Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 New Years Resolutions

It's that time of year again. And while I'm pretty sure I massively failed at last years resolutions. I'm excited for this years. Though I'm giving myself a break and only doing five instead of the usual ten. And without any further ado, here they are:

Let me expand a bit on these resolutions for you.

It has been my dream since the age of nine to have a book published and in the last few months I have taken that dream and worked on it even harder. I have a feeling 2015 will be my year to finish a book and begin getting it published. Whether it succeeds or fails, I don't really care, as long as my lifelong dream gets fulfilled.

I always dream of being a stay-at-home mom. Working as a fitness instructor in the mornings and coming home to blog and be with my children. I want to be a mother who cooks and cleans and makes the home a wonderful place for my children. While we don't know when we'll have children yet, I want to start preparing now. Learning to cook is my first step.

As mentioned in the last paragraph, I would love to be a fitness instructor. This is something I've actually thought of for many years, but never really pursued. I want to now though. And in order to teach fitness, I have to know how to exercise. I've been unhappy with my weight because I just keep gaining and it's time I do something about it. As I've stated many time before, my new life goal is to do the things that make me happy, gaining weight does not make me happy, therefore I have to get that out of my life.

Again, all I want in life is to do what makes me happy. I am not the person I want to be yet. There is so much that I feel is missing from my life. This year I turn 25 and that's a big deal to me. I may never have my life completely figured out, but I had always hoped that by my mid-twenties I would have a better idea of what my life would be like. I want to be a better person. I want to read my scriptures more, I want to blog more, I want to write, I want to give more, I want to share my thoughts with others more, I want to cook more, I want to be more clean, I want to craft more, I want to sew more, I want to stop sitting around watching TV all day, I want to be a hard worker, I want to save more money, I want to get my body in shape, I want to be with family more, I want to work towards starting a family, I want to make my home a sanctuary, I want to love my husband more... and the list goes on and on.

I have a strong feeling that this is my year, that I will accomplish something great this year if I just get off the couch, turn off the TV, and do something. This is my year, I will make this my year. There is so much that goes along with my last resolution, and I have such an incredible feeling that I'm going to make it, I'm going to succeed, and I'm going to become the person that I've been striving for my whole life.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to wish all my readers a very merry Christmas! I hope you have a wonderful day and that Santa brings you everything on your wishlist!! I love you all, I'm so grateful for your support and your amazing comments. Thank you for all you've done for me, it's been the best Christmas gift ever. Thank you and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Making My Christmas Sweater!!

Alright, this isn't the best tutorial, and I didn't edit the photos (because I'm really lazy) so yeah... I'm not good at tutorials. I don't do them often for a reason.

So the Christmas tree I made is a just a removable patch type thing that I put on my shirt/sweater with safety pins. I liked this idea better than making a permanent Christmas sweater, for now, I do intend to make a really ugly one next year.

Anyways, here's the very basic steps to what I did.

Firstly are the things needed. I bought a paper sized sheet of felt, green ribbon, snowflake button embellishments, and fabric glue.

I started by cutting the felt into a triangle/Christmas tree shape. Then I began gluing the ribbon lengthwise along the tree, overlapping it and trying (but, as shown by the picture, failing) to keep them even.

Then I waited for a while because I didn't realize the glue I bought took 2-4 hours to dry. Ugh! I'm pretty sure a hot glue gun would have worked just as well as fabric glue and would have dried faster. But you can do what you want. 

I don't have pictures for the next part. but I began to cut strips into the ribbon, like fringe. It was the most annoying part because I didn't have good scissors at first. I ended up using my kitchen scissors because they were much sharper than my kid scissors I usually use. I need craft scissors though. There are so many craft things I need... 

The next step was gluing on the snowflakes. I was going to use rhinestones as sparkly ornaments for my tree, but I was super lucky to find these snowflake buttons that were actually much cheaper. I just glued them on in random places with the fabric glue. Honestly, this is the most obvious tutorial.

I loved the way it turned out!! Then I just pinned it onto my shirt with safety pins, but you could always glue or sew it on if you want it permanent. 

