Saturday, November 30, 2013

30 Days of Gratitude

Many people, throughout the month of November, post daily on Facebook about things for which they are grateful. I am a fan of focusing on gratitude, but I thought I would do it my own way. There are some traditional ones, but I wanted to keep them unique too. Here is My Thankful List.

NOVEMBER 1, 2013

Cough medicine that lets me get a few more hours of sleep.
Studio C that adds some comedy to a sick day.

Wonderful people who help me do things that I really can't do.

NOVEMBER 2, 2013

Friends who force me to eat, even when I really don't want to.
Opportunities to be happy and laugh when I am not feeling well.

NOVEMBER 3, 2013

Amazing messages of motivation from stake conference and the CES fireside.
Getting my appetite back.

NOVEMBER 4, 2013

Cute little kids. I coughed while watching a little boy. He looked at and said in his sweetest voice, "Bless you Whitney". Adorable!!! Totally made my day.

Random experiences. For examples,  that moment you are listening to instrumental version of the battle on Beauty and the Beast and through the window on your back door you see someone climbing a ladder. You feel like you are in the movie for a moment, only to realize that is one of the guys working on the roof.

NOVEMBER 5, 2013

Our weekly mutual activity and homemade mashed potatoes.
Knowing that people want me to work for them, even though I can't.

NOVEMBER 6, 2013

Noodles - Enough said
Amazing Roommate who makes me laugh. :)

NOVEMBER 7, 2013

Great brotherly advice
Accomplishing everything on my list of things to do.

NOVEMBER 8, 2013

Staying busy
Good friends from younger years. So glad we can stay friends even though we're in different situations in life and in different places.

NOVEMBER 9, 2013

Smells that are comforting
Opportunities to meet new people and feel social.

NOVEMBER 10, 2013

Primary Programs
Walks with friends on nice November nights
Planning random road trips

NOVEMBER 11, 2013

All the veterans, especially my Grandpa Parkin
Playing in the leaves with a cute little girl, making me feel like a kid again! :)

NOVEMBER 12, 2013

The wonderful people I serve with who I can also call friends.
Feeling the spirit.
Being told that the program you helped put together was the best one someone had ever been too.

NOVEMBER 13, 2013

Roommate dates in the middle of a crazy week.
Watching a favorite movie and being able to quote lines and songs (Today's favorite: Hercules!)

NOVEMBER 14, 2013

My amazing voice therapist who has helped me in so many ways.
Good talks with the most amazing sister!

NOVEMBER 15, 2013

Temple time with amazing friends.
Authentic Mexican food.

NOVEMBER 16, 2013

Getting mail and thinking it may be bad news, only to find that it is great news!

NOVEMBER 17, 2013

Spiritually uplifting days.
Hilary Weeks.

NOVEMBER 18, 2013

A full day of work
Good workouts

NOVEMBER 19, 2013

Random fits of laughter
Good news about Thanksgiving

NOVEMBER 20, 2013

Service opportunities
Real mashed potatoes

NOVEMBER 21, 2013

My sister and brother. (They are pretty much awesome)!
Online typing tests

NOVEMBER 22,2013

Opportunities for income
Cute little kids who make me smile

NOVEMBER 23, 2013

Polynesian dancing by kids
Sister Jensen, my friend and laughter source in the temple!

NOVEMBER 24, 2013

The wonderful friends in my ward.
Time Out For Women

NOVEMBER 25, 2013

New adventures of driving mini-vans
Little answers to prayers

NOVEMBER 26, 2013

Visit from a former young woman back from college
Private dance party for myself while cleaning and cooking

NOVEMBER 27, 2013

The patience, support, & help from everyone at Intermountain Voice & Swallowing Center who have been there during this whole experience.

NOVEMBER 28, 2013

Being with my family and enjoying their company.
My family
Quiet moments of pondering.

NOVEMBER 29, 2013

Priesthood Blessings
Good books that pull you in immediately

NOVEMBER 30, 2013

My favorite sweat pants
The Atonement

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Crazy Busy Week

Have you ever wondered what a crazy-busy week is like? We've all had them, I'm sure. However, this past week was one of those where I wondered if I would ever stop or rest. Here is what happened in my week (Sunday to Sunday), in no particular order.

  • Babysat a couple of times for a few different people
  • Crafted name card displays
  • Church
  • Visiting Teaching
  • Meeting
  • Gather and find costumes
  • Cake consulting
  • Night of Excellence preparations
  • Night of Excellence
  • Cleaning
  • Respite work
  • Helped a Friend
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Roommate Date
  • Therapy for fake (wrong place)
  • Therapy for real
  • Bank
  • Chauffeur for a few young women
  • Logan temple for initiatories
  • Salt Lake temple for the same
  • Worked at the Logan temple
  • Made brownies
  • Ice Cream Party with friends
  • Girl's Night with High School Friends
  • Make 2 different kinds of soup
  • Attending my friend's talk in her YSA ward
  • Luncheon
  • Attending my friend's talk in her family ward
  • Tithing Settlement
  • Fireside
  • Help a Family
  • Home Teachers
  • Watched Tangled and Hercules
  • Workouts 
There was probably more, but I really don't remember. What I do know is was a crazy, crazy week. It brought many miracles and good things. It was emotional. It was fun. It was exhausting. It was productive. It was long. It is over!

Monday, October 28, 2013

5 Months

In the matter of 5 months, my life has changed drastically in almost every single aspect. I cannot begin to share every way that it has changed. On May 28th, I got sick. It didn't seem like anything out of the ordinary. After a few days, I started feeling better. However, a week later, I still hadn't gotten my voice back and hadn't really seen any improvements. One of my co-workers called an ENT office and set up an appointment for me that Friday. I didn't think it was necessary, but looking back, I'm glad she did. Since that day, 5 months ago, I have not had a voice.

It has definitely been one of the hardest times in my life. There is no denying that. I could not communicate with my family very well because I did not have a computer and could not talk. Texting was the best I could do. I cut myself off from being around friends and social settings because I figured no one wanted to be around someone without a voice and I didn't want to be embarrassed by my lack of voice. I was convinced that I could get through it on my own and that I didn't need help, because I'm an independent person. I put on a strong face in public. However, in the privacy of my own home, it was a different story. I didn't want people to see that side. I didn't want to appear weak.

This has been one of the most life-changing events of my life. There are many instances in my life where I can look back and see what has inspired little changes, but this one has changed me in so many ways.

