Friday, October 21, 2016


Once upon a time, last summer to be exact, I was traveling abroad with some of my best friends all over Europe.  It was absolutely incredible, something I'll have to get more into detail about another day.  As we walked the streets of Europe, a couple of my friends and I would notice some posh, chic, beautiful, stylish girl walking down the street and we would immediately say, "Are you kidding me?  She's adorable.  Did you see her outfit?!  She is so tiny!" and on and on and on.  While yes, these women were beautiful, there was a trend in our comments throughout our travels.  Can you guess what that was?  "She's so tiny." "She was itty bitty!" Apparently that was a comment that we made so much, that one of my friends was fed up with our comments and called us out on it.  She said, "why does every single person you guys point out as 'beautiful' or 'gorgeous' have to be skinny?"  It stung.  We of course responded with, "They don't have to be skinny to be beautiful." But I couldn't get her comment out of my head.  It has stuck with me since that day.

I kept questioning myself, do I really believe that?  Am I really that shallow?  And unfortunately, I had to be honest with myself.  You see, I have never particularly been confident or happy with my body.  There's always something that I want to fix, and I have always looked at myself in comparison to others.  No, I don't believe that you have to be skinny in order to be beautiful, but there was something to be said in the trend of my thoughts.  I pointed out all of those beautiful and skinny women, because I wanted to be like them.  I wanted to be skinny, stylish, and everything else that they were.  Sound familiar? Of course it does.

George Tesui: "Looking in the Mirror"

For centuries, women have done such stupid things to achieve this idealistic beauty that is unattainable.  A few months ago I went to a presentation with my mom about fashion through the decades.  I learned about fashion from the 1840's to the 1960's.  In each decade, there was something so idiotic that women were doing for the sake of beauty and of course we all laughed and thought, 'why would these women do that to themselves?' The truth is, 50 years from now women will be saying the same thing about our generation.  It is the same problem, just manifest in a different way. Women risk their lives for beauty, whether it be the tight lacers back in the days of corsets, or the eating disorders of today, something has got to change.  It is a bigger problem than anyone can fix, but I know that I can fix the problem in myself, and hopefully I can teach my daughters what I know and they can fix the problem in themselves. Hopefully all of you try to fix the problem in yourselves.

It's no secret that each and every one of us has some sort of issue with our body image, even the people who in our minds, have perfect bodies.  We are constantly wishing we could look like someone else, and that is just sad.  Each and every one of us is beautiful, no matter what our body shape may be!  We need to stop focusing on all of the things we believe to be 'wrong' with our bodies.  We need to stop beating ourselves up over every little flaw and imperfection.  It has got to stop!  For all of us.  We cannot constantly bash ourselves for being imperfect. Everyone is.  I have heard complaints from women of all shapes and sizes about their bodies, and it is just sad.  I know it is easier said than done, but let's see if we can reverse the way in which we view ourselves and others.  Imagine how much different our children may think of themselves if we simply change our own thoughts?

If you're holding yourself accountable to reach perfection, you're never going to get there.  What you can and should hold yourself accountable for is becoming your best self.  You're never going to look like Angelina Jolie, because you're not her. Because Angelina Jolie is a) a woman and b) famous she probably has things that she is self conscious of as well! That goes with every woman that you view as "perfect."  Be your best self in all aspects of your life.  If you feel like you need to work out more, by all means, do it!  But do it for you, do it for your health, do it so you can improve your quality of life!  If you feel like you need to be more spiritual, then seek the things that your spirit is lacking.  Do you feel like you need some intellectual balance?  Read a book, go to a museum, learn something new. Just be a well balanced person.  Be the best you can be in all areas of your life.  Stop comparing yourself to others, and focus on yourself (I don't mean that selfishly). Beauty isn't just skin deep, and it's something that each of us would do well to remember, myself included.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I am the Vine, and Ye are the Branches

I just got back from a devotional at my church where Camille Fronk Olson
spoke with the women in my stake and I had to write down what I learned.  I felt so cleansed and edified by the things that I learned, and I know I won't be as articulate as this amazing woman was, but I will try my hardest to convey what I learned tonight.

