August 30, 2010

Day 24: Rain, Rain, Go Away! Come Again When the Harvest is OVER!

I don't sleep very well as of late. It's either a trip to the bathroom or being uncomfortable that wakes me up every couple of hours. In the wee hours of the morning this morning, I awoke to the sound of rain pounding on the tin roof right outside our window. I love the sound of rain on a tin roof. But last night, I cringed. I knew what rain that was pouring like that meant for Dallin. It meant no work would happen today. Normally, any woman would jump for joy, knowing her husband wouldn't have to work the next day, especially after a crazy summer like this has been. But, I have come to realize the bigger picture as far as work is concerned. Rain just isn't good in the summertime.

That being said, I was so grateful that I had the chance to just hang out with Dallin today. We needed that. With this sweet little one due in just 8 1/2 short weeks, we don't have a whole lot of time to be together, just us. So, we hopped in the car and headed to the coast at Lincoln City. Granted, Tate and Trent came with us, so it really wasn't just the two of us, but still, it was so good to be together. We headed to the Tanger Outlets (my favorite place in Lincoln City ;-)) and I got some baby stuff at Carters Outlet. Then we headed to Mo's and I had the best Clam Chowder ever! After that, we watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean and then ended the evening at Cold Stone. Too bad it was 55 degrees as we were eating our ice cream. :) I still enjoyed mine though. Needless to day, it was a wonderful day for me and the hubs.

I am so grateful for Dallin and his willingness to work. He has the hardest work ethic and loves keeping busy. He does so much to provide for this little family, and I consider myself so lucky to have married someone with that quality. I am so grateful that we can spend time together too and have so much fun with each other. He is my best friend and my better half. I love this man with all my heart and can't wait for this little babe to meet his/her amazing daddy. Yay for rain today. :)

The Sunset

The boys in front of Mo's!

Dallin and I in front of Mo's (It was kind of windy and my hair was all over the place and this isn't the best picture, but oh well! We take what we can get! :))

The Pacific Ocean in the background. So pretty!

August 29, 2010

Day 23: In God We Trust

At the rate I am going, 80 days will have gone by in my attempt to do my 40 day posts. :) Sorry, I'm just a slacker. I'd like to promise you an improvement, but I can't guarantee that. It's just the kind of person I am. :) So, if the posts continue to be sporadic, forgive me.

I was reading in 2nd Nephi the other day and a couple of passages of scripture really stuck out to me. Maybe because I have been thinking a lot about the 8/28 event that Glenn Beck hosted, or maybe because I just needed to read it. In the first chapter, Lehi is addressing Laman and Lemuel one last time before he passes away. He starts out by talking about the land of their inheritance; the promised land. In verse 5, he says, "Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord." He continues on in verse 6 saying, "there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord." As I read that, I realized that all who came to this land were truly brought here by divine design. What an amazing thing. The Lord had His hand in it all. He brought those to this land that He knew would build it up to the great nation it now is.

But then, right after Lehi tells them about this great nation and the divine way in which they inherited it, he issues this warning in verse 7, "Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever."

What a warning. No cushion, no buffer, just puttin it all out there and telling it how it is. As I look at the state of our nation, I get a little nervous. We seem to be losing sight of what really matters. God is being taken out of our schools, attempted to be taken off our money and essentially, out of our lives. If we don't change things, well, I don't really want to find out what "cursed shall be the land for their sakes" all entails. Call me crazy. I would prefer it being blessed forever because of righteousness. And in order to do that, to be righteous, we need to go back to our roots. We need to get back to what our Founding Fathers started. We need to recognize the Lord's hand in the creating and establishing of this nation. And, as is written on all our currency, we need to remember, "In God, We Trust." We are truly a blessed nation that has been given so much. Let's not condemn ourselves to captivity and cursings, but instead continue to be the promised land.

