Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Night of Excellence

The past couple of weeks have been plain crazy and busy. A lot of it had to do with our Night of Excellence that we had last night. We had two of our young women help plan and prepare for it, as a value project for them. So here is a break down of what we did.

THEME: Spiritual Gifts

SCRIPTURE: Doctrine & Covenants 46:10-11

INVITATIONS: Invitation was folded up in cardstock to look like a gift and a bow was placed on top of them. 

DECORATIONS: Gifts throughout the room, with a Christmas Tree decorated with some lights and bulbs. There was also some greenery and lights in other places. Projects were displayed by the young women of things they had accomplished this year. Photos from Girls Camp and other activities were placed around the room. It look amazing. There was a wrapped gift in each of the value colors with the name of the value on it. 

PROGRAM: We started with the standard opening: opening hymn, prayer and theme. The girls then did a presentation of the values. Because we have a smaller group, each girl had the opportunity to participate. The each gave a 2-minute talk about a specific value and then after their talked placed the value gift under the tree. After that, we had two of our girls speak. Both of them had finished their Personal Progress this year (one a couple hours prior to the meeting) and they did an amazing job. Our young women and leaders then did a musical number. After the hymn, a member of our bishopric gave a talk. After him, I (the Personal Progress Leader) spoke. We then watched a slide show that one of the girls had put together from camp (which was a project for her). The Bishop made some closing remarks and we presented the girls with some cute ornaments and pictures that were taken of them during camp. 

REFRESHMENTS: Each leader made a favorite Christmas treat. The girls said that they were going to go into a sugar coma. It was really good. We had truffles, brownies, rice crispy gingerbread men, cookies with holiday candies and more. To drink we had ice water and homemade hot chocolate with whip cream, sprinkles and a peppermint stick.

After writing all of this, I can see why I am so tired now. Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures of the place, but it looked amazing! Our girls are amazing and they can turn a rather rough day into a special day. They have a way to make you feel loved and special. These girls are the future and from what I can tell, the future is going to be amazing!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Letter to My Grandpa

Dear Grandpa,

I have been thinking of you a lot these past couple of days. I remember all the time we spent together. It was always so amazing to me that your birthday was in April too. You were such a hard worker. You spent countless hours working in your garden and yard, fixing things, cutting hair and serving. I remember coming over when you would cut my dad's hair. Your work ethic was very evident in your work with the Railroad and Potato Harvests.
You lived your testimony. It was such a great example to see you fulfilling your callings and using your priesthood to help my dad give me a blessing, when I wasn't doing too well. I'm not clear on the circumstances of that blessing, but I remember you coming over, and with my dad, putting your hands on my hand, while I on the couch. Your example of fulfilling your callings has helped me in the callings that I have had.
As I grew older, I learned more and more about you. I didn't know that you were a veteran and had fought for our country. Not only did you fight, but you were injured. You received a Purple Heart. That was a sense of pride in you that I felt when I learned that story. Thank you so much for doing that.
You were always there for me. My dad always told stories of you being there for sporting events and you were there for some of mine. More importantly, you were there at the events that mattered the most: my baptism, my graduation, and more. I remember going through the temple for the first time and walking into the Celestial Room and you were there. That was such a special experience. You were there as I was set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I remember giving you a hug after being set apart and you telling me how proud you were of me.
I didn't know, at that time, that it would be my last time seeing you or else I would have told you then how much you meant to me and how much I truly appreciated you. Even though you have passed on your legacy and lessons live on in your sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In fact, my guess is that each one of them has learned so much from you and has so many memories.
You have helped make me who I am today. I have tried to use your work ethic and dedication in everything I do. At times when I am feeling weak, unable, or just plain struggling, I think of you and have more strength. You are always near and close for your family, even now and I look forward to the day when I can wrap my arms around you, give you a big hug and thank you for everything.
Grandpa, you are my hero!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Crafty Project

I just got over bronchitis and laryngitis. While I was struggling with those, there were so many amazing friends who helped me out along the way. Honestly, I cannot even imagine what I would have done without them. During conference I felt impressed to serve those who had served me, make sure I am making time for those I love, and take care of myself. I decided that the only way I would take it easy would be if I found a little project to work on while sitting at home. So, I combined these three things and here is what I came up with:

It was pretty fun to put together! It wasn't anything major but it was something fun to show my gratitude. There were made with 4 oz canning jars, Harvest M&Ms (Reeses Pieces would have been fun too), Lemonade KoolAid, Raffia, and card stock. The most time consuming was making the cards. I am not the most crafty person in the world, so this is pretty exciting for me.

That was my craftiness for the week.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Missionary Announcement

Wow! My heart is so completely full right now. When President Monson started speaking on Saturday morning, my heart filled with peace. It was a peace that I had been lacking for a little while. Then came the big announcement.

Young men who have graduated high school (or its equivalent) can now serve a mission at 18 year of age. That was an amazing announcement. To see the faces of the young men in the congregation was so moving. Some could not wipe smiles off of their faces. Then came the announcement that young women could serve at the age of 19. At first, a twinge of jealousy hit. However, I would not have changed anything with my process or when I served. Honestly, I needed the experiences that I had before the mission to put my life where it is now.

Sister missionaries are amazing and with them able to serve at younger ages, I believe more young women will serve missions. Sister missionaries have a wonderful way of touching people and bringing people to the truth. This is going to make a wonderful advancement in missionary work. I believe the force will be larger, stronger and more humble. I believe more young men will serve missions now. They will be able to leave right after high school and not get focused in the drive of schooling, careers, sports, etc. This is huge!

I was elated with this announcement and my dear, sweet young women came to mind. Some of these girls could be serving missions in the next couple years and we have the responsibility for preparing them. One in particular came to mind. I have been so impressed with her testimony and her example to the other young women and how well she relates to others, both old and young. She, along with others, has a testimony that needs to be heard. During the rest of President Monson's talk, I could see her as a missionary teaching, serving, helping and loving others.