Camille opened with a scripture from John 15:1, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husband-man."  She then began to read an excerpt from a book. I am not sure the book or the author, but the quote went more or less like this, "If you did not grow up in wine country, you probably are under the assumption that the vine is what grows along the trellis.  That is not actually true, the vine is the trunk from which all of those branches grow.  New branches tend to grow toward the ground, which is problematic as the leaves become dusty.  When it rains, they get muddy and start to mold and die."  Someone then asked the man, "What do you do with those branches?  Just cut them off and throw them away?"  He replied, "Oh, no.  That branch is much to valuable to be tossed aside. The keeper of the vineyard, or the husband-man goes through his vineyard and washes those branches one by one.  He then Ties them up along the trellis and once they have been re-positioned higher, they flourish."
Back to John 15:5 it says, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." Just as a branch that is cut off from the vine would wither up and die and produce no fruit, so it is the same with us.  Christ is the Vine, and we are the branches, and our Heavenly Father is the husbandman.

It is believed that the Atonement is only mentioned once in the New Testament, but that is not so.  It is mentioned multiple times with words that are synonyms to the Atonement.  We did some Etymology for the word and broke it down.  Atonement comes from the Hebrew word, Yom Kippur, which is the holiest day of the year in Judaism.  Yom means day and Kippur, comes from a root that means, to atone. Another meaning for the word Atonement is Reconciliation, which is the word that is written in the New Testament over and over again. Reconciliation broken down comes from the latin words re which means again and conciliar which means bring together.  We have another word in the english language that comes from the root word Conciliar, and I can't remember what it is called, so if anyone knows please comment so I can get it right, but it is the same thing as what we call stitches.  When we get stitches, the doctor is mending us and bringing us back together. The word reconciliation means to bring together again.  That is what the atonement does, it brings us back to Christ again.  I thought that was so interesting.  It helped me understand the Atonement on another level.

We spoke of the last supper and some things that took place that I never understood completely until today.  In John's account of the last supper (chapter 13 if you wish to read it), it takes place the day before passover.  Families have to do things in preparation for the Passover, and one of those things that they needed was a Lamb.  Christ is literally hanging on the cross as Lambs are being slaughtered (in a very specific and symbolic way) all over Jerusalem for Passover.  The evening before passover at the Last Supper, he arose from supper and laid his clothes aside.  He then took a towel and girded himself.  This is when he began to wash his disciples feet and he wiped them with the towel that was covering him.  This is incredibly symbolic, and I didn't pick up on that until now.  As he is cleansing the feet of his disciples and wiping them on his own covering, it is showing that he is taking upon himself their sins.  Their dirtiest part of their bodies, he is willingly washing clean, and wiping that dirt upon himself. Peter is uncomfortable with this because feet were viewed as the dirtiest part of the human body, and only the lowest of the low wash peoples feet.  Peter exclaims, "Thou Shalt never wash my feet..." to which the Lord replies, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me."  Then Peter gets it, and replies, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head."  I thought this insight was mind blowing because here we are, expected to do the same thing.  We are supposed to offer up the dirtiest parts of ourselves and let the lord cleanse us.  It is extremely interesting because in this example, it is their feet.  Either the lowest of the low did it for you, or you did it yourself.  Peter may have been uncomfortable and thought that he could do it himself.  That is the thing about the atonement.  We cannot do it ourselves.  We need the Savior to cleanse us, and we need his Atonement or we cannot and will not make it back to our Heavenly Father.

There is a picture of Christ speaking with a woman at the well.  When I looked at that picture I used to think that the woman at the well must be so incredibly righteous to be conversing with the savior like that. Tonight, I learned a little bit about the woman at the well.  She was a Samaritan.  She was also not who we might have originally pictured.  She had had 5 husbands, and the man that she was currently living with was not her husband.  That was extremely looked down upon in that day and age and in her civilization.  Now, the scripture says that this woman went down to the well at the 6th hour.  They counted time by when the sun rose, so that is probably around noon.  Getting water was considered women's work, so every day women went to fetch water at the well.  If I were to go get water each day, I would probably try to go first thing in the morning when it is cooler outside.  What time would be the worst time to go and get water?  Probably the middle of the day, around noon.  Why would this woman be going to get water at such a time?  Could it be to avoid other women?  To not be seen?  Probably so.  It was no coincidence that this is where she runs into Christ who then teaches her about the living water and introduces himself for the first time in recorded History as the Messiah.  This woman listened to him at the well, and she heeded his words.  She went forth and helped many of her people come to know their savior and messiah, Jesus Christ.  An unlikely missionary?  No, because she was willing to not only listen to the Lord, but to put his words into action.  Isn't this picture so much more interesting and deep now that we understand a little bit more of her back story?

