Monday, August 29, 2011


That's about all I can say about today.  It really hasn't been too bad, but there is just too much on my mind and too much going on.  I had four classes today, which just loaded too much information into my brain at once.  Not only that, but three of the classes were back-to-back; the first was in the JFSB, the second in the Taylor Building, and the third in the HFAC.  Anyone who knows where those three buildings are will understand my pain.  For those who don't, suffice it to say that I will be have to be practically running to get to each class on time.  Additionally, I managed to leave something behind when I moved from one place to another---twice.  Normally I mange to keep my personal belongings corralled on my person for at least a week before I start leaving things lying around, but no, the first day of the class I'm already leaving my stuff behind.  Ugh.  And to make matters worse, I had inspiration for a song come into my mind last night, so I've hardly done anything else today besides work on it.  :)

So after all that, I'm totally exhausted and on information overload, but it has still been a great day.  I've loved seeing my friends and classmates from last year!  I found out that one of my friends just got engaged (hooray!), and I got to catch up with several others.  And I got assigned an instructor for private organ lessons!  And I got time to chat with my roommates and attend ward FHE and talk to people there.  Over all, there have been a lot of ups and downs today, but I'm optimistic for tomorrow.  Onward and forward!  :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Looking Forward

I've concluded that I probably shouldn't post past 9:00 at night anymore.  I know myself well enough to know that everything looks worse late at night and when I'm tired, and yet I still insist on allowing my emotions to take over when this happens.  Ah well.  Anyway, this morning has been much better for me.  My church time has changed to 1:30, but I woke up at 7:00, unable to go back to sleep---drat my internal clock!  But despite my annoyance, it means I've been able to have a slow, easy, productive morning.  Additionally, I've been able to sit out on my patio and enjoy the beautiful sunshine.  What a lovely morning!  After a good night's rest and a chance to put the finishing touches on my new room, I'm feeling much better about the things to come.  I love my roommates, and I'm again looking forward to meeting new people, seeing old friends, and enjoying this new phase in my life.  Things are looking up as I look forward with faith!  :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mixed Feelings

Well, it's official.  After packing and getting ready to go all morning, driving to Provo, running a bunch of errands, and hours and hours of unpacking and organizing, I am almost completely settled into my new apartment.  Hooray!  For the first time in months, I will be attending church without first having either spent the night on the floor in Provo or commuted from home.  :)  I've been looking forward to this day...basically since I moved out in April.

And yet, here I am, sitting on the floor in my new living room, definitely less than ecstatic.  I have always gotten these mixed feelings in past years, but this year seemed different, and I didn't think I'd have to deal with these feelings again.  But here they are.  I guess I should know myself well enough to know that I can't go through any big change, no matter how excited I am for it, without some reservations.  And it certainly doesn't help that I'm exhausted from a day of hard work and that it's late at night.  Things will probably look brighter in the morning.  I really am so excited to be able to contribute more fully to my ward, and to start classes again and see my friends and learn and have fun.  It'll be great!  I guess that's the definition of mixed feelings.  :)  It's just too bad that I can't be one of the stereotypical college students who seem to thrive on change.  Ah well.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

...or in this case, out of the mouths of children's movies.  :)

This morning my sister and I watched the final movie that was on our list of movies that we wanted to watch together before I move back to Provo.  The final movie was The Land Before Time.  As annoying as I think it is that there are...what...thirteen now (?)...Land Before Time movies, I actually really love the first one.  It's adorable, and it actually has a good message.  Hence my title.  Imagine having a children's movie teach you about one's journey through life.  Because that's what The Land Before Time does.  I was first made aware of the connection in a seminary class, and today I noticed many parallels that I really loved:

  • When Little Foot asks his mother if she's ever seen the Great Valley, she says no, and he asks her how she knows it's really there.  Her answer is, "Some things you see with your eyes; others you see with your heart."

  • Little Foot's mother tells Little Foot to follow his heart to help him find the Great Valley.

  • When his mother dies, Little Foot loses heart and temporarily gives up on his hopes of reaching the Great Valley.

  • The young dinosaurs have to overcome some prejudices when interacting with each other, but in the end they must rely on each other and work together to reach the Great Valley.

  • Cera decides to take the "easy way" to the Great Valley; she leads all of the others but Little Foot astray, with nearly disastrous consequences.

  • Even though Cera criticized Little Foot, he still helps her and the other dinosaurs find their way back to the right path when they realize their mistake.

  • When they arrive in the Great Valley, the young dinosaurs are greeted by the loved ones who had arrived before them.

