Friday, December 11, 2009

Some Reflections on Life

There are lots of things from my past that I wish I could change. But of course, no one has the ability to change the past, and therefore, we must look onward to the future. That is not to say, however, that we should not learn from the past because that is completely untrue.

Today I read something that really impressed me. It was a friend's post about finding greatness within ourselves, the same way we did when we were children. When I was little I wanted to be the first female president. I was convinced that I was the smartest person in the world, and while I was quickly humbled on that, I now realize that even though it wasn't true, I wanted it to be true, and I would do whatever it took to be right. I would learn what I thought was important to know. I never thought less of myself until I started letting other people do my thinking for me. I allowed the judgments of others take control of who I was. Unfortunately, this led to learning a lot of things the hard way. I may not know exactly who I am yet, but I do know there are some things that are important enough to keep a firm grasp on, like the gospel, virtue, charity, self-worth, integrity, love, compassion.

If I have learned anything from these past few months, it's that life REALLY sucks sometimes. Sometimes life gets you so down, you just want to fall to the ground and never pick yourself up again. Sometimes things are so hard, you never think you could strong enough to get through it, let alone ever be happy again. But if that's true, then the opposite MUST be true. If life is really that bad sometimes, then it has to be THAT good sometimes. Recognizing the Lord's tender mercies, making a new friend, getting a good grade after working hard, getting an extra hour of sleep, getting the chance to visit with family and friends, feeling included in the best ward - all of these things can show us how good our lives are.

Sorry if this post is a little scatter-brained. I'm having a bit of a hard time organizing my thoughts. Today wasn't the best of days. But it was the last day of classes (although that was yesterday for me as I don't have any classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays), and our ward had a talent show which I got to participate in. I sang Norah Jones' "Don't Know Why." I did alright, except that I did mess up once. I forgot the words "My heart is drenched in wine," and I sang something more like "My heart is *mumble-something* time." It was actually kind of funny cause I made a weird face acknowledging that I had messed up, and people laughed, so it wasn't an awkward moment thank goodness. Court also performed a song. I've never heard it before, so I don't know if he just wrote it recently, but I had a feeling it had to do with me. It made me cry, it was a very beautiful song. His singing it made me miss him. I wanted to talk to him after, but he left too quickly. And I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to talk to me now anyways. In other news (possibly a bit more lighthearted) I met someone with two different color eyes tonight. His name is Andrew and one eye is green and the other is blue. It was pretty awesome. Well, that's all I really have for now.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Counting Your Blessings

A few weeks ago, I gave a talk in church about gratitude. These past few months, I've decided to really count my blessings. In my talk, I recounted a really awful weekend. At the end of that weekend, so much had gone wrong, and instead of being optimistic, I was really mad. I was upset at the guy I thought was my best friend, I was mad at my mom for making me drive my little brother down to EFY, which was 8 hours away, I was angry that there was so much in my life that was out of my control. As I started to look for things to be grateful for, I went back to that weekend, and started with every single thing I could think of that I could say "Thank you" for. Little things like getting there and back perfectly safe, not forgetting anything that wasn't replaceable, slightly bigger things like getting a pair of awesome glasses, and getting a little extra time to spend with my little brother, and really awesome things like spending time with friends I hadn't seen in a long time. After realizing my mistake, I apologized to my mom for how I had treated her. I didn't realize how awful I had been until after the fact. And isn't how that always is? I mean, I know that something I need to work on is being grateful for my trials WHILE I'm facing them. I know that if I can do this, not only will I come out of them a better person, but they will be that much easier to deal with and seem to go by much faster.
This season of Thanksgiving has actually not felt like Thanksgiving. It felt like a really short break from school. I guess it was hard for me because it was the first Thanksgiving that I had where I wasn't with my family the whole time. But I just want to take a few moments to share what I am thankful for. I hope that you all will forgive me for this list which, although it may be somewhat long, it will be nowhere near everything that I am actually thankful for just because there is so, so much. Here goes.

