Thursday, January 26, 2012

Days of Deep Thinking

Gosh, where to start tonight? How am I even having time to blog? Well, I really don't have the time, but I have decided that you make time for the things that are important. And tonight, updating my blog is the number one task at hand. Not because it has been almost a month (eww, I can't believe I have gone that long) but because I am needing to spill my guts somewhere. Blogging is my form of runner's high. Blogger's high? Is that even possible? Sure.

School has been in session for three weeks now. And the past three weeks have kept me running at full speed. Literally. There is minimal down time in my current schedule. Between a weekly 15+ hours of class, working in Admissions, teaching piano, dating (multiple nights of the week), working out, and never-ending homework, there is never a dull moment. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one in the world with such a jam-packed schedule. Then I look at my roommates, my friends and my family, and they all have their own agendas that keep them going going going.

Luckily, I find a little time here and there (mostly on the weekends) to squeeze in a little free time. A few weeks ago, I went down to Provo with my roommates to watch the Young Ambassadors perform. I have a few friends that perform with the group so it was just delightful to get away for a night and enjoy good company, good entertainment, and good food.

Whit, me, Rylee, and Chelsea

Then last weekend I headed down south for the whole weekend. Whitney and Meesh were so sweet to let me stay with them for the weekend. I had an audition and interview down in Provo, so we made a whole weekend of it! In fact, I was able to experience my very first pedicure. I know, right? Pretty pathetic that it took 20 years for me to finally have one. And boy, oh boy! It was incredible. I still find myself looking at my toes. :) There is nothing like sitting in a massage chair while someone makes your feet look like a million bucks. And then we topped it all off with a little P.F. Changs and frozen yogurt at Yogurtland. Mmmm, what a wonderful night!

Meesh, Whit and myself indulging ourselves at P.F. Changs

And I have even tried to find a little bit of time to discover some new tunes. I have been listening to this song for the past week on a daily basis. It is called "Fine By Me" by Andy Grammer and couldn't be cooler! I love everything about it. So go crazy listening to this. Might I suggest a few others like "Love on Top" by Beyonce, "You Gave Me You" by Coffey Anderson, and "Stand Out" from A Goofy Movie. These are not necessarily new songs, just ones that have been blowing up my iPod the last week or s

Fine by Me by Andy Grammer

Anyway, I mostly want to express what has been on my mind a lot the past month.

I feel like I have been doing a lot of deep thinking and contemplation over the past month, due to various reasons. How has there been time for that? I honestly don't know haha. But right now I feel like I am closer to my Savior than I have been for a while and continually desire to grow closer to Him. Some things have happened in my life that have made me remember a few important truths...

First: Trust in Him always.
This is something that I have a developing testimony on. Life can take us on unexpected pathways and throw some interesting curve balls. Sometimes the hardest part is knowing what to do in the future...knowing what decisions to make. Decisions of school, marriage, and careers are just the tip of the iceberg. Despite the craziness and stress that these choices can cause, there is so much comfort in knowing that the Lord has a plan for us all, and that He wants the best for us. All we need to do is trust Him. I have been in the midst of a big decision lately, and this has been a reoccurring theme that I have found through reading my scriptures, my patriarchal blessing, and in saying my prayers. I also had some really great advice given from a good friend of mine who is serving a mission. It was simple but very powerful. He told me:

"One of the thousands of things I've learned on my mission is that things work out the way the Lord wants, we just have to trust Him. "

I couldn't agree more. Which leads me to another thought that I have been reflecting on...

Second: The Lord's Will
Just like Brian said in his letter, things will work out the way the Lord wants. His ways are not always our ways, and one of the hardest things to understand in life is to accept that and be okay with it. Right now, I am at a point in life where I have no clue what my future has in store. Will I get a teaching job? Serve a mission? Get married? Who knows right now. My life could go in many different directions. But I want more than anything to do what the Lord wants me to be doing. Elder Robert D. Hales spoke on this in this past October Conference. He said,

"We may not know when or how the Lord's answers will be given, but in His time and in His way, I testify, his answers will come. Let us not give up on the Lord. His blessings are eternal, not temporary."

In a world and life where things are completely changing, the one thing that will never change is the Lord and His gospel. If my life was to completely flip upside-down, that would remain as a rock and my constant. The Savior is my best friend and will never leave me alone, as long as I come unto Him. I know without a doubt that my Heavenly Father and my Savior love me. They have blessed me too immensely to not. I don't know where I am going to end up in the next five years, but I do know that if I live faithfully, I will end up with those that I love for eternity. And that is enough to keep me going for now.