The mission was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. There have been wonderful experiences since. The mission helped to mold me into who I am now, as each new experience has since. It took a quiet, insecure, and somewhat hesitant girl and gave her more confidence in her testimony and more faith in the love of her Heavenly Father. It has given me more compassion to other and more love for my Savior. It has made him a more central figure in my life.

Since this announcement, my heart has been full and the rest of the session was amazing. I am anxiously awaiting the rest of the session to get the rest of this spiritual uplift.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Once Again

About a week ago, I noticed a scratchy throat but didn't think much of it. I kept running with the crazy, crazy life that I lead. So, after all that running my body decided it needed to take action to make sure I rested. I wasn't feeling to great on Thursday but I figured it was because Wednesday has been a super-stressful day. However, when I woke up on Friday, I knew that wasn't the case. I had a cold. I went to work thinking that keeping busy would make things better. Nope! I ended up leaving early and resting the rest of the day.

I was pretty determined to make it to the temple the next morning, which wasn't the greatest idea. I didn't make it the whole time there. Under instruction from a co-worker there, who is a nurse, I went home and tried to stay down as much as possible. I even canceled the plans that I had. Sunday was very similar. Needless to say, this has yet to go away and it seems to be getting a little worse each day. 

I tried to work this morning for a couple hours, but not was I tired but in some pain. Basically without all the details that I am sure would bore you all to death, it was time to go to the doctor and get some help so I can feel better and get back to normal, especially before conference.

So, I just got back and was told I have bronchitis and laryngitis. Oh fun. He said that it is not to the pneumonia stage, which is a huge relief. I will take some steroids to get my voice back and the will be taking the Z-Pac (I think that is how it is spelled but not sure). I was told to rest my voice for the next couple days and get some rest too.

The problem is, I'm not sure what rest is. Ha Ha. Here it goes! 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What is Fun??? Oh What Fun!!!

The past couple of weeks or possibly even the past month, my life has consisted of constant craziness.I've been working tons, attending meetings, going to Young Women activities, temple, and trying to have a social life, on top of all of that. There has been some crazy situations and lots of stress. Oh man! 

Within the past week or so, I have had a couple of people ask me what I've done lately that has been fun. That has been a little difficult to answer because of everything I've been doing and all that. However, according to one definition, fun is anything amusing, entertaining or enjoyable. As I have thought about it though, I've realized that you can have fun or do something fun everyday. It doesn't have to be anything major or cost a ton of money. Too bad it took me this long to figure it out. 

In my room, there is a calendar handing from my closet door. On it, I usually put all the tasks that I have to do. I am beginning to wonder if I should separate those squares in two sections: To-Do & Fun. This would help me see the fun in each day. 

So, as a back track, starting with today and going back to whenever I feel (we'll see what I can remember), I want to share some of the fun things I have been doing.

Brigham City Temple dedication, laughing as I thought how jealous my young women would be because the missionaries sat right in front of me, volleyball games, temple, teasing times with co-workers, more volleyball,  ran three miles, visited a great friend, mutual, got free food, met some great new friends, campfire, sidewalk chalk pictures, trip to Poky, time with old friends, gift shopping (not the shopping part but the finding good gift part), Brigham City Open House, Family Home Evening with friends, having friends come to church with me, and I'm sure there are a lot more fun times. 

Each day is a new adventure and even those things that could be the most crazy or stressful or whatever, can have fun moments. I can honestly say that I am so grateful that I have been SO busy. That alone, is a blessing in and of itself. 

So, what is fun? Anything that brings a smile to your face and gives a moment (even if it be just a brief moment) of enjoyment or happiness. That is fun.  I'm betting you can find something "fun" in each day. Give it try! Honestly, looking back, some of the days when I struggled the most or was too busy to think, I could still find something fun that happened. With that in mind, what fun have you done lately?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Goals & Awareness

Recently, I liked a page on Facebook about Gastroparesis. It is so interesting to hear about all of the other experiences that people are having and to see how far I have come since my initial diagnosis. One thing that has become evident is that there is not enough known about this condition and there is such a need for a cure or methods to deal with this condition. So many people have it a lot worse than I do. 

Anyway, back to the real reason for this post. One day, someone posted something about a GP Awareness Walk day and I was immediately intrigued. You see, I have made a bucket list of things to do before my next birthday and run a 10K is on that list. The thoughts began to flow. I want to do this! I want to raise awareness! I want to meet my goal! So, I followed the link.

Here is what I found.

It is set for Sunday, October 21st. That doesn't work so well for me so I would like to do this on Saturday, October 20th. I have mentioned my idea to a few friends here and there are some people interested in doing this walk/run with me. Right now I am just brainstorming and tossing ideas around to see if this is something that is possible. It would be neat to do this with some of my amazing friends and family 

There are so many thoughts in my head about this that it could end up being pretty fun. You don't have to live near here to participate. You can do this from wherever you live or wherever you happen to be on that day. If you do live close, we could get a group together and do it all together. 

 According to a schedule I checked, there are no other runs or walks that day, that I am aware of. Though I am not sure of details, but those could all get figured out but it would be awesome to find more people than me to do this. Any thoughts??? I would love some feedback on this.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I'm a Traveling Girl (Kind of)

About twice a year, I have the opportunity to travel a little bit. Why twice a year? That would be because the rest of the year, I work every Saturday morning and it is just not worth it to leave town unless I have the following Monday off. Anyways, those months are usually January and July. Seeing as July is almost over, I thought that I might update you on the happenings of my life during the month.

July consisted of a couple trips up to Pocatello. Real exciting, I know. Each trip had a purpose and was much needed. The first full weekend of July, I spent some time here doing some fun things with my amazing friends. It was so nice! I even got to spend some time with my amazing married friends, Robert & Andrea. We went and watched Brave and went to dinner. That night was spent with a newer friend that is just so much fun. Sunday, after church, I loaded up my car and headed to Poky for some much needed time with the padres. Thanks guys! That was the best Sunday afternoon! It was so hard to come back so I ended up leaving Monday morning, early, so I could get to work on time.