I really did love how this turned out! I can't wait till I can finally make my ugly one, it'll be awesome. Just you wait. 

Sorry this is such a simple tutorial, but it honestly was an incredibly simple craft and I loved doing it. I want to do more craft tutorials so that might be coming soon, we'll see. 
Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

My Christmas Sweater!

I made a Christmas sweater!! I had an idea for a really ugly/awesome one but apparently Walmart doesn't have the stuff. And a sewing machine would have been nice. So I opted for one that I could do without a sewing machine, and for a cuter one, which was good because barely anyone at work even wore ugly sweaters so I'm glad that I didn't wear the awfully good and atrocious sweater that I had pictured in my mind and I do intend to make. 

I do believe I will give a quick tutorial on how I made this sweater and I will post it tomorrow!! Yay!! It was super simple, but a little time consuming due to a much longer drying time of fabric glue than I had expected and incredibly dull children's scissors. 

So I'm excited to show you all my wonderful sweater, with removeable Christmas tree (Yes, bonus for my tutorial, it can be applied to any shirt!), my favorite coat, my newish jeans that I'm in love with, and my new favorite shoes. I'm basically in love with this whole outfit. And I was having a good hair day, so it was a win-win kind of day. 

Coat: Overstock; Shirt: Walmart; Pants: Walmart; Shoes: Kohl's

Oh, and the shirt and shoes are directly linked to the exact ones I'm wearing. This shirt is like $8 and I love it. I'm going back and getting more. The coat a bought a long time ago, but Overstock often has great finds. The pants are LEI, which is where the link leads, but not to the direct pants I'm wearing. 
And here's a couple fun Christmas sweaters:

Friday, December 12, 2014

My Insurgent Trailer Reaction

Wow! Doesn't that just look so intense and exciting and wonderful??? Well, not really. Not in my opinion. I have a lot to say about this trailer so if you don't mind my rambling of being upset then read on! But if you don't care about Divergent at all and don't want to hear/read me venting, then feel free to browse my other blog posts. May I recommend My Top Ten Christmas Songs?

Also be warned, this post contains a fairly significant spoiler for Allegiant . So I hate to spoil something like that to everyone so I'll warn you when it comes up. And honestly, if you haven't read it, please don't spoil this for yourself.

Okay, I have two major problems with this trailer. The first is the story. If a movie is meant to be based on a book it should at least try to follow the story already written. However this trailer massively changes it.

While not in the trailer, I read months ago that they added a new character into Insurgent to create a love-triangle for Tris. When I read this I was so insanely irritated! The reason I loved the Divergent trilogy so much is because there was no love-triangle. Tris and Four only had each other, there weren't other prospects and they both knew that and they both loved each other. Yes, they fought frequently but the fact that they stayed with each other and didn't even think about other people was the greatest thing to come out of a young-adult novel.

Hunger Games and Twilight are the biggest offenders of the love-triangle and while I love both of those books (yes, I do like the Twilight books, just not the movies, although they are a wonderful joke that can be entertaining sometimes, but I will talk about that a bit later) it annoyed me that they had love-triangles. Bella said a billion times she wanted Edward so Jacob is pretty stupid for continuing to try and Bella is kind of the worst girlfriend ever, and possibly a slut, for leading Jacob on when she's in love with someone else. Katniss, in the books, never gave a second glace to Peeta or Gale and then she was suddenly forced to choose? Come on, you're like seventeen years old and you know you don't love either one so just forget about both of them until you grow up a bit. And in the books I felt she didn't deserve either one of them because she didn't love them, there was no point to have to choose. In the movies my feelings are different, they've done a good job at making her show that she really does care about Peeta and I love the relationship between them. I love the movies...

I'm totally straying from my point.

My point is, we already have too many love-triangles in books and movies and we don't need more! If you in real life have been in a love-triangle, you should let me know, because as far as I know it's not a common occurrence. And even when it does happen, people in real life seem to handle it a lot better than people in books. Real people aren't typically idiots. I had a friend who was sort of dating a guy but she liked someone else who liked her. And you know what she did? She broke off with the guy she didn't like because that's how people should do things. You don't drag out a fake romance because that only leads to broken hearts.

