Thursday, May 29, 2014

Trials and the Gospel

As a disclaimer to this post, I am still very happy. After reading it through, it seems like I am always sad or something. That is not true, I know I have a great life full of blessings, and I have a wonderful husband who makes me laugh and smile. I just felt like this is something I needed to write about. 
Lately I have been thinking about the gospel and trials. This year has possibly been one of the hardest years I've had in a while. Living in Utah is rough, and I miss Vegas. I have not made many friends lately and I feel disconnected with our current ward. I feel lonely. I just keep remembering "This too shall pass" and how this is a trial that I need right now. I don't exactly know why I need it yet, but I know I need to learn something from it.

The gospel is something that has also gotten me through this year. I really don't know who or where I would be without it. I have never struggled with my testimony. I have always wanted to go to church. It has been an essential part of my life and I would never change that. Knowing everything I know about the gospel helps me get through these rough days. The atonement is not just for when you sin, it is for when you feel sad, lonely, hurt, rejected, broken and more. Christ has suffered it all for US. It is incredible to me what he did, knowing that people would reject the gospel, knowing people would forget about His ultimate sacrifice. Because of the gospel, my path is clear. I know that these trails won't last, and they are happening for a reason. Without the gospel, I would have never realized my true potential as a wife, daughter, sister, student, teacher and a mother (even if I'm not one right now). I still make mistakes and I am definitely not perfect, but those are the reasons we have the gospel, to become perfect and have something to guide us through this earthly life.

Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely… He Loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken.
~Dieter F. Utchdorf

Thursday, April 10, 2014

National Sibling Day

It's national sibling day so I just wanted to say how grateful I am for the awesome siblings I have! (Including my step brothers and I can't seem to find a picture of us together) Chase and I have always been close. I miss our teenage days when we would sit on my bed and talk. I miss our childhood when we would climb trees and explore the desert together. I am so grateful for him and for our relationship. We don't talk as much anymore but I know we can always rely on each other. 

Even though my step brothers and I aren't as close due to our age differences but I love them and I'm proud of the young men they are becoming! 

My siblings in law are awesome too and I am so grateful for them. I was extremely blessed when I married Chauncey because I not only gained an awesome husband, I also gained a pretty sweet family. I always wanted a sister, and now I have two and another brother! I love hanging out with them and I'm so grateful they treat me as one of their own, teasing and all! ;) 

Anyway I just want to say how grateful I am for all my siblings. I love you all! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Body Image

I don't think I've written about this topic, partly because I am a little nervous about writing it. I think people assume that because I am thin I don't have to worry or I don't think about body image. This isn't true. I do think about my body image, more often than I would like. I'm sure other women feel the same way. A lot of this thinking is a result of the media and things I see online or in magazines (I don't really read magazines, but you all know what I mean). I am ashamed to say that those things get to me...however, I know I am not the only one. I wanted to talk about this because of the recent target model incident. Poor photoshopping of a girl who was already beautiful is just terrible. That really upset me because Target is one of my favorite stores, I didn't think they would do something like that.There have been other incidents as well such as Abercrombie and Fitch's CEO and how he didn't want "fat" or "uncool" people to wear his clothes.

When you walk into most clothing stores (especially stores aimed toward teenagers and young adults) you see photos of thin models and "thigh gaps". Now, not every store is this way and there are of course exceptions. But the point is a lot of them are thinner, and I think sometimes it gives girls/women an unrealistic expectation/view of what their body should look like. I'm not saying that being thin is bad, because it's not. I'm just saying that media puts too much stock into outer beauty.

I recently read an article about this issue. I really liked this quote (excuse the slight language):
 "I’m not the only one who feels the pressure to be the “perfect size.” But what IS the perfect size? Is it a size zero? Is it a slightly curvy size five? Is being tall especially attractive, or is it cuter to be shorter? Would a high-waist skirt look good on me, or will people think my a** looks huge? Is a huge a** a good thing or bad thing? I’m 23 and I’m still not completely happy with my body, and I’m not sure why. I’m at a healthy weight, I eat proteins and produce and I exercise. Is it because of the media, or is it because as young girls we are taught by people we know that we need to look a certain way? Did our parents pressure us to eat less? Did bullies call us names and ostracize us on the playground? Body image is a complex subject, and simply saying “all women want to be thin” is not a universal truth, and it’s a brash conclusion."

I totally agreed with her, and I'm not trying to say that being skinny is a problem because it's not. I just don't appreciate stores that over-use photoshop and only use very skinny models. Right now American Eagle is using a campaign for their Aerie collection called "The Real You" (link). I thought that was really awesome of them to get models that have regular bodies. It's a step in the right direction for media and I hope other stores and other forms of media follow suit.

It doesn't matter if you're a size 0 or a size 16. As long as you are healthy then you're just fine. Beauty doesn't stop at a certain weight or height. I hope I didn't offend anyone with anything I said, I just feel like it's something that should be talked about. Especially when it comes to younger girls who are just getting a feel for their bodies. They need to know that just because they see a model at a store or in a magazine that is skinnier than they are doesn't mean they aren't beautiful.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly...

The Good
 -I'm on spring break this week.
-It's getting darker later (One of the many reasons I love Utah, It's still light at 9 pm! (in the summer))
-I may have a hidden green thumb. I really enjoy gardening!
-Chauncey got a promotion and a raise! I'm so proud of him. He works extremely hard to support us and to make sure I don't have to work while going to school. 