One of the biggest things that I have had to do is to learn to ask for help. I am so grateful for the numerous friends, family members, and ward members, who encouraged me to do so and were there for me when I truly needed them. There have been so many people who have been my interpreters, ran errands for me, were patient with me and my voice, and so much more. It is still not something I am completely comfortable doing, but it has become easier.

Through this trial, many other trials came. It was almost as if all I had was being taken from me in one way or another. My strength wavered and I began to wonder if I would amount to anything or ever be able to do anything that I had felt were right or inspired to do at earlier stages of my life. However, within the past few weeks, an overwhelming peace has come over me letting me know that life is good, I am doing what I need to be doing, and that this is happening for a greater reason than I realize. This is necessary.

In Young Womens, we focus a lot on our Divine Nature. The one thing that kept me going was knowing that my Heavenly Father loves me and was so mindful of me in this situation. There were so many low points where I would be sobbing and a friend would show up at my door, or I would get a text, or someone would send me a message. I didn't ask for those, they just happened. He was so aware of what I was needing, because He knows me. It didn't make sense to me, for a while, why he would care so much, but I know it is because I am His daughter and he truly desires me to be happy.

We also teach the girls about their Individual Worth. I struggled with my self-esteem, wondering how anyone could stand to be around me, not feeling like the Whitney I was before all of this, doubting my strengths and talents, and inwardly beating myself up when others were succeeding and I was not in any way, shape or form. One day, after a good, but rough, therapy session, I came home and started crying. A dear friend came over and talked with me for a couple hours and helped me to see things differently. I came to realize that, on top of the abilities I had before, I was developing strengths that I had never realized. This has shown me not only who I am but what I have the potential of becoming.

On Saturday, I was listening a great lady talk and she said something about have a great support system that is also like a family, though we may or may not be related. It is so incredibly true. I have felt the prayers of so many people. The kind words have been humbling and the support is indescribable. My family has been great. They are my support and my rock. It is a blessing to have had them to turn to when things seemed impossible. I remember one of my homework assignments was to call my parents. It was such a difficult thing, but they were so patient an loving. My temple family has been so supportive and found ways to allow me to keep serving without a voice. My friend family has really stepped up and shown me that even though I prefer helping others, it is okay to ask for help and they will be there to help me. Thank you everyone!

I have learned that I can do hard things. Also, I know that when trials come, a way will be provided to endure them. I cannot count the times these things have happened and I have been blessed in ways I could not even imagine. Blessings come from trials. I know this for a fact. It is hard to see those blessing sometimes and often times we do not recognize them until they are hindsight, but it is so true.

Yes, the past 5 months have been hard. There is no denying that. They have also been filled with so many experiences that have changed me. I am not the same person I was 5 months ago. I've changed for sure. Sometimes I struggle recognizing myself because of all the changes that have taken place. It is then that I remind myself I am being molded in to something greater. I am being blessed.

This is not the end. There is still more to accomplish before the voice in completely back. There will still be therapy sessions. I will still have hard days. There is still more to learn. However, I know that this is happening for a reason and that some day I will see it. I'm not sure why and I'm not sure when, but it will come. I've been so blessed up to this point and I know more blessings are awaiting. Thank you all again for all of your love and support. :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chutes and Ladders, Slides, & Roller Coasters

Oh to be a child again. Those truly were the days. Don't get me wrong, being independent and all has its perks, but the care-free sensation of being a kid is very appealing sometimes. I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately. I've never quite felt like I was ready to "grow up". I'm seriously still a kid at heart. This is probably pretty evident when my nephews and my nieces continually tell me how silly I am.

On of my favorite games growing up was Chutes and Ladders. I remember constantly landing on the chutes for sneaking cookies and ice skating on thin ice. I would always hope for the ladder which help the kitten out of the tree, but usually ended up getting the paying for a friend to go to a movie ladder. Pretty sure I realized it then, but it makes more sense now, how much that game was really teaching while we played. Good choices lift you up. Bad choices bring you down.

I Love Slides! To this day, when I am at a park, I want to go down the slides. In fact, I worked at a day care for a while. During that time, we would go to different parks. I made it my self-appointed job to test all of the slides to see which one was the best. Some were slow. Others were made of metal, so they got hot easy. Some were covered. Some had twists and turns. Some had bumps. One of my favorites had a couple of twists and a few little bumps.

Roller Coasters weren't a huge part of my childhood. I was too scared to try them. Don't get me wrong, I've been on a few. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, at Lagoon, I branched out and tried a new one, which was kind of scary for me. I'm not a huge fan of the big drops and crazy turns, in ways, but I will admit that it really was fun. After we finished the ride, I got off thinking that I had faced a fear (not completely, because there are still roller coasters that I will not ride) and accomplished something to prove that.

You are probably thinking, what does this all have to do with each other. Or maybe you are asking yourself why I am sharing this with you. There is a reason. If you look and each of these memories, they all relate to my life these past couple of months, but especially this past week. There have been ups and down, chutes and ladders, twists, turns, bumps, dips, drops and more.

Therapy is going well. One day, I had what my therapist called a breakthrough, though looking back, I would call it more of a breakdown, but it was a step in the right directions. We heard my natural voice (though still very quiet) and it came out with very little effort. I was so excited at first and still am, but then the breakdown occurred. I was so confused. My therapist, who is amazing, explained that it is completely normal and a good thing. At my next session and since then, I have been able to get some decent voice, but am still working through the issues that the breakdown brought up.

Without too many more details (because you know that you really don't want to be bored with my life and stories) there have been so many chutes this week. Basically, my life is completely different in almost every way, with the exception that I still don't have a voice and do still have stomach issues, along with a few other things. Some of them felt like major drops on a roller coaster (remember I'm not a fan of those) and some have just been little bumps or twists and turns. It has been difficult to makes sense of all of this, but even harder to realize that I need to make the best of whatever situation comes about.

On the other hand, I have been blessed to see the ladders too. Some good has come from these situations, even though it has not been the easiest to recognize and even more difficult to make sense of. I'm so blessed with wonderful people in my life from the friend who spent one evening letting me just cry to her and then indulging in brownies and ice cream afterwards, to the countless friends and family members who have offered prayers in my behalf, to those who have helped my find a place where I fit. There are those who have sent me texts of encouragement. Many have offered and asked how they can help. I cannot begin to show my gratitude for all of these blessings

For the first time in a while, I have felt peace. Peace telling me that I will be fine. Everything is working according to a greater plan than mine. I am on the path I need to be on at this time. Conference has helped. There is still so much to figure out. There are so many decisions to make and paths to explore. The small moments of peace, feeling relaxed and actually beginning to feel and act like myself, have all been tender mercies.

