Christmas in June!

The most accurate way to describe my recent odd mood is this: I've spent most of my night listening to Christmas music.

Yes, I know it's June. No, I'm not delusional. Yes, I needed some inspiration. One of the best things I could have done. I've been listening to my personal favorite Christmas album, The Forgotten Carols. These are the most amazing songs and every time I hear them I am so inspired.

They talk about the way to find our way to Christ and let him into our lives. My particular favorite one talks about how we all feel lost sometimes but, just like the wisemen, we have a star to guide the way to Christ. I love that.

You know what else I love? Having friends that I can turn to when life get a bit rough. One of the best feelings, and I quote Victor Hugo, is knowing we are loved. Having those intimate (For Shaylee's sake let me repeat, intimate!) relationships with people are wonderful.

I post about things that matter a lot to me on this blog: songs, books, ideas, places, and now people! There are so many people that have touched my life significantly over the years and unfortunately I don't have time to write about every single person I love. But here are some people I couldn't picture my life without:

My Family
There's a lot of us...I'm surprised we could even find that's many shirts of matching color. It gets crazy, real crazy. But also very, very good. I love them. Depends on the day, but usually they love me back!
Roommates (aka bff's for life)
 I feel so lucky to have these girls in my life! I lucked out BIG time with roomies.  They're all wonderful! 
 Our signature gourmet chef and fashion consultant. I'm jealous of her way cool summer job. I miss her due to the fact she lives a good $250 dollars away. yeah, I tried to make a trip...but unfortunately money says otherwise 

Shaylee K
So great to talk to! We always have the best chats and have a lot in common. It could be quite sad if she's...how do I put this?..."gone" next summer! But that would also be SUPER exciting! :)

Haley Furst
haha this picture always makes me laugh.  Her witch shoes and my gimp foot! She's hilarious and definitely has half of her heart in Africa at the moment! It's also too bad Chicago is so far away! (Riley is also being represented in this pic!)

 I definitely feel lucky to be close with this guy!  It's wonderful to find someone you can be yourself around and talk to about life and all its complexities. Oh, and also to watch AGT with! I'm a fan for sure :) 

we need more pictures together! But this girl (far left) is  so fun to be around. I'm excited to live a hop, skip, and a jump from her in the fall! Actually, scratch the skip and jump part, it's more like one short step across the hallway! 

My sister and best friend. We have the most long convos about literally everything.  haha years ago as we sat pulling each other's hair out fighting about everything under the sun, who would've thought we'd ever turn out to actually like each other? :) I guess that's a sister relationship for you!
My little sibs (minus Brigham)
They're all completely adorable and hopefully we stay close! 

Like I said, this is just a drop in the bucket! But I have become even more grateful for these people in my life recently. Okay I guess it's time to turn off the Christmas music (until December, for the sake of normalcy) and hit the hay. G'night!


Building Sandcastles

Every now and then I get obsessed with certain songs. And I listen to them again, and again, and again, and again, until I have completely memorized the songs and thoroughly related them to my life. This has happened over the past few days with these two songs:

1) Sandcastles by Kate Voegele. I love her music! And this song just fits right now. Especially with my "summer" mentality. I don't want to make huge life choices yet. I want to enjoy the simple things of life and have some adventures. I've realized just how BIG some decisions are and I guess I'm a little apprehensive to jump too fast. I feel so young! You know that feeling when you have so much to do that you just give up and take a nap instead? (shout out to Melina!) Maybe that's what I feel. There are so many decisions to make, I just want to figuratively build sandcastles sometimes instead of facing the big-wide world of harsh realities.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJ425NvC80w

I had this picture in my head
Of where I oughta be and when 
But it's just like the good advice that John gave when he said,
"Life, it happens while we're busy making plans."

I'd rather make sandcastles 
Instead of these wide-world decisions
I knew, I knew it all was catching up to me.

2) Breath by Michelle Branch. I have no clue why I like this so much, honestly. It's old and very poppy. But for some reason I love it right now. I'm in one of those moods I guess. But these lyrics just speak to me and describe how I feel about a few situations. Listening to this song just makes me want to let my hair down and just LIVE. So here's a video! The official music vid is stupid, so hopefully this lyric version will suffice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNHYP7DErh4

 If I just breathe
 Let it fill the space between 
I'll know everything is alright
 Every little piece of me 
You'll see 
Everything is alright
 If I just breathe.

Just thought I'd share my current obsessions :)



So I had this great resolution to get more sleep by going to bed early. But I just have too many thoughts bouncing around in my brain tonight... blogging is the answer!

Right now I think the little saying that "things have a way of working out" is really true. There was a time when I would not have believed that. But it's amazing how when you're going through things you can't see what's happening. It seems really hard and confusing. Frankly, a lot of the time it appears that life is being super unfair. It definitely doesn't seem probable that these experiences are all building together to create something better than you thought possible. How does life do that? I feel like there are a lot of areas in my life that are still in the process of "being built." But then again, there are some things that I'm starting to see pan out. And it is comforting to know that things do indeed turn out okay.Sometimes even more wonderful that just "okay."  I will say, it's so nice when situations that you want to work so much come out in your favor. I really love that actually.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said,

"the years tell us much that the days never knew."

