"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is BEAUTIFUL!!!" - Sophia Loren

"Come what may, and love it. I know why there must be opposition in all things. Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. We can learn to love it. As we look for humor, seek for the eternal perspective, understand the principle of compensation, and draw near to our Heavenly Father, we can endure hardship and trial." - Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

"Happiness does not depend upon what happens outside of you, but on what happens inside of you. It is measured by the spirit with which you meet the problems of life." -Spencer W. Kimball

"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." -Unknown

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Spiritual Christmas

Christmas Day dawned bright and clear for me this year. No snow (of course) :) Christmas day was more of a focus on Christ than in years past and I loved it so much! I look forward to trying to keep more of Christ in my life than in the past.

Christmas day start out with keep Jasers entertained while Nicole was making breakfast (Kneaders French Toast) Yummm!!! That bread had to travel over 600 miles to make it to my house (from Kneaders in Provo, UT to the airport in SLC, flying to LAX, and then driving home to Ridgecrest). Wow. What a long way for some little loaves of bread to go, haha.

When breakfast was winding down my participated in something that we can make a yearly tradition (if not I'll make it a tradition with my own family when I have one). We went around the table and all shared something that had to do with the spirit of giving or the true spirit or meaning of Christmas. It was one of the most meaningful and spiritual experiences of my life.

I started everything off by talking about my experience with Sub for Santa. To read about it click here.  It really set a good tone for what my sister in law and I were trying to get across with focusing on the true meaning of Christmas. Zach shared a story from when he went caroling with some friends and they were able to make a huge difference in a sick lady's day. Jimmy shared a story about how the military gives so much for us. Donald Eugene shared a story from when he was younger that he helped doorbell ditch some gifts are Christmas for a family that literally had nothing. Ariel talked about how when she was in Young Women's someone she didn't get along with gave her some support when needed. Nicole talked about a tradition that her family does with choosing a poorer family to give gifts to at Christmas and one particualar year they gave up having some gifts of their own to bring Christmas joy to someone else. Mom talked about her earthly angels that have been around for her this year when she needed some huge support to help with Dad's health issues (Donald Eugene and Ariel).

With everything that we were discuss it brought so many tears to my eyes. Not out of sadness but out of joy and all the good that we were able to talk about and the real meaning of Christmas. The cutest thing was that Sammi was sitting on my lap and she asked me "Gramma sad?" Because my mom was crying. I told her that grandma was crying because she was happy and later she asked me the same question about Aunt Ariel. And I told her the same thing and I suggested she go give each of them a hug. She is so adorable!!

The rest of the morning I spent with my family played some games and got ready for church where I was able to play the prelude music. It was so much fun just getting to sit there and play Christmas Hymns. Jimmy also spoke in church (his farewell talk for leaving on his mission). He brought tears to my eyes because he told me that he was grateful for my idea of Christmas sharing because it really got him thinking about the real meaning of Christmas.

After church we were finishing getting Christmas dinner ready. So good. I want more right now :)

That night Jimmy was set up as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Such a neat experience to have that happen on Christmas day. Before he was set apart he met with the stake president and Nicole and I had Zach play the piano while we sang some Christmas hymns. Such a neat experience.

The rest of the night we got to spend together as a family and play some games

What a good Christmas!! So sad that I had come back to Utah the next day. Miss my family so much!

Sub for Santa & Spreading Christmas Joy

Sub for Santa is one of the most amazing programs. Ever. Period. For those of you who don't know what Sub for Santa is let me explain. It's a program where money is raised in order to purchase Christmas gifts for children that live in low income areas where parents usually can't afford to give them even the smallest of Christmas gifts or even some necessities such as school supplies, shoes, clothes, etc. 

I never really felt that strongly about the program until a few weeks ago. The company I work for partners with Sub for Santa every year to bring some Christmas joy to some lower income elementary schools in Salt Lake City and Provo. This year I was able to donate some money to go towards buying gifts. I wasn't able to shop for any gifts because I was working during the time that was allotted for gift shopping but I was able to help pass out gifts to the kids up in Salt Lake City. The. Most. Amazing. Experience. Of. My. Life.