August 27, 2010

Day 22: Trip Check

Sorry for not posting. I swear, this week has been crazy. Between my visit home (which lasted way longer than it was originally planned for and I am totally ok with that :)) and getting back here to do laundry and buy groceries for my poor husband who was living without, and reading the final book in the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay, I feel like I am finally in normal mode. If you know me at all, once a book has me within it's grasp, I don't come up for food, water, air or sleep unless it's totally necessary. :) Ok, slight exaggeration. But only slight. But the house is clean, the laundry is done and the fridge is once more stocked, so I feel good.

As I made my way home on Wednesday, I found myself entering the Portland area at about 4:15. Bad timing. Rush hour starts right about that time. And rush hour in Portland stinks. It's pretty much bumper to bumper traffic for two solid hours. Not fun. So, as I entered Gresham, I called my mom and asked her if she could go online to and see how the traffic was for me. What resulted was kind of an interesting experience. She was literally able to follow me from the I-84 to the I-205 to the I-5, all by camera. She told me what to expect as I came to certain roads, and where the traffic would be the heaviest, where it was lighter, if there were any accidents up ahead (which there were not, thank goodness.) She followed my trip for a good 15-20 miles and told me everything I needed to know. She kept commenting, "this is so crazy! I can't believe I can follow you like this!" She even saw live feed and could see me passing by certain cameras. It was pretty cool.

I thought about how it would be if our lives could be like that. If we could have someone that could go a few weeks or months or even years ahead of us and report what was coming and warn us how to avoid the traffic jams that may result. And then I realized, we do have that. It's called a Prophet of God. And his name is Thomas S. Monson. We have had so many prophets come and forewarn us of the dangers that surely lie ahead and how we can be prepared to face those dangers. When the First Presidency came out with the Proclamation to the World on Families, the family wasn't being attacked that heavily. Now, we are constantly being bombarded on every side concerning our families. When they first started warning about food storage and not going into debt, it wasn't as big of an issue with most people. Now, how many times do we see commercials for debt relieving agencies and credit card debt relief? There were laws that were trying to get passed about not having a garden or only being able to have a certain amount of food storage. We are seeing the wisdom NOW of the counsel we were given THEN. What foresight, what inspiration those wonderful men had/have to tell us how to prepare and arm ourselves against the certain dangers that may befall us. I am so grateful for a living Prophet who leads and guides us and gives us counsel. I am grateful for my own personal "tripcheck" that warns me when there are unforeseen dangers ahead. We thank Thee oh God, for a Prophet, to guide us in these latter-days.


August 24, 2010

Day 21: Getthing Rid of the Junk

Today I de-junked the closet in my old room at my parents. My mom has been asking me to do this for quite some time and I finally got around to it. Among the treasures that I found was the cast from my freshman year that Phil Vasser signed, about 4 of my old backpacks, my track spikes, stage make-up and performance shoes and a plethora of other goodies. (There may or may not have been unused wedding gifts in there too. Woops!) I parted with most of those things, but couldn't bear to get rid of my track spikes. Don't ask me why. Probably the same reason I cry at track meets. Those and my performance shoes. I couldn't bear to part with those. I think because I have this hope that one day I will be in another performance when I will need them. One never knows! One thing I found, I couldn't just send to the Goodwill, but I really don't want to keep it. It's my college bedding. It's super cute (Tommy Hilfiger), was only purchased 4 years ago and is still in great shape. The sheets might be a little faded, but I think it all looks really good. So, before I put it up on Craigslist, I am wondering if there is anyone who reads this blog that might be interested? I am getting rid of it for $25 OBO. Here's a picture of everything.

(Click on picture to enlarge)

The comforter is a twin, and so are the sheets. It comes with two pillow cases (only one pictured, but they're identical) one Euro Sham and a decorative pillow. I am throwing in a mattress pad too, which is super thick and really nice quality. I think it might be Egyptian cotton. The bedding, in case you can't tell from the pictures, is navy, light blue, yellow, lime green, hot pink and white striped. I absolutely LOVE this bedding, but have no use for it now, obviously. So, if you want it, give me a shout out!