The next weekend, I headed up there again. This time, I was able to spend some time with one of my amazingly great friends. We had a Girls Night with her nieces for a little bit and then went and got ice cream and talked for a while. So grateful that her husband was totally cool with us hanging out for a while. There is nothing like a good friend. The next morning, I woke and headed up to Rexburg to see my brother and his girlfriend. We ended up spending a little time there and in Idaho Falls and getting new phones. After that, we did a little shopping and went to lunch. That night, I went to dinner with the padres and spent the rest of the night relaxing. I ended up going to church there on Sunday and spending the rest of the day there, because I had forgotten to get gas and, once again, ended up driving home on Monday morning.

Needless to say, I had to start working the next Saturday, so this should be where the travel saga ends. However, the 24th is a State holiday here so I had that day off work and it just so happened that Heather and her family were in Pocatello during that time. Fortunately, I was able to head up there right after work on  Monday and spend that night and the next day with them. It consisted of frozen yogurt, little people, good conversations, a run for me, playing at the park, reading, the zoo and a pancake dinner. So much fun! It was great spending time with them. I left shortly after dinner, because there were fireworks down here and if possible, I don't miss fireworks ever. I was able to watch those with some great friends.

Thus ends the tale of the traveling girl. Ha Ha. Oh wait. It may not end there. There still may be a few more trips to take before the summer ends.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

People and Connections

Have you ever met someone and felt like you have known them forever, or at least a lot longer than you have. In a strange but good way, it just fits. These are the people that you just seem to click with. It is amazing who these people are and the impact that they have in your life. Stop for a minute. Think about some of these people in your life. Let me share a few examples.

As a missionary, I remember a lesson with one lady. My companion and I showed up at her house and she excitedly let us in. At this time I was a newer missionary and the language was not quite in my grasp. My companion started teaching this lady but she kept looking at me. As we got to a certain point, it was my turn to teach. I'm not sure that anything I said really made sense but it was a neat experience. After the lesson was over, we talked with her. She and I quickly felt like we had known and seen each other before and she soon shared that she felt like she had seen and known me before. The feeling was mutual. Maria was a very special woman.

One girl has had a major impact on my life. She was definitely amazing. Shortly after her graduating from high school, she became my visiting teacher, and probably one of the best ones that I've had. She came in and we talked. We hit it off immediately. She has been there for me ever since and has been a major blessing in my life. Even when we weren't in the same place, she would have contact with me in one way or another when I needed it.

About a month or so ago, I met another one of those great people. She and I were put together at the temple. When we met, it was like we were not only immediate friends, but sisters too. We talked and laughed and got a lot done. She is incredible. After that we didn't see each other for a month. We saw each other for the first time again this morning and it was like nothing had changed. She is honestly like one of the greatest people that I have ever met.

Now, this does not discount all of the wonderful friends that I have. Not going to lie, there are some amazing people in my life. With some, I have developed that connection. It may not have come naturally, but it quickly stuck. Each of my friends has been put in my life for a specific reason. It has been interesting to see the hows and whys. Like the one friend I really got to know well and she ended up being one of the greatest supports for me. Or another from my ward who has seriously been a tender mercy to me.

It is incredible how people come and people go, but the impact they leave, changes your life forever. When I moved away from Pocatello, it was hard to imagine making friends and creating friendships that would last like the ones that I had. However, it was very possible. The people here have molded and shaped me into a different me, and that's not different in a bad way. It makes me excited for whatever changes are still to come and many more wonderful people that I will meet. Each one of you have made a difference in my life. Thanks!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Condition Does Not Define Me

Just a warning, this is going to be a more contemplative and serious post. It is also all about me, which does make me a little uncomfortable, but it needs to be written. You don't have to read it. You don't have to leave comments. Those both would be appreciated. Honestly, this is a way to express some things that are weighing on my mind.

For some reason the following words have been running through my mind all day: "My condition does not define me". That does not mean that it is not a part of me, but it is not who I am. Yes, it has become a daily part of my life, that I struggle with at times, but there is more to me than that.

I'm a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a co-worker and most importantly a child of God. I'm a person who listens, cares and loves. I have dreams and passions. I love having fun and finding joy in the things around me. Seeing me at first glance, I may appear a little shy or I may appear a happy person. Either way, that is all a part of me.

Like everyone else, I have my struggles. It seems rather interesting that people tend to focus on the struggles and set those and defining or deciding factors. Ok. My stomach doesn't work. So what. That doesn't mean I can't cook meals with foods I can't eat or that it hampers my everyday life or that I am depressed and discouraged about it. Honestly, that ship set sail a long time ago. Granted there are some things that it limits but I've learned to adapt.

This has made me a stronger person. It has taught me to take care of myself and still allow others to live their own lives the way they are. I will not condemn someone for living a "normal life" or eating foods around me that I cannot eat. Please do those things. By not doing those things, you make me feel guilty and uncomfortable. I don't want to make people change who they are for me. Yes, some days smells will bother me. Yes, some days I just can't do as much, but please respect that and know that I am not doing it because you have offended me.

Above all, just like everyone else, I need friends and supports. We all struggle. Don't be scared to be my friend because of my condition. Friends make this seem non-existent at times, because it is the last thing on my mind when I am out and having fun. Just because I have this condition does not mean that I'll have it for life but I promise you it will effect the rest of my life, and not necessarily in the way you think.

I will always look for ways to help those who are struggling and try to become a friend and support system to them. I will be more aware of the blessings that I have been given and know that many of those blessings come through trials.It will not necessarily stop me from living a full and fulfilled life and enjoying all the opportunities that are given to me and that most people enjoy.

It may be a part of who I am but, My Condition Does Not Define Me.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Girls Camp - Day 4

The Final Day. I woke up in the morning feeling super sad. I knew that by the end of the day it would be back to the real world and leaving the wonderful girls and leaders that I had come to know and love. However, the show must go on.