It brings me back to the care-free days of youth, when my biggest worries were: "What park has the best slide?" (Maybe that wasn't so long ago) or  "Will I land on the square that will take me down the chute that I have been trying to avoid?" Those were the days for sure. I didn't have to worry about the adult issues in life and got to focus on enjoying life. Maybe that is the key right there: To enjoy life, no matter what circumstances are brought to you, because you have faith and trust that things are going to work out. We are told to become like children, trusting and humble. That is my goal right now.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go to a park to play on the slides. :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Little Gems of Laughter

These past couple of weeks have been very educational. Seriously. Just wanted to share a few of the gems that I have learned and that have made me laugh.

GEM #1

Apparently, I am married. (Not sure why I didn't tell you all or even how I didn't know that). A patron at the temple stopped me one day and told me I was married and wanted to give me some advice for my "husband". I explained to her that I was single. She asked if I was sure and told me which person she was talking about. Wow!  Once I got back to the worker area, I started to laugh. Glad to have gotten the news that way. If anyone is wondering planning a wedding, getting married and living married life is no different than single life for me.

GEM #2

I need a personal assistant. Without a voice, you have people make many random comments or ask questions about your voice. I'm learning how to deal with those questions with truth and humor. One night, I was talking to someone who said sorry about my voice and continued by saying that he/she would be my personal assistant. The job would consist of making and taking all my phone calls, discussing them with me and helping me out with all of that. Ha Ha. Good idea! It doesn't pay, except with having a the marvelous opportunity to be around me quite a bit. Any takers?

GEM #3

I've changed groups at the temple, without remembering. Last week, a couple of sisters from the group after mine waved me over as I was going to do my last task of the day. When I got over there they asked when me I changed groups. I gave them a confused look. Apparently I started in Group 8 and not Group 7 and switched. Not sure why I don't remember this. I could have sworn that I have been waking up early almost every Saturday for the past 2 years. Guess that memory loss is setting in early for me. Ha Ha.

GEM #4

There may be more truth to my movie post than I thought. I was at a combined activity for some YSA wards in the Salt Lake area. Someone passed me, asked me a questions, and after I responded quickly something to the affect like "Hey, you don't have a voice. Is your name Ariel?" Ha Ha. I couldn't help but laugh. It wasn't a mocking laugh, but more of a "I was right and this is proof" laugh. Needless to say it made my friend next to me start laughing too. It was a good beginning to the evening.

GEM #5

Best Homework ever: Throwing breakable dishes off a cliff or rocks. This is a true. Apparently it is supposed to help get rid of frustration and anger, which is great for people like me, who keep their emotions and feelings inside quite a bit. I think I will stick with throwing rocks, because I don't want to go buy dishes just to throw and break them. What a waste of money. Even though, as I write this, the thought of throwing something and breaking it kind of sounds fun. Maybe I should go buy some water balloons or something. 

GEM #6

A calling could be issued to marry me. I know what you're thinking. Wait! I thought you were married already. I guess not. Maybe to the patrons I am married but to the workers I'm not. My group coordinator came up to me and told me that a certain person in a leadership role in the temple is highly considering extending a calling to someone to marry me. Hhhmmm..... Not so sure how to feel about this. Ha Ha. I didn't know there was authority to do that. I wouldn't mind the help for sure, and clearly the guy would have to accept the calling so he'd have a choice or a say in the matter. (In case you couldn't tell, this is not serious. This was a joke. It wasn't meant to be taken seriously but it was somewhat humorous, which is why I shared it.)

GEM #7

Posture gives you away. For example, In Hawaii last February, I'd been on a crowded bus with tourist from everywhere. Once we got to our destination, we all went our separate ways. I ran in to a few of them and we talked for a bit. The subject of ballet came up. The lady from Guernsey asked if I was a dancer, because I stood and held myself like one. That was neat, but I thought it was just a coincidence. At therapy the other day, the therapist had me sit up from the massage and stimulation portion. After I sat up, she immediately asked if I was a dancer. I said I was. She said she could tell because I have great posture. Ha ha. People who have seen me at home may argue with this because in that environment, I slouch and sprawl. :) What does your posture give away about you?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Amazing Temple Friends & The Lessons They've Taught

For the past 2  years and 2 months, I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve as a temple worker. It is rewarding just to be there consistently and feel of the spirit and know of God's love for us and the work that take place in the temple. Amazing!!!

I know I use this picture a lot, but it's a favorite!!!

One of the best parts is getting to know the incredible people there. We are divided up in groups of workers and I can honestly tell you that the people I work with are such great people and amazing examples. I can truly call them friends and have created friendships that will be lifelong. Some are no longer in my group, others have moved, but the impact they have made can still be felt. I learn so much from these amazing people. I wanted to share with you some of the things these incredible workers have taught me. These are not all through words, but by actions and examples as well.


It is amazing to me how much time these wonderful men and women dedicate to serving. I wish I could do as much as they do. Many of these workers not only work their weekly shift, but will substitute for others on their days and times off and still make time for their own personal temple worship. One lady shared that she and her husband go to the temple for a session one day, do initiatories one day, and work one day. Though I cannot dedicate as much time as they do, I have learned what true, dedicated service looks like and have a resolve to serve that way when I can.


One week, I was put as the sister in the session who is at the front of the room. As we entered the room, I realized that the man at the front of the room, was the husband of the sister. They are one of the cutest couples ever! That day, they were celebrating their anniversary. As soon as she walked in and saw him up front, she and I exchanged glances and we switched spots. The little looks they gave each other and the smiles show true and eternal love. I've watched this couple a few times and then genuine concern they show when one is sick, the joy they find in being with each other and the true happiness that have in their marriage. Just a few lessons from them.


My group coordinator has been so supportive of me, especially the past couple months. She was talking to me a few weeks ago and mentioned that couldn't imagine going through what I was going through. Here is a woman who has had two surgeries in the past year and yet she thinks my lot is hard. At one point she told me that "He must have something incredible for me" coming because of this trial. I gave her my hopefully sign and didn't think much of it. She said it again this week, except this time she said that she knew he had something incredible for me. She continued to show how, even though I can't do a ton at the temple, what I can do and have done has been perfect. A new position had been created (that works with my trial) and I have been able to train many people on the position. She has taught me faith and hope and the importance of instilling that in others, even when our life isn't ideal.


I have so many favorites right now at the temple. They are wonderful. One of my favorites is a cute lady who is happy and goofy and fun. She has told me that she doesn't always feel like she can do the position she has been called to, but she still does it and does it and does it fantastically, I might add. She does it with a smile on her face and a joke or two. She constantly has such a positive attitude and great disposition. I have learned from her, that no matter how inadequate we feel, the Lord qualifies those he calls. Also, the power of positivity and the influence it has on those around you.


