Sunday, June 28, 2015

Not a doll's dress...


That's MY dress. I could fit into it 20 years ago.

One of my favorite stories to ask my mom about when I was little was the story of my birth. (I know, self-centered, right?)
But really, she told it in a way that made me happy. Happy that I am me. Happy that she is my mom. And happy that we all have a Heavenly Father. 
I was born two months premature. My mom was taken to the Phoenix hospital via helicopter because of all the craziness. You see, my mom's appendix had ruptured. At first, the doctors thought the pain was due to the pregnancy, but it was actually appendicitis. 
My mom told me that the pain she felt from her appendix was worse than having a baby. She thought she was going to die. My mom is really tough. So you know it was awful. 
It was so bad because her appendix wasn't removed right away. It stayed in her body for four days after it burst, "spilling infectious materials into her abdominal cavity" (I looked it up.), and making her miserably sick. I'm so glad it wasn't me doing that to her.
Finally, after all of that was fixed, I was born. And I only weighed three pounds. (Three is my favorite number, just fyi.)
I had to stay in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for awhile before it was deemed safe for my parents to take me home. And I still had to be attached to this machine that monitored my heart.  

I guess my home-coming caused Josh some consternation. 

Despite my somewhat scary entrance into this world and the potential for health risks, I have been blessed with a strong body and general good health. I am incredibly grateful to my Father in Heaven for that and for my wonderful family. 
Today is my first birthday since I started my blog so I thought I'd share my birth story with you. 
Also, I am TWENTY. Yikes.
Shout out to these two for my cake.
My mom made it  (yellow with chocolate frosting) and Tommy decorated it.
Happy birthday to me :)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!!!

Daddy's Homecoming
"I'm so glad when Daddy comes home, 
Glad as I can be;
Clap my hands and shout for joy,
Then climb up on his knee,
Put my arms around his neck, 
Hug him tight like this,
Pat his cheeks, then give him what? 

Do you remember singing that at the top of your lungs every Father's Day when you were little? I do. Maybe even when I wasn't so little anymore...
Because my dad is just the greatest.
He's not perfect, but he is always trying to be better.

He rubbed their tummies when they both wanted attention.
Even though he was tired.
So selfless.

I love my parents.

Isn't he cute??

I love you, Daddy. Thanks for being such a good father and for teaching me so much.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Writing camp

You can tell a lot about a person by looking at the camera roll on their phone. What do they take pictures of? What do they screenshot?
That's why if I'm trying to get to know someone or understand them better or catch up with a friend I haven't talked to in a while, I ask to look at the pictures on their phone. It tells me a lot.
So...what pictures have been dominating MY phone recently? Since this blog is all about me, after all.
Let me show you.

When I grow up I am going to have a treehouse in my backyard.

That's why I took this picture. So I could tell you that.

When you run Carterville you get to traipse through this magical gap in the fence.

We went to a teammate's reception at Thanksgiving point. 
Congratulations to Shea and Kyle! #powercouple

The roses are GORGEOUS.

I lived at Helaman halls all week (Well, I slept there.) and this tree was right outside Taylor hall. It's a POPCORN/(apricot?/how does that Primary song go?) tree!

Not really. But it looks pretty cool huh.

Why did I stay at Helaman halls, you ask. 
Because I was a camp counselor with these two wonderful human beings. 
And we got to hang out with a bunch of cool kids.

Like Courtney.

Courtney can waltz. And she is just the sweetest girl ever.

Tate and Charlotte playing duck duck goose...I guess it's just duck goose actually.

Foosball is so fun. Especially with Hannah.

I had to take a few selfies on the day I curled my hair. (For the reception and for the dance.) 
Why did I have to? Because I needed to document my hair gorgeousness.
Also, I haven't put that much effort into my appearance for a LONG you're welcome, world. 

We had a picture scavenger hunt on campus so I actually have 23 more pictures just like this.
I love them all. 

But the gist of it is this...
It came down to a tie-breaker between my group and the boys.
And my girls WON.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Uno mas

I love hymns.
Today was our first Sunday in our new ward and I found out that a group goes to a nursing home every Sunday and sings hymns to patients there.
So I went and I'm so glad I did. It was a good Sabbath activity, that's for sure. We met some wonderful people and were able to make their Sunday just a little brighter.
One man named Rob enjoyed our singing so much he asked us to sing "uno mas." He also asked a few of the priesthood-holders in the room for a blessing because he's been in a lot of pain recently. My heart went out to him. I sincerely hope he felt better after our visit, both in body and in spirit.
Rob and I must be kindred spirits. I'm actually not surprised that I have so much in common with an old man.
Thanks, Daddy! (Not that you're an old man...I just meant that you educated us on the classics ;)
So yeah, Rob was watching Vertigo (an Alfred Hitchcock movie with Jimmy Stuart) when we walked in and he had a a copy of Persuasion (by Jane Austen -  my favorite author) on his desk. He also complimented my shirt and another girl's dress several times so I know he's a big fan of stripes (like me). I've gradually been adding more and more stripes to my wardrobe since I discovered how much I like them.