Truth! High School was especially rough. It was often hard to see why such-and-such situation wasn't working out or why I didn't have this-and-that. But looking back on those adolescent years, I was learning so much more than I realized. During the day in, day out, routine of life I couldn't see what was happening to myself. Some days were good and some were hard. But then I look back and see just how much those individual days really taught me. This reminds me of a story by Elder David A. Bednar. He was talking about a painting in his office. Close up it was simply a collection of brush strokes. On its own, these can appear to be a haphazard bunch of unimpressive and unattractive strokes that don't seem to relate to one another at all. But as you back away, the individual brushes combine and produce something magnificent. All those seemingly plain strokes work together to create something beautiful.

I love that because sometimes our days can seem so ordinary. It's sometimes hard to think that a pretty painting is even in progress. But it's those days, when we're just doing the very best we can, that count. They add up. And in the end they are what makes our lives beautiful. I think that every now and then we're allowed a little peek at the "big picture" just to give us hope that our painting is coming along nicely. I'm only 19 too. If I can look back and see how the pieces are starting to come together right now, then I can't wait to look back on my life one day and see how everything has turned out wonderfully. There's a master painter who illustrates everyone's life... and I need to remind myself to not get impatient and try to grab the brush away from Him! I should just chill out and trust that down the road things will turn out.

This blog post is kind of all over the place... but I guess that's what happens when you try to write something intelligent at 12:30 in the morning. At least I'm not turning it in for a grade tomorrow! Oh the joys of summertime :) I love school and all, but it so nice to have a break from the stress of grades and the annoyance of procrastination!


Slowing it down...

I guess getting your wisdom teeth out has a few perks like pampering. slurpees. ice cream. movies. reading. sleeping. Time to write in your blog. Oh yeah, and PAIN. I am seriously so grateful I live in this modern age though. I don't know how I'd cope with life if I didn't have my Ibuprofen and anesthesia. Thank heavens for medicine. I think Shaylee K is starting to wear off on me....I can feel my pain threshold decreasing as we speak...

Anyways, I have a had a lot of time laying around to do some reflection. I've been thinking about a really valuable lesson I learned awhile ago that I had forgotten until this past week. 

I think one of the challenges of life is learning to properly enjoy one's current stage of being. While it's good to plan for the future, people need to live for the moment. I've definitely been guilty of that in several stages of my life.  When I was in elementary school I looked up at those huge 6th graders and wondered if I would EVER get so tall. Then before I knew it I was a highly impatient girl in primary just counting down the days till I could turn 12 and have my life start. If only I could get to Young Women's then I'd be happy. Once I was there, I realized beehives were nerdy and annoying....14 was where the party was! I mean, I could go to stake dances and EFY. So I turn 14 and realize I was totally mistaken. Sweet sixteen baby!! That was when my life would begin. I'd have my own car, go on dates every weekend, and live the high life. I will say, I thoroughly enjoyed driving. Dating not so much. But then the charm of sixteen wore off. All I wanted was so and so to ask me out. Lose a few pounds. Get rid of my acne. Blah blah. Then my senior year rolled around and while I had a lot of good memories attached there, I was incredibly anxious to get to BYU! College was the best life could get. I think the moment I was declared a High School graduate I hit the doors of Morgan High running as fast as I could. 

It's like we're all on a journey. And all we want to do is get to the next station. Whether it be a certain age, milestone, graduation, travels, mission, marriage, first child, grandparents, retirement... we all seem to say, "if I could just get there, I'd be happy." It always seems to be the next station that holds the joy we've been waiting to find. 

I realized the other night while talking to a close friend that there is no station. There's no magical point where we become happy. We can spend our entire lives searching for something that can only be found in the journey, not the station. 

Why are we as humans so anxious to always jump to the next point? Instead of always trying to reach the next stage of life, school, relationships, and work... I'm going to love where I am. And I do. I have all the opportunity in the world. I have good grades. Deep and meaningful relationships. The best friends a person could ask for. A fulfilling religion. A decent job. Wonderful family.The chance to learn an incredible language. Good health (well... hopefully that improves shortly!). What else could I really want? 
There's no need to rush. Life is seriously beautiful all along the way and I've got to make the very most of where I am. 

I want to say one more thing about this. Sometimes, though, there are some things in life that aren't always happy-go-lucky-super-positive. There's some huge challenges in life (duh). But those things shouldn't hold us back from making the very most of where we currently are. There may be things in life that we NEED to improve on. Or some situations we've got to let go of. There's a famous prayer given by a certain pastor that sums this up pretty nicely, 

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." 

What a good perspective. I think I need to say that prayer more. 

So, here's to not rushing through life and enjoying the journey!