Tris and Four love each other. They don't need someone else. They don't need a love-triangle. And the fact that the writers of the Insurgent movie even considered it is a nightmare! If you're making a movie, whose biggest audience is teenage girls, shouldn't you show them what a real relationship looks like? Tris and Four care and protect for each other. They love each other. I personally think that they are a good role model of a healthy relationship, even if they did fight quite a bit in the book.

Why can't we promote healthy, confident relationships instead of loving vampires and having to make decisions? Maybe I'm crazy, but I believe that love isn't a choice. When you love someone you know. When I was in high school I thought I loved someone. I had strong feeling for them and to that point I hadn't felt that way before. I thought that was love. Then, years later after more fake love and heartbreaks, I met my husband and I knew. Love isn't a choice. Love is a feeling that you get, and you know when you have it.

(This is a direct quote from the book, so don't be throwing in any love-triangles!!)

Sorry, there is so much rambling going on in this post.

Back to the story. Here's what in the trailer that wasn't in the book.

  • A box that seems fairly significant to the plot of the movie that was non-existent in the book. 
  • And testing Divergent's on the box? I guess...
  • Tris's short hair, but I'll get to that later. 
  • Tris frequently holding and shooting guns. In the books, after killing her good friend Will in Divergent, she is no longer able to hold a gun without having an anxiety attack. In my opinion this is a fairly significant change. Again, I will talk more on this later. 
  • Four jumping in front of a train. 
  • The whole dream and/or simulation where her mother is in a burning house. 
  • Doc Ock type tentacle things that go into Tris's back. 
  • Umm... a naked makeout session... 
Wait. Wasn't that basically everything in the trailer? Why yes, yes it was. 

I just feel let down that they felt the need to change everything. The entire plot line is changed, from what I can tell. While Insurgent is not the greatest book in the world, couldn't they at least try to keep it? 

I think a lot of this anger is based on the fact that I want to be a writer. I want to write books, I am writing books, and the idea of people taking my creations, my ideas and throwing them out the window and changing them entirely is fairly heartbreaking. I don't think I could allow that to happen and it makes me upset that writers do. Twilight was an okay book series. And then Stephanie Myers said, "Yeah, go ahead a make a movie of it with terrible acting and lines so strange they could only be considered a joke." And now Veronica Roth is saying "Yeah, I loved these characters and writing this books, but feel free to change them however you want to make lots of money." Why are these authors just selling out their creations for money? It's awful! If I ever write a book successful enough to become a movie, I honestly don't think I could let other people take it from me and do it. I would want to be a part of every step; writing, directing, casting, music, etc. Authors shouldn't let directors destroy their books, their creations. It's like Billy Ray Cyrus allowing Miley to sit naked on a wrecking ball all over again. 

Story. I hate that it's changed. It's not hard to follow the book. Moving on. 

The second biggest problem I have is Tris's character. Now, in the books I really do like Tris as a character. She's very real. Just read the ending of Allegient, she's as real as they come, but I'll talk more about that at the very end of this post. 

Tris is a sixteen year old girl who is supposed to have shoulder length blonde hair, be small, but fairly strong, confident, gets herself into trouble because she's too confident in her abilities, is unable to hold a gun because of the intense guilt she feels, has a bullet wound in her shoulder, knows her weaknesses, loves Four, and wants to find a very significant piece of information hidden in the Erudite compound that will tell them about what's outside the fence. 

Just from the trailer, Tris seems invincible. 

Now I realize that in many parts of the trailer Tris is or could possibly be in a simulation. So what appeared to be invincibility was not real. However, there are equally as many parts in the trailer that lead me to believe Tris is being portrayed as a strong young woman who will save the day, instead of a sixteen year old girl. 