The  day started with packing up all of our stuff and cleaning up the camp site. The girls did wonderful and we all worked together to get everything done. It was great to see. I even heard girls discussing who got to clean the bathroom floor, because there was more than one girl who wanted to. Ha Ha. So great!

Once we got everything packed up, we had breakfast of muffins and fruit. While eating we talked about memories and some of the great times that we had. Honestly, everyone there had some great times! A

After breakfast, we gathered the girls and leaders for Kangaroo Court. Before going any further, let me explain what this is. Kangaroo Court is where each person is given an award that is somewhat humorous, actually really funny, and they have to stand in front of the judges and receive their awards without smiling. If they smile, they get squirted with a water gun.

I had the opportunity to help make up the awards with one of the other leaders. One of the girls decided she wanted to spy on us to see what we were doing, so we told her it was something for Kangaroo Court. She wasn't sure what it was. After a while, we told her she better go practice her kangaroo jumping because it may involved kangaroo wrestling. Ha Ha Ha. She did it too! In fact, we even got her to kangaroo wrestle with me to help her prepare for court the next day. It was way to funny and I wish we could have got that one video.

Anyways, the awards went over great and almost everyone laughed at theirs, I think all of the girls did. One almost didn't but I saw a smile, and that did her in.

That was followed by pictures and loading up the girls into cars and beginning the trek home. :( My car had fun on the ride home. One of the girls suggested we make up a story where we each share a little part and then pass it on to the next person. Our stories turned out pretty interesting. Ha Ha. We made a stop at Maverick for slushies or a drink or our choice and headed back to the church.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to get to know these amazing people. Each one touched me in one way or another. It was bittersweet because I knew that my time with the girls and leaders was over and that I wouldn't be able to spend much more time with them. However, I was so happy to have many new friends. Girls camp taught me a lot about myself. It was the best experience ever!

Oh, and as a post-note, I found out this morning that my time with the young women is not over. I have been called to serve in the young women program working with personal progress. So stinkin' excited!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Girls Camp - Day 3

This was the day of our hike. I woke up at 6 am to wake up the other leader going on the hike and prep the snacks and drinks for the hike. Upon leaving the tent, the first thing I noticed was that there was frost covering all of the cars and that it was cold. Between 6 and 6:15 (when we were going to wake up the girls going), I realized that my fingers and toes were so cold and they were only getting colder. The other leader, who was still in bed, and I decided to postpone the hike until a little later, when it had warmed up.
They all went back to sleep, but guess who couldn't sleep. I went back to my sleeping bag and warmed up for a while. Finally, I got up when I heard a fire going. Once we got going that morning, we had breakfast burritos (I had cereal and a nutrition drink) and we started prepping for the hike.
Not sure if I mentioned this in a previous post, but we were told there were snakes up there. The first day, the girls found a snake and I wasn't there for it. Ha Ha. The day before, one of the camp hosts had shown us a huge walking stick. He said to bring it with us while we were hiking and to bang it one the ground to scare the snakes away. For some reason, I got that job.
The trail we took was super scenic and it was relaxing for me. We saw one snake zipping into its hole, as to avoid us. I thought the stick was doing it's job so we kept it up. As we continued, there appeared to be a random brown stick in the middle of the trail. I was going to keep walking but I couldn't. Instead I stopped  and started banging the stick quicker. All of the sudden the "stick" took off for the grass and trees on the side of the trail. Oh man! The girls flipped, which looking back now makes me laugh because I just stood there pounding.
Remember how I said it was super pretty there. Here a picture:

This one was on the way back down. I'm guessing they forgot about the snakes because they kept walking way far from the stick. I did remind them once and withing 5 or 10 minutes we found another one. This time it was rustling in the grass by the side of the trail. Our priesthood leader and the other leader looked at it. Turns out, that one was shedding it's skin,
Anyway, enough about the hike, except to say that the girls were champions, did not complain much at all, and the weather turned out great!
After we got back, we had sandwiches for lunch and started doing crafts from finishing lanterns, to making lemon candles, to girls camp magnets (which sadly did not turn out that great). We also had a spa day for the girls. I know what you are thinking. You're camping. It wasn't anything too elaborate. They did oatmeal face masks, with cucumbers on their eyes. One girl wasn't going to do it. I ended up chasing her down with a blob of oatmeal mask on my hand. It ended with her sitting in a fetal position on the ground and me smearing the oatmeal on her knees. Ha Ha. It was great!!!
They also did manicures and soaked their hands and then painted their nails. One of the girls wanted to paint mine and finally convinced me to let her do them. I told her not to make it bright. She ended painting them hot pink. Ha Ha. I made her put some white on them to tone it down, which she added as polka dots. 
Next on the agenda was a nature walk where we took nice pictures of each girl individually and also took a lot of fun ones too! It was pretty fabulous and fun. My fourth year girl who helped plan it did great!
After the nature walk, we began dinner preparations, which would be dutch oven style chicken, potatoes, and cobbler (of course)!
Dinner took place a little later, but it was nice because we were able to decorate the table with the lanterns and candles that they had made. After dinner, we had our testimony meeting, which to this day remains one of my favorite parts of camp. The evening ended with some snipe hunting and the whisking the girls off to bed........ Or so they thought!!!

The leaders had other plans. We went in one time with these little light up toys on our fingers and making noises. That was great. Then we distracted them once again by making them turn out the lights and trying to spark the lifesavers. While they were working on those, we surrounded them and attacked them with glow-in-the-dark silly string. Ha Ha Ha. It was so funny to see the and hear them. Good times!!! 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Girls Camp - Day 2

The second day of camp started out great. How can you go wrong with pancakes for breakfast. Seriously! They have got to be one of my favorite foods. After breakfast and clean up, we had quiet time to read our scriptures and write in our journals. I did my scriptures and study time in the back of a handcart. Where it is a  church-owned camp, we had two of those at our camp site.

