Thursday, November 10, 2011

November is for gratitude - Day 10

i am SO very grateful for my friends. i seriously lucked out on this one. there is something special about having a good group of friends.

i have a few amazing friends that i still communicate with on a regular basis from childhood and high school. i have a few from college before my mission, and a few from college after my mission. i have a few from my mission. i have a few from my escapades in texas as a high school spanish teacher, and i have a few from living and working in Arizona.

i've never been one to have a huge group of friends. i have a hard enough time keeping in touch with the few that i actually do. i have always been one to find a few good friends, work on developing those relationships, and then remaining fiercely loyal.

i love my friends. i am so lucky for the ones that i have here in arizona, since they are really all i have here. i also miss the ones terribly that don't live here. in my perfect world we would all be living in a small town by the beach, we would all be disgustingly wealthy, our kids would be best friends, and our world would be... just that... perfect. :) maybe we should all start playing the lottery? ;)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November is for gratitude - Day 9

i am grateful for apple. i love my Macbook, i love my iPhone, i love iTunes, i love iPhoto, i love iMovie, i love all the amazing things i can do with technology because of my handy dandy apple products. :) i am an apple girl.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November is for gratitude - Day 8

i fell in love with texas in college, when i had the privilege of traveling there to visit my friend Angie and her family. there is an atmosphere in texas that you will never find anywhere else. i honestly don't have the words to describe it, because you just can't... it's something you feel.

i then spent an amazing 18 months there on my mission and fell in love with it even more... the food... the people... the western desert... the lush eastern woods... the spring wild flowers... the gulf coast

after i left my mission and went back to BYU, i decided i wanted to be a Spanish teacher. i attended a teacher's fair and met a wonderful recruiter from Bryan, TX (right next to college station). i was interviewed and hired within two weeks. i went to visit, made some friends to live with, and moved away from EVERYTHING. i had an amazing year grooming young minds and i met my husband.

i miss texas. i would move back in a heartbeat. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

November is for gratitude - Day 7

I am grateful for Joseph Smith. I know that he was a prophet of God. I know that he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. I know that he translated the Book of Mormon, a book that does nothing but testify of our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that he restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth, and that we are still led by a living prophet.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November is for gratitude - Day 6

Today I'm grateful for this guy.

I am reading a very interesting book right now called "The Peacegiver." The book itself is horribly written, but the message is phenomenal, and gives so much hope. The message is basically that Christ not only paid for our sins, but the sins of others against us. We don't need to hold on to the wrongs that others do against us, because they have already been paid for.

This is a tough pill for me to swallow. To the natural part of me, it seems that by letting things go, you almost excuse bad behavior, but it's different than that. Forgiveness is NOT for the benefit of the trespasser, but rather the person trespassed against. Christ makes up the difference and heals all wounds.

It will be difficult for me to put these lessons into practice, but I hope that as I work hard to become more like Him, that He will help me in my journey.

I love him and I am grateful for him.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November is for gratitude - Day 5

Today I am grateful for these two clowns. :)

Joshua Ross Blade and I met back in 1999, in Helaman Halls, during our freshman year at BYU. we have been friends ever since. we have been through a lot together, but have remained friends through it all.

I met Julie in 2007 when we went to Spain. We were roomies, and have been besties ever since. We have been a part of many shenanigans, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I don't know what I would do without these two friends in my life.

Friday, November 4, 2011

November is for gratitude - Day 4

Tonight I am grateful for parents.

Elizabeth Stone once said, "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." Now that I have a child of my own, I understand this perfectly. I have great parents. Of course we had our family issues, as no family is perfect, but my parents did an amazing job. They raised three girls strong in the gospel of Jesus Christ...two of which served missions, two of which were married in the temple, and one of which has started a new generation. my parents worked so hard to make sure that we had everything that we needed, and that we knew how much we were loved.

one of my favorite times as a child was bedtime. my mom told us made up bedtime stories about a girl named "punkin," and then sang us lullabies. after that we got to listen to my dad play the piano until we fell asleep. i always felt so safe and secure. that's the most important thing a parent can give to a child... security and love.