"She's the perfect subject." Said Eric in the trailer, as if giving her this "chosen one" persona. Even the captioning on the trailer says "What sets her apart will set the world free." Why is she so special? I repeat, SHE IS A SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL. She's Divergent, yes, but so is Four, so is Uriah, so is Tori, why does she have to be so special? This is something that bothered my husband in the books, he didn't understand why she had to be so special. In my mind, I like to pretend Uriah and Tori and Four are capable of her level of Divergence and, if the circumstances were different, they could have the same series of events happen to them. But this trailer blatantly says that she is the chosen one, and as a wounded, sixteen year old girl who can't hold a gun without having a panic attack, I don't think she deserves that title. 

It bothers me that Shailene Woodley wouldn't wear extensions or a wig. I know that it's weird for me to be so concerned about her hair, but come on, there are so many actors who have done crazy things with their hair for roles. Actors dye their hair, cut their hair, grow beards, etc. because that's what the character needs. Jennifer Lawrence cut her hair short but didn't say "Katniss is going to have short hair now." No! Because that's not who Katniss is! Katniss is meant to have longer brown hair in a braid, Just like Tris is meant to have shoulder length blonde hair. Jennifer Lawrence cut her hair for herself, to be herself, but she knew that she was playing a character that didn't look like her and she knew she had to make her hair look like her character. 

It bothers me that Shailene Woodley said she wouldn't wear extensions. She should already know this! She cut her hair specifically for a role! She is not Tris and it's not fair for her to decide how her character's hair should be when the character was already written ahead of time without Shailene Woodley even being planned to portray her. I'm not saying her hair looks bad, I'm only saying she should not have the right to change a character already written. That's like an actor saying, "I'll play Santa Claus but I want blond hair and to be skinny." You just don't mess with characters already set!! Do you remember how many people were upset Harry Potter's eyes weren't green. His eyes! You barely even get close enough to see his eyes! This is a fairly significant change for the character and I just don't like it.

Tris should not be holding a gun. In the books, the fact that she couldn't hold a gun made her vulnerable, made her real. I don't like this continual idea that Tris is invincible. There's a scene in the trailer where Tris runs through a door, closes it behind her and leans forward as bullets hit the door. Come on! Not one of those hit her? She's really that smart? That invincible? And I know it has to be a dream or simulation when she's "saving?" her mother from a burning... and flying... building, but she's much too strong, trained, and invincible in those clips. That's not what a sixteen year old girl who grew up in Abnegation should be like. 

Okay... naked scene. If you follow me on Twitter, which you should cause I can be funny sometimes, you know that I personally believe Shailene Woodley won't sign onto a movie unless she can get naked and have a sex scene. Her last four movies (I think) had sex scenes and she was in Secret Life of the American Teenager where in the first episode she found out she was pregnant and sixteen. She loves sex scenes apparently. But Tris and Four aren't supposed to be like that. I will say it again, TRIS IS SIXTEEN YEARS OLD!!! I don't care that the actors who play Tris and Four are not, stop making teenagers act like adults!!! Goodness!! 

Those are my two main issues. The story and Tris. Other reasons the trailer makes me upset: everything is just wrong, too much action, the fact that there is a naked makeout session, Evelyn looks younger than Four, Tris's mother is supposed to be dead yet she is in this trailer a lot, where was Marcus, he has a fairly significant role in this book, and again EVERYTHING IS WRONG. 

I'm so close to a Taylor Swift freakout...

That's it. Unless you've read Allegiant and I have one last thing to say. Sorry this post was ridiculously long. I honestly didn't intend it to be. Let me know what you thought of the Insurgent trailer in the comments and if you've read Allegiant, feel free to keep reading. 


Monday, December 8, 2014

A Family Wedding

This lovely dress below was the bridesmaids dress I got to wear for my brother-in-law and new sister-in-law's wedding. It was a beautiful day with considerably good weather, considering it was the end of November. It was such a lovely ceremony and such a great day! I'm so happy for the both of them and so happy to have a new sister, who is honestly amazing.


The dress below can be found on Amazon and you can find the direct link below. The shoes (which are my new obsession) also have a direct link! This is the first outfit in a long time that is all new stuff that you can actually buy! I will also have the usual widget at the bottom of the page, but with other maxi dresses that I personally would love to have. Enjoy!

