10.30.2012

The Playlist Of My Life



"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything." 

Listening to my iPod while running tonight, I realized something. Music can be so powerful and full of emotion. Music can take me back to the happiest and saddest times of my life, the times I'm dying to re-live and the times I've forgotten. When I'm feeling a certain way there's almost always a song to accompany that emotion. It's interesting really how certain songs make me cry. Some make me want to dance. Others pump me up when I'm running. Some are inspiring and make me want to be a better person. Some make me feel closer to heaven. And then there are those that bring back memories so strong it's like they just happened. It's true that music conveys things that normal words can't. If I had to create a playlist to capture my current stage of life, it would tell you so much about who I am. What I feel. My experiences with love and heartbreak. What makes me happy. The things that make me sad. How I see the world. Where I want to go. And how I want to live. Whether it's listening to modern music via good ole' Apple devices or playing a musical instrument or listening to a vocalist or a musical or a concert, music is therapeutic and beautiful. Sometimes painfully so and sometimes brings incredible peace. But regardless, it always evokes some sort of emotion from me. I once heard someone say something that I'll always remember and that I find completely true,

"music is what feelings sounds like." 





10.27.2012

Me Encanta Chile

Alright, I warned you. Lots of posts about Chile coming your way! I'm so excited to spend my next year and a half in this beautiful foreign country. From the hours I've spent researching this lovely place I have already fallen in love. The area I will be in stretches from the coast up into the Andes mountains. I've also got a few islands in there as well! Pablos Neruda, a famous novelist, said Chile was "invented by a poet." And I agree. Based on what I've seen this is a one pretty country. Take a look...

I love the winding streets. And the pretty colors! 
A town on stilts!
Beautiful Andes mountains. I love how they dwarf the city.
Pretty.
Does it get much more beautiful than this?? 
The gorgeous countryside. I want to spend a lot of time in these big open spaces!
Almost looks like a city from Spain... but nope. It's CHILE!
I already adore those Andes.
Very old adobe Catholic church.
LOVE the fact that I'll be spending time on the coast.
Seriously those mountains are dang cool.
Easter Island. Probably won't spend any time here, but still,
 it just proves that Chile is awesome.
I'm SO excited about all the fruits and vegetables. I love vendors like this!


I think it's safe to say I'm going to one of the neatest places in the world. Good thing December will be here so soon. I couldn't wait much longer to go! 

10.25.2012

The BIG day

Yesterday was the most intense day of my life. I was so anxious/nervous/excited/scared to open my mission call! Because it determines where I'll spend the next 18 months, and really could change my entire life. I felt like if people around me could hear my thoughts they'd think I was a crazy woman. I kept thinking about all these places I could go... and ANYWHERE consists of a lot of places!

Because I know you all care about the intricacies of my thoughts, I'll share my pre-mission call ones! So yesterday. I thought I was for sure going stateside or to Europe. I never realistically thought about going to South America or Asia! Not that I was opposed to either, I just wasn't feeling it. That probably gives the ending away. But let's be real, if you're reading this I'm sure you already know where I'm going! Concentrating during work and classes was just too much of a trial, so I pulled up the list of missions probably around 5 times and kept looking over it again and again. I had a lot of places I wanted to go, and a few I didn't want to so much. I told myself somewhere around 400 times that I would love wherever I went. That I knew it would be where I was supposed to be. And it would be awesome. But still, I was nervous.

I kept envisioning me opening my call and seeing that mission name. Every time I did butterflies just filled my stomach. I've never been more full of emotion about anything in my life. I finally get through my never-ending day at school and get back to my apartment to my roommates freaking out! We run out the door, pick up my sister, and book it to my house. I was getting a little impatient with slow drivers! We get there and my family has put up a map and guessed where I'm going. As you can see by the pictures below, all the majority of the guesses were to North America or Europe. And only one in South America, which I will add was guessed by my 2 year old brother. So not really valid ;) My parents, siblings, and best friends (aka roomies) all convene. Meanwhile, I'm having a meltdown of excitement.

THE LETTER.
You can see the fireworks/prizes in the background!
My sister.. and me looking crazy cause I'm so stoked!

The best friends I could ever have in life. So supportive! Love them all.

I can't describe the feeling. It was surreal. I've waited my whole life for this moment! Opening the call I knew my life would never be the same. So finally it's time. I open the letter with my heart practically leaping out of my chest. I just can't believe I'm actually opening my mission call. Here we go...



My eyes go exactly to the country... I can't believe it!! I hadn't even thought about going to this country once, but the moment I read the name I just knew it was exactly the absolute perfect place for me.

Folks, I'm off to CHILE!!

To be specific, the Concepcion South mission. Isn't that just awesome? I could not be happier. I'm thrilled beyond words to be going! Reflecting on it today, no other place in the world feels as right as Chile does. Nowhere. It's simply the perfect place for me to go spread the gospel! The more I think about it the more right it feels and the more excited I get.