After quiet time, we worked on certification for the girls. I had the awesome opportunity to help our Fourth Year girl go through her certification. We went off to a quiet little area to discuss some of the items she needed to do and plan a nature walk. The Youth Camp Leader came with us to help out. We not only accomplished a lot, but found some really pretty places along the trail.

That is when the idea developed to use the nature walk as a unity building activity. We had so much fun, that it probably took us longer than the other girls to work on certification that day, but it was well worth it. When we got back to camp, those two cute girls had me get it the handcart and gave me a ride. It was a blast. 

After getting back, we started doing the traditional girls camp hair and prepping for lunch of taco salads. 

After lunch, we did a craft where we made lanterns out of mason jars. They were able to stick clear butcher paper stars on the jars and then spray it with a frost covering. Once the frost dried, they took off the stars and had a design. We ended up using them later on it the week and they turned out great!

Then, the adventure started. The weather started getting chilly, and then cloudy, and the down-right cold. What started as just a few sprinkles turned into a huge, full-out storm. It thwarted the idea of doing tinfoil dinners that (which ended up being made in dutch oven instead). The girls were miserable. We probably looked pretty pathetic as we sat there wrapped in blankets wearing out jackets, sweatshirts and ponchos. That is about the time our Bishop pulled up. He had gathered coats from many of the girls's homes and brought them up, along with extra coats and blankets. We were so grateful for an inspired Bishop who took time out of his crazy schedule to take care of the young women, even on the night when he is usually doing interviews. 

After he left, a camp host from a different area came to check on us and could tell we were struggling. We asked her if there was any way we could use the kitchen on the other side of the pavilion for our devotional that night. As she was opening it, she showed me the camp host room and said that we could use that room as well. It turned out really great. There was no electricity, so we decorated the room with lanterns and flashlights and made it feel as homey as possible. 

By the time of the devotional the rain (and possibly a little snow) had stopped, but it was still cold. The devotional turned out to be great and we enjoyed the campfire and brownies afterwords, with more smores and hot chocolate. This would be a great way to end the day, but in keeping with the adventure theme of the day, there was more.

As we sent the girls off to bed, they came out of there tents shortly after saying that their stuff was wet. Yup. That's right. The tent that they were sleeping in was leaking and some of their stuff was soaked. Lucky for us, the camp host had told us we could use those rooms so we packed the girls into the kitchen area (one had to sleep on the counter) and two of the leaders slept in the camp host room. The other leaders, myself included, slept in the tent. This happened late in the evening, especially for the girls who would be getting up bright and early the next day for a hike. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Girls Camp - Day 1

A few weeks ago, I was called to serve as the Assistant Camp Director and was blessed with the opportunity to go to camp. I did have to work the morning of the first day but still made it in time. We met at the church and prepped to leave. While waiting to leave, we all put on our shirts with the theme S.H.I.N.E., standing for Seeking Him Impacts Now & Eternity. Our shirts were neon yellow with a star. Upon arrival to camp (Cinnamon Creek), we ate our sack lunches and then set up camp. It was a beautiful day weather wise. There was a sprinkler set up and the girls cooled off playing in that. Some leaders even got involved and it was super fun!!!
One of the first things we did was make our camp banner that went with our theme. Our YCL (Youth Camp Leader) had made it and we all added a star to it about what makes us shine.

After that, we gave out skit bags. Where camp was just for our ward, we divided it up where skits would be done by the girls, leaders and the priesthood. We spent some time prepping and roasted hot dogs with biscuits around them for dinner, which the girls loved.
After dinner, we performed our skits for each other. They turned out really good and the girls ended up making up a song going along with our camp theme.
"S H is for seeking him
 I is for impact
Now and 
Shine is the theme of Girls Camp
Right here at Cinnamon Creek"

Our girls are soooo creative!

The night was finished with smores, singing, and games around the campfire!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bunches of Birthdays

In my family, all of the kids birthdays are within a month time period of each other. Even more interesting is that Heather's birthday comes first and she is the oldest. Brady's comes last and he is the youngest. That puts mine in the middle. Honestly, growing up, March and April were fun times.
Now that we all live in different places, it has made it a bit more difficult to enjoy the birthday season with trying to figure out what to get them and how to get it there on time.
With that rant being said, the tradition continues with my roommate and me. It turns out that my roommate's birthday happens to be about 6 days before mine. That makes it fun. This year she happened to be out of town on her birthday, so her sister and I decided to decorate her room a little bit. She loves princess stuff, so I made her a princess kit, which was fun. We had cake and played with bubbles.

My birthday came after that and this year landed on a Saturday. My day started out at the temple (as does almost every Saturday morning). After that, I came home and responded to texts while opening my birthday presents that my parents had sent to me. Later that day, my friends Robert and Andrea put on a small birthday party for me complete with kites, bubbles (both big and small), food and fun. It was really nice and really laid back. At the end they made me into a burrito or something. Hhhmmm..... After that I came home and talked with family on the phone. My neighbor took me out for Gelato a little later, which was delicious. I got a root beer float type one. That evening, my roommate and her sister gave me a gift and we hung out for a while. Then it was time to quit celebrating and do some quick grocery shopping.

It was a great birthday season and I am blessed with amazing family and friends.I was going to put all the pictures on here, but there just isn't room in one post for that. Enjoy the chose ones! Ha ha Ha.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Stuff

As mentioned in the last post, I have a lot to blog about. First let me explain why the leave of absence from the blogging world. You see, my computer battery charger died. That doesn't seem like a big deal, but considering that was already my second charger and all, I decided it was time to upgrade. I am somewhat frugal with my money and so it took me a while to decide to what to do and how much to spend. Thank goodness for tax returns that came at just the right time. I ended up buying a new laptop!

It has been nice to have!

Also, the previous post mentioned new running shoes. Thanks to a good friend, I got a super-good deal on some my new running shoes. They are pretty stinking amazing. I have been able to run more with them (though not as frequent because I am still breaking them in). They are called Altras. The website is

Here is what my new shoes look like:

So super-excited about both of these things. They make me happy!!! :D

Friday, May 4, 2012

One Fine Day!