Again, I am grateful for my parents.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November is for gratitude - Day 3

tonight i am grateful for sisters

i saw a quote recently that said something to the effect that "sisters are a little piece of childhood that can never be lost." i believe that to be true. what is great about sisters is that you can be at each others' throats one day, and the next you are in each other's corner again.

i have so many memories with my sisters, i don't know how i will pick just one, but i wanted to share one with each of them.

when i was 9 years old, i qualified for the state championships for swimming in Georgia. my mom drove me and krista up (i can't remember if kaycie was with us or not) to atlanta, and taught us some french along the way. we learned the french alphabet, the numbers to ten, and she also was so kind as to teach us, "ferme la grande bouche," which means "shut your big mouth." :) when we arrived in atlanta and mom went into the hotel to check in, i stuck my face in between the two front seats, and like any annoying little sister would, proceeded to repeat over and over, "ferme la grande bouche...ferme la grande bouche...ferme la grande bouche..." i guess krista could only take so much, because eventually i caught a right hook in the nose! it was a pretty great right hook, cause the blood started flowing. i don't remember much of what happened after that, but i imagine she got in quite a bit of trouble. next morning though, she was poolside, cheering me on. :) about ten years later, krista and i were having a conversation on the phone. she was telling me about her classes at BYU, and she was telling me about a paper she had to write. the assignment was to write about three people that she considered her heroes. she told me that one of those heroes in her life was me. she told me that i was a fighter... that no matter how far down into a hole i fell (or dug myself into more often than not), that i never gave up... i never stopped trying to climb back out. that has stuck with me ever since, and no... i never stop trying to climb back to where i know i should be. what's funny though, is that she has always been one of my heroes too. her knowledge and faith has always astounded me. her ability to take the most ordinary things and make them incredible, simply through the words that she can magically put together, has fascinated me. she is THAT special.

i used to torture kaycie...she was the baby after all... but boy did she love me, even when i didn't deserve it. one of the most vivid memories i have of kaycie was also when i was 9 years old, making kaycie 3. santa had brought me a SWEET pink and purple ten speed bike for christmas a few months earlier, and i was out riding around the neighborhood. kaycie wanted to come with me, so she was riding her plastic tricycle alongside my sweet wheels. i decided it would be a great idea (yeah i didn't have such great ideas at nine years old) to get fancy on those sweet wheels. i was CRUISIN down the street, pretty fast i might add, when my foot slipped off the pedal and got caught on the pavement. i LITERALLY went up and over the handle bars, landed on my head, flipped over, and the bike landed on top of me. i couldn't move. kaycie came screeching up to me, and told me she was going to get help. yes, my three year old little sister was going to save the day. i have this clear picture in my mind (remember that i'm laying in the middle of the road with a bike on top of me) of her on top of her little trike, with her little legs pumping as fast as they possibly could go. i call kaycie my nephi. for those of you non-Mormons, nephi is a Book of Mormon prophet. he was the youngest of his brothers, but also the most righteous. he was always steadfast, always immovable, and always faithful. i have had my ups and downs, but kaycie has always been a better example to me than i have been to her. she is so special. there is a running joke in our family, that kaycie is the favorite. she's EVERYONE's favorite. she always has been, always will be. we can't help it... she is THAT special.

yep, my sisters are pretty darn special.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November is for gratitude - Day 2

Gratitude Day 2:


JJ is a good man. He takes good care of me and Laela. He works hard, and he has a good heart. Of course we have our issues, as every marriage does, but we are committed to making this work. I love him so much, at times only God knows why :), but I love him. I know deep in my heart that we are SUPPOSED to be together forever. I will fight as long as I can to make this a love story to remember.

i can still remember the first time i laid eyes on that handsome man. he literally took my breath away, and i am sure my cheeks turned bright red. i couldn't believe that this man wanted to be with me. it truly was a "love at first sight" experience. i mean, i already knew i loved him, but i needed to see if he made my heart flutter... and BOY did my heart flutter. i thought it would pound out of my chest, and i was afraid my knees would give out. i was so enamored, and i'm so glad he felt the same. i know without a doubt we are meant to be together, and i try to remember that every day.

I love you JJ!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November is for gratitude

I decided that this month I would really like to focus on what I am grateful for. Hopefully I can do one each day... baby willing.

Day #1

I don't think it's ANY surprise that my #1 would be... wait for it...


I cannot imagine my life without this peanut. She is turning from a baby to a little girl right before my eyes, and though I can't stand it that she is my little baby anymore, I am excited for what the future with bring. She is stubborn, sassy, and confident. I love her more than I have words to express.

i remember the first time i saw her. i'm kinda ashamed to say it, but she was so icky i kinda wanted them to take her away and clean her up! haha! but, then when they did take her away and she wouldn't cry, i wanted nothing more than for them to give her back. i know she needed them to help her, as she had inhaled some fluids and was having trouble breathing, but i wanted her and needed her. she had been a part of me for nine months, and then suddenly she wasn't. in an instant she was no longer safe and secure. she now needed me more than ever before. when they gave her back, i felt a love i never knew i could feel before. i couldn't take my eyes off of her. i was overwhelmed at what was ahead for me and this tiny little baby girl, but i knew that together we would make it just fine. She. Is. Everything.

So, on this Day #1 of November 2011, I am grateful for my daughter.