Now, on to the real reason of this post. As I was de-junking, I thought about all the spiritual junk I am hoarding. Well, not spiritual, but saying sinful just sounds so harsh. I guess that's what it is though; sinful junk I carry around. You know, the "favorite sins", sins of omission, a bad habit, whatever! And I wondered why it's so hard to get rid of it all when it's so easy to get rid of all the temporal stuff that is unnecessary in my life. Why is it so difficult to give up certain sins? Because I am a natural [wo]man. And, I can't do it on my own. I need the Lord to be with me every step of the way to lead and guide and encourage and love.

When I was packing to go to college, my best friend Kayla, who I talked about in my last post, helped me get everything organized and ready. She is like the EXPERT de-junker. Before that night, I had this tendency to hang on to EVERYTHING. I would always think, "oh, I might use that sometime" or "I will definitely need that at some point" but she got me to be realistic. And ya know what? I can't remember a single thing I threw away that night, but I threw away a LOT of junk (much to my mother's delight!) Sometimes, we just need the expert de-junker to come into our life and allow Him to help us purge. Sometimes we need Him to tell us that we don't need any of that junk anymore. In fact, we would be so much better off without it! But, we have to LET Him help us. I'm slowly learning to let Him in to help me and I am trying to do my part the best I can, but hey! I'm not perfect! I stand in need of His assistance all day long. But thank goodness He is a forgiving being. Thank goodness He helps us when we ask, and even helps when we sometimes don't ask. I am vowing to start de-junking the "sin closet" that has built up in my life and let some things go. It's time to get rid of the junk.

August 22, 2010

My Apologies

I'm sorry about not posting for the past couple of days, but I made a surprise trip to Washington when I found out all 5 of my siblings would be here. Needless to say, I would rather be spending my time with them than blogging. :) Things will resume on Tuesday! See you then!

The Original 6

August 19, 2010

Day 20: The Best Things in Life Aren't Things, They're Friends.

Currently, I have no job. I don't go to school either. I'm just growing a baby! And I have limited interaction with the outside world. My interaction mainly consists of talking to the checkout people at WinCo and Costco and the occasional trip over to Marcus and Ashley's. So you can only imagine my delight when I received a package in the mail yesterday from one of my best friends in the entire world. As I read the card she included, it made me realize how blessed I am to have the friends that I do. Being here in Salem and somewhat removed from everyone, I tend to forget how lucky I am and what awesome people are in my life. This friend in particular is pretty amazing though. I can't tell you how many times in my life she has given her time and attention to me. She is always there when I need her and never asks for anything in return. She loves unconditionally and would drop anything at any moment if I asked her to. She's the bestest best friend a girl could ever ask for. So thanks Kay for all the good times. Thanks for the laughs at Yokes when you ran into the barrier as we were getting our favorite cake, thanks for all the movie rentals from Hollywood, for the crying on each others shoulders about dumb high school boys, for the auction where you first laid eyes on your future husband, for all the football and basketball games, the state tourneys, and supporting me in all my plays and concerts. You were the best friend in high and middle school and you've been even better as the years have gone on. I love ya babe!

"I'd like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me, I'd like to be the help that you've been always glad to be; I'd like to mean as much to you each minute of the day, as you have meant old friend of mine, to me along the way." -Anonymous

After her dance recital when we were like 5? :)

At one of the MANY football games from our high school experience

Kayla going to a prom our Junior year


At Kayla's wedding, May 25, 2008

All the Bridesmaids at her wedding!

"A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often - just to save it from drying out completely." -Pam Brown

August 17, 2010

Day 19: You're The Inspiration!

