Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Post!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Blog Post

Check it out! notjustjodyanymore.blogspot.com

Friday, November 23, 2012

New blog, new blogpost!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ch ch ch ch changes

I have decided, after much deliberation, to start a new blog, with a different name.  Same me. 

I have a post in the mix, it will be up soon!


peace and blessings ya'll

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Oh blogging, how I've missed you...let me count the ways

So it has been a while.  And lots have happened.

I got married (WHOA!)
I went to Hawaii (NICE!)
We moved to Portland (BEAUTIFUL!)
I started a new type of teaching job (LUCKY!)

All the while I have been wanting to end the silence on here.  I'm wondering, however, if I should close this blog down and start a new one, a new chapter, or whether I should keep this blog up, just with different pretenses.

That is the question, and I am open to suggestions.

For now I will leave you with the only picture I have from my wedding right now since my photographer sent me a DVD of somebody else's wedding and I haven't seen the new DVD yet...I am DYING!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I was asked to speak this week in my ward, seeing as though it was my last Sunday here in Texas.  This may sound weird, but I have never felt more guided in a talk than I did in this one, so I thought I would post it.  I cried through the whole darn thing.

When I read over the talk the bishop asked me to speak on, I thought, ‘Oh great, I get to be ‘That girl’ who talks about the temple and the sealing power and how she is getting married.’  So if at any moment you feel yourself about to gag, blame bishop.  I won’t ever stand up here and tell you that you are doing it all wrong, that there is one right way to find someone to spend eternity with, because eternity is long time to spend with someone you mildly like.  I will tell you, however, that the Lord is aware of you, that he knows you, and that He has a plan laid out specifically for you.

I honestly actually feel like I have been preparing for this talk for about five years.  I am an avid blogger, nerdy I know, but I really love it because I have had the opportunity on a few choice occasions to share some really deep feelings about the gospel and its principles that I probably wouldn’t have shared otherwise.  Several times I have come across talks that have touched me enough to write about them, and I will reference a few of them today.

Today I want to talk about the word Remember.  Now, normally when people say things like that, they start out with the Webster’s dictionary definition of the word...I’m going to go ahead and spare you that, but it would be interesting to note that the word remember is found in the Old Testament 167 times, the New Testament 36 times, the Book of Mormon 157 times, the Pearl of Great Price 1 and the Doctrine and Covenants 44 times.  Add those all together and you get 405 times that the word remember is used in the scriptures, which is interesting because that is the exact number of really bad first dates I have been on in my lifetime.  Kidding.  But it is interesting to realize how often information is repeated to us over and over again, and how often, when in the depths of despair, some of the most vile sinners in the scripture were brought to a remembrance and that act alone saved them.

Enos remembered the words and teachings of his father, an act that helped him receive blessings that had long been awaiting him.  He was granted, according to his faith, the desires of his heart, which was that the welfare of his brethren be preserved that they too would be able to partake of the blessings of the gospel and thus also be saved by his righteous desire.

Alma the younger remembered not only his sins, but the words of his father.  In Alma 36 we read: 13 Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God and that I had not kept his holy commandments. 15 Oh, thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds. 17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. 18 Now, as my mind caught hold up on this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.  19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.  20 And oh what joy and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

Isn’t that AWESOME!  Now you are probably thinking to yourself, what on earth does this have to do with the temple and the sealing power.  In President Eyring’s talk to the Priesthood last conference, he talked about the sealing power, giving guidance to father’s on how to lead their families so that they would be covenant families.  He spoke about how nothing we did meant anything without the sealing power.  In his words, : The Holy Spirit of Promise, through our obedience and sacrifice, must seal our temple covenants in order to be realized in the world to come. President Harold B. Lee explained what it means to be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise by quoting Elder Melvin J. Ballard: “We may deceive men but we cannot deceive the Holy Ghost, and our blessings will not be eternal unless they are also sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise. The Holy Ghost is one who reads the thoughts and hearts of men, and gives his sealing approval to the blessings pronounced upon their heads. Then it is binding, efficacious, and of full force.”