There was one day where a good friend and I were asked to stay late and help the next group with a session because they had a few people not show up. We both said we would. Before heading in to the session, they gave us a brief break, so we headed down to the cafeteria. As we sat down there, we talked about life and although I don't remember the exact particulars of our conversation, what I do remember is how what she said was exactly what I needed to hear and help me as we went in to the session to really focus on the peace that can be obtained in the temple.


I had the awesome opportunity to train a girl, who became an instant friend. She was so sweet, kind and full of charity and love. I wanted to be like her in so many ways and am so blessed that we got to spend so much time together.


My group was blessed to have many younger workers helping out. Some of them were married and some were single. Each brings or brought their own special feel to our group. Most of them are/were students and are/were working as well. I've learned from these great friends the art of balance. Life is busy as a young adult (married or single), but making time for the temple is truly the greatest help to make sure that you are putting the Lord first. These friends (because all of them have become friends to me) showed me this time and time again. Thank you all!


It's been hard saying goodbye to some of these wonderful workers. When the Brigham City temple was built and dedicated, some of our workers lived in those boundaries, so they were no longer able to serve on our group. That was a hard day. Others have moved for jobs or missions. Some have changed groups. You get to know these wonderful people who become an important part of your life, and then they are gone. Thank goodness there are still ways to keep in contact. I cannot begin to tell you the impact each of these incredible people have had on me.


I wish I could list all of the names and lessons that I have learned from my temple friends (including the patrons who become like part of your family), but that would make this long post even longer. Just know, if you are reading this right now and you are one them, you mean the world to me and I miss you if you are gone. If you are still there, I am grateful and glad for that. Know that I love you all and treasure the lessons and spirit and kindness and love that you have brought in to my life.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Vocal Therapy Q&A

Let me start of by saying "I Know!". I feel it too. It seems like all I write or blog about is my voice, or lack thereof, and the joys of getting it back. Maybe it is because my life is so completely boring that it is the only thing going on. Nope. Not that. It is because it plays such a huge role in my life and is probably one of the most important things to get figured out. Many people have asked me questions. Writing is my way to explain what exactly is going on and answer questions. Plus, it is easier for me to write the answers to the questions that I am getting asked than to say them. That would take an entire week or more at this point. I started therapy this past week. Some of the questions I have been asked are: What exactly is  wrong? What is vocal therapy? What does it consist of? How long will it take? Where is it at? What can you do for it? Of course, I'm sure there are more, but these are the ones I want to focus on.

What exactly is wrong?

As I stated in a previous post, I have been diagnosed with Muscle Tension Dysphonia. There are some different causes of the condition. It is basically a vocal injury. When a runner sprains his or her ankle, and keeps running on it, the damage becomes worse. That is what has happened with the vocal cords. There were injured and I kept talking, which made this worse. Basically it means I cannot talk. I could whisper, but have been told not too. It's not that I don't try either. The voice just doesn't exist. It is a completely curable condition, but it requires therapy.

What is vocal therapy?

Vocal therapy is like physical therapy, except through speech and noises. The therapy serves the purpose of helping one to regain their voice using proper speech methods and avoiding further damage and injury.

What does it consist of?

Good question! I had no clue what to expect when I got there. We started with some massages and stretches to help relieve the tension. We also worked on proper breathing techniques. Then I was asked to start making noises and forming words. The main difference in the speaking is the technique. I am learning how to speak from my diaphragm, rather than how I've been doing it all along. To make it work, my breathing has to be controlled and steady. I have used straws and sighs to get that going. We started on "M" words, like mark, mild, meek, map, men, etc. The next session we work on those words again, but added another syllable so it would be words like money, market, machine, mango, matchbox, etc. The next session I was chanting a little and speaking in small simple sentences, though not very well at all. I still have a long way to go. I also did buzzes and trills with my lips. All of this is coming from the diaphragm.

My diaphragm is not used to working this much and it has affected my stomach. The second day of therapy was hard because my stomach was having issues and not thrilled at all.

How long will it take?

The honest answer is I really don't know. The first week was three sessions. Next week will be three sessions as well. After that, I'm not sure. She (the therapist) did say it could take longer if my stomach has issues, because it takes more time and effort to get words out of me. It could be a couple weeks or months. I wish I knew exactly, but I really don't.

Where is it at?

My therapy is taking place on the campus of the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake. They have a special clinic there. There is not a vocal specialist where I live or where my parents are, so the decision of where to do therapy was an easy one. It has been nice because I have family and friends down there that I can stay with overnight, which allows me not to have to drive back and forth every day.

What can be done for it?

The biggest thing is therapy. That is going to be the biggest help. Through therapy, I have been given assignments, exercises, stretches and massages to help me regain the voice more efficiently. As I write this, I have a heat pack around my neck to loosen the muscles and release tension. Then I will start with my breathing exercises, using the diaphragm. After the breathing, I will do some stretches and massages to loosen the area. Then I will start making noises and work on my lists of words to learn to say. I'll start with one-syllable words, then two-syllable words, and then I will work on the short sentences and chants, if my voice is not too tired by then. To end, I will stretch and massage the throat area. Then I will do the arm and back stretches to release the tension in those areas as well. It will come back with time.

First, I want to apologize to those who it seem that I have ignored or not given the attention you deserve. It has been difficult to be social or to want to communicate with others, when I am so limited. Also, I want to thank you all for your patience with me. It is so evident to me how difficult it is for others to deal with this. . Thank you for your continued support and prayers. Both are truly needed and felt. One day, I will get to be social again and it will be grand! I look forward to that and paying forward the love and prayers that I have received.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Life is Like A Movie

While driving home from Girl's Camp, a few leaders, a girl and I had some pretty fun conversations. A question was asked and I shared a story or two or five with them. It was actually probably only one or two, but the five got you more interested. Admit it! Ha Ha. Anyway, after sharing a story, someone spoke up and said something to the affect of not to step on your hurt or anything, but your life sounds like a movie. She went on to explain that it sounded like a specific one, but she could not remember the name of it. I got a good laugh out of that and life went on.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in Sunday School (shortly after my diagnosis) and one of my friends was talking to me and I was writing responses. She told me I was like Ariel on The Little Mermaid. It made me chuckle. Even more humorous was later that day, I was with some friends and once again, my life was compared to The Little Mermaid. This time they said that Ursula had stolen my voice and I needed to practice my body language and find my Prince Eric, then my voice would come back beautifully. This made me laugh. Two Little Mermaid references in one day. Seriously! What could be better?

