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Stylish Blogger Award

Well, I just informed by Elise that I was nominated for the


Apparently, there are 4 duties to perform to accept this award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

So, thanks Elise at for the nomination! You're awesome and I have a message for you: Hey, girl, hey!!!

Part 2:
1. I am the 4th oldest of 10 kids in my family. My family is amazing and they are such a huge part of me.
2. I am secretly (or perhaps not so secretly, depending on who you are) a HUGE fan of classical music. One of my favorite movies ever is Fantasia and Fantasia 2000. There is just something about it that touches my very core.
3. I have a chronic condition of the hiccups. Not really, but I seriously hiccup ALL THE TIME!
4. I'm a hopeless romantic. I love love. I love chick flicks, crushes, dating, and pretty much everything about love. I love talking to other people about their love-life and all that jazz.
5. As a child, I was an avid dancer. I danced with the Performing Arts Centre, a professional school of dance in St. Louis. I did all kinds of dance: ballet, tap, acro, hip hop, jazz, modern, lyrical, etc. I competed on a national level and spent four days a week (and literally ALL DAY Saturdays) at the studio. I absolutely loved dancing and wish I had stuck with it.
6. I first dyed my hair in the 7th grade. Why so early? Because my hair had already started to go gray!
7. I am a believer that chocolate can cure almost anything. Chocolate helped make the last few weeks a tad bit easier for me. I even brought chocolate to the funeral and as strange as it sounds, it honestly helped me feel a little bit better!

Anyways, I'm done with that. Lol. Here are blogs that I really enjoy reading and I think ya'll should check them out.

Ali on alihancey.blogspot.com
Amanda at mandascooby.blogspot.com
Malena via everillpride.blogspot.com
Dani on danimalloy.blogspot.com
Emilee at oodelaleeoodelalee.blogspot.com
Morgan at chew-like-you-have-a-secret.blogspot.com
Stevie on stevierobinson.blogspot.com
Teresa via groovystockdales.blogspot.com

Over and out! :)

A Day Without Rain

Merry Christmas everyone. Hope all is well with you.

Thank you all for your prayers for my dear friend, Emily, whom I told you about in my previous post. Her injuries unfortunately were too serious and she passed away Thursday evening. Here is a link to her obituary if you are interested: http://obitsutah.com/obituary/3822/emily-ann-dutson.htm

With the passing of Emily, I've learned many lessons about the impact someone can make, human beings, myself, and was reminded of the power of God. Your whole entire life can change so drastically in the blink of an eye. Life is so fickle! Life is as constant as it is fair, I guess. Its been a rough couple of days for me and I can only imagine what her family is going through. My prayers continue to be with them in their time of need.

I have chosen "A Day Without Rain" by Enya because the emotions Enya portrays with this particular song captures the emotions I have felt the last week. Its calm and peaceful, but there are also various rises and falls, which for me personally displays the bittersweetness of recent events.

Once again, I wish you all a merry Christmas. Stay warm! Stay safe.

Prayers for Emily Dutson

This is my dear friend Emily Ann Dutson.


She is one of the most amazing girls I've ever met. She always has a smile on her face and she just radiates with happiness. I've never heard her utter a negative word or been unkind to anyone. She also received a mission call to Canada next month. She really is just a wonderful girl!

On Friday night, she and her mother were driving home in the snow and their car lost control. They spun around several times into oncoming traffic. They were hit head on by a truck.




Those in the truck received minor injuries, however, Emily's mother died at the scene. Emily was transported to the hospital in critical condition. She has broken her foot, leg, arm, and some ribs. She also has some swelling in her brain and is on life support unconscious.

There is still hope for her though! Today, she has improved with her breathing, her body temperature is stable, and she has started responding to touch. However, she is still in need of your prayers! Please, take a second to pray for her recovery and the comforting of her family at this time. They are dealing with so much and could really use your help!

Thanks everyone! You're fantastic!

Bad Day

The SotW isn't a favorite song. Its just kinda been my theme song over the course of...December.
Do you ever have those days where you try so hard to make everything right and you just end up tripping all over your own feet? I feel like I'm trying so hard to do what I'm supposed to be doing and trying to be happy. But everything is just going poorly. I say stupid things without thinking, I screw up, I make mistake after mistake. I feel like there is something wrong with me. And this frustrates me a great deal.
Anyways, enough complaints out of me. This blog was meant to bring joy to it's readers. So...here's a joke I heard a few days ago: What did the chinese couple name their baby who was mysteriously born black? Sum Ting Wong

Have a good day, reader.