The first piece of advice he gave to fathers was this: “First, gain and keep a sure witness that the keys of the priesthood are with us and held by the President of the Church.  Pray for that every day.  The answer will come with an increase in determination to lead your family, in your feelings of hope, and with greater happiness in your service.  You will be more cheerful and optimistic, a great blessing for your wife and family.”  Essentially he is saying to remember the power and the blessings that come from the Priesthood, and lead your family accordingly.  We see how important it is to lead your family in remembrance of the covenants you are founded on.  If Enos and Alma hadn’t been taught the importance of covenants, repentance, if they hadn’t been taught the gospel, they wouldn’t have had anything to remember!  Now none of us are sealed to spouses, but it is important to remember that most of us are sealed to our parents.  So the blessings of sealing power are already available to you.  Isn’t that amazing!  To me that is the sign of a truly merciful father in Heaven.  

The scriptures teach us that The blessings that we seek are READILY available to us, but those blessings are predicated on our faith in his gospel and his plan.  At the very heart of our faith in Christ is the assurance that through His atoning sacrifice, we can become clean, every whit.  The Lord has revealed that ‘When we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.  The Lord makes generous promises, and He certifies that He will not vary from these promises.  ‘I the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.’  The Lord has also promised that ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask the FAther in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.’

WHAT AN AMAZING PROMISE!! But the key is that we have to live as though the blessings our already ours.  We have to push forward, we have to be patient,  we have to be worthy of the blessings of the temple, and if we aren’t, we have to repent.

That may seem impossible at times, but I testify that it isn’t.  The apostle Peter in 2 Peter 3:9 testified that, ‘The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering towards us.’  In our time of fast food, one hour photos , pizza delivery in 45 minutes or less, it may seem like God has misplaced our precious promises or He has put them on hold or filed them under the wrong name.  We aren’t alone in feeling like the promises of the Lord don’t apply to us, either because we do not feel worthy of them, or we feel like he has forgotten us.  I have felt that.  I know what its like!

I hesitate to share this story because it might be a bit of an over share as far as my life is concerned, but I feel it is necessary to illustrate my point.  When I was 20 years old, I moved home in order to prepare myself for a mission.  I hadn’t really prayed about it, but I knew I wanted to go.  I went home, was called as a ward missionary, and began to prepare for what was to come.  In the process, I became really good friends with the ward mission leader.  As any disastrous boy/girl friendship went, I started to like him.  I prayed to ask whether it was something I should pursue or not and got a very clear answer that I was not to date him, I was go go on a mission.  I didn’t listen.  After a very painful relationship for both of us, we broke up, and I went on a mission where I learned Spanish and fell in love with the country of Chile.  I wasn’t what you would call a ‘successful missionary’. I didn’t baptize thousands or hundreds or even dozens.  I would often think of the promises in my patriarchal blessing and wonder why ‘many’ weren’t coming to the truth because of my testimony.  I blamed it on my hesitation to go on my mission.  After I returned home I learned that many people I had taught had indeed been baptized, just not when I was there teaching them.

After my return I found dating to be hard and again I remember thinking that my hesitation to serve when I knew I should have had cost me blessings, I remember distinctly one day receiving an email of encouragement from my dad reminding me of ‘promised blessings’.  He said, ‘As you know, they neglected to give us the most current addition of the 'Parents Manual' when you were born so I am sure that we have and will continue to make mistakes in giving advice in your life.  Understand that I, we, only have your best interests at heart and would not intentionally give you advice to hurt you.  But alas, your Dad, at least, is a bit of a twit, and at times, does silly stupid things.  Hopefully this is not one of them.

I sense when we talk that all is not right with you from an emotional view and you are anxious for your life to go to the next step, which opportunity has not presented itself to you . . .  a least for the moment.  You should not focus on nor stress over such matters.  Know that the Lord knows what is best for you and will guide you in your journey as you stay close to him and seek his guidance.  This is fact.”

While his advice was meaningful and heartfelt, it was hard for me to hear.  I thought to myself, ‘I have served a full time mission, I deserve these blessings now!’  To make a short story much too long, I had many failed relationships before I eventually met the man that is going to be my husband.  Many of those relationships were with guys who could not take me to the temple.  Elder Spencer R. Condie gave a talk called ‘Claim the Exceeding Great and Precious Promises’.  In it he said the following:
Sometimes, in our earthly impatience, we may lose sight of the Lord’s precious promises and disconnect our obedience from the fulfillment of these promises.  The Lord has declared: ‘Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled?  I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing.  Then they say in their hearts: This is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. but wo  unto such, for their reward lurketh beneath, and not from above.”