Also, these photos were taken from my brand new Samsung Galaxy S4 . I love the quality of photos it takes! I didn't even edit these at all! Hopefully I will do a post with an official review of my phone and what apps are my favorite. Stay tuned!

Dress: Amazon, Cardigan: Target, Shoes: Kohl's

Sunday, December 7, 2014

My Top 10 Christmas Songs

I have been so obsessed with Christmas this year and I'm not sure why. This is the first year of my life I will not be spending Christmas Eve with my family, and in a way, that breaks my heart, but at the same time I'm super excited to share my favorite time of year with my in-laws. I also don't understand my massive excitement for Christmas this year because I don't have much money to buy gifts, and I love exchanging gifts, and we're married adults so we don't get many presents either. I don't understand why I'm freaking out, but it's a happy time all the same.

Music is quite honestly one of my most favorite things in the world. It has saved me countless times and it inspires me every day. Today I will be sharing with you my top ten Christmas songs (in no particular order). I hope these songs help get you into the Christmas mood and get you as excited as I am!

Anything from the Nutcracker

I would also like to add anything from Trans-Siberian Orchestra, because they are incredible. My younger years, growing up in dance, meant that I participated in The Nutcracker every year. I think as I total I've been, a party girl, a Russian, a candy cane, a tree, an Oriental, a soldier twice, a snowflake,  and a buffoon, Three years I did Ballet West's Nutcracker as well. To this day, it feels odd to not see or participate in the Nutcracker in December even though it's been years since I have. I'm so in love with the music and the ballet itself. The Nutcracker always has, and probably always will be a large part of my Decembers and Christmas's. 

Oh Holy Night

I'm fine with any version of this song, but lately I've been obsessing over Carrie. She's incredible. This song is such a beautiful reminder of the real reason we celebrate Christmas, while also being incredible powerful and poetic. It is such a beautiful song and it truly is one of my favorites. 

Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel

I think this is one of the most beautiful songs... ever. I remember when I was little and playing (a much simpler version than this) this song at my mom's Christmas piano concerts, back when I was much better at faking playing the piano. This song has a more melancholy feel which I always love out of any song, but it shares the message of Jesus Christ's birth and the true meaning of Christmas. I'm in love. 

Carol of the Bells

Yay for Pentatonix! I love them so much, even though this video weirds me out because that doesn't look like Christmas time to me (even though we haven't gotten snow yet). I've sung this song in many choirs and this song is just fun and beautiful and always sounds so complicated and exciting. Honestly it's such a cool song around Christmastime and I love it. 

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

What ends up happening after the first big snow storm in Utah? I end up singing this song. It's one of my favorites because it always comes to my mind around the beginning of December and when it snows. It's such a great song for Christmas because Christmas is such an incredible time of year and this song always puts me right in the mood. And yay for Bing Crosby for giving us some of the greatest versions of Christmas songs ever.

All I Want for Christmas is You

I've always been a fan of this song, but once I heard the Michael Buble version I couldn't listen to the other ones anymore, this one tops them all. Shouldn't this song be romantic? Loving? Passionate? This version does that and all the other versions just are a party. This song is gorgeous and honestly how could someone not love Michael Buble. His whole Christmas album I'm obsessed with, it's the greatest and if you haven't listened to it already, click on that link!!

The Hallelujah Chorus

The Messiah is another one of those things that, for me, it doesn't feel like Christmas if I haven't participated, listened to, or seen a concert of. My mom used to always participate in a production of the Messiah and when I got a bit older my sister and I participated as well. The Messiah is full of such incredible songs and really illustrates the true meaning of Christmas, it's the whole story of the birth of Christ! I love all the songs from it, but how can you not point out this one in particular?

What Child is This?

Josh Groban has a voice that makes Christmas songs more enjoyable. This song is another one that tells the true meaning of Christmas. I've always loved this song more than the others. It's just beautiful. 

God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman/We Three Kings

I am a huge fan of the Barenaked for the Holidays album. I feel it's underrated because they did such an incredible job on it and all the songs I love. It is honestly one of my favorite Christmas albums. This song in particular just illustrated how Barenaked Ladies doesn't get all the credit and love they deserve. They are honestly talented and do such a great job with all their music. But they turned this song into something even more incredible. Any version of this song is wonderful, but this one is my favorite. 

