Wednesday, December 30, 2009

San Luis Obispo

During the Christmas break I decided I wanted to go see San Luis Obispo. I plan on applying there for next school year, so I wanted to see what the town is like. I went with my friend Michael. We left at 7 am and got back at 12 am. It was quite the day! We stopped in Cayucas to visit Doug and Cathy Launchbaugh. We had dinner, chatted, and caught up. It was a ton of fun! I love being on vacation and having time to take fun road trips!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Tender Mercy # 18

For my final tender mercy, I want to say how grateful I am for the Savior, his life and atonement. I know he came to earth for all of us, to show us the way and give us the miraculous gift of the atonement. With the atonement we can accomplish so much. It gives us power to do anything and overcome any temptation.

Tender Mercy # 17

It's Christmas day and I'm in sunny Southern California. I love it! The sun is shining and it's 75 degrees! Life doesn't get much better than this. I woke up early and went for a run with Katie dog, basking in the beautiful weather. And, to prove how beautiful the weather is here, I've included a pic of my toesies in flip flops and my bare legs in shorts.

Tender Mercy # 16

This is Eden Lily. She is so much fun. I've loved spending time with her this season. She is talking so much and doing cute things every minute.

Tender Mercy # 15

This is Bailey. She is a beagle who currently belongs to my aunt Kenna. I am in love with this dog and my aunt says that I can have her when I have my own apartment! I can't wait! She is a very loving, cuddly dog who loves to play. Every time I'm in St. George I get to spend time with her. I've wanted a dog for years now, and Bailey and I are the perfect match!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tender Mercy # 14

California here I come...

I have spent the better portion of this evening preparing for my two week trip to Cali. I leave tomorrow morning, and I'm so excited!

My plans involve:
stopping in St. George to see some family
staying with the Johnsons
loving on my newest nephew Luke
playing with my Katie dog
wearing flip flops on Christmas day
taking a roadtrip to San Luis Obispo along Pacific Coast Highway with my good friend Michael
turning 26
having a little shindig with my family to celebrate this occasion
playing my newest piano music for my Grandma
sucking in some sunshine
going to the beach
eating In-N-Out (that's not such a big deal now that we have one in Orem)
catching up with old friends
taking a trip to Hunny's
visiting my family
seeing my dad
going shopping
and so so so much more.
I must say that I'm excited!

The weather in Cali is great right now-about 65 degrees. I'm getting out of cold Utah for two whole weeks! Aren't ya jealous?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tender Mercy # 13

When I was 20 years old I decided I wanted to go to BYU as a visiting student. Having it drilled in my mind that this was a place of milk and honey, I foresaw this experience to be one I would never forget. Well, with it being the first time I had ever left home, I got terribly home sick and wanted to come home the whole time. Not exactly what I had envisioned my BYU experience to be like.

Right before I left for my mission I kept feeling as if I would one day return to BYU. This impression seemed out of place since I hated it there. But I felt this way during my whole mission, so much that I applied. I received the acceptance letter one week after I had gotten home from my mission. I was excited and nervous at the same time. I wasn't sure what it would be like-would I like it? Would I hate it? All I knew is that it felt like something I should do. And so here I am-a BYU student.

The last two years have been wonderful. I love being a BYU student and everything that comes with it. It has blessed my life in so many ways, especially with being a teacher. The elementary education program has taught me everything I know about how to run a classroom. I see why the Lord wanted me here.

Tender Mercy # 12

For those trapped in college right now, this week has been a very hectic one. It's the end of the semester and finals are here. Finals are intense and studying for them takes much energy and effort.

My tender mercy is that I don't have finals for the first time! It has been wonderful. For me this week has been filled with fun stuff. Christmas parties, preparing Christmas gifts, bridal showers, and lots of other fun things have occupied my time. I didn't study once! I love being done with classes for good!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tender Mercy #11

I'll let you in on a little secret-Christmas has never really been my thing, but this year it has been different. Being surrounded by children has been a tender mercy to allow me a reminder of the magic of Christmas. Childhood loves Christmas in a way that is impossible for an adult.