So what do we do about it?  In that same email from my dad, he sent me a talk given by Elder and Sister Holland when they were the Presidents of BYU Provo Campus called ‘However Long and Hard the Road’.  The talk began with a letter written by a student to Elder Holland which read: Dear President Holland, I am completing my undergraduate experience this month and will be graduating in our upcoming commencement ceremonies.  My parents are relieved, my professors are surprised and I am holding my breath. Things could go wrong you know, even at this late of date.  And that brings me to my one grievance with you.  It is this late date business.  My dates have been so late, that they have never shown up!  I thought it was an assumed part of my BYU contract that I would be married before graduation.  Well you have just under three weeks to come up with somebody or I want my tuition back!’  President Holland went on to commend the young woman on her sense of humor in what could be a very difficult situation and then gave the following counsel:

My concern is that you will face some delay and disappointments in these formative years of your life and feel that no one in the history of mankind has ever had your problems or faced your difficulties. And when some of those challenges come, you will have the temptation common to us all to say, ‘The task is to difficult, the burden to heaven, the path too long.’...To you I say this morning, ‘Be not weary in well doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work.’  That great work is YOU! Your life, your future, the very fulfillment of your dreams.  That great work is what, with effort, and patience and God’s help, you can become.  When days are difficult and problems seem unending, I plead with you to stay in the harness and keep pulling.  You are entitled to ‘Eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days,” but it will require your heart and a willing mind.  It will require that you stay on your post and keep trying.

There will be many times where we all stumble and fall.  We will make wrong decisions and will be forced to deal with the consequences.  The beauty of the gospel is that we can ALWAYS rely on the atonement to become clean, we have the ability to ALWAYS be worthy of the sealing power.  Those who are sealed in holy temples and who faithfully keep their covenants will receive God’s glory, which ‘shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever’  When Christ went to the America’s, after teaching for a time, he says to them, ‘HAve ye any that are sick among you?  Bring them hither.  Have ye any that are lame or blind...or that are afflicted in any manner?  Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.’  Christ wants to heal you, of your sins, of a broken heart, of ANY affliction that prevents you from having the faith necessary to receive the promised blessings He and His Father have prepared for you.

The Apostle Paul in Hebrew’s 11:4-13 talks about the faith of Able, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sara, concluding that these all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth.’  They knew that earth life was a journey and not a final destination.

Now I hope to come full circle with this last explanation.  One of my favorite stories from the Old Testament (yes I read the Old testament) is the story of Rachel.  I have read it many many times over the course of my post mission life, relating at different moments to different characters in the story.  Just to refresh your memory, Jacob, the son of Isaac who was the son of Abraham goes to his Uncle’s house, Laban and falls in love with Rachel.  He works 7 years for her, but on the night of their wedding, Laban pulls a fast one and Jacob ends up marrying Leah.  HE was mad, but agrees to work another 7 years for Rachel.  He loved Rachel so it wasn’t a big deal, but he neglects Leah.  The Lord sees this and blesses Leah with children while Rachel remains barren.  Leah bares child after child, which is so hard for Rachel that she goes to Jacob one day and says, ‘GIVE ME CHILDREN, OR ELSE I DIE!’  Leah then bares two more sons.  Jacob says to Rachel, ‘Am I in God’s stead who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?’ Essentially saying, its not me!

Many of you may be feeling like Rachel, angry or upset because your life isn’t exactly the way you had hoped it would be, with all the blessings you have been promised.  It is tough at times to feel like the Lord recognizes your trials and difficulties, but I am here to testify that He does.  HE is aware of every one of your struggles, and is waiting to bless you.  GO TO HIM in prayer and as he has healed so many before, he will heal you.  He will bless you, in his own due time, with the righteous desires of your heart.  Elder Condie ended his talk with the following words:

But with the passage of time, we encounter four of the most beautiful words in holy writ: ‘And God remembered Rachel” And she was blessed with the birth of Joseph and later the birth of Benjamin.  There are millions on earth today who are descendants of Joseph who have embraced the ABrahamic promise that through their efforts ‘shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.  When heaven’s promises sometimes seem afar off, I pray that each of us will embrace these exceeding great and precious promises and never let go.  And just as God remembered Rachel, God will remember you.