I'm so incredibly thankful for my mom, my dad, my three brothers, and my sister-in-law. I don't know where I would be without them. They all have done so, so much for me.
I'm thankful that my dad has let me stay at his house for the past few months, free of charge. I'm actually incredibly thankful for my dad. He has always been there for me. Whether it was for help studying for a test or just being there to listen, he has always been a great role model for me.
I'm thankful that my brother and his wife are letting me stay with them while I'm transitioning to a new place.
I'm thankful that I've always had a place to stay. Even though it hasn't always been the most convenient for those I have stayed with, I was always welcome with open arms.
I'm thankful for all of my friends. I can't believe that people actually want to be friends with me, but I don't know where I'd be in my life without them. Most of them don't know how much they've helped me out.
I'm so thankful for Kara, my best friend since 4th grade. I know that she's always there for me and that I can talk to her about anything. I'm so glad that I have a sister like her.
I'd go through and name all of the friends I'm thankful for, but there are so many, and I'm afraid I'd leave someone out. But please know that each of you has a very special place in my heart. My friends mean a lot to me because I know how lucky I am to have them.
I'm thankful that I get to attend such a wonderful university. I know how unbelievably lucky I am that I get to attend BYU.
For that matter, I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm so grateful for the testimony I have of the Church and the amazing friends I've met as a result of being a member. I'm grateful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know that without him, I would have no chance to return to my Father in Heaven, and for that I am forever indebted to him.
I'm so grateful for the Atonement and for my loving Savior. I grateful that I have a knowledge of what Christ did for me and that I have the opportunity to repent and be forgiven.
I'm thankful that I was born in this time period. I know that I was saved for this time for a special reason, and I'm so grateful that I am blessed with that knowledge.
I'm grateful that I get to live in this wonderful, free nation. I know that there are so many people in this world that live in oppression, and I know that I am extremely blessed to live in a country where freedom is a right we have.
I'm grateful for music. I'm so thankful that the Lord gave us the ability to produce something that can bring so much happiness, that can easily bring the spirit, that can lift my spirits when I'm having a bad day, and can make me smile even when I don't feel like it.
I'm thankful for the ward I've been placed in. This may seem a little insignificant, but I really feel like a part of a family there, and I love that everyone in it is so incredibly nice and outgoing. It was something I really needed. After living so long feeling like I didn't have a home anywhere, I feel at home in my ward, and that's a great feeling.
I'm grateful for my ability to make friends. I don't know how I would get along without that gift from God. In fact, I have no idea how I am able to do that, but some how the Lord knew that I needed that now more than ever.
I'm so thankful that I am loved.
I'm so so grateful for the scriptures and the amazing testimony of Christ and Heavenly Father that is in them.
I'm grateful for my ability to cry. I know that without all the sad and incredibly hard times, I wouldn't understand how wonderful it is to be happy and to laugh.
I'm try to be thankful for everything in my life. Even the little things like my aunt calling me and inviting me to Thanksgiving dinner with my family or my friends who will talk with me even when it's incredibly late. I know that I have so many blessings that my cup literally runneth over.

In short, I'd just like to mention how many I blessings I have. This list is a mere scratch upon the surface of all of the things I am grateful for and all of the blessings I have been given. In my talk, I mentioned how much the Lord does for us. I mean, think about it for just a moment. If the Lord can do all that for us, then can't we give a few moments of our day thanking him?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Homecoming 5K

October 24, 2009, I ran the BYU Homecoming 5K. It was my 3rd 5K, and I was able to improve my mile time significantly. Ok, so for those of you who don't know, in High School, my mile time was 9 minutes and 55 seconds. And I ran super hard. This 5K, my average mile time was 8 minutes and 29 seconds, making the total time 26 minutes and 24 seconds. Not bad, huh?

