Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What did I BECOME: Saying farewell to 2013

Well my dear friends and family.  I can tell you that I did NOT become a better blogger.  In fact, I became a worse one.  Whoops... sorry about that.  I would like to say that I will be better in 2014, but I really don't know if I will.

Well, let's talk about the last year.  My word for 2013 was BECOME.  Read about it HERE.  This last year has been wonderful.  Seriously.  It has really been wonderful.  I have been reflecting the last week or so on what this word has been for me and what it has meant to me.  I have always had it in the back of my mind.  It has been a driving force for a lot of decisions I have made.  Here is a small list of significant things that I have BECOME in 2014:

1.  A career woman again.  I am so thankful for the choice I made to start my career path at ARIA and with MGM International.  I have had so many opportunities already in my short one year with the company.  I have BECOME what I always knew I could concerning a career path.

2.  Smarter.  I have been challenged in my new job.  I have also made the scary decision to finally go back to school.  I know I haven't actually started yet to gain the smarts... but I actually did it!  Which was pretty smart if you ask me!  I have also just made smarter decisions overall.  I am smarter with my money, my time, and my choice of activities.

3.  Braver.  I am not afraid to share with others what I believe.  I have had  opportunities this past year to share my religious beliefs with others around me.  I have often been very timid to do so in the past.  I made the decision this year to be brave and let people know who I really am and what I really believe and NOT make excuses about it.  It has worked out pretty dang good.  I even have a nickname of sorts around work... I am "MORMAL"... I am Mormon without telling people how awesome being Mormon is every 5 minutes.  But they all definitely know that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that I do think it is awesome.  I have also become braver about letting people know where I stand generally in life.  I don't let others walk over me or manipulate me like they have in the past.  If I have an issue, I let it be known.  If I am asked my opinion, I give it honestly.  Sometimes it is received well and other times it goes over like a ton of bricks.  But at least people know where I stand and how I feel.

4.  Tolerant.  Not that long ago, it would not take a lot to "get me going".  One could get me bent out of shape pretty dang easily.  I was quick to anger and quick to fly off the handle.  I have learned to become tolerant of others.  I remember the day that it happened too!  (**Disclaimer... I am not perfect at this... I am still a work in progress! )  I was on FaceBook (of course) and there was a very ignorant post that was posted by someone very close to me.  The post was just irritating and I could feel my blood starting to boil.  I could not believe that this person, whom I loved so much, would not only believe something like that, but repost it for all of "internet-land" to see!  I was already planning my retort.  I had my hands in the keyboard ready to spout off my "how dare you" and "don't you know what this means" and "if you would seriously just think for one second" replies to this person when something just CLICKED.  It all just didn't matter anymore.  Yes, I was still irritated and even a little angry that this was all over the internet and that somebody that I cared for SO MUCH would believe this way and think this way... but it just didn't matter.  Heavenly Father still loved this person the same whether they posted the link or not.  I should also.  I decided at that moment that I was not going to let "stupid" things get in the way of those that I loved.  I decided to simply hit the hide button and POOF- the post was gone, never to be seen again.  Like it never happened.  I have done this quite a bit since then, and I have found that I really love my friends and family and get along with them so much more since I let the "stupid stuff" go and love them for who they are and just let them be.

I am so thankful for this past year.  I am thankful for the lessons that I have learned and for the things that I was able to BECOME!  Farewell 2013, I loved you so much!  You treated me very well and I am glad you happened!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

All is well.

Today was a hard day.  I don't really know why.  It has actually been kind of a hard week.  I guess sometimes life just does that... we have our ups and then we have our downs.  This week was a down week.  I know things will look up soon though, so that is always a good feeling.