I can't begin to tell you the excitement that has been felt at school lately. Talk of Santa Claus, singing Christmas songs, and Christmas parties have occupied this week. As we have gotten closer and closer to Christmas, the excitement has increased. With all their excitement, I've found myself looking forward to Christmas.

I'm grateful for my students and how they remind me of what's really important.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tender Mercy # 10

I just got back from the gym where I worked out for about an hour. You're probably asking, "How is an hour at the gym a tender mercy?" I'll explain.

There is this woman who is sorta my hero. She was in a firery plane crash a little over a year ago, which left 83% of her body burned. Her burns contract during the night and it's terribly painful for her to get out of bed. But she does.

And knowing that, I feel so grateful for my body. I've been so blessed with good health. I'm able to do whatever I want. It truly is a tender mercy.

*Go here to learn more about this incredible woman. Her little Claire is in my class.

Tender Mercy # 9

I love being a girl. Everything about it. I love buying cute outfits and cute shoes, I love getting my hair done, painting my toes, putting on makeup, I love all of it.

In The Family: A Proclamation to the world, it says that, "Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose". I believe it. I love being a daughter and sister. I love that someday I might be a wife and mother.

There are so many blessings that come from being a woman. We have the ability to be gentle, loving, nurturing, smart, beautiful, and so much more.

During my mission, I felt so ungirly. It was hard to look plain and simple day after day. I longed for the day when I would be able to show my toes, wear trendy clothes, and have cute hair. And now almost 3 years after my mission, I still love it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tender Mercy # 8

It turns out that my car only has rear wheel drive. Being in Utah, this is not a good thing. I found out why on Saturday night. As I was parking to watch Kimball, I could feel my car get stuck in the snow by the sidewalk. There was very little snow, so I wasn't terribly worried about it. I figured Santi and Lizzie could just help me push it a little, and it would be fine.

Well, when we went to move it, we got it more stuck in the snow. We tried to get it out, but what resulted was it getting closer and closer to the curb until the front was completely stuck. Nice.

But, this is a tender mercy. And this is why. We had 4 men stop and help us. All at different times, in the mist of their Saturday night. A guy with a Toyota, Tundra attached my car to his with a chain and pulled it out. It's was so kind. I'm so grateful for people who are willing to help others they don't even know.

Today at church we were talking about being a good citizen and my thoughts went to this experience. I must confess that I do like living in Provo, despite the snow. There are such good people here who are wonderful examples to me.

Tender Mercy # 7

Last night I had the opportunity to babysit my favorite one year old, Kimball. He is such a cutie! He is talking so much and is so much fun to be around. We took a walk, played with the dogs, played cars, and read stories.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tender Mercy # 6

There is this book that I decided I was going to read when I was 17 years old. I had read the book before, and I remember that I really liked it, but this time around I had a different purpose, a different determination. During this time I was going through a lot. Anyone who has been 17 before can relate to that. I needed something. I wasn't sure what it was that I needed, but I had a feeling that reading this book would help me find it.

So the reading began. I can't fully remember all the details, but something happened. Something changed within me. I feel in love with this book and couldn't stop reading it. I wanted to know every detail and understand everything it taught. So the reading continued and continued. It was this same time that I decided that I wanted other people to know about this book. It was then that I decided I would give up a portion of my life to teach others about this book.

That opportunity came in September of 2005. I was able to share this book with people I barely even knew. I told them that it changed my life and that I knew it was true. I read it with them. I prayed about it with them. I saw many people fall in love with this book just like I had, a couple years before. I saw them change their lives based on what this book teaches. I saw them become better mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, and friends.

I met a woman who learned how to read at the age of 50+ from this book. Everyday she would meet with missionaries who helped her learn the basics and gradually she was able to read it. Two years after her first experience with this book, I was in her home every Friday morning reading this book with her. Such a neat experience.

And now, being a 26 (almost) year old I'm still in love with this book. It continues it change my life everyday. I'm so grateful for it. I'm so proud of the man that gave his life that it could come forth. I'm so grateful for prophets that testify of it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tender Mercy # 5

Ever since I was in the MTC, I have wanted to learn to play the piano. I had many companions who knew how to play, and each one in turn, taught me a little. But, since I was serving, it was unrealistic and almost impossible to practice. Five months after my mission, when I got to BYU I decided that it was time for me to begin lessons. I looked for a piano teacher and was able to find Sarah Kidd, who was great and all until she decided to go on study abroad and I was left without a teacher. For about a year, I didn't take lessons again.