Other than that, I've been overloaded with school work, homework, work, trying to figure out my moving situation, my car situation, and other such fun stuff. My dad and brother are both moving out by the end of this month, leaving me homeless. So I am on the search of new housing, preferable in my ward. Tomorrow I'm going to go check out a house. Hopefully it'll work and not be too expensive cause right now, I'm a little bit on the poor side.

I don't know for sure when my next race is but I will probably at least do one or two this month. Keep checkin for updates :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

BYU True Cougar & other non-important news items

This past Saturday, I successfully completed my first triathlon. It was a super sprint, so it was pretty short. The bike was first - 10K (or 6.2 miles). It probably wouldn't have been so bad if part of the bike course didn't include going up a long fairly steep hill. That was killer. But at least right after that there was a downhill part. My quads are still sore from that though. Right after the bike was a 3K run (or 1.8 miles). The hardest part of the run was in the beginning because I had already put so much effort into the bike part that the last thing I wanted to do was keep using my legs, but I pressed on. And every step I took, it got a little better. I made a goal to not stop at all during the run, and I'm happy to say that I completed that goal. After the run, was the 200 yd swim. The hardest part about that was that you can't breathe when you want to, so you end up running out of breath really quickly and easily, so that definitely slowed me down. My overall time was about 50 minutes or so. I'm not exactly sure how long it took because I left pretty much right after I finished and I didn't check with the people, but I'm pretty sure they'll post the times, so hopefully I'll know soon.

In other news, I've started training again (well, not that I really stopped, but I took a break the rest of Saturday and Sunday). I'm planning on doing another triathlon in November, on the 7th. That one is a sprint triathlon, so it's a little bit longer. Ten mile bike, 5K run, and 350 yd swim (which the swim portion is still pretty short). I'm also doing another 5K this Saturday for BYU's Homecoming. I'm pretty excited cause two of my freshman year roommates might be doing it with me.

I also got a letter from Jeremiah last Friday. For those of you that are wondering, he's doing really well. Yesterday, I sent him and his companion (Elder Tatton) a care package :)

Also, I purchased my first pair of skinny jeans. They actually don't look too bad. We'll see how this trend goes.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My 5K's

Today I successfully completed my second 5K. For those of you who don't know, that's 3.1 miles. The first 5K I did was on September 12th. It was to support Abuse Prevent. Instead of numbers, we had quotes. Each person had a different quote relating to abuse, rape, victims, pornography, opposition, acceptance, and love. Mine was "An ideal culture is where every human is valued for their gifts." - Margaret Mead. It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I didn't set a very good pace, and I had to stop and walk a few times. My time? 29:34. These past few weeks, I've been training (for a triathlon, but I mean, I still run 3x's a week), and I made a goal to beat my previous time.
Today was the second 5K run. It was a fundraiser called "Warm the Soles 5K". They raise money to purchase shoes for children who come from poor families. Not only did I accomplish my goal of beating my previous time, I also set a pace so that I could run the entire time. My time was 27:54. I guess that was good enough to get me 7th overall and 3rd in my division (Women 16-22). I have to admit, I was a little disappointed with my time ONLY because I wasn't dead after the race. Which means that I could have tried harder. Good thing I have another 5K coming up in two weeks :)

For those of you who don't know me, I have to say, I have never considered myself very athletic. I didn't participate in any sports in High School, but having done these runs and training almost every day makes me wish I had. Accomplishing something like this just makes you feel so good. Not only was I able to run this 5K without stopping and beat my previous goal, I also was able to support a noteworthy cause. I would recommend that everyone run a 5K. It's not a long run. It's very doable. AND it's super easy to train for. Just run 3 times a week, steadily increasing how far and how long you run, and you can do it in a matter of weeks. On top of that, running just feels so good. Especially when you're done. You can say, "Wow, I just ran that!" It's a great feeling.
Right now, I'm training to do a super sprint triathlon next week (200 yd swim, 6.2 mile bike, 1.8 mile run), another 5K on October 24th, and a sprint triathlon in the spring (400 yd swim, 10 mile bike, 5K run (3.1 miles)). I'm working on making myself better overall :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Choose You This Day Whom Ye Will Serve

I happened upon this video while on the website. It's a truly inspired message given by a great apostle - President Henry B. Eyring. I would encourage you to not only listen to it, but do what he encourages us to do. Change someday to today.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Another Sleepless Night

Well, I probably could go to sleep, and I really should, especially if I want to get up at 5:30 to go to spinning class, but I'm young right? I can get up....