Remember that the ultimate goal is the temple. Remember all that that encompasses and remember that you are entitled to it's blessings. I stand as a witness that our Father in  Heaven has our individual needs in mind.  Be true to your covenants, repent if necessary and move forward with a smile on your face.  The blessings of the sealing ordinance are already available to you, through your worthiness and willingness to stay the path.  Be faithful in your pursuits and in the due time of the Lord, you will be blessed with what you so desire, this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, AMen.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

You Can't HANDLE The Truth!

I guess it is finally time to tell you about the handsome hunk I'm in love with.  Some of you have been pretty confused about the recent events in my life, so I thought I would shed a little light on things.

Many of you may remember this post.  I think that was the point that I had basically decided to just be happy.  Be happy with me, with whatever came my way, with whatever DIDN'T come my way.  It was when I decided to just work on being okay with being 'Just Jody' as this blog has been called for so long...Its when I had finally learned what Heavenly Father had been trying to teach me for YEARS!

So even some of my closest friends have been caught off guard by my engagement to this hotty.

So here are the nitty gritty details.  There are some things that are a little too precious of experiences for me to share on such a public forum, so I will skim over them, but this is, for the most part, 'Our Story'. Enjoy!

I met Tyler sometime around the end of July last year.  I had seen him around, he had actually come to a bonfire I threw two summers before, and I remember thinking he was cute from across the way, but we never talked so I never really thought anything of it until he showed up at my house with his girlfriend at the moment, a friend of mine (woops!).  He and I talked for a bit, I liked his smile, I loved that he spoke Spanish, I loved that he was hilarious, and I hated that he was taken.  That's about all I remember thinking.  

Fast forward a few months.  Around October, I randomly remember wondering about him, so I called up my brother-in-law and asked.  He said that they had broken up and we talked about it for a bit.  I don't remember exactly what was said, but I remember telling him at some point, 'Let it be known, I think that Tyler Best is cute.'  He laughed and said that he would keep that in mind.

When I went home for Christmas, I had been seeing this guy down here in Houston.  It was pretty new, pretty casual, but I was interested.  Still, for whatever reason, Tyler crossed my mind again.  I started prepping for the 3rd annual Neck and Nog (my annual Christmas party involving turtlenecks and egg nog, get your mind out of the gutter!) and Paul (Brother in law) called and asked if I needed any help getting it together.  My response? ' Your only job is to make sure that Tyler Best is at this party.'  He laughed, and said he would do what he could, but no promises.

The night of my party was crazy.  Anchorage decided to have more than a half a foot of snow fall that night, so as 8pm came and went, no one showed up...I was pretty bummed/embarassed to have thrown a party in which no one attended.  An hour later, people started showing up.  I remember seeing Paul's jeep come down the driveway and get a little excited.  Enter all 6'7 feet of Tyler.  I tried to play it cool and not immediately rush up and say hello, and I was a little nervous.  Eventually we said hello and I remember he complimented me on the paint job inside my parents house. (cute)  We had tons of things going on, including italian sodas.  Tyler practically forced me to make him one because he 'didn't know how'.  I showed him, but at least one other time that night that I can remember he asked me to make him another one because he 'couldn't make them as well as I could.'  We flirted.  A lot.

As the party started to die down, we decided to watch a movie, I plopped down next to Tyler and before I knew it, his arm was around me.  The movie ended, and like a good little hostess I walked everyone to the front door.  Tyler and I said goodbye with an audience, so he didn't ask me for my phone number.  I was a little disappointed, and even remember sending a text to Paul (BIL) saying so.  The next day I got this message on facebook:

December 23, 2011
  • I was thinking since neither of us have seen the new Sherlock Holmes movie, we could catch a late showing either tonight or tomorrow night, before I leave. Your Mom can't come though because she has already seen it. I don't have your number and I'm not sure how often you check this dingus so if you catch it great if not, another time, another place, two other people, it could have been magniflorious.