Silent Night

I think the hardest part of this whole post was finding the perfect version of Silent Night. This is my number one favorite Christmas song. It puts me in the mood for Christmas immediately. It's beautiful, it tells the incredible story of the birth of Christ, it gives a peaceful feeling, and it is the best way to remind us of why we celebrate Christmas. Jesus Christ was born! This is my most favorite song for Christmastime, and of any time. 

And a few more shout outs:

Hairy Christmas
(The Duck Dynasty Christmas album, Duck the Halls , is incredible. Get it!)
You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
(Every Christmas Eve my siblings read this book. It's not Christmas without it!)
Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer
(How can someone not love the story of Rudolph? ...My husband doesn't. He has a lot to learn.)
Jingle Bells
(Another Barenaked Ladies version, it's the best!)
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
(My siblings and I also watch this movie every Christmas Eve.)
Santa Tell Me
(Yes, I'm still obsessed with Ariana Grande.)
Ave Maria
(I sang this once in choir, it's such a beautiful song!)
Santa Baby
(Look it's T-Swizzle. This song is great, except when boys try to sing it, then it's weird.)
Elf's Lament 
(My two favorite Christmas albums are Barenaked Ladies and Michael Buble, and here they are together. Winner!)

What's your favorite Christmas song? 
Let me know in the comments below! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The People I'm Most Grateful For

The most important part of showing my gratitude is to the people I care most about. These are people who helped shape me and change my life. I may never be able to fully express why I am so grateful for them, but I will try my hardest. This is in no particular order, so if you're on this list don't be insulted by your position, it doesn't matter.

My Friend Kalee -I am grateful for Kalee because she unknowingly helped me start this blog. I had been debating the idea for a long time and started one but gave up. Then I saw her blog, Fred Rongo, and decided it was my time to actually start blogging. I love this blog and so I am very grateful for Kalee for inspiring me to start it.

My Grandma & Grandpa Clark -I've always loved my grandma and grandpa, but growing up I didn't get to see them as much. My grandpa passed away a few years ago, but I'll never forget when I was little and complaining about Michelle getting to read Harry Potter and I couldn't until she was done, and my grandpa drove me to the store and bought me the second and third Harry Potter books. I love him and I miss him a lot. My grandma is incredible. She used to always hike with us in Jackson and now she lives in Utah with us and I get to see her a lot. Lately I've been hearing more about my grandma and grandpa when they first met and when they were dating. She was the only girl my grandpa ever kissed and ever dated. They were sweethearts and they had a perfect relationship. They adopted my mom and gave her an incredible life. I am truly grateful for my grandparents because they are truly incredible people.

My Nana -I love my Nana for teaching me how to be creative and find the beauty in little things. I remember making crafts out of pinecones and other ordinary objects. She has this wonderful ability to take these small, seemingly useless things and making them something beautiful. She finds the positive things in life and I think that's a beautiful thing. I love my Nana and I think she's an incredible person with an incredible ability to make life more fun and more beautiful. I'm grateful to have her in my life and grateful for the way she raised my dad. She helped make my dad the wonderful person he is, and I am grateful for my Nana for everything.

My In-Laws -If I could have chosen my in-laws, I would still chose Scott and Michelle. They are the perfect second parents that I didn't know I needed. They raised a perfect son who I love and who treats me like a princess. They take us on adventures and we always have fun when we're with them. I honestly love my in-laws. They are so kind and fun and they work hard and are incredible parents. I am so grateful for them. I love them with all my heart! I am also very grateful for my three brothers in-law that I got when I married Chris. They are so much fun and it was exciting for me to get new brothers. Now, in only a few days, I get a sister-in-law as well. My in-laws are the absolute greatest. I love the Farnes family so very, very much.