Anyways, today and yesterday was the 179th semi-annual General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Can I just say how much I love listening to General Conference? It's such a spiritual and amazing experience. I'm glad that I can appreciate it now because I definitely didn't when I was younger. I remember my mom would set us in front of the television, while she would iron and fold clothes. I didn't really listen to the talks, I just figured out all of the things that the TV people do to indicate a talk was ending. For example, for each speaker, their name flashes three times, and I knew that after the third time, the talk was almost over. I also knew that each talk except the final one lasted for about 15 minutes. I also knew that I could fall asleep whenever the choir sang. But as the years passed, I'm really grateful for my mom doing that. It got me in the habit of listening to conference. I can't imagine not listening to conference actually. Like last year, I had work on the Saturday morning session, and I couldn't get my shift covered, and I just felt so wrong being there. Granted we were able to listen to it on the radio, but it just wasn't the same.

This year's conference was absolutely amazing. For all of you LDS members out there, you may remember the talk given by Elder Holland last conference about the Savior's Atonement. Wasn't it such an incredible talk and testimony of the Atonement? This conference, he gave a powerful witness of the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon. He is such a powerful speaker, and it's amazing that he has the testimony he has. I wish that I could meet him in person. He is truly an inspiration to me. Another remarkable talk that really hit home for me was Brent H. Neilson. His main topic was missionary work, but I loved how he talked about his prayers being answered. And how the rising generation is the answer to the prayers of those who have lived in the past. There were lots of absolutely superb talks, and if you want to read any, you can find them on

I also happened to stumble upon another talk not given at this General Conference that I really enjoyed. It's main topic is about homosexuality, but there are so many amazing tidbits of inspiration within in that can apply to everyone. This is one of my favorite quotes from it:

"Elder Maxwell once taught a group of people who lived with really hard daily challenges. He had been watching the Olympic diving competition, where he had learned that the judges grade a dive not just by how graceful it looks to the public, but by how difficult the dive is—which only the judges can understand enough to measure. Elder Maxwell told this group that the Lord will judge their lives by the difficulty of their dive, which He understands in every detail."

I absolutely love this quote because it explicitly states that we will not all deal with the same trials. Not everyone will experience the same degree of difficulty. It makes you wonder why some people deal with more hardships than others. But at the same time, if you think of the story of Job, the Lord had so much trust and faith in him, that he allowed Satan to do his worst. And you know what? Job pulled through faithfully, and he was rewarded in the end for his righteousness. As the well known (LDS) catch phrase goes, "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it". Well, it certainly hasn't been easy these past few months, but in the end, I have faith that it will have been worth it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Losing things...