Just recently I was able to find a wonderful piano teacher named Kara. I have been going for about two months now and I love it! It is so enjoyable to have something to work towards. It is challenging but very rewarding. My grandma is the BEST piano player in the world, and I'm hoping that I inherited her talents. Only time will tell.

Tender Mercy # 4

I love my sisters so much. They are truly my best friends. Whether I'm sad, happy, excited, frustrated, or just want to talk; they are there for me. I love the relationships I have with them. Without them my life would be incomplete.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tender Mercy # 3

Being a California girl in every way, I of course love In-n-Out. But seriously, who doesn't? It's cheap, it's quick, it's delicious! I can't fully explain the excitement I felt when I found out that one was to be built in Orem. Kinda like a little child patiently awaiting Santa Claus. Well, it's now up and running and so far I have had it more than 10 times. I don't know what this is doing to my heart, but I only live once anyway.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tender Mercy # 2

Today during lunch I was sitting in the faculty lounge and our conversations turned to the recent state of the economy. It's such a sad thing to consider those who are currently out of work right now, many with bachelor degrees and sufficient experience in the work force. It really got me to thinking about my job, and how I was able to get an internship. In so many ways, I had wanted to do student teaching and graduate in December, and then go back to Cali; thus leaving all the snow and terrible weather! But, I knew that doing an internship was what I needed to do.

As applying for the internship come increasingly closer, the stress level within the Elementary Education department intensified. Tensions were somewhat high, because we all knew there were more girls who wanted to intern, than intern position available. The application process was intensive and the interviews were nerve-racking, but alas I got the job. I was chosen. I'm so grateful. In so many ways it has blessed my life.

I love my students and having the opportunity to see them progress and grow. I love the faculty at Wasatch and how everyone is so caring and helpful. I love that I teach only 10 minutes away from where I live. I love receiving a paycheck every month. It may be half-salary, but it feels like I'm rich now, having been a college student for the past 2 years. I love being able to tell people that I'm a teacher and feeling so proud.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tender Mercy # 1

I've been trying to work on my Spanish and take time each day to improve it. This is a great goal, but oftentimes a little unrealistic. I decided to read my scriptures only in Spanish, and read more than a chapter a day. I've been so-so with this goal so far. Most days I'm able to read a lot, but then there are the days where I'm lucky to get one chapter in. Hence, me making this goal to begin with. Anyway, I feel that my Spanish is improving and that I'm able to have it when I need it (which is unfortunately not that often living here in Provo).

Last night I was talking with my friend Consuelo from Ecuador. She was our mamita while we were in Cotocallo/Condado and it was such a wonderful experience to be in her home each day. She is a single mom to two teenagers, Maria Jose and Jose Luis, and the three of them are remarkable people. We talked for a good 30 minutes and it was great to catch up her and see how her family is doing.

But here's the tender mercy-I was able to talk with her about everything and I was able to communicate so freely. It really showed me that I do still have my Spanish and that my efforts are working. I know that the Lord met me half way on this one, and matched my effort. I'm so grateful for His help and the sweet ways that He teaches us.

Tender Mercies of the Lord

We have only 19 days left until Christmas, and as a way of preparing I've made a goal for myself. Each day until Christmas, I'm going to post about a tender mercy I received that day. Yesterday I had an incredible experience and it made me think about how the Lord matches our effort. Sometimes I feel so weak and small compared to everything I hope to accomplish in my life, but then I'm quietly reminded by the Spirit that I'm not doing it alone. Everyday things happen that remind me of the grace of the Savior.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Quick Trip to Cali Oct. 2009

Here are some pics from my trip to California during my fall break. It was a quick trip, so I wasn't able to do too much, but I did get to see everyone. I love this last pic-it's my dad when he was about 3 years old. My aunt Kenna has it hanging on her wall in the hallway. It's so darling!