It seems like I have been MIA lately in the blogging world. I'll explain that in a later post, because I do have quite a bit to blog about from the past two months. However, I wanted to share my day today.

 Today I started a new schedule at work to help to prevent overtime. I think my boss finally got tired of me working an hour or two of overtime daily, so we trying to rearrange my schedule to prevent that. That means when I woke up this morning, I started with a workout and then got ready and went to work. For a Friday, things were going pretty smooth, which is super-nice. I got a text from a friend a couple hours before my lunch break about some running shoes that I had ordered and was waiting on. Turns out, they no longer had the ones I ordered in my size. Sad. :( I was sad, disappointed, but not beaten. I decided that I would go and try on some other ones and choose out another pair and accept that.

My lunch break consisted of a car payment and then heading over to resolve the great shoe dilemma (as it was known at that point). My friend met me outside. When we went in, we talked to the people at the front desk about all of my options. They mentioned that they had the ones on display, of the kind I liked, that I could take at that point. Long story, short, I got my new running shoes and they are exactly the ones that I wanted!!! They are so great! Upon leaving the store, I thought how happy that made me. My friend and I stood outside and talked for a while.

At this point, it might be important to note that I am a huge people watcher. So, as we were talking, I noticed that someone had removed a reserved cone and a car pulled into that spot. It seemed like that person was someone important. Trying not to stare, I glanced over and thought that I knew who that person was. After a second glance, I realized I knew who it was and told my friend who I saw. She got super-excited and once she saw who it was, she dragged me over to..........


 He was there with his wife. We were able to shake hands with him and talk for a few minutes. Oh my goodness! It was the absolute best moment of the day, week, etc. His cute wife waved to use as they walked away and we walked away. This kind of taught me that true happiness is not in getting the shoes that you wanted and that is something that is definitely not worth getting upset over. They are far greater and more important things that bring true happiness. Many of those cane be found in the gospel and the church. So Amazing! I was shaking from excitement.

When I got back to work, I couldn't help but share my story with my co-workers. I finally calmed down and got started working, when one of our trucking reps came in to talk to me (as I am over shipping). Once I entered into where he was, he lifted up a bag of Ice Cream bars. It wasn't just a small bag either. It had Creamies and Haagen Das ones. I got to deliver those to those who were working and have one too (which is good because I totally forgot to eat lunch on my break).

Other than that I went to a reception, spent the evening with some amazing friends and made cookie bars. 

This was one FABULOUS day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


"You want Intimidation. I'll show you Intimidation. I wanna up." Quote from Little Giants. That is the first thing I think of when I hear the word intimidation. For those who may not remember, this is said by a rather wimpy looking kid, flexing his muscles in the mirror. (See Below).

Not really the profile picture of intimidation to me.

(Thanks to Google Images for the picture)

A couple of years ago, I was talking to a guy friend (who is now married, no worries there). He told me that the problem with girls is that they are too perfect and are intimidating. That blew my mind. Intimidating??? Me???? Hhhhmmm....... It wouldn't have been as big of a deal if I had just heard it from him. However, I have heard this from a couple other sources(most of the male gender) too. This has got me thinking, am I intimidating???

A lot of people talking to me about my dating life lately. Don't ask me why. Ha Ha. Maybe it just out of concern for my eternal well-being or maybe just because they are nosy. Who knows. There has been a wave of people who want to set me up with their son, grandson, nephew, friends, or wife's co-worker's brother. (Yup, that really happened). I don't mind it at all because I get to meet some great people.

A few days ago, I was involved in a conversation about, what else, dating. When they found out I was single, it started. Why aren't you dating anyone? I can't believe your not married? "You are so happy and nice and cute". Plus all the other questions we single ladies get. I so wanted to say because I am too perfect and intimidate the guys. Ha ha. Honestly, I did not think that really applies and that I am an intimidating person. Instead, my response is the "I don't know." and the "Ask the guys." which people never respond to well. This usually comes from ladies. However, a married man (my friend's husband) said yesterday (to his wife and not to me) that he was not sure why I was still single.

This has got me thinking (and maybe this is a question that I should address to an audience of males too): Am I intimidating? Do I come across as scary? If so, how can I become less intimidating, without changing who I am? What is the best way to respond to the questions above? I know, this is a lot of questions, but it has been on my mind for a while and I am not quite sure what to think, believe or do about it.

This is not something that is impeding my life from progressing. I'm keeping busy, doing new things and learning tons. One of my main focuses right now is being the best me that I can be. Your comments would be much appreciated! Thank you all for being who you are.

Before you comment, just want to say one more thing.

GGGGGgggggggrrrrrrrrr............. (in the most intimidating way possible). Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Yesterday was insanely busy and as much as it would be great to blame it on others, most all of it was my own doing. Because so much happened, I have decided to give you the hour by hour update. Enjoy!