Well, since I'm pretty sure that Jeremiah's parents won't be checking my blog, seeing as they blocked me from viewing either their blog or their son's blog, I'll just write a story about my relationship with him.
The first time I ever met Jeremiah was at EFY, in 2005. We were in the same group. Little did I know that I was going to meet the one person that would make the greatest impression on me...ever. To date at least. Unfortunately, there is so little that I remember, but I do remember that my best friend at the time, Edith, actually liked him. I was "in like" with another kid at the same camp (but in a different group). After EFY ended, I found out he also lived in NY, and was in the neighboring stake. We talked online quite a bit, especially after a winter dance, where we got to meet face to face once again. Due to my own tactlessness, we stopped conversing for a little while. I didn't realize how much this affected him until years later, and even to this day, I regret how I treated him. Nevertheless, we attended the same EFY the following year (although we were not placed in the same group again). I remember this year in particular because my brother was an EFY counselor that year. I remember walking up to where you were supposed to check-in and seeing Jeremiah trudging up to the same place with his family. Instantly, all the feelings of care I had for this kid flooded back into me. I got super nervous to see him, even though it had been me that had ceased our friendship. Fortunately, through his kindness, we were able to rekindle our friendship, though I often regret how poorly I treated him at times. There are so many things I wish I could go back and change, but unfortunately, I can't. Our friendship did grow, and by the end of October we were dating. We dated for over a year. For Christmas, he bought me a purple shirt, and his parents bought me a scarf and hat. I remember him telling me that he had spent a long time trying to find something I would like. Even if he had gotten me something I didn't like (which he didn't because I really did like the shirt he got me), the mere fact that he cared that much to spend time for me meant the world to me. And on top of that, his parents got something for me as well! I couldn't believe how absolutely kind they were. I don't remember a whole lot about that year we dated, but I do remember a few things. I remember going to his house on the occasional Sunday, and feel so welcomed. Jeremiah's house was the epitome of a home. It was always warm and cozy and full of love. I loved just spending time at their home. It was so much fun to just sit and relax or wash the dishes and have Jeremiah and his father playfully talk about which way was the "right way" or whip Jeremiah at Battleship. Jeremiah would insist that Sparky liked him better, and I would call her over, and when she came to me, I would contend that she in fact liked me better. We would listen to music together - usually Jeremiah's because he was so much better at finding good music than I was. We'd watch movies together, probably the best of which was "Everything You Want". It made us both laugh out loud. I remember talking to him on the phone every night. I remember how he didn't like it when I fell asleep on him, but it was just nice to not have to say "goodbye". We went to prom together. Both his and mine. I remember getting a job so that I could pay for my (very expensive) prom dress, and I was so insistent on making sure we didn't look like some gothic couple (my dress was black), that I pretty much made Jeremiah wear a white tux. When I was at his house, changing into my dress, I walked out of his parents room to see him walking toward me in his tux. I remember thinking that he looked so handsome. Especially when he took off his jacket. After prom was the after party. I remember when they were doing the raffle at the end, and teasing Jeremiah - telling him he would get those "purple tornado" license plate things, and then he actually did. I remember going back to your house after that after party, and going into your garage. You were so sweet and waited until I had fallen asleep before you finally fell asleep. The next day, we had church, and Jeremiah was playing at the other church. He was such a good sport and got dressed in his tux again. I got to hear how talented a musician he was every time I went down there on a Sunday when he was playing - this was no exception. The next week was my prom, and he was such an awesome date and boyfriend. He patiently waited through the thousands of pictures, drove us everywhere we needed to go, and was incredibly kind throughout the whole thing. On his birthday, I tried to plan out our whole day so that everything would be perfect. It started out kind of disastrous, what with that really gross cake that I made (well at least it looked good), but we made it better with tye dying and picnic-ing at "our spot". The day ended with the midnight showing of the most recent Harry Potter film. His parents were kind enough to let me sleep over at your house in the trailer outside. I really did appreciate that, it allowed us to spend more time together and I didn't have to drive home really late at night. I remember carving pumpkins later in the year. It was so much fun. Man, I wish I could just remember everything, but at the same time, I suppose it's a good thing I can't...
After we had been dating for a year, I screwed up and broke up with him. I can't say that I regret many things I've done more than that. We didn't talk very much, but we ended up going snowboarding together once. It was then that I realized my mistake, and wanted to get back together. He was amazing enough to do that, but unfortunately, it didn't last very long. A few months later, I had made the same mistake and broken up with him again. (Clearly, I don't learn). We didn't talk very much between then and when we met up again at BYU. Before I even saw him, my stomach knotted. Just knowing that I was going to see him brought up such intense emotion - it was then that I knew I had lost something great, and I would be lucky to get him back. I remember walking back from the Maeser building with him to his dorm and just talking. I really appreciated him just talking to me. A little while after that, when I had moved into the dorms, we were walking up the fire escape stairs, and he spun me around so that I was facing him. He said that he was surprised at how short I was, and that I was barely taller than him despite me being a step above him. Later did I learn that he had originally intended to kiss me, but at the last minute backed out. After that, we kind of picked up where we left off. I was so lucky to have the most perfect guy -- too bad I didn't turn out to be the perfect girl. There are so many memories from the many months we dated that to even attempt to pick out a few would be futile. All I know is that I screwed up once again, and lost the best thing that ever happened to me. Now he has left for his mission. He is serving in the Buenos Aires, Argentina South mission. He left September 23, 2009. I know that he is going to be an amazing missionary, and he is in my prayers every night.