So here I am, ready to step one foot into the blind future, relying on the faith that the Lord will direct me where to go and help me in my decisions.

See? Told you that I have been having some deep thoughts lately. I'll try to be a little more light-hearted next time I blog. But sometimes the best way to organize and understand your own thoughts is to write them down. Or in my case, type them up. So before I sign off, here is a little picture that I snapped during my Provo weekend last week. It was pouring rain when I left, and I had a little down time before I had to get home, so I made a [second] stop at the Temple. Despite the old-school, 1970's architecture, it is truly a beautiful place with a beautiful spirit. It is the Lord's home and I can't wait to go inside one day. Well, until next time!

I love to see the Temple.
I'm going there someday.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Let's Idaho?

This is the final week of my highly anticipated Christmas break. It's true. Four more days and it's all over. Then the craziness of reality sets, work, dating, homework. Shall I continue? This Christmas break has been a little less exciting than last year's. 365 days ago I was basking in the rays of the Hawaiian sun, snorkeling with sea turtles and eating THE most delicious pineapple I have ever tasted. I'm not going to lie, I kind of wish that I was there right now. Okay fine, I would give my right arm and leg to be there right now. But I have had a lovely break this year as well. I guess if I was able to go on extravagant vacations every Christmas break, I wouldn't appreciate them as much as I do now.

So what exactly have I been doing over the break? Well, after Christmas, my little brothers had a basketball tournament up in Idaho Falls. And although Idaho Falls isn't quite Hawaii, I figured it would be great to leave Logan for a few days and chill with my family.

We sat through hours and hours of basketball. We ate some delicious food. And we sat through more basketball. We played some games and took naps. We did a little birthday celebrating. Oh and did I mention that we sat through a whole lot of basketball? I think that I would have gone crazy sitting through all those games if my brothers weren't so dang good. Seriously, those little boys (who are not so little anymore), are incredible athletes. They are so much fun to watch! I was the proudest sister. Call me biased, but they are the best on the team. Just saying. :) But seriously, it was so much fun to see my little brothers in their element, doing what they so dearly love to do.

Like I said, I did eat some tasty food and have some quality time with my parents. My mom had a birthday on the second day of the tourney, so we went to dinner and celebrated a little. We also made a pit stop at the Idaho Falls Temple. They were displaying some incredible sculptures by Angela Johnson. These displays have been traveling to various Temple visitors centers over the past months and was only in Idaho Falls for a few more days. Did we luck out or what? Seriously, these were breathtaking. Don't believe me? Check them out. The temple was beautiful, as all of them always are. There was even a bride and groom coming out! (And yes, it was 7:30 pm. Not your typical wedding, right?) I always love visiting the temple and can't wait to finally go inside one day.

Also, this New Year's Eve can be chalked up with the other many great ones. Last year I celebrated New Years in my shorts and t-shirt, watching fireworks go off above Waikiki Beach. This year I still got to see some fireworks...outside in the snow in my coat and boots. But hey, fireworks are fireworks right? I spent the night with my two sweet roommates and dear friends, Rylee and Chelsea. We had some pizza, danced our little hearts out playing "Just Dance" on the Wii and rang in the New Year with party hats, whistles, fireworks in the snow, and some Martinelli's. No kissing at midnight occurred but it was a wonderful New Year's Eve nonetheless.

Here is a sweet video that has gone viral over YouTube and Facebook. It's the oh-so-unique Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Leavitt (stars of 500 Days of Summer) singing their own version of What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? They are quite the duo and her voice is one of a kind.

So it's the cold, hard truth...the holidays are over. It is hard for me to tuck away my Christmas albums and take down the trees. It isn't nearly as fun to go on nightly drives when the Christmas lights are gone.

But with the holidays rolling out, the new year rolls in. Which means that there are goals to be set and worked toward. I wrote down all of my "New Year's Resolutions" and yikes! I have a lot. But slowly over time, I hope to accomplish them all. 2012 is going to be a great year, I can feel it. There is so much to look forward to. I am in the "Decade of Decisions" as they say, and with that comes a lot pressure, a lot of stress, and a lot of excitement! I am thrilled to see what this new year will bring and grateful for the chance to continue progressing and striving to be more like Christ.