The Bad
-I have a lot of homework and I haven't been able to properly enjoy my spring break.
-I've been more stressed about school than usual. I'm doing great (all A's and high B's) but I think taking 16 credits was a little much. However, at the same time I really enjoy being so busy. I just need to learn to manage my stress better.

The Ugly
- After almost 2 years of not having a cold sore, I finally got a huge one on my lip/chin. Because I didn't get one in so long, I didn't have any medicine for it. Luckily I'm seeing a doctor tomorrow to get some for the next time I have a cold sore. For those of you who are not cursed with cold sores, feel lucky. I forgot how painful they can be (and embarrassing! I feel like I can't do anything or go anywhere.) Like I said, I need to manage my stress better.

Anyway, that's all for me. I guess I should be looking on the bright side, The "good" list outnumbers the "bad" and the "ugly" lists combined.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Thank you!

The other day in one of my education classes, my wonderful professor asked us to thank any teacher(s) who might have made a difference in our lives. I have had many teachers who have made a difference in my life. They are the reason why I am becoming a teacher! My first grade teacher is always the first one that comes to mind when I think about past teachers. She always made me feel like I was important, and that I could make a difference. Her influence is the main drive for me becoming a teacher. My elementary P.E. teacher was also very important, though I might be biased since she's family. I'm sure that even if we weren't related, she would still be one of the best teachers I've ever had. They were two teachers who were both there for me and after all these years I still remember their influence. One last teacher I would like to mention is my high school math teacher. Many of you might know that I have always struggled with math but this teacher made math seem so easy. He was wonderful and treated all of his students equally. That was something I didn't see a lot of in high school, so many teachers played favorites. He didn't though, and I will always be grateful for his influence, he taught me so much more than just math. 

While I have had great teachers, I have also had terrible ones. I don't want to say anything bad about the terrible teachers, but I will say that I have learned a lot from both while reflecting on the different teachers I have had. I can't wait to become a teacher myself and (hopefully) influence my students' lives for the better! Thanks to all my teachers who have made a difference in my life :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


The last half of last year was really hard for me. Particularly after we moved. Don't get me wrong, I love our new apartment and I was happy to move...things were just different. I wasn't as happy as I was before. School was constantly bogging me down, and I didn't enjoy it like I usually do (I usually love school and doing homework. I love to stay busy).

At the start of the new year I decided I wanted to make some changes. I started writing in my journal more (I would rarely write in in, unless it was related to general conference or church). I started working out again. I also started going to institute again. Since leaving LDSBC, I stopped taking institute classes full time. I would go occasionally, and then I completely stopped going at all, blaming it on school or work. This year I realized I didn't really have any excuses to not go, especially since now that we live in Bountiful I don't go home during my 3 hour breaks at school. So before the semester even started I found a class and registered for it. The class is Pearl of Great Price (something I have never truly studied in depth before). The first day I was amazed at how differently I felt. I was not only happier, but I also felt lighter. I had been feeling burdened with different trials I had been going through. It was amazing to me how one single hour of being in a gospel infused setting could change so much. I am learning so much and my testimony is growing with each class. We discuss deep gospel doctrine (something I don't really get a lot of being in primary every Sunday). Our teacher is very knowledgeable in the gospel and often answers our questions with scripture references.

I find it so incredible how one small tweak in my life could make a huge change in my happiness. I now understand why President Monson urged college students to not only attend institute, but to make it a priority in our lives.

I would like to end by sharing one last thought that I had this Sunday. For the sacrament hymn we sang "Reverently and Meekly Now". I have never really paid much attention to the song, but as we were singing I realized how much I needed to hear the last few lines of the song:

I have loved thee as thy friend,
With a love that cannot end.
Be obedient, I implore,
Prayerful, watchful evermore,
And be constant unto me,
That thy Savior I may be.
I knew all along what was missing these last few months, but I was too lazy and sad to change anything.  From now on I will be more "constant" unto my Savior.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Come Thou Fount

One of my all time favorite songs has always been Come Thou Fount. It has always calmed me down when I have been upset, or lifted my spirits when I've been depressed/sad. This week my grandfather (on my mother's side) went into the hospital. He had a tear in his heart due to high blood pressure. Yesterday he had a chest x-ray that showed congestive heart failure. Today he is doing well, considering what he has been through.

This happened on December 30th. I found out on New Year's Eve and immediately traveled to Reno (where he was in the hospital) with my aunt, uncle and cousins. We just got back yesterday. Overall, this week has been extremely difficult. It was so hard seeing the man I've always known to be brave and strong in a hospital bed in the ICU.

One of the only things that got me through this week was singing in my head Come Thou Fount. It helped me remember to have faith that everything will work out, to know that everything happens for a reason and not to lose hope in my Heavenly Father's plan for us. I think it is very important in hard times to remember that the Atonement of our Lord and Savior is not just for when you sin. It is for when you feel pain, sorrow, affliction...He suffered for it all. Sometimes it is hard to remember that when I'm feeling sad, he felt that too. As the hymn I Stand All Amazed states:

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
 Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
 I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
    That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.

I truly do stand all amazed, It is incredible to me that Jesus Christ suffered for all of us, he felt our pain, sorrow, and suffered for our sins. 

I will end this blog post with my favorite verse in Come Thou Fount:

 O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above