I'm not your typical girl. I don't cry in chick flicks or in sappy movies. I don't really ever cry, period (except now that I am pregnant. You can't STOP the tears anymore, it's kind of ridiculous.) But there is one thing that will get me crying instantly, no matter what, no matter where. Sporting events. Yes. You read that right. Sporting events. Track meets in particular. When I see athletes giving it their all, I lose it. I think it's because I know exactly how it feels to give everything you've got in that one moment; to be the best you can be. I know the burning in your lungs, legs filled with lead, can't go any harder, can't go any faster, giving it your all feeling. It's inspiring to me to see people working so hard at something.

So, it was no wonder that I was fogging up behind my lens as I took pictures of my oldest sister, Rachel, when she competed in her triathlon in July. (I know, I am so behind on posting about this!) She and her friend Wendy Beus trained and competed together (along with about half of Pasco 6th ward!) It was so amazing to see her accomplish this amazing feat because of a few things. One, it was her first triathlon ever. Two, she has diabetes and has had it since she was 12. She was diagnosed with it a few months prior to my being born. But don't let any statistician tell you anything about the likelihood of not being able to do certain things because of diabetes, because Rachel has beat them all. She's got 4 totally healthy girls (which in and of itself is a miracle) is totally fit and trim (and gorgeous to boot) and has a normal lifestyle apart from her having to give herself insulin at random times during the day. So, needless to say, I was in awe and totally inspired as I watched her compete in her triathlon. She got a great time too. Here are some of the pictures from the race.

I didn't get there in time to get a picture of her getting out of the Columbia from the swim, but I caught her just in time for the bike portion. This is just as she was coming back from the bike ride.

All the kids got cowbells from some random person handing them out and they were loving life. We finally told them they couldn't ring the bells unless they saw someone coming or going. :)

Just starting her 5K run.

Crossing the finish line! Phew!

Chad, Rach and the girls after the race.

The whole 6th ward group that competed (plus a couple not in 6th ward :))

So I guess my point with all of this is to say thank you to those who have inspired me. Thank you to my amazing siblings who are constantly defying all odds and doing great things and being the best siblings a youngest child could ever ask for. Thank you to amazing singers, pianists, violinists, guitarists, dancers, athletes, etc who have accomplished so much and inspired me to do my best in all I do. Thank you to my amazing father who, even though he was an outstanding athlete, never pushed us to do anything we didn't want to do, but supported us in everything. And thank you to my wonderful mother, who played taxi and ran us all over heck so that we could pursue our dreams. You are all my inspiration. *Cue Chicago* :)

August 16, 2010

Day 18: A/C Anyone?

We don't have air conditioning in our apartment. Apparently, Salem builders didn't think the apartments needed air conditioning because of their "mild" summers. Yeah... they forgot about the pregnant women, who, on 95 degree days are melting in their apartments. No big. I don't think I have ever appreciated a/c more than I do right now. I finally got in my car and drove to Costco just so I could get some relief. And I guess we needed groceries too. :)

So this whole no a/c thing got my wheels turning. How the heck did those poor pioneer women survive on the plains? Walking in severe heat in a dress with multiple layers while being hormonally hot (yes, I just made that phrase up) is not my idea of a picnic. I. Would. Have. Died. Seriously, I am such a pansy. And I hate being hot. Those women were so strong. I want to be that strong. I don't wanna be a pansy anymore! I want to be a tough cookie who can weather the storms and live without a/c. So I am going to be strong. Summer won't last forever and in T-minus 10 1/2 weeks, this baby will be born and I will no longer be hormonally hot (at least I can only hope). I can make it. *Cue The Little Engine That Could, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!*

