked. So naturally, I spent the night on the couch. For sleeping on the couch, it was actually a decent night's sleep. I highly recommend these couches to you, they're rather comfortable.
Anyway, today has been spent swimming, sweating like a pig while working out--can they keep the workout room ANY hotter?, swimming, relaxing, swimming, shopping, swimming, telling my mom happy birthday, swimming...we do a lot of swimming here! Of course, can you blame us? After all, look at the kind of paradise we're staying in.
Gorgeous, no? :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Because I Love You...

I have a good friend who, a long time ago, gave me a book. It's called, "Because I Love You". (It's by Max Lucado, and it's FABULOUS. Read it.) She wrote this quote in the front cover: “You may think, who am I to be gorgeous and talented and wonderful? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your shrinking small doesn’t serve the world.” --Marianne Willamson

For a long time, I shrunk. I shrunk small, hoping that my talent and natural ability would be enough to get me through life. But then, once upon a time, Chamber orchestra had horrible (and I mean horrible) audience behavior during solos. And Mr. Beck gave us this huge talk on how we were better than that. He was right, of course—we are much better than that. I had been hiding in the back of the section for way too long. WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?!

Answer: I was shrinking small.

I had forgotten the reason I loved orchestra so much. Yes, it’s tons of fun. Yes, a lot of my friends do it. But you know why I started orchestra in the first place? Because I wanted to. Because I loved the cello. Because every time I sat down to play my instrument, I loved it. I have no idea when practicing became a chore, but the day we got that lecture, I decided to change. I decided to stop shrinking small and just be gorgeous and talented and wonderful. Because who am I not to be?

I will forever love Elton John and Tim Rice for writing the musical Aida. One of my favorite lines from the show is, "Nothing is an accident, we are free to have it all. We are what we want to be, it's in ourselves to rise or fall." I know that this is true. Sometimes we feel like shrinking small. Sometimes we feel less than what we are. But why? We can be what we want to be. It's in OURSELVES to rise or fall.

Please, stop shrinking small. The world needs people who aren't afraid to let their light shine.