(Photo Courtesy of

In some ways, I can see my life as a movie and in other ways, I think that it if it is a movie, it is the most boring movie ever. Yet, it got me thinking, if my life really were a movie, what genre would it be. A comedy? An animated film? A tragedy? A drama? An action? What? Okay, so maybe not an action because there is no high-speed chases with fighting and guns and such, but that's beside the point.

It wouldn't be so bad having a life like a movie. In a hour and a half, there is usually some sort of problem, a conflict, a resolution and a happily ever after, though not true in all films. I could completely handle that if my trials only last that long. I understand that movies only last that long, but are made to span days, weeks, or months at a time and this is just my wishful thinking.

Not sure why, but I had a dream one night. It was not the normal dream that is foggy when you wake up. I remember it so vividly that it truly could be a movie and I would be the star. What did it have to deal with, you ask? Well, how about a Disney Princesses Party, where one princess kidnaps a party guest, while another guest searches and seeks to find the kidnapping victim. It was kind of intense and strange at the same time. It really showed me what life could be like if I lived in a movie. Kind of strange, but kind of exciting too!

I chalk this dream up, in part, to a conversation that had happened earlier that day about what Disney Princess one would be and why. All the girls questioned answered Ariel. Hhhhmmmm....... I thought that was me. Ha Ha. Not sure why all of the other parts came up though.

Maybe this is a sign that I should start scripting my life and create a movie from that. I could make it however I wanted, because I would be the writer, the director, and the lead (who else could play me but me). Maybe not the lead, I'm really not that great of an actress, I promise. What would I want put in my movie? Where would the plot take you? What areas of my life would I focus on? Where would it be filmed?

Now I can't help think about it everywhere and anywhere I go. What movie would this relate to? Which movie is this situation like? In fact something happened just the other that I had heard about in TV shows or movies, that I thought never really happened in real life. It was actually quite interesting, somewhat funny, and completely unexpected. My face may have been priceless. Yet, I am so naïve that I had no idea how to properly respond to the situation. No regrets right? Just hopes! Some scenes in my life really are like a movie.

Guess I should just keeping living my life one day and a time and letting it turn into the movie that it wants to be. Maybe from there, more intriguing story lines and situations would come up and there would be more adventures to add. My life may be like a movie. It may appear to be like The Little Mermaid right now. All and all though, having a life like a movie sure keeps things interesting.

So here is some interesting questions. 1) What movie is your life most like? 2) What movie would you say my life is most like? I am kind of, wait, really interested in your responses. :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Whitney's Whisperings:Part II (Or Non-Whisperings Now)

This is a continuation of the previous post, because let's face it, some crazy stuff has happened since then and I'm sure you are all on the edge of you seat wanting to know more about my wacky world. With that said, let's begin.


Yup. That's right. I finally have a diagnose. I have Muscle Tension Dysphonia. The Padres (who are so amazing) came down for the appointment. It was nice to have them there. After multiple stretches, massages and me attempting to make noise and say words (which at one point actually came out semi-normal), along with the stroboscopy, I was given the diagnosis and the treatment plan. Therapy. I will be going to Salt Lake for that and am hoping to start it very soon. The voice will come back. I have to admit, I laughed during the appointment because I could not even fathom the idea of being able to make the noises and sounds. One time, I even laughed at what she was having me say. Oops!

I was also told in the appointment that I am no longer supposed to talk or whisper (which is why I added the "non-whisperings" to the title). Instead, I now carry around a whiteboard or notebook, depending on where I am. Do you know how hard that is? Try it out some time. Go for a couple hours without talking or whispering and writing all your thoughts on a whiteboard or in a notebook. I never realized how much I took my voice for granted.


I started working at the Logan temple in June of 2011. It has been a wonderful blessing in my life and I have met so many wonderful people through it. I cannot even begin to explain how going there and working after a rough weeks, seems to make life a little better. The ladies I work with or have worked with are amazing. They are such great examples to me.

When I got called, I was told it was a 2-year calling. So June came and went, and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to keep going or not, because no one had said anything. I kept going though. Last week, right after being told I cannot talk, I was asked to go speak with a member of the temple presidency. I was a little nervous that it was going to end because of the voice. However, the re-issued my call for another 2 years! So excited! I could not survive with the wonderful people and experiences.


No, I'm not moving apartments. I'm just switching rooms. My roommate bought a house and moved out this week. Up until a few weeks ago, I had someone who was going to move in and was wanting to move in. What a relief. However, my neighbor came over one day and told me that the girl who was going to move in just had gotten engaged which meant that she wasn't going to move in. Aaahhhh!!!!! Throughout this week, as my roommate packed up her stuff, it started to sink in that I was going to be all alone in the apartment. We cleaned out everything. The pantry, fridge and freezer and pretty bare. Guess I really don't buy that much food.

While I was helping her yesterday, I had a thought to text one of my old roommates. Everything worked out and she will be moving in with me later this month. Thank goodness! I like being alone, don't get me wrong, but having someone there to share the bills, for company when needed, and more is a huge blessing.


A little while ago, my computer broke. It has not been easy trying to communicate with people without one. I can't talk for goodness sakes. Now I can't write emails or use Facebook or update my blog, because my computer is dead. Needless to say, it meant that I had to go and buy a computer. I struggled with this because: 1. I don't like to spend money. 2. I could not communicate with the people at the stores to ask questions. 3. By the end of the day, I had no motivation.4. Did I mention I don't like to spend money.

I enlisted a friend and wrote out a few questions that I had for the store. I entered that store armed with my friend, a notebook, a pen, a whiteboard, and a marker, but it was still hard. We were able to get everything communicated and in the end, I got the computer that I wanted and not the one they were trying to sell me. Go me! I arranged for them to transfer data and install a few things. Apparently, that was an issue. I got a call saying it was ready but that they would have a 10 minute install to do when I was there. I got there and 1 hour 40 minutes later, I walked out of the store with my new computer. Wow! What a long wait!


I have the best Visiting Teacher in the world. She has become a very dear friend to me and am so grateful for everything she does. She has texted me a few times since my diagnosis. One time, she invited me over to her place to watch a movie and eat treats so I could do something fun, without using my voice. And we got to wear our pajamas! Before I went over that night, she texted me and said she was going to the store and asked if there was anything that I needed. What an angel! She is so fun to be around. It was a good time! Bet you wish you had a visiting teacher like mine!