August 15, 2010

Day 17: Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God

Today in our Marriage and Family Relations class, we were discussing mothers and their important role in the lives of their children. I thought back to the previous hour where, in Sacrament Meeting, I had witnessed two little toddlers running here and there and everywhere while their mothers chased after them. And then I thought of the three little siblings who got up about every 10 minutes to go out into the foyer for some reason or another. And I thought of the two boys sitting in front of me, who during the sacrament, kept giggling incessantly. I realized, during that hour of sacrament meeting that all those situations would be me in just 11 weeks. Gone are the quiet sacrament meetings where I will get to listen intently to the talks being given. Gone are the days of sleeping in and going wherever I please whenever I please. Gone are the days of small purses and clothing without stains of spit up and drool. And you know what? I can't wait. I cannot wait for this sweet, precious little one to enter into our family. I am totally in love with her/him already and so is Dallin. We are so excited to hold this baby and love it and not get any sleep because of it and never have a moments peace. I know it will all be worth it. All the sleepless nights and the constant trips to the bathroom, my now altered body, the varicose veins that threaten to appear if I don't drink at least 64 oz of water each day are all going to be worth it.

This clip was shown today in class and I loved it. It showed motherhood as it really is; the ups and the downs, the realities of motherhood. And it also features one of my favorite apostles. (Is it bad to have a favorite apostle? I hope not. :))

August 14, 2010

Day 16: I'm All Alone, There's No One Here Beside Me.

Do you remember the day your parents dropped you off at college for the first time? The scene probably went something like this- Mom is crying, dad's impatient to hit the road, and you can't wait to get back to your apartment and get to know your roommates and those cute boys that walked by about a half hour ago.

I have never been one that has enjoyed leaving home, so it came as a great surprise when I was anxious for my parents to hit the road the first time they dropped me off at BYU-Idaho. I was excited to live my own life and be on my own! Then I went home for a weekend visit a few weeks after I had been gone. I bawled my eyes out as I left to go back down to Rexburg. I hated leaving. I wanted to be back in Pasco with my family and friends and forget this whole college experience. But, I grew to love Rexburg and school and even though I was still homesick, I had amazing friends and roommates (and a few cute guys to distract me) that helped me to not miss home so much.

Now, here I sit in Salem, alone once more. My family came into town for a couple of days to visit and it was wonderful. We did back to school shopping, went to the coast, had crazy kids running around from dawn til dusk and enjoyed ourselves immensely. I now know how it feels to be the one left behind. I know how my mom would feel after we would head back to school from Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. Everyone leaves to go back to life as usual, and you get left behind. I have to admit, it royally stinks. I'm not a fan. But it got me to thinking, which is always a good thing. I thought about how it would feel to be left behind while the rest of my family progressed and reached that higher potential. What a terrible, terrible feeling. To see your family move on ahead of you, and to know you were being left behind, kicking yourself for not doing more. This temporary separation is nothing compared to what could be if I don't stay on my guard. I don't want to be left behind. I want to be with my family. This life will mean nothing unless I can be united with my family after we have all passed on. And it will be a glorious day when we will all be reunited and together forever.

"Families can be together forever, through Heavenly Father's plan. I always want to be with my own family, and the Lord has shown me how I can."

Sarah and Emiline at the coast yesterday

Luke, Mathew and William

Hannah and Emi playing in the sand

Emma burying her feet in the sand to keep em cool. :) That sand was hot!

Miss Rebekah

August 12, 2010

Day 15: I'm Coming!

"You can't lean on the arm of Government and be successful! We are making a mistake by distancing ourselves from God." -Glenn Beck

Dallin and I are watching Glenn Beck right now, and the above quote was just said by him. He is the man that has inspired this 40 day transformation I am currently undergoing. After he said that, Dallin said, "You can't rely on the arm of flesh."

That got me to thinking, how many times do I rely on the arm of flesh? How many times do I forget to turn to my Heavenly Father and, instead, look to some other source? Too often, I'm afraid. I need to fix that. I believe a course correction is in order. How many times do we read the phrase in scripture "come unto me"? The Savior is constantly pleading with us to come to Him and let Him be apart of our lives. So why don't I always let Him?? Because, I'm a natural (wo)man. I rely on my arm of flesh too heavily. But I promise, I am working on this. I'm trying to be better. I'm coming. It might still be awhile, but I'll get there.