I laughed.  Due to family commitments and him leaving, we didn't end up going to that movie, but that's really where it all started.  We were constantly texting each other.  He made me laugh, and I loved that about him.  We could also be serious.  I think we had been texting for about a week and a half when we started talking on the phone.  We would just talk, talk about anything, about nothing.  It was just nice to have someone.  Someone who wanted to talk to me, who wanted to know what was going on in my life.  Who was genuinely concerned about me.  The more we talked, the more serious conversations were mixed in with our ridiculousness.  I felt like I had known him forever.  He knew more about me than just about anyone I had ever dated, and we had never even been on a 'proper date'.

I don't remember at what point we started Skyping, but we did.  The first night was two hours. That began night after night of laughing, staying up WAY too late, chatting, talking about what we wanted from life/love/family.  I remember one particular conversation that lasted until 2 am where we let it all out, and instead of feeling judged or small, I felt empowered, I felt cared about.  

My birthday is where he took things to the next level.  I was at work when I BEAUTIFUL bouquet of yellow tulips showed up.  I glanced at the card and just saw that it was signed 'Your Mom'.  I thought, 'Awww, my mom sent me flowers!' and didn't think anything more of it until a few hours later when some flowers showed up...from my mom.  I thought, 'Oh man they must have made a mistake!'  But then I read the card more carefully...

'My Pampered Baby bottom, You are my favorite, I love your eyes. I hope you are keeping in contact with that handsome young man from OR, Love, Your Mom'

None of those things were things my mom would ever say to me, and it took re-reading it a few times to realize that the tulips weren't from my mom, they were from Tyler!  I text him and thanked him profusely.  

That was basically it, I was sold.  We were texting all day every day, we were skyping for hours every night and it was the happiest I can remember being in...well forever.  I came home from church one day, looked at my roommate and said, 'I think I am going to marry Tyler.' Either that night or the next day I called my parents and said the same thing.  As Tyler and I talked more, we started talking about moves and jobs and how we would make it all work, and though it has been hard, we have done it.

There is more to the story than that, MANY many prayers and a couple of very sweet spiritual experiences helped us both feel like it was a good and correct decision.  A couple of really funny experiences also helped me decide.  I am so happy, and the only way I could be happier is if I were already in Alaska and we were already married.

I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation and for the realization that there truly was a plan laid out specifically for me and that 'In the due time of the Lord' I was able to figure it out.  I know that God lives, and that this is his plan for me.  LOVE MY LIFE!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Easter...A day late and a dollar short

So...a lot has happened in the last two months.  At the beginning I didn't want to share it with the blogging world because I didn't want to spoil the surprise.  Then, I didn't know how to introduce it.  Then I just plain got caught up in life and planning A WEDDING and I never got around to posting about the love of my life.  For those anxious to hear the story...you'll just have to wait, because I'm still not going to talk about Tyler, or how in 90 days we are going to be sealed in the Anchorage Temple.  But I will share this picture with you:

What I do want to talk about is something completely unrelated.  I was in Oregon over Easter meeting the in-laws-to-be and I was so caught up in the travel and the excitement, that I feel like I really kinda missed out on the whole Easter spirit.  I even got an email from Mormon.org where I have a profile asking me to post something on Facebook about my feelings on the savior, and I didn't.  Their were places to go, people to see, a plane to catch and lessons to get back to.

So as school ended yesterday, I went to listen to some music while cleaning up and Youtube suggested this video.  Now those who don't know me too terribly well wouldn't really understand the significance of this video for me.  #1 Music is and always has been the most affective way at getting me to feel the spirit/have a change of heart/receive inspiration.  #2 A few summers ago, my cousin Coltan and I put together a singing group called True North.  We did firesides about Enduring and this was the last song we sang.  I will never forget sitting around with the choir members during our last practice and listening to my then pre-missionary brother bear a strong testimony of the power of this song.  Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes.

I have been home from my mission for 5 years. 5 YEARS!  To say that they have been the hardest and yet most rewarding years of my life would be the understatement of the century.  I have loved and lost. A lot.  I have struggled with self worth, with testimony and millions of other things.  I have faltered and succeeded, I have felt hopeless and full of promise.  So many experiences have built me up and cut me down.

I have felt that the burden I was called to bare was too much, and I have looked at the blessings a far off and thought that they would never come to me. And yet the power in the lyrics of this song have reminded me that 'Thou the very jaws of hell gape after thee, I am with thee.'