My neighbor Tamara -Tamara is an inspiration to me. She was one of my Young Women's leaders. She honestly cares about what happens in my life. She threw me an amazing bridal shower. But mostly, she inspired me as she struggled with cancer. She battled it right back and never seemed to give up hope. When I had my cancer scare I was able to turn to her and she gave me inspiration and hope. I love Tamara and I am grateful to have her in my life as a friend.

My Cousin Desi -I truly believe that Desi saved my wedding. After I thought my dress was ruined, and I wouldn't have the sleeves that I had wanted, Desi stepped up and saved the day. She expertly sewed new sleeves on my dress that were exactly what I had been wanting. Not only that, she gave me eyelash extensions, and did my hair and makeup for the wedding. Desi is incredible and I am so grateful to have her living nearby and for everything she did for me for my wedding, and everything she does for me now.

Such an old picture! I couldn't find any newer ones! 

My Old Dance Teachers/Coaches -Dance was such a big part of my life and I am forever grateful for the people who helped me learn how to do it. Barbara, Nicki, Christy, Dayna, Addie, Andrea, Jay, Candice, Jeanne, and Adam, you all have helped teach me and change my life. You are all such incredible people and you helped me to do something that I truly loved. I am forever grateful for you and I wouldn't have been able to do all that I have without you.

My Siblings -Nick and Michelle, you are my best friends in the world. We have been really lucky to never really fight that much and to have such a good relationship. I've had the greatest times with you. The most exciting moments of my childhood always involved you two. Michelle, I loved sharing a room with you and having sleep overs and watching Gilmore Girls and Pirates of the Caribbean with you. I loved when we went to The Dark Knight premire together and you said, "It's a dark night tonight" and made me laugh. You're crazy and fun and I love you! Nick, we had the best time crawling on the floor playing with toys together. We had the biggest imaginations and spent so much time together plotting against Michelle. I feel like we are the greatest siblings in the world. I can't even begin to explain how much I love you guys! I'm am forever grateful for you and I love you more than anything!

My Aunt Cherene and Uncle Jeff -One summer my aunt and uncle let me live with them so I could stay in Logan and keep my job. Again, this summer after moving back from Texas and having no where to live, they allowed Chris and I to live with them for over a week until we could move into our apartment. I truly believe Cherene and Jeff are some of the nicest people in the world. They are always inviting us over for dinner and celebrating my birthday with me. I feel so much love and gratitude for them for giving me a home when I needed one. They are like a second set of parents to me and I love them so very much!

My Best Friend Lauren -No relationship, other than family, has lasted as long as my bond with Lauren. Lauren, you are 100% my best friend/cousin/sister. You are a part of my family and such a big part of my life. I love you and your family for making me part of your family as well. I loved Forth-of-July fireworks at your grandmas, sleeping downtown for the Pioneer Day parade, dance class, soccer team (go Yellow Sunflowers!), Real games, sleepover, High School Musical premieres, dollar movies, St. George trips, double dating, inside jokes, working together, being a part of each other's weddings, and having the greatest friend in the world. Even though I don't get to see you nearly as much as we used to, you have always been and always will be my best friend. I love you and I'm grateful to have you as a friend, who is pretty much like my sister as well.

My Mom -Mom, there is so much that you have done for me and I don't know if I'll ever be able to thank you enough. You were always my biggest supporter in dance and in anything else I set my mind to. You support everything I do. You love me unconditionally even when I've been acting like a brat. In high school you wrote me a letter that both broke my heart and made me realize how important you are to me. You helped save my life. When I went through one of the worst things of my life in college you drove up here right away and took me out to eat and took care of me. You helped me to become  the person I am today. You are perfect in every way and I can only hope I end up like you as a parent and as a person. You mean so much to me and I love you!

My Dad -Dad, when I told you that I didn't want to continue with college, you didn't get mad. You didn't chastise me for wasting money, you didn't try to convince me to stay, you didn't make me feel bad. You trusted my decision and you supported it. You've supported me through everything my entire life, writing, dancing, blogging, and you've shown your support in so many ways and helped whenever you could. You've always been there to keep our family protected and well cared for. You work so hard and you care for us so much. I love you daddy and I am forever grateful for you!