August 11, 2010

Day14: Who I Want To Become

I can barely see my keyboard right now. I just watched this video. (I'm totally stealing this from you, Hill, sorry.) That man, Chris Williams, he's who I want to become like. Grab a large wad of tissues before you watch this. Trust me, whether you're pregnant and hormonal or not, you'll need them.

August 9, 2010

Day 13: Warrior Woman!

I had one of those moments in church yesterday. You know the moment when some bit of information (gospel principle) is shared with you and suddenly it dawns on you that you have a huge, enormous responsibility. One of those moments when you realize you have a lot of work to do and you feel slightly (read: completely) overwhelmed and inadequate. Yup, I had one of those moments. I was sitting in Marriage and Family Relations where we have been discussing children lately, and the topic of the armor of God got brought up.

Doctrine and Covenants 27: 15-18:

"Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, which I have sent mine angels to commit unto you;
Taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked; And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of my Spirit, which I will pour out upon you, and my word which I reveal unto you, and be agreed as touching all things whatsoever ye ask of me, and be faithful until I come, and ye shall be caught up, that where I am ye shall be also."

We talked about the responsibility of parents in arming their children with the armor of God and that's when that overwhelming feeling hit. It's not like I didn't know that I needed to do that, but it just hit me particularly hard yesterday. I realized the awesome responsibility to teach my children what they need to know in order to battle against Satan. That's no small task. But I know I can do it. The reason I know is because my parents taught me how to put on the armor of God and how to ward off Satan. It's not going to be easy, oh no, not easy at all. And I won't pretend like it's going to be easy. I'm up to the challenge though, because I want my children to succeed and to make it back to their Heavenly Father. Just like I know my mom and dad want me to succeed and make it back. So, while I may be overwhelmed and intimidated and, quite frankly, shakin in my boots, I know I can do it. (With a lot of help from a much more capable source, of course).

August 8, 2010

Day 12: Gray

Do you ever feel you have some gray areas in the gospel? Things that aren't clearly defined? Something that could potentially be good or bad, you're just not sure which? Am I making ANY sense?! I have a little gray area in my life right now that I am just not sure about. Granted, this isn't a big issue and I don't think it will exclude me from eternal life, but for me, right now, it's kind of a big deal.

Leggings. Leggings with short dresses. Leggings with tunics. Is it bad? Or is it ok? I am totally eating my words right now, because when the legging trend started, I remember thinking, "that is the DUMBEST thing I have ever seen. I will NEVER be caught dead in leggings." Never say never in the fashion world, Ash. I remember I also said never to skinny jeans. Guess who owns a pair? But I digress.

BYU-Idaho won't let you wear leggings with a short skirt or dress (not sure what their policy is on tunics) on campus so I kind of took that as a shove in the direction of what I should make my policy. But I have seen tons of women (young and old) who are totally strong in the gospel, no problems with their testimonies, wearing leggings. So it can't be bad right?!

I talked to Dallin about it last night. When I first told him how I have been really wanting to try out the legging look, his eyes lit up and he nodded very quickly saying, "yes, yes, you really should try it." I think he's a fan, huh? Then I told him of my little moral dilemma.

"But is it considered immodest? Will people look down on me because I am wearing that?"

He said he couldn't answer that question. Instead, he posed a thought provoking question to me. "Where will it lead?"

"Where will what lead?" I asked.

"Where will you wearing leggings lead? Will it lead you in a positive direction? Or will it cause you to second guess modesty? Will it cause others to look at you inappropriately? And then where could that lead?" He replied.

I love that my husband asks those hard, thought provoking questions. I just sat and thought about it. I didn't give an answer, because I am still feeling like I am in the gray.

Disclaimer: If you wear leggings, do not for one second think that I will ever, ever judge you based on that. I will be the last person to ever judge because of something as silly as that. Like I said, I think it's such a cute style. I am just personally trying to figure out where I stand on the matter. So please, feel free to wear whatever you want to around me and know that I will never pass a judgment. (I just might covet your style, however.)