I can't even describe the experience. I have never seen children so happy to get a pair of shoes or some crayons. These kids literally have nothing and they are so sincerely grateful for something. In particular I can think of one specific child that I was able to give a gift to. It was one of the last classes that came in and got their gifts. Everyone around him had already received their gifts and were busy opening them and he just looked so sad because he had nothing. I walked up to him and asked him his name and then I told him that I had a Christmas present for him. His face lit up like nothing I had ever seen. He was so grateful that he was thanking me before he'd ever open the gifts. I helped him open them: soccer ball, cleats, some cars and a few other things. He told me that he liked playing soccer. He thanked me so many times. 

I've never felt like I'd made such a difference in someone's life until that day. I can't even describe the amazing experience that it was for me. My heart felt so full and it made me grateful for how I grew up and everything that my parents were able to give me. The only way that I can think of to describe what I saw and experienced is pure joy. Not happiness but pure joy and gratitude. 

To read more about how Vivint participated in this effort click here

Friday, December 30, 2011

2 Christmases?

This year my family celebrated Christmas twice. 2 days in a row. Cool huh? With Christmas being on Sunday my family wanted to keep Christ in Christmas so on Christmas Eve we had secular Christmas and on actual Christmas day we had a more Spiritual Christmas day. Too much went on to fit it all in one post so I'll split the events up into a few different posts.

Friday was family pictures day...bleh. Not the biggest fan of taking pictures in case you couldn't tell., .  It wasn't that bad but there were some awkward moments... like the last picture we took. She put my entire family into little families. Meaning: my sister and her husband, my brother with his family, my parents together, and then there were my teenager brothers... and me... awkward.... It was like oh look at all the grown ups with their families and then there's me....singles awareness much? 

Saturday morning dawned bright and early. My family never sleeps much on Christmas, especially with little kids in the mix, haha. This year we took turns opening presents rather than everyone going at it at once so that we could all see what each other got. It was so fun to see my niece and nephew opening their presents and the joy on their faces. Let's face it. I have the cutest niece and nephew. Ever. Please see exhibit A :-) The cutest thing is how my nephew says "hi" loved it. And then there's how Sammi calls my Auntie Banana. They are my favorite people ever. 

My gifts included......

A Kindle Touch and Cover:

The most amazing smelling lotion ever. From my brother. Smells so good I want to eat it. Seriously.

As some of your are well aware, I'm slightly obsessed with Harry Potter. My brother also gave me a Golden Snitch necklace. This isn't it exactly but close enough:
2 Pampered Chef bread loaf pans
A toaster: 
I also got a new dress and shirt and 2 new sweaters. I pretty much made out like a bandit, haha. It was fun getting to hang out with the fam and play some games. I also got to see a few good friends that I haven't seen in ages. 

All in all: the Secular part of Christmas was a huge success :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011


So it's official. I'm 24 now. Weird. My twenties are almost half way over. Not sure how I feel about that. My birthday has come and gone. It wasn't the best birthday I've ever had but it wasn't the worse either, haha. What did I do?? I cleaned my kitchen (didn't want to but it was driving me crazy!), went to Alisha's bridal shower, went to a talent show at work, and went out to dinner with a bunch of friends and got to open the presents my parents sent back here with Jimmy. I got the #1 thing on my list for my birthday:

Harry Potter Boxed Set of ALL the movies:
I also got Tangled. Love that movie!

Mom also made me some awesome Christmas ornaments which are now on my Christmas tree. They are so beautiful. 