Last Sunday marked the 2 month mark of not having a voice. Hard day? You betcha! It is so strange to be driving in car with someone as a passenger and not be able to carry on a conversation because you can not write while driving. I've discovered some people are really good at reading lips. Throughout all of this, I've been reminded a couple times that this is a time for me to let people serve and for people to learn service. I'm kind of prideful and don't let people serve me very often because I think that I am able to do everything. In a blessing I was told that I have had my time to serve and help others and have made that a priority. Now, it is a time for me to ask for and accept service. That's hard! But I'm trying. When people ask what they can do to help me, I take them seriously.


I worked at day care facility for a while. One of my favorite classes to be in was the After-School/Summer Kids program. These were school-aged kids and it was a blast to play with them and watch them grow. We would award them points for good things that they did. Once a month, we would have a Treasure Box day, where the kids could use those points to buy prizes. I decided to use that idea with my Young Women.

Throughout the month of July, they were asked to work on their Personal Progress. On the night of mutual, they talked with the leaders about what they had done and what they had learned. They were given tickets based on how much they had done. At the end of the night, they were able to use those tickets to buy some really fun stuff. It turned out really well and got the girls excited to do their Personal Progress. We even have one who is really close to finishing now.

This ends this installment of Whitney's Whisperings, or lack thereof. :) Thanks for reading and in a way, communicating with me. Love "talking" to you all like this. :D

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Whitney's Whisperings

I've been spending time with an amazing family lately. They have been such wonderful helps and understanding and fun and exciting and lights in my life and so much more. One day, while talking with the girls, they decided that I needed to start a blog called Whitney's Whisperings to go with my new voice. Since I already have this blog, I have decided just to do a post about my whisperings.

It is quite interesting to see peoples reactions when I whisper. Even people who know the situation. I have been told I sounds mischievous. Others tell me it's exciting when someone whispers. I've been told I have the perfect temple voice. Last night, I got told it sounded like I was gossiping. It is interesting how many people whisper back to me and how many times I get asked why we are whispering.

So, what have I been whispering about lately? So many things.


In case you've forgotten, the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday ever! There is something about it that makes me happy. I am lucky to live in a place that shoots off fireworks the night before, because that means I get to see at least 2 sets of fireworks each year! This year, I was able to watch the fireworks with some friends here. After, we went and had a picnic and talked until late. It was good times. On the 4th, I had the opportunity to head home and spend some time with the padres and my sister and her fam. We went to a parade, played in the water, picnicked in the backyard, and went and saw fireworks. We almost didn't get to see the fireworks, because there was a lovely wind storm that came through right before they started and delayed them for an hour. So grateful that we got to see them. The rest of the weekend was good family time too. Love my family and so glad I could see or talk to all of them that weekend.


One of my most favorite whisperings, is my new motto for life. You see, my life was very difficult and it seemed like everything that could go wrong was going wrong. There was very little joy. However, in the midst of all of these trials, a wonderful experience, which brought to mind a new motto. Are you ready? Here it goes:

1. Trust God
2. Care for Self
3. Serve Others
4. Enjoy Life

I could do a whole post or 5 on this motor but believe me, it has made a huge difference. I have also set some daily goals to help me in these areas. At the end of each night, I take inventory of how I've done and what I need to do better. I also try to focus and look for something good each day and write it down. These range from the kid in the car in front of me making animals with his hands to enjoying a favorite treat. It's been fun!


I'm the type to over think things...... a lot! It drives me crazy. However, next Thursday (almost a week away), I will have a stroboscopy, or a scope on my vocal cords. I'm not completely sure what to expect to be honest. I have researched it quite a bit. Some things I've read said you need to have a healthy voice for the study. My voice is not there yet. The scope itself shouldn't take too long (15 minutes is what I'm thinking), but the appointment could be a lot longer because afterwards, the speech therapist, the doctor, my parents (who are amazing and coming down for the appointment), and me will discuss options. My biggest whisper on this one is hoping that I get some type of answer or find something that can be done.


It is blasted hard to be social without a voice. Just saying. My attempts haven't been the most successful, but are getting better. It is difficult to be in large groups or noisy places, but there is still so much that can be done. My recent adventures include a birthday party, fireworks (of course), swimming, dance party, FHE, dinners, cave exploring, hiking, movies, Girls Camp, and more. I'm trying to do at least one fun or random thing a day because it keeps life interesting. I can be social, it just takes patience from myself and others. It's been fun to see how many people whisper back to me when I whisper to them.


I tend to get new favorite things and that's all I want. Bread pretty much remains a staple favorite. Lately though, even with the temperatures being so warm, or rather hot, I have been craving soup of all things. It's all I wanted for a good two or three weeks. Let me tell you, I love soup. I've even had some great friends who will eat soup with me. Another thing that has become a favorite lately is donuts. Most any kind is yummy, but lately it has been the old-fashion cake-like ones. So good! Another thing is Fruit Buddy packs. These are made of real fruit and pretty much just fruit, which means a healthy option for me! The mix and puree it. They come in a pouch so you can drink them and it is like an applesauce, but yummier. One last thing. Black Forest Fruit Snacks. They are delicious. I am a fruit snacks fan anyway but these have a juicy fruit gel in the center and are so much better than regular fruit snacks.

So, I guess I should whisper in moderation, but these are a few of the things I've been whispering about lately. Life isn't so bad in the quiet lane. There is so much to observe, see, do and learn. More whisperings to come, I'm sure. :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Letter To You! :)

Dear Family and Friends,

Hard times will make us stronger, is what I've heard. Apparently, I'm going through a point in life where I need to be stronger. The past couple weeks have been super tough and have definitely taken a toll on me and my life.

Without too many details, I was sick and lost my voice. Today is Day 16 of the voice being gone. It's frustrating, to be completely honest. I want to play. I want to have fun. I want to call people up and make plans. I want to talk to my family and friends. I want to be able to fully do my job (phone calls and all). I want to know why.

I miss you all. I don't mind doing things with people, as long as they don't mind me whispering. My voice will come back. It has too. I'm seriously not a needy person. I'm probably too independent. It is difficult for me to ask for help or to know what I need/want. My pride makes me think I can do it on my own.  Plus, it is second nature to me to take care of myself, so I have kept much to myself. I don't want to burden others with my trials. In fact, the picture below is how I feel right now.

I used this picture on my GP blog, but thought it was so fitting for this post. I'll try not to duplicate the two blogs too much.

However, it is not about what I want, it is what Heavenly Father needs me to have and go through, even if I don't understand the reasons. I did get a blessing and was told some amazing things. There is hope. With each day, my hope fades a little, but I have to stay strong.