There are so many more examples like this, and I am just feeling so inspired.  There is enough room in God's family for everyone.  It doesn't matter where we come from, what kind of sins we have committed, or anything else under the sun.  Satan wants us to believe we can't return to our Father in Heaven, and that is not true.  If we listen to the lord and heed his words, and allow him to cleanse us of our sins, there is room in his family for all of us, and what's even more incredible is that he wants us in his eternal family so badly that he created a plan for us to get there, and he sent his son so that we could return to him.  I know these things to be true, as the spirit has touched my heart and these words have resonated with my soul.  I am grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ, and I know that he lives and loves me.  I know that I can return to my Father in Heaven if I obey his words and trust in him.  I know I am a literal spirit daughter of God and that Jesus Christ is my literal brother and that he atoned for my sins, and for yours.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Independence Day

Yesterday Jason and I had such a wonderful time celebrating the 4th of July.  We started our day off at 6 am to get ready for the freedom run. I know what you're all thinking! Those of you who know me know that I hate running.  Those of you that don't know me, now you know.  I really do hate running.  My best friend growing up was big into running.  She was always running marathons and trying to get me to train with her, and sometimes I did!  But I never stuck with it, because I don't like it and I never had the drive to continue training.  Well, I am proud to say that this time I really did stick with it!  Sure, I could have been better prepared than I was, but I am proud of what I accomplished!  I ran a 10 K without stopping even though I wanted to so bad!  Especially since the last leg of the race was uphill and I wanted to die! Guys, I stuck with it and I felt so accomplished and proud of myself!  I couldn't have done it without my husband, he definitely dragged me along to run with him more times than I can count, and I am glad that he did because I couldn't have finished that 10 K without him!  The worst part of the run was probably that I didn't have any music because I don't have an iPod (I used to just use my phone, so my iPod has been history for many, many years) and I don't have a smart phone anymore, so I just kept thinking to myself, 'Don't stop! You can do this!  Keep going!  You're almost there!' And a whole slew of encouraging words from myself to keep me motivated.  Even though I still don't like running, I like how running makes me feel, so I am going to continue doing it and maybe next year I can beat my time!

After the freedom run, we watched the Parade.  I don't remember much because I was just obsessing over my nephew, but we had a lot of fun at the parade regardless of whether or not I watched it.  Not only was I in good company, but I was surrounded by good food! You really can't go wrong with that dynamic duo, am I right?!  I also got to visit my best friend before she went back to Texas, and that was some much needed best friend time. I miss her so much! I wish she lived here. After I visited with Shydi, I picked up Jas and we went to a family BBQ at his Aunt's house. We finished the night at the Cul-de-sac of Fire!  That is an event that Jason's best friend puts on at his family's home, and it is a blast.  Everyone brings a 4th of July snack to share and there is patriotic music blaring and of course an amazing Firework show!  We had so much fun hanging out with friends and just enjoying the evening together.  When we went home, our best couple friends came over to say goodbye to us because they moved to Michigan today. We are so sad and we are going to miss them so much!  We are also taking applications for a new couple best friend, but be warned: you will have some big shoes to fill! 

All fun celebrations aside, I definitely know the reason that we are even able to celebrate this holiday, and I just want to say that I am so grateful for all of the men and women who have fought, and still are fighting for the freedoms that I get to enjoy every single day.  America is a young country, but our history is rich, inspiring, and something worth celebrating!  I tear up when I hear our National Anthem because I am overwhelmed with gratitude and patriotism. I love America so much, and I know that I am so very blessed to live here. I am proud of the good men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country, and I am grateful that I was born into such a wonderful country that I love more than I can adequately express.  God bless America!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

9 Months Sober!

It has been a very long time since I last updated my blog.  I have wanted to post something multiple times over the last year or so since I posted last, but I haven't known how to start back up. Do I just pretend nothing ever happened and go on like normal?  Do I have to have something extremely interesting and intriguing to write about to get things going again?  These, among many others, are the questions that I have asked myself when I have thought to start writing on my blog again.  I have everything and nothing to talk about.  So much has happened since I last wrote, and also in my day to day life, it's like nothing has happened. I guess I will just try to play catch up and see where it goes from there.

First things first, I should state the reason for my absence.  The truth is, I don't really know why I stopped.  Maybe it was laziness, maybe I felt like nothing significant was happening so what was the point?  Maybe it was a little bit of both.  On October 1, 2015 Jason and I made a monumental decision.  At least, I think it was pretty monumental.  We decided to get rid of our smart phones and swap them out for dumb ones. I know what you are thinking, as I have gotten it all so many times since I made the switch.  "Why did you guys do that?" "you guys are awesome, I would love to do that but I never could because I need it for work," and my personal favorite, "you guys must be saving a lot of money!"