My parents are so happy too!! They both served in Spanish speaking missions (mom- Peru. Dad- Dominican Republic) so they already love South America! I honestly did not think I was going there and I'm so happy I was wrong about that.

After we called all the relatives and friends my mom served delicious soup and pumpkin pie. Then dad and my bros lit off legit fireworks. You know, the kind that go way up in the sky and explode. Here are pictures to illustrate how cool my family is!



It was a great day. So surreal. Definitely the best letter I ever have and ever will receive! And I leave SO soon. December 19th!! So much to do in so little time. But I can't explain how excited I am to serve the Chilean people. It was hard focusing on work today because I was researching this beautiful country! Brace yourselves for multiple posts about this big new adventure in my life :)

Thanks for reading and being excited with me. Nothing in my life has ever felt so right. 

10.23.2012

Tuesday Favorites

There is nothing better than waking up in the middle of the night to a rainstorm. The sound of rain is calming and peaceful. Walking to school with clouds in the air and the smell of rain still fresh is serene and I love it. 


I'm kind of freaking out about my mission call. I find out tomorrow! Where in the world will I go? Anywhere from Boise to Hong Kong... and you know, I guess I really don't care. Yes I have my preferences but I would be thrilled to go anywhere. I'm just so happy to be going!


I'm also loving this album. It's so fun to get new music because I actually have a little motivation to go running! My favorites= All Too Well, Red, Starlight, & The Moment I Knew (are you allowed to have 4 favorites??)


I wish I could paint/draw. Really, I wish. Unfortunately I have no talent in art at ALL. And believe me, it's not one of those things if you practice a lot then you can be good. I'm just not good. But I really wish I could paint beautiful pictures like this...


They're not brown paper packages tied up with string or anything, but these are a few of my favorite things today!

10.22.2012

Everything has changed.

It's interesting to look around in my life and see that nothing is the same. This time last month my priorities and focus and thoughts were in completely different places than right now. Life can change so fast so suddenly that it feels like I'm still running trying to keep up with it. I still am surprised by the direction my life is going now. It's been practically a 180 degree change. Let me tell you, it's been a roller coaster of a month. It's not easy letting someone go that means a lot to you. Or re-evaluating everything you thought was important. Or following your heart. Or taking a deep look inside of you to figure out who you've become.

It's hard to honestly look into that mirror inside of you and evaluate who you are and what you need to change. It's also challenging to change road maps. The past few weeks have consisted of long walks and lot's of time on my knees. I've learned you have to learn from the past but you can't dwell on it. You've got to fill the gaps with new things. Better things. Some experiences in life are meant to jar you and get you out of your comfort zone so you can progress to the next level, if you let it. Someone once said "New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings." Life is supposed to mold and refine. And it's a rewarding feeling to know you are coming closer to where you should be.

So here I am having gone through all that stuff above and I'm watching General Conference with my family ready for a little inspiration. I definitely wasn't ready for what would be announced. Here's my probably not so shocking news: I'm going on a mission. I've never felt so sure about anything in life. And nothing has ever felt so right. I'm going and I'm going soon. In fact, I get my call Wednesday. I'm so stoked I can hardly stand it! So stay tuned for that :) This announcement means so much to me. I know that for the rest of my life I'll look back at that day and be so thankful for the way it changed my life. 

Sometimes life can be hard but it's beautiful. Things work out. The world spins on. I'm getting older and growing up. Now I just can't actually believe that I'm going a mission. The past month has been an interesting one, but I can honestly say:

I love the road I'm on.

10.04.2012

Red

I have a big update! Prepare to hear a lot about this in the coming months because I'm pretty excited. I'm going to have a tremendous amount of work to do beforehand but I can't wait for next August to get here. I'm sure my parents are a little reserved about their blue eyed, blonde haired daughter going here.... but here's my news: I'm going to study abroad in the Middle East next fall!

Don't worry though. I'm not going anywhere too dangerous. I'm going to the country of Jordan! It does happen to border Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt....which are all are having some type of civil war going on... and have some major problems...but we don't need to think about that :) Hey, at least the nuclear bombs will be going over my head, right? 


I kid, but seriously it'll be an adventure. The program is through BYU and it's an intensive Arabic study abroad.  Arabic is such an intense/cool language and is definitely challenging, but I do love it. I actually decided to add officially add Arabic as a second major, so that is also a fun update on the life of me. So in addition to four months in Jordan, I get to go to Israel for a few weeks. Which will be beyond incredible. Obviously. If you can't tell, I'm really stoked. Here's little sample to lead me into my next point...

!أنا أحب تايلور سويفت وأريد أن أذهب إلى حفلتها سيئة للغاية

Now here's a completely American girl thing. Let's talk about Taylor Swift. I have no idea how she can keep on making such great songs. I watched a parody of her stuff where this guy said "I feel like she took the words right out of my diary!" I know he was mocking, but um, well, that is kind of how I feel! This is seriously a great song. This album is coming out October 22nd and I guess you could say I'm looking forward to that. I have a feeling it will become my entire apartment's official soundtrack! And I'm so fine with that. Have a listen...