Perhaps I'm reading more into this movie than was actually intended by the people who made the movie, but don't get all preachy to me about how I shouldn't be seeing symbolism that isn't there (ahem, Mrs. Pratt's former students).  I'm not trying to convince anyone, nor am I holding anyone's grade on the line over whether or not we agree that the symbolism is there.  :)  I'm simply pointing out something that I liked about a movie I hold dear.  I just thought it was a very fascinating comparison.

So to liken these points to real life: I haven't seen heaven, or my Heavenly Father, but I know they are there.  I'm trying to use the Holy Ghost to guide my life.  Even though there are trials, I'm working hard to concentrate on an eternal perspective.  I'm trying to learn to love everyone, and I am grateful for the friends and family I have, on whom I can rely to help me make it on the path of life; I hope I, too, can be relied upon to help others.  There is no "easy way" to eternal life; I hope I will never be enticed by such possibilities and that I might help others to come back if they stray off the strait and narrow path.  Finally, I'm looking forward to the day when I will be greeted by those loved ones who have gone before me, and I hope that I will be able to hear the Lord say to me, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

You never know where you'll notice insights you never thought of before.  Think about that the next time you scoff at cheesy children's movies.  :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Let it Begin

I got a new key today.  Actually, I got three new keys.  All part of the procedure as I checked in to my new apartment!  Hooray!  I took the morning off work so I could shuttle a carload of stuff to my apartment and officially check in.  It's so nice to finally have my own bedroom again.  As much as I have loved sleeping over in Jill's room whenever I've stayed overnight in Provo (and who knows, I might still do it occasionally, but at least now I'll have a choice :)), but it's nice to have a place to call my own.

To make things even better, I was able to see two of my favorite people while I was in Provo.  Toni helped me move my stuff to my apartment (what would have taken me eight to ten trips only took us four!), and then I was able to chat with Shantel.  Both encounters made my day and got me really excited to officially move in this weekend.  I also met one of my new neighbors when I offered to help her carry her stuff to her apartment.  Nothing like doing a good turn to someone else to make a bright day even brighter.  :)  I'm so excited to start this last year of school, meet new people, see old friends, and have a blast!

I also got a new wallet today.  Random, I know, but hey, it makes me happy.  :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Memories to Cherish and Changes Yet to Come

Yesterday was a day full of fun and fulfillment.  I started out by donating platelets through ARUP, which is always a wonderful opportunity.  I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, and she needs to receive frequent platelet transfusions.  Up until now I'd never known exactly what donated platelets were used for, and now I do, and it's really cool to have a specific reason to be donating.  So, Celeste (, even though you probably won't get MY platelets, know that I'm donating in your behalf.

Later that day, we had another fun-filled day at Jordanelle with our waverunners.  I definitely put my waverunner through its paces again, and my body is feeling it today.  I'm pretty sure my body is really excited for me to go back to school so I'll stop doing such crazy stunts: camping, walking 20 miles, tearing it out on the waverunners, hiking all over creation, and chasing children all day long.  :)  But it was totally worth it.  I can't explain the wonderful feeling that being out on the lake alone gives you---just a chance to get away from all the stress and all the craziness and just do something fun.  I even got up the courage to get off my favorite waverunner (the 1100 cc engine) and try my hand at the more powerful of the two, the 1200 cc engine.  I still prefer the 1100, but I'm glad I finally tried the other.  It was definitely a great day!

And now today I've had the change to see my youngest brother receive his Eagle scout award.  Now each of my three brothers are Eagle scouts, and my sister and I have both received our Young Womanhood Medallions.  It's really cool for all five of us to have achieved these milestones in our lives.

As I was on the waverunners yesterday, I was thinking about some of the things that have happened to me and some of the changes that are coming.  I'll be moving back to Provo soon and finishing my final year at BYU and graduating in April.  Crazy!  Today was my last Sunday commuting to my ward.  I have to say that even though change is difficult for me, I'm excited to take these next steps in my life and see what's in store for me.