As for the "Why?"  I will answer simply.  We were spending more time on with our technology than we were with each other.  It wasn't like we were any more obsessive about it than any of you.  It wasn't posing an immediate threat to our relationship at all.  We looked just like any other modern day couple.  The only problem was that we didn't like that picture.  We didn't want to look like any other modern day couple.  We didn't want technology to become more important to us than the person sitting next to us.  We wanted more undivided attention from others, and we wanted to give more undivided attention to others.  We had wanted to do this from the beginning of our marriage and it took us about a year and a half to finally take the plunge.  I also wanted to free myself from my addiction to technology.  For me, it was any and all types of social media.  I am guessing a lot of you share this same addiction.  If you don't, good for you!  If you do, but you think you don't, maybe it is time to re-evaluate?  I never even knew how much time I wasted on my smart phone until I didn't have one anymore.

To respond to the remark that "you guys are awesome, I would love to do that but I never could because I need it for work," I had that same reservation.  That's why it took me over a year and a half to finally do it.  However, it was just an excuse, because I could do it, and my business completely relies on my social media presence, and all of my clients are in contact with me directly via text and email.  I do all of my own booking, and I am constantly texting clients. Is it a little more inconvenient?  Yes, but barely. In fact, I have had more success with my business due to social media in the last 9 months without a smart phone than I ever did with one.  How is that possible?  I had more time to focus on my business.  I didn't waste hours and hours looking through my feed and looking at other people's lives.  I have an iPad, and I have done all of my posting from that.  I get on for about 20 minutes a day to build my business, then I get off of it.  I can build my business just as well using an iPad, and I waste a lot less time during the day.

"You must be saving a lot of money!"  Haha.  Yeah, obviously we are saving money, but that was of no consequence to us, and that is not the reason that we did it.  Honestly, we aren't even saving that much money.  Smart phone plan's aren't that much more expensive than the plan that we have now, and while we are saving money, it isn't enough to care about. I wanted to get a dumb phone because I wanted to spend more time with the people in my life instead of the people in my social media networks.  I wanted to get a dumb phone to break my obsession with needing to know what everyone else was doing all the time.  I wanted to get a dumb phone so I could enjoy my own life more, and not compare myself to the perfect pictures that people paint of themselves on their profiles.  I wanted a dumb phone for so many more reasons than I named, and I am so glad that I have a dumb phone even though I see people silently judging me and feeling bad for me every time I pull it out.  Hahaha seriously it is one of my favorite things to notice now, Jason and I laugh about it all the time!

I do miss a few things about the smart phone interface.  I miss the calendar, I miss the convenience of taking a picture of anything and everything all the time, I miss the voicemail, and I miss the way that I received group messages.  Believe it or not, group messages are like a bajillion times more annoying with a dumb phone because everyones messages come in a little individual message from that single person, and you can't respond to the whole group.  Super dumb.  But those are the only things that I miss.  If I ever got a smart phone again, it would be without Data and I would only want one for the convenience of the way that the phone works.

Anyway, I didn't expect this to turn into such a long post about my dumb phone, I mostly just wanted to tell you guys that we got dumb phones and move on to more exciting things, but I guess that will have to come another day, and it just gives me a reason to write another post here soon so I can update you on more important things!  I promise my next post will be more intriguing.  But then again, maybe I shouldn't make any promises, because I would hate to disappoint. TTYL. HAGS. NEVER CHANGE!

Friday, February 27, 2015


Last week, Jason and I finished all ten seasons of Friends.  Needless to say, I was crying my eyes out when we were finished.  I was so emotional about it! Partially because it was that time of the month, and also because I just didn't want it to end.  You know the feeling you get when you finish a really good book and you're just so sad it's over?  I always want to know more about the characters and what happens next, and at the end of the book I'm so heart broken that I can't experience more with the characters that I became so connected to.   

I mean.. look at her.  She's 46 and looks better than I will ever hope to!  I'm obsessed.

Because my "Friends" have been on my mind lately, I started to do a little research on my favorite character, Jennifer Aniston.  She has always been one of my favorite actresses, and it dawned on me that I don't know much about her as a person, I only know the characters that she has played.  I've always thought that we would be friends in real life if we knew each other, but as I searched the web, that was confirmed.  She seems like a kind, genuine person, and from the interviews I read, her humor is right up my alley.  I think she is great!  Despite the fact that she's on my husband's "list."