I can't wait for Thursday!! I'm flying out of SLC to go to California to spend Christmas with my family. I can't wait to see them. Just need to get through 3 days of work first. Part of the reason I'm so excited to get out of Utah is so that I won't have to be in my apartment and deal with my crazy roommates. At the most I will only have to put up with them until December 30th. They're moving out (thankfully) and I'm either staying in my apartment or moving downstairs. That is still to be decided. Still, can't wait to get out of the freezing cold and be in Sunny California. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

In honor of my 24th birthday this weekend I've made a list of 24 things that I have done with my life and 24 things I still want to do with my life:

24 Things I've Done in my Life/Learned:

1) Graduate from college - not once, not twice, but 3 times (2 associate's degrees and a bachelor's degree)
2) Bought a car - 2 different times. Hate care shopping
3) Be the favorite aunt to my niece and nephew - and Yes I am the favorite no what what my sister says :-)
4) I've gotten not one but two promotions at my job this past year
5) Sang karaoke for the first time and loved it!! Thank you, David Saylor :-)
6) I've been to Mexico
7) Driven in a snow storm - scariest thing of my life!!
8) Gone to Yellowstone National Park. Thank you, Nicole Winegardner
9) Learned to do glitter toes - Which I will be doing tonight in red and green to celebrate Christmas :-)
10) Read the entire Harry Potter series 3 times
11) Took some Zumba classes. After the experience I decided that I like straight cardio better
12) Wore braces
13) Wear glasses and contacts but maybe not for much longer...
14) At the age of 24, I still wear princess sheets on my bed, haha
15) I've become much better friends with my little brother since he moved to Utah. Good luck on your mission, Jimmy!! I'm so proud of you
16) I've participated in several charity projects including but not limited to Vivint Gives Back and United Way
17) Thrown Bridal Showers for 2 of my very best friends (Ashley Martin Jones and Mary Linford Griffitts) Love you, guys!!!
18) I found the BEST smoothie ever!! Strawberry Surfrider from Jamba Juice. Yum!!!
19) I've attended several live sessions of General Conference
20) Bought a gym membership and actually use it regularly
21) Learned to cope with large amounts of stress at work
22) Danced in the rain
23) Watched a beautiful sunset on the California beach. Thank you, Alisha Packard
24) Last but certainly not least, I've learned to enjoy the journey and just be happy with me and how my life is going.

24 things I want do:

1) Get Lasik surgery - this will probably be happening sooner than I think :-)
2) Have laser hair removal surgery
3) Continue spoiling my niece and nephew
4) Receive my endowment
5) Get married in the temple
6) Have kids
7) Be kissed on new years eve
8) Live someplace that doesn't require cleaning checks or me putting my bed on cinder blocks so that I have enough room for all of my stuff
9) Eat healthier
10) Run a 10K
11) Take more risks
12) Be more outspoken
13) Cook more food at home instead of buying ready made things
14) Blog more often
15) Visit a European country
16) Take a nice, warm, sunny vacation
17) Continue learning to manage my stress better
18) Continue to enjoy the journey
19) Make more friends
20) Learn to be more confrontational
21) Don't take on more than I can manage/handle
22) Do more crafts
23) Be better at daily scripture study
24) Do more things that I want to do

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Today I had my yearly optometry appointment. I'm almost out of contacts so it was that time of year. I had to have my eyes dilated ick. I hate that. Once a year won't kill me but I don't like it. Especially when I went outside to get in my car. I thought the sun was going to kill me. On the bright side: I didn't have to pay for my appointment because the warranty package I got last year at my appointment and I also bought some new sunglasses. So cute. Can't wait to wear them :-) Also, my insurance paid for all but $10 of it. Got love the little blessings of life :-)

Something I talked to my doctor about is Lasik surgery. It's something I've been thinking about more and more over the last year. I'm an excellent candidate for Lasik surgery because my glasses/contacts prescription hasn't changed much in the last few years. My vision is consistent so I'd probably have good luck with the surgery.

 I'm tired of having to either wear my glasses or put contacts in every day. I want to be done with using other things so that I can see. I had a consultation with a Lasik specialist. She had it done herself and loves it. I know a lot of people who've had it done. I'm seriously considering....but I don't know yet. My insurance will get my a slight discount per eye. Thoughts?? Opinions??

PS My birthday is in 1 week. In case anyone was wondering.
PPS Notice the countdown up above :-)