This has changed things in my life a little bit. I had some big plans for this year and they most likely will not happen this year now. There is always next year. There is a chapter or two of my life that will need to end, though it will be hard. Faith requires action, and those actions produce results. 

My voice will come back, and that's an encouraging thought. Life will be good. Sometimes, I wish that I could see the end from the beginning. However, this too will pass and all this will be for my good. There are so many good things to enjoy and love about life. In reality, I need to be more grateful.

There have been good times through this all. I've learned that I can still win quiz games. My coworkers and young women have all experienced "The Squeak". In fact, my new nickname at work is Squeakers. That's what happens when you laugh and have no voice. I have found reasons to laugh. I've still been able to work, both at my job and at the temple. More good will come too. I'm sure of that.

Thanks for being so wonderful. I promise not to be so neglectful.

Your Friend,


Thursday, June 6, 2013

New Blog

Since my diagnosis of Gastropresis, I felt that part of the reason that I have this condition is to help people going through similar situation or through hard times and trials. After much thinking, I have taken a step that will allow me to reach to to more people and help others. I have started a blog which will go through my journey: the diagnosis, the management, and living with it daily. I will also use it to try to help motivate, give hope and show how great life is, even through tough time.

Here is the link to that blog:

If you know anyone who struggles with this condition, digestive issues, health struggles or anything, please let them know. My hope is that this will bring hope and strength to those going through difficult times. If we all work together, our hard times will be a lot easier to get through.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

More Lessons Learned

Are you excited? Well, if not, get excited. Why, you ask. It is because it is time for another installment of Lessons Learned, brought to you by .....Me!!! These are in no particular order.

~ Little kids are the best and say the sweetest things.
~ A good hike helps relieve stress and is actually super relaxing
~ I could seriously handle working 4-10 hour days, if it would give me an extra day to relax.
~ Allergies and colds have similar symptoms. However, colds get worse.
~ Losing your voice multiple times in one year may be a sign to learn sign language.
~ It is kind of hard to throw a party when you don't go to the party.
~ A good visiting teacher is great to have.
~ Baking is also good therapy.
~ Keeping secrets us easy to do when you don't have a voice.
~ Watching old TV shows from childhood, brings back lots of crazy memories.
~ Life never seems to go as planned.
~ If you must fall on a hike (if you are clumsy or such), the best place to fall is near the end.
~ Sitting alone in the Celestial Room for 45 minutes is such an amazing experience.
~ Older couples are so cute.
~ Two baby blessings = not sitting where you usually sit at church.
~ Home teachers are nice to have, but when they stay 1 1/2 hours, it throws off your schedule for the rest of the night.
~ Weeds make good fall-catchers.
~ The Brother of Jared is one amazing person and examples.
~ Lots of squats, the day after a long hike, makes your thighs super-sore.
~ Having patience is not easy, but is worth it.
~ Catching up with good friends is wonderful.
~ Honey is a great remedy.
~ No matter how hard you have it, there is always someone out there who has it harder.

These were all things that I learned in the past week. We'll stop there for now, but there will be another installment sometime.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Birthday Celebrations (Only Two Months Later)

My birthday was pretty great this year. I totally am blessed. My birthday was on a Sunday this year and it was definitely a full weekend.

When I got off work on Friday, I headed up to Poky to spend some time with the padres. They took me out to dinner that night. We had a good time. Later that night, my aunt, uncle, cousin and her husband came into town, so I spent some time over there talking and catching up.

Saturday morning was General Conference. For the first time in I don't know how long, I was able to watch conference with my dad. It was so nice. In between sessions, we went and visited with the family. After the afternoon session, my mom and I met up with the rest of the family and ended up talking for a while longer. Then we headed to dinner. I left from dinner and headed back. I had some errands to run, groceries to buy and things to do before Sunday.

For some reason, when I got home, I could not get my front door unlocked. I blamed it on it being late and having my arms full of groceries. It turned out that my roommate's siblings had booby trapped our door, thinking that I was at home. I even found a note in the kitchen asking me not to use the front door. Oops! Got that note a little too late. Ha Ha. Oh well. 

On Sunday, I spent the day watching conference at the church. The sessions were amazing. Right after the second session, I headed over to Andrea & Robert's house. They were throwing me a small birthday party. We played games and talked. They also had bought me a cookie dough ice cream cake. It was so yummy and so nice. 

After that, my roommate had made a cake and we had some people over for cake and ice cream. It was really nice and fun. She decorated the house with balloons, which I think are long lasting balloons because they are still in our front room, and other decor. My cake had 48 candles, which made me laugh. We also played a few games. We are such kids at heart. 

It really was a nice weekend and day. I got to spend time with so many wonderful people, both family and friends. The best part was that it was not stressful. It was super relaxing and enjoyable. Thanks everyone for making it a fantastic and wonderful weekend. You are the best. :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Defining Moments

Throughout life, there are been many defining moments for me. Moments that have tried me to my core and ones that have helped shaped me to who I am today. I'd like to share a few of those with you.

I made the decision that I wanted to be a missionary when I was a kid. It was one of my greatest desires in life. However, when the time came for me to make the decision to go, it became a very serious manner. I remember numerous conversations with family and friends as I tried to decide. My dad gave me some advice that made sense. He told me to fast, pray and act. He encouraged me to talk to the Bishop, even if I hadn't made a decision, so he could help me. The day of the appointment, I remember fasting, praying, studying and  making every effort to make a choice. The answer did not come until I was sitting in the Bishop's office and he started offering a prayer. I knew then what needed to happen. Not only that, but my testimony of fasting and prayer was strengthened.

The mission, of course, was a refiners fire, and there was lots to refine. There were so many moments when you just trusted what you felt and went and did. One such occurred in my fourth area. My companion and I had just finished Spanish study time and were preparing to go knock doors. We got into the car and prayed. As we prayed, the car was filled and we both knew that there was a very specific place that we needed to go, we just didn't know where. We drove for a bit and stopped to look at a map. As we looked at the map, my companion started to cry and pointed to a street saying that's where we needed to go. So we went. I don't remember the particulars, but we decided to start at one end. There were no answers, but we kept going, feeling like there was a reason why. At the last door we knocked on, someone answered and immediately went to get someone. We were let in and met an extremely special woman and her amazing little daughter. This taught me to go and do as directed, even if you are not sure why. There is something beautiful that awaits.