Everyone loses some thing in their lifetime. Whether it's a pair of sunglasses, your car keys, or a best friend, no matter how hard you try, you can't always get what you want. You can't always keep everything from slipping through your fingers. But I'm already so talented at losing things, I suppose this shouldn't come as a surprise. I mean, I did break up with him so many times, I had it coming right? I just wish it had ended a little better? I wish that I had had a better relationship with his parents because I really do respect and admire them. I don't write this down so that anyone will feel bad for me. In fact, that is not what I want at all. I wrote this down, merely to tell a thin slice of a very long and amazing story.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


So that took a little while, but I finally got it all done, and hopefully it looks half decent :)

I decided that aside from just posting what has been up in my life lately, I will also post memories of good times I've had in the past with friends, family, etc. I guess I'll start with my life lately. This is my third semester at BYU, and I'm taking quite the load of classes. Currently, I'm enrolled in 3 English classes, an English Language class, a Sociology class, and a beginning Piano class. That's 17 credits for anyone who was wondering. So far, I really like all of my classes, and I'm definitely starting to progress in my piano skills. It's not easy for anyone who might be wondering. I wish I had taken lessons when I was younger, but at least I'm starting now, right? My English classes are pretty cool. For one of them, we've had to read Homer's The Iliad, Virgil's The Aeneid, Ovid's Metamorphosis, and now Milton's Paradise Lost, all of which are fantastic classical poems, but it's a lot of reading to do in less than 3 weeks :/ Fortunately, my other classes aren't quite so homework heavy, but I still have quite a bit of reading for them. My sociology class is pretty sick actually. The teacher is way cool and we learn a lot of really interesting things there. Hmm...what else is there? I've started to train for 5K's, triathlons, etc. It's not as easy as it looks, but it feels great to run 5 miles. My next 5K is in October, as is a triathlon I'm probably going to do, and another 5K, so October is going to be a busy month. Last night, I ran with Phil up to the temple from my house and back, and seeing the temple at night was absolutely wonderful. It was such a great goal to works towards because at the end (when we got there) it was so rewarding to just sit on the temple grounds for a little bit. Tonight, I went with Peter and Rachel to the International Cinema. We watched Pan's Labyrinth -- it's in Spanish, but it was an amazing film. And since it was in the International Cinema (on campus) pretty much everything in it that made it rated R was taken out, so it was quite mild compared to the actual film (and many PG-13 films out there as well).

One of my favorite memories of my friends back in NY is when we went bowling one time. There were six of us total; me, Edith, Kara, Graig, Tom, and Josh. It was just back when I had friends that would actually hang out with me instead of doing junk like drinking and smoking. I just remember that we had a lot of fun that night. Graig had gotten a new cell phone, and Kara, Edith, & I were all messing around taking pictures. That night was surely a night to remember complete with friends, fun times, and great memories.

Beginning to blog

Slowly but surely I'm getting the hang of this blogging website. I'll write something soon...not that anyone is following my blog, lol.