Merry Christmas, Darling

Now that it is Christmas time and I won't get my head bitten off for listening to Christmas music, I am going to post the first Christmas song of the season.
"Merry Christmas, Darling" is my all-time favorite Christmas song. Not only do I absolutely love Karen Carpenter's voice, but the lyrics to this song are just beautiful. I'm a terrible romantic and this song just melts my heart. That's really all I can say. I just immensely love this song!

Merry Christmas, darling blog-reader! :)

Like We Used To

This week's SotW is "Like We Used To" by A Rocket to the Moon.
I've chosen this song for various reasons, actually. This song is about a guy singing about his ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend and questions if the new BF treats her as well as the old BF does. Now, I'm not experiencing anything like that in my life right now, but I heard this song on the radio the other day and it really touched me.
I have had my share of guys that are little more than scum. It really puts a damper on trying to find an EC who will treat a girl with respect and perhaps even like the lyrics in the song:

"Does he watch your favorite movies? Does he hold you when you cry? Does he let you tell him all your favorite parts when you've seen it a million times? Does he sing to all your music while you danced to 'Purple Rain'? Does he do all these things...?
Will he love you like I loved you? Will he tell you everyday? Will he make you feel like you're invincible with every word he'll say?
"

I dunno, I just really hope to find him. Its just disheartening when the world basically shows you that he doesn't exist.

PS: I'm not desperate. This song just made me think about life a little more than normal, proving that its a good song. :)

So tell me, what do you think about this song, the melody, the lyrics....?

25 Things I am Thankful For

25. Blankets - its just amazing how comforted you can feel consumed in a blanket.
24. The Internet - we are SO much more spoiled these days than those who lived in years passed. People used to have to look up information in encyclopedias and we just google, without even looking hard.
23. Money - even though I don't have hardly any, I am thankful for what I DO have and what I can do with it.
22. Chapstick - there is nothing more annoying than burning lips and there is nothing more satisfying as the relief chapstick can offer.
21. Being able to breathe through my nose - I am definitely not a mouth breather and it therefore is devastating when my nose gets clogged.
20. Electricity - Too broad of a subject to expound on...
19. Fuzzy socks - Is there anything more enjoyable than putting cold feet into warm fuzzy socks? I think not.
18. Disney - From "The Lion King" to Disneyland, I am SO grateful that there is such thing as Disney. What a joy it is in my life. Daily.
17. My Roommates - Deborah, Ali, and Amy! I dunno if any of you girls read my blog, but I am SO thankful to have you as my roomies. NEVER a dull moment. Always laughing.
16. Deodorant - There is nothing worse than having to stand close to someone who is sweating and smells terribly of B.O.
15. Flowers - Proof that God is real and that he loves us. Not only are they among the most beautiful creations of nature, but they smell amazing!
14. Chocolate - I'm a girl. Enough said.
13. Christmas Time - I absolutely LOVE Christmas time, everything about it. From the lights to the trees to the colors to the songs to the goodies...EVERYTHING!!!...except the snow.
12. Boys - Most of the time, they are nothing but a pain in the butt. They just don't get us girls. But then something amazing happens and they will do things that just melt your heart by saying something sweet or perhaps just smelling good.
11. Nature - Again, too broad of a subject to elaborate. I could seriously go on for HOURS about this one...
10. Babies - There is something just so special about a newborn. So precious, so innocent. Some of the most spiritual moments in my life have involved holding a baby.
9. Sunshine - Nothing helps brighten a day more than the sunshine, whether the bright beams or the warmth.
8. My Education - Ok, so I know I mostly just complain about school and homework, but I really am amazingly grateful for the opportunity I have to get an education. I love to learn!
7. Texting - Although rather annoying sometimes, texting is very convenient most of the time...
6. Transportation - Not only do we not have to walk for miles to get where we want to go, but most transportation options have air conditioning / heating and a radio!
5. Water - Not only do I love drinking water, but I love just being in water. Whether I'm swimming or taking a shower, I just love water! I love staring at water, watching its strange shadows on the bottom of the pool. Very amazing.
4. Music - Music touches my heart more than anything else I've ever known. It has a way of touching my heart in a way that words never can. Music is my life. Without music, my life would be dull and quiet.
3. Friends - There is nothing I love more than having a good time with amazing people. I wouldn't be anywhere in life without those who I have met along my way. I am SO thankful to everyone who has reached out to me and made me a better person.
2. My Family - Thanks Mom, Dad, Mike, Kristi and John, Kelly, Lizzie, Kevin, Jessica, Erik, Emily, Danny, and Roxie! You guys mean the world to me! I love how loud and crazy we are and I love our situation. Never, ever would I change the life I've had with all of you. You guys keep me going every day!
1. The Gospel / My Testimony - I am so thankful for the church and for those who have died for it. I am so thankful to know what I know and to have been able to be a part of such an amazing church. I can only hope to one day bring someone else to the happiness and peace I have found. This true doctrine is the reason life is bearable. I'd be nobody without it.