It's no secret that I have struggled with my physical health. It has definitely been one the greatest trials for me. While trying to get my stomach under control, it was very easy to become discourage or frustrated. Many days, I didn't have energy to care. One day, I was trying some tomato soup to see if that would be good. I had a little and then had a couple visitors. While they were visiting, the pain in my body became intense, but I tried to hide it. After they left, I got upset because even soup wasn't going to work. (I later learned that other soups work but tomato does not). This whole health thing was a wild roller coaster ride. Finally, one day, a point came when I knew that I needed to get and stay in a good place. Thankfully, I received the help needed from a loving Heavenly Father. This struggle in my life and turned in to the greatest blessing because I know there is a reason that I have it, I can see who is in control of my life and have been able to learn and know that whatever happens is His will. It has given me the chance to help and lift others. I have learned more about trust and hope. It's made me, me!

I could keep going, but I really don't want to bore you with all the crazy details of my life. All these experiences have at least one thing in common, and that is faith. Faith to make decisions, to allow myself to be lead, to overcome, to learn, to act, to share, and so many more.

 Elder Holland has said "In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. ...When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes."

These past couple weeks, I have made a few decisions that will require me to walk by faith and not sight. I know that I will be guided but will need to rely on my faith and hope that what I'm doing is what is right. It's not always the easiest thing.  This is easier said than done. As we exercise faith and act upon what we feel is right, than blue skies will come and the storms will fade. We will be able to understand the why and these experiences will become defining moments for us.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Flying Kites and Ice Skating

My friend Clover and I planned a super-fun weekend, back in March. It is always a blast when she is involved and this one was exactly that.

I headed down to her place shortly after I finished my Saturday morning shift at the temple. It was a little bit windy (ok, maybe really windy) which worked out well since flying kites was the first thing on the agenda. We went to soccer field area by a park and fire station. As you will see by the pictures, the wind was blowing.

We were a little wind-blown after that. Isn't this just the best picture ever!

After flying kites, we ran to the store to get a few things and went back to Clover's place for a quick dinner. Why so quick? Because we were heading to Disney on Ice:!

We don't look as crazy now! 

The show told three different Disney stories: The Princess and The Frog, Cinderella, and Tangled. It was so incredible to see the talent there. The costumes were wonderful and how the skaters can skate and perform in them, is amazing. At intermission, the lady sitting next to us asked us if we were skaters and we told her now. Then she asked if we were dancers. :) Apparently we look like skaters or dancers. I'm ok with that. 

Below are a few or my personal pictures. 

Sorry about the sideways pictures. It was so neat and we had so much fun seeing the skating, tricks, flying through the air and more. We headed back to her place and were so tired that we literally went to start a movie and didn't finish it because we were falling asleep. It was such a wonderful time! 

Bucket List

Last year, around my birthday, I decided to set some goals of things to accomplish before the next birthday. I showed it to some friends and asked for advice and suggestions. After compiling the final list, I made a sign with each goal on it and hung it on my bedroom door so I would see it everyday. Accomplishing everything on that list was always on my mind and with the help and encouragement of family and friends, I basically accomplished it all. Here is what I did:

1) Submit and article to the New Era or Ensign - Writing has always been a passion of mine. It is a way for me to vent frustrations, to explain what I know or have fun. That is why, when I was picking a career, journalism was one of the first things that came to mind. After my initial diagnosis, and in the months and years following, I have learned many lessons from the condition and received many blessings. I took the opportunity to write those down, in the form of an article. I had a friend read it and had me send a copy of it to her. It turned out that she knew someone who works for the Ensign and she sent the article on to her. Wow! I don't expect that it will be published but just knowing that someone there has read my story in incredible.

2) Run a 10K - This is where the basically comes in to play. Initially, this was a 5K, but a friend convinced me I could do a 10K, so I set the goal for that. I set a date of October 20th to do this one. I had been running, training and had a set schedule to accomplish this goal. However, this schedule was messed up due to me getting bronchitis and laryngitis. Running is not the best thing with those.By the 20th, I was healthy enough to run, but probably not a 10K. I went out and ran, thinking positive thoughts, looking ahead and pushing myself a little harder and a little more. I ended up running a 5K, which was technically the original goal, but not. This one was accomplished how it could be at the time.

3) Leave Idaho or Utah - My vacations since coming home from the mission have always been to visit family and friends in these two states. Sad, I know. That is why I set this goal. After setting this goal, I found out a friend of mine was moving to Hawaii and I decided that was going to be my vacation. With a lot of support and encouragement (because I am really not good at spending money and doing crazy things), I bought my plane tickets. My bosses were on board for the whole thing and everything worked out so well. It was such an incredible experience and since then, I have kind of caught the travel bug. I really want to travel more places and experience new things.

4) Attend a Professional Sporting Event - My first thought on this one was to go to a Basketball or Soccer game. I almost went on a date to a professional soccer game, which would have been amazing, but I couldn't make it at the time it was going to start. Sad day. :( However, I decided that ice skating is a sport too, so I bought tickets to go to Disney on Ice! It was an amazing show (I will blog more about that weekend, with pictures later). I wasn't sure whether or not to count it, but when you see the athleticism or the skaters, there really is no question or doubt about it.

5) Fly a Kite with Clover - This one sounds easy, but it really was not that easy. Let me explain. Clover is a good friend of mine, who helped me put this list together. She insisted that I put that on the list. However, about the time that the weather got really nice for kite flying, she ended up moving and we had a really hard time trying to meet up, when there would be time to fly kites and the weather was decent. We did finally accomplish this one as well, but it took a lot more effort than I would have imagined and required a few more steps, that weren't originally part of the plan. It was great!

Those are some of the things that I accomplished in a year. Pretty good stuff!!!

Waiting on Pictures.... The Wait is Over!

What's that you say? You've been waiting for the pictures promised in the previous post, and have yet to see them. Hhhhmmmmm........... Interesting. I wonder why that is? Maybe it's because we have been having internet issues and blogging at work is not option (especially because there really isn't time for that). I made a decision not to post all of my pictures from Hawaii here. They are all on Facebook. Here are some more pictures:

Where I stayed

Koi Pond

Bird of Paradise

Black Sand Beach. The waves were huge. Hard to stay standing. :)
Look closely and you can see a whale's tail!
View of ocean from a boat with windows on the bottom. So cool. We got to see sea urchins, an octopus (inking  and sticking to the boat's windows), and lots of fish and coral.
First LDS Church built in Hawaii, not just in Maui. It was so neat and became a special place for me. 

Has been on the beach all day so I looked tired but it was great scenery!

 Below is a video of the Blowholes at Hana. It really doesn't do it justice. The crashing waves were huge and the sounds was pure relaxing.

So, there you have it. Some of my pictures from Hawaii! It was such a great experience and I would love to go back there some day. :D