Earlier this week was the one year mark of Baby K's adoption placement.  If you have no clue what I am talking about, click HERE.  I had no idea that the day would be so hard for ME.  I woke up and immediately said a prayer for my sister Laura.  I knew the day would be extremely hard for her.  I texted back and forth with her a little bit throughout the day and she seemed to be doing well.  I found myself quite emotional all day.  I would just start crying at the drop of a hat.  And then I would be fine again.  All the feelings and emotions of that day a year ago came flooding back.  It was so insane to me.  I seriously had no idea that it would be like that for me.  It actually really surprised me.  I felt so sad and had a lot of anxiety.  It was as if I was in the hospital holding that sweet baby girl for the last time all over again.  I really wasn't prepared for the way that I felt.  I have really good co-workers.  A couple of them kind of knew what I was dealing with and they were so good to give me hugs and words of encouragement.  I am so lucky to work with great people.  I talked to Harrison that night and expressed to him how crazy it was that I was so emotional!  I told him that I finally understood a small part of what it is like when someone looses a close family member to death or some other tragic event happens to a person.  The date becomes significant.  Being in the hospital and being with my sister while she placed Kinley for adoption was probably the closest thing to a tragic sort of loss I have ever had happen in my life.  I have had great-grandparents pass away but that is really it.  I have never really had anything really sad or tragic or terrible happen to me in my life (which I am truly thankful for).  July 9th was a hard day.  It felt like saying good bye to Baby K happened only a few minutes ago and not a whole year ago.  I wonder if it will ever really be different.  I don't know if anybody really "gets over" tragedy like loss or something terrible in their lifetime.  Sure, we learn coping skills and we learn to not have the event consume our life, but I think that a significant event like that just stays with us.  We grieve for the rest of our life.  I am learning that.

I was very sad to hear of the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case this weekend.  I am not here to get all political or preachy, but I will give you my quick opinion.  I believe he was murdered and I feel that Mr. Zimmerman  should have been found guilty of that crime.  He was not.  He was acquitted.  This has weighed very heavy on my mind and heart.  I have been very upset.  I weep for Trayvon's parents. I weep for our justice system here in the United States.  I have been just so sad.  I know that things like this happen ALL THE TIME.  And I know that if I let them get to me, I will be consumed and become a very sad and depressed person.  I woke up today angry and sad.  I wanted answers.  I wanted understanding.  I wanted peace.

I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers our prayers.  I knew that I was just not in the best state of mind this morning.  I was so angry at everybody.  I was thinking bad things about everybody in my life.  All I could think of was negative thoughts and I just felt hate and despair.  I knelt by my bedside and prayed to The Lord for peace.  I prayed that I would find understanding for my anger.  I prayed that I would have the anger go away.  I prayed for forgiveness.  I needed forgiveness for myself for thinking so badly of those that I loved, and I needed to find forgiveness for others who I am holding grudges against.  I prayed that I would find those answers at church today.  

While I was in Sacrament Meeting we sang the opening song Come, Come Ye Saints.  I found some of my answers in this hymn:

Come, Come, Ye Saints

1. Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
'Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell—
All is well! All is well!
2. Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
'Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we'll have this tale to tell—
All is well! All is well!
4. And should we die before our journey's through,
Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
With the just we shall dwell!
But if our lives are spared again
To see the Saints their rest obtain,
Oh, how we'll make this chorus swell—
All is well! All is well!
Text: William Clayton, 1814-1879
I am thankful for this song.  I am thankful for the answers it gave me today.  ALL IS WELL my friends.  God is with us ALWAYS.  He is with each and every one of us.  He has a plan for each of us.  He has a plan for you, for me, he had a plan for Trayvon Martin.  He has a plan for Laura and Kinley.  He is with us.  We must always remember that.  We need to remember that we really only know a smidgen of the entire picture.  We must do our best and do those things that we know to be right.  We must work hard and be kind to others.  We must go forward in faith.
I hope I can remember the words to this song and the feelings I had this afternoon when I get discouraged or when I feel those hateful feelings creeping up.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Thoughts and Things

Hey friends!  How was your spring?  Mine was great!  Of course.  It seemed busy.  But when I think back... I can't think of what I did!  Isn't it strange how life just gets away from you sometimes.  How it just blows right by you without you noticing sometimes?

The weather here in Las Vegas is getting hot.  We are definitely in the mid 90's now most days.  The wind has stopped being cooler than the air outside.  Summer has arrived.  I always think for a split second- OH NO!  But then I remember that I love summer and the 10 weeks of pretty dang hot weather is TOTALLY worth the 9 months of amazing and mild weather here in the desert.

Our month of May was great.  We celebrated 8 years of marriage.  WHAT!?  That is crazy!  8 whole years.  I have never done anything consistently for 8 years!  We were really busy and our wallets were tight so we did not get to do our usual stay-cation that we usually do for our anniversary.  But we ate an amazing dinner and had a really nice night out.

My sisters and I have this ongoing group text message going.  We text each other at least once a day.  It is really fun to be able to keep in touch with each other like that.  In some ways it is like being right there next to them all the time.  We usually text first thing in the morning and I noticed that we text each other our morning "looks" whether good or bad!  It is funny!

And we always seem to text about peeing out pants every couple of days.  What the heck!?  We keep each other laughing for sure!