All of Me

I figured that I would choose "All of Me" by Jon Schmidt for this week for several reasons.
1. This is my FAVORITE Jon Schmidt song. I love the melody of the song and, as heard in all is songs, the chords he chooses and the rise and falls. Absolutely beautiful. No matter how many times I hear this song, I can always interpret it differently and find various emotions throughout it. Its truly a heavenly melody.
2. For the past three weeks, I have been SO excited for Jon Schmidt's Christmas concert! Not only is it going to be an AMAZING concert, but its going to be great because I get to attend it with an amazing gentleman as well, who loves and appreciates music just as much as I do! :)
3. I have been feeling homesick alot more than normal this semester and this was the first Jon Schmidt song that my sister, Jessica, learned how to play. She could play it almost perfectly after running through it about 4 times and she was only 14 years old! So, this song makes me think of her.

Enjoy this song. Let it fill your soul and calm your heart.

Somebody Like You by Keith Urban

Ok, I know I've gotten sloppy on my "Song of the Week" but that's going to change NOW! :) This week's SotW is "Somebody like You" by Keith Urban. The reason is because this song pretty much sums up my life right now. Yeah, there perhaps is someone specific that I'm thinking about or maybe a few in general. Depends on when you ask me, really. But I think the lyrics to this song is just amazing! Keith is so great with his lyrics but I really love this song.

"I wanna love somebody, love somebody like you!"

Update

Its been a while since I last blogged. So, I figure that with the 10 mins I have before class, I'll go ahead and do some blogging.
Hmm, I feel like alot has happened since my last post. Something that immediately comes to mind is my car. I slid on some black ice in the Taco Bell parking lot into a pole. The cost of damage was more than the car was worth and I only had liability insurance, so I said farewell to my beloved Cavalier. It did, however, prove to me what great neighbors I have. Braden and Jeff came to help me out with towing details and making sure I was alright. They have NO idea how incredibly grateful I am to them for helping me. I don't know what I would have done without them! Thanks guys!!!

Forget Juliet. I got a letter from an ELDER!

I'm feeling rather joyful, so I figured I'd blog about it. What is the source of my joy, you ask? Well, it just so happens that I received a letter from Elder Nestman today! Now, I know that every girl is excited to get a letter from her missionary, but its different with this boy and me. I told him not to write me so he can stay focused on his work. I told him to write his mom and don't worry about writing me, but guess what? He did it anyway! :) I'm not sure what it is exactly that makes girls so giddy about getting a letter. Maybe its the fact that its from a boy. Maybe its the fact that the boy thought enough about her to write her a letter. I mean, missionaries only have an 8 hour period a week to write letters and if he wrote one to you, that's gotta mean that you mean something to him! I don't know, but what I do know is how I feel when I get letters from him. And I feel awesome! I love hearing about what he's up to and how he's doing. I seriously love seeing / reading / feeling how much he's growing. It makes me so excited for when he comes home! Ahh!
So, who all is writing an elder?! Any good stories?

Life is Hard. But So Are Bricks.

I have had an amazing time up here at Utah State so far. I'm enjoying so much of it and am loving getting to know so many new people! But I am still human and still have my bad days.
This week has been particularly rough, I'm afraid.
October 5 was the marking of the 10 year anniversary of my mother's death. It has been very hard for me to come to terms with the fact that I haven't heard her voice, seen her face, or embraced her for a decade. It makes me feel old and it makes me miss her all the more. I wish she were still here with me and I wish that I could talk to her about so many things. But I know that it was her time to leave this life and move right along in her eternal journey.
Aside from that, there has been boy drama. Specifically, there was this one guy who I started really liking. We went on a date and had a marvelous time! He had grabbed my hand, made me laugh, told me about how beautiful he thought my eyes were, the whole enchilada. He was very charming and I found him very attractive. I started crushing on this guy, hard. So I invited him over several times only to be told he was busy doing things elsewhere, which was fine! It happens. We're in college and get pretty busy. No big. But then, I find out basically by interrogation that he has a girlfriend he never told me about! He never told me about her and probably never would have, for all I know. Nobody knew about her, except his roommate. But yeah, this was hard for me because I totally put myself out there (which doesn't happen very often) and feel humiliated. I feel like I was lied to and made a fool of myself. Ugh. Trying to be the mature adult, I told him that I forgave him and didn't want to make a big deal over it and asked if he wanted to still be friends. And he said yes.
So, there you have it. Life gets poopy sometimes, but Heavenly Father ALWAYS sends a wipe to clean it up somehow. Lucky for me, he sent me mine in a dream last night. Haha, and I think that's where I shall end this entry before I sound any weirder.
Ciao!