So this is me: waverunning speed demon, obsessive hiker, extreme worrywart, chocoholic, adaptable but hates change, classical music addict, critter lover, and totally random.  I know, the combination doesn't make a lot of sense, but since when have I made sense to anyone?  :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

More Little Miracles

Remember a few weeks ago when I talked about “little miracles” in my life?  Well, I’ve experienced more of those, and most of them have happened just in the past couple of hours.  I just couldn’t resist sharing them before I headed to bed:

  • The choir sang in church today and did a fantastic job!  I'm the ward choir director, and I always get nervous wondering how the numbers will turn out.  I should learn by now to have more faith in my choir.  They have never let me down.  :)

  • Three amazing girls in my ward offered to help me carry my stuff out to my car when I was leaving Provo.  With my sore legs from the temple walk yesterday, I was not looking forward to making five trips up and down the stairs to carry it all myself; these three girls were angels to me.  Not only that, but several others offered to help when they saw us carrying the stuff.  Even though we had everything covered with the first three, I was touched by their offering to help.  The people in my ward are so service-minded, and I love being around them.  With them around, I don't have to wonder why I decided to commute to church so that I could stay in the ward.  :)

  • I made it home safely from Provo.  Not only did I have to deal with construction and a couple of stupid drivers, but my contacts decided to momentarily malfunction while I was driving!  Fortunately they cleared soon after, and I wasn't endangered in any way during the two seconds that I couldn't see.

  • There was some cool lightning on the horizon that I saw bits of while I was driving.  I couldn't see the actual bolts, but I could see the light flashing behind the mountain, creating a really cool silhouette.  This wasn't exactly a miracle, but just a cool phenomenon that Heavenly Father created and which I was fortunate enough to observe.

I'm so grateful for the little miracles in my life.  They keep me going and remind me that the Lord is mindful of me.  :)

Faith in Every Footstep

Yesterday morning was one of the most exhausting mornings of my life!  It was also very eye-opening and spiritually enriching.  I had the opportunity, along with the members of my family's ward, to walk from the Jordan River Temple to the Salt Lake Temple, a distance of approximately 19 miles.  I have hiked nearly that far before and didn't think it would be too difficult, but it proved to be a lot more difficult than I had expected.  This is probably because I'm a hiker, and walking on flat ground requires the use of different muscle groups than hiking, so my body wasn't accustomed to walking 20 miles on flat, hard, unchanging terrain.  And it didn't help that we had to get up at 3:00 in the morning to do it!  Whatever the reason, it certainly was harder than I expected it to be.  However, I'm actually glad it was.

Our purpose in participating in this walk was to commemorate the pioneers, particularly John Moyle, the man who walked from Alpine to Salt Lake twice a week to work on the Salt Lake Temple.  I feel that this walk gave me a greater appreciation of what the pioneers went through in crossing the plains.  Sure, I had a difficult time walking 19 miles, but I chose to do it, and I was able to go home afterward and rest and know that I would never have to do it again.  Imagine having to walk 20 or more miles day after day, week after week, never knowing when you would finally reach your destination.  Thinking about that has given me a greater understanding of and gratitude for the incredible sacrifices the pioneers made.  Though I will likely never have to push a handcart to show my devotion to the Lord, I hope that I can live up to the legacy of the pioneers.  I hope I can always stand up for what I believe in and be the best person I can be.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


For the past five days, I've been with my family, camping in the beautiful Uintahs.  I have always said that camping in the mountains is my favorite type of vacation, and this one was no different.

We arrived at our destination, the Butterfly Lake campsite, on Friday afternoon.  After setting up the camp, the girls stayed in the campsite and relaxed while the boys gathered firewood and had a blast doing it---I think my brothers and father have a little too much testosterone poisoning.  :)  We also spent some time fishing in Butterfly Lake.  It was the first time I'd ever fished from the shore instead of from a boat.  It also was the first time that I'd ever caught a fish on a fly instead of on bait.  Pretty exciting stuff.  :)

Saturday was spent fishing, taking a small hike, and just generally relaxing.  Sunday was spent reading scriptures, relaxing, sight-seeing (including seeing some waterfalls of the Provo River; I had no idea it started that far north!), and enjoying the beauty of God's creations.

Yesterday, I got up early with my dad to go fishing.  The stars really aligned for us, because I caught a fish on nearly every other cast!  That was when I got my first real experience fighting a fish on a fly; the others had been too small to really matter, but this one was definitely a prize!  :)  Then after breakfast, we spent a good part of the day hiking the 3 miles to Clyde Lake and the 3 miles back down, experiencing the beauty of around 15 lakes, the notch in the mountain, and thousands of trees along the way.  It presented a great deal of challenges, and we were all exhausted and footsore afterward, but it was a beautiful trail, well worth the difficulties.

Capping all of the wonderful activities were hours of reading (which I haven't been able to do for months!), fishing, relaxing, roasting hotdogs and marshmallows, chopping wood (definitely not my choice of pastime, but my brothers enjoyed it :)), stargazing, and of course sitting around a campfire.  Despite the mosquitoes, the dirt, and the rocks, it was a wonderful trip, and I'm so glad I had the chance to spend time in an atmosphere I love with the people I love.