My Husband -Sometimes I like to wonder where I would be if I hadn't met Chris, but the thought terrifies me. I know, without any shadow of a doubt, that my Father in Heaven led me to Chris, He knew we needed to be together, because without Chris I would be nothing. No one else in my life has brought me this much happiness. I can count on him for everything.

Chris, you are my life. I love you more than I thought I could ever love anyone. You make me happy when no one else can. You always know what to say to make me laugh. You let me watch my favorite movies over and over again. You buy me treats and gifts for no reason. You treat me like an absolute princess. I love you. I'm so grateful to have found you, and even more grateful that I get to keep you for eternity.

My Readers -All of you reading my blog, you may never know how grateful I am for you. You are what keeps me going when I'm feeling discouraged. You are what brings me joy with each new comment of like and appreciation. I love being a blogger and getting to talk with all of you. You are so incredible and I am truly grateful for you. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to spend time with the people you are most grateful for in your life! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Places I'm Most Grateful For

I knew I wanted to make posts about the things and the people I was most grateful for, but I felt like I needed a third thing. As a joke I thought of places, because nouns are people, places, and things. But as I thought it over I realized that there are a few significant places that I am truly grateful for.

Jackson Hole -Anyone who knows me, knows that my family goes to Jackson Hole, Wyoming every year (because I talk about it frequently and I feel half my t-shirts say Jackson Hole or Yellowstone on them). I am honestly in love with that place. We go with my cousins and my grandma. It started out having my grandpa with us until he passed away and that was usually the only time I would get to see my grandpa that year, and I was always grateful to see him. My cousins from Washington used to go with us and it was so fun playing with them in the pool, hiking, or shopping together. Later they stopped coming and my cousin from Austria came and it was incredible to really get to know her because the distance had never really allowed it before. Now I bring my husband, the condos are more crowded, but it has and always will be my favorite place to go. There is so much to see and to do and being with family the whole time makes it even more incredible.

Utah State University -Since I was about fourteen I always knew I wanted to go to USU. I didn't even apply anywhere else, it was the only place I wanted to go. And while I sort of gave up on college and only got my associates, USU let me become a different person. I grew up at USU. I met my husband at USU. I learned a ton, not just in school, but I learned a ton about myself. I was two hours away from home with no car, essentially trapped up here, but being on my own was an incredible experience and gave me the confidence I had been lacking my whole life. I used to be so shy I never spoke to anyone and I believe that USU helped me to overcome that (sort of, I'm still pretty shy). I'm truly grateful for USU and I still believe that I was supposed to go here.

Photo Credits: Utah State University

Eastridge 3rd Ward -I grew up in the same ward for most my life and the people there helped raise me. While I was too shy to speak to most of them, there were some that I allowed myself to get to know. My parent's neighborhood is filled with people who, despite having moved away, still love me and care for me. When I go visit my parent's ward they all come up to me and let me know how happy they are to see me. They care about my life and what I'm doing. I am so grateful that I grew up in the neighborhood I did. It changed my life and I am grateful for it.

My Parent's House -I still call it my house all the time because it's where I lived the longest. I love my home. I love the city it's in. I love the atmosphere around it. I love the neighborhood. I love the surrounding mountains (actually I'm more obsessed with said mountains). I love everything about that home. And while things keep changing, new carpet, my grandma moving into my old bedroom, new furniture, etc. It will always be a home to me and I love that place more than anything.

Temples -I was married in the Draper, Utah LDS Temple and that was quite possibly the greatest day of my entire life. When I was in high school the Draper temple was being built and I was chosen to sing in a youth choir for the dedication. When the day came, we stood on stands outside the temple, sang our songs, and watched as President Thomas S. Monson dedicated the cornerstone of the temple. It was by far, one of the most incredible experiences of my life to be there watching it happen and to participate as well. Later the valley put on a big show to celebrate the Draper and the Oquirrh Mountain temples and I sang in the choir there as well. These two events changes my perspective on temples. I am truly in love with temples, especially the Draper one, because of the experiences I've had, the feeling it give me, and for the love I feel inside of them.

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