Week One = Completed

I successfully finished my first week at Utah State. Holy cow, let me just say how incredibly different this school is in comparison to Eastern Utah!!! There is people EVERYWHERE! And my classes are huge. Its overwhelming at times, but I think I'm adjusting just fine. I'm taking only 5 classes this year including Human Adjustment, Social Welfare, Social Problems, Philosophy of Ethics, and my institute class Gospel and the Productive Life. I think I'm really going to enjoy these classes, especially my philosophy class. I didn't know if before Monday, but I really love philosophy! Its so interesting and I'm really enjoying it. I like my other classes too and am really looking forward to my institute class. It'll be a good semester. I'm living in Bridgerland Apartments and I think its absolutely perfect. I love my apartment! I'll post pictures just as soon as everything is unpacked and there aren't random boxes all over! :) As roommates go, I think its going to be a good situation. My actual roomie is Amy Nixon and I really am liking her. She's such a sweetheart and probably the most social person I've ever met. She's super fun and we've had some really fun times this week. My other roommates are Ali and Deborah. I still don't know them very well, as we haven't spent alot of time together, but I'm looking forward to getting to know them. My ward seems pretty awesome. I've met SO many people this week and, I know I keep saying this, but I'm just so excited to get to know everyone. I have a good feeling about this year. :)

My Social Life Increase

While being in Texas, I didn't really have a social life, like at all. I never made any friends to hang out with or party with or anything like that. But I'm not complaining, because that makes my friends just that much more important to me. This last week, I've spent so much time with a ton of my friends! On Saturday, I went and had dinner with Jacob and then saw "Despicable Me" with him and Sarah. On Monday, I spent a good chunk of my day shopping with Whitney B and was later joined by new friend Joe. Tuesday was spent replacing the brake pads on my car. Haha. It was fun, alright? Wednesday was spent at the theater with Amanda watching "Vampires Suck". On Thursday, Sarah and I spent the majority of the day together being stuck in the broken down car, tow truck, car dealership, and eventually up in Ogden with Terra. Then playing night games in Herriman with Whitney B, Joe, and Zach. Today was great too seeing "Eat Pray Love" with my mom, having a grand old time at the park and the Taco Bell parking lot with Vanessa, Meisha, Parker, John, Jeremy, Amanda, Chris, and Rachel. And tomorrow should be amazing once again with my plans to have lunch with Missy and then get together with Whitney M. Ah, to be back in a world where people know me. Life is good. Almost ready to move up to Logan next week, but not quite yet....

Life After Texas

Well, I've been home for a week now and not much has really happened. On Monday and Tuesday, my family went camping at Cherry Hill is Kaysville. We had such a fun time mini golfing, rock climbing, and playing in the waterpark. It was a great few days! I am in the process of getting everything taken care of before school and that includes getting everything worked out with my car. While cleaning it out, I found tons of treasures, including a life time supply of gum, a bedspread, 5 tennis balls, a pogo stick, etc. Its been fun. On Friday, we (my mom, Jessie, and myself) all helped Kelly move in up in Logan. I had a job interview and had a safety inspection on my car. I'm really getting excited about moving in. On the way home from Logan, Jessie and I stopped in Plain City for Chelsey's bridal shower, which was a great party! Then yesterday, I went down to American Fork to hang out with Jacob, which eventually involved Sarah too! And we saw "Despicable Me". Ah, such a cute movie.
Anyways, that's like everything I've done since getting back. What a life, right?