And the hymns he chose for us to sing for him were some of my favorites.
Hymns contain such wonderful messages. Really pay attention to the lyrics next time you open a hymn book. Someday I am going to be old and alone in a nursing home and I hope youth come and sing hymns for me every now and then.
I think a lot about the future. That's one of the reasons I started this blog. I wish I had more pictures and writings from both of my parents' pasts, so I figure if my kids are anything like me (which I'm sure they will be since I am so much like my parents and that's just how it works...) then they'll enjoy looking through my blog archive in the future. Actually, I often think about my future children as I write. my future kiddos:
Just so you know, I already love you. Even though you are still spirits in heaven and I am not even married yet (or anywhere close to it)...I love you and I want what's best for you. That's why I am going to be sealed for time and all eternity in the temple to a worthy priesthood-holder someday. A family founded upon the gospel of Jesus Christ provides the best setting for us to grow and become more like our Savior and ultimately return to live with our Father in Heaven.

Hymns we sang for Rob:
129 Where Can I Turn for Peace?
220 Lord, I Would Follow Thee
131 More Holiness Give Me

Friday, June 12, 2015

Mama Rush

Kristi's mom deserves her own blog post. She's been in UT for awhile now, but she went back to AZ today and we're gonna miss her. I'm so glad she came to visit. She's like a second mom to me and I love her. I feel very blessed to be Kristi's roommate for MANY reasons (we were just DESTINED to be friends) and her mom is one of those reasons.

I believe you can learn something from everyone in life. One major lesson I've been learning from Mama Rush is the lesson of giving. She cares so much and is SO generous.
Seriously. She is too good to me.

Exhibit A
(I didn't buy this and I didn't write my name on it either.)

Okay, enough with all the mushy stuff. I also wanted to give a big shout out to Kristi and her mom for teaching me how to drive stick. I've always wanted to learn how and now I can. (Sort of...)

And now here are a few pictures of our adventures. (Not pictured, but definitely should be: Waffle Love).

She's gonna be a great mommy someday. Just like her mom.

To Kristi and Mama Rush: I LOVE YOU.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Life is like...

...a box of chocolates. Running. Cleaning your room. Hiking a mountain. Cross-stitching. Playing an instrument. Canoeing. Washing dishes.
No, really. You can compare life to pretty much anything.
I love metaphors for life.
One analogy that's been on my mind lately is how much life is like weight-lifting.

Flashback to a few of my experiences since I started weight-lifting:

You start off in the newbie training program. You have no idea what you're doing, but it's fun. It has its ups and downs. You feel pretty weak sometimes comparing yourself to others. Maybe your weights partner can deadlift a ton more than you, but you can top them in bench press. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.

Sometimes, you forget how to do something. But you can always ask one of your teammates or your awesome weights coach (shout-out to Josh, the best ever). You can learn something from everyone around you, whether it's how high off the ground you go for back extensions or what the proper form is for cleans or how to do a perfect reverse lunge.

Sometimes, even after you've graduated from the novice program and feel like you are a pro-weight-lifter and can lift on your own without guidance or instruction...
you mess up. You drop the bar on your foot while WARMING UP for the actual lift. You plop down on the bench and hold in the scream of pain that threatens to emerge from your pursed lips. Your foot turns bluish purple and your ego is slightly bruised too because you're embarrassed. You thought you were better than that. But you learn a lot. And you move on. 
Experiences like that humble you and remind you of the fact that you are very human. And then you're careful never to make that mistake again.

Sometimes, you learn from other people's mistakes. After cautioning you to watch your step on barbell step-ups, Josh shows you a picture of some athlete's face who fell during that exact same exercise and had to get stitches to repair the damage done. It was not pretty.

Sometimes, you have to dig really deep in order to muster the motivation to do anything. Thank goodness for self pep talks, and pump-up music, and the gospel. A long-term, no, an ETERNAL perspective is one of the best ways to motivate yourself to do your best right now. Imagine what it will be like in the future if you work hard now. Is it worth it? Then do it. Do your best.

Sometimes, you realize that you ARE tough, after all. After weeks and months of training, after you've been consistently working hard and pushing your body to the max, you notice and can take pride in those calluses that you've been building and those muscles that you never knew existed. But you are aware of their existence now. (Because they're sore.)
You realize how far you have come and you make new goals to keep striving towards your very best.

Sometimes, you forget (AGAIN) what you've been taught time and time again. HANG SNATCH TO POWER REQUIRES A WIDE GRIP. And you bonk your nose with the bar as you do your snatch with the wrong hand positioning. Well, thank goodness mistakes like that don't hurt much more than your pride. I mean, they hurt, but they're easy to recover from and they don't take you out of the game for a month (or more).
Remember that, and learn from others' mistakes. 

Sometimes, you wish there was some kind of award for a job well-done. But the rewards you gain are far greater than any kind of medal or tangible recognition. 
You know you've worked hard and been consistent. 
You see the results in your running.
You know you are capable of so much. 
You are made even more aware of and grateful to your Father in Heaven. You know how amazing He is, because He created you.
You know you can't do it without a lot of help. From your teammates, your coach, your Heavenly Father, your Savior, Jesus Christ, your family, your friends. Basically everyone around you, in person or in spirit.

That's a lot like life, don't you think?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Run with me

If a song mentions running, then it is automatically 100X cooler in my book.
Here's a new song by the National Parks.
Monsters of the North
Check it out! It's pretty awesome.