As I browsed the internet for accurate sources, I came across an incredibly interesting quote by her.  I was reading up on her divorce, and the poor thing had rumors upon rumors upon rumors being spread about it.  Talk about getting personal!  I don't envy all the celebrity's who can't seem to have anything stay private.  Anyway, there was a specific rumor that said the reason for Jen and Brad's split was her refusal to have children with him.  This is what she said,
"...I've always wanted to have children, and I would never again give up that experience for a career." -Jennifer Aniston

 That really struck a cord with me.  A lot of people in today's world say how much women give up by having children, and they even go as far as to criticize and look down on those who do.  I'm not going to pretend that Jen and I are on a personal level and that I know anything about her situation or why she has never had children, but I can draw certain conclusions from that short, but profound quote; That she wanted to, and that her career has gotten in the way of that.  I also believe that if she were to do it all over again, she would put motherhood above her career any day.  Unfortunately, you live and learn, and sometimes you end up learning things a little too late.

I don't thin that every woman should be a mother, especially if they don't want to.  I'm also not putting down those who choose not to have children.  Having children is a very personal choice.  However, I do believe that being a mother is one of the greatest, most noble, and incredible things a woman can be.  It's not something that should ever be criticized, it should be glorified.  When the time is right, I can't wait to be a mother.  To me, it's not a sacrifice.  I'm not giving up who I am or what I love to become a mother, it's what I am meant to be.

To all of you amazing mom's out there, and especially my mom (and my mother in law's), Thank you!  Thank you for choosing to be a mother.  Thank you for kissing every boo boo, reading us stories every night, listening to our troubles and comforting us through them, teaching us right from wrong, not killing us as teenagers, being our shoulder to cry on when the world isn't fair, and being our biggest fan.  It was an incredibly hard, and thankless job most of the time, but you took it like a champ.  You don't hear it enough, but we love you, and we will be forever grateful to you.  Mom's rock!  And I can't wait to be one.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Florida Honeymooners.

Hey Friends!  It's been awhile.  You know those Vacations that you go on that are just so good that you never want to come back to real life afterwards?  Well, that basically sums up my absence.  Jason and I went to Florida for 2 weeks in October, and I still haven't come down from cloud 9.  Don't worry though, Jason and I took so many pictures and videos that when you look at these, it will be almost as good as if you were there with us.  Not quite, but almost.

As all of you know, we spent 6 months in North Carolina, which was great for us, but we were also very much in need of a vacation!  I'm telling you, those 6 months were brutal for the both of us.  But hey!  Work hard, play harder, am I right? 

Universal Studios was unreal, mostly because of Harry Potter World!  Oh my goodness... We were over the moon!  It really is as good as everyone says it is, and everyone really should go there!  Ever since we have read the books, we have all wished that we could be witches and wizards and that Hogwarts was a real thing, just admit it.  This is the closest we can all get to it, so really, just go.  It's worth it.  And regular butter beer is better than frozen butter beer.  Mmmm... butter beer...

 Disney World was just magical.  If you don't love Disney, I already know we would never be friends.  That is how much I love Disney.  You better believe my 5 year old self was in pure heaven!  If I'm being honest, my 22 year old self probably loved it even more though.  I'm completely in my element when I am there, and Jason couldn't stop laughing at me.  He just kept saying, "oh my gosh, you are so cute!"  He also saved my life while we were there.  Here I am just eating my dole whip like everyone else, when suddenly Jason just whacks my head.  As you can imagine I was both shocked and angry, but before I could react he explained that there was a white and red spider the size of a quarter in my hair!  I cried and then hugged him because it was a life threatening situation, and I survived.

No one knows how to put on a show quite like Disney.  The firework show at the end of the night had me in awe.  Those people have some serious talent, and you better believe we filmed all 30 minutes of it!  I can't talk about it anymore, I'm missing it too much!  But really it was incredible, and I am so happy I was able to spend time with my sweet husband there.  The happiest place on Earth couldn't really be the happiest place on Earth for me without my Jason.


Cruises are alright.  HA!  Just kidding.  They are incredible!  Not only are they Romantic, but you get to see such amazing places!  We went to Isla Roatan, Cozumel, and The Grand Cayman.  Guys.  I got to Swim with dolphins!  I got to hold a baby sea turtle!  I got to swim with stingray!  If you know me, you know that my love for animals is beyond comprehension, so obviously I was dying!  It was so much fun!  I am so lucky and blessed to have been on so many adventures with my best friend in the short time that we have been married, and I can't wait for many more to come!  I've gotten out of my lazy funk, so you can be sure that you'll be hearing from me much more.


 Happy New Year everyone!! Oh, and 2015?  I dare you to beat my 2014.  I double dog dare you.