Back Home in Utah

After 3 months, I am back home in Utah! It was an adventure getting home though, lemme tell ya. I couldn't get a straightway flight from Houston to Salt Lake. So I had to get creative in my road home. I ended up going from Houston to New York City. The flight was perfect, other than the fact that I sat next to a foreign lesbian couple. But there was no problem with the flight or anything. I got to the airport and was surprised. It was more like a mall, complete with a spacious food court. It was awesome! I didn't have enough time to go out to Manhattan, which was really sad to me, but I was able to see it from the airplane. I stayed at the airport for about 3 hours and miraculously got onto a flight to Las Vegas via standby. This flight was awful. I sat next to two overweight people and was not able to even really have my chair to myself. The person who sat next to me needed some extra room on my chair and ended up falling asleep on me. Ugh! It was not a fun ride. It was a very long 6 hours. After landing in Vegas, I got some dinner and just hung around the airport. It was an interesting experience. Very bright, loud airport/casino. It took me by surprise. I was at the Vegas airport for only about 3 hours as well and then boarded my final flight to Salt Lake City. This flight was only an hour and 15 mins long, thank goodness, and I was able to sleep through most of it. I was overjoyed to see that my dad was able to meet me at the gate instead of me having to walk to long was out of the terminal to see him.
As amazing as this summer was, I cannot express the happiness I am feeling being home with my family. I missed them dearly and it just feels so right to be around them and with them. Its just an amazing feeling. Ah, I love them.

Adventures in Texas

Since my last post, I've been able to do a lot of fun things. J and J took me to go see "Wicked"! I had the opportunity to see it a few years ago in Hollywood and LOVED it! So, I was extremely excited to have the chance to see it again. Its such a great show!
I went to the San Marcos River a few weeks back. We floated down the river on tubes. Everyone was complaining about how cold the water was, but I really didn't think it was that cold. Maybe that is because the lakes in Utah are colder than that river was, idk. All I know is that I had a
good time and it was a ton of fun, even though pretty much everyone had some form of a war wound.

A parking spot down by the river saved for Elvis! Awesome!


I also got to experience downtown Houston. We went through the underground tunnels. I was able to go up to the top of the Chase Tower, which is the tallest building in Houston with its 75 stories! Aside from the lack of mountains, the view was amazing!



While in Houston, we ate lunch at the most haunted restaurant in the United States!


I went to NASA as well. It was a pretty good experience. It was alot different than I thought it was would, mostly more boring than I thought. But it was very interesting at some spots. I was glad to have gone before Obama shuts everything down.


After going to NASA, we went to the Kemah Boardwalk. It was a ton of fun! We had a really nice dinner and then CH and I went on the roller coaster, which was awesome! It was also a very beautiful place! Very peaceful, minus the carnival-like setting.


A few weeks ago, B, J, and me all went to go see Pauly Shore at the HBO famous comedy club, Improv. He was really funny, minus all the f bombs he thought made him funnier. His openner, Slade Hamm, was quite funny also. We had a great time!


My most recent fun event was going to the Gulf of Mexico. We spent most of the day at the beach and had a blast body surfing and soaking in the sun. As you will see in the picture below, I got pretty burned. Ha!


Well, thats it for now. I'm sure that last week and a half I have left in Texas will be a great one!

Short Update

I know its been a while and I will update soon, promise! I just had to share with the world what kind of people I'm working with. (And embarrass that crap out of my coworkers!) So, here's about 30 seconds of what consists of my daily life at work.

video

Yeah. I know. Haha. They were pretending to be chickens! How random!

So Far, So Good

Wow, yeah. Its been a while. Sorry about that. Life has been crazy since I got here. I've been kept busy. Now to update you on all the wonderful things I've done since I got here a month ago....hmmm....
Let me start off by telling you about where I'm working and what I do with the majority of my time here. I am working as an administrative assistant for Grubb & Ellis Property Management. I work under three (well, actually only 2) ladies specifically and I love them to death! One of them is one of the sweetest ladies I've ever met and she really likes pickles. (Haha, inside joke.) The other lady is SO funny. She's basically psycho and is alot like how I probably will end up when I'm her age. She's so random and out there, always smiling. And the third is this amazing woman. She can be intimidating, but she's such a good person. Love ya, J. Anyways, I work on the top story of a building in The Woodlands. It has a beautiful view also. I could spend my entire 8 hours at work just looking out the window. There are alot of trees and its pretty flat, makes me miss the mountains. But for the most part, I am SO thankful for the experience I'm having working for this company. I really love what I'm doing and the people I get to interact with.

This is the sign on the wall right above my desk

This is the painting my desk faces. Very interesting. I think its fish. L thinks its a bra...

The Waterway view from L's office

That's the building I'm working at :) So pretty!

This is down at the entrance of the building. There are a ton of fish and about 8 turtles that live inside the pond.



Aside from work, life is going pretty dang good!





Me, chillin' poolside :)

Leftovers from one of the two crawfish boils J had at her home. LOTS of crawfish
(PS: Crawfish and Crawdads are the same thing.)

Me, B, and J on the night we went club hoppin'.