~4:30-5:30: Wake up, get ready, eat breakfast, leave the house and arrive at the temple.
~5:30-6:30: Prayer meeting & training, prepping for the morning of craziness (lots of weddings)
~6:30-7:30: The craziness begins with people coming and going. Saw some old friends too.
~7:30-8:30: Was able to see a family in my ward (I visit teach the mom) arrive in preparation for their sealing.
~8:30-9:30: More fun with the temple. Saw some more people from my ward and some more friends.
~9:30-10:30: Continued at the temple. Talked with a girl from my old singles ward who used to be my visiting teacher.
~10:30-11:30: Saw the cute family come out and talked with the kids about the experience. So amazing! Helped the person relieving me get caught up on the days event. Used my Spanish to help figure out a situation that was a little complicated but understandable. Changed clothes. Headed out.
~11:30-12:30: Went home for a brief second to grab a few things. Headed to the bank and then to Wal-mart (Yup, I'm that cool).
~12:30-1:30: Went to Michaels and Hobby Lobby to finish getting all of the supplies that were needed for the upcoming events of the day.
~1:30-2:30: Ran home. Packed up my car. Headed to a Festival of Words event that I had helped planned. Helped with the finishing preparations there and helped at the event.
~2:30-3:30: Help in the workshop room for a while where we learned some sign language and some information about signing, which was really neat. There was also story telling and games in that room. Also, helped with the front table (making sure volunteers got signed in and badged, collecting money, answering questions, etc.)
~3:30-4:30: Helped some more at the front table. Prepped for the kids crafts and began kids crafts making bookmarks and foam magnets.
~4:30-5:30: Continued with a steady stream of kids and the crafts. It was so interesting to see all of their different creations. Created awards for the contest winners in art, poetry and writing.
~5:30-6:30: The crafts kept going (and went overtime by 15 minutes). Cleaned up the room and got everything organized.
~6:30-7:30: Left the festival and headed over to the tabernacle for a tri-stake Relief Society meeting with two members of the General Relief Society board.
~7:30-8:30: Listened to the inspired messages and music of those who were there, while trying not to get too tired. (I will admit that my friend sitting next to me said I yawned about 20 times....oops!)
~8:30-9:30: Finished up at the conference. Talked with some people afterwards. Gave my friend a ride home and talked some more.
~9:30-10:30: Home at last! Changed clothes. Got caught up with my texts and all that. Laid down on the couch and fell asleep. (This did happen after 10:30, but it is going here.)

Basically it was a crazy day with lots of fun stuff that happened. It is always nice to be busy, but I am so ready to sleep now.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lessons and Notices

I've learned some things in the past couple of weeks and thought it was time to share those lessons once again. Within these lessons are some announcements about changes in my life.

~When a co-worker gets a new job that means more work for the rest.
~Some meetings are productive and some really aren't.
~Trying to take minutes at a meeting when you are half asleep makes for pretty interesting notes.
~Times flies when you are super-busy.
~Doing too much can and will make you sick.
~The best thing you can do for yourself it to put yourself first.
~Working until 7 is not so much fun.
~New responsibilities means experiencing the learning curve.
~Stuffing your head with tons of knowledge does not make it stick.
~Seeing the parents helps make life better.
~The temple is an amazing place.
~The family unit is so strong, powerful and full of love.
~Promotion is spelled s-t-r-e-s-s, oh wait, maybe that is the definition of promotion.
~Getting your hair done is so relaxing.
~Business lunches and really not as cool as they sound, even though it does mean free food.
~Resolving a major issue in a new responsibility feels great.
~Changing offices and computers is a little more complicated than it sounds.

These are honestly just some of the lessons. I could go on and on and on and on and on. Oh wow!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One Day Off.......

In case you weren't aware, life has been absolutely crazy, to the point that there hasn't been time for resting. Work has been so busy. Last week, one of my bosses and I discussed me getting a day off and decided it needed to happen the next week. By Saturday night, I had figured out that Wednesday would be the best day for it.

Monday morning, I woke up feeling blah. Yup, that's right, I got sick again. I have a cold. Ha Ha. It is not as bad as last time though. My other boss and I were talking and I mentioned to him about a day off and it was set. I finally got a day off!!!

This morning, I stayed in bed until I was ready to wake up. I made pancakes for breakfast. My next adventure was going to the DMV. I had scheduled an appointment so that I wouldn't have to wait. Where I was getting a license for a new state, I had to take a test and get a new picture, Both which are blah things for me. The test was open-book, thank goodness and the best news is that I passed with a 100%. The sad news is that the guy taking the picture took a couple of pictures and we couldn't get one where I don't look sick. Ha Ha. It will be a memory each time I look at it.

A friend came over and we watched a movie and chilled, which is always nice.

There was quite a bit of time for resting, which is something that I haven't been doing at all lately. I have been able to wear exercise pants and a t-shirt, without any shoes and slipper socks. FABULOUS!!!!

Tonight I will continue this amazing, relaxing day by getting my my hair done. Woo Hoo!!!

The only problem is that having a day off could be very addicting. I honestly miss having a day like this every once in a while. It doesn't need to happen every day, but more frequently would be nice. :D

Friday, February 17, 2012


Lately I have found myself saying things and people not understanding what they mean. Because of this, I have decided to make a list of Whitney-isms, with definitions, so that people understand me a little bit better (since I have a hard time explaining it to them when the words come out).

So – This is a way to start a thought or sentence or anything. It is the perfect way to start speaking and giving one a little more time to think and formulate what they are saying.

“We need to be friends” – This is a common phrase meaning that “we” need to do something and soon because you are a completely fun person and are already considered a friend.

“I’m good with whatever” – This mean the really is no preference and that no strong opinion is had on the point at hand.

“Whatever” – Is a way to end or solve an argument or contentious situation without being to rude. Warning: If this one is said with a raw edge in the voice it usually means it’s time to end the argument but it doesn’t mean it is solved.

Silly – A multi-faceted word that means anything from crazy, awkward, fun, funny, and more. This is always used in a friendly way and not to downgrade a person or situation.

Kid – This ranges from people age 0-50* (or older, not sure). This term applies to a person with whom there is a fun relationship (age doesn’t matter) and is usually said with a word like silly or good in front. It is commonly used as a term of endearment. Good to use with those who are kids at heart as well. Be careful how it’s used. Others could be offended if they are not learned in Whitney-isms. *The age is not set on this one.

“Well ya know” – A way of adding more humor to a situation that may have started out pretty funny to begin with. Also, it’s a way to accept a compliment without completely agreeing to what was said; basically a way to stay positive and upbeat.

Honestly – This is a bit self-explanatory but means be 100% completely, entirely and unwaveringly certain. This can be a precursor to a statement that will be revealing something that may not be expected or to show ahead of time that the following statement is the truth. The precursor usually comes at the beginning of a sentence.

"Just Sayin'" - Significant that an opinion is being stated and that someone can either agree or disagree. The statement was said just to put it out there.

This is just a short list for now. I will continue gathering these and let you know once there are more. Let me know if there are any others you can think of, that might need some explaining. Hopefully this helps you understand me a little bit better. :D

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Me and My Girls!!!