I think at times we make it so easy to feel alone.  We CHOOSE to feel that way.  I talk a lot on here about the atonement.  I don't know that I have ever explained what that means to me.  The atonement means that though I screw up and falter and fail, I can become clean, whole and successful.  It means that I will be SEALED to THE MAN OF MY DREAMS, that no earthly force will ever be able to separate us, and that I will be with my parents, siblings, future children, forever.

In Oregon, the ward choir there sang this song that inspired me enough to look up the lyrics:

Behold the Wounds in Jesus Hands
Poem by John V. Pearson
Put to Music by David R. Naylor

Behold the wounds in Jesus' hands,
The Marks upon His side.
Then ponder who He meant to save
when on the cross He died.

We cannot see the love of God
Which saves us from the fall,
Yet know that Christ from wood and nails
built mansions for us all.

Behold the outstreched hands of Christ,
Our God, who came to save,
Whose love and grace redeems our souls
And lifts us from the grave.

Though bruised and battered as we stray
His guiding hands caress,
He washes and annoints with oil
Then in His arms we rest.

Behold the wounds in Jesus' hands,
Look to your Lord and live
He yearns to bless you with His love
And all your sins forgive.

Oh empty is the heart of man
When it is filled with sin.
Come open wide your broken heart
And let your Savior in!

Behold His wounded hands and feet!
Come touch and see and feel
The wounds and marks that you may know
His love for you is real.

Then as you fall to worship Him
And wash His feet in tears,
Your Savior takes you in His arms
And quiets all your fears.

I know that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ and that His sacrifice made my happiness possible.  What a blessing!

Sorry...one more. :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

TMFH: Helium

In my 28 years of life, I still have not learned how to NOT suck a little bit of helium out of a balloon when I pop it. And when I do, you can bet I will sing 'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling'.

Just a little something to look forward to.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

At the risk of an Overshare

I will withhold names at this time, but I had to share this...

Cute boy: Spaghetti or Steak?
Me: Either, unless I'm wearing white, in which case steak.  Is there a point to this question?
Cute boy: I want to get to know my woman! :) If you had to wear one color for a year, which would you wear, blue or green?
Me: Green, and I will punch you. (yes I am so loving, I know)
Cute boy: What?  Now what?
Me: Haha, You can call me your girl, your love and a whole host of other things, but your old lady, your woman and the old ball and chain are not allowed.
Cute boy: What?  Hows that any different than you calling me your man?
Me: I don't call you that.
Cute boy: Oh.  Well okay then.

I repeat, so happy.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


This is a little different than what I normally post, but it is something that I have been thinking about for a while now, so I wanted to pose this question to you.

When we talk about the atonement and Jesus Christ, we always talk about how he came to earth because he had to receive a physical body and experience all things. (if you don't know what I'm talking about, click here).  We talk about how he felt everything we have felt, has been through everything that we have been through.  So my question is:

Did Christ feel our happiness as well as our pains and afflictions?

Because I am pretty happy right now, and I really hope he knows how that feels.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Letters and Other Heart Warming Things.

I follow this blog called A Blog About Love.  It is a husband and wife couple who share their story, after two failed marriages (one from each of them) they fell in love over email, set up by a mutual friend and were eventually married.  They are an inspiration, and I love them. (I secretly want to be them, but I recognize that that would be weird...so I want to be LIKE them.) A few days ago they shared an excerpt from a book filled with letters. 

In the book, Steinbeck: A Life of Letters, there is a collection of letters written by John Steinbeck to family and friends.  Among this correspondence is this beautiful letter written to his eldest son, Thom, in 1958.  Thom had recently confessed to his parents that he had fallen desperately in love with a girl named Susan, while at boarding school!  (ahhh...)   

New York
November 10, 1958
Dear Thom:
We had your letter this morning.  I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.
First -- if you are in love -- that's a good thing -- that's about the best thing that can happen to anyone.  Don't let anyone make it small or light to you.
Second -- There are several kinds of love.  One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance.  This is the ugly and crippling kind.  The other is an outpouring of everything good in you -- of kindness and consideration and respect -- not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn't know you had.
You say this is not puppy love.  If you feel so deeply -- of course it isn't puppy love.
But I don't think you were asking me what you feel.  You know better than anyone.  What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it -- and that I can tell you.
Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.
The object of love is the best and most beautiful.  Try to live up to it.
If you love someone -- there is no possible harm in saying so -- only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.
Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.
It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another -- but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.
Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I'm glad you have it.
We will be glad to meet Susan.  She will be very welcome.  But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to.  She knows about love, too, and maybe she can give you more help than I can.
And don't worry about losing.  If it is right, it happens -- The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.