My Houston Texas Temple Experience


Although I've been in Texas for almost a week, I haven't made any friends my age yet. I really didn't want to spend my Friday night moping around and being bored, so I decided to go to the Houston Temple. It was the first time I'd ever been to this temple and the first time I've ever gone to the temple alone. My, what an awesome experience it was!
I left the house right after dinner around 6:50 or so, hoping to make it before it closed at 8. I live about 20mins from it, so I figured I'd be fine. Well, I ended up driving for 45 mins before I started to freak out. I was crying and started believing that the reason I couldn't find the temple was because it was Heavenly Father's way of telling me I was unworthy or something. Anyways, I was really upset because I couldn't find the temple. So, I turned around and started to head back home. I was furious at myself for not taking down better directions and even madder because I was giving up but I didn't know what else to do. So, I start driving and out of nowhere, I see the Angel Moroni. Tears welled up inside of me again because I was so thankful to just find the temple. I got out of the car and walked around it and then decided to go in to ask if there was room for one more person for the baptistry. I was sure they'd tell me know because it was already after 8. But the temple worker smiled and said "You have perfect timing. We're just finishing up a group." Oh, I was SO thankful!
This little experience may not mean much to you, the reader, but it is just amazing to me. It just goes to show me that things get frustrating and complicated, but they'll always get better. There is always going to be a light at the end of the tunnel. It also was a object(ish) lesson for me. I felt SO lost because I couldn't find the temple. But as soon as I found it, I was FULL of peace. Life is kind of like that. When you can't see the temple being in your future, you're just going to be lost. But if you know where its going to be in your life, things will go smoother, more peaceful. This was a perfect ending to my first week in Texas. :)

Texas

Well, I moved to Texas yesterday finally! My flight was at 7:05am so I left the house super early before anyone was awake, which was pretty sad, actually. Dad came with me to the airport and was able to walk me to the gate. And I was so grateful for that because I was already nervous and his presence helped me chill out a little bit. The time came for me to give him a hug and get on the plane. I got on the plane and ended up sitting next to some lady who kept telling me all about the best places to party in Houston. She was super cute and like 50 so it was really funny. However, about an hour before we landed, we hit some pretty intense turbulence. I was almost positive that I was going to die. I seriously had tears in my eyes because I was freaking out so bad! We finally landed after a bajillion years of bumpy-scariness.
As soon as I got off the plane, the humidity hit me like a brick wall. Holy crap, humidity! I cannot believe how gross it felt. Sick. I guess I'm just gonna have to get used to it. J and B picked me up from the airport and then took me to a sushi bar where I had my first real experience with sushi. Yum! Then we went back to their house to relax and get unloaded and all that jazz.
There are several things I noticed already about Texas. Everyone has an accent, running red lights is not a good idea, the people all call each other "darlin'" or "honey" and are generally nice, and their food variety is extremely wide. Things are looking up for this summer. It's gonna be an experience different than I've ever had before. I've never lived with so few people in my life and never lived with people of a different faith. I'm looking forward to seeing how this summer rolls out. It's gonna be good.

Road Trip to Nauvoo

Let me first start off by saying that this is probably going to be a long post because this trip was SO amazing and I want to talk all about it! So....yeah!
Jacob and Chelsey were awesome enough to stay long enough to see me off. We left Price early Saturday evening. It was pretty interesting start to the trip. We had two charter buses driving us and the bus that I wasn't on ran over a nail and needed replace their bus. So, after driving through Spanish Fork Canyon, we ended up sitting in Draper for about 45 minutes, waiting for another bus to come. We ended up getting at our hotel in Rawlins, Wyoming around 1:00am or so.
The next morning, we left Rawlins around 9:00am. We went up to Martin's Cove for sacrament meeting, which was amazing! It was a 5 mile hike up to the actual cove and it was very peaceful! We almost got trampled by a herd of antelope on our way back for lunch. After lunch, we got back on the bus for another 530 miles. This particular bus ride was not enjoyable at all. There was a lot of contention on the bus regarding what movie to watch on the sabbath or to even watch a movie at all. Yeah, that was not fun.
After getting to the hotel after midnight again, we left the hotel in Kearney, Nebraska at 9:00am the following morning. We drove several hours to Winter Quarters.


We took a tour through the Winter Quarters museum and then went across the street to the Pioneer Cemetery, which was very peaceful and the spirit was amazing there! Not many of the graves were marked, but there were many pioneers buried there. It made me sad to think about how hard their lives must have been and everything they had to endure. At the same time though, it made me SO thankful for everything I have and for my life. Carved into the cement in the cemetery is the phrase "Gird up your loins, Fresh courage take. Our God will never Us forsake." I felt so warm inside when I read that and it was made known unto me how true that statement truly is. Heavenly Father LOVES us and will never abandon us.