So I am opening this one up to you, readers. Tell me what you think. Have the Brethren come out with anything about leggings? Has the General Young Womens Presidency come out with anything? Do you have an opinion? Am I just a silly girl that is really over thinking this current "issue" in my life? Wait, I'll answer that. YES. But really, I want to know thoughts and opinions about this, so spill all, my dear readers. I would ask that you please be courteous and kind in your remarks and in response to others remarks. We're all friends here. :)

I just want you all to know, I value modesty. I always have. It's been ingrained in me ever since I was a little girl. I have a testimony of the power of modesty too. It gets hard in this day and age to find things that are modest and appropriate, but we are so blessed when we do dress modestly. So help a girl out. Help her figure out this gray area of her life so she can move on to more important things. :)

August 6, 2010

Day 11: My Educators


I'm going to be the first person to admit that I don't know everything. In fact, I have A LOT to learn. I have discovered though, that I love to learn. (Of course I am realizing this as I am three months away from delivering a baby and haven't gotten my bachelors degree yet. Awesome.) I am totally planning on finishing school and getting my degree, but that might be a little ways down the road.

Today, however, I am not focusing on my lack of knowledge or my lack of a bachelors degree. Today, I am focusing on all those people who, throughout my life, have taught me; my educators. I want to thank you all. I want to thank those who singled me out in classes when I was struggling and gave me the confidence I needed to succeed. I want to thank my parents for teaching me secular and spiritual things. I want to thank all my primary teachers, young womens leaders, relief society teachers for their love and concern and for their testimonies that helped carry me through all my growing up years. You have taught me some of the most important things I could have ever learned.

I've decided that even though I can't go back to school in the very near future, I am going to make this scripture my motto until I do- D&C 109:7 ". . .seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith." I can teach myself all the things I want to learn (or the internet can!) and I know I will be so much the better for it.

So once again, thank you to all my educators. You know who you are. And you are all amazing.

One of those rare moments my roommates actually caught me studying. :) Fall 2007

August 5, 2010

Day 10: This Life I Lead

Do you ever have those moments when you look at your surroundings and you just feel at home? Things are familiar and comfortable and you just feel good? That happened to me yesterday. I was driving out to see Dallin when I realized I was a little low on gas, so I stopped off to fill up at a station in a little town called Monmouth. As I was sitting there, about 5 combines rolled by on the highway that goes through town, and a smile crept on to my face. "This right here? This defines summer for me" I thought. I loved that in this small town there was farm equipment rolling by with 40+ cars and trucks all lined up behind them. I loved that if I was one of those 40+ cars or trucks I would have loved every second of it, because for some reason, this girl who gets so impatient behind the wheel, can be stuck behind a tractor or a combine or a swather and suddenly not have a care in the world. I don't think I ever imagined my life would be so closely tied to farming when I was looking for a potential husband, but now that I am here, in this place, I love it. I love where I am, I love who I'm with, I love this simple life I lead. I love combines holding up traffic on a beautiful summers day.

August 3, 2010

Day 9: The Parable of the Marionberries

Tonight Marcus, Ashley and I along with our friends Doug, Shawna and Julianne, went to a local u-pick and picked blueberries, strawberries and marionberries to our hearts content. Our hands made us look like we had just walked off a crime scene, caught red-handed (quite literally, ha!) Needless to say, a jam session is now in order. Jam of the edible variety, that is.

For those of you who have ever picked blueberries, you will know that they're super easy to pick. They pretty much fall off the bush. Strawberries are a little harder to pick however, for a couple of reasons. One being they are closer to the ground, whereas a blueberry bush is more at eye level. Another, because they can get hidden in the bushes so you have to look a little harder. But Marionberries might just be the hardest to pick; the reason being: all the thorns. I found it interesting that the biggest berries were surrounded most heavily by all those thorns, making it difficult (and painful) to get to the biggest and best ones. Doug joked that we could find some really good gospel parallel's what with the best berries and the thorns, and I couldn't have agreed more.