Is there a better way to describe love?  Have you felt this way?  I'll let you in on a little secret...I am feeling it.  That is another story for another post.  I hope that today you feel love, a love full of goodness, an outpouring of everything good in you.

There is nothing better than knowing you are giving the best of who you are to something or someone.  Be the love you want, give the love you wish for, but most important, BE HAPPY WITH WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW.  Things can always get better, but they can also get worse. And trust me, it has taken me years of stumblings and heartache to recognize good when I see it.  When you find it, you'll see what all the fighting was for.

I bet you never saw that one coming :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

TMFH: Techmology

The world is over when my phone is broken...And I'll probably cry until its fixed.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Its always in the last place you look!

Everybody has done it.

You lose your keys, your glasses, the last piece of bacon-its a tragic experience!  And you look all over for it. Try as you might, you just can't find it anywhere.  It is that awful feeling-that feeling that you will never sleep again for fear that you and your treasured item will be pulled farther and farther away from each other.

Isn't that the worst?

And then of course when you DO find it, someone will inevitably say that age old adage (which yes I did just look up to make sure I was using that word properly) 'Its always in the last place you look!' You will of course think to yourself, 'Thanks idiot, who in their right mind would keep looking after they found what they were looking for?' but on the outside you say, 'I know!' and bat your eye lashes and hope that they don't see through your desire to slap them.

But the point of my story is that you always find things in the darndest places.  My mom used to lose her glasses all the time (pre lasic eye surgery) and would find them...on top of her head.  

Enter point of this post.

I have been pondering and stressing over a decision and some situations in my life for a few months.  Stressing because of course matters of the heart are always so dark and twisty and complicated and pondering because, well, matters of the heart are meant to be pondered.  You don't need to know the specifics of it, but needless to say I was really wanting to figure it all out.  I had prayed about it, I had thought it out in my mind, and still, nothing.  It was driving me insane.  So late Saturday night after a much needed conversation, I started a fast to figure it out.

Now I don't talk about my calling very often on here, but I am ward party planner.  It used to be my dream calling, but right now it is the number one adder of stress to my life.  It is so hard to plan for things in my ward where one week we will have 20 people at something and the next week 30-50.  UGH!  So we had an awesome sacrament meeting, great Sunday School and then I assumed my position in the kitchen (spare me the bare foot and pregnant jokes) and go about making baked potatoes for everyone...due to some slight miscalculations I was stressed all afternoon so I didn't really break my fast properly and I wasn't really in any mood to receive revelation or answers.  Looking back, I would have probably had a hard time deciphering answers at that time anyways. I went home that night and took a breather before going to party it up watching the Super Bowl at a friend's house.
This is me in the kitchen being stressed...and taking a picture. It makes sense.

Post Half Time, mid-sentence, the spirit slapped that answer in my face so hard.  The funny thing was, it had been staring me in the face for WEEKS, but I guess I just needed the right perspective.  Well there it was, BOOM, perspective.  And once I knew, there was nothing that could have stopped me from doing the right thing, so I did it.  

I am so glad to have the gift of personal revelation, and especially for the Holy Ghost.  I don't always recognize it, I don't always know when I'm following it, but I'm trying.

Besides, its always in the last place you look.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

TMFH: Those days

On those days when everyone keeps talking to me about the one thing I just can't bare to talk about and I am upset and come home all weepy eyed and tell you all about it, I don't want you to fix the problem.

I want chocolate and a tight squeeze.

Nothing more.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Oh my job...

I will often have my students 'trade and grade' because it makes my life just a little bit easier when I am grading quizzes. (Obviously I don't do this for Tests)

Today I found this on a paper...

I wrote on his paper: Do not write anything more than your name on the paper you grade.  Kevin's parents do not care that you are a 'triple O.G. gangster' or your thug status.

Kids these days.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

TMFH: Sacrament Talks

The day before I give a talk, you are basically my slave.  Feed me, listen to me, scratch my back while I'm pondering and make sure everything and everyone else leaves me alone.

Its what Jesus would do.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Things Worth Waiting For...