Right next to the cemetery is the Winter Quarters Temple. Wow, beautiful temple!




After leaving Winter Quarters, we drove another 330 miles to Nauvoo. We stayed at a Manor House. Basically what that means is that we were in regular sized hotel rooms with 4 bunk beds, meaning 8 girls in one room with only one bathroom. Whoever came up with that arrangement didn't use their brain.


Anyways, Tuesday was a great day. I spent the morning in Old Nauvoo at the bakery, brickyard, blacksmith shop, and other various spots. It was a blast and those senior missionaries are just too cute!


We walked back from Old Nauvoo to our hotel and walked right next to the Nauvoo Temple, which (needless to say) was SO beautiful! There is such a special spirit that surrounds that temple!


After lunch at the hotel, we went over to Carthage Jail which, besides the temple, is probably one of the most spiritual places that I have ever been to in my life! This is where the prophet Joseph Smith gave his life. It just goes to show how true the Book of Mormon MUST be. I don't know of any other religion that has a martyr such as the LDS.

This is me with the statue of Joseph and Hyrum in front of the Carthage Jail Visitor's Center

The door with holes from the bullets that struck Hyrum Smith

The window the Joseph Smith fell from after being shot by the mob outside

After Carthage, we say a play that the senior missionaries preform in Nauvoo called "Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo" and it was the cutest and funnest play I have ever been to. I felt like a kid in a candy shop! It was just a ton of fun!
On Wednesday, I got to go to baptisms in the Nauvoo Temple. This temple is unlike any of the 8 temple I have been in before! As soon as you enter, you can see the assembly room and are free to view inside it. Right next to the assembly room is a long hallway. On the walls of the hallway are artifacts from when the pioneers lived in Nauvoo, such as temple shoes and clothing. There are also the original temple keys from the original temple and Joseph Smith's saber. The font was huge! I swear it was about 3 times the size of the average sized font. On our way out of the temple, we were able to see another awesome characteristic of this historical temple. There is a 6 story high spiral staircase. It was so beautiful! Of course, now being endowed yet, I was only allowed to go up to the second level. But I for sure will be back to climb the rest of that staircase!


The next day, we had to leave Nauvoo. We left the hotel at 5:00am! Yeah, it was pretty chaotic leaving that morning. We drove 230 miles to Adam-ondi-Ahman. Wow! What a beautiful piece of land! It was SO green and there were like a million trees. It was very peaceful and a very relaxing place to be. I was just thinking the whole time how wonderful it's going to be when all the Saints gather here! I couldn't think of any better place for the gathering.



My beloved ward! Oh how I shall miss them dearly!

We left Adam-ondi-Ahman and we scheduled to go to Haun's Mill, but our poor buses couldn't make it so we just went to Far West. We didn't stay at Far West very long. We had a devotional and soon after left for Liberty Jail.

Amanda, Me, Terra, and Sarah at the Liberty Jail sign

Liberty Jail was a great experience! I wasn't aware that the museum was built around the jail and I thought that was a pretty cool detail and thankful that it was being preserved as such. I was also overcome with gratitude for what Joseph Smith went through for us. He could have gotten out of it very easily by denying that the Book of Mormon was true. But he stood up tall for what he believed in. It made me realize that I have alot to work on and it made me want to become steadfast and immovable more than ever before.

Liberty Jail. There are mannequins inside to show how tight spaced it really was inside

That night, we drove to our hotel in Independence. We didn't see any sights that night. We actually stopped at a local church building and held a testimony meeting. It started out extremely spiritual. The spirit in that room was SO intense! Unfortunately, the meeting started to drag on and it felt like the spirit was decreasing. I think it was because everyone was getting pretty restless. That testimony meeting lasted two and a half hours long, which I think was just too long. But it was still amazingly awesome! When we got back to the hotel, most of us all walked across the street to the IHop. I swear, there had to be at least 50 of us. Poor employees.
The next day, we went over to the Independence Visitor's Center where they taught us what life was like for the pioneers that had lived there. Afterwards, we went across the street to the Community of Christ (aka the RLDS) temple.


As you can see, it looks as if it came straight out of a Tim Burton film and I was very hesitant to go inside. However, I was pleasantly surprised as to what I found inside. They took us first into their most sacred room, the sanctuary room. In this room, they told us that this was their main room for worship. They held daily prayer sessions in this room, praying everyday for a different country, which I thought was awesome honestly. The tour guide went on to say how their main goal of their church is peace and to spread it throughout the world.