I get lots of pictures of my niece, Camille.  We love her to death and she makes the funniest faces!  She has made funny faces since she was born.  We crack up!

 (this one is one of my favorites!  I call it WHAT THE HECK?)

I am dying of laughter while I am loading these pictures!  I just love that baby girl and all of her expressions!  She is such a precious little thing and I am so happy to have her in our family!

Harrison and I spoke in church last week.  It went very well.  Our topic was on The Restoration of the Priesthood.  We did a lot of research and a lot of preparing for our talks.  It ended up that Harrison spoke to the men about the importance of honoring their Priesthood power and not using "unrighteous dominion" in regards to the Priesthood... and I spoke to the women about the importance of the Priesthood in regards to women as a whole and how, as women, we are able to use the power of the Priesthood in our lives.  Our topics were well received and we had many in our ward family approach us afterwards with words of thanks and love.  We were happy that we were able to touch our ward family's hearts in one way or another.

We had an excellent Sunday School lesson last week.  It was a lesson that really hit Harrison and I hard.  We basically got the message that we need to "walk the walk" and not just "talk the talk".  Isn't it crazy how complacent we get?  How comfortable we get in our lives?  As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we are taught to be Christlike, give of ourselves in service to others, attend the temple, to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others, and to generally just be good people.  Well, we tend to just go through the motions at times.  We think, "Oh, someone else will help that family I'm sure." or "I just don't have time to attend the temple today." or "When I have more time and energy I will help so-and-so." or "Why would I be nice to them if they aren't nice to me?"  You get the idea.  Well- what kind of witness of Jesus Christ are we with attitudes like that?  Not very good ones.  One of the members of our class talked about how being BUSY can stand for Being Under Satan's Yoke.

How insightful.  Sometimes I think we over-schedule ourselves so much with things that we think matter, when in actuality we don't save enough time to do the things that REALLY DO matter!  So, we have renewed our commitments to attend the temple more often, serve others more, make time to read our scriptures, and generally just cut out the crap that doesn't matter.

Now, I don't tell you this and want you to think that we are like, "Look at how spiritual we are." or "Everyone should do what we are doing because it is the most righteous thing to do."I tell you this because I want you all to know that we are human.  We make mistakes!  We are not perfect, and I believe this is an issue that MOST human beings struggle with.  If anything, I want you to know that you are not alone in your struggle.  There are others out there just like YOU.... and we are two of them.

I hope your spring was full of "rebirths" and "growing" just as the season suggests.  I hope your summer is super fun!  I love seeing pictures and hearing stories about everybody's summer backyard BBQ's, camping trips (even though I hate to camp myself), pictures of suntanned kids (those are the best), pool parties, popsicles, key lime pie, 4th of July parades, and pictures of bare feet in the sand and in the grass.  Summer is amazing.  Soak it up my friends.  It will be gone before you know it!  Enjoy your journey!  Enjoy the little things (like suntanned kids and popsicles).

Monday, April 8, 2013

Well let's talk about things I love

Well- I thought I would share what I love these days:

This.  I love Garth Brooks AND George Strait.  Both of them together last night at the ACM Awards was pretty awesome.  Nothing beats REAL country music (which has long been dead since about 2001)

Something else I love is a Sprinkles cupcake.  AMAZING!  Don't try to argue with me.  You will not win.  They are the best cupcakes IN THE UNIVERSE.  No- I am serious.  They are amazing.  And the best part is... very soon I will no longer have to drive 300 miles to partake in one.  A Sprinkles is opening in Las Vegas this year!  No joke- I kind of teared up when I heard the announcement.

I am also digging Mad Men season 5.  We don't have cable and so we have to wait SUCH A LONG TIME for the past seasons to show up on Netflix.  The show is such a soap opera but it has amazing sets and costumes.  And I have a crush on Rodger Sterling.

I am beginning to be obsessed with succulent plants.  I mean- they are the best plants ever pretty much. They don't need much care, they are beautiful, and there are so many varieties that it is insane!

Trail Mix.  My love for trail mix comes and goes in waves.  When I want trail mix it is ALL I WANT! Morning, noon, and night I want the mix.  I have been particularly fond of the Costco brand trail mix because it has cashews.

I also love our cats.  A lot.  They bring such joy to my life.  They are our fur babies.  I love that even though they are animals, they have distinct personalities and sometimes I think they act like human children.  Hey- don't judge!  I am not a weirdo.  I bet if you talked to anybody that loves their pets, they think the same thing.  Our cats are great.  Be jealous that they are not your cats.