Remember that one time when I blogged about kissing?

Yeah me neither. This is a dad warning...aka dad, unless you want to hear about my kissing history, you should probably stop reading. Continue reading at your own risk.

I am not patient.


I get annoyed when the person in front of me takes forever checking out and I get pretty perturbed if the person behind me in line at security ends up getting through the pat down before me. Did I also mention I'm super mature. Cuz I am.

When I was 16 years old, I met a pretty awesome guy, who's name will not be mentioned, mainly because I don't feel like asking him if its okay to write about him. But if you're reading this, Hey! How's it going? Anyways, as most boy/girl 16 year old relationships go, we started dating. He was practically perefect in every way, kind of like the male version of Mary Poppins, or Sherry Bobbins, or Mark Wahlberg ( in which case he would be the Mormon equivalent to him since they are both already male...) but there was just one problem- his parents had promised him $1000 if he made it his entire four years of high school without having his first kiss.

I don't know if their motivation was to keep their kid out of the back seat of a car, or maybe it was one of those things that you say to someone knowing full well that you'll never have to make good on the promise because it is completely unattainable ( like telling me you'll pay me $1000 to not be sarcastic for a week or to wear outfits and makeup my mom picked out for a week. It sounds like easy money, and then I realize what that entails and I give up all together). Anyways, they promised him this money and as we started to spend more time together and hold hands (gasp!!!) the more I kept thinking, "their is no way I'm going to cost this guy a thousand bucks"

I mean, don't get me wrong, I hadn't kissed a whole lot of boys up to that point, but I had kissed a few and was pretty sure that I was a pretty decent kisser. However, I didn't think that kissing me was worth a thousand dollars. So we must have spent more than two months of our dating period just hanging out and holding hands. If I remember correctly we would email each other throughout the week and then see each other on the weekends and it's probably the most I knew about any guy I dated from the time I was 14-20. We had excellent communication, we laughed so much, had tons of inside jokes and I think I made him love his full name for the first time ever. Eventually we did kiss, but it was after we were both emotionally invested ( as much as one can be at 16) and we both knew what we we're getting into.

Fast forward 12 years. Here I am on the verge of my 28th birthday. I have seen A LOT of boyfriends come and go, kissed a lot of frogs since then, and a few weeks ago I find myself on a date where a guy tells me he doesn't kiss for three months of knowing a girl and I think to myself, "can I even do that??" at the time I thought I was totally justified in thinking that he was a total square, but as I have had time to reflect over my Christmas break, I have thought about this a lot. (I did also hang out with 16 year old wonder man and remember why I thought he was amazing and kick myself for screwing it up all those years ago...not that it wouldn't have ended anyways, but I pretty much slammed that door shut in my own face...twice)

While I am not an advocate for waiting extended periods of time to kiss (ie waiting until you get married), I think there is something to be said about being patient, letting life happen!  Are we really so focused on progression that we can't let life happen, naturally?  Is it that important to us that we 'get results' that we can't be calm??  And I'm not just referring to kissing (I know dad, you are so proud).  Change happens gradually, so can we really be upset if nothing happens after day one of our Kanye West Work Out Plan (don't google that) or if we don't learn to stand up on a surf board the first three times we go (or four...or five...or six)

The point is BE PATIENT!!  Learning and progressing and growing are all processes. I think a small part of me has always chosen to ignore how infinitely connected patience and faith are.  Faith is believing in things without seeing them.  Patience is the continual belief in something until you actually have the proof.  And then the faith converts to knowledge.  Its like math...without the numbers.  I am no good at the patience part, but I feel like lately, that is what Heavenly Father has wanted me to learn.  Patience with myself as I learn and stretch and do hard things that hurt and are uncomfortable for me.  Patience with my students as they learn and stretch and do hard things that hurt and are uncomfortable for them.  Patience with those around me who are struggling beyond what I know or understand.

The growth at the end of all of that patience is something worth waiting for.  I am worth waiting for.  That exciting moment when you figure something out after months of agonizing, or you finally stand up on that surf board or run that race and do well.  THOSE THINGS ARE WORTH WAITING FOR!! Because when the answers, or relief, or whatever it is you feel like you need comes, it means so much more, because you waited for it.

But basically what I'm saying is I am not allowed to get mad if I don't get kissed on the first date.