This is the ceiling in the sanctuary room, which is the inside of the spire

I came out of that temple with a feeling that I never thought of before. Many people came out of their angry and upset we went over there, saying that "That's not a temple" or "I felt the spirit leave me as soon as I went in." Well, I didn't feel any other that. I felt that sure, its not a temple to US, but it's still THEIR temple and still a building dedicated to Heavenly Father where people worship Him. I also felt a definite spirit there, even though it was a different spirit than inside one of our temples. I just felt like if we want other religions to respect us then we MUST respect their's and there was just a ton of negativity that came from our group, which actually really annoyed me.

Well, that was basically my trip to Nauvoo. The next two days were just riding in the bus forever. Nothing exciting. But anyways, this was such an amazing trip and I SO needed it, especially at this time in my life. I still feel like I'm on a spiritual high from it! Oh, I cannot wait to go back. I do, however, honestly believe that the only thing that would have made this trip better would have been to have my family there with me because I have SUCH a better respect for them and my heritage.

Graduation

Chelsey and Jacob came down for graduation. What great friends!!!

Stevie, me, and Whitney


After many hours of homework, stressing over studying, light nights, all-nighters, and random meltdowns, I'm finally a college graduate! Hooray! Sure, I only have my associates, but I'm still the first in my family to have a college degree. That is a big deal to me. It makes me feel very special, especially because I'm pretty much the biggest ditz in my family and say alot of stupid things. But I have a degree. Wahoo! Its incredible how awesome I feel right now. I can only imagine how much more awesome I'm going to feel when I receive my master's degree! Woo-ee.
Anyways, to celebrate graduating from Eastern Utah with a major in Liberal Studies and an emphasis on Psychology, I have gone on a week long trip with my institute. We are hitting up pretty much every historical church site from Utah to Nauvoo. Very exciting. I'll write more about that when the trip is over.

*Make A Wish*

Last Tuesday, my family was blessed enough to be invited to the Make A Wish facility. When a cancer patient is well on their way to recovery, the Make A Wish foundation contacts them and ask them to list several different "wishes" that they'd like to be granted. With Emmy being in her maintenance stage of her chemo treatments, the Make A Wish foundation contacted her several months ago and had asked her to list several different "wishes" that she would like to be granted.
Anyways, now that the doctors have given her the "ok" to go back to school, Make A Wish invited her to visit their facility so they could present her with her Wish, unaware to which Wish she will be granted. Now, if you've never been to the Make A Wish facility, I strongly recommend going there sometime. This building is unlike any other. Half of the building is shaped like a castle tower, while the other half is a regular building, complete with a huge garden surrounding it.
When we got to the facility, we were given a tour of this amazing building. After a while, we were all invited into the Wishing Tower. This room was cylinder-shaped with white walls. In the center of the room was a waterfall. The floor were clear tiles with color-changing lights that shined up through them, giving the walls color. It was just magical. Before we entered this room, we all wrote down a wish we had for Emmy and her life. Once inside, we all read our wishes to her and let me tell you, this was a pretty emotional event for us. The feeling of love in that room was thick enough to cut with a knife! It was just so amazing. Anyways, they presented her with her Wish: She and my family will be spending a week the first week in May down in Orlando, Florida. Its a super exciting event for our family because we never have gone on a vacation like this before. (Well, I should probably mention that any siblings older than 18 have to pay their own way. Therefore, not all of us will be going. But thats ok and it's still super exciting!!!

This is Me, Emmy, Jessica, and Danny at the Make A Wish sign.


Family picture around Emmy's star which reads "Welcome to the Wishing Place Emily!"

The ceiling in the main hallway of the facility had many, many glass stars hanging from it. Each star represents a wish that was granted to a child.

My Little Friend

This is what happens when I am really tired and really bored at the dinosaur museum....


video

Family is Really the Only Thing That Matters

Me and my sisters

You know, life is crazy. It changes ALL THE TIME. As soon as you are comfortable, it throws something totally random at you, keeping you on your toes. I keep realizing over and over and over the same thing. Friends are fickle, but family is forever. I cannot tell you how many close friends aren't that close to me anymore or how many times people have let me down (or how many times I've unintentionally let a friend down.) But no many how many times you let your family down, they still hold their arms wide open for you. You can always go home. Even though you aren't perfect or may be a little hardheaded and stubborn or can be annoying, they will love you no matter what, no matter how many mistakes you make. This just keeps becoming more and more apparent to me as I get older and I cannot believe it has taken me this long to actually see it. So, I just want to let my family know, immediate AND extended, how truly thankful I am for you guys. You all are the reason I get up in the morning! THANK YOU for your love!!!