A couple weekends ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time with some really great friends. It was the first time in a long time that all six of us were able to be there. It was so much fun to catch up on life with stories of all of our fun and crazy happenings. This time we met up in Pocatello. There was good food and great conversation.

Here we are looking just as cool as ever.

This is the only picture that I got, but others were taken. Thanks girls for everything!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Little Help Please

This is hard for me to post, but here it goes. The past couple of weeks have been really rough on me. My sister has been one of the biggest helps through this whole thing and I cannot thank her enough. Seriously. She has suggested to me to find my strengths and focus on those instead of the weaknesses and imperfections that have been my focus and are certainly plentiful. She has encouraged me to make a list of those strengths to look at when I feel this way. Sad as it seems, these are super-difficult for me to see. So, my dear friends, I am asking for a little help. If you wouldn't mind leaving me a comment or sending me an email or message or text or something to help me identify my strengths, that would be GREAT! Your helped is much needed and will be very much appreciated. Thanks!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Survived!!!

I'm so stinking tired it is not even funny. These past couple of weeks have been super-crazy.
I've started attending all of my board and fund raising meetings again. Some days, that means being gone from 7:45 in the morning to 9:00 in the evening. Along with the meetings, we have been planning and putting together our biggest fund raiser of the year. Let's just say in the past two or three weeks I have had five or more meetings, a couple of classes, some get togethers and a party or two. On top of all of that, I was still working full time. In fact, work got quite busy this past week. Our big fundraiser was Friday night and it went really, really well. My only break was going home for two weekends to spend some time with my family and friends up there. Not all of this was laborious, there was some fun stuff that happened too. I will blog about one or two of those things a little later.:D On top of everything, I am being trained on a new position at the temple that is going to be so much fun.
At the beginning of this past week, I began to realize the it was going to be pretty stinking amazing if I survived this week. In fact, at one point I told someone that.
Well, here it is, the end of the week, and I am still alive, though I am quite exhausted. The best news ever is that I SURVIVED!!!!! It is a MIRACLE!!!
Now that I have survived, it is time to REST and RECUPERATE. Super-excited for that!!! :D

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas with Family

The post below talked about one of the things we did for Christmas this year. It was so nice to be all together because that seems to happen less and less these days, with all of our crazy schedules. By Friday night, we were all in town. I may never learn, but somehow my brother and sister got a hold of my camera and took pictures with it. Most of the ones they took turned out super-cute. However, because this is my blog, I will not post the one they took of me without my knowing. You don't want to see it. Ha ha.

One of our traditions is to drive and look at Christmas lights, as well as drive by the Live Nativity. Below is a picture of my Uncle's house and the live nativity. One nephew told us his favorite part of looking at lights was seeing the Baby Jesus stuff.

My niece and nephew love Grandpa's singing reindeer. By day two, my little niece could sing the song (Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer) right along with it. I tried to get it on video of both of them singing, but as soon as they realized I had a camera, they wanted to see the picture, so I didn't get it. Trust me, it was cute! Here is a picture of it though.

Here are the kiddos on Christmas morning.

It truly was a great Christmas filled with family, fun, traditions, worship and more.

Christmas Crazies

This year for Christmas, we did something a little bit different. Lots of thanks to Heather and Carson for planning it. On Christmas Eve, we played Minute to Win It: Christmas Edition. I learned that I would never do very well on the show but it was a blast. There are lots of pictures too!

One challenge was to throw marshmallows through a wreath. It is a lot harder than it sounds, trust me. (I think they started moving the wreath so I could actually get more than one through.)

Another games was trying to get the cookies from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands or letting it fall. Love the picture of Brady on this one.

Another games was to see who could build the biggest shaving cream Christmas tree. Let's just say not all the shaving cream stayed on the plates.

I didn't get pictures of the other challenges, but it was loads of fun. Honestly, we are just a bunch of Christmas Crazies! Good Times!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Empty Well

Working at the temple is such an amazing experience. Talking with the other workers is so neat. On Saturday, one of the other sisters and I were talking about how important it is not to stretch ourselves to far. She told me that she was giving a presentation on this topic on Wednesday and invited me to attend. It was meant to be, because everything that I thought I had, did not happen. Can I just say this was one amazing, amazing presentation. It was titled, "How Can I Lengthen My Stride When I'm Already Doing the Splits". Here are some things that stood out to me.

Two words answer this question perfectly. "You Can't!"

As women, many time, we feel like we need to do everything for everyone and there is no way things will get done if we don't do them. We have been blessed with compassionate hearts. We are constantly giving water from our well. Sometimes we are so busy giving that water, that the well never gets replenished or there is no water when we need some. This is called the "empty-well syndrome". I have felt this the past couple of weeks. It was so nice to have energy again, but with that energy, (I felt) came responsibilities. I began to hand out water from my well because I had a lot of time to make up. Well, my well isn't completely empty, but it is getting there and I can tell.

How can we resolve this. First, we need to maintain a balance. Overdoing one area of life (physical, emotional, etc.) creates imbalance in the other areas that are just as important. Second, we need to learn to say "no" and not feel guilty. This is so stinking hard. As part of a local organization, I have not been doing much even though one of our biggest fundraisers is coming up, because I couldn't. Not only am I not pulling my weight, but I feel super-guilty. This is huge. Saying no is liberating, but feeling guilty takes that away. This is a constant fight. Next, make time for what really matters. This isn't saying that everything you do in life isn't important, but some things are more important than others. Focus on the most important. Last, remember that you will never be caught up because there will always be more to do.

I left this presentation feeling like a huge weight had been lifted off of me. It brought light to some of the questions that I have had. Seriously, I am a people pleaser and treat others how I want to be treated, but sometimes, I need to treat myself that same way and actually allow others to treat me that way. Easier said then done. That doesn't mean that I will stop serving or being involved. It just means that now I will evaluate everything I have to do, and do what is the most important and not worry about the smaller things.