I've thought about the times in my life when I have grown the most and gained the best testimonies, and they were the times when things weren't easy. Aren't the things we work hardest for what we value the most in the end? Sometimes, you have to reach through a lot of thorns to get that amazing marionberry, but it's the sweetest one, and therefore, makes it worth the pain it took to get it. Those times when I had to struggle and seriously rely on the Lord in my life, were the times when I came out on the other side with so much more than I thought possible.

So next time, when I am at a difficult point in my life and I am complaining and wondering, "why me", I'll just remind myself of the parable of the marionberries and know "that all these things shall give [me] experience, and shall be for [my] good." (D&C 122:7) We have to taste the bitter to truly appreciate the sweet, right?

The berries from this evenings pickings.

Day 8: I Don't Believe In Coincidence

I've been thinking a lot about the miracle of life lately. I'll chalk that up to the little one inside of me. The movements amaze me all the time. Dallin and I fall in love with this sweet baby even more every day. And Dallin teases it already. :) This poor kid doesn't even realize the torment it will receive in later years. :) But really, whenever I think about the development process, about how a baby starts out as cells that are constantly dividing and multiplying that eventually form hands, feet, bones, eyes, hair, etc., it just baffles me. And it makes me understand why I was so tired in the first trimester. Holy. Cow. That's all I have to say about that.

I remember when we went in for our 20 week ultrasound and we got to see the 4 chambers of the heart working overtime to help this babe develop. Dallin and I were in awe. At 20 weeks, that little heart was already working, and working well, to continue the growing process. What a miracle. How could anyone deny the existence of a higher power when witnessing something as spectacular as that? Alma 30:44 reads, "yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator." How could we look at this world or feel the movements of an unborn baby or watch as our fingers flow with ease over a keyboard and say, there can't be a God? He is everywhere. And He is real. I know that without a shadow of a doubt. He has heard and answered too many prayers to not be real. I don't believe in coincidence. I believe in God. He is the supreme creator and the ultimate judge. And I look forward to the day when I can stand in His presence and thank Him for all He and His Son did for me. But first, I gotta prove myself worthy. So, here's to trying.

August 1, 2010

Day 7: Oh Glorious Day

I was going to try and get two posts in yesterday, but, as we all know, Saturday is a special day, it's the day we get ready for Sunday. And amidst all the laundry and cleaning and unpacking from living in Pasco for a month and half, the second post just didn't make it on here. So, I'll be a day behind.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I listened to general conference on my way home from Pasco on Friday. As I listened, another hymn was sung that I absolutely love, but had forgotten about in recent months; Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise. The last two lines of the song are my favorite lyrics. "A thousand years, oh, Glorious Day! Dear Lord, prepare my heart to stand with Thee on Zion's mount and never more to part."

I have been thinking about that line a lot in the past few days and have wondered, "am I letting the Lord into my life to prepare my heart to meet Him?" I'm still undecided on my answer. You see, I'm a very independent person. In my life, whenever a problem has come my way, I have chosen to work it out on my own, reasoning that I can do it by myself. If ever a confrontation would arise or someone would give me offense, most of the time, that person would never know I was angry with them, because I would work everything out in my head and move on, never discussing the problem. I've got enough of a "control freak nature" to just want to do things on my own, because I know I can do them the way I want them done. But, that's not how the Lord works. He wants to help me when a problem arises in my life. My issue is, sometimes, I won't let Him. I have this silly complex that makes me not ask for help. As I have gotten older, I have recognized it and have worked to let go and have faith, but it's been a shaky work in progress. When I heard that line, however, I was reminded that I have to let go and put my life in the Lord's hands and know that He knows better than I. Faith is a funny thing. It seems so easy to say you have it, but it's quite a different matter to really live by it. But I am attempting to let go of my life and place it in the Lord's hands, so that He can prepare my heart to meet Him on that Glorious Day.

Sunset in Pasco, WA July 2010